2614) Media Scanner Oct 2008 Part 2 (169 Items)

  1. Taner Akcam: I Will Visit Armenia If I Get An Invitation
  2. Stick With Shit On Both Ends :Obama – Bidern Lovers - Here Is The Anca Declaration
  3. Teaching Genocide One School Board Gets A Lesson In Definitions, Ontario, Canada
  4. Armenians say: “No” to Turkey
  5. Armenian Museum Director Caught in His Own Web of Deceit
  6. From Diaspora
  7. Armenian Diplomat: Turkish-Armenian Relations Can't Be Understood Without Turkish-Russian Relations
  8. Stallone Plans The Film A Movie About Alleged Armenian Genocide
  9. Former President Of Turkish Historical Society Was In Germany For A Conference
  10. Armenian Threat To Ani Ruins
  11. Armenian Youth Federation Demonstrates Against Gala Honoring Ataturk
  12. Fethie Cetin, Turkish publicist, lawyer and writer, visited Armenia
  13. American Jewish Official Retires After Long Anti-Armenian Campaign By Harut Sassounian
  14. Largest Newspaper in Turkey Calls Obama-Biden Most Pro-Armenian Team in History
  15. Original Photo of the Armenian Genocide Newly Discovered by AGM Institute
  16. Turkish Lobby Targets Rep. Schiff For His Support of Armenian Issues
  17. Turks And Armenians Need To See
  18. President Of Armenia: If Turkey Opens The Boundary . .
  19. Turkey Uncovers A Pro-Russian Underground; Ergenekon Secret Society Trial Begins by Mikhail Zygar
  20. Akh'tamar: An Ensemble Built On Cherished Values, By Elyssa Karanian
  21. New Anti-Genocide Club Stand Forming At Niu By Megan Geyer
  22. "Armenia Should Stick To Its Principles"
  23. Yes To Armenian-Turkish Relations But On At Expense Of National Agenda
  24. Armenian Genocide Discussed In Australian Parliament
  25. Edward Tashji, Man Of Principle
  26. Nalbandian's Interview To BBC Turkish
  27. A Conference About So-Called Armenian Genocide Was Held In Aydin
  28. Interviewee: Famous Political Scientist, Rasim Aghayev
  29. Turkophobia In The Classroom At The University Of Maryland
  30. Poll Shows European Youth Prejudiced Against Turks, Romanians
  31. Dersim On Turkey's ‘genocide' List
  32. The Illusion Surrounding Obama’s Presidency
  33. Obama And Biden, Facing Turkish Reality
  34. ‘Bush Left Poor Legacy In Turkey-Us Relations’
  35. ‘Diplopia' In Looking At The Us Elections
  36. Error: Court Halts Internet Freedom In Turkey
  37. The U S Presidential Race by Beril Dedeoğlu
  38. International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
  39. Turksat 3a Begins Service, Tv Stations Change Frequencies
  40. Groups Say Web Site Bans Hurt Turkey’s Image
  41. Aide To Turkish Prime Minister: “we Are Waiting For Armenians With Open Arms”
  42. Blogger.com Is Accessible Again
  43. Atatürk’s Prophesies: Why Douglas Macarthur Believed In Them Too?
  44. Ataturk Should Be Taught At U.S. Schools- Senator
  45. "Armenians Burnt Alive By Turkish Soldiers" A1+
  46. Turkish President Separates Armenian Issue From Relations With Armenia
  47. Turkey: Another Ally Lost
  48. New Film Follows A Witness To History Us Ambassador Reported Genocide Of The Armenians by Leslie Brokaw
  49. Armenian Premier Discusses Turkish Ties, Karabakh With Usa's Rice
  50. The Jamestown Foundation Holds A Discussion On "Are Turkish-Armenian Relations About To Take Off?"
  51. Conference On Armenian Cultural Heritage In Turkey Due In Brussels Nov. 13
  52. Keene State Genocide Awareness Lecture: 'Genocides In Comparative Perspective'
  53. Negotiations Between Ankara And Yerevan Will Continue "Noiselessly"
  54. Press Freedom In Armenia Decreased
  55. Courts Of Independence: Amaseia 1921, By Anastasia Rentou
  56. Russia Accuses Turkey Of Violating Montreux Convention
  57. New Evidence Of Armenian Genocide Found
  58. France Never To Adopt Poisonous Armenian "Genocide" Bill- Official
  59. Bill That Poisoned Relations With Turkey Will Not Pass The Senate
  60. Turkish Daily News: Armenia Only Alternative For Turkey
  61. Last Bastion Of Byzantium Trabzon
  62. Who Needs History And Cultural Richness? Dog(u Ergil
  63. Nalbandian Optimistic On Ties With Turkey
  64. US Message To Ankara And Yerevan: Don't Stop There
  65. Swiss Convict Three Turks Of Racism For Denying Armenian Claims Of Genocide
  66. Genocide,
  67. Turkish-Armenian Spring To Blossom In A Joint Documentary
  68. Turkish And Armenian Historians Met In Yerevan
  69. Turkey: I Am Armenian, Is This A Crime?
  70. ANCA: Turkey Hires Lobby Firm to Sway Jewish American Groups
  71. Armenia Will No Longer Play The Victim
  72. The Freedom Of Historical Debate Is Under Attack By The Memory Police Timothy Garton Ash
  73. Who Holds The Key?: Nkr In The Mix Of Regional Diplomacy,
  74. Crunch Time In The Caucasus: Fast-Lane Geopolitics May Prompt Reversal Of Allegiances In The Region, By Aris Ghazinyan
  75. Obama Or Mccain, Who Is Better For Armenia? by Jirair Haratunian
  76. Armenia Vexed By Turkish President's Statement on Karabakh
  77. Switzerland: Lessons In Democracy,
  78. Lincoln Mccurdy - Fostering Turkish-American Ties
  79. Couchepin of Swiss Federation: Genocide Row Should Be Settled By Historians
  80. Film And Symposium Explore Modern-Day Genocides
  81. Genocide Important But Not Key Issue For Armenian Community Of U.S.
  82. Ara Abrahamyan: Armenian Organizations In U.S. Don’t Lobby Armenia’s Interests Properly
  83. Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Press Release
  84. Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation Blogian
  85. Armenian Genocide Cross Stone Erected In Ukraine
  86. Turkey's True Colors, Turkish Novelists Pamuk Lambast Government At Book Fair
  87. Forget 'Memory Laws' By Timothy Garton Ash Los Angeles Times
  88. Mccain First Presidential Candidate In Past 20 Years Opposing Genocide Recognition
  89. To Think Instead Of Saying, "It's Quite Right" Gevorg Haroutyunyan
  90. This Is How The Activists Were Preparing For A Coup D'etat Vrezh Aharonyan
  91. From Public Enemy To Turkey's National Hero Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk
  92. Turkish Novelist Denounces Government at Book Fair
  93. Worldview: Turkey's Rising Role: Diplomacy By Trudy Rubin
  94. Taking The Anca Capital Gateway Program On The Road To College Campuses
  95. 1922: The Holocaust Of Smyrna by Australian Macedonian Advisory Council
  96. Armenia, The Worst Is It Certain?
  97. Armenian Diaspora Gathers
  98. The Ghost Town Between Two Rivers Ani
  99. Turkey's Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk Is Controversial At Home, Anna Tomova, Visit Bulgaria
  100. An Armenian is the inventor of ATM
  101. Call For European Historians To Mobilize Against The Laws Memorial
  102. Why Legislate History - Liberté pour l'histoire
  103. I Was Only Treated With Respect In This Country
  104. Recognition Of Armenian Genocide By Knesset Will Badly Damage The Turkish-Israeli Partnership: Turkey’s Ambassador To Israel
  105. Armenian President Denies Territorial Claims Against Turkey
  106. Interview Of Vladimir Kazimirov, The Former Co-Chair Of Osce Minsk Group By Mariam Levina
  107. Back To Ararat?: Football Chief Reverses Course In Logo Controversy, By Suren Musayelyan
  108. Pierre Nora Uses Quotes To Talk About The Genocide Of Armenians
  109. Interview With Sergei Lavrov Paid To "Rossiyskaya Gazeta"
  110. Turkish Recognition Of Genocide Not A Precondition For Ties - Armenian President
  111. Armenian Economy Hit By Georgian War
  112. Armenian Society In Hatay Delivered Their Sorrow About Martyrs
  113. Alleged Genocide Resolution Is Back On Agenda In Sweden Parliament
  114. Dramatical Story Of Cemal Pasha
  115. French Historians Reacts Against Alleged Genocide Resolutions In France
  116. Telling About The Destruction Of Smyrna, 1922 October 13 By Greek_News
  117. U.S. Document Reveals Turkey Continued Ottoman Empire's Anti-Armenian Policies, By Harut Sassounian
  118. Armenian Soccer Body, Changes Logo After Uproar By Ruben Meloyan
  119. Lawsuit Filed Against Us National Archives To Obtain Documentation On Armenian Genocide
  120. The River Ran Red, Final Film in Genocide Trilogy
  121. Armentel To Secure Uninterrupted Internet Access With Turkcell Assistance
  122. Righteous Turks and Armenian Righteous Among Nations: Rescuers in Armenian Genocide and Jewish Holocaust, Public Lecture by Prof. Hovannisian
  123. Turkey:Armenia Ties Could End Genocide Resolutions AP
  124. Institute For Armenian Studies In Ankara
  125. France: A Young Armenian Of Turkey Tries To Burn Himself To Prevent The Deportation Of His Brother
  126. The Start Of Peace? By Vartan Oskanian
  127. Armenian President Received The Ecumenical Patriarch Of Constantinople
  128. Tatavla Brings Rembetiko Spirit Back To Istanbul
  129. Play And Pay The “ANCA Stakes”, The Hell With Peace, Whatever It Takes !
  130. Turkey's Efforts On The Armenian Front:
  131. Tales Of Caucasus, Cengiz Aktar
  132. Armenian-American Writer's Soul Back In Turkey,
  133. Armenian Genocide: The Documentary Of A Turkish Filmmaker Produced A Fresh Look At History
  134. "Trauma" by Ahmet Altan
  135. Book Tells The Story Of Armenians In New Britain By Ken Byron
  136. In Politics, If You Have To Be Honest, Wait Until The End Of Your Term
  137. No Mediation Without Border Integrity: Former Fm Says Turkey Has No Right To Role In Nkr Settlement
  138. Teach Your Children Well: A Sorry Case Of A Sorry System Of Corruption
  139. A Society Of Thugs And Cretins
  140. A Window Opened For Armenia Hurry Up Until It Closes
  141. The Future Of Armenian-Turkish Relations Discussed
  142. 'Psychology Of Genocide' Focus Of Unm Bookstore Lecture
  143. Marie L. Yovanovitch: Ambassador Serves His President And May Be Recalled Anytime And For Any Reason
  144. U.S. National Archives And Records Administration Rejected Armenian Attorney's Request For Genocide Documentation
  145. Thirty-Three Percent Of Armenian Citizens Believe Reconciliation With Turkey Impossible
  146. Gurgen Arsenyan Welcomes Any Step That Would Reduce The Tension In Armenian-Turkish Relations
  147. Why Turkey Became More Active In South Caucasus
  148. Turkey And Armenia: What Jews Should Do
  149. Another Turkish Writer Persecuted For Mentioning Armenian Genocide
  150. Armenia Needs Open Borders For Energy
  151. Diasporan Youth Part 1, And A Censored Article By One Of Them
  152. As Talks with Azeris/Turks Falter, Armenia Expands Access to Georgia/Iran By Harut Sassounian
  153. Atlantic Monthly Looks At Armenians And Obama
  154. Interview With The Armenian Editor Of 'Russia Today'
  155. Bryza: Karabagh Is Part Of Azerbaijan,
  156. A Clear And Almost-Present Danger: Ethnic Conflict
  157. Peace In The World, But Peace At Home?
  158. Armenian President Serzh Sargsian Will Meet Turkish President Abdullah Gul In About A Week
  159. In The Caucasus, Being Cautious Works Best
  160. Armenian Genocide Museum Of America Announces Major Research Library Donation
  161. To Restore The Picture Of Mount Ararat On The Logo
  162. The Great Game In The Caucasus: Bad Moves By Uncle Sam, By Conn Hallinan
  163. The President Gul Will Present Its Platform On The Caucasus In Moscow
  164. Armenian Genocide: The Turkish Province Of Kirklareli Breaks Its Ties With Dobrich And Burgas
  165. The Director Of Topkapi Supported The Establishment Of An Armenian Chair At Galatasaray University
  166. Abdullah Gul's Interview In Newsweek October 4
  167. Only With My Dear Hrant At The Monument Of Genocide "First, Show Respect For The Pain Of Everyone" By Hasan Cemal
  168. Under Pressure, The Football Federation Withdrew Its New Logo
  169. Armenia: Cognac, Caviar And Comics

Taner Akcam: I Will Visit Armenia If I Get An Invitation ArmInfo 2008-10-27
ArmInfo. I will visit Armenia I get an invitation, Taner Akcam, Turkish historian, Professor of Clark University, told ArmInfo. 'I am sure I will visit Genocide Museum in Yerevan if I arrive in Armenia;, he said.

He said in his book 'Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility', he touched upon the issues that some people call 'problematic both for Armenia and Turkey'. ' As an historian, my primary job is to reveal as honestly as possibly what are concealed or distorted historical events, done so often at the behest of political powers. I really don't care who considers my revelation "problematic". As long as I am honest and my arguments are based on facts the rest is not my problem', he said.

Stick With Shit On Both Ends :Obama – Bidern Lovers - Here Is The Anca Declaration
Question: “Is the Right Choice (for about 1 million) Armenian Americans” also “The Right Choice (for about 300 millions) non-Armenian Americans”?

Short Turkish explanation: iki ucu boklu degnek! ( Stick with shit on both ends).

"ANCA" 25/10/2008
Subject : Obama-Biden the Right Choice for Armenian Americans
Obama-Biden the Right Choice for Armenian Americans

ANCA Reaffirms Earlier Primary Endorsement in January
Expands on Nine Months of Nationwide Voter Mobilization to Secure Obama-Biden Win on November 4th

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has formalized its longstanding support for Barack Obama with an official endorsement of the Obama-Biden campaign for the Presidency of the United States.

"The Armenian National Committee of America is proud today to formally announce our support for Barack Obama - whom we endorsed this January in the Democratic Primary and have energetically backed with sustained, grassroots voter mobilization for the past nine months," said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian. "Based on Senator Obama's strong record in office, his bold statements as a candidate, and our judgment as to the types of policies he will pursue as President, we believe that an Obama-Biden Administration would be far better positioned than a McCain-Palin one to reflect the views and values of the Armenian American community."

Barack Obama: The Choice for Change
In a powerful statement, issued on January 20th, Senator Obama voiced his strong support for passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution and pledged that, as President, he would recognize the Armenian Genocide. The Presidential hopeful also reaffirmed his support for a strong "U.S.-Armenian relationship that advances our common security and strengthens Armenian democracy." Unlike other Democratic candidates, he also pledged to "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."

Read Senator Obama's pledge on Armenian American Issues
Read a 2-page summary of Sen. Obama and Biden's record of support for Armenian American issues
Read a 2-page listing of Bush-Cheney's opposition to Armenian American issues
View/print an Obama/McCain comparison one-pager
View Samantha Power's YouTube video in support of Senator Obama
Read "McCain's Armenia Problem" in The Atlantic
Read Sen. John McCain's Letters to the Armenian Community
Contact Armenians for Obama and learn more about how you can get involved.

The key elements of the Obama record that led to the ANCA endorsement include the following:

* Public criticism of the Bush Administration for firing former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans over his truthful remarks recognizing the Armenian Genocide. He has publicly asserted that, "An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy."

* Strong support for the passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution currently before Congress, in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs.

* A written pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide as President, clearly spelling out his "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."

* A commitment to ending the cycle of genocide. He has said, on the record, that, "America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President."

* Letters to Pres. Bush urging him to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide and a record of defending that position, when challenged. While visiting Azerbaijan in August 2005, in response to media inquiries about why he signed these letters, Senator Obama publicly defended his decision by stating that the Armenian Genocide was a historical fact.

* Commitment to promoting Armenia's security "by seeking an end to the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades."

* Support 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."

READ MORE. . . Sen. Biden's Record | The McCain-Palin Record

Urge Congressional Candidates in your area to submit an ANCA Questionnaire

Teaching Genocide One School Board Gets A Lesson In Definitions: Ontario, Canada By Melita Kuburas
When the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) decided to add a Grade 11 course on genocide to its curriculum, its intention was to educate students about the violent realities faced through history by cultures around the world. But so far it’s the TDSB that’s been receiving the lesson on the sensitivities that surround the term “genocide.”

Set to launch this fall in 11 Toronto schools, the optional “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity” credit centres on three case studies—the Holocaust, Armenia and Rwanda. Its goal is to examine causes and consequences of genocide while fostering empathy among students. But despite this noble purpose, the learning material has proved controversial.

Created through a collaboration involving TDSB staff, external academics and an outside Holocaust education program, the course was officially approved in August 2007. The TDSB posted the outline for the course online, and complaints and requests for changes began to pour in. By the time the window for requests closed at the end of January, 27 groups had contacted the TDSB with complaints.

These complaints centred on two primary critiques: objection at inclusion in the course material and objection at exclusion. Turkish groups didn’t want the “genocide” label applied to the mass killing of Armenians by the Turkish government in 1915, while the League of Ukrainian Canadians (LUC) wanted to see more time devoted to the 1932 Ukrainian Famine, or Holodomor, during which the Soviet government engineered mass starvation of peasant farmers. “All of us want some sort of acknowledgement, some sort of recognition, especially if we have gone through a period of such suffering,” says Orest Steciw, Holodomor projects coordinator for the LUC.

The amount of criticism the course received came as a surprise to the TDSB, says Nadine Segal, system superintendent for special programs. In response, she explains, a review committee was established to examine the complaints.

Out of this review came one major recommendation—the addition of “crimes against humanity” to the course title, which the TDSB accepted to highlight the fact that some cases of war crimes took more lives than recognized cases of genocide.

Explains Darryl Robinson, professor of law at Queen’s University and a member of the review committee, “This whole fixation on genocide, it’s probably the wrong fixation in the first place, and we should be focused instead on crimes against humanity.”

But that and other changes—such as the commitment to re-examine course content after three years—have not satisfied critics who take umbrage with the fact that equal lesson time isn’t given to all case studies. The course is “creating a hierarchy of human suffering,” by focusing on only three case studies, says James Kafieh, executive secretary of Canadians for Genocide Education.

Segal defends this approach, arguing that three examples had to be chosen as a focus to provide students with the complex lens by which to analyze other cases.

Despite the criticism, the TDSB believes the course is a worthwhile project. It has already been contacted by school boards across Canada looking to develop their own courses on genocide and crimes against humanity


Armenians say: “No” to Turkey
Armenian lobby demanded Yerevan “for not stepping back” during a period when the expectations related with Turkey-Armenia contacts and Upper Karabagh question, has increased. Previously, Armenians stated that the first step should be taken by Turkey. Turkey took the first step. Abdullah Gül, the President of Turkey, went to Yerevan, where he talked about mutual relations and the possibilities in which Armenia may be included at the regional projects. Later, Ankara included Azerbaijan into this process. İlham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, mentioned about the labors of the regional countries by including Armenia during his trip to Moscow.

What did Yerevan do in return? Nothing!
While the President of Armenia Serj Sarkisyan stated to a BBC correspondent that “If Baku makes great investments to Upper Karabagh, then maybe Armenians can accept the land integrity of Azerbaijan”, the day after he refused what he said. As it was not enough, at the speech he delivered in United Nations, he once again talked about the desire for “freedom” of Upper Karabagh.

Once again, the real face of the Armenian lobby came out. The bill, which suggests criminalizing the ones, who deny Armenian genocide, which was previously brought on the agenda of the French Senate with the demand of the Armenian lobby, is on the agenda of the Senate for the second time.

Why the Armenian lobby is making a move now? Probably, the development of the dialogue between Turkey and Armenia is against the interests of the Lobby. The lobby is worried that the “genocide” will loose its validity in the international arena as a result of the developing closeness. The Armenian lobby has never taken Armenia into consideration; they only cared about creating a problem for Turkey. The Armenian lobby in the USA is not loosing time. Pro-Armenian Senators first cornered James Jeffrey, Ambassador of USA to Ankara. While he was answering the written questions asked by the senators for not loosing his new responsibility, he had to state that he does not oppose to the opinions on the 1915 incidents of the American diplomats of the related period, which expressed that “Armenian population was attempted to be annihilated”. John McCain, nominee of the Republicans, is the target of the lobby. The lobby was not satisfied by the expressions used by McCain for demanding support from the Armenian society. The Armenian lobby lost its temper when he avoided using the word “genocide” and characterized the 1915 incidents as the “One of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century”.

So, when Serj Sarkisyan was talking with Turkey on having good relations, the Armenian lobby has never decreased its speed. No one is asking in France and America the following: “While the first steps are taken on the relations between Turkey and Armenia, why do you make an effort for preventing this?”

(…) Armenians do not think of stepping back on the “genocide” issue. Currently they are planning a new trick. Hayk Demoyan, the Manager of the Genocide Museum and Institute in Yerevan has claimed that Atatürk, who was serving the Ottoman army, had saved a group of Armenians from death.

Does Demoyan desire to demonstrate that Armenians possess sympathy towards Atatürk? I do not think so. Demoyan and the ones, who back him, indicate with this point that Turkish Republic will not be responsible of the genocide and if Ankara recognizes it, it will not experience a problem.

I am afraid that the writers, who write “Let’s establish diplomatic relations with Armenia right away”, “Let’s open the borders” will now say: “Let’s recognize the genocide”. These kinds of writers think that they can make Armenians love Turkey if they give them whatever they want.

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Vartan Oskanyan defended that Yerevan should not take even one step back at the negotiations with Ankara at his statement last week. The Chair of the Modus Vivendi Research Center based in Yerevan and Ara Papyan, the former Ambassador of Canada expressed that Armenia should demand her soils back from Turkey in the framework of the international law. Papyan, also, stated: “In 1920, according to the decision that was taken by the USA President Woodrow Wilson all of soils of Erzurum, Two thirds of Van and Bitlis, most of the soils of Trabzon including Trabzon harbor, were determined as the lands of Armenia. The lands of Armenia in total were about 160 thousand square kilometers. We would be able to reach the Black Sea with these lands. But now we only have 29 thousand square kilometers.”

There is no change in favor of Turkey at the public opinion of Armenia. According Armenia National and Strategic Research Center (EMSAM) while %33 percent of Armenians thinks that it is impossible to develop the relations with Turkey, %43 percent is doubtful. Only %24 percent of the Armenians think that the relations between Armenia and Turkey can be developed.

According to the public survey, %76 of the Armenian population think that the relations with Turkey can only be developed only after the demands of Armenia is accepted. According to the outcome of the public survey, %64 of the population considers Turkey as an enemy. And this is what the closeness between Turkey and Armenia…

Source: Elhan Şahinoğlu- Chair of the Atlas Research Center 27.10.2008, www.genocidereality.com

Armenian Museum Director Caught in His Own Web of Deceit
On September 22, 2008, the Armenian director of the "genocide" museum in Yerevan, Hayk Demoyan, proclaimed the following:

"Historical documents proved Atatürk committed "war crimes" against Armenians and other groups in his drive to create an ethnically homogeneous Turkish state, Demoyan insisted."

See: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/22/turkey

That Demoyan would claim Ataturk's aim was to create an "ethnically homogeneous Turkish state" shows both his ignorance and his confusion. The citizens of Turkey are comprised of over 50 different ethnic groups.

In fact, Ataturk launched the war of independence against armed forces occupying Turkey on the Black Sea coast in towns with large ethnic Laz populations, an ethnic group that was known to be fierce defenders of their lands. The area was also had a large number of Cerkez (Circassians), an ethnic group Russia cleansed from their homelands in the Caucasus during the 1860s. As a result of their tragic history and clashes with Russia, Ataturk knew they too would be motivated to fight to protect their new homeland from invasion and from being ethnically cleansed from their homes once again. And that was just the beginning.

To claim that Turkey or Turks is or are ethnically homogeneous is a farce, and most likely, Demoyan confuses the issue. It is Armenians that wanted to form, and did form, an ethnically homogeneous state by ethnically cleansing the Azeri Turks from what is now known as Armenia.

Miraculously, 3 days later, this same Demoyan proclaims Ataturk the savior of Armenians:

"KEMAL ATATURK , father of modern Turkey, rescued hundreds of Armenian women and children from mass slaughter by Ottoman forces during and after the first world war. This untold story, which is sure to surprise many of today’s Turks, is one of many collected by the Armenian genocide museum in Yerevan that “will soon be brought to light on our website,” promises Hayk Demoyan, its director."


As Demoyan illustrates, the biggest problem with deceit and lies is keeping your story straight.

Fyrom Diaspora info@macedonian.com.au, American Chronicle, www.macedoniaontheweb.com, October 19, 2008, CA
Australian Macedonian Advisory Council

As always it´s highly amusing to read another one of Risto Stefov´s articles.

Starting from the opening statement, one notes the factual distortion present. For an individual who allegedly doesn´t care about what Greeks may claim about themselves; he certainly seems to waste much time and energy intentionally distorting texts and manipulating history in his articles and books, and distributing his propaganda.

Right after his first bout of hypocrisy, Stefov continues by distorting his very own claims. While he intentionally misinforms us by claiming that he´s never supported some twisted direct descendance from the ancient ´Makednoi´ theory; he conveniently forgets about his article: "Evidence of the Existence of Macedonians Throughout the Ages" in which in his opening statement in the introduction is: "This document was prepared in response to Greek allegations that Macedonians do not exist and have ceased to exist since the so called "Slav invasions" of the fifth and sixth centuries AD.

The logical question of why would any individual who allegedly doesn´t, nor has ever supported the "continuity theory" ever waste time to gather and intentionally distort sources to prove that the modern day population of the FYROM has every right to title themselves and claim heredity from the Makednoi?

Stefov's opening statement which attempts to refute Greek allegations and the insinuation of providing proof that the Macedonians have existed, since Slavic invasions doesn´t do much for his case.

It is obvious that he is at the very least intentionally misinforming readers of his true objectives.

Stefov and his followers constantly insinuate that Greeks allegedly strive to present the FYROM population as Bulgarians (he should know the difference between Bulgars and Bulgarians) and Slavs.

While this is partially true, what Stefov intentionally neglects to mention is that Greeks are simply reproducing what his ancestors themselves had stated.

We could take for example the organization called BMARC (Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianopolitan Revolutionary Committee) all members of which, today, are considered as fine FYROM patriots. It is this very organization, (their very own national heroes) which totally legitimize our reference to the true ethnicity which they detest.

In its 1896 statute BMARC states:

Art. 1. The goal of BMARC is to secure full political autonomy for the Macedonia and Adrianople regions.

Art. 2. To achieve this goal they [the committees] shall raise the awareness of self-defense in the Bulgarian population in the regions mentioned in Art. 1., disseminate revolutionary ideas - printed or verbal, and prepare and carry on a general uprising.

So the question asked must be, which is the population FYROM national heroes aimed to raise the awareness in and title Bulgarian; if not the forefathers of the population that today attempt to usurp a history and heritage which they have no connection to?

Stefov also accuses Greeks of titling the population of FYROM as Slavonic.

But what defines a Slav?

Slavs are an ethnic group connected by language, customs, traditions, beliefs.

We know beyond doubt that the population of FYROM does speak a Slavic language. We also know from their own authors like Tanas Vrazhinovski and Vladimir Karadzoski that FYROM folklore is predominantly Slavonic.

Both authors give numerous examples of worship of Slavonic deities and place names directly related to these deity´s names. Customs as any Bulgarian or Serb may confirm are also highly similar, if not identical.

So identical that we may safely conclude that the population of FYROM is indeed Slavonic and the attempt to present the use of the ethnonym 'Slav' as some form of insult, simply indicates the extent of propaganda aimed at (not to an international audience), but as its main target group has the FYROM youth. In some futile attempt to teach the FYROM population to hate their true origins and believe that their only true destiny is indissolubly connected upon usurping a history and culture which is totally alien to them is unacceptable.

Yet another fallacy promoted by Stefov for his audience is the case in which Philip of Macedon didn´t unite as so many true historians have accepted (see Thomas R. Martin, Lewis Vance Cummings, Richard Gabriel, Alan Fildes, Joann Fletcher, Robin Lane Fox...etc) but conquered. If that isn´t enough, he also resorts to fallaciously extending Philip´s empire further North to incorporate the lands of FYROM and by doing so legitimize his claims.

While it is true that these lands have seen various conquerors and settlers, what Stefov neglects to mention, is that while the above may have partially influenced the locals with their own culture, they never did manage to alienate them from their own. Something we clearly see in the alleged descendants of the Makednoi. Stefov and his believers have totally failed to provide a single logical explanation as to how any since trace of cultural connection to those they claim descendance from is non-existent.

During the last years the main FYROM offensive in the name debate is centralized on the following logic: "since we can´t prove a connection to the ancients, we´ll centralize on disproving yours", which is exactly what we see Stefov doing today.

Unfortunately his attempts are caught either constantly celebrating ignorance or due to malicious intent, falsifying facts. Stefov claims that the name/term Greeks was ignored until after the Roman conquests which is when it was allegedly coined. Its puzzling how an alleged authority in history, who has published so many books about ancient history, could possibly ignore the reference of the eponym 'Graikos'found in Hesiod´s Catalogue of Women or the village 'Graia' noted in Homer´s Catalogue of ships or even the later reference to the Graeci in Aristotle´s Meteorological. This is yet another well known quasi-historical attempts to approach the issue which Stefov is renowned for. Had he tried to tackle the issue on its factual basis, he wouldn´t centralize on the Latinization which has been passed down to the majority of language but the term which classicists acknowledge as the proper denomination and that is that of Hellenes (even though they have been used interchangeably). But even uttering the term 'Hellenes' is simply unthinkable for Stefov; for he would then have to deal with Hesiod´s reference to a 'race of the Hellenes' (works and days), a race of Hellenes which would disprove the very basis of his theory of various city-states alien to each other, not forming a single body of people.

While it is conveniently true that Greece wasn´t used by Ancient Greek geographers to describe the region in question, we know of several of them that use the term 'Hellas' (Agatharchides, Pausanias and Strabo being some of the more well known examples). If we were to look towards Roman writers with Pliny the Elder´s Natural History being one of the finest examples, we´d find that throughout his entire work and especially books 3-5 which are geography related, the term 'Greece' is constantly used to define the region.

One really has to wonder why Stefov tries to alienate an entire people from their heritage with such void argumentation. So the term 'Rhomios'was used by the Greek population to define themselves, what does this actually prove?

While the term Rhomios may indeed be partly alien to their ancestors, one can´t neglect to note that it derives from the 'Constitution Antoniniana of Caracalla' which allowed all freemen of the Roman provinces to obtain Roman citizenship and that it is directly related to the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) which they were subjects. A term forged to represent their citizenship but also their Greek ancestry (see Andreas Osiander´s Before the State), hence why it (and not 'Rhomaios') was also used to strictly designate the subjects of Greek ancestry and them alone. It is also interesting to note the perception of some of the empire´s neighbors. Armenians, Russians, Georgians, Jews and even Ottomans titled the subjects 'Graikoi', Yunan, Yavani , or the authors Theodorus Studitus, Anna Komnene, George Gemistos Plethon, Michael Psellus and Theophanes Confessor all used the ethnonym Hellenes; terms directly linked to their ancestral roots which they recognized then, but today this author (Stefov) with some highly questionable arguments tries to refute the facts.

Stefov continues to unsuccessfully tackle the demographics of Greece. If under his logic the Slavic presence in the Balkans gives the Slavic population of FYROM some right to usurp a history; heritage and claim descendance from the ancient Makednoi (even through their very customs, traditions and folklore) prove them totally alien to it. Then how can someone even try and attempt to alienate the Vlachs from the Ancient Greeks?

While theories on their origin vary and one could argue their autochthonous origin, doesn´t their presence in the region which is dated prior to the time when the Slavs were nothing but mere invaders(Procopius) give them the right to claim ancestry?

Stefov makes reference to the total population of Greece upon its liberation while exaggerating and distorting possible population statistics. There is no accurate account of the possible ethnic makeup of the population, therefore any argument either for or against homogeneity would be ridiculous. One would notice that while Stefov doesn't make any reference of Greeks as being a part of the population, he adds Turks; which as it is well documented, were non-existent since in their vast majority had fled upon the rebellion and Slavs. Then again such claims by Stefov who has previously promoted the totally outdated and disregarded 'Fallmerayer theory´, anything seems possible.

Finally, there needs to be a mention of the Albanians. Since the only census which provides us with data is that of 1928 we must take that into consideration. In a 1928 census we find that the total amount of self-identified Albanian-speakers (and not ethnic Albanian origin) is approx. 19,000. A population of 19,000 in 1928 when Greece had liberated its lands and had a total population of some 6.2 million. Stefov claims that the Albanians were obviously the majority in the region in the early 1800´s; hence his reference to them and no reference to the Greeks. One must ask of what happened to the Albanians?

Well, we could take into account the statements of the Albano phone population itself, who in 1836 Christophoros Perraivos recorded their self-identification as purely Greek and were recognized as such by Alexandros Ypsilantes; who in his letter makes reference to their ancestors that fought in the battle of Marathon.

Finally, it must be noted that people like Risto Stefov, while providing an entertaining read, continue to distort Greek history (in a way similarly described above) and must not be taken seriously.

Armenian Diplomat: Turkish-Armenian Relations Can't Be Understood Without Turkish-Russian Relations
"In order to realize the essence of the Armenian-Turkish relations, it is necessary to understand the Russian-Turkish ones", said Hamlet Arutyunyan, deputy of the faction of the Republic Party of Armenia.

The deputy noted that the situation in the South Caucasus and the format of relations are similar to those in the early 20th century. He noted that the competition between Russia and Turkey in the region is the same. However, though position of the Tsarist Russia was favorable for Armenia, the position of the Soviet one caused numerous losses for Armenia.

Aruyunyan noted that the Armenian-Turkish relations do not deserve speaking of, as there are no relations on the diplomatic level. "There is only a "football diplomacy", noted he.

He claimed that the Armenian-Turkish relations could never be settled without the resolution of the issue on recognition of alleged Armenian genocide.

"This is an issue of not only Armenian-Turkish, but also Armenian-Turkish-Azerbaijani relations, for Turkey makes everything possible for the resolution of the Karabakh issue in Azerbaijan's favor", said the deputy noting that today the key point of the Armenian-Turkish relations is the issue of return of Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijan.

He said despite existence of statehood, Azerbaijan continues to be perceived in Ankara as Turkey's province, "Thus, Turkey protects its own interests in the Karabakh issue", noted he.

According to the Armenian deputy, there is not a single political power in Armenia, which would agree on concessions for the resolution of relations with Turkey.

He stressed the need to consolidate all powers to resist Turkey's policy both in the issue of recognition of alleged Armenian genocide and in the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

"This policy of the Turkish diplomacy is inadmissible", said he.


Stallone Plans The Film A Movie About Alleged Armenian Genocide
Being prepared for making a movie about alleged genocide of Armenians, Sylvester Stallone claimed that Turks were distorting the subject for 85 years.

Came into agenda again with the film Rocky, American actor Sylvester Stallone declared that he was thinking about filming a movie about “Armenian genocide” and said that he was aware of the upcoming reactions. Stallone said, “Because this topic is a politic hot patato. Turks are distorting the subject for 85 years”. 61 year old American actor, Stallone plans to film a movie which will be inspired of the book of Austrian writer Franz Werfel, about alleged Armenian genocide that is written in 1934.

Former President Of Turkish Historical Society Was In Germany For A Conference
Former President of Turkish Historical Society Yusuf Halacoglu said, “When you handle history as a science, there you have some criterias and measurements. You can’t rewrite history with claims and lament.

Came to Germany for attending some activities, Former President of Turkish Historical Society, Yusuf Halacoglu gave a lecture in Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf with the topic of Armenian relations. Making a speech in the conference which was the initiative of Germany Turkish student foundations and Dusseldorf Turkish Academicians Union, Yusuf Halacoglu stressed that history should be handled scientifically and around some criterias. Halacoglu said;

“While you are studying history, as you do with math, you try to go to the result after you settle the equation. And the results should be evaluated by lawyers, not by politicians. Scientist should ne attentive and objective. Historian should learn about the situation, before the event and after the event had happened, and event should be researched very well. You can’t rewrite history with claims and lament.”

Halacoglu said, “Armenians lived many tragedies in history, but they never been the subject of any genocide that is made by Turks. In the times of immigration many Armenians died because of disease and hunger”. Stating that the deportation was applied only to Armenians who attended rebellion activities, Halacoglu said, “The ones who claim that Armenians slaughtered should show the mass graves. After all, there is no such thing. Big countries used Armenians against Ottomans in those times. Those States should apologize from Armenians.”

Pointing that some countries recognized Armenian ideas about 1915 events in their parliaments, Halacoglu said, “Those countries appear completely unmoved for more than 1 million people who died in Iraq. We shouldn’t carry the events in the history to today, but we should learn our lessons. I make a call to my Armenian counterparts for dialogue. But they are aftaid about facing their history. We faced with our own.”

Halacoglu said that no one was talking about these issues till 1915 events came to the agenda. He said that while he was a student in İstanbul University these topics wasn’t beign told in lectures. He said, “Nobody talked about this issue till these ideas came up. We should have known these before and should had talked about these before. We said that there should be dialogue. Today there is visitings because someone wanted it to be happen. We should do it for ourselves, not because some circles wanted it to be happened”.

Halacoglu said that there were cultural corruption in Turkey, and claimed that Ministry of National Education should prepare short films on CDs and should distribute them to people. Consul General of Dusseldorf, Hakan Kivanc said, “I want to commemorate 34 counterparts of myself who had martyrized”.

After the conference, students presented flowers to Halacoglu.

Armenian Threat To Ani Ruins
Ani ruins which settles in Turkish Armenian border, is under danger because of the dynamite explosions in the Armenian quarry that is close to the Turkish border. Culture and Tourism Department of the city started a strengthening project with steel constuctions 6 months ago after the harm in the ruins increased.

Dynamite explosions and operations of engineering vehicles in the quarry that is just settled in Turkish border, in Armenia destroys the Ani ruins day by day. Having a great importance not only for Turkey but for the World, Ani ruins gets damaged because of the operations in the quarry which is settled close to Turkish border. The operations in quarry causes quakes in the region and these affect Ani ruins negatively. Walls, doors, columns and rocks in the ceiling gets damaged or gets demolished.

As Armenians damage Ani ruins Department of Culture and Tourism of Kars, tries to keep Ani ruins with strengthening projects.

In Ani ruins which is settled in Ocakli village of Kars, steel construction strengthening studies had started six months ago. All restoration and strengthening costs are compensated by Ministry of Culture.

Restoration and Strengthening project is supported by City Culture and Tourism Department of Kars, Erzurum Building Survey Department. Steel Construction strengthening projects in Big Cathedral Church, on a remaining wall of Georgian Church, Gates to the indoor of castle will continue till the end of the year.

Armenian Youth Federation Demonstrates Against Gala Honoring Ataturk October 27 2008
LONG BEACH, CA--Over 50 members of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) converged around the perimeter of the Long Beach Hilton Hotel Saturday night to demonstrate in protest of an annual banquet honoring the establishment of the modern Turkish republic and its founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Hosted by the Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC), the Turkish Republic Day Ball differentiates itself from other benign cultural or social events, celebrating the founding a state established through genocide.

"This event, which deifies Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and other Turkish 'founding fathers', seeks to commemorate the establishment of a Republic built on the ashes of 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide; a feat we believe is not worthy of celebration," said Vache Thomassian of the Armenian Youth Federation.

For four hours demonstrators, lined outside the hotel, chanted slogans and read short statements highlighting Turkey's past and present human rights violations, while a smaller group of AYF members inside the hotel silently demonstrated in the lobby, wearing t-shirts depicting a bloody Turkish flag and the words “republic of inhumanity.”

“On October 29, 1923 Ataturk's Republic of Turkey was formed and recognized as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire,” Arek Santikian screamed into a megaphone outside the hotel. “This Republic continued the oppressive and murderous policies employed by the Ottoman Empire, continuing to repress minorities, squash free speech and deny the Armenian Genocide.”

Chants and statements read by AYF members outside the hotel echoed throughout the hotel lobby, reaching all the way to rooms on the hotel's top floors, according to AYF members who were inside the Hilton.

Meanwhile, two members, inside the banquet, shouted “recognize the Armenian Genocide” repeatedly during a moment of silence held in memory of “Turkish victims” killed by Kurds, a repressed minority currently under siege in Turkey.

The demonstration's objective, according to the AYF, was to remind the event's patrons of the historical truths surrounding the establishment of the Turkish Republic.

"Undeniable human rights violations such as the denial of the Armenian Genocide, the continual blockade of Armenia and outright rejection of free speech in Turkey are issues which must be brought to like during such a 'celebration'," said Thomassian.“ Although we feel every ethnicity and nation has an indelible right to observe their respective cultural milestones, this instance is one which the AYF cannot remain quiet.”

The demonstration was a success, “everyone inside the hotel lobby was talking about the demonstration and the Armenian Genocide,” Thomassian said, adding that even detectives on scene sympathized with our cause.

AZG Armenian Daily #198, 28/10/2008 Fethiye Cetin’s Book "My Grandmother"
Fethie Cetin, Turkish publicist, lawyer and writer, visited Armenia.

During a meeting with the students of Yerevan State University, her first book "My grandmother" was presented.

The author portrays episodes of Armenians’ evictions, exile and massacres by the testimony of her grandmother Hranush Katarian.

Hranush Katarian that was known by the name Sher only several years before her death confessed to her granddaughter that she was Armenian. She told how Kurds and Turks had kidnapped the Armenian children and she had been among them.

Cetin told that she was shocked because of her grandmother’s story.

The book embraces also the author’s assessment of the denial of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey.

Cetin told that after publication of the book many Armenians called her telling similar stories of their own. According to her, the responses were not only from Armenians but also from Turks.

She spoke of the letters of Turkish readers where they express great regret and disappointment.

The author is sure that the book is a call to eliminate the 93-year unfairness. Besides Turkey and Armenia, the book is published also in the USA, France and Italy.

Fethiye Cetin, a lawyer by profession, is the defender of the interests of "Akos" newspaper’s Editor-in-chief Hrant Dink’s family.
Translated by L.H.

American Jewish Official Retires After Long Anti-Armenian Campaign By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier

Barry Jacobs, Director of Strategic Studies at the American Jewish Committee (AJC), is retiring from his organization at the end of October. The "good news" was confirmed by an AJC official. The reason I characterize Jacobs' departure as "good news" is that he has been at the forefront of AJC's attempts over the years to undermine the adoption of various congressional resolutions onthe Armenian Genocide.

Several months ago, I wrote a column calling for Jacobs' dismissal from AJC because of his long-standing anti-Armenian efforts. Although I am sure thatmy column had no bearing on his departure, I am pleased that he will not be around any longer to carry out the Turkish government's denialist directives. I had called for Jacobs' dismissal after his infamous public confrontation with Aram Hamparian, the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), on February 21, in Washington, D.C. On that occasion, Jacobs had declared: "We are not historians, which is a polite, bullshit way of saying we're not going to take responsibility, we are not going to make a decision on 1915. =80¦The bilateral relationship between the United States and Turkey will suffer greatly if this [Armenian Genocide] resolution is passed. The Jewish community believed that also, and that's been our position. And the world is not made up of choices between good and bad, at least not in the Foreign Service when I was in it; it's made up between choices between bad and worse. So we take practical positions, and the position of all the Jewish organizations, including ADL, was not to have a position on the facts of what happened, ornot taking a public position on what happened in 1915, we did not think, do not think, that the United States Congress is the place to settle this. And that's all I can tell you. And that's the real world and that's the position of United States Government and of the Government of Israel."

For over than 10 years, with the full blessing of his bosses, Jacobs aggressively campaigned to subvert all efforts to bring about the acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. Congress. In an interview published by the Turkish Daily News on July 29, 1999, he pledged that Jewish organizations would "take an active and vigorous role in being friends of Turkey in the United States=80¦. We will champion to the best of our ability Turkish interests in the U.S. Congress. We will be Turkey's friends officially in Congress" and work to help get favorable legislation passed, he said.

Speaking more like a paid lobbyist than the representative of a human rights organization, Jacobs shamelessly declared: "We want to work with your [Turkish] Embassy in Washington, the Turkish-American community and Turkey's many friends and win our battles on Capitol Hill. We want the American people and our leaders to understand what Turkey and its citizens have accomplished. We want our media to accurately reflect Turkey's importance and achievements. We don't want those who are not friends of Turkey to have the means to use human rights or other issues against your interests."

Jacobs acknowledged that AJC's extensive support for Turkey "brought us [Jewish organizations] into open conflict with Greek-Americans and Armenian-Americans. It has been welcomed by the Turkish government, but we have paid a price. The price has been that we have the Greek and Armenian-Americans very angryat us."

Jacobs admitted that his excessively pro-Turkish position had even elicited complaints from many Jewish members of his own organization who asked: "Whyare we supporting Turkey, which has a terrible human rights record?" I have no illusion that Jacobs' retirement would alter his organization's pro-Turkish agenda. Nevertheless, the departure of an official, who cultivated extensive contacts with Turkish denialists for more than a decade, would hopefully diminish the effectiveness of AJC's activities against Armenian issues. A similar situation would occur should Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), leave his influential position at the ADL. While it is clear that the departure of a particular AJC or ADL official is not going to change the long-standing pro-Turkish policies of these organizations, it is equally important to recognize that in recent years closer contacts have been established between Armenian and Jewish American leaders and members of their respective communities.

One would hope that those who replace Jacobs and Foxman would reassess their organizations' questionable stand on the Armenian Genocide and join the growing ranks of Jewish leaders who sympathize with the tragic history of the Armenian nation and resent being used as a tool to carry out Turkey's denialist policies.

Largest Newspaper in Turkey Calls Obama-Biden Most Pro-Armenian Team in History
Los Angeles, CA - Hurriyet, the largest circulation newspaper in Turkey, has described the Obama-Biden ticket as the most pro-Armenian in the history of U.S. Presidential election.

"As this Hurriyet article shows, it's crystal clear to anyone paying attention - from Turks in Turkey to Armenian Americans in cities and towns across the United States - that the Obama-Biden ticket is the most pro-Armenian in U.S. Presidential election history," said Armenians for Obama Chairman Areen Ibranossian. "With just two weeks left, we must continue to activism in states across the country to ensure an Obama-Biden victory on November 4th."

The Hurriyet article cites a recent column by noted writer Harut Sassounian, Publisher of the California Courier, who serves in the national leadership of Armenians for Obama. With a daily readership of more than 1,000,000, Hurriyet is widely read across Turkey, throughout Europe, and internationally on the internet.

The Hurriyet article confirms Sassounian's characterization of the Democratic Party's candidates for the White House, the team of Barack Obama and Joseph Biden, as the most pro-Armenian in history.

In his column, Sassounian had recounted the pro-Armenian records of Senators Obama and Biden, with special attention to Barack Obama's commitment to recognize the Armenian Genocide, seek an end to the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades, and to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Nagorno Karabagh conflict, as well as Senator Biden's support for each and every Armenian Genocide Resolution since 1984.

Sassounian's column, which is printed in newspapers across the globe and widely read in the Americas, Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, and Armenia, explained that the Bush-Cheney team, which has served in the White House for the past eight years, has been the most anti-Armenian ever, noting that President Bush, who promised as a candidate to recognize the Armenian Genocide, did not keep his word once in office. In addition, despite repeated requests, the President refused to hold any meetings with the Armenian American community. The McCain-Palin ticket, Sassounian added, represented a continuation of the Bush-Cheney approach to Armenian American issues.

Armenians for Obama is a nationwide voter registration, education, and mobilization effort dedicated to electing Barack Obama President. Based in Los Angeles, and with chapters and affiliates across the country, Armenians forObama will harness the energy and enthusiasm for Barack Obama's candidacy to ensure record high Armenian American turnout in critical battleground states.

Original Photo of the Armenian Genocide Newly Discovered by AGM Institute
WASHINGTON, DC - Recently, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute's efforts towards collection of new data on the Armenian genocide have experienced great success with the enrichment of AGMI's collection of documentary photographs. The most recent discovery is a photo testifying of the Armenian Genocide and in particular the massacres of the Armenian population in the region of Mush.

The photograph has been acquired by the AGMI and was captured by Russian soldiers on the Caucasus front in 1915. It portrays the remains of the Armenian villagers who were burnt alive during the massacres of Mush.

This photograph is one of a kind. It is one of the well preserved photos discovered in an album called, "Album of Refugees" published in Tiflis (1917). The album consists of 62 unique photos that demonstrate the events of the Armenian Genocide. However, only a few of the original 62 have survived andmost of them are in dire conditions.

Nonetheless, the authenticity of the "Album of Refugees" is shown through the validity and great condition of this unique photo. On the back of this picture is a quote in Russian stating; "Armenians burnt alive in Sheykhalanby Turkish soldiers,"

Furthermore, the photo is marked with the number 74, which indicates the existence of a larger collection of photographs captured by Russian soldiers during WWI.

Hence, the AGMI is adamant in locating the remaining photos of this collection which will sturdily assist the Institute's efforts to demonstrate the complete picture of the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkish Lobby Targets Rep. Schiff For His Support of Armenian Issues
GLENDALE - The Turkish Lobby has targeted Glendale Congressman Adam B. Schiff in the November 4th election, raising over ten thousand dollars for his opponent, Charles Hahn, during the month of September alone. Washington-based Turkish Coalition PAC contributed $2,300 of the total at an event in Orange County hosted by Ergun Kirlikovali, who runs an Armenian Genocide Denial website entitled "History of Truth.com."

Representative Schiff is the original sponsor of H.Res. 106, recognizing the Armenian Genocide, which passed the Foreign Affairs Committee this session despite intense lobbying by Turkey.

"The Turkish lobby will not deter me from my efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Over a million and a half Armenians perished in the first genocide of the last century, and no amount of spending by the forces of denial can rewrite history or discourage my pursuit of recognition." To contact Congressman Schiff, visit his campaign website at www.schiff4congress.com or send him an email at adam_schiff@sbcglobal.net.
The California Courier Online

Turks And Armenians Need To See That There Is Something Rather Shameful In Expecting A Third Party To Solve The Problem Of The Armenian Genocide, Turkish Historian Thinks, ArmInfo 2008-10-27

ArmInfo. 'I think Turks and Armenians need to see that there is something rather shameful in expecting a third party to solve a problem that originates with us and needs to be resolved between us. We own the problem.

We need to resolve it and we can', - Turkish historian, Professor Taner Akcham told ArmInfo correspondent when commenting on possible recognition of the Armenian genocide by the candidate for US president Barack Obama.

'erhaps. Obama, like those who went before him, may forget the promise he made. I would hope that he doesn't forget because it would put an end to this torturous relationship that Armenians and Turks have endured.

Nevertheless, I don't view Obama's use of the word "genocide" as working like some kind of charm, or being the source of a huge resolution of the matter. Reagan had accepted and used the term also', - he concluded.

President Of Armenia: If Turkey Opens The Boundary And Establishes Diplomatic Relations With Armenia, It Will Greatly Contribute To Settling Karabakh Conflict ArmInfo, 2008-10-27

ArmInfo. 'Russia is one of OSCE MG co-chairs. The invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his activity are rather logical, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with Armenian Public Television when asked about the initiative of a trilateral meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russia presidents in Moscow.

'First of all, I'd like to highlight that the settlement process is within the frames of OSCE Minsk Group on the basis of Madrid Principles. It has been repeatedly mentioned and I reiterate that there is no alternative to mediation of OSCE MG. And the mess that is being created around this cannot contribute to the process. I reiterate that the only mediators are OSCE MG co-chairs. Armenia has not applied to any other state for mediation. Russia is one of the OSCE MG co-chair-states and the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his activity in the process re quite logical', Serzh Sargsyan said.

Asked about the statement by Turkish President Abdullah Gul allowing a conclusion that President of Armenia was allegedly the first to apply to Turkish president for contribution to the negotiations process, Serzh Sargsyan said he does not like commenting on statements of other figures especially when press publishes extracts of the context of a citation. 'The reality is that OSCE MG is the only mediator, but we do not refuse from assistance. I am sure Turkey can contribute to the Karabakh conflict settlement process and I think it currently does. The visit of Gul to Yerevan, the continuation of the Armenian-Turkish negotiations is a good example for settlement of complicate tasks. I am sure if Turkey opens the boundary and establishes diplomatic relations with Armenia, it will greatly contribute to settling Karabakh conflict', President of Armenia said.

Turkey Uncovers A Pro-Russian Underground; Ergenekon Secret Society Trial Begins by Mikhail Zygar, Mais Alizade, WPS Agency, Russia, What the Papers Say (Russia), October 22, 2008

The trial of Ergenekon secret society members has opened in Istanbul. They are charged with plotting a coup d'etat and terrorism. Dozens of well-known Turkish journalists, academics, and ex-officers are involved in the case. The prosecution team's conclusion also alleges that the underground organization was linked to Russian intelligence.

The case of the Ergenekon secret organization, which sounds like a fanciful political thriller, started in June 2007. A year of investigations has revealed that Ergenekon was responsible for all of Turkey's most notorious unsolved crimes over the past decade. For example, it has been blamed for murdering Armenian journalist Grant Dink in January 2007. The investigation team also alleges that Ergenekon gunmen plotted to kill Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk.

Forty-nine people were arrested in the first stage of the investigation. This was followed by a second series of arrests in July 2008. They included one of Turkey's most prominent retired generals, Sener Eruigur, who heads an influential public organization called the Ataturk Idea Society. After his arrest, pro-government media reported details of a plan to seize power - allegedy found in the general's possession. The coup was meant to take place in four stages. Ultimately, the military was to have seized power, as it has done before: in 1960, 1971, 1980, and 1997.

However, the investigators later stated that they knew of no such plans.

As Turkish journalists and investigators have noted, almost all of the people arrested in this case have a very friendly attitude to Russia. Dogu Perinchek, leader of the Turkish Labor Party, has visited Russia a number of times and worked closely with Eurasian Movement leader Alexander Dugin. The arrested ex-rector of Istanbul University signed a cooperation agreement with Moscow State University. General Eruigur openly called for Turkey to withdraw from NATO, join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and form a military alliance with Russia and Iran. Finally, what the Turkish media regard as the most damning evidence of a Russian connection: the move to charge retired general Levent Ersez, former head of the police intelligence department, with Ergenekon-related crimes. Police were unable to arrest Ersez because he went into hiding in Russia.

In commenting on the arrests, the Turkish media described them as a strike at "Russophile" forces in Turkish society. The prosecution team's conclusion went even further, alleging that the Ergenekon secret society was linked to Russian intelligence - with Alexander Dugin as the intermediary. However, Turkey's Main Intelligence Department has already issued a denial, stating that it has no information to confirm the validity of this charge.

Dugin himself made haste to speak out in defense of the arrested people, describing them as "leaders of the anti-American lobby, proponents of closer relations with Russia and countering the Turkish government's pro-American policies."
Source: Kommersant, No. 191, October 21, 2008, p. 9, Translated by InterContact

Akh'tamar: An Ensemble Built On Cherished Values, By Elyssa Karanian Armenian Reporter, October 25, 2008
The dynamic dance troupe gears up for a rare Glendale performance

Philadelphia - Sylva Asadourian has been dancing all her life. As a teenager living in Lebanon, she was a member of the Antranig Dance Group. During her last two years of high school, she taught her own Armenian dance classes, greatly influenced by Vanoush Khanamiryan, the longtime choreographer of Armenia's State Dance Ensemble. In those years, Sylva learned and drew new ideas by watching videos of Khanamiryan's performances.

After moving to the United States, Sylva continued to teach dance in a variety of places, including the Hovnanian School in New Milford, New Jersey. During her five-year stint there, the children's dance group which she taught boasted over 90 members.

Despite the existence of the AGBU Antranig Dance Ensemble in New York, the early 90s saw a lull in Armenian dance-group membership and performances, leading Sylva to decide that it was the perfect time to start her own ensemble.

"I approached one of the mothers and gave her my idea for the dance group," she recalls. "About seven or eight ladies joined me and helped make costumes and recruit members."

Talar Sarafian, who grew up dancing in the Antranig Dance Ensemble, remembers: "At that time there was a lot of need for these young Armenian girls to belong somewhere. There was a need for an activity beside the occasional school hantes [group performance]."

That need for belonging was soon filled for more than 70 girls, with the creation of the Akh'Tamar Dance Ensemble in 1994.

Building a family Since its creation, Akh'Tamar has developed into a successful troupe comprising a sparkling collection of young Armenians, ranging in age from 5 (and sometimes even younger) to 22.

The ensemble's Friday-night rehearsals are not what one would imagine in terms of a typical dance rehearsal or sports practice, with parents leaving their child with a quarter (or a cell phone) and telling them to call when they're ready to be picked up. Rather, Akh'Tamar's Friday-night rehearsals are family nights. Mothers stay to watch and enjoy a fellowship of their own, sewing costumes and showing their support for the group.

"It started like that because we were initially independent and without financial support," Sylva says of the Friday-night gatherings of volunteer moms and committee members. "But now everyone comes to the church and we all participate. Everyone has a great time and we are all producing something."

These gatherings were not always possible for Akh'Tamar. Until recently, the ensemble did not have a permanent home. What started as a group of seven or eight Istanbul-Armenian women - led by Sylva and co-founder Zvart Gulian - making costumes and trying to start their own group eventually grew into a comprehensive effort that was "adopted" last year by Tenafly, New Jersey's St. Thomas Armenian Church, which provided the ensemble with a real home.

Sylva calls the church their "umbrella," as she credits it for giving her dance group everything it needed to function as an independent ensemble. "Besides," Sylva says, "we have an even larger family now. The hayr soorp [Father Papken Anoushian] leads the dancers and directs them in different ways, the parish council is there supporting and encouraging them. It's a big deal for the girls to see someone beside the Akh'Tamar committee members supporting them. It's been a great, great blessing for us."

Just as Sylva expresses her gratitude for the presence of the church in the life of her ensemble, her dancers feel equally blessed to have her. Twenty-year-old Shushan Barsanogullari, one of Akh'Tamar's soloists, says that Sylva's involvement in each of her dancers' lives makes them feel something incredibly special. "She taught us that everyone needs to be made to feel equal," Shushan says. "She taught us to set good examples for the younger girls. We have Sylva to steer us and guide us in the right direction." Shushan gushes on without taking a breath: "We have our moms there at practices. They're there. Having them devote so much time to this group, that's what makes us appreciate everything that much more. We're at home here."

Daughters (and sons) of Akh'Tamar Today approximately 80 dancers call Akh'Tamar home. While membership is mainly female, this past summer Sylva opened the group up to a small group of younger boys. There are currently about 15 boys ranging in age from 5 to 12.

What seems to hold this dynamic group together is a set of solid family values. Many of the dancers say, above everything else, it is the closeness they feel that makes them successful. "There's something different about it," Shushan says of the ensemble. "I think it's because we don't look at it as a dance group. We're all really good friends. We're all very close. Our oldest members will hang out with the younger girls. We just had a birthday party for one of the nine-year-olds. These are our sisters."

Talar, who is now a committee member and a parent of two young Akh'Tamar dancers, comments: "I think the key to this group is Sylva and her right-hand woman, Zvart, who does most of the costume-making. They work as a team and they are really the cornerstones. They are energetic women and strong women and they are very resourceful. They keep it going through thick and thin."

The combination of young and old, dancers and choreographers, committee members and volunteers, and those who simply come to give their support, is what gives this group its edge. "It's all about the people that you have with you," Shushan says earnestly. "That's what makes you shine."

Dance group of the community Another thing that sets Akh'Tamar apart is its dedication to staying non-affiliated. In a culture that seems to demand that we make choices and take sides, Akh'Tamar manages to remain the "dance group of the community."

With acknowledgement in her voice of just how great a feat this seems to be in the Armenian diaspora, Talar says, "Akh'Tamar is a very non-political and non-affiliated group. This past May, for instance, we performed for an ARF event. It really goes to show you that there are very few dance groups that cross community lines. We pride ourselves on being the dance group of the entire community, not just on one side of it."

Regarding that performance, Sylva says, "It was very together. It was just one Armenian group. The girls [who danced together] became friends. They call each other sometimes. It really hasn't been too difficult for us to stay non-affiliated."

Akh'Tamar gives several performances each year, appearing at various Armenian events and ethnic festivals throughout the United States. The ensemble also gives an annual performance at Felician College in New Jersey. Last year Akh'Tamar participated in an Iranian parade and most recently performed for a Saint Vartanants celebration alongside the Sayat-Nova and Yeraz dance groups. "It was a huge success," Sylva says of the last appearance.

On November 2, at the invitation of the Tekeyan Cultural Association and the Organization of Istanbul Armenians, Akh'Tamar will be performing for the first time in Glendale, California. Harout Yeretsian, vice-chairman of Tekeyan's Glendale branch, says, "Sylva is a very talented choreographer and Akh'Tamar is a very interesting group. We are excited to have them perform here."

Shushan, and the other members of Akh'Tamar, are just as excited. "Every time we have a rehearsal, we just keep giving each other pep talks," she says. "I still can't believe that we were given this opportunity."

Giving back Akh'Tamar has given an immeasurable gift to all involved. "I remember my years of dancing," Talar says. "It's a whole different sense of belonging to a group. My friends and I still keep in touch, and now it's our children that are a part of this."

And if you're not involved but you wish to be, "Just show up on a Friday night and say you want to dance," says Talar. "Sylva works with the newcomers one-on-one until they are used to the steps and the environment." Akh'Tamar's learning environment fosters a shared love of dance, Armenian culture, and this growing family of dancers. "Once you get there," Shushan says, "and once you feel the music, that's it. That's all there is. It's not an obligation, it's your life."

For all those who have watched, or will watch, Akh'Tamar perform, you are not without these gifts of belonging. Shushan says, "Everyone is there for one reason." She doesn't elaborate on the "everyone" part, but I take it to include dancers, audience members, supporters, parents, and a host of others. And that "reason?" "Because you love your culture," she says. "Akh'Tamar is a family, but we're all the same - every dance group. We're all in it for the same reason: we all love to dance. And we're all special because we give the community a different way to look at our culture, and that's in how we express it: through dance."

New Anti-Genocide Club Stand Forming At Niu By Megan Geyer, Northern Star Online
http://www.northernstar.info October 24, 2008, IL

After taking History of Genocide taught by J.D. Bowers, students Shay Galto, Ryan Beebe, Megan Pitz, Emily Ericson and Brandyn Grove decided to get involved.

They are starting an NIU chapter of the anti-genocide organization STAND (Students Taking Action Now Darfur).

"We're focused on activism, fundraising and educating people about what they can do to help," STAND President Shay Galto said.

STAND is a national organization run by students in colleges, high schools and junior highs across the U.S.

"We aren't pressuring the government enough," Galto said, citing that increased activism in the U.S. under President Clinton might have stopped the genocide in Rwanda.

Each meeting will focus on a particular genocide. Vice President Ryan Beebe presented an informative powerpoint about the Holocaust at the club's second meeting.

"I'm against any kind of harm to anybody," said Sandi Yandle, senior history major, "We should try to help one another not hurt each other."

STAND plans on going to Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL to hear Dr. John Barrett of St. John's University give a presentation of the Nuremburg trials which dealt with the prosecution of several high ranking Nazi officials of WWII.

Other events include watching the movie Dancing Through Death: The Monkey, Magic and Madness of Cambodia and traveling in November to the national STAND conference in Washington D.C..

"We're excited about the interest [STAND] has generated," Treasurer Emily Ericson said.

At the second meeting, there were eighteen people present.

Adam Zapfel, junior journalism major, explained his reason for coming to the meeting. "My two friends came here before, and it sounded like a good cause."

STAND's next meeting will be held on Nov. 11, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in DuSable room 302. There will be a presentation of the Armenian Genocide and a viewing of the genocide documentary film Screamers.

Although STAND is not yet acknowledged as an official NIU organization by the Student Association, they are actively pursuing recognition.

"Armenia Should Stick To Its Principles" A1+ 24 October, 2008
"The fact of the NKR independence cannot be ignored in the process of the Karabakh conflict settlement. There should be no mention of compensations. These principles should lie at the heart of the negotiations," Heritage Party MP Stepan Safaryan said today during the parliamentary briefings.

"We are really concerned about the recent developments in the conflict resolution. No one has presented the disputed "principles of Madrid" aimed at the conflict settlement," noted the Heritage Secretary.

Another member of the Heritage party, Larissa Alaverdyan, says that the negotiations will be deemed as an ordinary meeting without Karabakh's involvement. Therefore, no decision taken in the process of such a meeting will be obligatory for Karabakh.

"Although Azerbaijan would like other instances, for example the UNO, to deal with the conflict resolution, I think the Minsk group framework is the best one," noted Prosperous Armenia Party MP Aram Safaryan. "I don't think that the future developments can lead to the change of the Minsk group format."

He also noted that "the OSCE expects tangible progress in the conflict resolution based on the Madrid principles in 2009." Safaryan reminded that the conflicting sides had many times been close to the conflict resolution but one of them unexpectedly toughened its stance at the last moment thus leaving the issue unsettled.

"I strongly believe that Armenia should stick to its principles during the talks," he added.

ARF Dashnaktsutyun member Ara Nranyan emphasised public attitude towards the regulation of the Karabakh conflict. He thinks the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot sign a document which is not accepted by the two peoples. Reminding the case of Serbia, Nranyan said that the society should finally realise that "once they surrender a centimeter they will lose everything." He thinks if Armenia takes a strong position it will yield to no pressure.

The secretary of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun, Artyusha Shahbazyan, noted that the Armenian officialdom have many times voiced support for settlement of the Karabakh issue in the frame of the Minsk Group.

Yes To Armenian-Turkish Relations But On At Expense Of National Agenda Yerkir, 23.10.2008
Yerevan (Yerkir) - ARF Bureau member Vigen Hovsepian, speaking before Los Angeles Armenians and media, said that Turkey's proposal to set up a commission of historians to look into the Armenian genocide is the trap that intends to prolong the issues on our agenda for months and even for years and to split our forces.

The event that was held at the headquarters of the ARF Central Committee, Western Region, on October 21, was opened by CC member Jean Gosagian who said that the event was organized to present more clearly the ARF position and approaches on the Armenian-Turkish relations.

Hovsepian spoke on the recent developments in the Armenian-Turkish relations, focusing on the processes that - through a pressure on the Armenian authorities - aims at forcing Armenia to accept the historians' commission and recognize the territorial integrity of Turkey which actually means that Armenia should drop its rightful territorial claims. "This unacceptable to the ARF, as well as it is unacceptable to link the Karabakh settlement with the Armenian-Turkish relations. In particular, any precondition aimed at abandoning the Armenian genocide recognition efforts is unacceptable too."

"We are sure that if the issues are raise correctly, most Armenians would agree with us. This means yes to the Armenian-Turkish relations but not at the expense of the national agenda," he said.

Armenian Genocide Discussed In Australian Parliament
CANBERRA, Australia--A Federal Member for North Sydney, Joe Hockey, Monday spoke openly about the Armenian Genocide in the Federal Parliament of Australia, calling for recognition of the heinous crime.

In response to appeals by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia), Hockey raised in Parliament the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) recent use of the qualifier 'alleged' when making reference to the Armenian Genocide in a documentary entitled 'Family Footsteps - Armenia' broadcast in September.

Hockey stated: "In the dead of night on 24 April 1915, 250 Armenian political, religious, educational and intellectual leaders in Istanbul were arrested, deported to the interior of the country and murdered... which is now recognized as the beginning of an official attempt by the Turkish government to exterminate its Armenian population.

"Around 1.5 million Armenians were murdered during the Armenian genocide out of an estimated total Armenian population of just 2.5 million people," said the legislator.

Hockey concluded by calling on the Commonwealth Government to recognize the Armenian Genocide. He urged "this parliament to recognize the Armenian genocide for what it was--not alleged, not supposed and not so-called."

In a statement released today, ANC Australia President Varant Meguerditchian thanked Hockey for "again demonstrating leadership on a human rights issue which transcends party politics".

The statement read: "ANC Australia reaffirms its commitment to raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide as a measure toward the prevention of such crimes against humanity."

Hockey thanked ANC Australia for bringing this matter to his attention.

The statement by Hockey in Parliament follows an active grassroots action by ANC Australia to raise awareness and seek correction by the ABC for referring to the Armenian Genocide as the 'alleged Armenian Genocide' in a recent documentary.

In addition to more than 1000 emails sent by members of the Armenian-Australian community to the ABC regarding this matter, ANC Australia secured letters of support from Maxine McKew, Member for Bennelong, Prof. Gregory Stanton, President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, Dr Donna-Lee Freize, Deakin University, Prof. Peter Balakian, Author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response, the Australian Hellenic Council and the Australian Institute for Holocaust & Genocide Studies.

Edward Tashji, Man Of Principle Mahmut Esat Ozan Chairman-Editorial Board, The Turkish Forum-USA
We already began to miss our brother Edward.He was more close to us than many a Turk who unwittingly and with great ingratitude turned against their own country and brothers and sisters. The Akcams, the Berktays, the Goceks and so on are probably happy that one less critic of them is eliminated. Edward was and still is one of us who lament the ugly doings of the above-mentioned traitors. He was and I repeat still is among one of our great supporters. There was a Christian Judge from Hazen, Arkansas who admired Edward and had lengthy conversations with him after I had gotten them together. I even sent Edward Sam Weem’s specially signed copy of his excellent book, entitled: SECRETS OF A “CHRISTIAN” TERRORIST STATE, ARMENIA. Edward was almost lost for words when he called me a few days after he had received and devoured Sam’s book. He said he started to read it in the afternoon and had to finish it by next morning .He said he had to call me to tell me how valuable a book it was and thanked me over and over again for not having forgotten him .

Edward was not someone a Turk could easily forget. His courage and believability on the subjet of a pseudo genocide invented by his fellow Armenians, was as impressive if not more of another honest and lion-hearted Christian such as Judge Sam.The two together should have been with us today writing about the truth about the mythological Genocide..They were both the personification of extreme courage. Sam’s book, which is still available through the Turkish Forum, had said all that Sam wanted to say about the ungrateful Armenians. The following on the other hand, are a few rare words I had obtained from the “The Tall Armenian Tales”.

He is called “Turk Dostu” “A Friend of Turks.” Edward Tashji is a man of principle who refuses to follow the safe, familiar pro-Armenian drumbeat; he makes up his own mind, and is a Truth-Seeker of the first order. It is mind-boggling that those like him can practically be counted on only one hand.

A Friend of Turks
An introduction to Edward Tashji’s philosophy, “who has spoken and written the words which NO OTHER Armenian has in his heart to do so.” (”The inseparability of our peoples had been instilled in my heart and soul by parents who displayed compassion rather than vengeance, truth rather than misrepresentation, love instead of hate.”)

Why the Euphemism, Armenian “Hate Merchants”?

A phrase Mr. Tashji coined a quarter-century ago, after coming face-to-face with “a monster, truly a Frankenstein of hate!” … “To cognitively comprehend the attitude of Armenians toward the Turkish people, it is necessary to be knowledgeable of the Armenian psyche.”

We Must Respond Vociferously to Stereotypes and Hurtful Negligence!

This is a favorite Tashji commentary of Holdwater’s, where Mr. Tashji provides just a few examples of his battles against the unfair depiction of Turks in the Western media, over the years. Thank you, Mr. Tashji!

A Subject Which Must Not Be Avoided

The writer examines roots of anti-Turkish prejudice, looks at a poem a six-year-old Armenian girl from California is taught, and provides the favorite following line: “…at the same time, (President Clinton’s) schedule does permit a meeting with twenty representatives of numerous Armenian groups! What would it take to arrange even a few minutes with the President of ‘all’ the people? I will give you one gue$!”

An Armenian Sponsored Lecture

Edward Tashji attended a lecture featuring “genocide scholar” Hilmar Kaiser in 1999, and offered Herr Kaiser a few lessons of his own.

Religious Freedom and Harmony as Revealed by Seven Candles

A moving piece. An occasion to honor the memory of the president of the American Association of Jewish Friends of Turkey brings to mind the harmony and freedoms that marked the essence of the Ottoman Empire, in contrast to the falsification of Turkish culture we are normally subjected to.

What Does April 24th Mean To This Ethnic Armenian?

The author passionately reminds us that this beloved occasion for the Armenian hate merchants, presenting them with the regular opportunity to distort history while defaming the honor of a great nation, much more serves as a sad perpetuation of animosity… allowing for the “venom of hate” to continue crippling young minds.

In The Midst Of War “A Letter And A True Love Story”

A beautiful telling of how Mr. Tashji’s parents met during the madness of WWI… two amazing people who decided to raise their children with the lesson of loving thy neighbor as opposed to what some people who profess to be Christians advocate.

The Enigmatic Armenian Continues To Fumble

This is a wonderful essay detailing the misrepresentations of an article that appeared in an Armenian newspaper, regarding the early days of bands offering music from the Turkish and Armenian part of the world, to New York City audiences. Edward Tashji was one such musician.

Why Did I Testify Against My Own People?

One Armenian’s Soul-Searching Self-Interrogation! The reasons certainly have nothing to do with being anti-Armenian…. but with the Armenian preoccupation with hatred, and the sad condition the author terms as “eternal animosity.”

Did the Turks and the Armenians Share a Common Culture?

A look at some Armenians who made a difference in Ottoman society, and a reminder of the commonalities that bind the two peoples

Program for a Turkish Course of Action

When ASALA and other Armenian terrorist organizations were spewing forth death and destruction in the 1970s and 80s, Edward Tashji came up with a plan to combat the Western world’s indifference and prejudice toward Turks. The plan has Turkish-Americans in mind, but is a must read for Turkish people who have settled anywhere else in the world.

Edward said once the following:

To the Armenians I am a traitor, one who has committed the greatest sin; to the Turks I have come to be known as a, “Turk dostu” aka a friend of Turks: ours is the embrace of brotherhood.”

After Edwards own words whatever I would say would be superfluous Therefore I will suffice with what I have for my readers and thank his wonderful wife Mary for her participation of her husband’s everlasting friendship endless belief that Turks were not the monsters the Armenians picture them to be. May he rest in peace knowing that he has 70 million hearts which are broken without him but we have his book and all his previous writings and above all we have his fond memory to last us several life times.
Mahmut Esat Ozan
Anyone, who attended Galatasaray during the years of 1933 to l943 would remember Mahmut Abi as a little boy who loved movies, especially American movies, and who would very often sneak out of his dormitory at night and go to the 3rd floor balcony of the school conference room where the older boys would be watching films, hoping they would let him in to watch, too, and they usually did.

As time went on, he acquired as much information about America as he could. When he was in the 6th grade he prepared an American-style weekly magazine by hand, with even a cartoon and a crossword puzzle, and loaned it to be read among his classmates. He became an expert on American popular culture, especially on movies and songs. He became fluent in French and excelled in English. Owing to his association with the Jewish students in school he started to learn also another language,(Ladino) Spanish, and later on Portuguese. With a good mustache and correct hair cut, he earned the nickname of Donamec for the Hollywood actor Don Ameche, whom, everyone said, he resembled a lot at that time.

After graduation, he spent three years as Muallim Muavini, a sort of a Teacher’s Aide at the school, then started writing articles for “PERDE ve SAHNE” published by Bedia Muvahhit, the favorite actress of the Turkish theatre in those days. He also worked 5 days a week for the Motion Picture Censor Board as a simultaneous translator/interpreter for English and French movies. Turkey was neutral during those Second World War days, but there had to be censorship, not to offend any of the countries involved. And while it was wartime, there was also martial law. After completing his military school training in Ankara, Mahmut Abi was assigned to work at the office of the General in charge of the State government under martial law, as an interpreter/translator. He continued his services at the Censor Board, but wearing his 2n Lieutenant’s uniform to work. His abilities in the area of foreign languages would be a great help for him throughout his life. While attending the University of Istanbul in preparation for the banking career his mother wished for him, his heart and head were much more interested in Cinema magazines than banking. He began writing regular articles for several dailies and movie magazines. Yildiz was one of them. Several years later while in Hollywood he conducted and sent close to 50 interviews with big time stars and celebrities. But long before that, in 1943 he even published his own publication called SINEMAGAZIN, an enterprise which gave him, if not monetary success, a great deal of experience in journalism. He had one burning desire, and that was to get to the United States to study. He researched every bit of information available on American colleges and universities entrance requirements, tuitions, and cost of living, and wrote his book, AMERIKAYA DOGRU, a guide for students wishing to study in America.

Finally, in 1946, he received acceptance to the School of Journalism of the University of Indiana in Bloomington. This should have afforded him a happy student life, but, unfortunately, the money he had entrusted with a businessman relative placed his money in a stocks venture and lost it. Mahmut Abi in Indiana was being forced to return home. What saved him was the fact that he was the only Turkish student his professors and the members of women’s clubs had ever met, and by appearing before these groups, lecturing his audiences with color slide shows and explaining to them life in Turkey, he won several friends and a full scholarship to finish his degree in Journalism.

For a brief moment, during the summer before his senior year, the Hollywood bug bit him again, and he drove to California, landed a job as assistant manager of the Grauman’s Chinese theater, where he helped with the movie premieres and stars with their shoes and hands imprints cast in wet cement. He applied to Ben Bard’s school of acting not to become a movie actor, but to learn the art of making movies. His biggest fantasy was to make an epic saga on the Conquest of “Constantinople” and the Turkish Sultan Mehmet II. This moment in paradise, however, came to an end when the Immigration Dept. caught up with him. He was told he was illegally working on a student visa, and had to return to his university in Indiana to finish his studies. It was Kismet that by going back to Indiana that Fall he was going to meet and marry his Ruhan. That was 48 years ago this past February.

Mahmut Abi and Ruhan returned to Turkey in 1953. Being the very first Turk having received a degree in Journalism, he was offered the position to help establish the university’s Institute of Journalism. He was to set up operation, prepare curricula for the school and teach a couple of classes too, all for a grand total of T.L. 150 a month. The highest salary for a governmental minister in the capital was T.L.450, and the President of the University of Istanbul was paid T.L. 350 at the time. However, at the end he was told he could not get the job because the position he was offered was a government job and his wife was not a Turkish citizen. Knowing that today even the military officers have non-Turkish spouses, Mahmut Abi just smiles and does not even complain. any more. The next stop was Ankara. That job refusal previously in Istanbul landed him a much better and lucrative position at the U.S. Mutual Security Administration in the capital city of Turkey. He was hired on the spot as a Special Administrative Coordinator and Senior Interpreter. The MSA organization then was the precursor of the present A.I.D. He, as a specialist, was entrusted in preparing a wide variety of instructional pamphlets, the dubbing instructional films and guiding the American dignitaries on inspection tours of agricultural and energy producing projects of the programs. It was during one of those sessions when a Labor Law expert from the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC sought his help in trying to find a name for the Turkish labor unions. The meeting was in its 6th hour. Nobody knew what to name a hitherto non-existent labor organization. Howard Schindler, the American labor relations expert, was getting a bit edgy. His Turkish counterparts wanted to use the term Lonca ,which he scorned upon, because its translation meant Guild and/or Corporation but not Labor. Finally, Mahmut Abi suggested the French name for it “Syndicat.” Within a few minutes the word Sendika was accepted and everyone went home satisfied with a new name in the Turkish alphabet.

After the birth of their first child, Mahmut Abi changed course. Once more in the USA, and in Indiana, he returned to the University and completed his course work to teach Foreign Languages and Journalism, and began his career, teaching French, Spanish, Portuguese, Journalism, film making. He also trained scores of future Foreign Language teachers. He also initiated the very first Study Tours abroad in Florida Universities in the early 60’s. He Was among the few Floridians who founded FTAA, Florida Turkish-American Association for Cultural Exchange. He served as its second President for 5 years. Mahmut Abi is the author of a several pages long epic poem in French entitled: “Une page d’Histoire a Galatasaray” which will be published soon in France. His second epic poem called; “Si Pierre Loti Retournait Chez Sa Bien-Aimee,La Turquie was already put in a book form two years ago, in Nancy, France by the OLUSUM/GENESE literary magazine. The book also contains other interesting reading materials. Mahmut Esat Ozan retired as Professor Emeritus after 38 years of teaching. Although his dreams of producing a film on Ataturk, and the Conquest of Constantinople did not materialize, he made a good number of documentaries on a more personal scale. As for his journalistic drive, he found another theme that needed his attention and devotion. That theme is teaching the truth about his “Turkiye,” past and present to as many readers of the Turkish Times, English language newspaper, where he has been a columnist in the last 10 years, also local newspapers, and the Internet he can reach.
***@webtv.net Sema Karaoglu, Founder, Sons_of_Ataturk@yahoo.com

Nalbandian's Interview To BBC Turkish
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian made an interview with BBC Turkish service. Nalbandian said, “There are no obstacles for normalization of relations with Turkey”.

“I can’t say that everybody is pleased with about the reconcilation with Turkey. But as being the leaders of two countries we are ready for making radical moves.” Replying a question about if seeking of normalization for Turkey-Armenia relations is will be operated parallelly, Nalbandian said, “Absolutely no”.

“We do not seek for an alternative to OSCE Minsk Group”

“The idea of trilateral meeting of Foreign Ministers was the Babacan’s. He proposed this idea during our meet in Yerevan, for discussing Turkey’s suggestion of Caucasia Platform. And i said, “Why not?”. In the trilateral meeting of Foreign Ministers in New York, only topic was Caucasus Platform.”

“We are appraising our problems with Azerbaijan around Minsk Process. This is a very effective structure which finds support from international community. And we don’t have any intention like reinventing the wheel, as there is no need for that.” “After Presidential elections in Azerbaijan on 15 October, we are expecting a revitalization in the negotiation process of Karabakh conflict. But i can’t see any connection with this and our relations with Turkey. The normalization process of Turkey-Armenia relations had started and i am optimistic about this.

“Russia’s attitude is positive”

“Russia was always constructive in the negotiation process of Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We shouldn’t forget that the ceasefire agreement that is signed in 1994 was made in the mediation of Russia. Another example of success of negotiation process is in 2001. We were so close to the agreement, in the mediation of France, especially with mediation of President Chirac.” “But Azerbaijan denied this. President Haydar Aliyev said that Azerbaijan public was not ready for this”.

“The atmosphere in the Azerbaijan is dangerous”

“Unfortunately, surveys shows that 30 percent of Azerbaijani people supports military solution in the Karabakh conflict. That is very dangerous. You can’t find even 1 percent of people in Armenia who supports solution of Karabakh conflict by force. I don’t think you can find that in another country too. That is the result of a militarist propaganda. “In my opinion recent developments in South Ossetia may make Azerbaijani administration to stop making militarist propagands about the resolution process of Nagorno Karabakh conflict and may make them to incline for a peaceful-politic solution”.

"There are no obstacles for normalization of relations with Turkey”

“I don’t think there are any obstacles for normalization of relations with Turkey. At first, we want our relations to be normalized, hope for a diplomatic relation, and opening of the borders. And then we are inclined for the foundation of a inter-governmental commisiton in which all problems between countries could be discussed”.

"We can't deny Diaspora's opinion"

“Diaspora Armenians are consist two thirds of Armenia population. As we can’t deny the opinion of Turkish people or Armenian people, we can’t deny the opinion of Armenian Diaspora.” “I can’t say that everybody is pleased with about the reconcilation with Turkey. But as being the leaders of two countries we are ready for making radical moves.”

A Conference About So-Called Armenian Genocide Was Held In Aydin
Directorship of City Public Library of Aydin arranged a conference about alleged Armenian genocide. Lieutenant Governor of Aydin, Celal Ulusoy, Director of City Library of Aydin, M.Necmi Gebologlu, representatives from non-governmental organizations of Aydin and students attended to the conference.

Adnan Menderes University academician Mustafa Akkaya attended to the conference as speech maker, that sixth of it is being made this year, which is about alleged Armenian genocide. It is stressed that, especially England, some European countries amd USA keep this idea on the agenda till today, used this issue against our national interests to prevent our development and they used this issue as tool to apply their intentions on our country.

Adnan Menderes University Academician Mustafa Akkaya said, “Turkey attracts World’s attention with its stratis that connect Black Sea and Mediaterranien Sea and with its geopolitical situation because of settling in the intersection point of natural sources of Middle East and Middle Asia. In past, imperialist States wanted to damage Ottoman Empire becuase of this geopolitical situation and they used Armenians, who were living in Ottoman Empire in peace for hundreds of years. There are states which tries to gain political interests over Armenian comunity. In history, being dragged from some region of Anatolia to another under the Roman, Persian and Byzantium Empires, Armenians found peace under the justice of Turkish administration in Anatolia. That age which lasted till 19th century, was the golden age of Armenians. Loyal and honest Armenian people did benefit from Ottoman Empire. They were exempt of military and partially from taxes. They were developed in art, farming and trade. As they were loyal to the state, they were called as “loyal nation”. In brief, they became a primary component of the Ottomans. This continued till the treaty of San Stefano, 3 March 1878. After the decline of Ottomans started and with the interventions of the Eurpeans, Turkish-Armenian relations started to be harmed. Westerners, especially the provocateurs that veiled theirselves as priests made Armenians to get apart from Turkish community in cultural, economic, religious and social aspects. Thus, the events started in which mostly Turks were damaged more. After the conflicts between Muslims and Christians that started in East Anatolia and spreaded through İstanbul, many Turkish and Armenian people lost their lives.

Sultan Abdulhamid the second was tried to be assassinated. Sultan Abdulhamid, who quelled the continuance of the riots in İstanbul, gathers the weapons of Turk and Armenian parties side by side. Shows them to the foreigner representatives and says, “Here, the weapons of the Turks which are used in the riots. These sticks are from the forests of my country… And here, the weapons of Armenians that are used in the riots. These are English, French and Russian made. They are not produced in my country”.

Events were lived in many cities of Anatolia like; Adana, Erzurum, Van, Amasya and Diyarbakır. On 30 October 1914 Russian armies started the invasion of East Anatolia. The biggest support to Russians was given by Armenians. Women, children and old people were killed in our cities like Kars, Muş and Erzurum. Ottomans had to fight both in front and back. Armenians who lived in peace with Turks for hundreds of years, were used by imperialist States.

Interviewee: Famous Political Scientist, Rasim Aghayev
- A terror act occurred in the parliament of Armenia nine years ago on October 27 of 1999 and it caused death to Armenian Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, speaker Karen Demirchyan and several other political figures of this country. Do you think today there is a possibility of a terrorist act against the leading politicians of this country?

- As is known? several political figures, political scientists and journalists of Armenia blamed the working Karabakh clan, represented by previous and working presidents of Armenia Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan of organization of the terror act in the Armenian parliament.

In other words, considering that the powers of this country are the organizers of a terror act in the Armenian parliament, it may seem that new terror acts against the leadership of Armenia are out of the question as there is no one to commit these acts. But this is an unfounded outlook, for since the moment of its consolidation as an ethnic-political powers Armenians have taken terror as a method of political pressure on their opponents before anyone else did.

And therefore, the one that once used terror as way to attain the desired political result will become a victim of terror sooner of later. Therefore, there is no guarantee that those who committed the terror act in the Armenian parliament will not fall victims of other Armenian terrorists.

- Which steps of the working powers of Armenia may provoke a terror act from the side of other powers in this country?

- First of all, I think Serzh Sargsyan will not take the steps, which may provoke the wide Armenian public to take radical measures against him. He is aware that if he agrees to return the occupied lands of Azerbaijan in exchange for the agreement of our country to put off the status of Nagorno Karabakh, may be enough for the Armenian circles, having a historical inclination for terror, to terminate the working president.

- But isn't the working president of Armenia able to attain guarantees of personal security from the side of the leading world countries before he launches possible steps aimed at the establishment of peace, stability and good neighbor relations in the South Caucasus region, as a goal for which the leading countries of the world strive so much according to official statements?

- Practice shows that super states do not care much about those, who served to them at a certain stage after they fulfill the due work. Therefore, you are right to say that it is vitally important for Serzh Sargsyan to attain guarantees of his own security in case he agrees to promote establishment of peace, stability and good neighbor relations in the South Caucasus region.

Moreover, he, as well as Robert Kocharyan, are casual figures in politics and they can be easily replaced. This is how they differ from Levon Ter-Petrosyan. So, it can be said that if Serzh Sargsyan agrees to return the occupied lands to Azerbaijan, Russia will have to ensure his security.

- What should Azerbaijan do to encourage the Armenian President for return of the occupied lands of our country?

- Azerbaijan is holding a balanced, competent and effective external policy. Azerbaijan must further continue the policy of Armenia's isolation from all regional projects and agree with the Georgian leadership on blocking the communication corridor between this country and Armenia.

We must also agree with the Turkish government to avert any speculations about possible opening of the Armenian-Turkish border before Armenia liberates the occupied lands of Azerbaijan.

Moreover, we must persuade the leaderships of the leading countries of Europe, Russia and the United States that peace and stability in the South Caucasus are impossible without the fair resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabakh. Only these steps can make the Armenian leadership to realize the current balance of powers in the region and take real steps to establish peace and good neighbor relations in our region.

Turkophobia In The Classroom At The University Of Maryland
In my Film Art in a Global Society class, we viewed the film "Ararat" today. In the classroom, the professor stated that the genocide was historical fact. He did not mention any thing about Turkish suffering at all. Just Armenian suffering. He also asserted that the Armenians were a "state without a nation." I had to correct him about that. He then proceeded that he was then refferring to the Armenians in Turkey. Thus, in his opinion, he implied that even though the Armenians now have a state, the Armenians in Turkey are still a stateless nation because the Armenians don't have a state that includes Eastern Turkey. In the film, the movie endorsed the organization ASALA. The lead charactor was the son of a so-called "ASALA freedom fighter." The only people who even stated that it might be terrorism was a girl who has personal issues with the so-called freedom fighters wife, who is addicted to drugs, and who destroyed a great piece of Armenian artwork in a museum. The other person who questions that it might be terrorism is a US official, who in the end lets the Armenian protaganist off the hook for smuggling heroin in the US because he seemed to have good intentions (implying that while he might have questioned his fathers actions, he felt that his intentions were good). Those are the only two scenes where people question the role of his father as a freedom fighter for ASALA. The movie compares the Armenian Genocide to the Holocaust. The movie also has brutal scenes of Turks raping Armenian women, burning Armenian women alive while forcing them to dance, and marches of Armenians in the dessert, where Armenians were beaten by Turks for leaning over to support loved ones who collapsed. It shows nothing of how Turks also suffered during the same time period and have similar stories to tell of Armenian brutality. When I talked to the professor after class, his response was that the content of the film did not matter. The only thing that mattered was that I understood that something happened to the Armenians and the format of the film. He did not care about historical accuracy. When I mentioned that showing such films might create turkophobia, he rejected that and stated that he also gave pro-Turkish readings that exposed students to all sides of the story. However, he biased the students against those readings by referring to them as "denialist literature" just meant to show that all sorts of views exist out there. The readings are as follows:


I am really pissed off and feel like I have an ignoramous turkophobe for a teacher.

Credit for the article will be added upon confirmation from the author

Poll Shows European Youth Prejudiced Against Turks, Romanians
Romanians face the most prejudice from minors from 11 European countries, a recent EYCAdemy report indicated.
Turks and Romanians face the most prejudice from minors from 11 European countries, a recent report has indicated.

The EYCAdemy, a joint venture of the European Youth Card Association (EYCA) and the European Commission, cited Turkey’s political problems with Greece and Armenia and issues related to Gypsies (Roma) living in countries throughout Europe as the primary reasons behind this prejudice.

EYCAdemy’s “Intercultural Dialogue and Youth Research” project was conducted over the course of one year between 2007 and 2008 and polled 460 high school and university students between the ages of 15 and 26 in the Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Holland, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Wales and Andorra. The research revealed a trend of prejudice in the perception of minorities amongst the youth polled, with the most bias shown toward Turks and Romanians. Though the report of the survey’s findings did not address the reasons for these prejudices, Elif Memiş, who was among those who prepared the report, said on the issue of bias toward Turks: “In Europe, in particular, the influence of our religion and culture on our lifestyle is regarded as strange. Also, prejudice is created as a result of insufficient and incorrect information about Turkey due to our [long-standing] political problems [with Greece and Armenia].” Regarding the prejudice against Romanians, Memiş said: “Romanians and the Roma [Gypsies] in the Czech Republic are ‘otherized’ because, in terms of numbers, they are a significant minority. Also, the uniqueness of their different lifestyle and regional customs is seen as strange.”

The overwhelming majority of survey participants had a positive attitude about intercultural dialogue. The results showed that intercultural contact reduces prejudices and biases and eliminates racism. The youth define cultural differences in terms of language, values, religion, food, traditions, lifestyles and humor. Religious differences are perceived in terms of practice, not theory. The British participants didn’t see a huge difference between their own culture and that of others. The most evident cultural differences were seen between Russians and Estonians.
Thoughts from youth on cultural dialogue

* “Intercultural differences make each culture richer. We shouldn’t try to make them uniform, because then they’d lose their uniqueness.” (Turk)

* “Meeting people from different cultures changes our personal outlook. Once I was in Mardin, a place where Kurds generally live. I saw there that we must avoid getting carried away by negative thoughts about them, because we’re not different; we are parts of a united culture.” (Turk)

* “When you meet someone, you explain to others what you saw in them, and everyone around you starts to change.” (Romanian)

* “People have started to become more individualist and jealous -- they don’t see themselves as part of a community.” (Romanian)

* “Being aware of the equality between peoples is what ties people together.” (Andorran)

* “I can challenge racism by becoming informed.” (English)

* “By learning about one another’s lifestyles and respecting each other’s values, societies can ensure better relations and share many things.” (Welsh)

* “All the stories in the news these days are about the differences between peoples. It’s not possible to hear anything positive, it’s all negative.” (Dutch)

* “When you meet other people and see new countries, you learn how small you are.” (Serb)

* “If we’re more open and accepting, then society will be, too. It’s something that snowballs.” (Estonian)

* “Societies can learn things from other cultures.” (Czech)

29 October 2008, Arif Bayraktar Istanbul

Dersim On Turkey's ‘genocide' List
Another genocide claim has been added to a list of crimes allegedly committed against humanity by the Turkish Republic. Following accusations of genocides against Armenians, Assyrians and Pontus Greeks, Turkey is accused of committing genocide against its Kurdish-Alevi population in the first half of 20th century.

The European Parliament is scheduled to later this month host an event called the "Dersim '38 Conference," labeling the Turkish Republic as having committed genocide against Kurdish-Alevi population 70 years ago. Feleknas Uca, Kurdish member of the European Parliament from Germany, is lending support to the conference, which will be held Nov. 13 by the Left Party of the European Parliament in Brussels.

The event is dedicated to commemorating 70th anniversary of the events called the Dersim Riot or Revolt. A riot/revolt by the local Kurdish-Alevi population in the eastern Anatolian province of Tunceli -- then named Dersim -- was forcefully suppressed. While those alleging genocide claim that around 70,000 people were killed, no official figures have been provided by authorities.

Key figures from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), which is facing a closure case in the Constitutional Court, are among those who will participate in the conference. According to an announcement from the Association of Reconstruction of Dersim, which is organizing the conference, DTP deputies Şerafettin Halis and Aysel Tuğluk as well as Tunceli Mayor Songül Erol Abdil, also of the DTP, will deliver speeches.
29 October 2008, Selçuk Gültasli Brussels, Zaman

The Illusion Surrounding Obama’s Presidency By Balkan Devlen*
There is global euphoria about US Sen. Barack Obama nowadays. Many think he will bring change and a new direction to America’s foreign policy. Turkey is no exception.

Several people, from journalists to politicians, expressed the opinion that an Obama presidency will be the start of a new era in Turkish-American relations. They are wrong, however, and this is why:

The new US president, whether Sen. John McCain or Sen. Obama, will face the same problems when he moves into the White House come January 2009. Among these problems, three concern Turkey. The first is the resurgence of Russia. The Russian Federation is making a geopolitical comeback, fueled by oil and natural gas revenues. In the last year or so it reached its zenith, for now, with the war in Georgia (Balkan Devlen, Today’s Zaman, Oct. 20, 2008). Turkey is naturally not happy with Russia aggressively playing hardball just outside its borders. However, Turkey is also not keen on directly confronting Russia, given its extensive trade relations as well as dependence on Russian natural gas. For the US, on the other hand, Turkey is in a position to block Russian ambitions further in the Caucasus (via its links with Georgia and Azerbaijan) and even create problems, if necessary, by virtue of being able to control the Turkish straits. Therefore, the next president of the United States will be pushing hard to force Turkey to take a clear stand against Russia. A position Turkey is not willing to be in right now.

The second and third problems concern Iraq and Iran, two interrelated problems of American foreign policy. The next president has to find a way to stabilize Iraq while avoiding the creation of a Shiite-dominated regime under the spell of Iran. At the same time, he has to deal with the emerging reality that Iran might be on the road to acquire technology to eventually develop nuclear weapons. The stabilization of Iraq requires the cooperation of Shiite militias, over which Iran holds significant influence, and the Iranians are using the nuclear card to get a better deal in the post-American Iraq. Americans need the rest of Iraq to be relatively calm to be able to bargain with the Iranians from a position of strength. Turkey also wants a stable Iraq as well as a non-nuclear Iran. However, it has its own concerns regarding Kurdish ambitions in northern Iraq. This is and will be a point of contention between the US and Turkey, regardless of who the next American president turns out to be.

As for Iran, Turkey would like to pass the buck to the Americans and the Israelis. In other words, let them sort out the problem while Turkey watches safely from the sidelines. Turkey prefers a non-nuclear Iran as anything to the contrary will seriously upset the regional balance of power. However, it is also not willing to be drawn into a military conflict with Iran. The US will push Turkey to put more pressure on Iran as the Russians and the Chinese are clearly against any economic sanctions and the Europeans are not very willing, to say the least. This will put Turkey in a position similar to the one it finds itself in vis-à-vis Russia, not willing to see a resurgent regional power right on its borders but also not willing to take a strong stand.

One cannot help but remember Leon Trotsky’s argument (with regards to Soviet expansion to the lands of former tsarist Russia after the 1920s) that “revolution does not change geography.” The problems facing Turkish-American relations will not change with the election of Sen. Obama. The long-term interests of Turkey and the United States are aligned. Neither country wants to see a resurgent Russia or a nuclear Iran. Both want to see a stable and democratic Iraq. However, in the short to medium term the means of achieving these ends will create friction between the two allies. In fact, if Sen. Obama is elected on Nov. 4, this might even have a negative effect on Turkish-American relations in the short term. He is a closed box with regards to his attitude toward Turkey. The Armenian and Greek lobbies are supporting Mr. Obama; his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, is no friend of Turkey, to say the least. Those hoping the above-mentioned problems will magically disappear if Mr. Obama is elected will be sorely disappointed. My hope is that those at the helm of Turkish foreign policy do not have the same illusions.

*Balkan Devlen is an assistant professor at the İzmir University of Economics.
28 October 2008,

Obama And Biden, Facing Turkish Reality
It appears that the importance of Turkey is more clearly grasped in the Obama camp, and this is being well-received in Ankara.

The duo of Obama-Biden are working together to place their priorities on foreign policy front and center, while mentioning the importance they place on their relations with Turkey on their campaign Web site. Under the title of "Re-building the Strategic Partnership with Turkey," there is special space given over to this topic, including the phrase, "Good relations with a stable, democratic and Western-facing Turkey are in the national interests of the US." It is noticeable that these statements from the Democratic Party duo are not pleasing to Armenian and Greek lobbyists. So how exactly did they arrive at this point, when previously there had been statements aimed at pleasing these lobbies, statements which caused great consternation in Ankara? Well, as Obama approaches victory, it becomes more and more necessary for him to understand the "real world." Thus, he begins to see certain realities more clearly after the disruption of all his campaigning.
28 October 2008, Milliyet, Semih Idiz

‘Bush Left Poor Legacy In Turkey-Us Relations’
Former US Ambassador to Turkey Mark R. Parris has said that outgoing US President George W. Bush will leave US relations with Turkey worse than he found them; however, he noted that "the next US president will get a bounce in terms of Turkish public opinion just by not being George W. Bush."

Parris' remarks on Turkey-US relations appeared in an article titled "Common Values and Common Interests? The Bush Legacy in US-Turkish Relations," which he wrote for the latest edition of "Insight Turkey," a quarterly journal published by the SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research. Parris, who also works as an advisor to the Brookings Institution's Turkey Project, served as US ambassador to Turkey from 1997-2000.

"The burden of responsibility for what has been the most problematic six years in US-Turkish relations since the Cyprus crisis of the 1970s lies with Washington," said Parris. He omitted Bush's first two years in office from the list of problematic six years because relations were relatively better before the outbreak of the Iraq war in 2003.

Parris suggested that the intensity of the negative images of the US in recent years is often counterpoised by nostalgia for an America more in tune with its "better angels." "This helps explain many Turks' strong attraction to Barack Obama's message of hope despite John McCain's much greater experience with Turkey, and from Ankara's standpoint, his 'right' position on the emotional Armenian genocide issue," he said. At the end of his article, Parris made some recommendations to the next US administration to put relations with Turkey back on track. "If it is correct that US and Turkish strategic interests remain largely convergent and that each side may be prepared to give the other the benefit of the doubt in terms of values, the challenge for the next administration will be one of execution rather than reinvention," he noted.

‘Diplopia' In Looking At The Us Elections
The importance of the US elections does not result from the fact that a black man may be elected to the White House. Only 12 percent of the population in the US is black.

Despite this numerical reality, the election of US Democratic presidential candidate's Barack Obama is certainly very important from a sociological point of view, but the importance and influence of US elections is an issue which goes beyond the boundaries of the US and its voters. The US is an important producer of science and art as well as economic wealth. If one is a giant in economy and science, then this undoubtedly means one is a giant as a military power. The US, which will elect a new president on Nov. 4, is such a country. And we, particularly the state bureaucracy, judge the US elections based on the close relations Obama and his vice presidential candidate, Joe Biden, have with the Armenian lobby and whether they will support passage of a bill recognizing Armenian claims of genocide. What is this called if not "diplopia"?
27 October 2008, STAR, ESER KARAKAŞ

Error: Court Halts Internet Freedom In Turkey
The latest in a series of bans on popular Web sites has spurred many to question the future of Internet freedom in Turkey. Turkish Internet users trying to access the popular blog-hosting service blogspot.com get an error message saying that access to the site has been blocked by a court decision, without stating the court ruling or explaining why the service has been banned.

Heavily criticized by several associations and activists advocating freedom of speech and expression, the ban has raised questions as to where Internet freedom in Turkey is headed.

Internet Technologies Association (İTD) President Mustafa Akgül described the latest ban as "black humor," saying it censors people's right to access Internet resources in Turkey. "This ban demonstrates that Turkey has not fully comprehended what the Internet is. There is still a serious taboo on Internet freedom. Bans on Web sites restrict people's right to access Internet resources, and therefore violate the Constitution," he stated.

More than 1,100 Web sites have been blocked since November 2007 in Turkey. Web sites are most often banned on the grounds that they insult the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, contain vulgarity, enable gambling or promote suicide. Many sites have also been banned for crimes covered under the Internet Security Law, but a number of sites are banned for no apparent reason.

"Turkish courts block access to Web sites without warning their management about problematic content in advance. Why do they refrain from cooperating with these sites to remove their problematic content? Further-more, it is possible to ban access to certain content instead of banning the whole Web site, but it necessitates some investment. Why does Turkey avoid doing this? This all proves that we still haven't fully understood what the Internet is for," Akgül went on to say.

Voices have grown louder against restrictions on Internet freedom, particularly following a ban on the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube. YouTube was banned by a controversial court decision in May 2008 for broadcasting videos deemed insulting to Atatürk and the concept of Turkishness, a sensitive issue in Turkey.

Other countries known to frequently ban Web sites include China, Iran, Armenia, Tunisia, Indonesia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Despite widespread discontent with the ban and the emergence of alternate methods to access the site, the YouTube ban still remains in place in Turkey.

Another Turkish Internet association, the Whole Internet Association (TİD), slammed restrictions on media freedom in the country with a statement posted on its Web site.

"Black clouds hang over the Internet in Turkey. Unable to keep in step with changes, bureaucracy and certain units in the judiciary are making regulations that prevent the development of Turkish Internet. ... These regulations conflict with freedom of speech, individual rights and freedoms and the image of a country which wishes to become a part of the modern world and join the European Union," reads the statement titled "Protect Your Internet. Internet is Life."

Turkey is hoping to start soon on two chapters of EU reform work, which deal with media and society. But many say Europe will not be pleased with Turkish Internet regulations, which have been tightened further recently with a law that gives permission to the country's Telecommunications Directorate to close down Web sites based on complaints by individual users.

Young Civilians, a Turkish nongovernmental organization known for its use of sarcasm in protests, is making preparations for a mass reaction against the frequent bans on Web sites.

"We will react against these bans with a mass movement to show that Turkey will not gain anything from making such bans instead of statements or declarations," said a representative from the organization.

Radikal columnist Oral Çalışlar touched on restrictions on Internet freedom in yesterday's column, stressing that blocking access to Web sites abases Turkey.

"The world's largest blog-hosting service has been suspended in Turkey by a court decision. We don't even know when the suspension will end. I protest this ban, saying such decisions abase Turkey in the eyes of the rest of the world and leave us in shame. I am afraid our dreams will even be censored soon," he wrote.

Çalışlar also stated that bans on Web sites should not be deemed extraordinary occurrence in a country where more than 20 political parties have been shut down for a reason or another.

"In a country where the Constitutional Court has disbanded more than 20 parties, a court in [the southeastern province of] Diyarbakır may naturally block access to a blog-hosting service," he said.

Turkey's Constitutional Court has closed down 24 political parties since its establishment in 1962. Most of these decisions were based on constitutional provisions regarding the protection of the integrity of the state and the principles of secularism.

Turkey was rattled by closure cases filed against the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP). The nation heaved a sigh of relief when the top court announced in late July that it would not shut down the AK Party. The court has not made a decision in the case against the DTP, and many say the closure of this party would deal a serious blow to Turkish democracy.

The blogspot.com ban has saddened its frequent visitors, as well, who have made a habit of saving priceless memories in the Web site. İpek Ender, one of the site's many daily visitors, said she was deeply disappointed to hear about the ban as it means, in a sense, losing almost every invaluable memory about her little daughter.

"I have been saving the pictures and videos of my little daughter in my personal blog since the day she was born. I thought I could keep every single thing I experienced as my daughter grew up in this blog and that I could also enable my friends and relatives to follow her development from this page. However, I learned with great disappointment that we would no longer have access to my blog. I strongly denounce the fact that the prohibitory mindset has finally expanded its scope to innocent personal spheres and want an end to this mindset that is incompatible with modern Turkey," she stated.

Another blogspot.com visitor, Özlem Arslan, criticized the court's decision to block access to the Web site and said the problem could have instead been solved by banning the content deemed problematic.

"Why didn't they just block access to unwanted content? I think such bans are ridiculous. They threaten people's freedoms. I keep photos and memories about my young daughter in my blog and make new friends around the world through the site. We discuss ways to overcome difficulties we encounter when bringing up our children. It is embarrassing to think that we will have no access to our blog for a while," she remarked.
27 October 2008,Betül Akkaya Istanbul

The U S Presidential Race by Beril Dedeoğlu @Todayszaman.Com
The US presidential campaign is being watched with excitement in Turkey. The presidential hopefuls and their vice presidential candidates' personalities, pasts and family stories are being scrutinized by the Turkish media.

The main motivation in all this is to predict how US policies on the global level will change and what the future of Turkish-American relations will be. The Turkish public is quite worried about the prospect of a John McCain presidency -- in other words, the continuation of Bush policies, which were considered warlike, quarrelsome and rough. Some also believe that if McCain is elected new wars are inevitable. It is feared that under another Republican president the US will never leave Iraq, where the resistance could turn into a general civil war. The Shiite resistance may grow stronger and the US may be obliged to adopt new measures, such as increasing pressure over Iran. This confusion may push northern Iraq toward independence and thus Turkey will have to be much more involved in the Iraqi swamp.

Moreover, it appears that McCain wants to pursue a containment policy toward Russia, which could put Turkey in a very difficult position, so it's not shocking that there are people in Turkey busy praying for the Democratic candidate to win. Another worrying aspect about McCain is his vice presidential acolyte, because the Alaska governor may one day become president if something happens to McCain, and it is not even certain if she knows, for example, Germany's location on the map, let alone Turkey's.

The majority of Turkish people support Democratic candidate Barack Obama. Because of his skin color, there is an impression that he represents the lower classes; he's expected to develop new policies because he is young and he seems to be pacifist due to his rhetoric. Even if his vice presidential nominee is a hawk, the recent announcement about former Secretary of State Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama's campaign has been well received. As you may recall, Powell left his political family because he could no longer endure the Bush administration. Besides, it sounds good when Obama says he wants to pull American forces out of Iraq as soon as possible, that diplomatic ways must be the priority in dealing with Iran, that Russia is not an enemy but a partner country and that the US and the EU must have closer ties.

We can't know yet if Obama will be able to realize all these pacifist policies because that will only be possible when the interlocutors of the US agree with them. There is also some suspicion about the feasibility of his promises. Moreover, some of his direct and indirect references to Turkey have raised eyebrows. While the Turkish people were thinking that his position on the Armenian issue was nothing but an effort to get the Armenian lobby's votes, they've heard his declarations about Cyprus.

Obama has qualified Turkey as an occupying power on the island. This declaration has sabotaged two separate issues. First, Turkey is now reluctant about trusting him. Second, he broke the balance between the negotiating sides by encouraging the Greek Cypriots. In addition, Obama said he wanted to eradicate the risk of war between Turkey and Greece over Cyprus. It's a shame that he doesn't know such a risk hasn't existed for a very long time. That's why some people in Turkey are concerned: Maybe he will change when he becomes president, but what if his information level about other subjects is like this?

The election's result will be dictated by the Americans themselves, even though their choice will have crucial effects on the whole world. Let's hope peaceful policies prevail in the end.
25 October 2008

International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (IIGHRS)
Press Release CONTACT: Megan Swan October 28, 2008

Genocide Studies and Prevention Special Issue on the Aftermath of Genocide

This special issue of Genocide Studies and Prevention focuses on the aftermath of genocide, a fascinating area within genocide studies which addresses the reality that genocide continues long after the direct killing stops. The issue explores the post-genocidal period in terms of justice in Rwanda, reconciliation in Bosnia and the former Yugoslavia, and the cross-generational impact of denial of the Armenian Genocide.

"The Injustice of Local Justice: Truth, Reconciliation and Revenge in Rwanda" by Jennie E. Burnet, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Louisville, calls into question the issue of justice. Based on extensive fieldwork in Rwanda over the past decade, Burnet finds that the successful functioning of the gacaca courts varies greatly among communities. The most important variable appears to be the character of the "persons of integrity" who serve as both judge and jury in this grassroots court system. It is clear in the short-term, at least, that this local justice initiative has actually increased conflict in local communities and intensified ethnic cleavages now fourteen years after the end of the Rwandan Genocide.

Rupert Brown, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Sussex, England, and Sabina Cehajic, Lecturer in the Political Science Department of the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology in Bosnia and Herzegovina, authored the second article, "Not in My Name: A Social Psychological Study of Antecedents and Consequences of Acknowledgement of In-Group Atrocities." The article explores socio-psychological factors influencing individuals' readiness and willingness to acknowledge Serbian atrocities. Based on in-depth interviews with eighteen Serbians between 1992 and 1995, this study provides essential insights into some Serbian attitudes that will be invaluable for a realistic approach to the rehabilitation of Serbian society and future reconciliation with victims in the former Yugoslavia-and potentially other cases.

The article by Maja Catic, a PhD candidate in the Politics Department at Brandeis University, and former fieldworker in Yugoslavia, delves into the sobering reality that reconciliation between post-genocide parties who are attempting to live in the same state and imagine themselves as part of the same political community is completely different from post-genocide parties who do not have to attempt to live together again. "A Tale of Two Reconciliations: Germans and Jews after World War II and Bosnia after Dayton" argues that the success of German-Jewish reconciliation relies on the fact that the victims and perpetrators did not have to live in the same state in the aftermath of genocide. This challenges the persistent tendency to invoke German-Jewish reconciliation as a viable model for all other post-genocide societies, such as Bosnia.

The groundbreaking article "Cycles of Genocide, Stories of Denial: Atom Egoyan's Ararat" by Donna-Lee Frieze, Research Fellow in the School of History, Heritage and Society at Deakin University, Australia, offers penetrating insights into the denial of genocide and its long-term impact on victims, perpetrators, and their relationships. This extensive analysis of Atom Egoyan's landmark feature film on the Armenian Genocide broaches the complex challenges of representing genocide artistically, hinging on whether the artist conceives genocide to be an isolated historical event or an ongoing reality. Frieze finds Egoyan revealing that the truth of genocide is much more complex, fragmented, and unsettled than is typically understood when genocide is viewed solely in terms of the mass killing. This article is an essential read and invites a revisit to Egoyan's Ararat.

Editor Henry Theriault has done a great service by providing a wide variety of articles illustrating that "the post-genocide period poses a range of great challenges, and genocide casts its shadow across generations."

Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal was co-founded by the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute). The journal's mission is to understand the phenomenon of genocide, create an awareness of it as an ongoing scourge, and promote the necessity of preventing it, for both pragmatic and moral reasons. It is the official journal of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and is published three times a year by the University of Toronto Press.

Turksat 3a Begins Service, Tv Stations Change Frequencies
Turkey's fifth satellite, Turksat 3A, began functioning on Monday, enabling satellite and cable television operator Turksat to offer telecommunication services as well as direct TV broadcasting services over a broader area.

Turksat 3A, which was launched in mid-June, allows Turksat to extend its broadcast to include Turkey, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

Television stations will be broadcasting as usual with the satellite change, but their frequencies will change. For this reason, it will be necessary for broadcasters to repeat an automatic channel search procedure. Subscribers must adjust the frequency settings on their satellite receivers.

Satellite communications expert Emre Dağdeviren said: "Along with a satellite change always comes a change in frequencies. Accordingly, there may be some temporary inconveniences, but these are not lasting problems. … When the frequencies are changed, the frequency settings on the satellite receiver must be adjusted. Televisions stations have been advertising these new frequencies. Users must make the necessary adjustments."

Turksat officials speaking about the details of the new satellite and the new features it would secure said: "With the Turksat 3A, we are reaching a larger capacity and ensuring a larger capacity for the channels that want this. Also, with our new satellite we are able to send out stronger broadcast transmissions. These two developments mean an increase in image quality. … Signals are stronger and more data is transferred, meaning a better quality transmission."

The increase in capacity and signal feed also mean an increase in the services the satellite provides. Those with satellite dish receivers will receive better quality on their screens, while those with antenna receivers will have access to the programming broadcast by the satellite. 29 October 2008, Today’s Zaman İstanbul

Groups Say Web Site Bans Hurt Turkey’s Image
Several Turkish NGOs released the joint statement, emphasizing that Turkey is damaging its prestige by frequently blocking access to various Web sites.

Several Turkish nongovernmental organizations advocating freedom of speech and expression have stressed in a written statement that frequent Web site bans damage Turkey's image abroad.

A large number of NGOs, including the Internet Technologies Association (İTD), Turkish Informatics Association (TBD) and Whole Internet Association (TİD), released the joint statement yesterday, emphasizing that Turkey is damaging its prestige and image in the eyes of other countries by frequently blocking access to various Web sites.

"Our country should get rid of its oppressive and prohibitive approach and fight against harmful content of Web sites in light of the principles of information technology. Bans on Web sites hamper the work of those who wish to introduce Turkey and conduct their personal affairs over the Internet," read the statement.

The statement came in the wake of a ban on popular blog-hosting services blogspot.com and blogger.com. Access to these sites was suspended Friday upon a complaint by Lig TV, the founding broadcaster of the Turkcell Super League. According to the complaint, the two blog-hosting services enabled their users to watch soccer matches without subscribing to the TV station.

The ban received harsh criticism from several associations and activists, who said it was a great mistake to block access to the whole Web site instead of screening out unwanted content.

The NGOs also stressed in their statement that banning Web sites is against the fundamental principles of law and violates the Constitution. "Such bans run against Turkey's aspirations to become a democratic and information society and join the EU," the statement read.

The statement also criticized the fact that the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube has remained banned for almost six months. YouTube was banned by a controversial court decision in May for broadcasting videos deemed insulting to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, and the concept of Turkishness, a sensitive issue in Turkey.

Despite widespread discontent with the ban and the emergence of alternate methods to access the site, the YouTube ban still remains in place. In the meantime, Telecommunications Board President Tayfun Acarer said yesterday that the YouTube ban problem can be solved if the Web site creates a version unique to Turkey.

"In this way, we can block access to undesired content on the Web site," he said. Acarer also noted Turkey will not be the first country to have access to YouTube via a specific network. YouTube officials have established similar Web site versions with specific extensions in 20 countries. Acarer also said Turkey bans Web sites mainly for two reasons: They insult Atatürk or promote child pornography.

Many Web sites are also banned on the grounds that they contain vulgarity, enable gambling, promote suicide or are involved in other crimes covered under the Internet Security Law.
29 October 2008, TODAY'S ZAMAN

Aide To Turkish Prime Minister: “we Are Waiting For Armenians With Open Arms”[ 28 Oct 2008 ]
Ankara – APA. “We are not enemies with Armenians and do not regard them as threat. We want to establish all possible best relations with Armenia. We want to establish good relations with all Armenians in the world, no matter where they live in Los Angeles or in Paris. We expect them to support the process, not impede it. We are waiting for Armenians with open arms,” Ahmet Davutoglu, the chief foreign policy aide to Turkey’s Prime Minister said in his interview to Hurriyet newspaper. Taking a stance on Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s interview to BBC Turkish service Ahmet Davutoglu said they were ready to solve all the problems with Armenia. Asked about Azerbaijan’s concerns the aide said:
“Improvement of our bilateral relations will have influence on the Nagorno Karabakh issue,” he said.

Edward Nalbandian said in his interview to BBC Turkish service that there was no obstacle in normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations.
“First we expect diplomatic relations to be established and borders to be opened. We want intergovernmental commission to be set up to discuss all the problems between the two sides,” he said.

Blogger.com Is Accessible Again
The Diyarbakır Court lifted the ban on blogger.com, one of the biggest blog services in the internet, four days later, until all the evidence is collected.

Bia News Center - Diyarbakir, 28-10-2008

The 1st Criminal Court of First Instance of Diyarbakır has lifted the ban on blogger.com and thus freed the blogs, the internet journals.

According to ntvmsnbc, the decision to lift the ban on the blogs affiliated with blogger.com and blogspot.com went into effect yesterday (October 27).

Today, the internet users witnessed the lifting up of the ban gradually.

Google’s blogger.com and blogspot.com, which provide free internet journal keeping, had become inaccessible in Turkey since October 24. The internet users, the freedom of expression defenders and the telecommunications organizations had been protesting the decision that banned the blogs.

Blogger.com is one of the most visited ten internet sites. It has millions of blog users.

Until all the evidence is collected
The ntvmsnbc report says the ban was lifted until all the evidence is collected.

The decision had come after Digiturk TV Platform Company had filed a complaint about some internet sites broadcasting scenes from soccer games over which the Digituk has the sole right. The court had implemented the Law on Intellectual and Artistic Works in reaching its decision. (TK/TB)

Atatürk’s Prophesies: Why Douglas Macarthur Believed In Them Too?
October 28th, 2008 Stories compiled By Prof. Mahmut Esat Ozan

It was on November 24, 1935 that Mustafa Kemal, the first president of the young Turkish Republic, was given the name of ATATÜRK by the Grand National Assembly. He had led his people through war into self-government and finally into an entirely new way of life. He had been their teacher, adviser, as well as the father of the entire nation, since the word “Ata” in Turkish means just that.

That same year a young American General, called Douglas MacArthur, came from thousands of miles away to pay homage to his idol, the great Mustafa Kemal Pasha, who had started to use his official name of Atatürk a short time earlier.

General MacArthur visited Atatürk and had long conversations with him concerning the gathering clouds of war in Europe. In one of these conversations, Atatürk said: “The Versailles peace settlement will not end the reasons that started the World War. It has deepened the gap between nations, for there were centuries that imposed peace and forced the stipulations upon those who were defeated. Versailles was settled under the influence of hatred and was an expression of revenge. It went beyond the meaning of an armistice. If you Americans had decided not to be involved in European events and had followed up President Wilson’s suggestions, this period would have been longer, but the result of the settlement would have been peace. Just as the period of settlement would have been longer, the hatred and revenge would have been lessened and lasting peace would have been possible.” [Editor's note: The Americans were indeed involved with the War after 1916, but after the War the public opinion in the U.S. changed. The Senate did not ratify the Versailles Treaty. America minded its own business. The Wilson principles were distorted by the British and the French to suit their own purposes, which of course sawed the seeds of World War II] Atatürk continued to prophesy: “To my understanding, just as it happened yesterday, the future of Europe will be dependent upon Germany. That nation is dynamic and disciplined. If Germany unites, it will seek to shake off the yoke of the Versailles Treaty. Germany, Russia, and England will have a strong army to conquer Europe. The next war will come from 1940 to 1945. France has lost the spirit of creating a powerful army, and therefore, England will not depend upon France to protect herself. France will no longer be a buffer state. “Italy will improve, somewhat, under Mussolini. He will first try to avoid war, if he can. But I fear that he will try to play the role of Caesar and it will prove to the World that Italy cannot produce a powerful army yet.”

“America will not be able to avoid war and Germany will be defeated only through her interference. If authorities in Europe do not get together on the basis of controversies of political contacts and try to placate their own hatreds and interests, it will be tragic.”

“The Troubles of England, France, and Germany will not come first or be of primary importance. Something new from the East of Europe has come up that will take primary place of importance. This new threat will spend whatever is available in its resources for international revolution. This power will utilize new political methods to achieve these goals. These methods are not known by Americans and Europeans and this power will try to make use of our small mistakes and the mistakes of Western nations.”

“The victorious power after the war between 1940 and 1945 will not be England, France, or Germany, but Bolshevism. Being closest to Russia and having had many wars with her in the past, Turkey is watching Russia closely and sees the whole danger developing. Russia knows how to influence and awaken the minds of Eastern countries, and how to give them ideas of nationalism. Russia has encouraged hatred towards the West. Bolshevism is getting to be a power and a great threat to Europe and Asia.”

After listening with great awe, General MacArthur replied to Atatürk, “I agree with you all the way. The political authorities of Western countries do not see the danger coming up. That bothers me too. By this we are pulled toward a war which would be fruitful to an entirely strange enemy. While Europe is busy in Europe, I am sure that enemy will spread to Asia too, the reason being Japan will try to fulfill her ambition to be the only great Asiatic power, while we are preoccupied in Europe. America cannot stay out of it. Whether we like it or not, Russia will try to enlarge her influence in Asia. If our political leaders will have understanding, they will not let Russia become our ally. That will cost considerable loss of land. Russia will get a big slice of Asia. Instead we should have her land, O.K.,… otherwise we will be helping a new danger. Any war we go into therefore, with Russia on our side, will not put an end to the European situation nor the Asiatic troubles (Perhaps MacArthur thought that Russia would receive war reparations in Asia rather than in the European continent.)

General MacArthur also touched on other matters relating to a possible gain of communism in China and Manchuria. He also reiterated that the future of the World would be decided in Asia and not in Europe.

When the conversation ended, Atatürk smiled and said, “Our points of view are almost the same, but let us hope we see it all incorrectly and that the leaders of the other nations will come up with a better result for the whole World.”

As we all know by now, Atatürk’s hope has not been realized. The savior of Turkey, the great Atatürk died, just before his predictions came true one after the other.

M. Study Slater, the author of the book THE GOLDEN LINK [M. Study Slater, The Exposition Press, Inc. NY (1962)] from whose pages these prophesies were gleaned, says, “If we look at General MacArthur, the experience, and the last twenty or thirty years and the influence of Atatürk upon him will afford us a better opinion of why he insisted upon certain points and his decisive attitude during the Korean War.” We might add to that statement another reason why General MacArthur was so very laudatory about the courage of the Turkish Brigade fighting side by side, with the American GI’s there.”

In a relatively short period of time, the dreaded predictions of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and of General Douglas MacArthur, began to take form. The author continues: Benito Mussolini threatened the Mediterranean, and the poor imitation of Caesar started to strut in Ethiopia and Albania. In Germany, Adolf Hitler, a former Austrian wallpaper hanger, was successfully organizing juvenile and adult delinquents into a Third Reich, while Japan swept into Pacific Islands and Southern Asia. Joseph Stalin gathered hungry peasants into a large army and sent an octopus-like network of espionage agents into every country of the world to convert the self-martyred into communism. Mustafa Kemal assigned his friend Ismet Inonu and Fevzi Cakmak to help in building Turkey’s defenses along the Asian border and the Caucasus steppes.

Within Turkey Atatürk did not tolerate the Mullahs’ constant threats to revolt against the newly established secular republic. Most were imp-risoned, some executed, such as the fanatical religious reactionaries who butchered Lieutenant Kubilay in the city of Menemen near Izmir.

Atatürk also chased back to the Soviet Union, the Kurds and the Armenians, who were undeniably Communism’s riot-inciting agents in Turkey. The European and American media of the time, quite reminiscent of our contemporary bleeding-heats, such as the Amnesty International and the Helsinki Watch Human Rights ‘brokers’ as I call them, thundered accusations at the terrible Turks for ‘persecuting’ these poor defenseless people. “Defenseless!” screamed Atatürk, “Their persecuted defenseless hypocrisy is just what makes them dangerous. Have the Americans forgotten their own revolution?”

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk realized that his immortality was assured through the love of his people and his historic role in new democratic Turkey. However, consciousness of this fact did not at all change the conduct of his life. His first asset was his belief in society, and though he fought directly for the nation, he always indirectly fought for human kind, of which he was an excellent example.

Ataturk Should Be Taught At U.S. Schools- Senator
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, should be taught to American children at schools, the Anatolian Agency quoted a U.S. senator as saying.

"Ataturk is one of the most valuable leaders in the 21st century. The children in the United States know nothing about such a big leader. He should be taught at schools, take part in history books," U.S. Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel said during a speech at a session organized by the American-Turkish Council in Washington, D.C.

Ataturk had played a leading role in shaping today's world, he also said, reminding that Turkey would celebrate the 85th anniversary of foundation of the republic on Oct. 29.

Hagel added that Turkish-U.S. relations had great importance for the world and the United States should enhance its relations with Turkey. AA

"Armenians Burnt Alive By Turkish Soldiers" A1+ 24 October, 2008
Recently, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute's efforts towards collection of new data on the Armenian genocide have experienced great success with the enrichment of AGMI's collection of documentary photographs. The most recent discovery is a photo testifying of the Armenian Genocide and in particular the massacres of the Armenian population in the region of Mush.

The photograph has been acquired by the AGMI and was captured by Russian soldiers on the Caucasus front in 1915. It portrays the remains of the Armenian villagers who were burnt alive during the massacres of Mush.

This photograph is one of a kind. It is one of the well preserved photos discovered in an album called, "Album of refugees" published in Tiflis (1917). The album is consisted from 62 unique photos that demonstrate the events of the Armenian Genocide. However, only a few of the original 62 have survived and most of them are in dire conditions.

Nonetheless, the authenticity of the "Album of refugees" is demonstrated through the validity and great condition of this unique photo. On the back of this picture is a quote in Russian stating; "Armenians burnt alive in Sheykhalan by Turkish soldiers". Furthermore, the photo is marked with the number 74, which indicates the existence of a larger collection of photographs captured by Russian soldiers during WWI.

Hence, the AGMI is adamant in locating the remaining photos of this collection which will sturdily assist the Institute's efforts to demonstrate the complete picture of the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkish President Separates Armenian Issue From Relations With Armenia 25.10.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkish President Abdullah Gul said his country wants to develop relations with Armenia.

"Armenia and Turkey are neighbor states and hatred should not be disseminated among their publics," Gul said in an interview with France24, independent French journalist Jean Eckian told PanARMENIAN.Net.

At that he noted that he separates the Armenian issue from relations with Armenia.

Commenting on his position on the Armenian Genocide, Gul said, "All were in a state of war at that time. But our Armenian citizens defected to the enemy while our troops fought on three fronts."

"We opened all our files, even the most secret ones. So, let historians study the issue," he added.

Turkey: Another Ally Lost
Over the past six years the Bush administration, aided and abetted by Congress, has trashed what used to be described as American foreign policy. Foreign policy once was shaped around the U.S. national interest, but no longer. Vulnerable key allies such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are now struggling to deal with the consequences of a U.S.-inspired rush to democracy that has advanced a flawed, ideologically driven agenda. Russia was nearly a friend and is now again an enemy. Afghanistan is a corrupt narco-state where the Taliban is making a comeback and President Hamid Karzai is referred to as the King of Kabul because his writ runs no farther. The less said about Iraq the better. But amid all of the missteps and poor policy choices, the loss of Turkey stands apart because Turkey was a close friend and loyal ally of the United States when 9/11 took place. Nearly everything has gone wrong between Washington and Ankara, with the Turkish public’s favorable assessment of the U.S. plummeting from 52 percent to 8 percent. And it did not have to happen.

Turkey actively supported the first Gulf War against Saddam Hussein. In February 2002 Ankara provided troops for the multinational International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) sent to occupy Afghanistan, commanding ISAF twice for a total of 14 months, but the relationship began to sour in 2002 when the United States was confronted by political change in Turkey that it did not know how to handle. Already actively planning to attack Iraq, the U.S. government sent a team to Ankara on July 14, 2002, to negotiate terms for Turkey’s participation in a possible military action. The team was headed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, a former ambassador to Turkey. Both Grossman and Wolfowitz were also strong advocates of the Turkey-Israel military relationship, which gave Tel Aviv a powerful ally in a Muslim country and guaranteed that the U.S. Congress would look benignly on Ankara.

The Turkish government appeared to be willing to accept an agreement in exchange for a large financial aid package, but on Nov. 3, 2002, parliamentary elections in Turkey replaced incumbent Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit with Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the moderately Islamic Justice and Development Party (AK). Wolfowitz and Grossman returned to Turkey to negotiate with the new government. Erdogan was definitely interested, if only to convince his critics within the Turkish establishment and army that he was supportive of the Western alliance, but polls taken in Turkey indicated that fully 87 percent of the public opposed war against Iraq. Many recalled the 1991 Gulf War, in which Turkey had to absorb more than half a million refugees and suffered severe economic dislocation, including a currency collapse. The Turks also believed that the U.S. was seeking to guarantee the security of Israel by stopping a Muslim country from having either weapons of mass destruction or the means to deliver them. It was noted with some concern in the Turkish media that the spokesmen for the war policy were all neoconservatives closely tied to Tel Aviv, notably Wolfowitz, Grossman, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, and Harold Rhode, and that the Israel lobby in Washington had promoted the plans to attack Iraq.

The Turkish General Staff, a major player in all foreign policy decisions, was also cool to the war, harboring suspicions that a U.S. intervention in Iraq would lead to the creation of an independent Kurdish state. Wolfowitz appealed to the generals directly on his second visit, bypassing the government and apparently suggesting that they might want to overrule the civilians, something dangerously close to a coup d’etat. The army expressed concern that if Turkey wound up having to carry out a long occupation of the Kurdish region due to American failure to successfully stabilize Iraq, the financial and human costs would be unacceptably high.

As has frequently been the case, Washington, blind to many of the real issues that were fueling Turkish reluctance, tried to buy cooperation. Negotiations continued up to the last minute. Eventually the Turkish leadership and the U.S. agreed on a package consisting of $6 billion in immediate aid plus $24 billion in credits, but the open horse trading did not help sell the product, as many parliamentarians objected to the idea that they could be bought. Fifty thousand peace demonstrators marched in Ankara during the acrimonious parliamentary debate in which one deputy fainted and another suffered a heart attack. The actual vote finally took place on March 1, and the resolution failed to carry by three votes.

The parliamentary rejection was soon followed by a particularly unfortunate choice for U.S. ambassador to Turkey. In July 2003 Eric S. Edelman was named to the post and quickly became confrontational about Turkey’s failure to support the American agenda. The abrasive Edelman was accused of acting “more like a colonial governor than an ambassador. … [He] is probably the least-liked and trusted American ambassador in Turkish history.” A petition that received thousands of signatures was circulated demanding that he be declared persona non grata and expelled from the country.

Edelman was not helped by press coverage coming from the U.S., which was followed closely and frequently replayed in Turkey. On Feb. 16, 2005, Robert Pollock’s “The Sick Man of Europe – Again” claimed that “Islamism and leftism add up to anti-American madness in Turkey.” A March 23, 2005, conference on Turkey at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute featured Pollock, Richard Perle, and Michael Rubin, all of whom had been harshly criticizing Ankara’s policies in the U.S. media. The Turkish press reciprocated with accounts of American atrocities in Iraq. A spectacularly best-selling novel, Metal Storm, described a United States invasion of Turkey and was reportedly much read by senior politicians and military officers, while the most popular locally made movie in Turkish history, Valley of the Wolves, showed a Jewish American Army doctor harvesting Iraqi prisoner of war organs for shipment to Tel Aviv, London, and New York.

On March 20, 2005, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld poured gasoline on the fire, blaming Turkey for the consequences of its refusal to permit an attack on Iraq from the north, saying, “Given the level of the insurgency today, two years later, clearly if we had been able to get the 4th Infantry Division in from the north … more of the … Ba’athist regime would have been captured or killed.” Had Turkey cooperated, Rumsfeld added, “The insurgency today would have been less.”

The U.S. also proved to be spectacularly insensitive regarding the Kurdish issue. Turkey became the most anti-American nation on earth when on July 4, 2003, American forces in Iraq briefly detained Turkish special forces soldiers pursuing escaping PKK terrorists. The U.S. troops put the Turks in the same restraints and hoods as Iraqi prisoners, creating an image that still evokes anger among Turks and which was recreated in Valley of the Wolves.

Turks believe that though the U.S. claims it is fighting terrorists worldwide, it has ignored the PKK attacks that started in 1984 and have cost of over 35,000 lives and $6 billion to $8 billion in security costs per year. The problem is very real for Turkey and something it can ill afford, but Washington is clearly not listening. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice promised Ankara on at least three occasions that she would do something about the terrorism problem but did nothing. Former Gen. Joseph Ralston was sent to the region as a special emissary on the PKK problem in September 2006 with a White House and State Department pledge of “total commitment” to find a solution. Nothing was done and Ralston quickly found that he had no support from Washington. He resigned in early October 2007.

The final blow to U.S.-Turkish relations came with the pointless Armenian genocide resolution, which sailed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee in early October 2007. The resolution was described by both the White House and State Department as harmful to the national interest but passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee when seven Democrats who had previously blocked such resolutions because of their support for the Turkey-Israel relationship switched their votes to provide the margin of victory. Committee Chairman Tom Lantos of California led the switch, expressing the need for “solidarity with the Armenian people” while acknowledging that a breach with Turkey could “cause young men and women in the uniform of the United States armed services to pay an even heavier price than they are currently paying.” Lantos reportedly was angry with the Turkish government for its rapprochement with Syria and Iran, and his vote was intended “to punish Ankara” even though he conceded that the killing of the Armenians did not amount to genocide. Given the Israeli connection to the genocide resolution, the Turks believed that insult had been added to injury when the White House dispatched Dan Fried, assistant secretary of state for European affairs, and the ever unpopular Eric Edelman in his new role as undersecretary of defense for policy to Ankara to attempt to ease Turkish anger over the congressional vote. Both were regarded as primarily advocates for Israel. The meetings also could not have been more poorly timed, as 15 Turkish soldiers had been killed by the PKK in the previous week.

New Film Follows A Witness To History Us Ambassador Reported Genocide Of The Armenians by Leslie Brokaw
The Boston Globe October 19, 2008

New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau is the man best known for the criminal case he built against Tyco International CEO Dennis Kozlowski, who was convicted in 2005 of stealing $150 million from the global manufacturing firm.

After the decision, Morgenthau wrote, "This verdict is an endorsement of the principle of equal justice under the law. Crimes committed in corporate offices will be treated according to the same standards as other crimes."

The concept of equal justice is hardwired into the Morgenthau bloodline. His grandfather, Henry Morgenthau, was the US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916, and in that role he was witness to the rise of nationalism in Turkey and the deportation and massacre of Armenians. Henry Morgenthau brought news of the genocide to the US government, which declined to get involved. He published his accounts in 1918 as "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story" and dedicated himself to providing privately funded resettlement help to Armenian and Greek orphans and other refugees.

Morgenthau is a hero in the Armenian community, and his story has been given a new telling in the documentary "The Morgenthau Story," by Peabody filmmaker Apo Torosyan.

Torosyan is a native of Istanbul whose father was Armenian and whose mother was Greek. He came to Boston in 1968 and launched a visual design company; he sold the company in 1987 and devoted his full attention to art - drawing and painting first, then multimedia. He pulled from his family history: his grandparents, who starved during the Armenian genocide; his father, who as a 5-year-old child had to look through garbage cans for food.

In 2003, Torosyan picked up a camera. He visited Edincik, a Turkish village where his father grew up, and made his first movie, "My Father's Village." "Voices" and "Witnesses" followed; both are collections of interviews with Armenian survivors.

That brought him to Henry Morgenthau's story, one of the few bright lights in a sea of darkness.

Interviewed in the 56-minute film are Henry Morgenthau III, born in 1917 and the grandson of Ambassador Morgenthau. He's a television producer who spent the later part of his career at WGBH-TV. District Attorney Robert Morgenthau also appears, as well as Dr. Pamela Steiner, the ambassador's great-granddaughter and a senior fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and project director of HHI's Inter-Communal Violence and Reconciliation Project, where she focuses on improving the relationship between Turkish and Armenian populations.

Last month, Torosyan traveled to Athens for the world premiere of his film at the Cultural Center of Constantinopolitans.

"I felt on top of the world," says Torosyan of the trip. Over 200 people attended the gathering, which included discussions about Morgenthau and about current reconciliation efforts.

"I told the crowd how proud I was with my Turkish and Kurdish friends," he says. Their ancestors may have killed his, but people today are open to talking about the injustice. "Let us hope and not hate."

"The Morgenthau Story" will screen at a half dozen venues in the region over the next month including Salem State College on Monday and Endicott College, in Beverly, on Friday; the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, in Belmont, on Nov. 6; and Studio Cinema, in Belmont, on Nov. 10. Visit www.aramaifilms.com.

NETWORKING EVENT: The Massachusetts Production Coalition holds its Fall Member Meeting on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Boston University Photonics Center on St. Mary's Street. The program includes a legislative update from state film office executive director Nick Paleologos and IATSE local 481 manager Chris O'Donnell, a presentation about the state tax credit by Powderhouse Productions president Tug Yourgrau, and production insurance info from Jerome Guerard. Details are at www.massprodcoalition.com.

SILVA ON SCREEN: A lot of the time, Jeff Daniel Silva is on the planning side of film events: He curates the Balagan Film Series that's held at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. But Silva is a filmmaker, too, and the region is finally getting to see what audiences at MoMA in New York City got to view last February: his latest work.

"Balkan Rhapsodies" will be at the Harvard Film Archive tomorrow at 7 p.m., with Silva attending. He'll also present footage from a work-in-process.

Silva says he was the first US citizen to visit Serbia in the weeks after the NATO bombing campaign in 1999. The people he met there, he says, were caught between a rock and a hard place: a government they didn't like and bombs that were not making their lives any easier.

The subtitle of his film is "78 Measures of War," a reference to the 78 days of bombings. For more details, call 617-495-4700 or visit www.hcl.harvard.edu/hfa.

CONVERSATIONS WITH: Mel Stuart, director of the original "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," will be at the BU Cinematheque on Thursday and Friday at 7 both evenings. The talk will be politics, however, not chocolate. Thursday he'll be presenting his "Making of the President 1960" (1963), which looked at John Kennedy's victory over Richard Nixon, and Friday he'll be presenting his "Making of the President 1968" (1969), which documented Robert Kennedy's assassination, the Chicago riots, and marches against the war in Vietnam. That's at the BU College of Communication at 640 Commonwealth Avenue, Room B-05.

German filmmaker Doris Dorrie will be at the Museum of Fine Arts on Friday and next Sunday, the Wasserman Cinematheque at Brandeis University on Saturday, and the Goethe-Institut Boston on Oct. 28 as part of a partial retrospective of her work presented by the institute. Included are a collection of her comedies and relationship films from 1985 through this year. Details are at www.goethe.de/boston.

SCREENING OF NOTE: The Coolidge Corner Theatre's Europe's Grand Opera series, which presents high definition versions of current productions, usually meets just once a month on a Sunday morning www.coolidge.org

Armenian Premier Discusses Turkish Ties, Karabakh With Usa's Rice Mediamax October 16, 2008 Armenia
Yerevan, 16 October: U.S. Administration attaches importance to normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan stated in Yerevan today.

Mediamax reports that, speaking at a news conference in Yerevan today [16 October] following the results of his visit to Washington, Armenian Prime Minister stated that during his meeting with U.S. Vice-President Richard Cheney and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, they discussed the prospects of continuing the "football diplomacy" between Armenia and Turkey.

Besides, the Prime Minister noted that they also discussed the prospects of Karabakh conflict settlement. According to Tigran Sargsyan, Head of U.S. Diplomacy stressed that OSCE Minsk Group remains the most efficient format for the settlement. U.S Secretary of State also expressed hope that after the presidential election in Azerbaijan, it will become possible to mark serious progress in the negotiation process, Tigran Sargsyan stated

The Jamestown Foundation Holds A Discussion On "Are Turkish-Armenian Relations About To Take Off?"
The Washington Daybook October 15, 2008

LOCATION: The Jamestown Foundation, 1111 16 Street NW, Suite 320, Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: 202-483-8888 [Note: RSVP required to rsvp-oct15@jamestown.org with your name and affiliation.]

PARTICIPANTS: Jamestown Foundation President Glen Howard; European Stability Initiative Senior Analyst Diba Nigar Goksel; Armen Kharazian, Washington-based security consultant on the South Caucasus; and Paul Goble, director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku

Conference On Armenian Cultural Heritage In Turkey Due In Brussels Nov. 13 24.10.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian General Benevolent Union Europe will host a conference in the European Parliament on the rediscovery of Armenians and of Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey on November 13.

The conference is open to all and is part of the official European Year for Intercultural Dialogue. It will review the recent public debate in Turkey on the country’s forgotten Armenian heritage in the light of recent groundbreaking artistic and intellectual contributions in Turkey itself. It will also examine the significance of Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey from a European perspective, the AGBU told PanARMENIAN.Net.

Speakers at the conference will include Fethiye Cetin, author of the book "My Grandmother", Osman Koker, creator of the groundbreaking exhibition "My Dear Brother", art historian Professor Patrick Donabedian as well as historian Vahe Tachjian and historian and publisher Ara Sarafian.
Keene State Genocide Awareness Lecture: 'Genocides In Comparative Perspective'
Targeted News Service, October 20, 2008
Keene State College issued the following news release:

Professor Donald Bloxham will give Keene State College Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies' 2nd Annual Genocide Awareness Lecture: "Genocides in Comparative Perspective: Does the Holocaust Fit?" on Monday, October 27. The lecture is free and open to the public and will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room of Keene State College's L. P. Young Student Center.

An expert in Holocaust and genocide studies, with focused work on the Armenian genocide, Bloxham is professor of modern history at the University of Edinburgh and has authored nearly 50 articles and book chapters. He is co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Genocide and serves on the editorial board of the journals Holocaust Studies, Patterns of Prejudice, and the Journal of Genocide Research.

Professor Bloxham was the 2007-08 J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he completed his forthcoming book, The Final Solution: A Genocide and Its Contexts. He is the recipient of the 2007 Raphael Lemkin Award for genocide scholarship.

The Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies, recognized as a "center of excellence" by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, has a strong collection of print and media resources, holds a biennial residential summer institute for educators, and supports a minor in Holocaust studies at Keene State College.

One of the nation's oldest Holocaust resource centers, it is a nonsectarian organization dedicated to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust. It fulfills founder Dr. Charles Hildebrandt's charge, "to remember ... and to teach," through annual community programming and educational outreach activities.

For a schedule of workshops, in-service training, classroom presentations, and individual curriculum consultations, visit www.keene.edu/cchs.

Negotiations Between Ankara And Yerevan Will Continue "Noiselessly" AZG Armenian Daily, 23/10/2008
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan announced in an interview to Turkish NTV channel that negotiations between Ankara and Yerevan would continue "noiselessly".

"The diplomatic relations with Armenia started last year. Turkish President Abdullah Gul's visit to Yerevan transformed it into political dialogue. But as both societies are sensitive about it, we will continue the talks noiselessly", he said.

To the question, if a meeting of the two Foreign Ministers is anticipated in the framework of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation's session in Tirana, Babacan answered that in case of Armenian Foreign Minister's participation in the session, they don't exclude the meeting of the two Foreign Ministers, "Armenpress" reported.

Press Freedom In Armenia Decreased AZG Armenian Daily 23/10/2008
Press freedom in Armenia has decreased markedly over the past year, an international media rights group said on Wednesday, pointing to a temporary ban on independent news reporting imposed by the Armenian Government in March, Azatutyun reported. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) put Armenia in 102nd place in its latest World Press Freedom Index covering 173 nations. Armenia ranked 77th in the previous RSF survey released a year ago.

RSF found an even shaper deterioration of the situation with media freedom in neighboring Georgia which the United States and the European Union regard as the most democratic and liberal of the three South Caucasus states. Georgia, which went through a state of emergency in November 2007 and a brief war with Russia last August, slipped 54 places to 120th in the survey. Azerbaijan fared even worse, falling from 139th to 150th spot in the rankings.

Courts Of Independence: Amaseia 1921, By Anastasia Rentou, info@macedonian.com.au
American Chronicle October 23, 2008 CA
Australian Macedonian Advisory Council

The Extermination Of The Religious, Intellectual And Political Leadership Of The Greeks Of Pontus
Salonika 2008
The Historical Leadup

The first part of the 20th century has been stigmatised by three major genocides: the Jewish, the Armenian and that of the Greeks of Pontus, Asia Minor and Thrace. However the genocide of the Greeks of Pontus has the following particularities. As opposed to the genocide of the Jews, the genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor and in particular the genocide of Pontus, a vast array of extermination methods were employed.(1) Also, the genocide in Pontus became a holocaust. In other words, this minority knowing full well the cruelty and satanism of the Turk, didn't transpire into an ´easy' genocide. The Pontus Greeks resisted vigourously, and therefore the genocide eventuated into a holocaust. (2)

The undisputable crime of the Genocide of the Greeks of Pontus took place between the years 1914 and 1923. The extermination of the Christians of Asia Minor was made official with the confidential documents of the Minister of Internal Affairs Talaat towards Vali's (prefectures) of Anatolia, the first victims being the Armenians: "There is to be a complete forfeit of the right in work and in general life of all Armenians living within the Turkish territory. The government has the complete and exclusive responsibility for this issue. Not even the children are to be excluded.".

Even more explicit was another written document which was saved in it's entirety to evidence this. . It was an order which was dispatched on the 14th of May 1914, undersigned by the Minister of Internal Affairs Talaat Pasha and the Director of of the same ministry Hilmi Bey. The objective now, wasn't the Armenians but the Greeks. In the meantime the Neo Turks had the following to say "The Greeks in many regions constitute the majority, which may turn out to be dangerous. They must be forced to abandon their homes and be transported to the prefecture of Erzerum, Erntitzan and elsewhere. . This is imposed for military but also political reasons. If they refuse to vacate their regions, give directives and use all means unbecoming".

In other parts of the document which gave ´directives' on how the genocide would be accomplished, it was boldly stressed that: "Before they abandon their regions, force the Greeks to sign certificates in which they declare that they are abandoning their residences willingly, and at their own initiative. This is necessary, so that they don't have any political rights at a later date". (3)

Having taken into account therefore the likely repercussions from the International community, the Turks decided that by this means, they could cover up the crimes they were soon to commit..

From 1914 onwards, there was a declaration for the mobilisation of Christians, which resulted in the "placement of Christians in separate unarmed military units, the "work battalions". The primary aim of these battalions was to do hard labour primarily in the building of roads and other such work, however the work continued only as far as the body and the mind allowed it to" (4). At the same, the death marches to the interior were initiated. The pretext used was that they were for superior military reasons. As a result they were termed the "white deaths". As the Metropolite Germanos Karavaggelis recounts "... after the extermination of the Armenians... the time now came for the Greeks. Since however the news of the deportations soon reached the European and American press... the Turks did not in the beginning dare to proceed with the massive slaughters, but continued with the deportations/white deaths (le massacre blanc). In 1916 the displacements of the Greeks began with its primary aim being death from hunger and hardship". The first phase of the genocide thus ceases with the end of the First World War, however the Kemalist period that began in 1919 and which signalled the arrival of Kemal Ataturk at the port of Samsunda (Samsun) on the 19th of May of the same year,(5) still proves to be harder and more inhumane. The slaughters henceforth become part of everyday routine, and the exiles continued.

In the period 1920-1921, Pontus is ravaged by death and despair to such a degree, the deportations and massacres having intensified to such a degree and with such intensity, that "the entire scheme of ethnic cleansing had openly taken the form of a complete genocide. It's important to note the fact that the crimes committed by the Turks between 1920-21, were admitted by seniors in the Ottoman Administration,who had direct knowledge of exactly what was happening in Pontus."(6)

The following reports paint a harrowing picture as to the dire seriousness during this time period:

"Throughout the entire Spring of 1920 the slaughters had become a daily occurrence".(7)

"On the 30th of April the Kemalists attacked the village Kioseli, in the province of Tokat. The leader of the large gang was Karamistich. This evil man was a convict in the prisons of Tokat, serving a life sentence. Along with 10 other criminals, he had been released 5 months earlier, by the direct command of Kemal Ataturk himself. The Kemalist powers have turned all their criminal towards the defenceless Greek villagers of the region".(8)

"Those unfortunate Greeks who in certain regions had survived the previous orders to leave their towns and villages, now found death in their own homes, where they were now being set upon by raging Kemalists."(9)

"On the15th of June 1921 the main executioner of the Pontian Greeks, Topal Osman invaded the villages of Erpaa, slaughtering the entire unarmed Greek population."(10)

"On that fateful summer, 5 groups of unarmed civilians departed on course to their eventual death, from Trapezounta and Kerasounta. Each group being marched out in long columns made up of 500 civilians each. Their destination was far away Malateia which was located in the interior of Anatolia, a place which they arrived at in December of 1921. Very few survived these death marches. In the same period, over 7000 Pontian Greeks had died of hunger and exposure in Harpout. A document which was sent to the Greek administration in Smyrna on the 30th of December of the same year (1921), made mention that the Labor Batallions had ended; of the 3000 Pontian Greek who were in Harpout, only 30 survived. And in Sebasteia, of the 8000 lives there, approximately 300 survived. A similar situation existed in the whole of Anatolia.".(11)

And while the population of Pontus was being massacred in numerous ways, the anti-Greek sentiment amongst the Turks who were perpetrating this crime was being supported by the religious, the intellectual and also the political leadership. George Kandilaptis-Kanis, a schoolteacher and journalist who lived through the tragic moments of the Genocide, recalls the following: "When the cowardly English and French troups abandoned Anatolia and the Greeks raised the blue and white flag at the bastions of Eski-Sehir and Ousakiou, the barbaric and dishonest Turkish Government began employing its centuries old program. That of the extermination of Anatolian Hellenism. It commenced the Independence Courts in Amaseia with the pretext of destroying the initiators of the Pontus question, but primarily its aim was to destroy the flourishing Greek communities of Pontus, in other words the tradesmen, the lawyers, the doctors, the pharmacists, school teachers, priests and journalists".(12)

to be continued....

(1) Tsirkinidis, Genocide p. 125
(2)Tsirkinidis, Genocide p68
(3) Karkaletsis, The Pontian Freedom Fight p.17
(4) Tsirkinidis, Genocide p.88
(5) Karkaletsis, The Pontian Freedom Fight p.25
(6) Karkaletsis, The Pontian Freedom Fight p.26
(7) Karkaletsis, The Pontian Freedom Fight p.27
(8) Karkaletsis, The Pontian Freedom Fight p.27
(9) Karkaletsis, The Pontian Freedom Fight p.28
(10) Karkaletsis, The Pontian Freedom Fight p.30
(11) Karkaletsis, The Pontian Freedom Fight p.32
(12) Kandilaptis, Miscellanies p.38-39

Russia Accuses Turkey Of Violating Montreux Convention By Alexander Murinson (10/15/2008 CACI Analyst)
In order to demonstrate its growing presence in the Black Sea and express support for Georgia, NATO sent a small flotilla of warships through the Turkish Straits in late August in the wake of the Russian-Georgian hostilities. The flotilla comprised of three American warships and support vessels from Spain, Germany and Poland. Moscow has subsequently accused Turkey of breaching the 1936 Montreux Convention, an allegation that may have consequences for Turkey’s energy security.

BACKGROUND: The Turkish Straits, comprising of Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus, are in the Turkey’s territorial waters. As the sovereign over the Straits, Turkey is entrusted by the international community with regulation of the traffic of merchant and naval ships trough them. The Montreux Convention provides the legal basis in international law for passage of warships of non-Black Sea states through the Turkish Straits. In peacetime, only light and support naval ships with a tonnage under 15,000 tons during their transit through the Straits are allowed, and their number must not be more than nine with a 15-day notification of the Turkish government.

On the other hand, the passage of warships is allowed if, under Covenant obligations, they were proceeding to the aid of an attacked nation. On September 3, U.S. authorities announced that the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the Mediterranean 6th Fleet, would arrive in Georgia to deliver 17 tons of humanitarian goods, including blankets, fruit juice, dry milk and hygienic supplies. On September 4, the USS Mount Whitney landed at the Georgian port of Poti, while Moscow accused Turkey of breaching the Montreux Convention.

The US government claimed that the objective was to deliver humanitarian aid to Georgia, which suffered from Russian military intervention and thus in accord with the Montreux Convention. Russian authorities have nevertheless claimed that the passage of the US warship was in breach of the Convention by claiming that the USS Mount Whitney might be delivering military supplies to Georgia. Russian MFA spokesman Andrey Nesterenko emphasized that “if there is a breach of the convention, then it should become a matter for deliberation in the United Nations and, possibly, other international institutions, because the matter at hand is about the violations of a well-known international agreement and should be the matter of concern for every country that signed this convention.” In conclusion, the Russian official said: "We hope that if the facts of a serious violation of the Montreux Convention will be established, appropriate steps will be taken to correct the situation.” He added that he did not imply any military action.

IMPLICATIONS: This Russian stance – whether based in fact or not – nevertheless has serious consequences for Turkey, which is critically dependent on imports of natural gas from Russia, especially through the Blue Stream pipeline, locking Russia and Turkey into a symbiotic, but unequal relationship.

In the Blue Stream project, Russia has imposed "take-or-pay" provisions on Turkey in the event that the Turkish government fails to purchase contracted gas. According to the provisions, Turkey is not allowed to re-export Russian gas to third parties. Expected heavy financial penalties compel Turkey to re-negotiate the clauses of the contract that ban it from re-exporting natural gas to third countries. But this remains at the discretion of the Russian signatories to the agreement. The Justice and Development (AKP) government Energy Minister, Hilmi Guler, has harshly criticized the gas deal concluded by previous governments, and has urged sharp reductions in Turkey's reliance on Russian natural gas. Guler declared to the Turkish Parliament in April 2003 that the AKP government had a "strategic goal" to reduce Russian supplied natural gas from 70 percent to 30 percent within five years. But as a result of the Blue Stream project that transports 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas each year, Turkey will be locked into importing 50 percent of its gas from Russia by 2010. This further undermines long-term Turkish energy independence and security.

Turkish authorities are concerned that the deterioration of relations with Russia could precipitate an economic crisis in the country. Foreign trade analysts in Turkey are concerned that Russia would declare an energy war against their country, as Russia did against Ukraine in the winter of 2006. As a result of these events, Russia's reputation as a reliable supplier of energy for Europe diminished. In October 2007, the world's largest producer of natural gas once again threatened to shut off gas supplies to Ukraine over a US$2.2 billion debt.

The deteriorating political climate following the Russian-Georgian military conflict is likely to affect trade between these two major trade partners. Russia introduced new restrictions on and harsh customs regulations for imported goods from Turkey. In fact, the imports of Russian gas are increasing, and substantially affect the trade balance between the two countries. Turkey’s exports to Russia are estimated to be US$4.7 billion, whereas Turkey’s imports from Russia reach US$23.5 billion annually.

Russia introduced these measures in direct response to Turkey’s consent to let the NATO flotilla transit the Straits into the Black Sea. The increasing tensions between two regional powers might further precipitate international tensions and Russia’s refusal to deliver gas or curtail its delivery in the future. Turkey can find alternative sources of oil, such as Arab oil-producing countries, but the dependence on Russian gas exposes the weakness in the Turkish economy.

CONCLUSIONS: As the last war in the Caucasus showed, Russia is not about to give up on its strategy of controlling energy resources of the former Soviet Union and using them as a political weapon in relations with its neighbors and the European Union. In particular, Russia is preoccupied with the possibility of losing control over energy networks and pipelines for the export of oil and natural gas from the Caspian basin. In particular, the BTC pipeline, which transports oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to the Turkish terminal at Ceyhan, suffered a stoppage, as the Turkish section of the pipeline suffered from an explosion allegedly engineered by the Kurdish separatist PKK. Russia’s threats to use the energy weapon against its neighbor and major trade partner makes it even more urgent for Turkey and other Western countries to pursue energy independence from Russia.

Russia seeks any pretext in international law, including the Montreux Convention, to demonstrate that it is the main regional power in the region and the final arbiter of all conflicts in the Caucasus. Simultaneously, the United States has sought to assure Turkey that it does not intend to undermine the international Convention adopted in 1936. Adm. Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told journalists during a recent visit to Turkey that "we have no plans to change the Montreux Treaty. All the U.S. ships that pass through the straits complied with the treaty and we will continue to do so".

AUTHOR’S BIO: Alexander Murinson holds a Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
New Evidence Of Armenian Genocide Found 24.10.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Recently, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute’s efforts towards collection of new data on the Armenian genocide have experienced great success with the enrichment of AGMI’s collection of documentary photographs. The most recent discovery is a photo testifying of the Armenian Genocide and in particular the massacres of the Armenian population in the region of Mush, the AGMI told PanARMENIAN.Net.

The photograph has been acquired by the AGMI and was captured by Russian soldiers on the Caucasus front in 1915. It portrays the remains of the Armenian villagers who were burnt alive during the massacres of Mush.

This photograph is one of a kind. It is one of the well preserved photos discovered in an album called, “Album of refugees” published in Tiflis (1917). The album is consisted from 62 unique photos that demonstrate the events of the Armenian Genocide. However, only a few of the original 62 have survived and most of them are in dire conditions.

Nonetheless, the authenticity of the “Album of refugees” is demonstrated through the validity and great condition of this unique photo. On the back of this picture is a quote in Russian stating; “Armenians burnt alive in Sheykhalan by Turkish soldiers”. Furthermore, the photo is marked with the number 74, which indicates the existence of a larger collection of photographs captured by Russian soldiers during WWI.

Hence, the AGMI is adamant in locating the remaining photos of this collection which will sturdily assist the Institute’s efforts to demonstrate the complete picture of the first genocide of the 20th century.

France Never To Adopt Poisonous Armenian "Genocide" Bill- Official
The French Senate will never adopt the bill aiming to criminalize the denial of the Armenian claims of "genocide", a prominent leader in the Senate told the Turkish Daily News (TDN) on Thursday. (UPDATED)

France never to adopt poisonous Armenian genocide bill- official

In 2006 the French National Assembly adopted the bill criminalizing the denial of the 1915 incidents as "genocide".

The bill was blocked by the Senate, but the vote in the lower house of the parliament dealt a blow to bilateral relations between Turkey and France.

"The issue is over. It is impossible for the Senate to adopt this law," said Hubert Haenel, president of the Senate's Commission for European Union Affairs.

Heanel, in Turkey to attend seminar titled, "The Republic in France and Turkey" at Bilgi University in Istanbul, told TDN that the bill was blocked in the Senate, adding French intellectual circles had also criticized the bill, as it prejudged the studies of historians.

He said the atmosphere between the two countries had changed, implying also that there was a different conjecture that would also make it difficult for the Senate to make a decision that would damage bilateral relations.

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, backed by Russia, 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.

Bill That Poisoned Relations With Turkey Will Not Pass The Senate October 24, 2008
Barçin Inanç ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News

The French Senate will not adopt the bill aiming to criminalize the denial of the Armenian claims of genocide, a prominent leader in the French Senate told the Turkish Daily News yesterday.

“This issue is over. It is impossible for the Senate to adopt this law,” said Hubert Haenel, president of the Senate's Commission for European Union Affairs.

In 2006 the French National Assembly adopted the bill criminalizing the denial of the mass killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans as genocide.

The bill would have to be passed by the Senate to become a law, but the vote in the lower house of the parliament dealt a heavy blow to bilateral relations.

Haenel, in Turkey to attend a seminar titled, “The Republic in France and Turkey,” at Bilgi University in Istanbul, told the TDN that the bill was blocked in the Senate, adding that French intellectual circles had also criticized the bill, as it prejudged the studies of historians. Haenel said the atmosphere between the two countries had changed, implying also that there was a different conjecture that would also make it difficult for the Senate to make a decision that would damage bilateral relations.

France discovers Turkey's strategic importance

Haenel, who spoke at the seminar organized jointly by the French Institute for Anatolian studies and the Institute of Political Studies of Grenoble, gave optimistic messages on France's outlook on Turkey. “The crown makes the king wiser,” said Haenel, talking about French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is known to be a vocal opponent of Turkey's entry into the EU.

“With all the crises going on near the borders of Turkey, the stand-off in the Caucasus being the most recent one, we rediscover Turkey's strategic importance,” said the French senator. Referring to the meeting Sarkozy had with all the French ambassadors during the summer, Hanael said it was significant that the French president said during the meeting that French troops in Afghanistan were serving next to Turkish troops.

“The French leadership is rediscovering Turkey's historic, economic, political and cultural place,” he told the TDN after the panel. Referring to the meeting between the leaders of Turkey, France, Qatar and Syria in Damascus last month, Hanael said the pictures of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an next to Sarkozy along with Syria's Bashar al-Assad and Qatar's Khalifa al-Thani made a big impression in France.

He did admit though that it would be wrong to expect a change in Sarkozy's views on the Turkish EU bid. Hanael said, however, that the French presidency has not taken any step to obstruct membership negotiations.

France currently holds the EU's rotating presidency until January.

“We in the Senate rejected a measure that would have made a referendum on Turkey's membership in the EU mandatory. The vote was 297 to seven,” he said, giving this as an example that France is not blocking Turkish membership.

“Who can have the legitimacy of saying no to Turkey? Turkey has its place in the EU. To those skeptics of Turkey I ask: ‘What will become of Turkey and the EU and the world in 10 years time?” he said at the seminar.

When asked about the slow pace in the negotiation process, Hanael said Turkey has also slowed down its reform process. “I am not being judgmental. For understandable reasons, Turkey has not been able to continue the reform process,” he said.

Turkish Daily News: Armenia Only Alternative For Turkey PanARMENIAN.Net 22.10.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ It could be argued that the latest developments will damage Turkey and Turkey's Caucasus and Central Asia policies as much as it did Georgia. In addition to the economic problems, Turkey's political course of action/vision and infrastructure, which have been developed over the last decade with huge effort and occasionally ambiguously, are under threat of collapse, analyst Mitat Celikpala wrote in an editorial in the Turkish Daily News.

"Turkey's connection with Azerbaijan and Central Asia is weakening and there is a possibility that its policy to form a secure line might collapse. Georgia's instability and civil war is more of a threat to Turkey than a Georgia without territorial integrity. Georgia-centered instability and disorder will force Turkey to choose between different alternatives, though clearly there are few to choose from. The possibility of diversifying relations with Iran is seriously limited by the U.S., and to a certain extent by Iran's policy choices and attitudes.

The only alternative that remains is Armenia. The acceleration of secret and indirect negotiations with Armenia to overcome the problems and progress in the resolution of problems between Armenia and Azerbaijan could be expected. The Armenian Diaspora and relations with Russia will be the major roadblocks in this process. In this context, the policies towards Azerbaijan will be another restriction. It must be stressed that Georgian leader Saakashvili has led himself, his country, Turkey and his allies onto a problematic path. The negotiations, which will be the result of the interaction of multiple unknowns, will result in a different Georgia and Caucasus. This process, in which the EU and USA will have an influential role, is filled with questions about the situation of Abkhazians and Ossetians, as well as Georgians. Turkey certainly needs to find its place at the table; Turkey's regional interests are too important to be left to even its closest allies to defend. Providing decision-makers with daily, reliable and constructive alternatives is just as important as swift and correct decision-making," the article says.

Last Bastion Of Byzantium Trabzon
Pity poor Trabzon. Until recently this Black Sea town in the northeastern corner of Turkey was best known to foreigners as the base for visiting the iconic Sümela Monastery. Then one young man shot a local priest and another was arraigned for killing the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and suddenly the media began behaving as if Trabzon were some God-forsaken hellhole of extremism that should be crossed off everyone's itineraries immediately.

This was rather like foreigners being advised not to visit Gloucester in England because it was home to Fred and Rosemary West (serial killers) and Saajid Badat (would-be plane bomber), and just as silly. Because, of course, Trabzon is no such terrible place, but rather a lively port town with a fascinating history where over the recent bayram (holiday) the new Forum shopping center was awash with eager locals who had come to check out the latest branch of Marks & Spencer and other luxury brands.

First to the fascinating history. Trabzon was originally settled by descendants of colonists from Miletus on the Aegean coast who had set up a new home in Sinop. They chose for their settlement a flat piece of land that jutted up between two ravines, and since this resembled a tabletop they called it the "trapezus" (table in Greek), which evolved over time into Trebizond. The headland was soon fortified with sturdy walls, large sections of which still enclose the Ortahisar district. During the Byzantine period Trebizond was already doing well enough to boast several sizeable churches. However, the natural course of its history was abruptly altered in 1204 when the Fourth Crusade diverted from the Holy Land to grab İstanbul (then Constantinople). The Byzantine royal family was forced out of the city, and one branch, headed by Alexius Comnenus, fled to Trebizond to set up a breakaway "empire." In 1261 the Crusaders were chased out of Constantinople again, but Trebizond continued to steer its own course until 1461, when Fatih Sultan Mehmet, fresh from conquering Constantinople and still not yet 30 years old, roared in to grab this last stronghold of Byzantium for the Ottomans. Since then Trabzon's history has broadly mirrored that of the rest of Turkey.

Despite this rather exotic back-story, the Trabzon that confronts most visitors today doesn't look especially old at all. Almost all the hotels are clustered around frenetic Atatürk Alanı (the "Meydan"), a group of plane-tree-shaded tea gardens that sit uneasily amid the roar of some of Turkey's most unruly traffic. Trabzon was one of the last bastions of the old-fashioned taxi-dolmuş. These may belatedly have given way to white vans that carry nine instead of four passengers, but there are still far too many of them, and their drivers are so aggressive that it's hard to get much of a feel for the meydan as a square surrounded by rather attractive 19th-century buildings. To get any sense of history (or any peace, for that matter) you need to head west towards the Ortahisar neighborhood where, with a bit of imagination, it's still possible to dream yourself back to the Trebizond of the Byzantines.

To get to Ortahisar you can stroll down pedestrianized Uzun Sokak, which is just as jam-packed with shoppers as İstiklal Caddesi in İstanbul. On the way you pass the museum, which is housed in an early 20th-century mansion that, while designed by an Italian, looks rather like a French chateau accidentally transferred to Turkey. This grandiose building was created for a Greek banker and is well worth a visit to see the sort of décor favored by the super-rich of a century ago. The actual contents are fairly run-of-the-mill, with the exception of some fine woodwork on display upstairs and a giant but strangely flattened statue of Hermes in the basement.

At the end of Uzun Sokak is the Tabakhane Ravine, filled with pretty small allotments. Once across the bridge, you reach the "trapezus" and the heart of the breakaway Byzantine Empire, its finest monument the Fatih Camii, which was once the golden-domed church of Panagia Khrysokefalos. If you take Kale Sokak, which heads inland from the mosque, you will come eventually to the slight remains of the old Comnenian palace, so unloved now that gecekondus (slum housing) are built right up against the walls.

On the far side of the "trapezus" is the Zağnos Ravine, where the authorities are currently pulling down other gecekondus and replacing them with a landscaped park as part of an urban regeneration project. Here, too, is the fine early Ottoman Gülbahar Hatun Camii. Between 1490 and 1512 Sultan Selim I served as governor of Trabzon, and he had this mosque and tomb built for his mother, herself once a Comnenian princess. His son, Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, was born in Trabzon, and statues of both sultans adorn the attractive park behind the Fatih Camii.

Of course the most striking relic of the Comnenian Empire is the church of Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya) that lies some way to the west of the "trapezus." Now a museum, this wonderful building still retains many of its glorious 13th century frescoes, a product of the so-called Golden Age of Trebizond. Look closely at the outside wall of the apse and you should be able to make out tiny drawings of sailing ships etched into the walls by bored mariners, while the grounds of the church contain a fine collection of Ottoman tombstones. A detached bell tower dating from the 15th century overlooks a small tea garden adorned with a serander, a type of barn raised up on stilts to keep rodents at bay that was popular all around the Black Sea; locals flock here to tuck into hearty brunches that incorporate bowls of muhlama, a Black Sea-style cheese fondu.

Far less visited than Haghia Sophia is Kaymaklı Monastery, which lurks in the grounds of somebody's farm way to the south of Boztepe, a popular picnic spot offering a panorama over the whole town. Kaymaklı is believed to date back to the 15th century, but what makes it so remarkable is the cycle of 17th century frescoes on the walls of a small chapel which now serves as a workaday barn.

Finally, no trip to Trabzon would be complete without a visit to the lovely Atatürk Köşkü, another early 20th century mansion built for a banker, this type in whitewashed, wooden Crimean style. Afterwards, make sure to wander round the crowded bazaar streets branching off Kunduracılar Caddesi, where branches of LC Waikiki, Beko and the Şekerbank are now housed in meticulously restored old buildings, once again echoing İstiklal Caddesi. Here, too, you'll find the restored 14th century Genoese bedesten (covered market) and, if you're lucky, the atmospheric Sekiz Direkli Hamamı (Eight-Pillared Hamam), open to women on Thursdays.

What to take home as a souvenir? Well, Trabzon is famous for its hasir bilezik, lovely torque-like bracelets that come in matt or polished silver, and for its kazaziye, silver necklaces that are effectively knitted. You'll see fine examples of both on sale in the Gümüş Sarayı jewelry shop just in front of Haghia Sophia.

Many of Trabzon's hotels are effectively brothels.
Those listed below are respectable.
Grand Zorlu Hotel. Tel.: (462) 326 8400
Otel Horon. Tel.: (462) 326 6455
Usta Park Hotel. Tel.: (462) 326 5700

There are daily flights from İstanbul and Ankara. Sit on the right-hand side of the plane to see the "trapezus" from the air as you come into land right beside the Black Sea.

19 October 2008,PAT YALE TRABZON

Who Needs History And Cultural Richness? Doğu Ergil ***@todayszaman.com
We really have to ask ourselves how we have turned our innocent babies into wrathful killers. Ms. Rachel Dink, wife of the revered assassinated Armenian writer, Hrant Dink, butchered by an ultra-nationalist youth just because of what he was -- a non-ethnic Turk -- but an exemplary citizen of Turkey, has invited us to do just that.

The question again became relevant, as it often does in this country, this time during the shooting of a documentary film in Kayseri about Turkish history.

The filmmaker put up Byzantine flags on a part of the existing walls of the fortress of Kayseri. All hell broke loose when a group of Kayseri individuals began to protest passionately on the streets against the unfurling of an alien flag in their own city. Some were protesting against the cross on the flags and others were opposed to the very exhibition of a foreign flag on Turkish soil. Some of the protestors were shouting, "This is a Muslim country!" and others were very angry at the invasion of a foreign symbol of purely Turkish physical and psychological space. What those angry people are not aware of is that the original name of their city was Caesarea and among the long titles of their revered sultans was "emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire" (where the word Rum is derived from to describe citizens of Greek-Byzantine origin).

A short walk into the city's history with the aid of Encyclopedia Britannica will reveal the following: "Kayseri was the residence of Cappadocian kings and was sacked by Tigranes I, king of Armenia, in the first century B.C. It was renamed Caesarea Cappadociae 200 years later by the Romans and served as the capital and imperial mint of the Roman province of Cappadocia. It was a nucleus of Christianity in the fourth century, when St. Basil reputedly established an ecclesiastical center just northeast of the city. It was captured in about 1080 by the Seljuk Turks, who renamed it Kayseri. The city was briefly held (1097) by the Crusaders. It later formed a part of the Danishmend principality before falling to the Mongols in 1243. In the 14th century it functioned as the chief city of the Turkmen Ertanid principality before passing to the Ottomans in 1397 who were defeated by Timur (Tamerlane) in 1402. Kayseri was occupied by the Mamluks of Egypt in 1419. Sultan Selim I incorporated Kayseri into the Ottoman Empire in 1515. North of Kayseri, one can find Kültepe, known in ancient times as Kanesh or Karum. These were the earliest Assyrian and Hittite commercial cities. Dating from 2000 B.C., Kültepe was also one of the world's first cities of free trade."

Those noisy protestors know nothing about this rich and complex history that went before them. If they were aware of it, they would feel prouder and culturally much richer. But this is not entirely their fault. Their years spent in school may not have been enough to learn about all of these things, but the way history is taught and the way religion is orientated is so reductionist that Turkey is presented as only belonging to Turks. These Turks are of course Sunni Muslims. The existence of minority groups that do not fit into the favored narrative is viewed as either accidental or the groups are treated as being external, no matter how large they are, e.g., Kurds and Alevis. This is how the youth of this country are taught and why they grow into intolerant and ignorant adults. Sakallı Celal, a very wise man, once said, "This much ignorance can only be attained through education."

Unable to grasp the extent of our country's human and cultural heritage and reducing history to the present age, we have erased the memory that connects us with the past. We have also created cultural barriers among communities, compartmentalizing us with little meaningful contact. That is why constant tension and friction erupts within the nation. Why did we do it? Can't we see that with the aim of forging a homogeneous nation, we have created a society unaware of its history and afraid of its cultural plurality? The outcome has been fanaticism and intolerance.

The letter "X" has been the reason behind many prison sentences of authors from minority communities because it does not exist in the Turkish alphabet, which is in fact an adopted Latin script. But then again, "X" is in the alphabet of some of our national minorities. We have never really rationally asked ourselves whether the letter "X" dilutes Turkishness and threatens our national sovereignty. We have just accepted it as fact, just like our judges and politicians, who are the products of the same educational system as us.

We have turned our innocent babies into adult murderers who believe alien agents and powers are out there to dismember our country and to dissolve our nation. Now we are preventing ourselves from remembering a past, the knowledge of which was denied to us in formal education. Even art is held accountable for subversion. How thwarted have we become, totally driven by ideologies of escape and defending the status quo, and now isolated from the past and present reality? Who can be proud of belonging to a nation devoid of a history and cultural richness that it is afraid of?

Nalbandian Optimistic On Ties With Turkey
Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian said on Thursday that his country is optimistic about the future of Turkish-Armenian relations, emphasizing that Armenia is working for the normalization of its relations with the neighboring Turkey.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency in Tirana, Albania, Nalbandian said efforts are under way to open the border between Turkey and Armenia and to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries. Turkey closed its border and severed its diplomatic ties with Armenia in 1993 in protest of the Armenian occupation of a disputed chunk of Azerbaijani territory in Nagorno-Karabakh. In September, President Abdullah Gül paid a landmark visit to Yerevan to watch a soccer game between the national teams of the two countries at the invitation of his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarksyan.

Nalbandian was speaking on the sidelilnes of a foreign ministerial meeting of the Black Sea Economic Organization (BSEC), where Foreign Minister Ali Babacan represented Turkey. Babacan met with Nalbandian and the Azerbaijani foreign minister in New York in late September at the UN General Assembly.

Speaking to reporters later in the day, Babacan said he expected positive developments in the relations among the three countries. "The final objective is the full normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and Turkey and Armenia," said Babacan.


US Message To Ankara And Yerevan: Don't Stop There October 22, 2008, Serkan Demirtas
ANKARA – Turkish Daily News

A senior American diplomat yesterday urged Turkey and Armenia not to halt the reconciliation process started by President Abdullah Gül's historic visit to Armenia in early September.

Dan Fried, the assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department, held a three-hour meeting with Ertu?rul Apakan, undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, yesterday following his visits to Armenia and Georgia. “I had the opportunity to meet with President (Serge) Sarkisian in Yerevan,” Fried told a group of Turkish journalist yesterday. “My message was this: We support the process of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation … It should not stop there.”

Fried described Sarkisian as “courageous” for extending an invitation to Gül to watch the Turkey-Armenia national football match with him, and Gül as “wise” for accepting it. “We hope that Turkey and Armenia continue to work together,” he said, underlining that Washington's will of the parties was the normalization of ties.

Turkey cut its diplomatic ties with Armenia when Yerevan occupied Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabagh region in the early '90s. Armenia accuses the Ottoman Empire – the predecessor of modern Turkey – of perpetrating the genocide of Armenians during World War I.

Admitting there were serious obstacles and challenges in front of Turkey and Armenia if they wished to improve ties, Fried said he was still optimistic since “there's a hopeful moment. It's more possible than it would be in the past,” he said.

Pointing out the process would be challenging for both countries as there would always be critical voices trying to undermine the process, he emphasized “real leadership is needed in these moments. Sometimes taking risks is the highest realism. And it's the leadership.”

Solution to Nagorno-Karabakh

On the solution to the nearly two-decades-old Nagorno Karabakh problem, the American diplomat said the Minsk group made important improvements but underlined that he did not want to be overly optimistic on the issue.

“It's of critical importance that we see the solution to the regional problems,” he said. Fried and Apakan also discussed the Georgia-Russia row, energy issues, ongoing Cyprus talks, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iran.

Swiss Convict Three Turks Of Racism For Denying Armenian Claims Of Genocide October 23, 2008
WINTERTHUR - Associated Press

A Swiss court has convicted three Turkish men of racism for denying the Armenian claims of genocide regarding the deaths of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians under Ottoman rule during the early 20th century.

State prosecutor Andrej Gnehm said the 58-, 53- and 42-year-old men have been ordered to each pay up to 2,940 euros.The defendants were not identified in the ruling because of privacy laws.

Gnehm said the men helped organize an event in Switzerland last year during which Doğu Perinçek, the leader of the Turkish Workers' Party, denied the claims of genocide. A Swiss court convicted him of racism and fined him.

None of the defendants received jail sentences.

The case has caused diplomatic tension between Switzerland and Turkey.

Genocide, October 24, 2008, ARDAN ZENTÜRK, Star
Raphael Lemkin introduced the word “genocide” – “genom” in Greek means family and race; “cide” in Latin means to kill – after the Jews were incinerated by Nazis in 1943.

When the United Nations used the word in Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crime Convention in 1948, the world recognized the word.

However, it is one of the most exploited words by all groups trying to impose the belief that they are “aggrieved.”So much so that Jews seek shelter in another word unique to themselves: Holocaust.

The number one reason why Jewish people added “Holocaust” to “genocide” to better describe themselves is that Armenians use the word more than Jews. And I think now the DTP leader, Ahmet Türk, follows Armenians! Türk used “genocide” while he was trying to justify the terrorist PKK's attacks and saying that the organization is the product of the genocide the Sept. 12 military junta committed against Kurds. That is the ultimate exploitation of the concept!

The game is clear: 1) To curb legal fight against terror, 2) To continue actions fomenting hatred and, therefore, to create a civil war environment.

At this point, the magical word for ethnic hatred campaigners is “genocide.” We are facing an annoying campaign in advance of local elections. The ethnic political front is pushing ethnic polarization in order to blockade the votes of the governing party winning in the Southeast. This is a dangerous game to play and the consequences will harm every one.
Turkish-Armenian Spring To Blossom In A Joint Documentary October 24, 2008, Cansu Çamlibel, Ankara - Turkish Daily News

After September's football diplomacy between Ankara and Yerevan marked the start of a new era, filmmakers from the two nations have come together to produce a documentary film conveying their hope for a continued thaw.

The group of Turkish and Armenian filmmakers came together to make a documentary film based on the story of the Aras River, which runs along the border between the two countries. The film depicts the end of winter and blossoming of spring along the shared border, as a metaphor for hope for a continued thaw in relations between the two countries.

Armenian film director Gevorg Nazarian and his Turkish counterpart, Eray Mert, hope to be nominated for an Oscar in the documentary film category, as well as attract international attention at international festivals such as Cannes.

The documentary project, which is sponsored by the Turkish-Armenian Business Development Council, or TABDC, and the Armenian Marketing Association, takes its inspiration from real-life stories that have been blossoming around the Aras River for decades.

The Turkish Daily News has learned the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is also supporting the project, which adds an important dimension reflecting Washington's enthusiasm for the long-awaited Turkish-Armenian rapprochement.

Turkish and Armenian production teams came together for a kick-off meeting last week in Ankara, where directors Nazarian and Eray exchanged views together with their screenwriters. According to the scenario, which is still being drafted, the transition from winter to summer in the Aras River region and the melting of the frozen waters will be the theme, symbolizing the ice-breaking efforts between the two nations.

Shooting is expected to start as the first snow falls on the Aras River. The acting will be done by ordinary Turkish and Armenian villagers from both sides of the river. Values shared by both nations will be detailed throughout the film with an effort to remind viewers of the shared history and to try to break down prejudices.

The famous folksong “Yellow Bride,” which is claimed by both Turks and Armenians, is being considered as the soundtrack for the film. “Yellow Bride” was also played at the dinner hosted by Armenian President Serge Sarkisian during President Abdullah Gül's one-day trip to Yerevan on Sept. 6.

While Gül and Sarkisian took the first political steps toward solving the problems between the two countries, they agreed their efforts should be supported by social and cultural projects to prepare both societies for historic reconciliation. The joint documentary project is considered among the first significant steps in this direction.

The co-chairman of the TABDC, Kaan Soyak, told the TDN the documentary would display that the sealed border between Armenia and Turkey had not been sufficient to cut ties between people.

"On both sides we have similar stories, similar lives, similar people. If they are given the chance to cross borders and meet each other, they will find out that the border was just a symbolic one. Our documentary project will show how meaningless it is to close down borders," he added.

Soyak expressed his belief that the documentary would encourage political leaders to rapidly proceed in opening borders and removing barriers.
Turkish And Armenian Historians Met In Yerevan October 22nd, 2008, 20 October 2008
It is learned that Turkish and Armenian scientists met in Yerevan after President Abdullah Gul’s Armenia visit. Scientists decided to study for a project together and publishing Armenian and Turkish archives side by side and making public opinion researchs in both countries. President of the Turkish committee of scientists, Professor Dr. Dogu Ergil said, “We started an second channel diplomacy. And as being parties we will leave decision to the Turkish and Armenian people”.

Ergil replied the questions of daily journal “aksam” about the meeting in Yerevan. Ergil stated that the organization is arranged by German DVV International foundation which is centered in EU and doing studies in Caucasia. Ergil said that German foundation was studying about Turkish-Greek reconciliation for years. “They came to me with this idea, and we attended to the meeting in Yerevan. We were four scientists from Turkey, in the meeting” said Ergil. Ergil said that it is always said for Historians to solve the issue, and they were in there to do that. He said that scientists from Sabancı and Bilgi Universities attended to the meeting, who have international degrees on their branches.

Ergil said, “This is second channel diplomacy that is started by President Abdullah Gul. We think that this door is opened and we are hopeful about the process. Project is being prepared and studies may start in 2009”.

Turkey: I Am Armenian, Is This A Crime? 18 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews
A singer varieties of eastern Turkey wants to change status, name of religion. This incident shook the country, both the Armenian issue remains taboo.

His name is Kazim Akinci. He is 46-year-old native of the town of Hekimhan near Malatya, eastern Turkey. Kazim is out of anonymity because he wants to become Armenian and that, therefore, before the courts. This small room in which the singer as a "Christian" is already on his identity card [in Turkey, religion is mentioned on the documents] are currently conducting a combat order to bear officially named Serkis Nesesyan. Meanwhile, it is always Kazim Akinci. The special relationship maintained by Kazim, who claims to be of Armenian origin and want to return to its roots, with "arménité" dates back to the days when he began working as apprentice to the master craftsman Kenan. But the assassination [on 19 January 2007] of Turkish journalist of Armenian origin Hrant Dink [also from Malatya] that will really push to publicly express his desire to (re) become Armenian. Fourth in a family of seven children, Kazim lives alone with his mother in a small mud house whose walls are covered with photos of Hrant Dink. The mother and son lead a simple life. It tries to make ends meet by filling oil lighters for sale. Kazim feels so Armenian. "Feels" because, in reality, as far as we know it is not Armenian! So with his mother, he spoke Kurdish ... However, Armenia has become his most cherished desire.

When Kazim was 7 years old, his father decided to take him home, Kenan maître, the best craftsman tinsmith in the region. Soon, the teacher, who is Armenian, and his apprentice, is forging a very strong. Kenan likes his pupil so that one day he said: "Now, for me, your name will be Serkis Nesesyan and your name." Little Kazim is very touched by this mark of affection and adopt its new name and Serkis its new name, Nesesyan, whose meaning in Armenian is work-related copper. Kazim is still young when his father dies. He left school after his second year high school in an attempt to become musicien.

The life of Kazim will be chamboulée by the assassination of Hrant Dink. Shocked, Kazim door mourning and do more open for forty days [tradition Armenian]. It is this assassination will decide to report publicly on the "arménité" he feels for so many years. He then addressed the court and managed, not without difficulty, to obtain new identity papers when, in the "religion", now appears the word "Christian". Justice should now rule on its request for a name change. But this requires that a witness can attest to the Armenian identity Kazim Akinci, who tries desperately to find one ...

"You believe that Armenians are still here?"

Kazim doing everything possible to live as an Armenian. A picture of Christ and figure prominently in his portfolio. "Until now, I have always practiced my religion secretly, he says. Petit, I had the model of a church in miniature at home. I faced and I prayed. I also had a Bible I read, but my big brother I was torn. As for my miniature church, my mother had broken! "All this does not Kazim to be very confident in their prayers. "My prayers are always the effect." It makes me also warn: "Do not write bad things about me, otherwise your business go wrong." When asked if frequent Armenians, he answered immediately: "You believe that Armenians are still here? Those who are they hiding. Before, there was an old woman named Zekiye, but it has always hidden its Armenian. I wish so much that the good people do not die. Hrant [Dink] has been killed. Here in Malatya, several have been killed [three Christians, two Turks and one German converts have been murdered in April 2007] in a publishing house [Christian missionary]. It is really sad! "And what will happen now? "Is it a crime to want to become Armenian? Kazim is outraged. That person began to head to prevent me doing what I want! I am Armenian. Should why I absolutely Armenian genes in the body? I go to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary. I have no problem with the Turkish state, so they accept me as I am! "Kazim wants to learn the Armenian language - that he wants to marry an Armenian who will serve as professor - and then , From moving to Armenia. If it finds the money, of course ... If Hrant Dink was still alive and met this singular character, I do not know what he would have felt and thought, but in any case, it would certainly have also been very touched by Kazim.

Necla Bayraktar Yeni Aktüel

ANCA: Turkey Hires Lobby Firm to Sway Jewish American Groups ANCA Press Release, October 21, 2008
Turkey Hires Former Bush Administration Official To Shore Up Rifts With Jewish American Groups; Fight Armenian Genocide Recognition

WASHINGTON, DC - The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) revealed today that the Turkish Government has hired former Bush Administration official, Noam Neusner, to harness Jewish American support for a Pro-Turkey agenda in Congress, with defeat of the Armenian Genocide Resolution as his top priority.

"If Turkey had a credible case to make to the Jewish American community - which has grown weary of Ankara's pressure to deny the Armenian Genocide - it wouldn't need to be spending this kind of money in a misguided attempt to manipulate Jewish American opinion," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Sadly, it seems that for $8,500 a month from a foreign government, Neusner Communications is putting at risk the well-deserved reputation of the Jewish American community as a powerful opponent of all genocides and a defender of universal human rights."

This revelation came as part of a September 30, 2008, mandatory U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) Foreign Agent Registration Act filings by Neusner Communications, LLC, a Washington, DC public relations firm that has been on the Turkish Government payroll since September, 2007. The initial registration document submitted by the firm cites "policy goals" including "U.S. Jewish efforts to promote a pro-Turkey agenda in the U.S. Congress." Neusner Communications LLC is tasked to ensure "regular emails and phone calls to Jewish leaders highlighting Turkey's relationship with Israel" and facilitating the "creation of working relationships between U.S.-based Jewish and Turkish community groups."

Neusner's filings reveal that the first order of business for the public relations firm was, in September and October of last year, to contact top Jewish-American organizations regarding pending Armenian Genocide legislation, H.Res.106. Beginning with a phone conversation with AIPAC Director of National Affairs and Development Jon Missner on September 17th, Neusner personally contacted groups, including JINSA, the American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League, B'nai B'rith, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs some 23 times over the next four weeks regarding H.Res.106. The House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted the Armenian Genocide Resolution on October 11th by a vote of 27 to 21.

The U.S. DOJ filings note subsequent emails by Neusner with the ADL's Director of Government and National Affairs Jess Hordes regarding "ADL action on HR 106," and ADL Director "Abe Foxman's visit to Turkey" in May, 2008. Neusner continued to hold meetings with AIPAC's Jon Missner and National Political Director Rob Bassin regarding the Armenian Genocide Resolution, including one on November 29th. Seven months later, Neusner held a follow up meeting with Missner and AIPAC Director of Research and Information Rafi Danziger to discuss "Turkish concerns about Armenian issue; lack of support on the Hill from Jewish orgs." The meeting came just one day after the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a two-hour hearing on the South Caucasus region, with specific focus on Turkey's ongoing blockade of Armenia. In total, in the span of one year, Neusner Communications contacted or met with Jewish American groups at least 100 times - 32 times specifically to discuss Armenian Genocide legislation or Armenian American concerns.

Neusner is well-known to Jewish American leaders, having served as President Bush's liaison to the U.S. Jewish community from 2002 through 2005, in addition to his capacity as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting. Neusner's DOJ filings indicate that he was hired by the "Embassy of the Republic of Turkey through DiNovo Strategies and Fleishman Hilliard." DiNovo Strategies partner Jay Footlik served as Clinton Administration liaison to Jewish Americans and to European and Mediterranean groups, including the Armenian American community.

According to the Foreign Agent Registration Act, a firm must register within ten days of agreeing to become an agent and before performing any activities for the foreign entity. It is unclear why Neusner Communications' filings were submitted over one-year after it began lobbying for Turkey, a lapse that may represent a violation of U.S. DOJ registration guidelines. FARA also mandates that all communications from public relations firms must conspicuously cite any connection to a foreign government. Copies of email communications submitted by Neusner Communications to the U.S. DOJ make no reference to his firm's representation of the Turkish Government.

Neusner Communications, Inc. is one of four public relations firms currently representing the Government of Turkey, including DLA Piper, Fleishman Hilliard, and the Gephardt Group, who together receive over $3 million a year for their services. Neusner Communications is currently paid $8,500 a month by the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey. Leading the campaign to clean up Turkey's image in the United States are former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt and House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Former House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston ended his eight-year, $13 million lobbying stint with Turkey earlier this year, after which he picked up a lucrative $2.4 million contract with Libya.

Neusner Communications filings on the ANCA website:
Neusner Communications FARA Registration
Neusner Communications Supplemental Report - 09/07-02/08
Neusner Communications Supplemental Report - 03/08-09/08

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com

Armenia Will No Longer Play The Victim PanARMENIAN.Net, 17.10.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The recent race of strategic realignments reflects a real crisis in the world order and risks a dangerous recurrence of history. Suffice the testimony of nearly all global and regional actors, which have quickly shifted their gears and ushered in a new cycle of reassessment of interests and, to that end, a diversification of policy priorities and political partnerships, Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia's first minister of foreign affairs, founder of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies and representative of the opposition Heritage Party in Parliament, said in a statement obtained by PanARMENIAN.Net.

"It matters little whether this geopolitical scramble was directly triggered by the Russian-Georgian conflagration and the derivative collapse of standing paradigms for the Caucasus, or whether it crowned latently simmering scenarios in the halls of international power. The fact is that the great game--for strategic resources, control over communications and routes of transit, and long-term leverage--is on again with renewed vigor, self-serving partisanship, and duplicitous entanglement.

One of the signals of this unbrave new world is the apparent reciprocal rediscovery of Russia and Turkey. Whatever its motivations and manifestations, Turkey's play behind the back of its transatlantic bulwark and Russia's dealings at the expense of its "strategic ally" raise the specter of history's return, recalling the days more than 85 years ago when Bolshevik Russia and Nationalist Turkey, not contenting themselves with the legacy of the great Genocide and National Dispossession of 1915, partitioned the Armenian homeland in Molotov-Ribbentrop fashion and to its fatal future detriment.

Mountainous Karabagh, or Artsakh in Armenian, was one of the territorial victims of this 1921 plot of the pariahs, as it was placed under Soviet Azerbaijani suzerainty together with Nakhichevan. The latter province of the historical Armenian patrimony was subsequently cleansed of its Armenian plurality and even of its Armenian cultural heritage, the most contemporary evidence of which was the Azerbaijani Republic's (a Council of Europe member-state) total, Taliban-style annihilation in December 2005 of the medieval cemetery and thousands of Armenian cross-stones at Jugha.

Mountainous Karabagh, by way of exception, was able to turn the tide on a past of genocide, dispossession, occupation and partition, as it defended its identity, integrity, and territory against foreign aggression and in 1991 declared its liberty, decolonization, and sovereignty--long before Kosovo, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia became current--in compliance with the Montevideo standards of conventional international law and with the controlling domestic legislation of the Soviet Union.

Subsequent international practice on the recognition of Kosovo, and later of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, demonstrates that in this world there exists no real rule of law--applied evenly across the board--but rather the rule of vital interests that are conveniently couched under the selectively-interpreted guise of international legal principles of choice and of exclusivist distinctions of fact which, in fact, make no difference.

It's time to face the farce.

That goes for Moscow and Ankara too. Judging from the contemporary pronouncements of their high-level officials, they still don't get it. And if they are driven by need for a strategic new compact, then at least their partners on the world stage should reshift their gears and calculate their policy alternatives accordingly. Iran, the United States and its European allies might find here an objective intersection of their concerns.

Russia and Turkey must never again find unity of purpose at the expense of Armenia and the Armenian people. The track record of genocide, exile, death camps and gulags is enough for all of history.

These two important countries, as partners both real and potential, must respect the Armenian nation's tragic history, its sovereign integrity and modern regional role, and Mountainous Karabagh's lawfully-gained freedom and independence.

Football diplomacy is fine, but Turkey can assume the desired new level of global leadership and local legitimacy only by dealing with Armenia from a "platform" of good faith and reconciliation through truth; lifting its illegal blockade of the Republic and opening the frontier which it unilaterally closed, instead of using it as a bargaining tool; establishing diplomatic relations without preconditions and working through that relationship to build mutual confidence and give resolution to the many watershed issues dividing the two neighbors; accepting and atoning, in the brilliant example of postwar Germany, for the first genocide of the 20th century and the national dispossession that attended it; committing to rebuild, restore, and then celebrate the Armenian national heritage from Mt. Ararat and the medieval capital city of Ani to the vast array of churches, monasteries, schools, academies, fortresses, and other cultural treasures of the ancestral Armenian homelands; initiating and bringing to fruition a comprehensive program to guarantee the right of secure voluntary return for the progeny and descendants of the dispossessed to their places and properties of provenance; providing full civil, human, and religious rights to the Armenian community of Turkey, including completely doing away with the infamous Article 301 which has served for so long as an instrument of fear, suppression, and even death with regard to those courageous citizens of good conscience who dare to proclaim the historical fact of genocide; and finally exercising greater circumspection in voicing incongruous and unfounded allegations of "occupation" in the context of Mountainous Karabagh's David-and-Goliath struggle for life and justice, lest someone remind it about more appropriate and more proximate applications of that term.

As for Russia, true strategic allies consult honestly with each other and coordinate their policies pursuant to their common interests; they do not address one another by negotiating adverse protocols with third parties at each other's back, they do not posture against each other in public or in private, and they do not try to intimidate, arm-twist, or otherwise pressure each other via the press clubs and newspapers of the world. Russia as well must deal with Armenia in good faith, recognizing the full depth and breadth of its national sovereignty and the horizontal nature of their post-Soviet rapport, its right to seek and realize a balanced, robust, and integral foreign policy, as well as the non-negotiability - for any reason, including the sourcing and supervision of Azerbaijani oil - of Mountainous Karabagh's liberty, security, and self-determination.

Official Yerevan, of course, must also step up to undertake its share of responsibility for creating a region of peace and shared stability, mutual respect and open borders, domestic democracy and international cooperation. An ancient civilization with a new state, Armenia's national interests in the new era can best be served by achieving in short order a republic run by the rule of law and due process, an abiding respect for fundamental freedoms, good governance, and fair elections. These, sadly, have not been the case to date.

Armenia requires the real deal, and forthwith. But history as witness, it can and will no longer play the fool...or the victim," the statement says.

The Freedom Of Historical Debate Is Under Attack By The Memory Police Timothy Garton Ash, contact@lph-asso.fr Guardian, October 16 2008

Well-intentioned laws that prescribe how we remember terrible events are foolish, unworkable and counter-productive

Among the ways in which freedom is being chipped away in Europe, one of the less obvious is the legislation of memory. More and more countries have laws saying you must remember and describe this or that historical event in a certain way, sometimes on pain of criminal prosecution if you give the wrong answer. What the wrong answer is depends on where you are. In Switzerland, you get prosecuted for saying that the terrible thing that happened to the Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman empire was not a genocide. In Turkey, you get prosecuted for saying it was. What is state-ordained truth in the Alps is state-ordained falsehood in Anatolia.

This week a group of historians and writers, of whom I am one, has pushed back against this dangerous nonsense. In what is being called the "Appel de Blois", published in Le Monde last weekend, we maintain that in a free country "it is not the business of any political authority to define historical truth and to restrict the liberty of the historian by penal sanctions". And we argue against the accumulation of so-called "memory laws". First signatories include historians such as Eric Hobsbawm, Jacques Le Goff and Heinrich Aug u st Winkler. It's no accident that this appeal originated in France, which has the most intense and tortuous recent experience with memory laws and prosecutions. It began uncontroversially in 1990, when denial of the Nazi Holocaust of the European Jews, along with other crimes against humanity defined by the 1945 Nuremberg tribunal, was made punishable by law in France - as it is in several other European countries. In 1995, the historian Bernard Lewis was convicted by a French court for arguing that, on the available evidence, what happened to the Armenians might not correctly be described as genocide according to the definition in international law.

A further law, passed in 2001, says the French Republic recognises slavery as a crime against humanity, and this must be given its "consequential place" in teaching and research. A group representing some overseas French citizens subsequently brought a case against the author of a study of the African slave trade, Olivier Pétré-Grenouilleau, on the charge of "denial of a crime against humanity". Meanwhile, yet another law was passed, from a very different point of view, prescribing that school curricula should recognise the "positive role" played by the French presence overseas, "especially in North Africa".

Fortunately, at this point a wave of indignation gave birth to a movement called Liberty for History (lph-asso.fr), led by the French historian Pierre Nora, which i s also behind=3D2 0the Appel de Blois. The case against Pétré-Grenouilleau was dropped, and the "positive role" clause nullified. But it remains incredible that such a proposal ever made it to the statute book in one of the world's great democracies and homelands of historical scholarship.

This kind of nonsense is all the more dangerous when it comes wearing the mask of virtue. A perfect example is the recent attempt to enforce limits to the interpretation of history across the whole EU in the name of "combating racism and xenophobia". A proposed "framework decision" of the justice and home affairs council of the EU, initiated by the German justice minister Brigitte Zypries, suggests that in all EU member states "publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes" should be "punishable by criminal penalties of a maximum of at least between one and three years imprisonment".

Who will decide what historical events count as genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, and what constitutes "grossly trivialising" them?

International humanitarian law indicates some criteria, but exactly what events qualify is a matter of often heated dispute. The only cast-iron way to ensure EU-wide uniformity of treatment would be for the EU to agree a list - call it the Zypries List - of qualifying horrors. You can imagine the horse-trading behind closed doors in Brussels . (Polish official to French=3D2 0counterpart: "OK, we'll give you the Armenian genocide if you give us the Ukrainian famine.") Pure Gogol.

Since some countries with a strong free-speech tradition, including Britain, objected to Zypries' original draft, the proposed agreement now also says: "Member states may choose to punish only conduct which is either carried out in a manner likely to disturb public order or which is threatening, abusive or insulting." So in practice, individual countries will continue to do things their own way.

Despite its manifold flaws, this framework decision was approved by the European Parliament in November 2007, but it has not been brought back to the justice and home affairs council for final approval. I emailed the relevant representative of the current French presidency of the EU to ask why, and just received this cryptic but encouraging reply: "The FD 'Racism and xenophobia' is not ready for adoption, as it is suspended to some outstanding parliamentary reservations." Merci, madame liberté: that will do till the end of this year. Then let the Czech presidency of the EU, which covers the first half of next year, strike it down for good - with a dose of the Good Soldier Svejk's common sense about history.

Let me be clear. I believe it is very important that nations, states, peoples and other groups (not to mention individuals) should face up, solemnly and publicly, to the bad things d one by them or in their name. The W est German leader Willy Brandt falling silently to his knees in Warsaw before a monument to the victims and heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto is, for me, one of the noblest images of postwar European history. For people to face up to these things, they have to know about them in the first place. So these subjects must be taught in schools as well as publicly commemorated. But before they are taught, they must be researched. The evidence must be uncovered, checked and sifted, and various possible interpretations tested against it.

It's this process of historical research and debate that requires complete freedom - subject only to tightly drawn laws of libel and slander, designed to protect living persons but not governments, states or national pride (as in the notorious article 301 of the Turkish penal code). The historian's equivalent of a natural scientist's experiment is to test the evidence against all possible hypotheses, however extreme, and then submit what seems to him or her the most convincing interpretation for criticism by professional colleagues and for public debate. This is how we get as near as one ever can to truth about the past.

How, for example, do you refute the absurd conspiracy theory, which apparently still has some currency in parts of the Arab world, that "the Jews" were behind the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks on New York? By forbidding anyone from saying that, on pain of imprisonment? No. You refute it by=3D2 0refuting it. By mustering all the available evidence, in free and open debate. This is not just the best way to get at the facts; ultimately, it's the best way to combat racism and xenophobia too. So join us, please, to see off the nanny state and its memory police.

Who Holds The Key?: Nkr In The Mix Of Regional Diplomacy, By Gayane Mkrtchyan
In September in an interview given to foreign media President Serzh Sargsyan said in regards to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue: "I am convinced that at least in the near future, whatever happens, any referendum will have only one outcome - the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will not want to be part of Azerbaijan."

The BBC Azerbaijani service reported that in reply to its correspondent's question Sargsyan said: "I have offered to Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev to try to make investments in Nagorno-Karabakh during this period of time, to show to the people of Karabakh that the Azerbaijanis are seriously interested in matters of Nagorno-Karabakh's welfare and secure life, after which, perhaps, during a referendum the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will express a desire to live within Azerbaijan."

The report spread by Azerbaijani media was followed by official Yerevan's answer in which it was said that the part of the interview was taken out of context.

According to the Armenian Mediamax news agency, Sargsyan made it absolutely clear in the interview that "the right of Nagorno-Karabakh's people to self-determination must be accepted."

Meanwhile, possible concessions to Azerbaijan, in particular Armenian withdrawal from territories that were not part of the Soviet autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains a hotly debated issue within Armenia's political circles - both in the pro-government and opposition camps.

Karabakh war veteran Zhirair Sefilyan, who coordinates the public initiative "In Defense of the Liberated Territories" speaks sardonically about the president's proposal to Azerbaijan to make investments in Nagorno-Karabakh. Speaking about the variant of compromises, Sefilyan says that secret negotiations were held between Armenia and Turkey in Europe before Turkish President Abdullah Gul's arrival in Yerevan. Gul, Sefilyan conjectures, visited Armenia only on one condition - if Armenia's authorities accept a pro-Azerbaijani solution in the Karabakh issue and agree to withdraw Armenian troops from territories outside Nagorno-Karabakh proper.

As the Armenian side has not yet refuted the statements made by the Turkish leader after his Armenia trip, Sefilyan thinks that Gul's statements both in Baku and Ankara are true to fact. Gul is a politician who could not have made a slip in speaking or make a mistake, Sefilyan said.

Members of the NGO "In Defense of the Liberated Territories" issued a statement in which they said: "Like it was in the past, today as well the states having interests in the region use their participation in the Karabakh problem solution as a pretext to have greater influence on Armenia, to increase their economic and political leverages, to which the illegitimacy of Armenia's authorities contributes."

"And what if the authorities do return the lands? It will turn out that the blood was shed in vain. What shall we answer to our friends, children? What country and issues will we leave to them? Why did we win only to give it back? How many questions over the state can be amassed during 5-6 months?" says former deputy defense minister, member of the opposition Social-Democratic Hunchak Party Vahan Shirkhanyan.

Dashnaktsutyun's former deputy defense minister Artur Aghabekyan, who currently heads the defense committee in parliament, thinks that when the Karabakh conflict began, every commander set a task to himself --how to protect civilians from shelling and create a security zone for carrying out defense.

"I find that no official today can sit in his room and make decisions as to how much land should be ceded and to whom it should be ceded. It is up to the Armenian people to decide whether it has anything to cede," Aghabekyan said.

Political scientist Manvel Sargsyan thinks that a tense situation has indeed been created over the Karabakh issue. The reports in different newspapers in Russia and Armenia, he says, are grounded. The scholar in particular points at Russia's role in the matter.

"Russia has serious approaches and seems to feel that its relations with Turkey may help it not only to develop its projects but even move its troops into this region. It is possible to talk to Azerbaijan, say, move in Russian forces and deploy them here for the purpose of settling the Karabakh issue. I don't think that Azerbaijan will oppose that if Turkey agrees to it. And what do Russian forces in Karabakh mean in this situation? In fact, Karabakh is isolated from these large projects that are planned, but if a pipeline passes through this territory, if the Armenian-Turkish railway is opened, there will be very serious problems for Azerbaijan and Turkey, perhaps they will agree to the deployment of Russian troops," says Sargsyan.

He thinks that deploying Russian troops would mean that while Karabakh would not be returned to Azerbaijan, neither would it be part of Armenia.

Political analyst Yervand Bozoyan says there is a serious ongoing discussion among the Turkish political elite regarding Turkey's role in its relations with Armenia. And, he says, the Karabakh issue is not a priority in these discussions.

"The genocide issue is tens times more important for them than the Karabakh issue. I don't exclude that one day forces will win in Turkey that considering the greatness of their country will look down and agree to some compromises in relations with Armenia. Because, after all, the Karabakh issue is an issue of security for our country. All countries realize this. If we agree to concessions, according to the domino principle, in a chain reaction, we may very soon lose also Zangezur. It is a national security matter for the country," said Bozoyan.

"If we achieve the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border without serious compromises over Karabakh, I will consider that we have achieved a success," the analyst added.

Crunch Time In The Caucasus: Fast-Lane Geopolitics May Prompt Reversal Of Allegiances In The Region, By Aris Ghazinyan
Political processes in the Caucasus never developed so fast in the last decade. And in this case we deal not with some frozen or sluggish processes but with a fundamental change of the layout of regional forces and priorities. Against the background of new geopolitical realities, even such serious issues as a Karabakh settlement, or the presidential election in Azerbaijan are engulfed in the whirlpool of fresher concepts of regional repartition.

Still at the beginning of summer few could expect that a visit to Baku of such a serious political player as US Vice-President Dick Cheney could have such a lamentable result. Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev did not even find it necessary to personally meet the high-ranking guest at the airport. Cheney was not even received at the level of Azerbaijan's prime minister.

So, he first headed for a meeting with BP-Azerbaijan Company President Bill Schreder and top managers of the Azerbaijani affiliate of Chevron and then visited the United States embassy in Baku and talked with Ambassador Ann Dersy. Cheney got to the Azerbaijani president's residence only closer to the evening. He was so vexed that he even refused to take part in a dinner in his honor and left Baku for Tbilisi.

It seems particularly strange given Cheney's role in establishing political relations between the United States and Azerbaijan as Defense Secretary in the George Bush Senior's administration. In November 1998 when Ilham Aliyev paid a visit to the US as first vice-president of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic, Cheney was one of the organizers of an official reception in his honor at the Foundation of American-Azerbaijani Partnership and the Institute of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

The then US defense secretary said in his speech that the US Government must take decisive steps to repeal Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act that restricted certain types of direct U.S. aid to the government of Azerbaijan until the latter lifted its blockades of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. "Of course, some neighbors in the region would not want such a development," said Cheney implying Armenia. "Moreover, they would not want to see an independent and strong Azerbaijan."

It is no wonder that the decision of George W. Bush named Cheney as his vice-presidential running mate caused indignation in the Armenian Diaspora in the United States. Michael Mahdesian, a Diaspora-Armenian leader said: "Armenians throughout the country - Republicans or Democrats - are very worried. In all posts that Dick Cheney has occupied he not only served the interests of big oil business, but also aggressively advanced Azerbaijani interests to the detriment of the interests of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh."

Cheney has always opposed the proposals of the Armenian lobby. Thus, in 1985 and 1987 he voted against the recognition of the fact of the Genocide of Armenians. Becoming defense secretary Cheney promoted large-scale deliveries of military hardware to Turkey. While in the post of head of Halliburton, the current vice-president made much to achieve the repeal of Section 907 [against Azerbaijan]. For his efforts, as the Armenian community in the United States noticed, Cheney was rewarded with a "Prize for Supporting Freedom" by the American-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce in 1997. Nevertheless, his most recent visit to Baku became a failed visit. All this shows that realities are indeed changing in the region.

Cheney told Aliyev that the United States would firmly support their allies in the region and were going to further push for a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline bypassing Russia. However, Aliyev made it clear that while he values relations with Washington, he was not going to betray Moscow. In fact, it meant that under current conditions Baku decided to assume a wait-and-see position and not press ahead with the Nabucco project, a pipeline planned for pumping natural gas to Europe.

Aliyev had a telephone conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev the day before Cheney's arrival in Baku. During that conversation "the leaders of the two states exchanged opinions on urgent matters of the agenda of bilateral and international relations and also discussed the schedule of the upcoming political contacts." But much is hidden between the lines of this strictly protocol language. Last summer Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom offered to purchase Azeri gas in any volumes at "European prices". It is difficult to resist such an offer and if Azerbaijan accepts it, it will no longer need Nabucco.

Another thing is of no less importance. Late last week Moscow saw a meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries participating in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) that embraces Russia, Belarus, Armenia and four Central Asian republics except Turkmenistan. The participants of the meeting discussed the possibility of recognizing the independence of the separatist Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the context of their accession to the CSTO. A preliminary mutual understanding was achieved on this issue, but with one exception. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is known to have said before: "Armenia cannot recognize another unit in a similar situation until it recognizes the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It is for this reason that Armenia once did not recognize the independence of Kosovo."

Yerevan made it clear to its CSTO allies that it recognizes Abkhazia and South Ossetia only in exchange for the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh. And Russia cannot do this, as it has major energy interests in Azerbaijan and most likely some arrangements with the Azerbaijani leadership on this account. One should think that Moscow offered a dilemma to Baku: a) either Azerbaijan's participation in Nabucco and other Western projects to Russia's detriment; b) or Gazprom's purchases of Azerbaijani gas at world prices and Moscow's not recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh's independence.

It is not difficult to understand what pragmatic choice Aliyev, whose reelection as Azerbaijan's president this week has not been contested by anyone from the outset, is to make. By recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia received a powerful Nagorno-Karabakh leverage for a long-term influence on this country. And those in Baku understood it adequately. Hence the chilly reception of Cheney and problems that the Nabucco project are likely to face. And in reverse: Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan met with Dick Cheney at the White House as part of his recent visit to the U.S. The two discussed bilateral relations between the United States and Armenia, prospects of their development, exchanged views on regional security matters. In particular, they addressed the subject of the damage inflicted on Armenia's economy during the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, the visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Yerevan, the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the implementation of the Millennium Challenges program, the global financial crisis and others.

Premier Sargsyan reaffirmed Armenia's position that the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be achieved by means of negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. He called 'dangerous' the statements that refer only to Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and ignore other accepted principles, which, he said, forms erroneous ideas and expectations of the conflict solution.

It is possible that very soon official Washington will allow itself a good gesture in respect of Armenia. However, it is impossible to guess what they gesture will be...

Obama Or Mccain, Who Is Better For Armenia? by Jirair Haratunian
I must begin with a disclosure. I am a Democrat and support the election of Barack Obama. Nonetheless, I will explore the question candidly and hopefully without bias.

This election has galvanized global, as well as domestic, interest because no matter who wins, it ends the administration of George W. Bush. The unpopularity of President Bush, both at home and abroad, has been a dominant factor in this election campaign. It has compelled John McCain to distance himself from the Bush Administration, but mostly on domestic affairs, and largely after the current financial crisis exploded. He has now taken an independent tack and projected himself as the champion of real change in Washington, DC. McCain tells voters that he, rather than Obama, offers the best prospect for a new, secure and prosperous future.

However, in the area of foreign policy his posture closely mirrors that of the Bush Administration. He sees the need for a muscular foreign policy to defeat Islamic militancy and terrorism in Iraq, where he claims it is presently centered. His view of Russia is clearly more confrontational than that of Obama's. McCain loudly and immediately condemned Russian military actions against Georgia, never conceding any fault by Tbilisi for the conflict. He proclaimed, "We are all Georgians," and he supports the early admission of Georgia and Ukraine into the NATO alliance.

In addition, both candidates have issued statements intended to solicit the votes and financial support of Armenian-Americans. Both have praised Armenians for their significant contributions to America. They have addressed the tragedy of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, but the glaring difference between the two is over the use of the word "genocide." McCain carefully avoided the term, but Obama did not hesitate to call the calamity of 1915, genocide. He said, "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."

Moreover, the statements of both candidates on contemporary Armenian issues differ as well. McCain said he "appreciated Armenia's support of coalition forces in Iraq and Kosovo" and added that in his visits to Armenia he was impressed with "the tremendous progress made in very difficult circumstances," difficulties which he did not identify. On the other hand, Obama showed no hesitation to state the causes of hardship. He said, "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 Karabakh conflict that is agreeable to all parties." The reaction to these statements in Baku and Ankara showed wide concern about Obama's strong support for Armenia's security future. Press accounts clearly were fearful of an Obama presidency.

Under a McCain Administration, the current attitudes in Washington towards the South Caucasus will continue to tilt towards Baku for reasons of energy resources and Azerbaijan's proximity to a problematic Iran. Bush and McCain demand wider sanctions against Tehran and view Iran as a threat to the security of Israel and American interests in the Middle East. Obama's stated willingness for direct talks with the Iranian regime has been derided by the McCain campaign as evidence of weak leadership.

Under these circumstances, the Armenian government faces valid security concerns. Yerevan should be aware that a McCain Administration is likely to continue the current cozy relations with Azerbaijan. Washington views Caspian oil as an alternative source of petroleum be that from the Middle East or Russia. This reality is the prime motivation for Washington's Caucasus' policy. And there is also the legitimate worry that America's silence at Baku's rapid militarization and large-scale arms sales from Israel is a growing security problem for Karabakh and Armenia.

United States policy towards Armenia is decidedly cooler. While American economic assistance to Armenia has been generous, the levels of foreign aid in recent years have decreased repeatedly. The single exception is the special Millennium Challenge Corporation compact to assist the development of rural Armenia.

In addition, the co-chairmanship of the U.S. in the Minsk Group that is negotiating a Nagorno Karabakh agreement will certainly continue, whoever wins the presidency. However, McCain is more apt to retain the not so subtle bias for Azerbaijan that has characterized statements by the current administration. American officials insist that territorial integrity is the core basis for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. They deliberately mask the equally valid principle of self determination by never voicing that term. Instead, they say, "other international principles also apply," presumably including self determination. Just this past week, Vice President Cheney and Minsk Group co-chair Mathew Bryza repeated the primacy of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as the basis of resolving the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Also, presidential visits and invitations to Washington have excluded Armenia. President Bush himself visited Tbilisi in the recent past, and just weeks ago, Vice President Cheney and Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte visited both of Armenia's neighbors, without even a greeting to Armenia as they crossed its airspace. And both Georgian President Saakashvili and Azeri President Aliyev have been official guests in Washington. No such invitation has been given to an Armenian president since President Clinton invited Levon Ter-Petrosian to Washington, on an official visit, a decade ago.

Therefore, the verdict as to who is better for Armenia is clear. It is Barack Obama. Senator Obama has been explicit, consistent, and specific in support of Armenia's basic interests. In contrast, McCain's campaign statements on Armenia, in content and tone, have been carefully measured and do not veer at all from those of George W. Bush.

Finally, there is a need for caution about expectations. Election campaign promises are too often neglected and should not be relied on as accurate guides to policy. That said, there is a related truth. At this moment in history a change of parties at the helm of the American government portends a welcome change in America's foreign policy. That is good for America, good for relations with the international community and good for Armenia.

Armenia Vexed By Turkish President's Statement on Karabakh October 16, 2008
(Source: Daily News Bulletin; Moscow - English)YEREVAN. Oct 16 (Interfax) -Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan has criticized the Turkish president and the Azeri foreign minister's statements on the settlement of the conflict in Nagorno- Karabakh. "We consider the term 'occupied territory' which the Turkish president used at a session of the UN general Assembly dangerous, and think that Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov's statement to the effect that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be settled in line with the logic of a UN resolution, fully distorts the negotiation process," Sargsyan told a news conference on Thursday. The Turkish president and Azeri foreign minister's speeches in the UN were a "cold shower", as they contrasted the spirit of the previous meetings and the earlier reached agreements, Sargsyan said. He said he had informed U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice in Washington of his concerns. The Armenian prime minister also said that the U.S. leadership sees the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as the only format in which the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict could be settled. "Rice said during the talks that after a discussion of this issue with her Russian colleagues, she gained confidence that there was progress in the talks and that serious progress would be seen after the Azeri presidential election," Sargsyan said.

Switzerland: Lessons In Democracy, October 17, 2008, Yusuf Kanli
Switzerland does not have a magniloquent presidential palace … Indeed, it just doesn't have a presidential palace or even an office … The presidency rotates on an annual basis between the seven members of the Federal Council. Whoever of the seven federal councilors – or the presidential council – assumes the presidency his/her office becomes also the presidency. For example, the office of Home Affairs Minister Pascal Couchepin is as well the presidency since Couchepin became the president for 2008.

The Swiss presidents not only are deprived of a magniloquent presidential palace -- like the Turkish one for example, which together with its gigantic presidential complex providing lodging to thousands of presidential civilian and military personnel, a huge garden and facilities of the Presidential Guard is the biggest compound in Ankara – but until 1990s the Swiss presidents were as well barred by law (with some exceptions) from making trips abroad, and naturally even today there are no presidential planes or choppers.

When incumbent President Couchepin received a group of Turkish journalists, including this writer, this week we were not prepared for a cultural shock awaiting us at his office. First of all, the office was in a downtown shopping area of Berne, no different than the surrounding buildings. Excluding a lady sitting at the reception desk, there were no police or military guards. We were not asked to wait for hours until some officials completed security clearance, as there was no such practice there! Someone from the presidential office came down and escorted us to the third floor. Another senior member of the president's team greeted us and escorted to a meeting room, collected our business cards, offered coffee (the Swiss apparently do not have much affection for tea), and within moments a tall, smiling and rather modest President Couchepin came in, shook hands one by one and in all modesty said “You have an hour. I am ready for your questions or shall I start with an opening statement?”

Respect for law
The president tried to answer all our questions but his answer added more to our mental confusion. We were asking questions to a president who was unwilling to talk about why his country was “reluctant” to extradite leading figures of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, gang residing in his country because “as the government we cannot interfere in judicial affairs … If your authorities provide sufficient documentation convincing enough for our judiciary, than they decide for extradition … I cannot intervene.”

A colleague, in a rather impolite manner, told the Swiss president that his country has a rather bad image in Turkey because of the criminalization of denial of the alleged Armenian “genocide” as well as the reluctance of Swiss authorities to extradite leading PKK figures. The response was like a “democracy and separation of powers in democracy” lesson.

He said if Switzerland has such a bad image in Turkey, then “we have to increase contacts and efforts to explain ourselves.” He stressed that Switzerland is a democracy, there is separation of powers and he, as president, or the government was obliged to respect the supremacy of law. “Irrespective whether it is to our liking or not, there is a law and we have to abide with it,” he stressed as regards the criminalization of “genocide” denial, though he stressed the law was indeed not aimed for the Armenian issue but rather for the denial of Holocaust and Nazi crimes, but as the executive, he and the government had no other option but respect if the judiciary interpreted the law in a manner as if “Armenian genocide denial” is a crime as well.

Another surprise was awaiting the Turkish journalists as they left the “presidency” for a meeting with a former Parliament speaker. In the square in front of the Parliament building there was a street bazaar … Some vendors were selling bouquets of flowers, some were selling vegetables, some were selling cheese … No one was shouting on loudspeakers … And, no one was trying to kick them away the square in front of the Parliament building on grounds that their presence there could be degrading to “Swissness!” The Swiss were confident enough to understand that such things cannot constitute an offense to “Swissness.”

There were lots of democracy lessons for us Turks in the land of direct democracy!

Lincoln Mccurdy - Fostering Turkish-American Ties
October 18, 2008, Gül Demir And Niki Gamm, Istanbul – Turkish Daily News

Lincoln McCurdy has been involved with Turkey since the late 1970s when he was at the US Consulate General in Istanbul. Today he is president of the Washington DC-based Turkish Coalition of America

Some people who work in Turkey for the U.S. government fall in love with the country but most, however, are unwilling to risk their future by staying. Lincoln McCurdy is not one of them. He has been involved in U.S.-Turkish relations since the late 1970s. He told the Turkish Daily News, “I had served as the commercial officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul in the early 1980s, and when my assignment came to an end I resigned from government service to work in Turkey as a consultant for a major American bank.

“When I returned to the US I was involved in establishing the American Turkish Council (ATC), a trade association that promoted commercial, defense and cultural relations between the United States and Turkey. I served as its first executive director and later as president. After leaving ATC, I was the senior advisor for the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TACCI) in New York for two years.

“In 2006, I worked with several concerned Turkish Americans in exploring ways on how to encourage more Turkish Americans to become involved in the U.S. political system and to highlight the achievements of Turkish Americans. Consequently, due to the complexities of U.S. law, two new Turkish American organizations emerged in February 2007.

The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), for which McCurdy serves as president, was established as a charitable U.S. organization for the purpose of fostering a better understanding of the Turkish American community through public education. It is supported entirely by private donations with offices in Boston, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC.

The second organization that was established is the Turkish Coalition USA Political Action Committee (TC-USA PAC) based in Washington, DC, for which McCurdy serves as treasurer. Its purposes is to fund raise in the Turkish American community in order to make financial contributions to political candidates on the federal, state and local levels who have an understanding of the importance of the U.S.-Turkish relationship.

“Previously, unlike other ethnic communities in the U.S., there was no Turkish American political entity that represented the community in the US political arena. TC-USA PAC has filled this vacuum. Since its establishment, a second Turkish American political action committee, TurkishPAC, has been established in Houston, Texas—thereby providing another voice for the Turkish American community,” McCurdy said.

He said TCA and TC-USA PAC were required by law to operate independently from each other since it is prohibited for an educational charitable organization such as TCA to be involved in political activities. Therefore, as an officer in both organizations, he was constantly careful to ensuring the independence of each organization.

Turkey and US presidential candidates
Asked about how the two main US presidential candidates viewed Turkey, McCurdy said they hadn't yet provided “a clear picture to the Turkish Americans, and the general American public, as to their vision for the future of relations with Turkey. However, Senator Obama, through statements, has endorsed the Armenian American position regarding the Armenian issue and the Nagorno-Karabagh issue. Senator McCain has not endorsed the Armenian American position. TCA has reached out to both presidential campaigns to request their positions on a number of issues of concern to Turkish Americans. We look forward to hearing from both Senator McCain and Senator Obama. As a legislator, Senator McCain has a pro-US –Turkish relations voting record.

“Turkey's significance to peace in the region, particularly in regard to the war in Iraq and peace negotiations between Syria and Israel and Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot be overstated. It is clear that the 44th president of the United States will have to have a comprehensive policy towards Turkey. We hope that each of the candidates will realize the strategic and historical importance of US – Turkey relations.”

McCurdy believes that in this election cycle the Turkish American community is finally beginning to flex its muscles. The Turkish American community has grown tremendously during the last 20 years. The number of Turkish Americans holding U.S. citizenship or permanent resident visas is estimated to range from 300,000 to 500,000. It is also a more affluent community than realized.

“For the first time, political contributions by Turkish Americans to congressional, state and local candidates are being monitored due to the efforts of TC-USA PAC,” McCurdy said. “For this election cycle, Turkish Americans have organized more than 50 fundraisers for political candidates. As of today, Turkish Americans have raised more than $900,000 for congressional, state and local candidates. There is an excellent chance that Turkish Americans will have raised $1 million by the time of the election on Nov. 4. This amount does not reflect money contributed to the presidential candidates.

“A strong vocal Turkish American community actively engaged in the U.S. political system will neutralize anti-Turkish rhetoric and will enhance the U.S.-Turkish relationship. Again, I want to say how privileged and honored I am to be involved in this movement of Turkish American empowerment through my work in the Turkish Coalition of America and the Turkish Coalition USA Political Action Committee.”

One of the objectives of TCA is serving as a resource to the Congressional Turkish Caucus by encouraging more dialogue between caucus members, Turkish Americans and friends of the U.S.-Turkey partnership. McCurdy has found that many members are interested in learning more about Turkey and the partnership between the two countries. Since 2007 when TCA was founded the number of members in the caucus has reached 80, an increase of 18.

“One interesting story that I would like to share with you is about the late Ahmet Ertegun. There is fascination on Capitol Hill about Mr. Ertegun, especially with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Most people know that Mr. Ertegun was the founder of Atlantic Records, but few people realized that Ahmet was Turkish and played a key role in breaking down racial barriers in the nation's capital. In fact, in the 1940's when Ahmet's father was the Turkish ambassador to the U.S., the Turkish Embassy was the only official venue in Washington, DC, where blacks and whites could listen to music together. When this story is told, the perception of Turkey is changed for the good.”

The TCA is not a lobbying group and it is proud of the broad range of programs it sponsors to foster understanding and build relationships between the Turkish American community and the general public, McCurdy said. Traditionally, the Turkish American community has not been engaged with their elected officials. As a result, there is a knowledge gap with many members of Congress regarding the concerns and the interest of Turkish Americans.

“One of the missions of the TCA is to educate elected officials in order to close this gap. It is important to differentiate “lobbying” from “education.” Countless nonprofit organizations, like TCA, conduct education programs for members of congress.

“Lobbying is defined when there is an effort to support or oppose specific legislation. As a non-profit charitable organization, TCA is permitted like other Turkish American organizations to undertake limited lobbying such as opposing the Armenian genocide resolution.”

A normal day for Lincoln McCurdy may include meetings with members of congress and telephone calls most of the day talking with leaders of the Turkish American organizations and communities throughout the United States. For example, this year TCA is coordinating a national effort for Turkish American organizations to invite their representatives in congress to annual Turkish Republic Day events. This year is of particular importance since it is the 85th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.

McCurdy said he is also very involved in building bridges between the Turkish American community and other ethnic communities. One of TCA's programs is offering scholarships to educate students about Turkish history and heritage, and to build ties between minority communities and Turkish Americans. In one outreach program, he had the opportunity to work with Mexican Red Cross officials. In May of this year, TCA made a contribution to the Mexican Red Cross for the purchase of two ambulances as a goodwill gesture for the relief assistance Mexico gave after the 1999 earthquake that hit Turkey.

Another part of his job is working with colleagues and public relations consultants in drafting bulletins for members of Congress, press releases and op-eds reflecting the Turkish perspective of important and sometimes controversial issues.

McCurdy on McCurdy
McCurdy said he feels privileged and honored in helping to empower the Turkish American community. “Turkish Americans are model immigrants and play a constructive role in American society,” he said. “Unlike other ethnic groups, Turkish Americans do not have an anti-whatever agenda. They understand the importance of U.S. national interests. Unfortunately, however, Turkish Americans as a group are not politically involved. Whether they like it or not, Turkish Americans carry a responsibility to ensure that the dialogue between the United States and Turkey is not negatively impacted by interest groups hostile to Turkey. Therefore, it is important that Turkish Americans educate other Americans about their perspective, especially in the political arena. Otherwise the vital relationship between the United States and Turkey could be seriously damaged.

“Regarding the political scene, there are only two Turkish Americans who have been elected to office – both on the local level. No Turkish American has yet to be elected to national office. This year only one Turkish American is running for public office. It's been enjoyable to rally support across the United States for Rifat Sivisoglu who is running for the DuPage County Board in Illinois, outside of Chicago. Rifat has an excellent chance of winning.

“My current work is also laying the foundation for a Turkish American to run for congress. When the first Turkish American, Oz Bengur, ran a few years ago, he didn't have the support of any national Turkish American political organization. Now, there are two national Turkish American political action committees that can help in fundraising for the next Turkish American congressional candidate. I predict we will have a Turkish American member of congress in five years.

“I enjoy very much supporting the future leaders of the Turkish American community. Each year TCA gives out some 20 scholarships to Turkish American students who are interested in pursuing a career in public affairs or in journalism. It's very uplifting to associate with such talented young people.”

Asked what he saw as not very enjoyable about his work, McCurdy replied, “Regarding the negative side, it is disheartening to have to counter claims against Turkey from groups that have an anti-Turkish agenda based on hatred and viciousness. It is foolish and dangerous to attempt to re-fight old wars, particularly World War I. I wish we could create an atmosphere of goodwill and understanding with the anti-Turkish elements in the United States so that differences can be resolved and there can be focus on building a better future for all people. I know that Turkish Americans are willing to do so, but extremists in the anti-Turkish camp, unfortunately, refuse to deviate from their agenda.”

Couchepin of Swiss Federation: Genocide Row Should Be Settled By Historians17 October 2008, Turkish Daily News

Pascal Couchepin, president of the Swiss Confederation, has said historians should discuss Armenian claims that their ancestors were subjected to genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during World War I and praised recent Turkish diplomatic efforts for dialogue with Armenia.

The lower house of the Swiss Parliament accepted the genocide claims in a 2003 vote, causing strain in bilateral relations with Turkey. Last year, a politician of Turkish descent was charged with denying the "genocide" under legislation passed to punish denial of the Holocaust, angering Turkey, which says it is a restriction on the freedom of expression and debate.
But Couchepin, who is preparing to visit Turkey next month, appeared to take a conciliatory tone, saying he agreed that historical matters should be left to historians at a press conference with Turkish journalists in Berne. "The concerned parties should try to find a definition for the tragic events that happened," he was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency yesterday.

Asked to comment on charges against Turks who deny the alleged genocide, Couchepin said this should no longer be a matter of discussion. "We should look to the future," he said, praising Turkish President Abdullah Gül for a recent visit to Armenia, with which Turkey has no formal ties. Gül visited Yerevan on Sept. 6 to watch a World Cup qualifying game between the national teams of the two countries, becoming the first Turkish president to visit Armenia since it became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Couchepin also insisted that Turkey was a part of Europe and definitely a part of the West. "I feel I am in Europe when I am in İstanbul. You may think that you are in the East if you go further east in Turkey but you may not feel in Europe in certain parts of eastern Europe either," said Couchepin. "Turkey should be a part of Europe."

The overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey has been a member of NATO for decades and aspires to join the European Union. The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has carried out sweeping economic and political reforms to start accession talks with the EU but Brussels complains there has been a slowdown in reform efforts over the past two years. Switzerland is not in the 27-nation EU.

Couchepin commented on AK Party policies as well. Citing a non-Muslim cleric in Turkey whom he met last year in İstanbul, Couchepin said the cleric had told him that he would vote for the AK Party. He also quoted a North African Muslim leader as describing the AK Party as a Muslim version of the Christian Democratic movement in Europe.

Responding to Turkish complaints that Switzerland does not extradite terror suspects wanted by Interpol to Turkey, Couchepin said he would not comment on judicial matters. He condemned terror attacks on Turkey but added: "We don't have a list of terrorist organizations. … We do everything in line with the laws in effect."

Couchepin dismissed suggestions that his country is a safe haven for members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and said the Swiss police would take every measure to combat illegal activities.

Film And Symposium Explore Modern-Day Genocides By Barbara Taormina/salem@cnc.com Oct 16, 2008,
About four minutes into Apo Torosyan’s new film, “The Morgenthau Story,” New York County D.A. Robert Morgenthau calmly offers a bone-chilling comment.

“If the world had reacted to the genocide of the Armenians, Hitler would have been reluctant to go out and kill Jews in a wholesale fashion,” says Morgenthau, who at 89 can bring the heft of a historical perspective to his opinions.

But the world didn’t react. No one listened to Morgenthau’s grandfather, Henry Morgenthau, the U.S. ambassador to Constantinople in 1915, who tried to warn the West that the Turkish government was systematically killing the 1.5 million men, women and children who made up the country’s Armenian minority population.

And because no one listened, because no one chose to remember, the world seems to have been, as philosopher George Santayana says, condemned to repeat history — in Germany, Cambodia, Bosnia and now, in Darfur.

“How as humans we don’t learn from our mistakes I don’t know,” says Torosyan. “But, I always believe in hope.”

And it’s hope that has inspired the Peabody artist to create a body of work that’s both testament and tribute to the victims of the Armenian genocide. During the ‘90s, Torosyan created a series of paintings around the central image of bread, the simple and basic element of life that that Armenians, including his grandparents, were denied during the genocide. More recently, Torosyan has focused on film as a medium to tell his story.

“The Morgenthau Story,” Torosyan’s fourth film, weaves together words and images to offer a safe window to the horror of the Armenian genocide and the inexplicable indifference of the rest of the world.

Torosyan will visit Salem on Monday for a screening and a human rights symposium. (See details on a screening and a human-rights symposium at the end of the article.)

Torosyan’s previous films have centered on the painful first-person accounts of survivors and their families, but this time around, he focuses on Henry Morgenthau, an American of German-Jewish ancestry, who tried to rally the world and stop the killing. The film is built around interviews with three of Morgenthau’s grandchildren, who provide both personal and public portraits of the diplomat and the times in which he lived.

Torosyan splices together those recollections with historical photos and film footage that document the genocide and offer evidence to skeptics and deniers who continue to insist it never happened.

“Henry Morgenthau collected all a lot of evidence — 30,000 pages — all proof of what happened,” says Torosyan. “Anyone who wants to argue about the Armenian genocide can go to the library of Congress and look through these pages.”

The film is particularly poignant in light of the recent controversy involving the Anti-Defamation League and its refusal to support a congressional resolution that would formally recognize the Armenian Genocide. ADL leaders say that what happened to the Armenians is “tantamount to genocide” but the organization also believes formal recognition would be counterproductive, since it would offend Turkey, a moderate Muslim nation and one of Israel’s few allies in the Muslim world.

Not long after the ADL released a public statement outlining that position, a dozen Massachusetts cities and towns, including Newburyport, withdrew from the ADL’s “No Place for Hate” program which was created to challenge anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and all forms of bigotry on a local level.

Last February, Newburyport Mayor John Moak sent a letter to ADL officials informing them of his city’s decision to sever its ties with the organization.

“In the wake of last fall’s national spotlight on the ADL and its failure to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide between 1915 and 1923 as anything other than ‘tantamount to genocide,’ and in support of the approximate 5,000 Armenian residents in Merrimack Valley, the prudent course of action is to withdraw our membership,” wrote Moak.
Failure to recognize

Like other Armenians, Torosyan is disappointed by the U.S. government’s failure to recognize the Armenian genocide because of Turkey’s strategic political and economic position in world politics, and “The Morgenthau Story” is a fact-heavy film that seems to speak directly to that lack of moral conviction.

But Torosyan does not blame the Turkish people for trying to twist history and deny the Armenians an accurate account of the past. He hopes that there will be Turks in the audience during the film’s upcoming screenings at various organizations and schools, and he hopes he will have the chance to debate the facts.

“I believe the Turkish people today are not responsible for what happened in the past,” says Torosyan, who adds that the younger generations of Turks know little about what happened other than what they learn in state-issued history books which are heavily censored.
“They can’t believe that their ancestors are murderers,” he says.

While “The Morgenthau Story” attempts to set straight the historical record, it also suggests what needs to happen in order for this episode on history to end with some sense of justice.

One of Morgenthau’s three grandchildren who agreed to be interviewed for the film, Dr. Pamela Steiner, admits early on she did not know her grandfather well. She does tell a story of how he once gave her a Japanese doll that she admired in his study. She took it home and, like a lot of children might have done, and gradually undressed and unraveled it until there was nothing left. And while there is some hesitation and regret in her voice while she tells that story, there is nothing but conviction and resolve when Steiner, who has degrees from Harvard in both government and counseling, suggests the next necessary step for Armenians and Turks.

According to Steiner, in order for there to be any type of genuine reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia, the truth about the past has to be clearly stated and acknowledged. Steiner also believes that there needs to be reparations, restitution and memorials to the victims.

Finally, Steiner says Turkey must pledge that nothing like the Armenian genocide will ever happen again and the government must correct its history books and tell the truth.

Torosyan says “The Morgenthau Story” is a documentary and that one of the nice things about doing such a film is that he isn’t obligated to offer opinions. Still, the film goes further than his previous work in suggesting a concrete resolution to an episode in history that many would prefer to simply sweep under a rug.

But Torosyan insists that’s not going to happen, and he will continue to tell the story of the Armenian genocide through films and through paintings.

“When you have a little stone in your shoe it becomes more and more uncomfortable to walk,” he says. “For the deniers, we’re that little stone.”

And Torosayn says nothing, not even a formal recognition of the past, will stop him from trying to preserve the history of Armenia.

“For the rest of my life, I will talk about how my grandparents were murdered and how so many people died,” he says. “My job isn’t talking about anybody; it’s talking for humanity.”

Screening and human rights symposium

There will be a screening of Apo Torosyan’s new film, “The Morgenthau Story,” a documentary on the life and times of Henry Morgenthau Sr., at Salem State College on Oct. 20. The screening is sponsored by the Holocaust Center, Boston North Inc. For more information, contact Professor Robert McAndrews at 978-542-6815.

Salem State College Graduate School and the Holocaust Center, Boston North, will also hold a symposium, “Human Rights and the Danger of Genocide,” that evening. Torosyan will be present to engage in conversation with those attending the event.

Events will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Room of the Ellison Campus Center, located on Salem State’s North Campus on Lafayette Street. Admission is free.

Genocide Important But Not Key Issue For Armenian Community Of U.S. 17.10.2008

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The current election campaign in the U.S. is the most tensed, said Arpi Vatranian, Armenian Assembly of America regional director for Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

“It’s conditioned by the financial crisis and economic recession accompanied by considerable cut of health care and social assistance. Presently, Republicans are backed by 55 million of Americans. Democrats enjoy support of 72 million. This is a rough calculation and it’s hard to foretell the outcome of the election even despite Obama’s convincing victory in the debates,” she said.

“The Armenian voters have the same concerns as the rest of Americans. Of course, they attach importance to recognition of the Armenian Genocide, which is not, however, the key issue for the community.”

“As to McCain, he is the first presidential candidate during the past 20 years, who openly speaks against recognition of Genocide, sounding the position of the White House. Nevertheless, I should mention that neither of Republican presidential candidates, starting from Ronal Reagan, publicly denied the Armenian Genocide,” Ms. Vartanian said.

Ara Abrahamyan: Armenian Organizations In U.S. Don’t Lobby Armenia’s Interests Properly 17.10.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenia must maintain good relations with the U.S. but must not do it at expense of relations with other states, specifically with Russia, Ara Abrahamyan, the President of the Union of Armenians of Russia and World Armenian Congress, told reporters in Yerevan today.

He remarked that the Armenian organizations in the United States do not lobby Armenia’s interests properly. “I anchor hopes with formation of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs,” he said.

Abrahamyan also informed that the UAR and WAC proposed to address the International Court for recognition of the Armenian Genocide. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering the issue,” he said.

Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Press Release October 16, 2008
Lisa Kalustian Chief Deputy Director,Los Angeles, **@gov.ca.gov

Governor Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Maria Mehranian, to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Maria Mehranian, 50, of La Cañada, has been appointed to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. She has served at the Cordoba Corporation as managing partner since 1992 and previously served as vice president of urban and transportation planning from 1986 to 1992. Mehranian is a member of the American Planning Association, California Hospital Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors and is chairperson for Armenia Fund. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Mehranian is a Democrat.

Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation Blogian on 17 Oct 2008
Thursday morning I had my first guest lecture - through videoconference - for an Anthropology class on Truth and Reconciliation at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). My topic was the Armenian Genocide, and what are the prospects for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation.

Thursday afternoon, I received an e-mail from a young Turkish woman from Scotland. She wrote:

i stumbled across your blog and just wanted to thank you. i am a turkish girl studying in scotland, my mother and our family come from malatya. my grandfather is an apricot farmer. well, he used to be. he is a very old man now. he has been saying for a few years now that he won’t be seeing very many more springs come into bloom. i’ve read a few of posts (i will sit down and devour more, i am actually meant to be writing a paper at the moment) the Hasan Cemal one really hit a nerve.

my mother knew Hrant Dink. when he use to phone her, he use to call her “Toprağım” (my earth/my land).
i’ve never seen her mourn the way she did when he was murdered.
i am not in the habit of writing such strangely emotional emails.

i am trying and not really succeeding, i am not entirely sure why i am crying in front of my laptop, for what it is worth in it’s own little way - i am sorry. i feel that your blog and the insight and information it provides is wonderful and do keep up the good work.

Thank you.

This e-mail brought smile to my face. The hours I had spent preparing my lecture was not worthless. Armenian-Turkish reconciliation is not only possible, but it is happening right now on some personal levels.

Anyway, here are a few excerpts from my 10-page (double spaced) talk this morning which was followed by questions from IUPUI students.


I have no records of a family tree that goes back before 1915 even though the world’s oldest map that we know shows Armenia as one of the few countries known to the ancient Babylonians. Naturally, I was brought up to hate those who committed the genocide. But, as a child, I was also taught of a kind Turkish woman who saved my father’s grandmother during the genocide and kept her as her own daughter for eight years.

I am alive because a Turkish woman helped my great-grandmother escape a Turkish massacre in 1915. So, naturally, the seeds to reconciliation between Armenians and Turks are to be found in harsh history itself.

(Later I reviewed the history of the Armenian Genocide and what has happened in the last 90 years in the conflict.)

As some of you may know, Turkey’s president Abdullah Gul visited Armenia last month to watch a soccer match together. Referred to as “soccer diplomacy,” this move was initiated by Armenia’s new and perhaps undemocratically elected president Serzh Sargsyan. Both presidents took huge risks by attending this unprecedented and historic event, and many people hoped this could be the start of a better future.

Today’s Armenia is a small, landlocked country with a decreasing population and a sad history. It’s most advanced neighbor, Turkey, has committed a genocide that it say never took place. If Turkey opens the border, Armenia could have access to open markets and business would benefit Armenia. But many Armenians, especially Armenians in the Diaspora, feel that Turkey must recognize the Armenian Genocide before Turkey and Armenia can become friends. And many Turks, think that Armenia should destroy its Genocide Memorial and forget history before Turkey should open the border.

Surprisingly, the leadership of the Republic of Armenia and Turkey seem to be open to change – openly supported by the West. Last month’s “soccer diplomacy” is a good public image for Turkey and a real economic opportunity for Armenia, but the question that haunts us is whether reconciliation or truth comes first. Will an unconditional reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey move Turks to recognize the Genocide? Does Armenia have the right to reconcile with Turkey without the Diaspora’s concern? Who is the Armenian Diaspora? Who speaks for the Diaspora? Nationalist leaders or people who spend money to their families in Armenia every month?

And, finally, what is it that will make Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide? What if Turkey doesn’t democratize for another 90 years.

These are questions with no satisfying or simple answers, but questions that raise the underlying issue of justice. Perhaps if Turkey is not ready to recognize the Armenian Genocide, it can start protecting and renovating Armenian sacred sites – cathedrals and cemeteries – places of memory that are the only proof that a historic Armenia once existed in what is today Turkey. Perhaps the Armenian Diaspora can establish more ties with progressive people in Turkey and tell them that even though we will never forget the Armenian Genocide, we will also never forget the kindness of those Turks who helped us during the Genocide. The path to reconciliation is impossible without acknowledging the past, but admitting realities can start with little things such as accepting that Armenians and Turks are human beings who have lived together for hundreds of years, that we both share values of justice, fairness, hospitality and family. That no matter how hard we try, we will never stop being neighbors.

I am an optimist, and I think Armenians and Turks will one day see some part of themselves in each others’ eyes.

Armenian Genocide Cross Stone Erected In Ukraine

Opening ceremony of a cross stone dedicated to the was held October 11 in the central park of Nikopol (province of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine).

The cross stone is erected on the initiative of the Armenian community of Nikopol. The anointment rite was administered by the priest Ter Hamazasp of the Armenian Church of Nikopol and priest Roman Katsnovetski of the Russian Church.

The Mayor of Nikopol Sergey Starunin that was present at the ceremony mentioned in his speech that the Genocide committed against Armenians is a crime against humanity, and raising of the cross stone also plays an important role in preventing from such tragedies.
Translated by L.H.

Turkey's True Colors, Turkish Novelists Pamuk Lambast Government At Book Fair
Turkey is "guest of honor" at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair but top novelists, including Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, are not just publicizing their books. They are shining a spotlight on their country's murky human rights' record.

Under the motto "Turkey in all its colors," this was meant to be the moment the country flaunted its creative diversity to the world. But the opening ceremony at the most important event in the book-publishing year was a far cry from the literary love-in organizers had hoped for.

Turkish President Abdullah Gül with his wife and Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk at the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

When Orhan Pamuk took to the stage at the Frankfurt Book Fair earlier this week, addressing an influential audience including Turkish President Abdullah Gül, he was quick to list some of the less attractive "colors" of his homeland. "A century of banning and burning books, of throwing writers into prison or killing them or branding them as traitors and sending them into exile, and continuously denigrating them in the press -- none of this has enriched Turkish literature," Pamuk said. "It has only made it poorer."

"The state's habit of penalizing writers and their books is still very much alive," he told the crowd.

The winner the 2006 Nobel Prize for literature was speaking partly from personal experience. He has had his own clashes with the government. Pamuk was accused of "insulting Turkishness" after an interview published in 2005 voiced his condemnation of the genocide against Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I and the killing of Kurds by Turkey in the 1980s. The charges were eventually dropped, but many nationalists retain a grudge against the famous novelist.

In his speech, Pamuk highlighted how the controversial Article 301 (which forbids insulting Turkishness) "…continues to be used to silence and suppress many other writers, in the same way it was used against me. There are at this moment hundreds of writers and journalists being prosecuted and found guilty under this article."

He also criticized the censorship of information in his homeland. During research for his latest work, "Museum of Innocence," he used YouTube to research Turkish films and songs. But now YouTube, along with a host of domestic and international Web sites, are not accessible in Turkey "for political reasons."

When Gül took to the stage at the opening ceremony he did not directly respond to Pamuk's complaints. Instead he said Turkey was "really proud" of the Nobel Prize and the fact that Turkish literature was gaining recognition. Sticking to generalizations, he expressed his happiness that Turkey had "gradually" brought about political and economic reforms, but admitted that there was "a lot yet to be done."

And observers said Pamuk had kick-started a long overdue debate. "His every word should be translated into Turkish and made loud and clear in Turkey -- his statement conveys an important message," said Claus Schönig, a professor at the Turkish Institute in Berlin.

Turkish Writers Shun Book Fair
And the Nobel Laureate was not alone in using the world's biggest book fair to focus the public gaze on freedom of expression. While international editors ink deals and readers peruse the stands, around 20 Turkish authors are notable for their absence. Literary critic Fusun Akatli explained the mass-boycott as a protest against the ruling conservative AKP government under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In her view, the government is ill suited as an ambassador for Turkish culture. She believes Erdogan's party wants to overturn 80 years of progress and modernity in Turkey.

"Participation at the Frankfurt Book Fair goes against my world view and my political convictions," she wrote in a declaration published in the daily Milliyet, adding that she did not want to assist the government in presenting its "culture veneer."

And the international defender of human rights, Amnesty International, has also repeatedly underlined Turkey's failure to guarantee free speech. In its 2008 report on the country it concluded that the "peaceful expression of opinion" continued to be restricted in law and practice. "Lawyers, journalists, human rights defenders and others were harassed, threatened, unjustly prosecuted and physically attacked," it found.

In particular it noted that tensions had increased in the wake of the fatal shooting of journalist and human rights defender Hrant Dink in January 2007. Dink was one of the most prominent voices of Turkey's shrinking Armenian community. Like dozens of writers including Pamuk, he had been charged under the controversial laws for insulting Turkishness.

And some say the controversial law is counterproductive, given its impact on Turkey's international reputation. "There is a broad range of people in Turkey using the "insulting Turkishness" laws in such a way that they themselves could be seen to be insulting the country -- after all they are making Turkey into a laughing stock internationally," Schönig said.

Meanwhile, within Turkey, the pressure is on to clean up its rights' record, to support the AKP government's longstanding European Union aspirations.

And in the massive halls of the Frankfurt trade fair, political hot potatoes remain part of the program. On the schedule are podium discussions on women's rights, freedom of speech and Islam in Turkey: maybe all Turkey's "colors" will be on show after all.

Forget 'Memory Laws' By Timothy Garton Ash Los Angeles Times October 16, 2008 CA

It is not the business of any political authority to define historical truth.

Among the ways in which freedom is being chipped away in Europe, one of the less obvious is the legislation of memory. More and more countries have laws saying you must remember and describe this or that historical event in a certain way.

The wrong way depends on where you are. In Switzerland, you get prosecuted for saying that the terrible thing that happened to the Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman empire was not a genocide. In Turkey, you get prosecuted for saying it was. What is state-ordained truth in the Alps is state-ordained falsehood in Anatolia.

Of all the countries in Europe, France has the most intense and tortuous recent experience with "memory laws." It began rather uncontroversially in 1990, when denial of the Nazi Holocaust of the European Jews, along with other crimes against humanity defined by the 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal, was made punishable by law. In 1995, historian Bernard Lewis was convicted by a French court for arguing that, on the available evidence, what happened to the Armenians might not correctly be described as genocide according to the definition in international law.

A further law, passed in 2001, says the French Republic recognizes slavery as a crime against humanity and that this must be given its "consequential place" in teaching and research. A group representing some overseas French citizens subsequently brought a case against the author of a study of the African slave trade, Olivier Petre-Grenouilleau, on the charge of "denial of a crime against humanity." Meanwhile, yet another law was passed, from a very different point of view, prescribing that school curricula should recognize the "positive role" played by the French presence overseas, "especially in North Africa."

Fortunately, at this point a wave of indignation gave birth to a movement called Liberty for History. The case against Petre-Grenouilleau was dropped and the "positive role" clause nullified. But it remains incredible that such a proposal ever made it to the statute book in one of the world's great democracies and homelands of historical scholarship.

This kind of nonsense is all the more dangerous when it wears the mask of virtue. A perfect example is a directive drafted by the European Union in the name of "combating racism and xenophobia." The proposed rule suggests that "publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivializing crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes" should be "punishable by criminal penalties of a maximum of at least between one and three years imprisonment."

Some countries with a strong free-speech tradition, including Britain, objected to this, so the proposed agreement now also says that "member states may choose to punish only conduct which is either carried out in a manner likely to disturb public order or which is threatening, abusive or insulting." So in practice, countries will continue to do things their own way.

Despite its manifold flaws, this proposed directive was approved by the European Parliament in November 2007, but it has not been brought back to the Justice and Home Affairs Council for final approval. I e-mailed the relevant representative of the current French presidency of the EU to ask why, and just received this cryptic but encouraging reply: "...It is suspended to some outstanding parliamentary reservations." Merci, Madame Liberte.

Let me be clear. It is very important that nations, states and peoples face up, solemnly and publicly, to the bad things done by them or in their name. The West German leader Willy Brandt's falling silently to his knees in Warsaw, before a monument to the victims and heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto, is, for me, one of the noblest images of postwar European history. To face up to these things, people have to know about them in the first place. So they must be taught in schools as well as publicly commemorated.

But before they are taught, they must be researched. The evidence must be uncovered, checked and sifted. It's this process of historical research and debate that requires complete freedom -- subject only to tightly drawn laws of libel and slander.

This week, a group of historians and writers to which I belong pushed back against these kinds of dangerous memory laws. In an article published in Le Monde last weekend, we stated that in a free country, "it is not the business of any political authority to define historical truth and to restrict the liberty of the historian by penal sanctions."

The historian's equivalent of a natural scientist's experiment is to test the evidence against all possible hypotheses, however extreme, and then submit his most convincing interpretation for criticism by professional colleagues and for public debate. This is how we get as near as one ever can to truth about the past. How, for example, do you refute the absurd conspiracy theory, which apparently still has some currency in parts of the Arab world, that "the Jews" were behind 9/11? By forbidding anyone from saying that, on pain of imprisonment? No. You refute it by refuting it. By mustering all the available evidence, in free and open debate. This is not just the best way to get at the facts; ultimately, it's the best way to combat racism and xenophobia too.

Timothy Garton Ash, a contributing editor to the Opinion pages, is a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and professor of European studies at Oxford University.

Mccain First Presidential Candidate In Past 20 Years Opposing Genocide Recognition 16.10.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Atlantic Monthly focused in its latest edition on the Armenian vote in the upcoming elections in an article entitled “McCain's Armenia Problem.”

The article says, in part,

“John McCain is the first presidential candidate in the past two decades who is on the record as opposing genocide recognition without already being a member of the incumbent Administration…

In 1990, McCain voted against a recognition resolution that was sponsored by then-Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole. In 2000, campaigning for the Republican nomination in California, McCain confirmed that he would not support such a resolution. "It was not under this government in Turkey,” McCain said. “I don't see what this resolution does to improve this situation one iota." The Senator has stuck to his position in 2008, attracting widespread criticism from Armenian groups. “I think the most dangerous part of Senator McCain is that he is toeing the old Cold War era line that Turkey is this invaluable ally we cannot offend,” warned Areen Ibranossian, the Chairman of Armenians for Obama, a group promoting the Illinois Senator among Armenian-Americans nationwide.

The contrast between Obama and McCain extends more broadly to the United States' relationship with the Republic of Armenia. Obama's January 19th statement pledged to maintain Armenian foreign aid and to move toward a resolution of the Karabakh conflict that would respect the “principle of self-determination”--language close to Armenian demands. On the other hand, John McCain has remained largely silent on these issues, an attitude his critics deride as worrisome indifference.

The California-based Armenians for Obama group plans to educate Armenian-American voters about these differences.”

To Think Instead Of Saying, "It's Quite Right" Gevorg Haroutyunyan Hayots Ashkhar Daily 15 Oct 2008 Armenia
ARTHUR AGHABEKYAN, Head of the NA Committee on Defense, National Security and Internal Affairs, yesterday had a meeting with the journalists in "Hayeli" (mirror) club.

The discussion was devoted to the new draft law "On Defense" which has been included in the agenda of the upcoming four-day session of the National Assembly. The former law adopted on June 24, 1997 was written based on the logic of the former Constitution, the Speaker said. Therefore, "There has now emerged a necessity of having a new law 'On Defense'. The thing is that the Constitution will distinguish the competences of the President and the Government in the sphere of defense as well."

According to A. Aghabekyan, the new law clearly defines what competences the Commander-in-Chief and the executive, Defense Minister and the General Headquarters have in the sphere. "The former law implied that the Defense Minister should be a military servant; however, all our Defense Ministers, except Vagharshak Haroutyunyan, were civilians. Under the new law, the Defense Minister should be a civilian and represent the ruling political force.

The decision on declaring a war is made by the President but is ratified by the Parliament. In this way, the ruling political force =0 D consciously undertakes such responsibility. Under the new law, the staff of the Ministry should mainly consist of civilian employees. Our goal is to decrease the number of those who say, 'it's quite right' and increase the number of the human resources who are capable of thinking and taking initiatives."

Head of the Committee emphasized that after the adoption of the law, the chief of the General Headquarters should be the person holding the highest military rank and position. "There cannot be equalized positions. During the war, all the possible subdivisions unconditionally comply with the Head of the headquarters and carry out only his instructions."

Thus, a system of civilian control is being introduced into the armed forces. The political force striving for power will hereafter not only introduce social and economic programs but also be obliged to disclose its attitude towards strategic issues. "Apart from pleasing the people, the force striving for power is also required to point out in what way it is going to resist the external challenges, how it is going to defend the country and the people and what diplomacy it is going to conduct. Otherwise, we will have forces striving for power which, however, will never be capable of undertaking and bearing full responsibility," A. Aghabekyan finds.

Touching upon the Karabakh settlement talks within the frameworks of the OS CE Minsk Group and the issue of mutual concessions, he announced, "There are no statements or discussions concerning the agreement on ceding territories. The NKR armed forces continue to remain the guarantee for the full protection of all the territories of Artsakh. During the liberation fights of the 1990's, there was no commander who liberated territories with a tendency of returning them in future. There is no territory either in the southern or northern direction that has been liberated in order to be returned. But in a couple of years, I will tell you by all means about the conversation which I had with Babken Ararktsyan in Fizuli in the autumn of 1994... Much has to be done for that conversation to become just a memory."

A. Aghabekyan reminded the journalists that the territories were mainly liberated in 1993, and there was a clear-cut goal, "The minimum task of all the Commanders was to protect Artsakh from bombing. In the middle of 1993, this problem was solved on all the fronts and in all the directions, from the river Araks to the mountain pass of Omar, as well as along the borders of the Republic of Armenia.

The next principal task was to create a security zone that would make it possible to organize the defense in the territory of Artsakh. This meant a frontline extension and a strategic path inside the front. I find that the liberated territories are not simply a20guarantee of military security; they also have many other components. At present, those territories are a guarantee of economic security as well."

This Is How The Activists Were Preparing For A Coup D'etat Vrezh Aharonyan
With Alik asking for "cigarettes"

Recently, the press supporting the Armenian Pan-National Movement also touched upon the intercepted phone conversations of ex-Foreign Minister Alik Arzoumanyan, Head of L. Ter-Petrosyan's campaign headquarters, and stated with an utter degree of excitement that the intercepted information was the conversation of an employee of the US Embassy. No need to "look more catholic than the Pope". The United States, a country considering itself the sower of democracy, recently enshrined the right of intercepting the conversations of its citizens in the legislation (with security considerations).

So, this message envisaged for foreign countries will not arouse any surprise in the United States. It's just a constituent part of their everyday life. It is only in our reality that the measures aimed at overthrowing the government by way of staging a coup d'état are considered as previously planned steps towards shifting the government, and after the failure of the attempts to achieve the desired result, the preparatory activities change into spontaneous demonstrations where one can see a lot of heaters, gas balloons and reduction gears ordered previously by LTP's campaign headquarters.

Below we present the details of the pho ne conversation between Alik Arzoumanyan and some Volodya Hovhannisyan so as the reader will have a clearer picture of the serious activities carried out by the Head of LTP's campaign headquarters.

Volodya Hovhannisyan: "It's Volodya speaking; so say something, old man."

Alik Arzoumanyan: "Oh, yes Volodya, my dear. You had 9 um... (stammering) cigarettes; I will need them."

V. H. "Alik, my dear, organizing the whole stuff will take much time, so we'll hardly manage to do that today."

A. A. "But I asked you to have everything prepared on the 20th, didn't I?"

V. H. "Yes, that's true. But I was at the polling station. And the all people were at polling stations. So, what's the problem?"

A. A. "No problem at all, Volodya. All these are interrelated questions."

V. H. "I got it. I'll tell my guys to do something; I'll try to find some solution. If I manage, I'll solve the problem. Is that OK?"

A. A. "You could have told me what was needed, and I'd have found everything. But you try. Try to find it today!"

V. H. "You know, I have asked quite a lot of people to get those things, but it's difficult to find them in Armenia now."

A. A. "Never mind, I beg you to solve that question today."0D

V. H. "All right, I'll see what I can do, Alik, my dear."

So, what's the message of this conversation? Anyone will understand that the word "cigarette" which serves as a kind of password is not absolutely what Alik Arzoumanyan wanted. "Do you have 9 um...?"

Head of LTP's campaign headquarters says to Volodya, first reluctant to give any name to what he wants and then stammers the word "cigarette".

What was it that he needed? What was it that he didn't want or feared to give the name of? Naturally, it wasn't with the purpose of warming the demonstrators (who spent the nights on the Theatrical Square) that Alik Arzoumanyan wanted 9 "cigarettes". It isn't as though we might think that the so-called "cigarette" must be some kind of arm or ammunition.

Anyway, it's obvious that we are dealing with an explosive; otherwise, why should the two people have talked to each other, using the morse code?

Furthermore, V. Hovhannisyan seemed to be raising the price of what he was going to find and making it clear to Alik Arzoumanyan that "It is now difficult to find them in Armenia". Probably, those things were easy to find during the years of the war or in the period when the Armenian Pan-National Movement was ruling the country.

During the next phone conversation, A. Arzoumanyan gav e other tasks to V. Hovhannisyan and clearly said what he wanted, i.e.

called the things by their names, since the conversation was no longer about arms, but rather - the items envisaged for the demonstrators.

V. H. "We need balloons weighing 10 kilograms, together with their reduction gears.

But I have instructed that the guys start working now, so I'll give you information in an hour or an hour and a half."

A. A. "Both items are on sale, darling."

V. H. "Yeah, I know they are, but we have to find the place in order to buy them. But it's winter now."

A. A. "Just ask a couple of guys to do that."

V. H. "I have taken care of that, Alik my dear. Tigran is now getting the affair done."

A. A. "All right."

Alik Arzoumanyan had his next phone conversation with Volodya Hovhannisyan on February 20, at 21:41 p.m. This time, the phone operator was Karapet Roubinyan, i.e. Mr. Arzoumanyan first contacted him. Judging by all, Hovhannisyan had managed to get the so-called "cigarette".

A. A. "Young man, will you tell me Volodya's phone number?"

Karapet Roubinyan: "I am passing the phone to him."

A. A. "Hey guy, what's new?"

V. H. "Everything's all right. Everything's ready, so we'll move it when you ask.E2

A. A. "You wanted nine, didn't you?"

V. H. "Yeah."

A. A. "OK, then I'll say everything tomorrow evening."

V. H. "All right."

This is how the pro-Levon activists were preparing for a coup, having previously given instructions to special people and performing their activities on a high level and in an utterly spontaneous manner.
To be continued

From Public Enemy To Turkey's National Hero
Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk was persecuted in Turkey. Now he is a global ambassador for his homeland. Boyd Tonkin meets him

16 October 2008 EPA
Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize for literature, will lead the Turkish delegation at this week's Franfurt Book Fair

The route that takes an enemy of the state on to the global stage as a national icon can be as short as the flight from Istanbul to Frankfurt. This week, Turkey is enjoying its status as "country of honour" at the 2008 Frankfurt Book Fair. The programme, backed by the government in Ankara, began with an address by a writer who knows that parts of his country's armed forces once plotted to assassinate him. Orhan Pamuk may have won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2006, but in that year he also survived a prosecution for "insulting Turkish identity", under the infamous but now reformed Article 301 of the penal code, after he spoke abroad about the Armenian massacres of the First World War.

Pamuk's role at the head of the 300 writers and 100 publishers who are showcasing the multi-cultural "colours" of his country's life and arts at the book world's annual marketplace highlights the Turkish paradox: a country where state and government often pull fiercely in opposite directions. Pamuk's swing from ostracised zero to poster-boy hero is another odd outcome of the stand-off between the elected, soft-Islamic government and the "deep state" – with its strongholds in the army and courts.

In recent months, Turkey has been riveted and outraged by revelations from the so-called "Ergenekon" scandal: the latest evidence of the army's chronic itch to meddle in politics and society in order to protect the secular nationalism of the state founded by Ataturk in the ruins of the Ottoman empire. As for the justice system, in July the supreme court avoided by one vote a calamitous decision to ban the ruling AKP party, which has Islamist roots, for violating the constitution. Indeed, six judges out of 11 voted to outlaw a movement that won 47 per cent of the vote and a crushing majority in the 2007 elections – but seven was the majority required.

The Ergenekon exposés and shocks, such as the murder of a Turkish- Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink in 2007, have given Pamuk and other free-thinking writers a local boost after years of being treated as unpatriotic whipping-boys by vindictive courts and their tabloid allies. "I think the bad times are over for me now," Pamuk told me in his flat overlooking the Bosphorus in central Istanbul. When his new novel, The Museum Of Innocence, appeared, he says, "for the first time, the Turkish media gave me a sweet reception". Now, the culture ministry has sanctioned a Frankfurt Book Fair pitch celebrating the diversity of Turkey's cultural heritage – Kurdish, Jewish, Armenian, gypsy and Anatolian Muslim. A committee chaired by the radical publisher Muge Sokmen has shaped the "country of honour" jamboree. For Pamuk, the AKP government's long-held desire to join the EU means it knows it has to put on a pluralist face "in order to be more attractive, to appear more European".

Pamuk, like many of Istanbul's most liberal and cosmopolitan artists, is not as worried as outsiders about how deep the AKP's pluralism really runs. For them, the real threat still lurks among the hard-line secular chauvinists in the army and judiciary who have for decades banned and jailed authors and journalists. Perihan Magden, an outspoken popular columnist, thinks readers see her as a "national bitch" as well as a successful novelist.

She also suffered an Article 301 prosecution in 2005 for defending the right of a conscientious objector to refuse military service. "I don't see a fundamentalist threat in my country," she says. "I don't think the AKP has a hidden agenda. They're not hiding in the closet ready to jump out at us." Even if they merely follow the old maxim of "my enemy's enemy is my friend", Turkey's frankest authors clearly distrust behind-the-scenes ultra-secularists more than upfront, vote-chasing Islamic politicians. "I'm not pro-AKP," adds Magden. "I'd never vote for them. But as long as they are democratic, I support them."

Elif Shafak, a best-selling novelist indicted and then cleared in court for the Armenian themes of her novel The Bastard Of Istanbul, recently joined other writers for lunch with Turkey's AKP president, Abdullah Gul. Often treated with suspicion in Europe as a crypto-Islamist, he is controversial at home as well, not least because his wife wears that most emotive of Turkish garments, the headscarf. For Shafak, this dialogue "is symbolic, but in this country, symbols are important". Her writing aims to build cultural bridges and to show the gulf between Muslim and non-religious Turkey may not run as deep as outsiders imagine. In ordinary homes and in the streets, "They manage to co-exist," she says. "I feel that's healthy – but the elite draw the boundaries more clearly. Real life is more fluid."

For Frankfurt organiser Muge Sokmen, whose publishing company Metis is still "harassed" by cases under Article 301 even after its terms were tightened up in April, the fair should at last allow observers to see a hybrid Turkey. Above all, she wants to tell the story of a people more creatively mixed up than foreign headlines ever admit. "The outside world presents Turkey as either black or white. Our colours are never seen". This week, Orhan Pamuk is opening the paintbox.

Dissident Turks: Writers who fell foul of the law

Perihan Magden
A columnist for Rakidal newspaper and Aktuel magazine, Magden, 48, has published poetry and novels, including The Companion, Messenger Boy Murders and Two Girls. In 2006, she was prosecuted but acquitted for defending a conscientious objector who refused military service. Last year, Magden received a suspended sentence for "defaming" a provincial governor.

Elif Shafak
The columnist and writer was born to a diplomatic family in 1971 and has published seven novels, including The Flea Palace and The Bastard Of Istanbul, whose discussion of Turkish-Armenian history provoked a court case in 2006 that led to her acquittal on an Article 301 charge. Her new book is a memoir of surviving post-natal depression.

Turkish Novelist Denounces Government at Book Fair By MOTOKO RICH October 15, 2008

FRANKFURT — Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish novelist and Nobel Prize laureate, forcefully denounced the Turkish government for its treatment of writers, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Frankfurt Book Fair on Tuesday evening as the president of Turkey sat listening.

Every year, a nation is chosen to be guest of honor at the fair, an annual ritual of the international publishing industry, and this year it is Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of publishers, editors, agents and authors are gathered here from 100 countries to talk about books and negotiate deals in what has become the most important annual event on the book-publishing calendar.

At Tuesday’s opening ceremony in a packed auditorium, Mr. Pamuk spoke quietly but intensely as Abdullah Gul, the president of Turkey, sat in the audience. “A century of banning and burning books, of throwing writers into prison or killing them or branding them as traitors and sending them into exile, and continuously denigrating them in the press — none of this has enriched Turkish literature,” Mr. Pamuk said. “It has only made it poorer.”

Mr. Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006, was the subject of criminal charges of “insulting Turkishness” after giving a 2005 interview to a magazine in which he condemned the genocide against Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I and the killing of Kurds by Turkey in the 1980s. The charges were dropped, but many nationalists have not forgiven Mr. Pamuk.

“The state’s habit of penalizing writers and their books is still very much alive,” Mr. Pamuk said in his speech. “Article 301 of the Turkish penal code continues to be used to silence and suppress many other writers, in the same way it was used against me; there are at this moment hundreds of writers and journalists being prosecuted and found guilty under this article.”

When he was working on his latest novel, “Museum of Innocence,” Mr. Pamuk said, he used YouTube to research Turkish films and songs. Now, he said, YouTube and many other domestic and international Web sites are blocked in Turkey “for political reasons.”

President Gul, who spoke immediately after Mr. Pamuk, said Turkey was “really proud” of Mr. Pamuk’s Nobel Prize and the fact that Turkish literature was being recognized more generally as well as at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

He did not address Mr. Pamuk’s criticisms directly, but said that “today I can state with happiness that in Turkey, thanks to political and economic reforms that have gradually and more intensively been integrated,” his nation was moving closer to fulfilling the conditions necessary to join the European Union.

“Although we have not been fully successful and there is a lot yet to be done,” Mr. Gul said, “if we compare it to the situation before, we can say that in Turkey there has indeed been a positive development.”

Worldview: Turkey's Rising Role: Diplomacy By Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer Wed, Oct. 15, 2008 PA

Surrounded by conflicts, it has become more active. That could benefit the U.S.

ANKARA, Turkey - Americans who explore the wonders of Istanbul rarely visit Turkey's capital, deep in the plains of Anatolia. It is a city of nondescript high-rises, government offices, and new shopping centers that reflect Turkey's growing prosperity.

Ankara is known mainly for two things: a stunning museum that highlights Turkey's ancient Anatolian past, and the vast hilltop mausoleum of Ataturk, Turkey's founder, whose stern face is visible on huge banners throughout the city.

But Ankara is becoming known for something else that's of great strategic interest to Americans: an active foreign policy that may help resolve conflicts in critical regions where the United States has faltered. That includes the troubled Caucasus region, where Russia just warred with Georgia, and the Middle East.

"If you list the key issues which Turkey and the U.S. pursue, you'd be amazed by how many parallels there are," Turkey's president, Abdullah Gul, told a small group of visiting U.S. journalists and think-tank experts in an interview in his office this week.

Indeed, almost every foreign crisis on the American agenda is also a concern for Gul. Turkey sits at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, bordering not only the European Union, but also Georgia, Iraq, Iran and Syria. It has been adversely affected by growing Mideast chaos since the Iraq war.

Turkey also sits at an energy crossroads. Efforts to build new oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia and the Caucasus - pipelines that will circumvent Russia and make Europe less dependent on it -all rely on Turkey. A crucial pipeline from Azerbaijan through Georgia uses the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Instability in its environs has prompted Turkey to become more active in efforts at conflict resolution. "In regional foreign policy, we had numerous problems with our neighbors," Gul said. "They must be resolved, or there cannot be peace."

Turkey's emphasis has been, for the most part, on soft power and diplomacy. It is the only country with fair to good relations with every country in neighboring regions: close ties to Israel as well as to Arab states; good relations with Iran and carefully managed relations with Russia; and close ties to Georgia.

Two of Turkey's many mediation efforts could have a positive impact on key concerns of the United States. First is Turkey's recent overture to Armenia. The two nations have deep disagreements over how one million Armenians were killed in the early 20th century; Armenians call it genocide, while Turkey insists it was the result of warfare.

In September, Gul became the first Turkish president in history to visit Armenia. Gul had sent congratulations to Serge Sargsyan upon his election as Armenia's president, and Gul in turn was invited to attend a soccer match between the Turkish and Armenian teams in Yerevan. Both leaders faced strong domestic opposition to the visit.

"Of course, I didn't just go to watch soccer," Gul said. "The major aim was to establish a climate in which we can operate from now on."

The goal is to work toward normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey and opening their border. Turkey also may be able to mediate the poisonous split between Armenia and a third Caucasus country, Azerbaijan; Armenia now occupies a large chunk of Azeri territory.

Progress on resolving these conflicts could have a positive spillover for the Russia-Georgia standoff and prospects for new pipelines. "Solving any [Caucasus] problem would affect us all positively," Gul said. Turkey's (and Armenia's) efforts are a brave try.

A second example is Turkey's mediation of peace talks between Syria and Israel. "We've worked hard to bring peace in the region," Gul said. "Recently, that work became more visible."

At a time when the United States preferred to isolate Syria, Turkey worked to get Syria and Israel back to the table (and kept Washington informed of the effort). Four rounds of private talks have taken place; they are now on hold as Israel forms a new government.

A Syria-Israel peace would end the current alliance between Syria and Iran and undercut Hezbollah, forcing Tehran to rethink its policies in the region. Such an outcome could also help resurrect the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The bottom line: The next U.S. president should encourage Turkey's mediation and take a cue from its soft-power efforts. Turkey's diplomacy has opened up new possibilities for its American ally.

"No Piece Of Land To The Enemy" A1+ 14 October, 2008
Back in 1992-1993 when Serzh Sargsyan was the RA Defense Minister, he had made a statement according to which the liberators of Artsakh knew that there would come a day when they would have to give up the liberated territories for the Nagorno-Karabakh status. However, head of the NA Committee on Defense and Armed Forces Arthur Aghabekian, who was one of the liberators of the Nagorno-Karabakh territories, refused to comment today on the statement made by Serzh Sargsyan.

Aghabekian told "A1+" that there was neither a commander nor soldier that thought about that back then. According to Aghabekian, when the liberation process began in 1993, every commander set forth the issue to protect the people from bombings and create a buffer zone.

"I believe that there is not one official who can sit in his office and think about how much land and to whom it must be handed over. The Armenian people must decide what to give up."

As long as the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are not speaking out, Aghabekian advises perceiving the news about the handing over of lands as simply rumors.

In the end, Aghabekian simply said: "No piece of land to the enemy." If Serzh Sargsyan dares to make a decision on Nagorno-Karabakh, Aghabekian promised on behalf of his party that the Dashnaktsutiun will take action before the decision is made.

Taking The Anca Capital Gateway Program On The Road To College Campuses ANCA Press Release October 14, 2008
-- Program Director Serouj Aprahamian Urges University Students to Explore Careers in the Nation's Capital

WASHINGTON, DC - Armenian American students at Brown University, Boston College, Boston University, Babson College, and Harvard University learned about internship and career opportunities in politics and the media during a series of Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Capital Gateway Program informational sessions held at campuses throughout the northeastern United States.

Capital Gateway Program Director Serouj Aprahamian coordinated with Armenian Students Association leaders at each of the campuses to arrange the events, as part of the ANCA's ongoing efforts to inform students about the unique opportunities offered by the program in the nation's capital.

"For over five years now, the ANCA Capital Gateway Program has been providing young Armenians the keys to open doors to the Washington, DC public policy job market," said Aprahamian. "Getting out into the field - interacting in presentations to student groups and one-on-ones with individuals - provides a great chance to share information about the unparalleled advantages this program offers for their future."

Beginning in 2003, the ANCA launched this innovative program to serve as a professional platform for Armenian American college students and recent graduates to secure meaningful policy positions in the nation's capital. Those accepted into the program receive three months of free housing in addition to personalized job training, access to the ANCA's national headquarters, and introductions to the vast network of professionals and resources available in Washington, DC.

To date, several dozen fellows have gone through the program and gained employment in a wide range of sectors including Congressional offices, presidential campaigns, political journals, government consultancies, federal agencies, public relations companies, lobbying firms and international development organizations.

In addition to explaining the main facets of the program and going over the application process, Aprahamian also presented each of the student groups with a short, ten-minute DVD video about the Capital Gateway program titled, "Youth of a Nation." The clip features testimonials from previous Capital Gateway fellows, as well as interviews and remarks about the program from elected officials and ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

On each of his visits, Aprahamian also distributed information and spoke about the ANCA's other youth-oriented programs, such as the Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship in DC and the recently unveiled CampusCause.com (www.campuscause.com) website. Both of these initiatives are specifically geared toward fostering activism among students devoted to advancing the Armenian Cause.

The presentations were all well received by each of the student groups visited throughout the week. Several students expressed an interest in public policy and, upon hearing about the program, made clear their intent to apply as they moved closer to graduation. Others took the opportunity to ask general questions about ANCA advocacy.

Established through a generous donation from the Cafesjian Family Foundation, the Capital Gateway Program, over the years, has benefited tremendously from the generosity of donors committed to creating public service opportunities for young Armenian Americans. The leading financial contributor to the Program has been the family of Hovig Apo Saghdejian, a 23-year old youth leader and community activist from Fresno, California, who lost his life in 2004 in a tragic car accident. His family established the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Memorial Fund in his memory. Substantial support has also been provided by longtime ANCA benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Barbara Hekimian and the Armenian American Veterans Post of Milford, Massachusetts (AAVO).

1922: The Holocaust Of Smyrna by Australian Macedonian Advisory Council October 15, 2008
"We didn´t know how and we didn´t know why. All we knew was that they were coming. People were streaming in from the interior, their clothes in tatters, telling gruesome stories of the horrors that befell them. When we left, they were close behind us, every step of the way and all we knew was that we had to flee, that if they caught up with us, it would mean death. When we got to Smyrna, we thought we were safe. No one ever thought that they would enter Smyrna."

In 1922, an eleven year old boy fled his home city of Aydin in western Asia Minor and embarked on what was for him, an epic 100km journey westwards with his brother, to Smyrna and safety, escaping a pursuing Turkish army. Along the way, he witnessed the rape of the country side occasioned by the Graeco-Turkish War, the panic and hysteria of a Greek population just beginning to comprehend that the 3000 year sojourn in these lands was coming to a close and that their lives were in mortal peril. He also witnessed what was to be the most terrible closing chapter in the history of Greek habitation of Asia Minor – the holocaust of Smyrna. That boy was my grandfather, Kostas Kalymnios.

For over two thousand years before 1922, the Greek people thrived in Smyrna, a beautiful port on the coast of Asia Minor, founded by the Ionians. It is one of the cities which lays claim to the honour of being the birthplace of Homer. Enlarged and rebuilt successively by Antigonus I and Lysimachus, it soon became one of the largest and most prosperous cities in Asia Minor. Its wealth and splendour increased under Roman rule, and Smyrna was one of the cities referred to in the Revelation of John as comprising one of the seven churches of Asia Minor. Throughout its tortuous history, captured by Seljuk Turks, Mongols and finally the Ottoman Turks in 1424, it remained essentially a Greek city throughout the ages, a cultural as well as commercial entrepot of trade and commerce, under Adamantios Korais fostered the Greek enlightenment and with the rise of nationalism became one of the key foci of the Greek «?????? ????» or ´Great Idea´ to reunify all the historical lands inhabited by Greeks.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the Ottoman Empire, known as the ´sick man of Europe´ was in constant turmoil, with each subject nationality aspiring towards self-rule and many Turkic groups embracing nationalism, liberalism and questioning the values of the Empire. Smyrna especially proved a hotbed of radical idealists, given its international character and its concentration of intellectuals from France, England, Russia and America. The Young Turk revolution of 1908 brought Turkish nationalism to the fore and it became the ideology of the regime that non-Turks could not play a role in what should be a Turkish-only state. Beginning around 1913, the Ottoman Turks, sensing the imminent collapse of the Empire, began a campaign to "Turkify" the population of Asia Minor by expelling or eliminating its minority populations. The Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians were of the many ethnic groups whose legitimacy of habitation in Asia Minor was questioned. Smyrna proved somewhat of an anomaly for the Ottomans and Young Turks alike: its predominantly Greek population along with substantial, Armenian, Jewish and other European populations as well did not lend itself easily to be included within the ethnically based policies of Young Turks. It was in essence a European city, adorned in neo-classical architecture, with Parisian inspired theatres, auditoriums, colleges and clubs, possessed a tram line and a fin de siecle self confidence in western civilisation. No wonder then that Smyrna´s appellation in the popular parlance of the Turks was "gâvurizmir," Smyrna of the Infidels. In 1922, in the culmination of a campaign to rid the newly created Republic of Turkey of its ethnic minorities, the ancient city of Smyrna was destroyed.

With the signing of the Treaty of Sevres in 1919, Greece was given a mandate to occupy the province of Smyrna for five years, after which time, a plebiscite would determine whether the province would remain in Turkey or be ceded to Greece. The liberation of Smyrna on 2 May 1915 was greeted with jubilation by the Christian population of the city. However, as Venizelos managed to extend the Entente mandate to occupy the province of Aydin, Turkish patriotism, dormant after the Empire´s humiliating defeat, began to come to the fore. It was considered that Greece was invading and occupying the Turkish heartland, and Turks rallied around Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to remove the Greeks from Asia Minor and began to attack Greek troops. Venizelos ordered a general advance of troops into Asia Minor. The troops eventually advanced to the outskirts on Ankara, drawn further and further from their supply lines, demoralised by a war that was a running sore on the Greek economy and psyche and having to combat the competing interests of the Italians who had occupied southern Turkey and were actively assisting the Turks against the Greeks. The removal of Venizelos and restitution of the throne to Constantine awarded the Entente a pretext to extricate themselves from an issue that had now become uncontrollable- they withdrew their support from Greece.

In a major offensive on August 26, 1922, against the Greek positions on the Sakarya River, Atatürk smashed the Greek army, forcing them to retreat in a panic from Asia Minor, committing widespread brutalities against Turkish populations as they fled and leaving Greek populations undefended.

As the Turkish troops began their inexorable advance towards the Aegean, Smyrna was seized in panic. The arrival of crowds of refugees from the interior and of the ragged remnants of the Greek army, coupled with the abandonment of the town on the part of civil and military authority, reduced the inhabitants to waiting in agony for the end. On 27 August, the first Turkish irregulars entered the town through the Pounta bridge and began to loot and pillage. Rudolph J. Rummel states that the Turkish army indulged in "systematic firing" in the Armenian and Greek quarters of the city. He argues that after the Turks recaptured the city, Turkish soldiers and Moslem mobs shot and hacked to death Armenians, Greeks, and other Christians in the streets of the city; he estimates the victims of these massacres, by giving reference to the previous claims of Marjorie Housepian Dobkin, at about 100,000.

As Christians were rounded up for execution, thousands flocked to the docks in the hope of fleeing the catastrophe. Turkish soldiers would stand on the quayside and fire at refugees attempting to swim to safety. Despite the fact that there were numerous ships from various Allied powers in the harbor of Smyrna, the vast majority of ships, citing "neutrality," did not pick up Greek and Armenian civilians who were forced to flee the fire and Turkish troops. Military bands played loud music to drown out the screams of those who were drowning in the harbor. Other scholars give a different account of the events; they argue that the Turks first forbade foreign ships in the harbor to pick up the survivors, but, then, under pressure especially from Britain, France, and the United States, they allowed the rescuing of all the Christians except males 17 to 45 years old, whom they aimed to deport into the interior, which was regarded as a short life sentence to slavery under brutal masters, ended by mysterious death.

On 31 August 1922, as a direct result of the pillaging of the Greek and Armenian quarters and the burning of their homes, four fires broke out in the city. Mark Lambert Bristol, US High Commissioner, was an eyewitness to the cause: "Many of us personally saw-- and are ready to affirm the statement-- Turkish soldiers often directed by officers throwing petroleum in the street and houses. Vice-Consul Barnes watched a Turkish officer leisurely fire the Custom House and the Passport Bureau while at least fifty Turkish soldiers stood by. Major Davis saw Turkish soldiers throwing oil in many houses. The Navy patrol reported seeing a complete horseshoe of fires started by the Turks around the American school."

US Diplomat George Horton, is also unequivocal, despite revisionist Turkish claims that the Greeks and Armenians were the cause of the blaze: "The fire was lighted at the edge of the Armenian quarter at a time when a strong wind was blowing toward the Christian section and away from the Turkish. The Turkish quarter was not in any way involved in the catastrophe and during all the abominable scenes that followed and all the indescribable sufferings of the Christians, the Mohammedan quarter was lighted up and gay with dancing, singing and joyous celebration."

Internationally renown Turkish author, Falih Rifki Atay, admitted: "Gavur İzmir burned and came to an end with its flames in the darkness and its smoke in daylight. Were those responsible for the fire really the Armenian arsonists as we were told in those days? ... As I have decided to write the truth as far as I know I want to quote a page from the notes I took in those days. ´The plunderers helped spread the fire ... Why were we burning down İzmir? Were we afraid that if waterfront konaks, hotels and taverns stayed in place, we would never be able to get rid of the minorities? When the Armenians were being deported in the First World War, we had burned down all the habitable districts and neighbourhoods in Anatolian towns and cities with this very same fear. This does not solely derive from an urge for destruction. There is also some feeling of inferiority in it. It was as if anywhere that resembled Europe was destined to remain Christian and foreign and to be denied to us."

Fortunately, recently, many Turks have begun to question the state narrative of the denial. Biray Kolluoglu Kirli, a Professor of Sociology at Bogazici University, published a paper in 2005 in which she pursues an argument based on the claim that the city was burned by the Turks in an attempt to cleanse the predominantly Christian city in order to make way for a new Muslim and Turkish city, and focuses on an examination of the extensions of this viewpoint on the Turkish nationalist narrative since.

The apogee of Turkish utter repudiation of the Greeks of Smyrna was the death of Bishop Chrysostomos, who had actively campaigned for the liberation of Asia Minor. He was delivered by Nureddin Bey to the ravaging mob with the instructions: "If he benefited you, do the same to him and if he hurt you, hurt him." The ethnomartyr Chrysostomos was literally torn apart.

The enormity of the catastrophe still invokes horror today, Governor Pataki of New York has reflected: "...Smyrna, the largest city in Asia Minor called 'the jewel of the Mediterranean', a cosmopolitan hub populated by a highly educated Greek community and flourishing commercial and middle-classes, was sacked and burned and its inhabitants massacred by the Turkish forces; the pier of Smyrna became a scene of final desperation as the approaching flames forced many thousands to jump to their death, rather than be consumed by flame."

On September 9, 1922, Atatürk entered Smyrna triumphantly. The utter destruction of this once vibrant city also signalled the death knell for Greek irredentism. A population exchange was organised in which almost two million Greeks were caused to leave Asia Minor and were settled in Greece. The exchange put a tremendous strain on the Greek economy as it tried to cope with the influx of over a million new people in Greece. The hardships endured by the individuals concerned were also very trying as many Greeks abandoned a privileged life in Asia Minor for one of poverty in shantytowns in Greece. Nevertheless, the exchange helped to stabilise the region and though heart wrenching, served to bring about peace.

There remains no vestige of a 3,000 year old Greek presence in the modern city of Izmir today. The Jewish curse "may their name and memory be erased" has partly come true with respect to the Greeks of Smyrna. While their names may be gone, their memory lives eternal, through the economic advancement of Greece, regenesis of radical political thought and rembetika music. The holocaust of Smyrna is a tragedy not only for the Greek and Armenian victims, but also for the Turkish nation. It is the tragedy of the insignificant caught underneath the millstone of the conflicting and cynical permutations of the designs of the powerful. Viewed through this prism, all are victims, the dead and those who were, through no fault of their own, forced to commit awful brutalities.

By Dean Kalimniou

Robert Aydabirian
Armenia, The Worst Is It Certain? 15 October 2008 by Spidermian / armenews

Do we have reason to worry for Armenia? For a year the clouds accumulate and every season we see a new hurricane hit on her. This fall, the financial crisis and global economic which turned the country. This summer, it was the Russo-Georgian with serious supply of the population and Russian military bases when the bellicose rhetoric of the Azeri leader was in full swing. In March, a bloody crackdown on s'abattit the popular movement followed by dozens of deaths and arrests. And all this in the context of Russo-Turkish pressure increased, which aims to secure energy corridors, to substantial price concessions on Karabakh and Genocide. At this stage it is urgent that leaders of Armenia Of Kharabakh and the Diaspora to work together to distribute the roles and better defend the national interest.

But alas, even within the country, has found the power nor the path of dialogue, nor shown the necessary compassion towards those who suffer, or proved a real firmness against the vultures who dream of carving Armenia.

We urge him to reverse its policy of the iron fist in a velvet glove, namely, use the velvet glove of justice to deal with a people that still bears the legacy of genocide, Stalinist purges and two decades of ultraliberal economy, ensuring social and physical protection of the most vulnerable; reserve its iron fist profiteers and thugs who poison the last 10 years, sell and squander the wealth: factories, mines, infrastructure, universities, research centers, and whose thirst Realty will evict tenants to the poor, not giving them the right to choose between despair and exile.

Of all the problems facing Armenia, population issue is the most serious of all. The proposed abolition of military relief for students has also reminded us. The population continues to ask: "Can we live decently on our ancestral land or should we leave? How to find work, housing and ensure security to our family? How can we not feel threatened by agents of arbitrary power and calls for war from our old enemy who seeks once again to déguerpir we do? "

The world is about to punish and not, say, those which led to the disaster financial and economic crisis. The great of this world have promised to review the principles of their political philosophy, delivering social man at the center of their thoughts instead of seeing in him a consumer delivered to the "invisible hand" of speculators.

To leave a lasting this state of crisis, those who govern Armenia have, likewise, the duty to restore confidence and hope, rebuild a society respectful of others and of itself, to seek dialogue and trading but never capitulate on essential to the fundamental rights of citizens and the nation.

So, perhaps, by reason and intelligence, the worst could be avoided.

Armenian Diaspora Gathers
President of ANCA, Aram Hamparian called Armenians in USA to come to Washington and make a demonstration between 23-24 October to support the Armenian resolution.

A significant decrease to the supporters of Armenian resolution in US House of Representatives, concerned Armenian groups in USA. President of Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), Aram Hamparian called American Armenians to gather in Washington on 23-24 October and prepare a demonstration for supporting Armenian resolution. Hamparian said, “Lobbyists of Turkey and media caused an increase in the attitude that is against resolution. They are keeping a policy to disgust our supporters”. Statements of President of US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi about not entering the resolution to parliament if it seem to be not to pass, changed the atmosphere that was militate favor of Armenians.

By the way Armenian Lobbies that study for passing the resolution from House of Representatives accelerated their activities. It is thought that President of US House of Representatives from Democratic Party, Nancy Pelocy will enter the resolution on 16 November, if group leaders be convinced that there were enough supporter of resolution in House of Representatives which would be enough for resolution to pass. Otherwise it is expected for resolution to be postponed for next year. For a ballot, more than half of deputies’ votes are needed who attends the ballot about passing of resolution. Meantime 49 deputies from Democratic Party and Republican Party sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi and called for resolution not to be entered to House of Representatives. http://historyoftruth.com

The Ghost Town Between Two Rivers Ani
Were there to be a prize for the most romantic ruin in Turkey, Ani, the old Armenian ghost town squeezed in between two rivers on the border between Turkey and modern Armenia, would have to be up there in the running. At the very least one might expect to find it on Turkey's list of UNESCO-approved world heritage sites.

Such, though, is the bleak power of history to overshadow even the most innocent relics of the distant past that in reality Ani languishes in relative obscurity, admired by foreign groups on their whirlwind tours of eastern Turkey and by the occasional adventurous individual traveler, but never overrun with visitors in the way that, say, Ephesus, with its safer Greco-Roman heritage, is.

To be fair, Ani is pretty much out on a limb in terms of geography, lying as it does 45 kilometers east of Kars, itself already a long way from anywhere. The good news is that visiting it has become a whole lot easier. Not so long ago anyone who wanted to see somewhere overlooking such a contentious border had first to visit the security police to get permission, then go to the tourist office to have the permit endorsed, then go to Kars Museum to buy a ticket and only then set off for the site itself, leaving their camera behind in their hotel room since all photography was forbidden. Fortunately all that rigmarole is now past history, its only relic the absence of public transport to enable solo travelers to visit Ani without having to take out a mortgage to pay a private taxi fare.

No matter. It's all worth it anyway as soon as you see the lovely golden-brown walls of the old city soaring up on the plain just past the village of Ocaklı. Those walls are vaguely reminiscent of the ones ringing the medieval castles of Wales, except that once you step through them you find yourself confronting a vast expanse of nothingness with just the occasional earthquake-damaged ruin jutting up on the horizon. Hard, then, to imagine that Ani was once a city which was home to some 100,000 people in its heyday.

The early history of Ani is closely entwined with that of nearby Kars. Back in the 10th century when this corner of Turkey was part of the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia, King Ashot III (r.952-77) decided that Ani would make a better capital than Kars and moved his court here in 961. For almost 100 years Ani flourished under the Bagratids, but then in 1045 it was seized by the Byzantines, only to fall to the Seljuks in 1064. Under their control it enjoyed a second spring with plenty of fresh new buildings going up inside the walls. But then the Seljuks were driven out by the Georgians, the Georgians by the Kurds and the Kurds by the Mongols. Finally, in 1319 a huge earthquake felled many of the remaining buildings, and the city fell into terminal decline.

Newly cleared paths through the undergrowth make it easy to explore the site in a clockwise direction, which brings you quickly to the half-tumbled ruins of the 11th-century Church of the Redeemer, built to house a portion of the True Cross. Interestingly, it was not the earthquake that did for this building so much as a far more recent bolt of lightning that struck it in 1957.

The second church you'll come to is perhaps the most exquisite building at Ani, which makes it all the more worrying to see the restorers moving in. Dating from the 13th century, the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator is externally very similar to the churches of the Georgian valleys that stretch between Tortum and Yusufeli. Inside, however, it's festooned with wonderful frescoes that cover almost every surface, hence its Turkish name -- the Resimli Kilise, or Church with Pictures.

A short walk further round brings you to the scant remains of a Seljuk bathhouse, after which you need to look carefully for a path down towards the Arpa Çayı (Barley River) that separates Turkey from Armenia. Perched precariously on a bluff above the river is the diminutive but utterly perfect, clover-shaped Convent of the Virgins, a prize-winning church inside a prize-winning site. From here you will be able to see the brooding hulk of the early 11th-century cathedral of Ani, its dome long since collapsed although reuse as a mosque in Seljuk times ensured the survival of its soaring arched interior.

Between the cathedral and the 11th-century Seljuk Menüçer Camii with its striking, if damaged, octagonal minaret, lie the relatively inconspicuous but nonetheless evocative remains of a street of shops. For many people it's strolling along this street that will make it easiest to envisage how this was once a bustling city, most of whose remains still lie unexcavated beneath the uneven ground. Immediately opposite stand the remains of a sizeable and well-appointed house looking towards the castle, the one part of Ani that remains off-limits to visitors.

Walking back towards the exit you'll pass the remains of a truly enormous 10th century building, another Church of St. Gregory, this time completely circular. Much also survives of the 11th century Church of the Holy Apostles, reused as a caravanserai in Seljuk times. Scant remains of two more churches also linger on, one of them propped up by unsightly metal girders. Then finally there's the Seljuk Palace, so horribly "restored" that it was described in a newly published book about Turkey as resembling a large public toilet block.

But you come to Ani as much for the exquisite beauty of its location, with the rivers running along ravines on either side. The silence here is glorious, and the site breathtaking regardless of whether you visit in the spring, when the interior is a rash of emerald-green grass, or in the winter, when the snow lies deep on the ground.

For most people, that's it as far as a trip to Ani goes, although several other ruined Armenian churches lurk unvisited in nearby villages. Midway between Kars and Ani lies the village of Subatan, where a turn to the left leads eventually to Oğuzlu and the ruins of a 10th century church, standing forlorn in a farmyard. Even more impressive is the church of Karmır Vank, also in a farmyard, in the nearby village of Yağkesen; not only does this church still retain its dome, but it was built out of wonderful red and black checkerwork, hence its Turkish name, the Kızıl Kilise (Red Church).

A turning on the right-hand side of the road from Kars to Ani leads eventually to the village of Kozluca, which has the remains of a further two churches on either side of a valley. One is a by now fairly familiar small domed structure, the other a huge 11th century building in a shocking state of collapse, but interesting nevertheless for its Seljuk-style maqarna (stalactite) carvings and copious Armenian inscriptions. You'd need a lot of energy to take in all these sites on the same day as a visit to Ani, and forget a trip to nearby Mağazbert Castle altogether since the gendarme will not let you past their checkpoint.

There is nowhere to stay in Ani.
You will need to overnight in Kars.
Güngören Hotel: (474) 212 5630
Hotel Karabağ: (474) 212 3480
Kar's Otel: (474) 212 1616

Would-be guides and taxi drivers visit Kars hotels in search of customers. Should they fail to find you, ask the receptionist or the local tourist office to help you find them.
12 October 2008, PAT YALE , Zaman

Turkey's Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk Is Controversial At Home, Anna Tomova, Visit Bulgaria, Bulgaria, 10/12/2008

When Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk opens the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, he will do so not just as Turkey's most famous novelist, but also as one of its most controversial.

Pamuk has never been far from debate inside Turkey, where he has critics in both the religious conservative camp and the secular establishment.

But what really riled Turkish nationalists were his comments in 2005 concerning the massacres of Armenians in Turkey during the First World War and Turkey's continuing fight against Kurdish separatists.

"Thirty-thousand Kurds and a million Armenians have been killed and almost nobody dares to mention that, except for me," Pamuk was quoted as saying in a Swiss magazine in 2005.

After his commentsm he was immediately denounced by nationalists in Turkey and charges were brought against him that he had "insulted Turkishness". The charges were later dropped for technical reasons but the incident polarized Turkey.

When he became the first Turkish author to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, many praised his work. Others claimed that he only won it because of his "anti-Turkish" political statements. Some were torn.

"We are angry at Pamuk because our Turkish soul weighs heavy in us, but for the same reason we are also proud he won the highest literary award," wrote Ertugrul Ozkok, the editor of Turkey's top selling newspaper, Hurriyet.

In what was a clear snub, the president of Turkey at the time, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, failed to publicly congratulate Pamuk.

Pamuk may no longer live in Istanbul, where he claims to have received death threats from nationalists, but his opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair this week is a clear acknowledgement that he is still Turkey's leading author.

Born in Istanbul in June 1952, he has published eight novels and a memoir which explore the way Turkey is torn between East and West and how it is torn between conservative religious folk and modern western-looking secularists.

The writer sees the splits clearly, but also looks into how the two actually make Turkey what it is. His main argument is that upholding one's own history and traditions is not incompatible with a modern secular state that seeks to join the European Union.

Educated at the prestigious American Robert College high school in Istanbul, Pamuk went on to study architecture at Istanbul Technical University, but dropped out after three years. He later went on to complete a course in journalism at the University of Istanbul.

While never actually going into journalism, Pamuk wrote his first book, Darkness and Light, in 1974. It was not published until 1982 under the title, Cevdet Bey and His Sons.

Since then he has written a number of prize-winning novels including The White Castle, The Black Book, My Name is Red, and Snow. His latest novel, recently released in Turkey, Masumiyet Muzesi (The Museum of Innocence), is currently topping the book charts.

An Armenian is the inventor of ATM
12 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews
The ATM is an invention by Armenian Austrian newspaper "Die Presse" and we must Luther George SIMJIAN

Luther George SIMJIAN was an innovation whose inventions include a camera, a speedometer flight for airplanes, machinery automatic Franking, the teleprompter and ATM.

Luther George SIMJIAN was born in Turkey on 28 January 1905. From an early age he developed a keen interest in optics and photography. After the genocide of 1915 it was separated from his family and fled to Beirut, then to Marseille and ultimately the United States. At age 15 he arrived only in the United States and went to New Haven in Connecticut, where he stayed with relatives and found a job with a photographer.

Luther George SIMJIAN had originally been intended to study medicine, but changed his mind after the medical faculty of Yale gave him a job in his photographic laboratory.

In 1928 he was appointed director of the photography department of the Faculty of Medicine and he soon developed a method for photographing microscopic images and specimens under water.

In 1934 Luther George SIMJIAN visited New York, where he developed an X-ray machine and a color camera to make self-portraits enabling the person who asks to examine a mirror and see exactly l 'Image that is about to take.

Luther George SIMJIAN quickly established a company to file a license and manufacture the camera for use in studios in department stores. He ultimately assigned to the camera's name Photoréflexe.

Then he began to develop Reflectone and continued to explore electromechanical devices and the new field of electronics in the lens.

Then Luther George SIMJIAN had the idea of creating a machine for small stores that allow customers to make financial transactions, however, this idea has met with much skepticism.

Starting in 1939, George Luther SIMJIAN has registered 20 patents for his inventions related to the device and persuaded what is now the bank Citicorp to give it a try. After six months, the bank announced that there was little demand.

"It seems that the only people using the machines were a small number of prostitutes and players who did not want to deal with tellers face to face," wrote George Luther SIMJIAN.

Later, of course, the idea has been developed and today, modern versions of the automatic cash machine almost every street corner.

Towards the end of his life Luther George SIMJIAN built a small research and development laboratory in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and continued to invent until his death on October 23 1997.

Luther George SIMJIAN wrote his last invention patent recently, in March 2000 for a process to improve the resonance of wood used for musical instruments.

Call For European Historians To Mobilize Against The Laws Memorial
11 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews
The association "Freedom for history" calls on European historians to mobilize against "political interference" in research and teaching of history and protests against "the multiplication laws criminalizing the past ".

During the "Rendez-vous with history" being held this weekend in Blois (Loir-et-Cher), whose theme this year is "Europeans", the association launched an appeal Blois to that effect, already signed by a score of historians from different countries in Europe.

"Freedom for history" was established in 2005 in France by historians to denounce the "memorial laws" (on the recognition of Armenian genocide in 2001 or the "positive role" of colonialism in 2005).

"This struggle has taken in 2007 a European dimension, with a draft framework decision adopted by Parliament in first reading," wrote Pierre Nora, who chairs the association, in Le Monde dated Saturday.

The project establishes "for all + genocide, war crimes and racist crimes against humanity", a crime of gross trivialization + + + and even complicity of trivialization + punishable by imprisonment, "he says.

According to Pierre Nora, "it is not to deny the horror of the crimes", but "understand the name of the sentiments that inspire and intentions that drive, is being manufactured we Europe-wide (...) a straitjacket forcing research and paralyzes the initiative of teachers. "

The Call of Blois contends that "in a free state, it does not belong to any political authority to define the historical truth and restrict freedom of the historian under threat of criminal sanctions."

"In a democracy, freedom for history is the freedom of all," concluded the signatories, notably from Germany, Belgium, Italy, France and Great Britain.

The signatories are:

Aleida and Jan Assmann (Constance and Heidelberg), Elie Barnavi (Tel Aviv), Luigi cajan (Rome), Hélène Carrère d'Encausse (Paris), Etienne Francois (Berlin), Timothy Garton Ash (Oxford), Carlo Ginzburg (Bologna ), José Gotovitch (Brussels), Eric Hobsbawm (London), Jacques Le Goff (Paris), Karol Modzelewski (Warsaw), Jean Puissant (Brussels), Sergio Romano (Milan), Rafael Valls Montes (Valencia), Henri Wesseling (The Hague), Heinrich August Winkler (Berlin), Guy Zelis (Leuven).

Why Legislate History - Liberté pour l'histoire

There is several mistakes within the Internet article about Liberté pour l'histoire:

1) The Gayssot Act does not concern "alleged genocide", but only the crime against humanity perpetrated during the WWII, and the definition is the definition of 1945.

2) The Taubira resolution of 2001 does not concern "genocide", but the trade of slave, described as a "crime against humanity".

3) Claude Lanzmann has critized the initiative of Pierre Nora, but on one point only: the proposition to rewrite the Gayssot Act. Mr. Lanzmann said, about the Armenian affair:

" Pierre Nora defends historians such as Bernard Lewis and Gilles Veinstein and denounces the 'intellectual terrorism' against them."

The account of the discussion :

Why legislate history? by Claude Lanzmann and Pierre Nora, 08/10/2008

Tests Interview Anti-Semitism Blois Claude Lanzmann debate history Jacques Julliard Modern Times Freedom of expression Freedom for History Gayssot Act Law Taubira laws memorial Holocaust denial Pierre Nora Appointment of history Sarkozy 2292

At the 11th Rendez-vous with history in Blois, whose "Nouvel Observateur" is the partner, the Freedom collective history in the European Union will launch a call to defend freedom of historians. Pierre Nora [1] and Claude Lanzmann [2] discuss with Jacques Julliard [3]

Is a historian Pierre Nora, editor of the magazine "Debate" and "library stories". In particular, he edited "collective" Making History "and three volumes of" places of memory ".

Jacques Julliard. - In recent years, historians complain of a growing government in an area which, in their view, falls exclusively to science and research. Several episodes are present to the spirits: Gayssot law against Holocaust denial (1990); law on the recognition of Armenian genocide (2001); Taubira law on slavery and the slave trade (2001); Vanneste amendment on the benefits of colonization ( 2005). It is clear is the dual claim of the State to qualify what happened and to tell teachers what to teach.
Claude Lanzmann and Pierre Nora, you were both architects of memory and the growing role it occupies in our conscience and history itself, one with "Shoah", the other with " Places of memory. " You have taken positions on legislation memorial. Pierre Nora, you're president of the Freedom Association for the History (1) which argues against these laws say "memorial" and just co-sign with Francoise Chandernagor the book "Freedom for History," published by Editions CNRS. Claude Lanzmann, in an editorial of "Modern Times" at first, then in "Liberation", you have strongly criticized this position. Pierre Nora, can you recall the views of historians?

Pierre Nora. - We first high against the principle of legislation that would describe the events of the past rather than contemporary, as did the Gayssot Act, but an increasingly distant, as slavery, which gradually leads to a retrospective criminalization of history (2). Twenty proposals have been filed since two years on topics ranging from Vendee war on Saint-Barthelemy, and for Ukraine. This legislative drift, however exclusively French, has been much discussed by the Committee to reform the Constitution, which ended in extremis by admission that could abandon the legislation of this type under a return to the principle of resolutions as they existed in the Constitution of the Fourth Republic.

Claude Lanzmann is director of "Shoah" Why Israel "," IDF "and" Sobibor, October 14 1943, 16 hours ". He is also editor of the magazine "Modern Times".

Claude Lanzmann. - In the first petitioner of Freedom for History, you seek the repeal of all laws called "memorial", including and especially the Gayssot Act, which was the only one to me really. You seem have changed, put water in your wine, I welcome that. I criticized myself in "Modern Times" and "Liberation" the escalation that led to the proliferation of laws memorial.

P. Nora. - We actually called for the abolition of the only articles in these laws, induced a constraint on historians. For example, to the Gayssot Act, we are calling into question its single article 9, which creates a new crime: the "challenge" of genocide. But this offense does to any law which defines, this definition is left to the arbitrariness of the judge. The Gayssot Act, which is probably the best out of these laws which we understand well what she answered, was not directed against historians, but against the falsifiers of history, "deniers". But she had a perverse effect by serving as a matrix for all others.

C. Lanzmann. - I am both agree with Pierre Nora and not agree. To begin with, "falsifiers of history" is always calling of history, present themselves as bearers of truth, not as ideologues crazy. I read in the text of your 2005 call you request "to repeal these laws unworthy of a democratic regime."

P. Nora. -- Yes, "these provisions", not the law itself! This is the grooming of Article 9.

C. Lanzmann. - But it is the most fundamental article of the law! Pierre Arpaillange, former Minister of Justice, has this to say when it was presented: it complements the 1972 Act Because we realized that this law, which punishes incitement to racial hatred, defamation, etc.. Had not expected that people would come and say: "this was not ". So why do I supported the Gayssot Act? First, I can not imagine going into a bookstore in which I see on an array of books related to the Holocaust and a nearby stall books saying that "it was not." If this were the case, saying that "it was not" become an opinion. Between those who argue that the Holocaust existed and those who argue otherwise, it would be a simple matter of opinion, all opinions, tastes and colors are acceptable in a democracy.

But I was trained by "Reflections on the Jewish question" of Sartre [4], who said that anti-Semitism is not an opinion but a crime. Pierre Nora knows this too well as I do. That was in 1946. This helped me to live in France and keep their heads high. According to the logic "democratic" Pierre Nora, it would have been normal that I do not m'indigne when "Rivarol" sheet Semitic, was allowed to reappear five years later. I then told my revulsion in "Modern Times". When will the memorial of the Unknown Jewish Martyr and burinée seen on the walls of the massive presence the names of 76,000 Jews deported and gassed in France, one can only support the Gayssot Act.

P. Nora. - But it is not that! This is to say that if the article had referred specifically the Holocaust deniers and we had not created a crime of challenging a historical truth, it would have limited the scope of the crime of genocide denial in antihistoriques intentions and purely political. This would have avoided that course after France would present a framework decision in Brussels (3) creating, even beyond the crime of "challenge" of "gross trivialization" and even that of "complicity normalization "applicable to all qualified historic war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity by any political, administrative or judicial. This leads to a kind of glaciation history. The threat is such that historians such as Henry Rousso and Annette Wieviorka, who had not joined the Freedom for History by commitment to Gayssot Act, join us today.

C. Lanzmann. - I do not understand the difference between Pierre Nora establishes the crime of Holocaust denial and the challenge of a historical truth. It's the same thing. I repeat that the deniers continue to appeal to history, based on alleged facts and that without the Gayssot Act, they could continue to be honorable university professors, directors of theses ... You seem to say that the deniers are immediately perceived as a species, sweet nuts, and the distinction between them and historians "serious" is self-evident. If that were the case, any denial would have overwhelmed the limits of his garret, has been named in a university faculty, has attained a position of responsibility.

J. Julliard. - You wrote in the article mentioned above is something that will certainly not be understood by non-Jews: "The law Gayssot is a guarantee of protection for all victims." Armenians have not felt things like that and felt that there was a exceptionalism for Jews which was shocking.

C. Lanzmann. -- Well, they were wrong! I am totally against the idea of competition of the victims, my disgust. I wish the contrary there is a universality of victims and executioners of universality, which is why it makes no sense to compare crimes. The Japanese who committed the massacre of Nanjing in 1937 are the same as the Nazi tormentors, that all perpetrators of the world, and the victims are just as the Jewish victims.

J. Julliard. - Would you have imagined that this law done in other cases as the Holocaust?

C. Lanzmann. - The willingness of Armenians to recognize the massacres as genocide of 1915 began well before the Gayssot Act. I agree when Pierre Nora defends historians such as Bernard Lewis and Gilles Veinstein and denounced the "intellectual terrorism" with them. But I do not agree when he says in an interview: "Like all victims died, the executioners too, blames historians." No, this is not true.

P. Nora. -- These are not the historians in their personal capacity, but what a historical approach of the past can be fruitful for an entire community. As such, freedom defended is that historians of all. In itself, I am willing to give Claude Lanzmann universality of victims and executioners, but it does me little as a historian. What interests me is that history is rewritten or the perpetrators or the victims and that does not spent a retroactive criminalization. That is what is happening to all of history. The crime against humanity was established in 1945 and in France, 1964 (4). It is folly to want the flat back that moral otherwise the whole of history. I m'insurge possible against this spirit of the times that leads to a general criminalization of the past. It is both unhealthy for the community, not intellectually and legally dangerous.

C. Lanzmann. - I am not opposed to this analysis, and that is why I wish for my part in the only Gayssot Act.

J. Julliard. - But this law, if justified as it is, does she not bound to this avalanche of claims for all other victims?

P. Nora. -- She had an unexpected effect of those who have written. We're at the point where, ultimately, a historian can no longer work on the history of colonization, or Armenia or, if the twenty laws I mentioned just now should move on 'history of France as a whole, even the world. Why stop there, in fact, and not condemn Americans for Indian genocide?

C. Lanzmann. -- I am aware of what is grotesque in these abuses. Pierre blamed me somewhere to confuse memory and history and I refuse to understand that he is putting course on the side of understanding. He did not read or misread. In a text published in "New Journal of Psychoanalysis," I said, about why it enough to ask the simplest: "why Jews have been killed?", For it reveals outset of his obscenity. The refusal to answer why this is not in conflict with intelligibility. I have always said that the Holocaust was a historical event in its own right, but the refusal of why had been operating for me, allowing me to keep surprise, naked, radical, directing the horror look front.

P. Nora. - I'm obviously admiring the results of this approach, the film "Shoah", but it has nothing to do with history.

C. Lanzmann. - See! I never claimed to work as a historian. But I learned many things historians. Since you mention Henry Rousso, I answer by Pierre Vidal-Naquet [5] which, after watching "Shoah", said in a symposium at the Sorbonne, organized by Francois Furet [6]: "History is too serious to be left to historians. "

J. Julliard. - To return to the question of the truth of State, do you think either acceptable that the state officially professes a truth? Democracy was built on the fact that the State had no religion, and not of metaphysics. In 1825, all elements Liberals have protested against a law on sacrilege. Said that this law? He was condemned of sacrilege and desecration of wafers, which implied that the divine presence in the host State was truth. It is obvious that this was incompatible with democratic pluralism. If the State protects the idea that the Holocaust is an undeniable fact, does he not have, therefore, face other forms of protest and denial, guarantee other events as facts and make the arm of an official history?

C. Lanzmann. - The State protects it anyway: it is taught in schools. It was fairly fought against the scandalous way in which textbooks talked about the Holocaust!

P. Nora. - We must recognize the right and the duty of politicians to steer the collective memory, to be custodians of the ritual of being together and thus establish festivals, commemorations, tributes, d organize some form of education, but by no means through legislation or authoritarian. For education, this must go through administrative channels classics, such as educational commissions, not by law. There are laws establishing an official state truth in any democracy.

J. Julliard. - Do you feel that the use made of history by Nicolas Sarkozy I think Guy Môquet [7], but also to Jean Jaurès and Léon-Blum, there has something new or dangerous?

C. Lanzmann. - History is a large pool, as Pierre Vidal-Naquet, I see no reason to leave only to historians.

P. Nora. -- This is not new, and it is not very important. There have been periods much more dramatic when we resurfaced history of the Revolution and the Church of the Dreyfus affair, the Resistance, Vichy ... Making history as Henri Guaino made speeches, mixing references in a lyrical souveraino-Gaullist, may be sympathetic, but not great. In case Guy Môquet, Freedom for History has reacted because there was a misunderstanding on the historic role of carpeting in the Resistance. As to the proposal of Nicolas Sarkozy to pass by each schoolchild a young victim of the Holocaust was inappropriate. Claude Lanzmann said all there was to say.
"The Obs" in Blois

During the 11es Appointment of history, held in Blois from 9 to October 12 (the full program is here [8]), "the Nouvel Observateur publish a new special edition" l History on Trial "(84 pages, 4 euros).

Jacques Julliard participate on Friday, 10 to debate "the Europeans and the media, the great mistrust" (from 14 am to 15:30) and Claude Weill will moderate the debate "Obama and the" American dream "with the participation of Nicole Bacharan, historian and political scientist, Bruce Crumley (Time Magazine), Philip S. Golub, professor of international relations, and Pap Ndiaye, historian, on Saturday, October 11 (from 14.30 to 16 hours).

C. Lanzmann. -- I believe that this world no longer knows where it goes. As there are no benchmarks in the future, research in the past, a past that claims known and to which we are going to reassure them. That is why, despite all the respect I have for historians and history, I think that goes too far in always saying that "history will judge", that "historians will decide", etc. . - Simone Veil said very often. It makes you wear, Pierre Nora, a burden a little heavy. Sacralise on your discipline, and you can not stop to feel a certain Drunk. Previously, it was the philosophy that filled that role. Now, history has taken, including philosophy.

P. Nora. - The historian has largely lost its role as interpreter of the past and prophet of the future role of both notary and preacher. There is competition from all sorts of other stakeholders history: the witness, victim, journalist, judge, the legislator. In this sense, it is deprived of the Magisterium of interpretation that could have time Lavisse. However, it is actually applied to all sides, and I agree with Claude Lanzmann that. The historian is not in a position easy. In addition to the memorial pressures, which are also in some ways, appeals to history, it is requested by magistrates, judges ..., and even novelists, since history is one of large resources of contemporary novel. But rather as an expert they are asked to take, with what that role was inferior and nevertheless essential. It is no longer the judge of the past, as Michelet wanted. We want him to play the role of judge of this.

J. Julliard. - In other words, and to conclude, if his profession is to seek the truth, he must be careful as hell to claim the hold.

Interviewed by Jacques Julliard [3]

On NouvelObs.com, find out the debate "Denial and freedom of expression" [9]

[8] (1) www.lph-asso.fr [12].

(2) Freedom for History was born, chaired by René Rémond, an appeal launched on 12 December 2005 by 19 French historians.

(3) Draft Framework Decision introduced by France in 2001 and brought before the Council of Ministers of the Union in 2007, then for an advisory opinion to Parliament in Strasbourg.

(4) The Law of 26 December 1964 recorded crimes against humanity under French law, a single article of the Penal Code referring to the charter of the International Military Tribunal of 1945 and the UN resolution of 13 February 1946.

All critics of Obs [13]

Source: "Le Nouvel Observateur" of 9 October 2008.
The appeal of Liberté pour l'histoire:

Appel de Blois ( http://www.lph-asso.fr/articles/42.html )

Since 2005 Liberté pour l’Histoire has fought against the initiatives of legislative authorities to criminalize the past, thus putting more and more obstacles in the way of historical research. In April 2007, a framework decision of the European Council of Ministers has given an international dimension to a problem that had until then been exclusively French. In the name of the indisputable and necessary suppression of racism and anti-Semitism, this decision established throughout the European Union new crimes that threaten to place on historians prohibitions that are incompatible with their profession. In the context of the Historical Encounters of Blois in 2008 dedicated to “The Europeans”, Liberté pour l’Histoire invites the approval of the following resolution :

Concerned about the retrospective moralization of history and intellectual censure, we call for the mobilization of European historians and for the wisdom of politicians.

History must not be a slave to contemporary politics nor can it be written on the command of competing memories. In a free state, no political authority has the right to define historical truth and to restrain the freedom of the historian with the threat of penal sanctions.

We call on historians to marshal their forces within each of their countries and to create structures similar to our own, and, for the time being, to individually sign the present appeal, to put a stop to this movement toward laws aimed at controlling history memory.

We ask government authorities to recognize that, while they are responsible for the maintenance of the collective memory, they must not establish, by law and for the past, an official truth whose legal application can carry serious consequences for the profession of history and for intellectual liberty in general.

In a democracy, liberty for history is liberty for all.

Pierre NORA, chairman of Liberté pour l’Histoire

To sign-up the appeal, send a message to contact@lph-asso.fr with your name, address and university, and write “read and approved”.

I Was Only Treated With Respect In This Country
“Yeni Şafak” daily newspaper published an interview that was done with Garo Mafyan on its issue of 22 September 2008.

Mafyan’s father is a musicians and he is the grandchild of a “palace doctor” in the late period of the Ottoman Empire...Her mother is a lady, who plays the piano and the violin very well…
Mafyan have never experienced a problem because of the religious difference with his Muslim wife since 32 years although he is a Christian. He accepted this situation so much that he frequently uses the expressions like “Thank God” and “God be with you and bless you with goodness”, which are used by Muslims.

Garo Mafyan, a musician, who has honred us by representing our country in many activities that were organized abroad, stressed the following: “My grandfather use to put some money in the pocket of his patients, who lack money. His practice was well known in Erenköy. My grandfather honored me very much.”

“My brother chose to be a Muslim. My wife is a Muslim. I am a child of an Armenian and Christian family. The subject of religion always had priority in our family. I was raised well on this matter and I am very lucky. I do not frequently go to a church in my daily life nevertheless my mother taught me that everywhere in the world is a place for worshiping...”

“Belief is something different. We are in the month of Ramadan and my wife is fasting but I am not. Everyone has a different understanding and people should separate their beliefs and their lives. All kinds of religions have only one way; and it is the God. The things that are written in all the books are all about goodness and kindness. I never coincided an urging neither from my family nor my wife’s family…”

“I am working on the Istanbul 2010 Project currently. We are making consultation on the matter of ‘the mutual respect of the religions towards each other’ with the Armenian Patriarch, Jewish religious leader and the Turkish religious leader. We should learn and do something over these. Comprising three religions, three empires and three continents is the most important particular of these lands.”

“I am living under this flag…Yes I am an Armenian but it is ridiculous for me to indicate that with every occasion. Do they call George W. Bush as an Ireland origin Catholic American President? There is a spot at the Galatasaray High School: “The ones, who died in Çanakkale. Go and see the Armenian cemetery. Compare the names with them.”
“I was never rejected because of my religious belief or ‘being an Armenian in Turkey’! I was never treated other than respect…” (*)

We hope these words would bring freedom to the ideas, which cannot find any place to exist in the neighboring country because of their shallow policy, and attract attention of the ones, who are not able to perceive the facts honestly and clearly as they have been at the history...
Source: “Yeni Şafak” Daily Newspaper, 22 September 2008

Recognition Of The Armenian Genocide By Knesset Will Badly Damage The Turkish-Israeli Partnership, Said Namik Tan, Turkey’s Ambassador To Israel.
He reminded that Ankara recalled its envoys from U.S. and France when parliaments of these states voted for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Ambassador Tan criticized the Israeli parliamentary initiative to discuss the Armenian Genocide issue. “I support President Shimon Peres who said that the “Armenian tragedy is an issue for historians bit not politicians.” Just fancy a Turkish political figure accusing Israel of genocide of Palestinians,” he said, adding that he hopes Israel will never spoil relations with Turkey.

Earlier, Kadima’s Zeev Elkin said that discussion of the Armenian Genocide will not “cause trouble” with Turkey and Azerbaijan. “These countries should understand that Israel can’t neglect discussion of an issue that has already been considered by all western parliaments,” he told IzRus portal.

Meanwhile, Tan remarked that “the parliamentarians fell under the influence of the Armenian minority.”

He stressed the importance of developing Ankara-Baku-Jerusalem strategic alliance to neutralize “the Armenian threat.”

“We want the Azeri oil and gas go to Israel and then to China and Japan through Ashkelon-Eilat pipeline,” he said.


Armenian President Denies Territorial Claims Against Turkey
Milliyet 21 Sep 2008 Turkey

[Interview with President Serzh Sarksyan by Cenk Baslamis in Yerevan; date not given: "Yerevan: We Do Not Have Territorial Claims."

[Baslamis] Does Armenia have territorial claims against Turkey?

[Sarksyan] I am surprised by the claims that Armenia demands a part of Turkey's territory. Somehow, that is a widespread conviction. However, have you heard any Armenian official say that Armenia demands a part of Turkey's territory? A statement has definitely not been made to that effect. But, there are those who link the question of genocide with territorial claims. I do not know why that is done.

Serzh Sarksyan Cenk Baslamis

www.milliyet.com.tr[1] 21 September2008

[Baslamis] You have disclosed that you would not object to Turkey and Armenia setting up a committee of historians to carry out a research on the Armenian genocide claims. Considering that you are not opposed to the establishment of such a committee, would you be prepared to accept the outcome of its work?

[Sarksyan] I said that I am generally not opposed to the establishment of committees between the two countries. I also said that the two countries establishing diplomatic relations before they set up committees will be more useful. First, let us open our common border and establish diplomatic relations. We can then move to establish committees and subcommittee on every issue. You asked whether or not we would accept the decision to be made by the committee of historians. That is a rather strange question because a group of historians will decide on the matter in the end. Sarksyan is in power in Armenia at the present time. Let us say that I accepted the committee's decision. What will happen if the person who will replace me says "I do not accept the decision?" In other words, the decision to be made by the committee cannot be a determining factor. It can only be a recommendation for those who make decisions. It can only be a recommendation for the government. You might recall the establishment of a similar committee as a result of US initiatives in the past. It concluded that an act of genocide was committed. What happened? Did it change anything? Was it accepted by anyone? No, it was not. No one accepted its decision.

[Baslamis] You will visit Turkey to watch the return match between the Turkish and Armenian national football teams. Do you plan to hold talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when you are in Turkey or at a later date?

[Sarksyan] I will be happy to find an opportunity to meet esteemed Erdogan.

Recognition of Karabag [Nagorno-Karabakh] is the Last Alternative

[Baslamis] Can you comment on the situation that has been created by Georgia's attack on South Ossetia? Why have you not recognized Karabag's independence after Russia recognized South Ossetia?

[Sarksyan] The developments showed how dangerous an effort to solve an ethnic problem through the use of arms can be. Recognizing the independence of Karabag is not on our agenda at the present time because talks are being held on the problem. The recognition of Karabag is the last alternative we have. However, I must note that the Armenians will move out of Karabag if the area is miraculously placed under Azerbaijan's rule.

A Question That Made Sarksyan Laugh

[Baslamis] Were you able to discuss issues other than political problems when you held talks with President Abdullah Gul? For example, did Gul inform you on his impressions in Yerevan? Did he utter a word in Armenian or did you say something to him in Turkish?

[Sarksyan] (After laughing for some time) No, we did not find an opportunity to discuss other matters with His Excellency Abdullah Gul. I believe that esteemed Gul does not know Armenian. I am said to be able to speak Azeri. Yes, I was able to speak Azeri in a simple way in the past. I know that the Turkish and Azeri languages are close. But, I have not spoken Azeri for 20 years now. That is to say, I am not able construct a logical sentence at the present time. Regarding esteemed Gul, my impressions are very positive. He is a very nice person. We discussed what we can do to bring prosperity to our people.

Interview Of Vladimir Kazimirov, The Former Co-Chair Of Osce Minsk Group By Mariam Levina
ArmInfo 2008-10-09
- What do you think of the current stage of Karabakh conflict settlement? Do you see the so-called 'window of opportunities' there?

- You are not likely to mean the current stage i.e. after the elections in Armenia. You mean the stage that will follow the elections in Azerbaijan and the analysis of the 'five-day war'.

Here one can easily find himself in self-delusion. Certainly if compared with the previous stage the 'window of opportunities' should objectively be extended and in the light the lessons of the recent events and after overcoming the narrowed opportunities before the election. It will be easier for the presidents and ministers meet more often, though it is not the most optimal form for the serious regular talks. But this will hardly be enough for real progress. The stands of the parties are very polar and it is not clear if the leaders will have enough political will and courage to make compromises, "forgetting" their former too tough requirements.

Everything depends mostly on all the three conflicting parties.

I guess we need some time for the situation to mature.

- Azerbaijani party regularly makes attempts to discuss the Karabakh conflict in the UN. Do you think suc h attempts reasonable?

- It is rather aspiration for 'soap bubbles' i.e. propagandist scores than for real breakthroughs.

If the parties have not fulfilled any requirement of the four resolutions of the UN Security Council dated 1993, except the cease-fire (though not all the military and hostile actions), it is naive counting on fulfillment of just advisory and more formal resolutions of UN General Assembly like the last one. UN Security Council may go into Karabakh problem again only subject to some essential progress and with great care.

- Zeyno Baran, Senior Fellow and Director of Hudson's Center for Eurasian Policy, the spouse of OSCE MG US Co-chair, stated not so long ago that the cooperation of Russia and the USA within OSCE MG is no longer possible given Russia's actions in Georgia. Do you think such statement, even not official, grounded? How effective is the current format of the negotiations within OSCE MG?

- These are lacks of pointless judgments, facilitation of formal logic: if it is bad here, there must be bad there as well. The activity of OSCE MG Co-chairs can remain harmonious. It is evident taking into consideration the joint statement by the mediators in New York in late September. The effectiveness of their efforts depends not only on them but mostly on the heads of the parties to the conflict. I guess there are reserves to improve the mediation but I see no format bet ter than Minsk Group Co-chairmanship for settlement of the Karabakh conflict. The mediators have in vain concentrated just on the principles of the settlement for many years. There are many important though private issues (for instance incidents) that should be discussed alongside with the principles. There is more than enough time for that. After all, in conditions of the years-long deadlock when no issue except the ceasefire was settled, breakthroughs even in 'private' issues, in 'small things', would be of a great importance. It is easier to make compromises in particular cases than in global picture.

- What do you think about Turkey's activation particularly in Karabakh conflict settlement? Can Turkey's participation in the negotiation process have any positive effect on it taking into account Ankara's stand and its brother relations with Baku?

- Against the background of the confusions in South Caucasus and even out of its bounds, Turkey presently positions itself as a supporter of peaceful settlement of disputes and cooperation in the region, which is welcomed. Of course, the proposal on the Caucasus Platform is too abstract still and needs many consultations and specifications. It will be very difficult to set forth this idea as a draft and even to materialize it in some way, however, it may serve a positive guide for future. Taking into account close relations with Baku and the first contacts with Yerevan, Ankara could play a useful role in comprehension of lessons of the latest events, as well as in the Karabakh conflict settlement as a Minsk Group member, if it stood back of its too obvious one-sidedness.

-May the sample of Abkhazia and South Ossetia become precedent for recognition of Nagorny Karabakh essentially and how impartial is the world community in such situations? Moreover, how much effective and realizable you think the international law is or the 'law of might' is more effective?

- I think that precedents can be neither automatic nor momentary. In the fight of the two well-known Helsinki principles much depends on the place, time and specific circumstances. Could the territorial integrity of Georgia, which was not so convincing from the very beginning, remain 'inviolable' after repeated application of force by its leadership?

Over the last 20 years there have been already 20 force executions to the national minorities there. It is rather difficult speaking of the role of the world community in it in general. Recognition of other states is the sovereign right of every state though somebody would like to turn it into a subject of his dictatorship or a ban in the name of allegedly collective decision.

The present crisis in the world order is the result of the force atavisms and full negligence of the international law despite loud referring to the latter.0D

- Leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan as well as of the Nagorny Karabakh Republic, on the one hand, and MG co-chairs and representatives of the co-chair states on the other hand, regularly make various statements on the negotiation process and the content of 'Madrid Proposals'. Their statements, to put it softly, not always coincide. The Armenian party insists on the document that stipulates the Nagorny Karabakh people's right to self-determination, and the Azerbaijani party says the document supposes settlement of the conflict within the frames of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Is it possible to suppose or assert who is right?

- It is the propagandist cording of rope - each party wants to calm down its fellow citizens, although one is not so much right and another one is not right at all. OSCE MG co-chairs' suggestion still remains like a suggestion but not an arrangement until all the parties accept it. Their suggestion about expression of will of the people of Nagorny Karabakh regarding its status (either referendum, plebiscite or just vote) is probably stemming from the self-determination principle, but one can hardly say it fixes that.

Mediators seem not give way to a simple trick to hold a referendum in the whole Azerbaijan, which was additionally written in its Constitution specially for such purpose. In Baku they dispute about the Madrid proposals being a document. It is certainly a do cument, but only like an offer of the intermediaries, but not an agreement yet. So, both parties are wrong in different way.

- Would you comment on the statement by President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan that Azerbaijan could try to attract residents in the region and increase their interest through investments in economy of Nagorny Karabakh?

- When the conflict is settled, such proposal may obtain a real sense. So far it is just definition of the far future or a trick in order not to say 'joke' like somebody did.

- Do you think personal contacts of the leaders of conflicting parties important for settlement of Karabakh or any other conflict?

- Of course. However, in such a complicate conflict and polarity of the positions of the parties, one should not lay the whole responsibility on the first persons. Quite on the contrary, it is better lay it on a whole team of ministers, their deputies, and experts. Then, it will be easier to go on concessions and it will be more difficult for demagogues to blame top officials for yielding positions or even betraying national interests. After all, it is a collective decision.

- Sharp growth of the cases of the cease-fire regime breaking have been registered over the current year. Simultaneously, both the Armenian and Azerbaijani press keeps on anti-propaganda and formation of the image of enemy. In the case of Azerbaijan, it is backed by militaristic =0 D rhetoric of the Azerbaijani authorities. What do you think about the role of Mass Media in reconciliation of the two nations? Is it possible without the state policy?

- It is a multi-layer question. Only after the 3-4 March big incident the co-chairs remembered about the timeless agreement of all the three parties dated February 1995 about fortification of the cease-fire regime, that is about the order of resolving incidents at the line of contact. The parties stopped fulfilling it long ago. A sacramental but principle question arises - Why do the parties need agreements if they do not fulfill them? Will the agreement signed on the basis of the basic principles be an exclusion?

-Yerevan and Stepanakert have repeatedly said they are ready to return to fulfillment of the agreement, but Baku is quiet, though it reports almost every day on the cease-fire regime breaking by Armenians. A naive person thinks Baku worries about the incidents. But where are its suggestions in this matter? The incidents with victims are the means of raising tension, hatred and enmity.

This is the resource of those who are still dreaming about the force revenge. One should not indulge a vain hope that no bellicose statement has been heard since August of the current year, since it is not abandoning of the militaristic rhetoric but just a forced pause of a person who has suddenly gagged on something. This is a convenient moment for=2 0the moral shooting of the 'shrill hawks'.

The role of Mass Media is rather big both in reconciling two nations and making them confront. Which God to serve? It much depends also on the course of a state. However, I would like to believe in the ability of the thinking class - journalists - to define the Gods of good and evil.

- Thank you for interview.

Back To Ararat?: Football Chief Reverses Course In Logo Controversy, By Suren Musayelyan

Several weeks after introducing a new logo, the Football Federation has admitted having underestimated the response that the removal of one of the Armenian national symbols from it would elicit among some political and public circles.

At a press conference Wednesday, Federation chief Ruben Hayrapetyan, however, gave assurances that there had been no pressure from any state structure or anyone else to redesign the coat of arms from the one with the symbol of Mount Ararat on it to the image of a football enchased into Armenia's national emblem.

Several days before a football match between the national football teams of Armenia and Turkey that many politicians and analysts in both countries and well beyond viewed as a possibility for fence mending between the two estranged neighbors, the Armenian Football Federation presented its new logo which no longer had on it the usual depiction of Ararat ` a biblical mountain now in the territory of Turkey that also gave the name to Soviet Armenia's best known football club.

The move in early September was construed by critics as an appeasement of the Turkish side ahead of a crucial summit between the two countries' leaders in Yerevan. A number of opponents also alleged derogatory treatment of the national emblem with the use of a football on it and threatened lawsuits against the Federation for what they claimed to be an abuse and violation of Armenian law.

"I assure you that no one forced us to change the logo and remove [the symbol of] Mount Ararat from it. We simply wished to change our logo and use the element of the Republic of Armenia's emblem on it," Hayrapetyan said. "We could not imagine that the change of the Football Federation's logo could elicit such a wide response and become a politicized matter."

The Federation chief also explained that the decision to change the logo and the competition for a new one was organized still last year -- even before it was learned that Armenia would be competing in the same World Cup 2010 qualifying group with Turkey.

At the same time, Hayrapetyan admitted that the decision may have been erroneous but said it could not serve as a basis for challenging his or the Federation's integrity.

"I assume the whole responsibility and admit that we made an omission. However, it does not mean that I should be blamed for all sins. I did not sign either the treaty of Kars or the treaty of Alexandropol," Hayrapetyan said in reference to the post-World War I peace and border agreements signed in one case between the governments of three Caucasus republics and Turkey, with Bolshevist Russia's participation, and in the other case between Armenia as an independent state and Turkey. Those treaties determined by and large the new frontiers between the state of Turkey and the South Caucasus and in fact constrained Armenia within its current borders, with Mt. Ararat's location becoming the territory of modern-day Turkey.

Hayrapetyan also announced that the Federation will have a completely new logo soon and that members of national teams will bear the image of the Republic of Armenia national emblem on their shirts, which, he said, is a legitimate use for representation in international arenas.

With a fresh competition for a new logo design to be announced soon, it remains unclear whether Mt. Ararat will be depicted in some form on the new logo of the Federation.
Armenia Now

Pierre Nora Uses Quotes To Talk About The Genocide Of Armenians
11 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews

Freedom For History!, Pierre Nora
Historians are now called upon to mobilize against the interference of political power in research and teaching historical and protests against the proliferation of laws criminalizing the past. This was motivated nearly a thousand, since 2005, to regroup behind René Rémond in an association, Freedom for History.

This struggle has taken in 2007 a European dimension, with a draft framework decision adopted by Parliament in first reading. It establishes for all "genocide, war crimes and racist crimes against humanity" a crime of "gross trivialization" and even "complicity trivialization" punishable by imprisonment, whatever the time of the crimes involved and the (political, administrative or judicial) which were considered established. Extent there is far to go?

The Gayssot Act, designed in 1990 to fight against Holocaust denial, had created about crimes against humanity as defined at Nuremberg, a crime of "challenge". This law was not directed against historians, but, rather, against militants historical lie. It was however a perverse effect: triggering an emulation of memory groups which claimed for themselves the protections that the law guaranteed Gayssot Jews, it opened the door to competition legislation, which was directly historians.

Thus there was in 1992, a reform of the penal code introducing two new categories of crimes, genocide and crime against humanity "other than the Nazi crimes defined in 1945. This reform has made possible the subsequent memorial laws: the 2001 recognizing the "genocide" of Armenians in 1915 and, in the same year the law Taubira qualify as a crime against humanity trafficking and slavery perpetrated in the fifteenth century Western nations. Not to mention the law of Mekachera 2005, "recognition of the nation for French returnees" and flanked the famous article on "the positive role of the French presence overseas", a provision finally canceled in 2006 before lifting shields and the intervention of the president.

With this draft Framework Decision, unfortunately introduced by France, squarely on change registry.

It is not to deny the horror and magnitude of the crimes, nor the necessity of the struggle against racism and anti-Semitism, more urgent than ever. But it must be understood in the name of the sentiments that inspire and intentions that drive, is being manufactured in our European and modeled on the law Gayssot a straitjacket forcing research and the paralyzing Initiative of teachers.

At the time Gayssot Act, survivors of victims and orphans were under our eyes, and the authors of the horrors still alive. Taubira with the law, it goes back to five or six centuries, and with Armenia, crimes in which France has no part. When the Vendee? When St. Bartholomew? When the Albigeois, the Cathars, when the Crusades? This is already done to Austerlitz, where, on the order of the President of the Republic in 2006, had been canceled celebrations of the bicentenary because newly recalled the restoration of slavery in Haiti by Napoleon. It is also already done to Corneille, whose fourth centenary of the birth has been put on hold because he had found parents who were soaked in the triangular trade.

Everyone can understand that there is no way to protect Historians who knows what corporate or privilege to barricade a scientific approach in the past, insensitive to human suffering and wounds still open. Historians, by their social role and their civic responsibilities, are merely the first line in a case that involves the independence of mind and democratic freedoms.

The concept of crimes against humanity may be a progress of the universal conscience and a healthy reaction to crimes of limitations. But it does not apply retroactively neither the intellectual nor the moral, nor, a fortiori, in legal terms.

That is why historians and not least that at the time, had been chosen to join us in condemning any form of law describing the past to preserve the specificity of the law Gayssot join us today.

It also explains the spontaneity with which historians from across Europe and beyond, have turned to us. Because if France has the dubious privilege of being the first and the only to have launched the crackdown in series of legislative denial of mass crimes, we, us, the priority of an association that gave purpose to recognize freedom of teachers and researchers against political interference and ideological pressure of any kind and origin. Gatherings of the same type are being build, Italy, the Netherlands, or already established, as in Belgium, plenty of memory.

All may not be lost. Political leaders at all levels do not seem deaf to the message of historians. May they hear that we are launching here!

Pierre Nora, is a historian and member of the French Academy, president of the Association for Freedom history.

Interview With Sergei Lavrov Paid To "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" 11 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews

Almost all the media reported the interview of Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov paid to "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" reported by the agency Mediamax. The Russian Minister of AE is stated: "Armenia is experiencing colossal complications to come into contact with the outside world. The release as soon as possible to this situation stems from the interests of the Armenian people. The geographical and political solutions are not enough alone. As soon as the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will become a reality, Turkey is ready to help Armenia to establish normal ties with the outside world, which implies the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Yerevan. Regarding the process of negotiations on HK, the Russian Minister considers that "has been prepared a background paper in which all the principles and mechanisms are described. It remains to solve one or two issues between the two presidents. These include the Lachin corridor whose solution seems quite realistic. " It seems to me that the juxtaposition of the two factors that are aware of the vulnerability of Armenia on the one hand, and awareness by Turkey of a window of opportunity, on the other hand, and proposals of the co-chairmen of the Minsk Group, would find a way. "

Embassy of France in Armenia Press Service

Turkish Recognition Of Genocide Not A Precondition For Ties - Armenian President, ABC Newspaper September 30, 2008 Spain

Text of interview with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan published by the Spanish newspaper ABC website on 30 September:

Yerevan: Serzh Sargsyan, 53 and a native of Nagorno-Karabakh, was elected president of Armenia in controversial elections held last February. Until then, he had held the post of prime minister.

[ABC] How do you view the current situation in the Caucasus?

[Serzh Sargsyan] After 7 August - the date of the commencement of the hostilities in South Ossetia - things have changed, the world is different. It has become clear that interethnic conflicts cannot be solved by force. We have been saying it for 20 years, but now it has become patently clear. There is no alternative to diplomacy and constructive regional cooperation.

[ABC] With the recent visit to Yerevan of Turkish President Abdullah Gul a new outlook is opening up. What do you hope from it?

[Sargsyan] The normalization of contacts, the establishment of diplomatic relations and the opening of the border. From that moment on, it is then possible to speak about everything else. We are not demanding the recognition of the genocide of 1915 as a prior condition.

[ABC] Turkey's rapprochement with Armenia happens to come just after the clash between Russia and Georgia.

[Sargsyan] I don't think the two things are related. The work to normalize relations was being done prior to that.

[ABC] You have good relations with Washington. The USA is the second country, after Russia, with the largest Armenian diaspora. In view of the current deterioration of relations between the White House and the Kremlin, do you not fear having to choose between them?

[Sargsyan] I believe there is no dilemma between close cooperation with Russia and the West.

Armenian Economy Hit By Georgian War
Authorities say country suffered substantial economic losses as a result of August conflict.

By Naira Melkumian in Yerevan (CRS 463, 10-Oct-08) The war between Russia and Georgia has cost the Armenian economy nearly 700 million US dollars, the Yerevan authorities believe.

They say the economy was hit by severe blows to foreign trade, tax collection and international investment. “The conflict [has been] a serious test for the sustainability of the Armenian economy,” said Prime Minister Tigran Sargsian. Commentators say foreign trade plunged largely because of war-related damage to the principal transportation routes between Armenia and Georgia, through which much of the country’s imports and exports pass.

As a result, Georgian imports were cut by an estimated 121 million dollars, slashing import tax revenue. At the same time, exports losses amounted to about 52 million dollars.

The regional turmoil has also curbed the government’s ambitious plans to boost income tax collection by 30 per cent this year. “Tension in the area as a result of the South Ossetian conflict meant Armenia did not collect the levels of income from tax anticipated in the budget,” said Gagik Minasian, the head of parliament’s financial, credit and budgetary issues commission.

But experts say the greatest damage caused to Armenia by the war has been the temporary suspension of foreign investments, totaling about 300 million dollars. “The region itself is not very attractive in terms of investment, and, today, it has become way too insecure,” said Heghine Manasian, director of the Caucasus Research and Resource Centre, CRRC.

Manasian said the situation in Georgia had increased inflation and curbed economic growth. “If prices go up and people's income remains the same, consumption is likely to decline, meaning that traders won't be able to sell their goods. A difficult situation aggravated by the world financial crisis might emerge,” said Manasian.

However, the authorities denied that consumers had been hit by the conflict, insisting that any price increases were caused by panic buying. “People queued for petrol for two days – because they panicked [that supplies were going to run dry],” said Sargsian, noting that state reserves of fuel had not been touched. In the wake of the conflict – which officials believe has cost the economy 680 million dollars – analysts say it is important Armenia does not rely so heavily on the import and export of goods through Georgia in future.

“Two-thirds of foreign goods are coming through Georgian territory,” said Andranik Tevanian, the director of the Institute for Political, Economic and Legal Research. “This is why the Georgian conflict caused delays to and even suspended the transportation of cargo.” While an alternative transport route through Iran has been proposed as a solution, Tevanian believes it would be a prohibitively expensive option. There are also indications that Armenia is looking at alternative ways of transporting goods through Georgia.

On a recent visit to Georgia, Armenian president Serzh Sargsian raised the prospect of the building a new highway linking Yerevan with the city of Batumi, the capital of the autonomous republic of Adjara in southwest Georgia – cutting the current 700 kilometre route by about a third. Previously, much of Armenian exports were ferried through Georgia’s land border with Russia, but the conflict has meant that Yerevan will become more reliant on its neighbour’s Black Sea port.

“If we start working [on the Yerevan-Batumi route] today, in two years’ time, we'll have a transport route that is very important for Armenian economy,” Armenian transport and communications minister Gurgen Sargsian told journalists recently. Experts have also cited the importance of developing alternative trade partners, emphasising the role Turkey could play. They say that the continued closure of the land border between Turkey and Armenia costs the economy around 500 million dollars annually.

The Armenian government hopes that the recent thawing of relations with its western neighbour might offer new trading opportunities. A direct electricity supply from Armenia to Turkey will start in 2009, following the signing of an energy agreement during the visit of the Turkish president Abdullah Gul to Yerevan in September.

“Developing closer political and economic relations with Turkey could be a precursor for…developing Armenia’s economy,” said Minasian. But other analysts remain sceptical. While Tevanian acknowledged that normalising relations with Ankara was important for the economy, he pointed out that Armenia had so far gleaned few benefits from the rapprochement.

“We’ve made a step towards Turkey, but it is Turkey that had so far reaped political dividends in Europe – we see no tangible results from the so-called warming yet,” he said.

Naira Melkumian is an IWPR-trained journalist.

Armenian Society In Hatay Delivered Their Sorrow About Martyrs
President of Armenian Society Foundation in Iskenderun, Hatay, Mihail Tabas said “We are all sad about the martyrs and we all cry for them”

Tabas, Pastor of Iskenderun Katholic Church Yusuf Petrilla, Bahai Leader Veli Kara, Syrian Society agent Edip Daglıoglu, Alawi Culture Research Foundation (AKAD) agent Davut Tumkaya and President of Mutual Benefit Association of People of Mardin, Salih Bayar visited mufti Hamdi Kavillioglu.

In the visit, stressing that they were citizens of Turkey and they live under this flag Tabas said, “Christians, Alawis, Sunnis, and Yazidis. We are all one. God do not seperate us but some deamonic people seperates us from each other. We all cry for our martyrs. God willing, these end with the help of God”

President of Mutual Benefit Association of People of Mardin, Salih Bayar said that after prayer tomorrow they will prepare a ceremony which different religious agents will attend and in which everybody will pray in the way of their religion, called, “Let’s line on sides for God, let’s pray for martyrs”.

Mufti Kavillioglu said, “We are all sorry for our loss. God end these problems with divine power and we all live in our country in peace and unity”.

Weird Reaction To Yerevan Gesture
Hachikian, The president of ANCA (Armenian National Committee of America) wrote, “Turks want to make as unarmed. This was the reason for Turkish President to visit Armenia. Make donations otherwise they will slit our throats” in his e-mail which he wrote for asking donations from Armenian diaspora.

Ankara administration's peaceful moves and football diplomacy of President Abdullah Gul get strange reactions from Armenian diaspora in USA. President of ANCA, Ken Hachikian started an e-mail campaign and said “Donate money, Turks intend to our throats” Hachikian claimed that Armenia gave a friendly hand to Turkey and took big risks against anti-Armenian and hostile policies under the shade of genocide. Ken Hachikian said, “Even while i am writing these, Ankara administration uses Armenias good will against Armenian genocide pitilessly.”

President of ANCA said that Ali Babacan said “Our contact with Armenia will kill the Armenian genocide idea” and claimed that this was not a secret. Hachikian, “Turkey wants to make us unarmed. This was the reason for Turkish President to visit Armenia. If they can’t, then they will try to cut our legs with lies and unreal promises” “The time for showing our strength” said Hachikian and claimed that Turkey was preparing for a big attack and said, “Please make donations, 50, 100, 250 dollars, as much as you can give”.

Armenian lobby supports the team of Barack Obama and Joseph Biden of Democratic Party who gives positive signals about alleged Armenian genocide ideas. Lobby studies hard to increase the number of Armenian descent deputy in USA senate from 2 to 3.

Alleged Genocide Resolution Is Back On Agenda In Sweden Parliament

Parliament of Sweden made a motion about recognizing alleged Armenian genocide again after one year since previous resolution declined with a huge difference of votes in parliament. Resolution had proposed by some Syrian, Armenian and Greek deputies in Sweden parliament.

In the resolution that is entered to parliament it is claimed that in 1915 events only nation was not Armenians who were slaughtered. Resolution claims that Assyrian, Syrian, Keldani and Pontic Greeks in Anatolia were also slaughtered and claims that 1,5 million Armenian, 250-500 thousand Assyrian, Syrian and Keldani were slaughtered and Pontic Greeks who lived in Black Sea region were urged to migrate. In the resolution which is entered to keep alleged genocide idea remain in the agenda, includes letters of ambassadors in 1915 which are about alleged Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.

Conservative Party, Liberal Party and Social democratic party do not support the resolution other than 3 deputies and resolution is supported by only little parties in Sweden Parliament. The deputies who do not support the resoultion says that it is impossible for this resolution to be passed from the Parliament. Sweden is known as a country that supports Turkey’s EU membership and with its warm policy towards Turkey.

Dramatical Story Of Cemal Pasha
It came out that Cemal Pasha who had killed by Armenian partizans in 1922 had warned Enver Pasha about the security of Armenian people.

Killed by Armenian partizans in 1922 with the claim of “being one of the decision-maker about Armenian genocide”, it came out that when he was 4th army commander in 1915, Cemal Pasha warned Enver Pasha with flaying him about the security of Armenian people who were being deported from Anatolia.

The study of “Armenian activities with archive documents” that Presidency of General Stuff started in 2006 is completed with the publishing of 8th volume. 8th volume of the study includes the warning of Cemal Pasha to Enver Pasha in 1915 about the security of Armenian people which are being deported from Anatolia. In the letter;

“It came out that impartial states and media started to attend to Armenian problem. I am talking about some speeches and connotations and since they are Christian too even Germans get suspicious after they hear some mistaken news about the issue. It is clear that attacks against Armenians while they are being transferred would bring results that harm country’s interests. I propose these precautions to be held before such events spread”

Enver Pasha replied this letter in 22 July 1915, writing that foreign press and embassies were informed about the issue and orders were given about the security of Armenian people who were being transferred from Anatolia.

Cemal Pasha was born in Midilli in 1872. He was one of the most important director in Committee of Union and Progress within 1908 and 1918. After the fall of Ottoman Empire following First World War, Cemal Pasha fleed abroad and he was killed by Armenian partizans in Tbilisi in 21 June 1922 with the claim of being one of the decision maker about alleged Armenian genocide. Cemal Pasha is the grandfather of Hasan Cemal who is a writer in Milliyet daily.

French Historians Reacts Against Alleged Genocide Resolutions In France
Some French historians brought alleged genocide bills that passed from French Parliament up for discussion. The bills which are being discussed includes the clause which defines 1915 events that happened in Anatolia as “Armenian genocide”. A group of historian, including Eric Hobsbawm, Jacques Le Goff, Timothy Gorton Ash supported the initiative and appealed to EU.

The initiative, “freedom for history” in France that is founded by famous historians, criticizes resolutions that parliament of France passed that were about penalizing denial of alleged Armenian genocide. Initiative that is leaded by Pierre Nora published a book that criticizes the resolution that passed from France parliament in 13 July 1990 which expands the definition of “genocide” and counts denial of alleged genocide as guilt. Proposed by Jean-Claude Gayssot in that period, the resolution is called Gayssot, is expanded following years by adding “genocide” and “crime against humanity” categories to penal code. And in 2001 Armenian and Taubira “genocide” resolutions passed from France parliament.

Before the initiative of “freedom for history”, Historian Pierre Nora wrote in his column in "Le Monde" that Gayssot Resolution was straitjacketing France. Nora stated that as France defined “slavery” and “slave trade” in Atlantic coasts in 15th century as “crime against humanity” with “Taubira Resolution” it turned to times of pre 6th century and as defining 1915 events in Anatolia as “genocide” with a resolution it limited the working scope of Historians.

Holocoust expert and director of the movie “Shoah” Claude Lanzmann is one of the most opposing to this call of Nora which splits historians in France. In his discussion with Pierre Nora for Nouvel Observateur magazine Lanzmann said that alleged victims of Armenian genocide should be treated same with Holocoust victims.

Call of “freedom for history” initiative caused a big interest in World public opinion in a short time. Many historian from different countries of World, like; Timothy Gorthon Ash, Jacques Le Goff, Eric Hobsbawm, Sergio Romano, Elie Barnavi supported the initiative and reminded that alleged genocide resolutions limits the studying scope of historians. http://historyoftruth.com

Telling About The Destruction Of Smyrna, 1922 October 13 By Greek_News
By Vicki James Yiannias - Community: Telling About The Destruction Of Smyrna, 1922
Community New York.- By Vicki James Yiannias
“I was writing a novel which had one chapter set in Smyrna. When I started to research this chapter, I realized the need for a serious work of history about the city and its destruction,” Giles Milton, historian, journalist, and author of Paradise Lost – Smyrna 1922 – The Destruction of a Christian City in the Islamic World, told the Greek News, “There is a real hunger to know what happened and why. If my book helps to answer some of these questions then it will have fulfilled a purpose.”

The title of the book is not gratuitous, says the author, “To the Americans who poured into this most alluring of Middle Eastern cities at the bang of the 20th century, Smyrna seemed like paradise. So much so that they gave this name to their large and wealthy colony on the outskirts of the city.”

The critically acclaimed new book was presented by the Consulate General of Greece, the GreekAmerica Foundation, and Greek America magazine, to a large audience of Greek and foreign journalists and correspondents to the U.N., members of U.N. missions, Greek Americans, and philhellenes at the Greek Press and Communication Office in New York on October 2nd.

Consul General of Greece in New York Mrs. Agi Balta, introduced the book and Greg Pappas of the GreekAmerica Foundation, and Greek America magazine moderated the event. The author read abstracts of his book and took questions from the audience.

Paradise Lost recounts the days of prosperity and the days of horror in Smyrna -- known as the richest and most cosmopolitan city in the Ottoman Empire, and a majority Christian city that was unique in the Islamic world -- prior, during and after the war in the beginning of the 20th century.

“What happened there in September 1922 was to prove one of the most compelling human dramas of the 20th century, says Milton, “One million innocent civilians – men, women, and children from scores of different nationalities – were caught in a humanitarian disaster on a scale that the world had never before seen. One million people were trapped on the quayside – trapped between the sea, the Turkish machine gun posts and a devastating fire. But the fire – and the refugees – was only a part of the story. The destruction of Smyrna was to lead to a far greater crisis. Two million people were to find themselves caught up in a catastrophe on a truly epic scale.”

While Paradise Lost tells of the devastating destiny of the city of Smyrna and its people, it also provides an examination of political and religious relations at the time and it tells a fascinating, yet horrifying, story with clarity and insight.

Eyewitness testimonies, diary entries, and letters – some of them published for the first time – are all part of this meticulously researched, informed account. Paradise Lost is tells the story of the city’s burning from an unusual and interesting angle and perspective, from the viewpoint of the Levantine population in Smyrna.

Milton explains that he wanted to tell the story, where possible, from the Levantine point of view. Who were the Levantines, and why tell the story from their point of view? “These were wealthy Europeans who had lived in Smyrna for two centuries; they did not care who ruled the city as long as they could continue to make money. As such, they are impartial witnesses. From everything I read – both their own writings and those by Americans in the city – it is without question that Smryna was burned by the Turks.”

For many of the Greek survivors of the cataclysmic destruction of the city and its inhabitants, the story was too painful to tell, says Milton. “Children of the Greek survivors know less than others about the Catastrophe because their parents don't want to remember. I met many second and third generation Greeks in America who have almost no idea what their parents and grandparents experienced in Smyrna.

And the story of Smyrna is little known in Britain or America, Milton stresses, even though there are many elements that are extremely relevant to us today. “Genocide and ethnic cleansing – both of which occurred in Turkey at this time – are still with us – think of the Balkans and Rwanda”

The burning of Smyrna is part of the same chapter of history that was the Armenian genocide, 'Turkey for the Turks' was the slogan; in an age of nationalism, there were no longer any place for Turkey's 'troublesome' Christian minorities, says Milton. “It is perhaps ironic that Ataturk's republic, built along democratic, secular lines, was founded upon the expulsion of all the minority groups of the old Ottoman Empire.”

There are important lessons for us to be learned in this, says the author, who is interested in the idea of Smyrna as the prototype of our own modern cities – multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan. “It alarmed me to see just how quickly such a diverse city – where Greeks, Armenians and Turks had lived as neighbours and friends – could be destroyed. And there is also the question of great powers intervening in the affairs of a foreign country. In Turkey, Britain and America used a proxy (Greece) to carry out their foreign policy. Nowadays, those same to powers intervene with their own armies. If we had learned lessons from Smyrna, the mess in Iraq might never have happened.”

Having lived alongside each other as neighbors for centuries Greeks and Turks in Smyrna shared some cultural roots, says the author. “They had a shared culture, heritage, music, cuisine. Time and again in the Greek archives the Greeks speak of getting along extremely well with their neighboring Turks…you read of the different communities in Smyrna living alongside each other in peace and harmony; they played in the same football teams, went to each other's weddings etc. It was the rise of nationalism that caused the rupture in these harmonious relations. With the rise of nationalism, all this came to an abrupt end. Centuries of friendship was torn apart in the space of a few months.”

Milton explains that there are two groups in Turkey taking two different stands (on the history of the event: the liberal intelligentsia and the rabid materialists. Turkey is a divided country. The educated liberal intelligentsia is willing to speak about Turkey’s role in history. But the ardent nationalists refuse to admit that any wrongs were committed. According to most Turkish historians, Smyrna was burned by either the Armenians or the retreating Greek army. It is almost impossible to publish a book in Turkey saying otherwise.”

Will the book be sold in Turkey? “There is the infamous Penal Code 301 which forbids publication of anything that ‘publicly denigrates Turkishness’. My book does not do that...it simply tells the story of what happened in Smyrna. Several publishers turned the book down, although they thought it was fascinating. But now I have one publisher who believes it is very important that the story be known to a wider audience in Turkey.”

U.S. Document Reveals Turkey Continued Ottoman Empire's Anti-Armenian Policies, By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier

Those who want to shield today's Turkey from responsibility for the Armenian Genocide have sought to blame the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire rather than the Republic of Turkey which was not established until 1923. One wonders then why Turkish officials, who have tried every trick to deny the facts of the Armenian Genocide, have not taken the easy way out by shifting the blame for the Genocide to the long defunct Ottoman Empire.

A frequently advanced explanation is that Turks, as a proud people, cannot accept that their ancestors committed the heinous crime of seeking to eliminate an entire nation. Others have argued that should the Republic of Turkey blame the Ottomans for the Armenian Genocide, it could be held legally liable as the successor state to the Ottoman Empire.

In recent years, however, it has become clear, particularly through the painstaking research conducted by Turkish scholar Taner Akcam, that a key reason why today's Turkish officials are not prepared to face their history honestly and blame their Ottoman ancestors is that the Republic of Turkey is actually the continuation of the Ottoman state. Indeed, many of the early leaders ofthe Turkish Republic had been high-ranking Ottoman officials personally involved in the implementation of the Armenian Genocide. Such an unbroken transitionin leadership assured the continuity of the Ottomans' anti-Armenian policies.

In retrospect, it has become apparent that these genocidal policies stretched over a half century, starting with Sultan Abdul Hamid's massacre of 300,000 Armenians in 1894-96, followed by the killings of 30,000 Armenians in Adanaby the Young Turk regime in 1909, culminating in the Genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915-23, and the subsequent policies of forced Turkification and deportation of tens of thousands of Armenians by the Republic of Turkey. An important document from the U.S. archives, known until now to a handful of scholars, was recently posted on an Armenian/Turkish website. It provides incontestable evidence that Armenians continued to be uprooted from their native lands and deported by the Republic of Turkey well into the 1930's for purely racial reasons.

The document in question is a "Strictly Confidential" cable dated March 2, 1934, sent by U.S. Ambassador Robert P. Skinner from Ankara to the Secretary of State in Washington, reporting the deportation of 600 Armenians from "the interior of Anatolia to Istanbul."

The Ambassador wrote: "It is assumed by most of the deportees that their expulsion from their homes in Anatolia is a part of the Government's program of making Anatolia a pure Turkish district. They relate that the Turkish police, in towns and villages where Armenians lived, attempted to instigate local Moslem people to drive the Armenians away. =80¦ The Armenians were told that they had to leave at once for Istanbul. They sold their possessions receiving for them ruinous prices. I have been told that cattle worth several hundred liras a head had been sold for as little as five liras a head. My informant stated that the Armenians were permitted to sell their property in order that no one of them could say that they were forced to abandon it. However, the sale underthese conditions amounted to a practical abandonment."

The Ambassador further reported: "The Armenians were obliged to walk from their villages to the railways and then they were shipped by train to Istanbul. =80¦ The real reason for the deportations is unknown=80¦. It is likely, though, that their removal is simply one step in the government's avowed policy of making Anatolia purely Turkish."

Top be sure, in the 1920's and 30's thousands of Armenian survivors of the Genocide were forced out from their homes in Anatolia to other locations in Turkey or neighboring countries. These racist policies were followed in the 1940's by Varlik Vergisi, the imposition of exorbitant wealth taxes on Armenians, Greeks and Jews, and the 1955 Istanbul pogroms during which many Greeks and some Armenians and Jews were killed and their properties destroyed.

This barbaric continuum of massacre, genocide and deportation highlights the existence of a long-term stratagem implemented by successive Turkish regimes from the 1890's to recent times in order to solve the Armenian Question with finality.

Consequently, the Republic of Turkey is legally responsible for its own crimes as well as those committed by its Ottoman predecessors.

Armenian Soccer Body, Changes Logo After Uproar By Ruben Meloyan
The Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) said on Wednesday that it has decided to change its new emblem widely criticized for not depicting a biblical mountain in what is now eastern Turkey.

The FFA's previous logo, which carried a picture of Mount Ararat, was dropped ahead of last month's match in Yerevan between Armenia's and Turkey's national soccer teams that was watched by the presidents of the two neighboring states.

The move prompted strong criticism from domestic political groups, notably the pro-government Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), that suggested that it was designed to please the Turks. Dashnaktsutyun leaders cast doubt on the credibility of FFA assurances that there were no political motives behind the change of the logo emblazoned on the jerseys of national and youth team players.

Located in northeastern Turkey and visible from Yerevan and much of southern Armenia, Ararat is considered by many Armenians a national symbol. The snow-capped peak, the supposed resting place of Noah's Ark, is depicted in the center Armenia's national coat-in-arms.

Ruben Hayrapetian, the FFA chairman who has previously dismissed the Dashnaktsutyun criticism, said on Wednesday that the decision to leave Ararat out of the current logo was a mistake. `I apologize to the entire public for this real mistake,' he told reporters.

`We did not think that there will be such an uproar,' Hayrapetian said, adding that the FFA has already commissioned graphic designers to develop another Armenian football emblem. He said it will definitely carry an outline of Ararat.

`In the meantime, our national football teams will wear jerseys with the emblem of the Republic of Armenia,' the FFA's executive director, Armen Minasian, told RFE/RL.

Both he and Hayrapetian insisted that the logo change had nothing to do with the Armenia-Turkey World Cup qualifier played in Yerevan on September 6. `We began the process of logo change last year before we knew that are going to play Turkey,' said Minasian. `There was never any deliberate effort to remove Ararat.'

Lawsuit Filed Against Us National Archives To Obtain Documentation On Armenian Genocide
LOS ANGELES --A civil action against the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States was filed last week seeking documents as they relate to the Armenian Genocide (1914 to 1925). (Vartkes Yeghiayan v. National Archives and Records Administration of the United States of America, Case No. CV08-16248, U.S. District Court, Central District of Calif., Sept. 23, 2008). "Repeated efforts have been made to procure these documents, but the National Archives has been non-responsive," says Mark MacCarley, partner with Glendale, Calif.-based MacCarley & Rosen who is representing plaintiff Vartkes Yeghiayan. "Its actions are in violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)."

The initial request by Yeghiayan occurred in April 2006. "The National Archives acknowledged receipt of the request, but has not provided the information despite repeated inquires from my client," says MacCarley. "The National Archives, without explanation, has exceeded the generally applicable 20-daydeadline for processing FOIA requests. We simply want the requested documentation." Yeghiayan is an attorney who has successfully litigated lawsuits in State and Federal courts against U.S. and foreign businesses for Armenian Genocide asset restitution. More than 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the genocide with millions more deported from the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey).

Yeghiayan filed the FOIA request because he believes documents are being held by the U.S. government that would identify countries having either direct complicity in the Armenian Genocide or profited by the Ottoman Turks actions against Armenians.

"This lawsuit is on behalf of Armenian-Americans who are seeking documentation and information that could shed light on what happened to their loved ones during the Armenian Genocide," says Yeghiayan.

The River Ran Red, Final Film in Genocide Trilogy, Premieres at Arpa International Film Festival Oct. 24
LOS ANGELES - Culminating more than 40 years of interviews with 400 eyewitnesses to the Armenian Genocide of 1915, documentarian J. Michael Hagopian has completed the final film in his Witnesses Trilogy, The River Ran Red. The 60-minute documentary film premieres at the Arpa International Film Festival on Oct. 24 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California - four days after Hagopian's 95th birthday.

The River Ran Red is the epic search for survivors of the Armenian Genocide along the Euphrates, which snakes from the Armenian Plateau in Turkey to Syria.

From his archives of 400 testimonies of survivors and eyewitnesses, Hagopian weaves a compelling story of terrifying intensity and resounding warmth. The search concludes with the discovery and testimony of the last three survivors, among several thousand, who had been stuffed into a burning cave in the forbidden desert of Deir Zor.

"If I succeed in translating to the viewer the experience and the pathos of those Armenians who were deported from their homes and made it to the Euphrates River only to witness the worst kind of bloodshed, then I accomplished whatI set out to do," says Hagopian, who wrote and produced the film.

A resident of Thousand Oaks, California, Hagopian's hunt for survivors took him to 13 different countries on five continents over a period of four decades. He recorded such compelling accounts as the priest who returns to his birthplace and meets the man who killed his father and other family members, and people who reported seeing hundreds of bodies floating down what they described as the bloody waters of the Euphrates River.

Hagopian was honored with the Arpa Lifetime Achievement Award and the Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award in 2006. He also is the recipient of Jewish World Watch's "I Witness" Award for dedicating his professional life to chronicling the history of the Armenian people and commemorating victims of the Armenian Genocide.

"We are so pleased to have this opportunity to show Dr. Hagopian's documentary," says Arpa Film Festival founder Sylvia Minassian. "He is an amazing man."

Hagopian himself is a Genocide survivor. As a young boy, he was hidden in a well in a mulberry grove to escape Turkish marauders and later fled, with his family, to the United States, where he eventually earned a PhD from Harvard University in 1943. He started collecting film footage about Armenians early on in his 60-year career as a documentary filmmaker, and he established the Armenian Film Foundation in 1979 with the help of several community leaders. He has made over 70 educational films. Seventeen of those are about the Armenian people, including the The River Ran Red and the definitive film on the Turkish massacre of Armenians in 1915, The Forgotten Genocide.

There is yet another film that Hagopian plans to make. "I have interviews with survivors of the 1892-95 massacres and of eyewitnesses to the burning of Smyrna," he says. There was a 30-year genocidal era in Ottoman Turkish history and that story needs to be told."

The Armenian Film Foundation is dedicated to preserving the visual and personal histories of the witnesses to the first genocide of the 20th century. Since 1979, the Foundation has made its mission to serve as the primary motion picture resource bank for Armenian Genocide footage for public television, educational institutions, and film and television producers worldwide. Plans are underway to digitize its archival materials within the next few years to make them more readily available to people from all walks of life. www.armenianfilm.org

Armentel To Secure Uninterrupted Internet Access With Turkcell Assistance 14.10.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ ArmenTel (Beeline brand) and TurkCell are negotiating a possibility to diversify Internet channels to secure uninterrupted communication for Armenia, ArmenTel's spokesperson Anush Begloyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

"Given the recent regional developments, Armenia often loses access to Internet. We intend to establish cooperation with the Turkish operator to resolve this problem and have an additional channel," she said, adding that the talks will apparently be finished by the end of the year and an agreement will be signed.

Hasan Cemal at Genocide Memorial Center
Righteous Turks and Armenian Righteous Among Nations: Rescuers in the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust
A Public Lecture by Prof. Richard G. Hovannisian

International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute)
Canada www.genocidestudies.org

As the Ottoman Turkish government was rounding up the Armenians in the Empire for mass deportation and slaughter in 1915, a number of Turks and other Muslims risked their lives to help them escape certain death. Years later, as the Nazis were rounding up the Jews throughout Europe, a brave few risked their lives to help Jews escape annihilation. Among them were a small number of Armenians, officially recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations." There is no way to know today how many such individual acts of courage occurred in either of those tragic cases.

This lecture will describe the activities of these Armenians and explore the various motivations of rescuers generally. These acts of kindness and heroism stand in stark contrast to the cruelty and evil so prevalent during genocide, and serve as a common lesson arising from both genocides. Today, when genocide shows no signs of abating, and governments with the power to intervene prefer the role of bystander, the actions of these rescuers highlight a moral imperative, as well as reassure us of the human potential for courage and humanity.

These lectures are part of the United Jewish Association's Holocaust Education Week in Toronto, the largest such program in the world, and are organized by the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute), with the participation of the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto, the Armenian General Benevolent Union of Toronto, and the Canadian Jewish Congress Ontario Region.

Richard G. Hovannisian is Professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History and Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is the author of Armenia on the Road to Independence (1967); The Republic of Armenia, 4 volumes (1981-1996), and has edited and contributed to twenty other volumes on Armenian history, the Armenian Genocide, as well as other subjects. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is the first recipient of the "I Witness Award" conferred by Jewish World Watch for his work on the comparative study of genocide and prevention.

Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, 8:00pm The Sephardic Kehila Centre, 7026 Bathurst St., Toronto
Sunday Nov. 2, 2:00pm The Armenian Community Centre, 45 Hallcrown Place, Toronto

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.

Institute For Armenian Studies In Ankara "Noravank" Foundation, 06 October 2008, Haykaram Nahapetyan
In summer 2001 in Ankara was founded the Institute for Armenian Studies Organization. It works in cooperation with Turkey's "Eurasian" Center for Strategic Studies. The latter one is one of the biggest centers in Turkey carrying out strategic researches. According to some information the structure is patronized by the Turkish "Nationalist Movement" Party (MHP).

The structure is located at 550, 61 Konrad Adenauer Street, in Ankara's Cankaya district. In the very district is located the President of Turkey's office. It is quite ridiculous that the organization spreading denial is located in the Avenue after Konrad Adenauer, which, as it is known, set the policy of "confronting" and "confessing" fascist crimes in post-war Germany.

In 2002 and 2004 the structure has organized a Congress on Armenian Studies.

The structure also has a working library on the subject of the Armenian Question which has French, English, German, Russian, Amenian and Turkish literature. It has also a video archive on the subject. In summer months in the institute is organized working practice of Turkish students.

The structure is presently headed by Omer Engin Lyutem.

Although the structure is called the Institute for Armenian Studies, however, by its functions it doesn't20completely coincide with its name.

One can not even speak about objective researches on the subjects of Armenian civilization, culture and history. The structure is mainly engaged in carrying out works of denying character in the issue of the Armenian Genocide and conducts researches to reveal propagandistic, social-political activities and economic capabilities of the Armenian Diaspora. As it is mentioned in the organization's site "The institute has an objective to embrace the issue taking into consideration historical, psychological, legal and international elements of the Armenian Question."

In 2007 the structure published the work "The Armenian Question: main data and documents" where are presented the Turkish and American "historians'" articles of denying character referring to the "Great Genocide." In particular Justin McCarty presented the articles "Armenian rebellions and Ottomans" and "Let historians judge." There is also a page on the subject of the NKR conflict, where one can read the work by Omer Lyutem "Nagorno-Karabakh issue."

It is noteworthy that since the time the structure has been functioning there was a short period when an attempt was made to refuse "radical denying" policy and not to limit the researches on the Armenian subjects by mere denial. In 2003-2004 the organization was headed by Hasan Oktay, who, according to some information, made an attempt to make some corrections in that extremist approach. On August 2004 Oktay came to Yerevan and visited the monument to the victims of the Armenian Genocide and the Genocide Museum.

During the meetings he was speaking in favor of certain liberation in Turkey. Under the leadership of Oktay the research institute organized the Second Congress of Armenian Studies, where, together with works of mere denying character, were also voiced reports relating to other periods of the Armenian history, in particular, early medieval period.

According to the information at hand, Oktay's liberal approaches caused serious discontent among Turkish extremists; the relations between the Institute for Armenian Studies and Turke's Historical institute became tense. Three months after he has returned from Armenia, at the end of 2004, Hasan Oktay was dismissed.

Hasan Oktay's name can not be put in the same rank together with Turkish intellectuals and human rights advocates with liberal ideas- Halil Berktay, Elda Ozjan, Orhan Pamuk etc. Oktan just had more moderate approaches and was aspiring not to appear among the oppositionists and work with governmental circles to ensure liberalism of certain extent to the Armenian Question. Oktay failed in his efforts because of striking discrepancy with officials with tough and extremist approaches.

It is also noteworthy the page of the Institute's site2 where one can find information on the Armenian subject-matter in other Turkish publications. In particular here are represented the studies on "Turkish facts against Armenian confirmations" published by Turkish Great National Assembly which was made ready for publication by the head of the Department of Armenian Studies of Turkish Historians Union Hikmet Ozdemir.

The General Directorate of State Archives has published "Armenian-American relations in Ottoman documents" two-volume edition, the state administration of Bitlis - volumes about "massacres" allegedly perpetrated by Armenians in Bitlis against Turks and Eldar Ilter - the book "Great treachery: Armenian Church and terrorism." In reality it is the republished version of Ilter's book "Armenian Church and terrorism" published in 1997. Ilter is well known by his extremism. According to him, in the above mentioned work the Armenian party massacred for about 2,5 million Turks. Ilter doesn't detail how such a limited number of Armenian units located in limited territories could perpetrate such a hideous massacre, if, putting aside the historical part of the story, it was not even possible mere technical realization of it. In the site one can also get information about English language editions published in the US and Turkey, such as the work "Armenian rebellions in Van" published by the University of the US Uta h State. The authors of the work are "American representatives" of Turkish denial Justin McCarty and a group of Turkish Authors -Esat Arslan, Jemaletin Tashqra, and Omer Tura. In the site is also represented the work of another American "denier" Hyunter Levi titled "Armenian massacres perpetrated in the Ottoman Turkey."

Special attention is to be devoted to the Armenian language manual "I learn English" published in Ankara in 2007 by Birsen Karajan. According to the site, it is the first manual of Eastern Armenian published in Turkey.

It consists of 160 pages and 18 separate lessons. It is also noteworthy the "Eastern Armenian-Turkish" dictionary published by the very Birsen Karajan. It consists of 372 pages.

It is to be mentioned that the Armenian party has some privileges over Turkey today, as for the last decades Turkology has been developed in Armenia and at present there are some specialists working in the mentioned direction. However, in Turkey Armenology has not been developed. Publication of the mentioned books, rising interest to Eastern Armenians and involving of the Armenian language into Turkish higher educational system have come to prove that Ankara aspires at filling up the gap.

Other Issues Of Author:
Propagandistic Activities Of Azerbaijani "Diaspora" [07.07.2008] Discussions On The Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day In Turkish Mass Media [19.06.2008] On The Problem Of The Increasing Number Of Azerbaijani Web-Sites In The Internet [31.01.2008] On Purposeful Disinformation Activity In Azerbaijan [03.09.2007] The Dynamic Of Carrying On The Azerbaijani Lobbing [16.05.2007] The Process Of The Making Of Azerbaijani Lobbing: General Data [26.04.2007]

France: A Young Armenian Of Turkey Tries To Burn Himself To Prevent The Deportation Of His Brother 2 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews

"He will die there, if you back. So I'll die here! "Dramatic moments, yesterday around 11 am 30, before the central place Suquet, in Dijon: Guzel Akkus, a young Armenian of Turkey, presented itself, surrounded by a dozen members his family, in front of the police with a 5 liter plastic container of gasoline, and was doused, threatening to squirt the fire of a lighter that was the hand if his brother, Murat, 27, was released on the spot.

The latter, a Turkish Armenian, arrested Monday after a road traffic offense, was under an obligation to leave French territory since June 26, and was illegal since July 26. Unmarried and childless, denied asylum, did not contest, "neither a graceful nor in a litigation," its obligation to leave France, he had to be stopped Investment in administrative detention and should be taken to detention center in Lyon. "It never hurt to France. Here, we found freedom. We pay our taxes, work, never one of us had problems with the police. We are all traders, it is not in our family Rmistes or unemployed. We left our problems in Turkey. It does not want to be here ... If Murat returned to Turkey, it will be big trouble. There are human rights still here! "Explained family members of the deportee.

Twenty minutes later, while the dialogue had begun with the police and the prefecture, the car that was driving the young man in Lyon had been stopped and made a U-turn to join the police so that his family can see , A team of firefighters and emergency team were on hand, the young woman was doused a second time, then a third time gasoline, and waved his lighter.

Watered by firefighters
A peace keeper threw himself on her and firefighters have watered immediately, and people who were around her. A scuffle between peace-keepers and family members followed. The young woman was taken to Central where she was examined by a doctor and interviewed by the deck, and one of his cousins was also questioned and heard. Several policemen were slightly injured.

Two family members were received at around noon prefecture region, the Chief of Staff of the prefect.

In a statement, the prefecture announced yesterday that "in exceptional circumstances, the investment holding center has been suspended." Murat was released in early afternoon and joined his family.

Among those who were received at the prefecture, was Victor Akkus, the president of the Association of Armenian Burgundy and Franche-Comte, a community of a thousand people: "This is the first time since the beginning our arrival in this region 30 years ago, that we are talking about us, "Akkus said," but this young man can not return to Turkey. It would be a tragedy. "

The prefecture told him that "the situation of the Turkish national will be reviewed by the department of foreigners in light of new elements that will be able to produce."

However, Murat "remains subject to the obligation to leave French territory," said Pierre in the evening Regnault de la Mothe, Chief of Staff of the prefect, indicating a legal problem had arisen "in back doing the escort who was driving in Lyon, we came out of the limits of custody. We do not want to run the risk of putting us outside the law. Of course, the human side was also taken into consideration. However, legally, the young man has always illegal. We expect that we pass new elements to discuss his situation calmly, not in the drama experienced this morning. "

Finally, the prefect acknowledged in its statement "the cold-blooded police officers who surrendered control over the situation while the young woman had already begun to put its threat of execution." , Le Journal de Saone-et-Loire

The Start Of Peace? By Vartan Oskanian 1 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews
The recent invitation by the Armenian president Serge Sarkissian to Turkish President Abdullah Gül to come together in Yerevan to attend a football match is historic. Given the long strained relations between the two countries, this visit out of the ordinary at any time. But today, only one month after the frightening confrontation between Russia and Georgia, it may offer real hope of relieving tensions in the region unstable Caucasus.

Of course, problems as old qu'ardus divide Armenia and Turkey. The time is ripe for both countries to put the past aside and deal with their common security problems. In the new context created by the war in Georgia, it is clear to everyone that Turkey must urgently act as a bridge between the nations of the Caucasus. This expectation is an inevitable consequence of history and geography of Turkey.

Symbolically located between tradition and modernity, Islam and secularism, democracy and tyranny, Turkey is also physically a bridge between East and West. For the peoples of the Caucasus, Turkey shows the way to Europe. She is a member of NATO and borders the three Caucasus republics of maintaining an Individual Partnership Program with NATO. It aspires to become a member of the European Union, the EU and make up our borders, because we too want to join one day.

Turkey never missed an opportunity to play the role of regional broker. She proposed Economic Cooperation of the Black Sea immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This year, as the attempt led by the Americans to reach a peace accord in the Middle East began to falter, Turkey has assumed the role of mediator in both the framework of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and between Syria and Israel. Today, just after the crisis between Russia and Georgia, Turkish leaders have again volunteered to take a leading role in the Caucasus.

The world must fervently hope that the Turkish proposal of cooperation platform for stability in the Caucasus is more serious and sustained than previous attempts similar. But if it is to succeed, Turkey must be firm and promise to all stakeholders in the region not to resort to force to resolve their disputes. If this promise is adopted and enforced conflicts in the region will be considered in a totally different, more tolerant, which will mark a historic breakthrough on the path of peace. Why not also pushing the idea of such a pact a step further? In this region we can, and I think we should call our v wishes a Caucasian non-aligned, blocks released safe and contradictory alliances. After all, alliances and guarantees for security do nothing but create demarcation lines, with their attendant security problems.

Our countries and peoples have, throughout history, lived under a common umbrella for a period longer than that divided us. Today, we share a common vision of European integration, and it is in this broader context that our conflicts should be resolved. The visits of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Georgia and Russia have shown that there is no substitute for Europe as regards the Caucasus. Only Europe can play the role of honest broker in the atmosphere of suspicion and intolerance that reigns in the region.

Nothing will be possible without the willingness to move towards a region of peace and cooperation. The Caucasus is an area too small for closed borders and conflicts explosives. Although some of these tensions that seem purely bilateral, the conflict between Georgia and Russia shows that globalization can no longer this kind of configuration, much less in this area for so many interconnections.

In fact, real peace in the Caucasus requires two strategic transformations. One of them is a teaching of history here, the strategic interests of Russia can not be ignored. Ignore this fact would lead to regional chaos. The other lesson is that Turkey and Armenia can not resist forever. Our relations must be standardized so that unifying the Caucasus region and become functional.

Ironically, both Russia and the United States recognizes that it is in their interest. The Russians believe that normal relations between Turkey and Armenia to help minimize the strategic role of Georgia in the region. For the United States, open to Turkey will reduce dependence real and imaginary of Armenia from Russia.

Beyond the emotional impact of the visit of President Gül in Yerevan, a real improvement of Turkish-Armenian relations request to open the closed borders of both countries - the last in Europe. Or we could begin by making operational the railway links between the two countries. If this n'advient not during the coming weeks and months, then Turkey has shown that this was only the esbroufe. The visit of President Gül really mark a watershed - a failure to write the story or the beginning of a new era.

Vartan Oskanian Minister of Foreign Affairs of A

Armenian President Received The Ecumenical Patriarch Of Constantinople 2 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews
Serge Sarkisian won the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople 1. His Holiness Bartholomew 1st was in Armenia on the occasion of the blessing of Chrism St

In welcoming his guests, the President said: "The Muron has a symbolic importance for us. Everyone in Armenia believes that although distributed worldwide, the Muron brings us back to Saint Etchmiadzin - our religious center which is also the spiritual center of our people. "

Serge Sarkissian stressed the importance of religion in maintaining the values of peace and moral values, the fight against despair, immorality and temptations.

"Being deprived of statehood for many centuries, the Church has guided our people towards the 21st century. Each dignitary must do its duty towards the church of our country to make it stronger and our beliefs enmenent us to a brighter future, "said the President.

The Armenian Patriarch thanked the representatives of sister churches for their participation in the ceremony of blessing of the Holy Muron.

On the part of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri wanted peace, prosperity to the Armenian people and noted: "The enthusiasm with which people attended the ceremony of blessing of the Holy Muron shows their devotion to the exceptional Church. "

Tatavla Brings Rembetiko Spirit Back To Istanbul: a cosmopolitan band united through music
A century ago, İstanbul and İzmir were cosmopolitan cities with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds whose vibrant entertainment scenes reflected this diversity in cafe amans (musical cafes) and massive Milanese-style opera halls which now exist only in photos.

It was not a "multicultural" era where everyone merely tolerated one another and never merged culturally; it was a time when cultures really did merge, staging theater shows and playing music together. Greeks, Turks, Levantines, Jews, Arabs and Armenians appeared side-by-side creating something unique together. As a centuries-old empire collapsed, the unexpected demographic movements of the era's diaspora had important cultural consequences, such as the emergence of new artistic and musical forms. Rembetiko music was one such consequence.

Rising from the pain and misery experienced during this diaspora, this new musical form talked about urban life in cities like İstanbul, İzmir and Piraeus and about immigrant life for those caught up in the diaspora. It was an era and a musical style that encouraged cultural merging in a real sense. For example, Roza Eskenazi, the greatest rembetiko singer of the era, was an İstanbul-born Jew who died in Athens in 1980 at the age of 97. She called out Turkish, Greek and Armenian names when thanking the musicians in her orchestra at her shows.

Tatavla, now known as Kurtuluş, which still is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhoods in İstanbul, was so important to the era's entertainment life that people would talk about going to Tatavla to have a bit of fun that night and would return home from Tatavla awe-struck, ecstatic about a new encounter and filled with songs and joy.

Why am I talking about this long-forgotten era now, almost 100 years later? Because I have the impression that this era might not be completely lost and that it can be rescued from oblivion. What gave me this impression? A new band called Tatavla. Named after the Tatavla neighborhood, Tatavla is a rembetiko band whose performances offer a musical journey through time. Their audience is composed mainly of members of the new Greek community in İstanbul as well as those who have an ear for world music. All are eager to do a bit of belly dancing to oriental tunes. These oriental tunes are in two languages, Greek and Turkish. They talk about the same sort of events occurring to people on both sides of the Aegean before and after they left their homelands.

Tatavla is a multicultural band. The band has two Greek members, and the rest is a mix resembling the United Nations. Tatavla has six members: Harris Theodorelis Rigas on bouzouki, Nicholas Royard on violin, Nicholas on lavta, Yiannis on percussion and Alper Tekin and Fulya Özlem on vocals and castanets. The band plays a rembetiko repertoire of songs in the Izmir style and the Piraeus style.

It must be quite fun to see them on stage, but I have never had the chance because I've always been on the stage. However, from the way people madly dance, jump up and down and shake their bellies during Tatavla concerts, I get the impression that a Tatavla concert is definitely one activity not to miss if you are anywhere near Istanbul these days. It is also a great opportunity to meet the new -- and old -- Greek community in Istanbul: all the young Greek bankers, businesspeople, freelance journalists, academics and teachers. Even the Greek Consulate attended one of the many Tatavla gigs, so Tatavla is highly appreciated even at a diplomatic level.

Reminiscing with the zeybekikos
One might freak out while looking at the increasing number of Greeks who dance the "zeybekikos" and the "kasapikos" while Tatavla plays on stage, saying: "Oh my gosh! They are back! The Greeks are back! Didn't we throw them into the sea?" I am joking, of course. There is nothing more beautiful then the hope that Istanbul will return to its cosmopolitan roots once again with a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multicultural crowd who have fun side by side in addition to working and living together. Each time there is a Tatavla gig, I am filled with hope that, perhaps 30 years from now, Istanbul might have a chance to regain what it once was, namely, its status as a cosmopolitan city.

Who is Tatavla and what brought its members together? Harris is an Athens-born Greek. He studied classics at Oxford and international relations at the London School of Economics, but since his childhood, music was a fundamental part of his life. He took bouzouki, baglamadaki and singing classes and formed rembetiko bands wherever he went. Forming a rembetiko band in London was not half as fun for him as forming one in Istanbul because here there is so much energy around this music. This music fundamentally relates to, and actually is, the music of this city, historically. He is working on a Ph.D. in political science at Bosporus University. He speaks excellent Turkish and is great at reading fortunes from coffee grounds, a skill he learned from his grandmother, who was originally from İstanbul.

We have two Nicholas's. The violinist Nicholas is from Quebec, Montreal actually, but he is originally Armenian. His father is a Cairo-born Armenian whose father fled Turkey in 1915. Nicholas's father immigrated to Quebec, so Nicholas is Quebecquois now. He is a linguist who also studied jazz guitar. He plays oud and spent years in countries like Morocco and Tunisia working with oud masters. He is in Turkey to learn more about Turkish music. He says it is melody he loves most in music, and for melodic beauty as opposed to harmonic, Turkish music is the music to follow. When you listen to his fiery taksims (solos) on the violin, you can tell he made the right choice. His violin funks up the whole venue to his heart's content.

The lavtaist Nicholas, is from Montpellier, France. His grandfather was Algerian, and hence he has a genetic affinity for maqam music. He played guitar for many years and received a master's degree in ethnomusicology, writing his master's thesis on lavta, which he spent two years in Athens researching. Now he speaks perfect Greek, alongside his native French, acquired Spanish, with English and Turkish in progress. He is now researching lavta in Istanbul in theory and in practice while playing in Tatavla.

Yiannis works in the public relations department of a private university. He joined the band recently and is doing great job of adding a funky beat to the Tatavla sound and is teaching us how to count the rhythm of "zeybekiko" for real.

Alper Tekin is from the Enez region in Thrace. He was born into this cultural mix and has been listening to this kind of music since childhood. People can't believe how good Alper's accent is when he sings in Greek. His developed his rich repertoire by listening to Greek music religiously. He recounts how he learnt songs from Greek radio, tuning to Greek radio stations when his family went down to their summer house by the Aegean every summer. He is a student of economics at Yıldız Technical University.

As for me, the singer/castanet player of Tatavla, all I want from God is to be the reincarnation of Roza Eskenazi and, as my high-pitched voice mixes with the pounding of bright castanets in my fingers, to feel and sound as gramophonic and nostalgic as she does.

When I look at the diversity of backgrounds that comes together to form the band Tatavla, it is hard not to imagine a historical resemblance to the rembetiko bands of the 1920s, when musicians from all walks of life came together playing music. This nostalgic but vibrant and entertaining element is what makes the Tatavla sound distinctive. Yet, the question is, even if the music is recovered and re-introduced to Istanbul by Tatavla and even if the young descendants of the people who fled are somehow brought back to Istanbul from wherever they have been scattered to, is Istanbul the same Istanbul? Can it ever be the welcoming city it once was? Can it once again be a city where people listen to each other's songs and languages at least at live music cafes? Let us hope so. In the meantime, keep an ear out for the next Tatavla show, this cosmopolitan gang of musicians who have the most fun each time they play together. 04 October 2008, Fulya Özlem Istanbul, Zaman

Play And Pay The “ANCA Stakes”, The Hell With Peace, Whatever It Takes !
Anca Update 08/10/2008
Subject :The stakes
Parev Friend,
The stakes have never been higher.

Armenia is reaching out her hand in friendship to Turkey.

In the long shadow of the Genocide, facing a brutal blockade and hateful anti-Armenian policies, Yerevan is taking major risks for peace.

Turkey's response: They're going right for the throat.

Even as I'm writing to you, Ankara's twisting Armenia's good faith into a heartless attack on Armenian Genocide recognition.

It's no secret. Turkey's Foreign Minister is telling anyone who will listen to "mind your own business," because his "talks" with Armenia will kill the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

Turkey wants us to unilaterally disarm, all because its President went to a soccer game. Failing that, they'll try to cut our legs out from under us with false promises, lies and spin.

Either way, this is exactly the time to show our strength, our grit, our rock-solid devotion to truth and justice. And we can only do this with your help.

With Turkey's offensive already under way - and a major new attack coming against whomever will win the Presidency - we need your financial support more than ever. Please send your secure on-line donation today of $50, $100, $250 or whatever you can.

Ken Hachikian, Chairman
P.S. The stakes for the Armenian Cause - the memory of our martyrs and the safety of our sacred homeland - are too high to sit on the sidelines.Please make a secure on-line donation right now.

Turkey's Efforts On The Armenian Front:
The Improvement Of Relations Between Turkey And Armenia Is, Particularly For Armenia’s Economy And The Prosperity Of Its People, Of Utmost Importance.

It is simply not possible to keep a state on its feet through the monetary donations of a diaspora that is filled with hatred and enmity. An Armenia that receives the support of Turkey, on the other hand, would see its economic situation straightened out in just a short time, while finally achieving the serenity and prosperity it had been longing for. Thus, we see a new opening in the possibility of a solution by way of the gesture made by President Gül in accepting Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan’s invitation to watch the Turkey-Armenia football match in Yerevan. Forgiveness and tolerance are part of the glory of mature behavior. Turkey and the people of this nation have been on the receiving end of much slander and unfairness on this subject. But, in the end, we see that there is no other way than diplomacy for finding a solution on this matter. 04 October 2008, Radikal, Hasan Celal Güzel

Tales Of Caucasus October 4, 2008, Cengiz Aktar
After President Abdullah Gül's visit to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, last month, optimism in the air is at an extreme. Since we are accustomed to run from one extreme to the other, Armenia, an enemy country until very recently, has now become a foreign policy issue we exorbitantly pamper. First, a series of secret talks took place in Germany and Switzerland between top officials of the two sides. On Sept. 27, during the United Nations General Assembly meetings, Armenian, Azeri and Turkish foreign ministers met together in New York and allegedly a new process has begun. The news is that Turkey will establish diplomatic ties with Armenia after the general elections on Oct. 15 in Azerbaijan. In other words, Turkey, with a magic wand, would resolve the Karabakh issue in the nick of time; an issue that the international community, including Turkey, has failed to resolve since 1995 through the mediation of the Minsk group of the Organization of Security and Cooperation for Europe, or OSCE. Furthermore, Turkey would take a decisive step for the solution of almost a century-old Armenian issue. Is this blind courage or excessive self-confidence or an attempt to avoid recognition of genocide by the U.S. administration? Or is this a show to win the non-permanent membership to the United Nations Security Council I wouldn't know.

Lack of memory
Turkey has neither academic nor diplomatic memory and expertise on the Caucasus. Compared to Russia and Iran, Turkey is a novice. Otherwise, what on Oct. 15 is to change in the Azerbaijani elections, in a country suffering a lack of democracy? Nothing. The oil-rich Azerbaijan bases the solution of Armenian-occupied Karabakh on the slow economic decline of Armenia. So, will Azeris change their policy just for the sake of Turkey? Why would Armenia, seemingly very determined to keep the territory, make a gesture to Turkey?

Armenian and Turkish authorities had pondered opening the border and for the establishment of diplomatic relations during the tenure of Armenian President Levon Ter Petrossian in the early 1990s. With a more realistic approach, the parties, then, did not relate these two problems with the Karabakh issue or the issue of Armenian genocide.

In fact, immediately after the announcement of ?good news,' Tigran Balaian of the Armenian Foreign Ministry said that the Minsk Group is the only recognized mediator regarding the Karabakh issue, and no other brokers were needed. Then-Armenian President, Serzh Sarkisian, said that he didn't expect much from the talks among foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey and that it is too early to expect anything from this meeting.

Dreams and reality
As for the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Pact, or CSCP, while introducing the initiative in early 2000, Turkey was inspired by similar pacts built at the initiative and efforts of the European Union in the Balkans in the 1990s. Those initiatives worked because of the EU's support and incentives for membership into the EU. Which country's support will be decisive to the CSCP? Isn't the fate of this pact directly related to Turkey's membership to the union? As a matter of fact, what is the unique subject on which three countries in the South Caucasus have agreement, beyond any questions? The significance is for the peace and stability in the region of Turkey's EU membership!

On the other hand, would Turkey, who so far has methodically excluded Armenia from every infrastructure project, do the opposite now, thanks to the new era of cooperation?

The EU's peace and collective security is the only pattern that would bring stability both to the Caucasus and in Turkey. As the union's founding father, Jean Monnet, puts it, ?The gains of individual countries is limited to their own efforts, the advantages they have and the problems they export to their neighbors. However, within the Community, the advantages of each member constitute the basis of the other members' prosperity'. As much as the Caucasus, Turkey and Russia are far away from this mindset. Their democracies are weak. This is why solutions these countries could provide for problems like the Karabakh stalemate cannot be long-lasting. At best, the solution would look like the Abkhazian of south Ossetian ones!

As a result of all the diplomatic energy, not more than the establishment of diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey and the opening of its border by Turkey could be expected, which are already a lot of achievement. But neither Armenia or the Armenian Diaspora would give up on the recognition of the genocide by Turkey, nor could the Karabakh issue be resolved, nor could the Joint Commission on History be put in place nor could the CSCP be put into practice. On the contrary, political and commercial relations with Azerbaijan would chill. The rest is just a dream, until Turkey becomes a peaceful and prosperous member of the European Union.

Armenian-American Writer's Soul Back In Turkey, October 4, 2008
UNESCO declares 2008 as William Saroyan Year. Turkish Culture Ministry plans to open a Saroyan Museum in Bitlis in 2009
Vercihan Ziflioglu, - Turkish Daily News

The Turkish Culture Ministry has announced plans to open a museum in honor of Pullitzer Prize-winning Armenian-American writer William Saroyan. The museum will be located in the southeastern province of Bitlis, where Saroyan's family lived before migrating to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. Saroyan is being commemorated on the 100th anniversary of his birth with various events in different parts of the world, including a UNESCO declaration of 2008 as the year of Saroygan. “The search in Bitlis continues on where exactly the house that belonged to Saroyan's family is located. If we could discover where it is located, we will convert it into a museum in early 2009,” said Ertu?rul Günay, the Turkish culture minister.

Speaking to the Turkish Daily News, Günay said Turkey had not been sensitive about its artists so far and had not shown enough interest in the places where they lived. “We will eliminate such perceptions. Changes will be introduced in the cultural realm in Turkey in 2009,” he said. Saroyan was born in Fresno, California. He grew up listening to stories being told by family members about Anatolia, the land where his ancestors settled. Saroyan attracted the attention of world literary critics with his first work. In 1939, he won the Pulitzer Prize, immediately after publishing his second book, “The Trouble with Tigers.” The Turkish Daily News conducted an interview with Rober Kopta?, editor-in-chief of Aras Publications, which publishes the Saroyan collection, and Aziz Gökdemir, editor of the collection.

For Gökdemir, a Saroyan museum in Bitlis is a dream that will not come true. “We just could not bear it if we knew the total number of valuable artifacts that Turkey has lost so far. The West has protected what Turkey would have lost. We just could not grasp the value of artists like Saroyan when they were alive. I do not believe in any possibility of opening a museum in memory of Saroyan,” he said. “In Turkey, there exists a widely held prejudice against the Armenian Diaspora. We aim to put an end to such a rigid prejudice with the Saroyan collection we publish,” said Kopta?. “On the one hand, there is a ‘diaspora,' the existence of which depends on its anti-Turkey stance. On the other hand, there are those diaspora members, such as Saroyan, who longed for Anatolia throughout their lives,” he said.

Anatolia drops from Saroyan's pen
“Saroyan's writing is warm. He is not didactic, not a message-driven writer. He is like one of the ordinary people of Anatolia,” said Gökdemir, adding that the United States was home to many Armenian writers similar to Saroyan. “Armenians carried the spirit of Anatolia to Fresno, California, Watertown and Glendal when they had to leave it. Warm and friendly people live thousands of miles away from us,” he said.

There are a considerable number of Saroyan experts of Armenian descent in the world, but Aras Publications employs Gökdemir as translator and editor of Saroyan's books because of his highly successful Saroyan analyses, which have appeared in most prominent literature journals in Turkey.

Saroyan before Bitlis, Saroyan after Bitlis
Saroyan was told numerous stories about Anatolia when he was a child. He came to Turkey in the early 1960s to pay his first visit to Bitlis, a southeastern province where his family had settled before they migrated to America at the beginning of the 20th century.

Gökdemir said the journey to Bitlis had a strong effect on Saroyan's writing. “If we want to study Saroyan, we should divide his life into two eras: Saroyan before Bitlis, and Saroyan after Bitlis,” he said, adding that the author's works written after his visit to Bitlis contain a deep feeling of melancholia.

Gökdemir said his favorite Saroyan story was “Summer Joy” (Yaz Nesesi).

“Whenever I read that story, I cry like a child,” he said.

“I hope humans will not have to face such pain in life anymore. I hope no one will ever have to leave the land where they live,” he added.

Kopta?, on the other hand, said the Saroyan series was one of the most prominent collections of Aras Publications. Six books by Saroyan have greeted Turkish readers so far.

Kopta?'s favorite story by Saroyan is “Cowards are Brave” (Ödlekler Cesurdur). “I think this world needs not heroes but good-hearted cowards,” he said.

Armenian Genocide: The Documentary Of A Turkish Filmmaker Produced A Fresh Look At History , 4 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews

Much has been said about the Armenians who have left their homes in 1915, but nothing has been said about those who remained. It is this aspect often neglected as a filmmaker and journalist Mehmet Binay addresses in a new movie "The Whispering memories."

"Today, we need to prove that we care about our past and we are ready to confess [our] mistakes, regardless of the reason geopolitical there could have. I think the shooting is a great way to reconcile with Armenians, who are an important part of our imperial past, "said Mehmet Binay in an interview with the Turkish Daily News. He added that the events of 1915 were a majority of Armenians in Anatolia was removed from their original homeland. "A significant element cultural, social and economic development of our society has been removed from the mosaic of Turkey that we contunuons mentioned as the fortress of our culture and identity for centuries. 1915 was a terrible human disaster causing economic imbalances, social and political eastern Turkey, while its effects still dominate our problems now. "

Mehmet Binay comes from a family that migrated to Turkey from the Balkans. Because stories of migration in the past and a fascination for the wealth of history and mysteries of eastern Turkey, Mehmet Binay has traveled extensively in eastern Anatolia. "Its authenticity, complexity and pain in the eyes of people have been striking for me while I'm on a photographic journey along the pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which I largely followed since the 1990s," said filmmaker .

It was during that trip he met by chance ancient tombstones placed in many places in the village of Geben Mountains in the chain of Taurus in the province of Kahramanmaras. "[They] hit me with their unknown origin and size extra-fine some of them standing against time," said Mehmet Binay. "The whisper of Memories" was born following the visits by the filmmaker in the village of Geben, where the youth of the village have shown a desire to learn their local history through research and where he met by chance Armenians who had used to live in this area of a majority until 1915.

"Some of this zonr witnesses and members of the Oral History Project said that some people in this village are the descendants of Armenians who converted either silently or by force have become Muslims to avoid deportation in 1915 "Said Mehmet Binay.

"The whisper of Memory" brings a fresh look into the facts, wrote Amberin Zaman, Taraf journalist.

"My journalistic instinct told me to keep my distance conversations about the rural history by using the camera as an observer only," says the filmmaker, who decided not to conduct interviews but just to listen to conversations to maintain objectivity. The producer of the documentary and the counselor, Caner Alper, then helped to establish strong links between film regarding conversations and the team of filmmakers incorporating a marriage of three days in the history visual and using it as a leitmotif throughout the film.

Mehmet Binay said he believes that honesty and neutrality are the fortresses of his documentary "The Whisper of Memories." "We are able to understand the economic and social links between Armenians and the Turks before 1915 when sincere conversations between village elders and youth," said he. He believes that marriage, it tells the story in the film helps viewers understand the history of Convertite "as marriage is a perfect way to mix different cultures, the ethnicities and religions.

"Even now the memories remain and continue to live through the generations if they are not guilty or discriminated against just because of their differences. That is exactly how this little village in the mountains of the Taurus was able to develop a liberal, open and peaceful without being too polarized during the 20th century. Geben is a perfect example of how different roots and cultures can live together peacefully side by side or even today, "said Mehmet Binay.

The filming of the documentary "The whisper of Memory" has lasted more than two years. The wedding was filmed in 2006, while conversations on the rural history have been filmed in 2007. It took Mehmet Binay and youth of the village much effort and time to convince people to talk about a time of an open and frank. Making the film in two years also had some drawbacks and difficulties. "The youth of the village conversations leading to oral histories were present at the marriage a year ago but they had grown or changed, so we needed to make sure the audience was not disturbed by these visual changes. The whole process of filming required as much planning time and lighting so we had to adapt the various segments in a natural flow "emphasized Mehmet Binay.

The documentary was broadcast on CNN-Turk on June 27 in 2008, before its circulation Armenian Film Festival Golden Apricot. Previously the authors of the documentary have created a blog, a website and a group on Facebook site. Mehmet Binay said that viewers in Turkey have been generally impressed by the objectivity and lyrical flow of the narrative. "I have received feedback from Turkish historians enjoying our work as being honest and open about 1915," he said ajoutNT "I also think that documentaries are a popular and successful way to provide facts and figures of our history in general.

The film was released twice in Yerevan attracting attention and audience, leading to a long series of questions and answers during which it was Mehmet Binay asked if he had been afraid to shoot a documentary in Turkey. "They asked me why I filmed this documentary as a non-Armenian filmmaker or no roots Eastern. The Armenians do not know today modern Turkey apart from the fact that intellectuals like Hrant Dink may be killed by ultra-nationalists simply speaking of the Turkish identity and wanting to accept 1915 as genocide. They do not expect that Turkish filmmakers make fair and objective films or documentaries devoted to 1915, "said Mehmet Binay. He said "the of Mémoires Whisper" has impressed the spectators in Yerevan Armenian in providing an objective examination of historical events.

"As some people in the audience [to Yerevan] spoke of memories of their own converted grandmothers and other family members. They became very nostalgic at times but they also laughed a lot during some scenes of the wedding "concluded Mehmet Binay.

"Trauma" by Ahmet Altan 4 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews
In a country more taboos and stereotypes are more numerous and the intellectual level downwards. And in Turkey, the space devoted to intellectual reflection is more than reduced. This is primarily due to the fact that our system is based on lies. And to hide these lies, our children are subjected to a real brain castration. They explained the menu there was no question of calling into question the "patriotism" in any way whatsoever.

Look to the Kurdish question, the origins of the Armenian genocide, the political identity of Ataturk, the true nature of our political system, the various clauses of the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 [which determines the fate today minorities in Turkey], the identity of those who murdered Ali Şükrü Bey [opposing Ataturk, who was assassinated in 1923] or the reasons behind the fire Izmir [in September 1922, Izmir is destroyed by a fire attributed by the Greeks and Armenians with the Turks who have taken the city and reject any responsibility], and you will see what will happen. In this country, in addition to the Republican past, it is not allowed to question the actions of the former regime, namely the Young Turks. The Armenian issue has nothing to do with the Republic [since the major massacres took place before the establishment of the Republic], but that does not mean it is simply impossible to discuss the serious responsibilities of unionists [the Young Turks of Atatürk belonged to the Union and Progress Party] on this subject. Why can not we try, if only on an intellectual level, people who remain in history for having destroyed, with the help of a foreign power, a huge empire coups political assassinations , Massacres and genocide?

Did you ever asked this question? Why the regime of Young Turks is it so sacred? Why such a taboo weighs Does their acts? There are two reasons for this. First at the time of the founding of the Republic [1923] and thereafter, it has recycled many Unionists professionals from the former regime. Second, and more importantly, it was decided that, apart from the Ottoman sultans declared "enemies of the nation", no other leader of the former regime would be subject to trial. Even Enver Pasha [one of three members of the Young Turks triumvirate, with Talaat Pasha and Djemal], qu'Atatürk did not and that he had been careful not to let back in Turkey, even he has been criticized. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, although he personally condemned the massacre of Armenians, did not allow Turks to address this issue, which does not appear in our history textbooks.

Our capacity for reflection was locked in a space so small that the evocation of a simple term our mind is shaken by an earthquake. Moreover, we do not seem bothered by this situation. Besides thinking, the words we are already afraid. We are not even able to say: "I do not like you" and, instead, we have got used to say: "Above all, do not say what you think, without us reflect Image pathetic that when we refer to ourselves. How this country will he build a future in these conditions? Do not think that Turkey fears might be obliged to pay the price for what happened to the Armenians. No, this is primarily motivated by fear of opening a breach in the mental straitjacket in which we were trapped.

It is also happened to such a degree of normalization of this kind of taboo that recently a Turkish politician [the number two in the AKP], after declaring in an interview at the New York Times that "the revolution Kemalist had been a trauma for the Turkish population ", has been the subject of criticism from some of the political class and media. Yet, what is more commonplace to say that this revolution inspired by Ataturk, like other revolutions, caused trauma among the population? Indeed, had it not been for this trauma, association with the Turkish company it still eighty years after the fact to say: "No, no, not talking about these things?
Ahmet Altan , Taraf

Armenia Wishes To Change Its National Anthem 4 October 2008 by Krikor Amirzayan / armenews
After a long debate and some action, the Armenian government returns to the Armenian law passed in 2005 about the change of the national anthem. The Minister of Culture, Hasmig Boghossian has just said that in the near future, the Armenian authorities to call a new competition to give Armenia a new national anthem. A composition of Aram Khatchatrian was already chosen. Remain to provide the words. Krikor Amirzayan

Book Tells The Story Of Armenians In New Britain By Ken Byron on October 3, 2008
To many, New Britain is synonymous with Polish jokes and it's easy to forget that there are more that just Polish people in New Britain and that the city has a long and rich history as a cultural melting pot. I was reminded of this when an advance copy of a book entitled "New Britain's Armenian Community" came across my desk on Friday. Thls volume is published by Arcadia Publishing as part of its Images of America series.

I've worked in New Britain for years now and I've gotten used to seeing Armenian names from time to time. But to say I know little about their history is an understatement. According to this new volume, the first Armenians who came to New Britain were five men who arrived in 1892 to work in the city's factories. By 1940, there were 2,700 Armenians in New Britain.

Armenians began arriving a great numbers in the 1920s. Unfortunately, they had a really good reason for coming. Most of them were fleeing what is called the Armenian Genocide of 1915, in which Turkey uprooted, deported and killed many Armenians. Many historians consider this to be the first modern, systematic genocide and the book's author, Jennie Gerabedian, prominently mentions the suffering that many Armenian immigrants to New Britain endured. She also highlights the stories of many of them who came to New Britain and prospered.

The book is not a history in the regular sense of the word but instead tries to tell the story of New Britain's Armenians through pictures. Arcadia has published a great many other local histories through its Images of America series and all of the ones I've seen are like this, page after page of pictures with sometimes very lengthy captions. http://blogs.courant.com/

In Politics, If You Have To Be Honest, Wait Until The End Of Your Term October 4, 2008
In politics, truth telling can be dangerous. Remember when Jimmy Carter was voted out of office, in part, for telling the American people, in a time of high inflation and unemployment, what they didn't want to hear – that they were self indulgent and consumed too much? Remember when Larry Lindsey, a top advisor to President George W. Bush, was fired for estimating the cost of the Iraq War to be $200 billion? (At the end of fiscal year 2008, the war has cost $600 billion and the meter is running.) This seemingly good-faith estimate contrasted with the preposterous administration line that the war would cost only $50 billion and that Iraqi oil revenues would pay for war reconstruction. Remember when Eric Shinseki, the Army Chief of Staff, was pushed into retirement for testifying truthfully that occupying Iraq might prove to be a daunting challenge and could require several hundred thousand US combat troops?

Recently, a couple of prominent figures have told the truth, but have not risked as much as these sacrificial lambs. Israel's outgoing prime minister, Ehud Olmert, who has resigned to fight corruption charges, said what no Israeli prime minister has ever said. He acknowledged that Israel must withdraw from nearly all the West Bank and give up East Jerusalem. Any remaining land that Israel keeps on the West Bank would have to be compensated for by giving the Palestinians some of the Israeli land. This sensible thinking is radical for an Israeli prime minister and essentially advocates throwing out long-standing Israeli defense doctrine. Olmert also pooh-poohed the idea that Israel should bomb Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program as "megalomania" and said that it was the problem of the international community.

The fact is that Olmert is now a lame duck, which leads to some valid skepticism about his new line. Why didn't he take this courageous stand when he could actually do something about the issue? His new forthrightness on the Israeli-Palestinian problem may be a cynical attempt to be remembered as being honest about something, given the personal corruption charges that he now faces in the Israeli courts. Nevertheless, it probably helps to have an Israeli prime minister – lame duck or not – tell the truth about the situation.

Similarly, a US Secretary of Defense is also speaking out. Coming after the lies his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, repeatedly told to justify propelling the United States into an invasion of Iraq and to cover up the ensuing bungling, Bob Gates's candor is refreshing – at least at first blush. On the same day Olmert committed his honesty, while rendering the obligatory praise to the common soldier, Gates criticized the US military establishment for neglecting counterinsurgency warfare at the expense of buying new generations of technological warfighting gizmos. As evidence, he noted that even with two wars going, the military had to be forced to produce systems to detect roadside bombs and field heavily armored troop transporters.

Like Olmert, Gates is nearing the end of his tenure and doesn't have much to lose by being honest. In fact, if either the Democrat Barack Obama or the "maverick" Republican John McCain wins, he might be asked to stay on as Defense Secretary because of such straight shooting about Pentagon problems. After all, Gates has presided over the US military "turning the situation around" in Iraq. But if Gates were asked to remain on board in any new administration, he would be smart to decline the offer.

While Gates's comments were true, there is a limit to his honesty. In fact, Gates has not so much turned around the situation in Iraq, as held the lid on until Bush can safely retire from office. The Sunni Awakening militias, which the US government trained, armed, and paid to stop fighting the US military, will probably exacerbate the eventual civil war that is likely to occur in a socially-fractured Iraq. These Awakening forces are now being turned over to a hostile Shi'ite-dominated government, which has already attempted to arrest some of the Awakening leaders and may not give them promised jobs. These disgruntled Sunni fighters could easily resume the civil war.

If Gates continued to serve in the next administration, he might very well have to deal with the effects of his own sleight of hand. Gates's truthfulness is also limited by the fact that it was concentrated narrowly on military procurement and (the lack of counterinsurgency) doctrine. What Gates should have said was that the historical record indicates that military invasion by a foreign power rarely changes deep-rooted political, economic, social, and cultural norms in the target of the attempted "nation-building" – usually rendering such armed adventures pure folly. www.antiwar.com

No Mediation Without Border Integrity: Former Fm Says Turkey Has No Right To Role In Nkr Settlement
By Aris Ghazinyan

"Turkey has no right to offer itself as a mediator in the Karabakh conflict until it opens the border with Armenia and resumes the railway communication with it," Armenia's former foreign minister Vardan Oskanian said on October 1, noting that "during the trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Turkey outwardly tried to show itself as a mediator in the Karabakh conflict."

To recap, the trilateral meeting of Ali Babacan, Edward Nalbandyan and Elmar Memmedyarov took place on the sidelines of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly on September 26. According to the official chronicle, the sides exchanged opinions on regional processes and the Turkish initiative on establishing a Caucasus platform. It was during the discussion of the Karabakh subject that official Ankara was trying, in Oskanian's opinion, to make an impression of a mediator.

"It unequivocally leads to the increased role and image of Turkey in the region, however as far as I understood, the meeting agenda included only regional issues, in particular the Turkish initiative on creating a security platform in the Caucasus," said Oskanian. The ex-minister thinks that in today's situation Turkey has no place in the negotiating process over Karabakh until the border with Armenia is opened and the railway between the two countries is resumed. He said that in the current situation in Armenian diplomacy should not allow Ankara to play out its initiative of mediation or form a corresponding image for itself. "Turkey has no right to this role as long as it is a party to the conflict sided with Azerbaijan," he emphasized.

Oskanian reminded that during this 10-year term as foreign minister he had information that ordinary citizens have no access to. In this connection, he did not exclude that at this stage there is a secret concerning the possibility of the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border, which is known only by President Serzh Sargsyan and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan. He expressed hope that the establishment of relations with Turkey and resumption of the railway will not happen at the cost of concessions in the Karabakh issue.

The ex-minister stressed that the statements recently made by Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Baku about the need for concessions from the Armenian side in the Karabakh settlement were not new to him. He said that Turkish officials have made such statements over the past decade. "It is only with pain that I regard the fact that the opening of the border with Turkey is linked with the issue of Karabakh and adjacent territories," Oskanian underscored.

Commenting on the decision of President Sargsyan to invite his Turkish counterpart to Yerevan to watch together a football match, Oskanian said that the appropriateness of the invitation would be clear in the near future. "Estimations for me are unequivocal - there is only one criterion in the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations - the opening of the border between the two countries or the restoration of the railway link." Oskanian also pointed out that if this happens in the near future, then the invitation can be called a correct step. Otherwise, according to Oskanian, it will turn out that Turkey simply speculated on the opportunity given to it.

Sargsyan from the very outset did not have particular expectations from the trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers. On September 29 the president said: "Several meetings were held, but there is no concrete result. The meetings held are part of a whole process. I assure you that the result of these meetings will by all means be visible."

In the aspect of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, official Ankara makes it a precondition that "Armenian military units should withdraw from the territory of Azerbaijan and Yerevan should recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan". Another major condition is that "Yerevan should give up the policy" of achieving international recognition of the World War I-era killings of more than 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey as genocide". Considering this, prerequisites for "the result from these meetings" promised by Sargsyan can hardly be seen. Apart from other things, the Turkish initiative on establishing a security and stability platform in the South Caucasus does not take into account the current realities in the region.

This was emphasized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF, Dashnaktsutyun) Bureau member, head of the party's parliamentary faction Vahan Hovhannisyan. He said that the Turkish initiative will be effective only if it considers the fact that six rather than three state entities exist in the South Caucasus - three members of the United Nations, including Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, and three unrecognized states, including Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Thus, official Ankara completely ignores the fact of the existing reality in the territory of the South Caucasus and from the very outset is oriented to the inviolability of the region's political map.

Proceeding from the fact that Moscow has already recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it will hardly agree to the Turkish initiative based on the inviolability of borders of the three South Caucasus states.

The government circles in Nagorno-Karabakh support the idea voiced by Hovhannisyan. A number of politicians in Karabakh consider the participation of Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the work of this platform to be obligatory. Otherwise, they say, it has no meaning. Also, they accentuate attention on the fact that Tehran's participation is also advisable.

Some experts have long opposed Turkey's involvement in the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiating process on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. They think that the negotiations themselves should proceed between two immediate parties to the conflict -Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, with possible involvement of two indirect parties - Armenia and Turkey. Only in that case, they think, Ankara's presence in the negotiations can be justified in some way.

Teach Your Children Well: A Sorry Case Of A Sorry System Of Corruption
Train up a child in the way that he should go And even when he is old he will not depart from it . . .
Holy Bible, Proverbs 22:6

I have a friend whose daughter was born with a hearing/speech handicap.

Sorry if the word "handicap" offends you. But in Armenia, any such disability is indeed that. Here, being afflicted means being estranged at best, mocked at worst, and in only the rarest of circumstances, accepted.

Despite having a deficiency, the girl has applied herself to education in a society where "normal" children usually don't mingle - either in the classroom or the playground - with "other" children.

She has, in fact, excelled. So much so that she has qualified herself for study among "normal" students at a state university. Examiners from the Ministry of Education were astounded at her ability to speak. "One in a million," they said.

She wants to study psychology, and apply her academic training to help others who are hard of hearing or endure other challenges that most often cause them to be excluded from this society. The need for such specialists is great and the fact that she would choose the work commendable.

In "normal" countries, she would likely find websites full of grants or scholarships at the ready to support bright young adults such as her. But in this handicapped country . . .

The entrance committee at one of Armenia's state universities is demanding that the child's parents pay them a $2,000 bribe to assure that the girl gets in. Of course they don't call it a bribe. To them, it is a "magharitch" - an honored Armenian tradition in which the bearer of good news is given a gift by those to whom the news is delivered.

Here's the news of this magharitch: Armenians have no right to hate the Turks for what they did in 1915-18 if, in 2008, such unacceptable shadow policy is allowed to continue - perpetuated by Armenians themselves - as a genocide of conscience against its future generations.

The Ministry of Education has said that - as a "special needs" case -the girl can attend the university for free, if she makes at least a '4' (out of 5) on her entry exams. But what the university entry committee has said is that unless the parents pay them $2,000, the girl will not be admitted, even if she scores 5.

My friend, the girl's mother, works as a nanny. With her humble means, she has put away money for her daughter's studies. Her son is now serving in the Army in Karabakh. (And, by the way: She was told that if she'd pay $1,000 to certain officers, the boy would be stationed somewhere closer to home.)

The mother is in the inevitable position of having to weigh the cost of morality against the cost of her child's future.

Simply: The cost of the girl's future is a $2,000 bribe. If it isn't paid to the examination board, she doesn't get to attend university.

Had she not been granted an exemption by the Ministry of Education, the cost would be $900 per year. The board says that the parents should be grateful to pay the $2,000 as a "magharitch"; rather than having to pay $3,600 over the next four years.

What a choice, for a family that has been told - by a state ministry -that their daughter can get a free education if her grades are good. Which they are.

My friend asked the entrance committee if she could pay them $1,000 now and $1,000 later.

"This is not a bazaar," they told her, saying that the full payment was due on examination. Told her, too, that 28 students were applying for entry to the same department as her daughter and that only 10 would be chosen. The message is as clear as "first come, first served": Those who pay bribes get in. Others don't.

So my friend has pawned her jewelry to collect enough money to bribe her handicapped daughter's way into university so that the child can study to help others while her brother defends this "great nation" in Karabakh.

Indeed, not a bazaar. But a bizarre system and one that hardly inspires hope. ARMENIANOW

October 1, 2008
A Society Of Thugs And Cretins
On Tuesday a report was published by RFE/RL about a beating which took place at a cafe in Yerevan owned by a prominent radio and TV journalist named Artur Sahakian. The assailants, who are believed to be the bodyguards of parliamentarian Levon Sargsian, were apparently after Sahakian but he managed to escape, although two of his friends were beaten up and one of them later died in hospital. Sargsyan is a member of the Republican party and is notorious for his criminal activities.

Such kinds of incidents are not rare in Armenia, and several go unreported. Albeit someone may not necessarily die in an altercation but stories of unprovoked, sudden beatings and antagonism/harassment seem to always be in the news or spread by word of mouth. And if you are caught speaking out against criminal activity you are chastised, beaten or even arrested for purportedly being an oppositionist wanting to cause trouble. Some have lost their jobs for having been sighted at opposition rallies or being associated with alleged oppositionists.

Unfortunately the attitude and mindset promoting this type of behavior has long taken root in society. I manage to run into people several times a week who have a certain defiant air about them and walk around with a mentality that they are always "doing good" by conveying a sense of valiant ignorance or failing to be courteous to unknowns who are near them. Their pride in their percepted, flaunted intelligence is a mockery of all that is considered to be the traits of someone humbling possessing unattested knowledge.

Case in point: the entrance to the office building where I work is habited by loiterers every morning. They are mostly male in their late teens or early 20s. There happens to be a medical "institute" on the upper floors of the building and remarkably most of the students are young women. I don't understand if these men are also students themselves or are simply waiting for their girlfriends to come out of class, but they are always rude and hardly ever move aside for people to enter or exit the narrow doorway. In fact I have found that the only option to get by is to gently push them out of the way. One day that set one of them off and he tried to exchange words when he called after me in his ruffian tone, but I basically ignored him since I can't be bothered with wasting my time arguing with some clueless punk. Nevertheless, I always come away from such situations frustrated or even angry, whether someone addresses me rudely or not. Even the office security guards, who seem to change every few weeks or so, sometimes tend to be rude and discourteous to the employees, hardly ever saying "hello" unless someone who enters says it first for instance. The current security guard, when he learned from a coworker during a discussion about politics over coffee that I was an expatriate living in Armenia, immediately responded, "Where have you come?" In other words, he was implying that as Armenia is such a miserable place I am a jackass for moving here to live and work. I have heard this same sentiment expressed by many others, even policemen. This kind of thinking demonstrates irresponsibility and indifference regarding one's own society, and it also promotes the criminal behavior that is rampant today. And when you express that it is up to them to bring about change they become silent, or else more defiant.

The youth look up to people who are brash and consider themselves as well as by others to be tough and untouchable. Men with some sort of banal influence, who are often associated with government officials basically regarded as thieves, drive in convoys through the city center in black Japanese sedans or SUVs registered with nearly identical license plates. These types and their deciated followers speak what is know as "thief-like Armenian," whereby the language is spoken with bad grammar and is peppered with Russian, Turkish, and Farsi words, not to mention expletives. Often they speak with a thick accent, distorting the vowel sounds in such a way as to produce an audible effect that they are literally chewing on their words. It is difficult to understand them unless they begin to shout at the top of their lungs, but even then their speech is barely comprehensible.

Basically I am doing everything I can to avoid contact with people who transmit negative vibes, whether they are fruit vendors, bus drivers, or acquaintances of acquaintances, but sometimes it is not possible. Eventually someone is going to rub you the wrong way with their indifferent, crabby attitude on life and their own immediate environment. The challenge is steering away from such confrontational people, especially those who may turn out to be the chauvenist ruffians of some ignoramus who believes he is calling the shots and is thus placing too much importance on himself. But I have to express that my sightings of or occasional dealings with loudmouths and cretins never fail to disappoint me. And lately I have started to wonder how long I can put up with it all. Perhaps many of the hundreds of thousands who have left the country had the same sentiment.
by Christian Garbis , © Hayots Ashkhar October 02, 2008

A Window Opened For Armenia Hurry Up Until It Closes
Yesterday ex Foreign Minister, founder of “Sivilitas” fund Vardan Oskanyan convened a press conference devoted to the establishment of the organization and he willingly introduced their mission and future plans.

We Must Be Vigilant In Our Relations With Turkey

The journalists naturally asked about the attitude of the ex Foreign Minister towards the recent Armenian-Turkish relations.

“For me there is one criterion for the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, which is - the opening of the border or at least the operation of the railway. There is no other criterion. If during the coming months none of them comes true I will say that Turkey perfectly speculated its chance. And if the border opens during the coming months or the railway operates we can say that Gyul’s invitation to Yerevan was the right decision,” Vardan Oskanyan said.

Touching upon the trilateral meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, which took place in New York, and Turkey’s mediation affectations the ex Foreign Minister said: “Of course Turkey wants to appear as a mediator. It will definitely make Turkey’s reputation in the region higher. But as far as I understood the agenda included regional issues and Turkey’s initiative towards Caucasus.

Actually in my view at the moment Turkey doesn’t have any role in those negotiations because the border is still closed and the railway doesn’t operate and Turkey appears as a party in that conflict.

In such circumstances Turkey doesn’t have anything to do and Armenia’s diplomacy must do its best to firstly prevent Turkey from similar involvement and creating an opinion in the whole world that it is in the role of a mediator, because Turkey doesn’t have the right for similar role.”

As regards the expediency to set up a joint committee of Armenian and Turkish historians Vardan Oskanyan said: “Any step that can somehow cast doubt on the fact of the Genocide is unacceptable. In this issue we must really be very vigilant.”

The ex Foreign Minister didn’t exclude that the direct participants of the “football diplomacy” the President and the Foreign Minister know more than the public does: “Maybe Turkey gave certain guarantees regarding the opening of the border. Otherwise for me it is a bit strange to hear the announcement made by the President saying that we don’t have any land demands from Turkey and we are ready to discuss any issue. So the thing that the Turks wanted from us we have already given to them and the thing that we want from Turkey we haven’t yet taken from them.”

Gyul's announcement saying that until Armenia returns the “occupied territories'' to Azerbaijan, Armenian-Turkish border won’t open, indirectly displays that Turkey can't change its harsh attitude towards Armenia and will continue to speak with us in the language of ultimatums.

Vardan Oskanyan also touched upon the tensed internal political situation that has been established in Armenia after March 1. ''Both the ruling power and the opposition must do their best to mitigate the created tension and in general to annihilate it. In my view the authorities must take steps linked with the detained. I'm glad to hear that the President is going to deliver a speech in the National Assembly and that there is a possibility of amnesty.’'

''By solving this entangled string can Armenia essentially raise its reputation in the region?”

''I must record that we shouldn’t lose this moment because actually a window has been opened for Armenia to put its reputation on its real place. We have lost lots of things after March 1 developments and today we have a very good chance. Actually we are already late but the window is still open.’'

But this doesn't mean that they shouldn't give legal assessment to what has happened. ''March 1 is one of the black pages of our history. We must be able to turn that page. But in order to turn it we must give right assessment and move forward.’' Lilit Poghosyan

The Future Of Armenian-Turkish Relations Discussed, armradio.am, 02.10.2008
The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) today convened a foreign policy roundtable to consider all aspects of the future of Armenian-Turkish relations. The meeting brought together leading analysts, policy specialists, public and political figures, NGO representatives, members of the press, as well as a group of students and teaching staff from Istanbul's Bilgi and Fatih Universities who are visiting Yerevan on the invitation of the Civil Society Institute.

Welcoming the audience with opening remarks, ACNIS research coordinator Syuzanna Barseghian underscored the imperative of reaching new agreements, based on mutual interests, toward normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations.

"Our current relations are more emotional and less rational and therefore many issues seem irresolvable. And the objective of such discussions is to reveal the whole potential for partnership and its resources which, I believe, can serve toward historical reconciliation and building of the best common future," Barseghian said.

The day's first speaker, director Haik Demoyan of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, reflected on the media's role in the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. According to him, the media coverage of this extremely sensitive topic needs a serious methodological adjustment and it is not a coincidence that certain demands periodically were made of20the media as to their method of covering the events of war and genocide. "The media have a great import and specifically in the process of reconciliation.

They either can play a negative role and cause problems and hinder the reconciliation process, or be a part of it," Demoyan said. And as case in point, he made note of the compulsion to use quotation marks when using the term genocide and to refer to the Armenian Genocide as "the events of 1915," the deliberate dissemination of false information, and the taking of comments out of their general context and presenting as separate information.

In his turn, deputy dean ammas Salur of the Department of Political Science of Istanbul Fatih University looked at the historiographical phases and the changes in the modern historiography of Turkey. "Even though the Turkish-Islamic synthesis in history writing has some canonical views, and especially a staunch defense against the transformation and liberalism in Turkish policy, the 1980s have brought a more dynamic cultural atmosphere to Turkey," Salur noted, also adding that through serious discussions regarding the talks with the European Union, a new type of history writing is emerging in Turkey. According to the speaker, this new type is more tolerant toward others and--albeit difficult to be accepted by a large part of the public--even accepting of others as equal citizens, "and history writing is evolving toward that end," Salur argued.

The day's final speaker, Ambassador Ara Papian, director of the Modus Vivendi Social and Scientific Research Center, delved into the unclaimed pages of Armenian-Turkish relations. He presented those pages against the backdrop of the de jure boundary between Armenia and Turkey that was determined, at the turn of the 20th Century, by US president Woodrow Wilson's Arbitral Award. As stated by Papian, this document was signed and sealed on November 22, 1920 and officially entitled: "Decision of the President of the United States of America respecting the Frontier between Turkey and Armenia, Access for Armenia to the Sea, and the Demilitarization of Turkish Territory adjacent to the Armenian Frontier." Pursuant to the Arbitral Award, the title and rights of the Republic of Armenia were recognized on the provinces of Van, Bitlis, Erzerum, and Trebizond of the former Ottoman Empire. "President Wilson's binding and irreversible Arbitral Award went into force the day it was reached and remains in effect to this day," Papian asserted.

The roundtable discussants also included students Erman Bakırcı, Emel Guner, and Cagla Gur from the Department of International Relations of Istanbul Bilgi University; students Kevser Kandaz, Umit Kurt, Mustafa Ozdemir, and Zafer Ozkan from the Department of International Relations of Istanbul Fatih University; director Artak Kirakosian of the Civil Society Institu te; Ruben Mehrabian from the Armenian Center for Political and International Research; coordinator Armen Aghayan of the "Defense of Liberated Territories" social initiative; director-announcer Gayzag Palanjian of "The Road for the Enhancement of Armenia-Diaspora Relations" television program in Los Angeles; journalist Gayane Arustamian; and several others.

'Psychology Of Genocide' Focus Of Unm Bookstore Lecture, UNM Today, September 2008,

Clinical psychologist Steven K. Baum uses eyewitness accounts in his book "The Psychology of Genocide," which he will discuss and sign Friday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. at the UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central Ave. NE, at the intersection of Cornell and Central. Parking will be validated in the parking structure for up to one hour with purchase.

In the last century, 262 million people have been victims of genocide, with Jews, Armenians, Cambodians, Darfurians, Kosovons and Rwandans among them. The horrors of genocide are more poignant as patterns emerge. There are those who commit brutal acts, there are those who resist genocide and help victims, and there are those who position themselves in the middle, taking neither side. Baum reveals what patterns of personality and psychology emerge during wartime that give rise to these conditions.

He also examines the complex relationship between social and personal knowledge, and how people conflate stereotype with personal experience.

In "The Psychology of Genocide: Perpetrators, Bystanders, and Rescuers" (Cambridge University Press, August 7), Baum builds on trait theory and social psychology, re-examining our understanding of conformity. Baum presents a new understanding of identity and emotional development during genocide, showing that behavior during genocide mirrors behavior in everyday life.

Despite heightened awareness of the tragic circumstances from which genocide arises, and unprecedented instant news coverage from around the world, this greatest of tragedies persists. Baum's analysis of genocide and the human psyche help address the persistence of genocide.

Baum is a University of New Mexico lecturer in psychology and a clinical psychologist. He is a recognized expert in the psychological aspects of anti-Semitism.

Marie L. Yovanovitch: Ambassador Serves His President And May Be Recalled Anytime And For Any Reason
ArmInfo, 2008-10-02
ArmInfo. Ambassador serves his president and may be recalled anytime and for any reason , newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie L. Yovanovitch said in response to ArmInfo question if her personal stand on Armenian Genocide will allow her further work at the US Department of State if the new leadership of the White House recognizes Genocide.

The decision to recall Ambassador fully depends on the president, the American diplomat said avoiding a direct answer to the question. To recall, the former Ambassador john Evans was recalled from Armenia in 2006 for his statements on recognition of Armenian Genocide.

U.S. National Archives And Records Administration Rejected Armenian Attorney's Request For Genocide Documentation 02.10.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ A civil action against the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States was filed seeking documents as they relate to the Armenian Genocide of 1914 to 1925. (Vartkes Yeghiayan v. National Archives and Records Administration of the United States of America, Case No. CV08-16248, U.S. District Court, Central District of Calif., Sept. 23, 2008).

"Repeated efforts have been made to procure these documents, but the National Archives has been non-responsive," said Mark MacCarley, partner with Glendale, Calif.-based MacCarley & Rosen who is representing plaintiff Vartkes Yeghiayan. "Its actions are in violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)."

The initial request by Yeghiayan occurred in April 2006. "The National Archives acknowledged receipt of the request, but has not provided the information despite repeated inquiries from my client," said MacCarley. "The National Archives, without explanation, has exceeded the generally applicable 20-day deadline for processing FOIA requests. We simply want the requested documentation."

Yeghiayan is an attorney who has successfully litigated lawsuits in State and Federal courts against U.S. and foreign businesses for Armenian Genocide asset restitution. More than 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the
genocide with millions more deported from the Ottoman Empire. Yeghiayan filed the FOIA request because he believes documents being held by the U.S. government that would identify countries having either direct complicity in the Armenian Genocide or profited by the Ottoman Turks' actions against Armenians.

"This lawsuit is on behalf of Armenian-Americans who are seeking documentation and information that could shed light on what happened to their loved ones during the Armenian Genocide," said Yeghiayan, Gibrahayer.com reports.

Thirty-Three Percent Of Armenian Citizens Believe Reconciliation With Turkey Impossible, ArmInfo
ArmInfo. Thirty-three percent of Armenian citizens believe reconciliation with Turkey impossible, Suzanna Barseghyan, Coordinator of Armenian Center for National and International Studies told media when presenting the results of a relevant poll Wednesday.

She said that about 76% of the respondents believe that establishment of relations with Turkey are possible if the Armenian party observes Turkey's preconditions. 11% of the polled came out against any form of cooperation with Turkey.

'In addition, the poll revealed that 64% of local experts Armenia believe that establishment of relations with Turkey is possible but Armenia must be careful and do not forget that Turkey is an enemy of the country', S. Barseghyan said.

Gurgen Arsenyan Welcomes Any Step That Would Reduce The Tension In Armenian-Turkish Relations, rmradio.am
"I welcome any step that will allow to reduce the tension in the Armenian-Turkish relations and raise the level of possible cooperation," leader of the United Labor Party Gurgen Arsenyan told a press conference today, assessing Turkish President Abdullah Gul's visit to Armenia. He welcomed Serzh Sargsyan's initiative targeted at bringing the process of the Karabakh conflict settlement to a more productive phase.

According to him, the latest Russian-Georgian event showed that the normalization of relations with Turkey is of vital importance for Armenia.

"Armenia's economy would be at the threshold of paralysis if the war lasted another 10 days," he said. It's necessary to normalize the relations between the two countries and establish economic, political and public ties.

Asked whether Turkey's activeness can play a negative role in the Karabakh conflict resolution, Gurgen Arsenyan said it's necessary to apply diplomatic flexibility to avoid that danger. "If Turkey's activeness can bring any danger, the leadership of the country should be able to neutralize it with its diplomatic tools: it's already the task of the diplomats," Gurgen Arsenyan said.

Why Turkey Became More Active In South Caucasus, Rovshan Ibrahimov, Head of the International Relations Department, Gafgaz University, Baku
Eurasian Home Analytical Resource, October 1, 2008, Russia

A new situation has emerged in South Caucasus after Russia's military operation in South Ossetia. The balance of powers in regional conflicts has changed. Russia not only dislodged the Georgian forces from South Ossetia but also recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. As a result, the approach of the other countries to the region started to change too.

During the conflict between Russia and Georgia Turkey took an active position becoming a mediator between the parties. Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited both Moscow and Tbilisi.

Recep Erdogan proposed drawing up the Caucasian Security Pact. Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and indirectly Armenia supported this initiative.

For all that, this project lacks concrete proposals and is hard to implement. Its realization is improbable due to Russo-Georgian confrontation and Azerbaijan and Armenia's reluctance to step up cooperation to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Nevertheless, on September 6, President of Turkey Abdullah Gul visited Yerevan on the invitation of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to the Armenia-Turkey football match. In Armenia great importance was attached to this visit. It is necessary for Armenia to solve the isolation problem. The temporary problems with freightage from Georgia during the Russian-Georgian war resulted in the fuel shortage in Armenia.

The visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul was planned before the Russo-Georgian conflict but after Turkey and Armenia had got into the same group of the world football championship.

In the 1970s U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger took the similar steps to improve the relations with China. When the American ping-pong team went to China, the countries established diplomatic relations sometimes called 'Ping Pong Diplomacy'.

Why has Turkey become more active in South Caucasus? Till now Turkey has maintained the relations with Azerbaijan and Georgia, but not with Armenia. The projects of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline are evidence of interaction between Turkey and Azerbaijan. The laying of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad would strengthen the cooperation between those two countries.

Georgia plays a key role in the realization of those projects. The major South Caucasian roads go via its territory. It is significant that President of Turkey Abdullah Gul backed the creation of the regional economic alliance between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Armenia cannot participate in such regional projects because of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its territorial claims on Azerbaijan's territory. Azerbaijan and Turkey say that Armenian border will be opened only if Armenia gives up Nagorno-Karabakh.

Director of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Ashot Melkonyan said that the isolation made Armenia lose $500 million annually. However, even now that the Armenian border is closed, trade between Armenia and Turkey exceeds dozens of million dollars. Goods from Armenia to Turkey and vice versa are supplied through the third countries, mainly through Georgia.

The other problem is that Armenia and the Armenian diaspora demand that Turkey recognize the 1915 events in Ottoman Empire as genocide against the Armenians.

Those factors influenced the foreign policy pursued by Turkey in South Caucasus. But in summer 2008 the foreign policy changed. Why?

Then the governing Justice and Development Party made the political situation stable. Justice and Development Party presidential candidate Abdullah Gul had the best chance of being elected president from the National Assembly. However, he was not elected the first time. Only when the early parliamentary elections in Turkey were held the Justice and Development Party established its record taking 47% of the vote and Abdullah Gul was elected president.

On March 14, 2008 Turkey's chief prosecutorAbdurrahman Yalcinkaya asked the Constitutional Court to banthe partyalleging that it poses a threat to Turkey's secular regime. But the constitutional court turned down the appeal.

Having solved the domestic problems, the Turkish authorities can switch over to the foreign policy.

The second reason is Turkey hopes that if its relations with Armenia improve, Armenia will drop the demand that Turkey recognize genocide of the Armenians, in particular since solution to the problems with Armenia is one of the conditions for Turkey's joining the EU.

The 1915 events are the main stumbling block in the relations between Armenia and Turkey. Here the Armenian authorities' influence is just nominal and the Armenian diaspora plays a predominant role. Yerevan has no leverage over its diaspora - quite the contrary. What is more, the Armenians are going to observe the centenary of the events in 2015.

That means Turkey is far from carrying out its foreign-policy priorities because it has no long-term strategy towards the region. While in the 1990s this could be accounted for by rapid change of the coalition governments, the lack of priorities under the Justice and Development Party is explained by the fact that the foreign-policy strategy of the new government pays too little attention to South Caucasus and Central Asia.

Turkey And Armenia: What Jews Should Do, Sep. 4, 2007, Lenny Ben-David , The Jerusalem Post
As one of the first authors and editors of Myths and Facts, a Record of the Arab-Israeli Conflict I know what it means to instinctively jump to defend Israel's reputation. In the face of barrages of canards and accusations, we countered that Israel did not expel millions of Palestinians, did not commit wanton massacres, and did not use an omnipotent Washington lobby to subvert American interests in the Middle East.

I was one of the founders of HonestReporting.com, where we encouraged tens of thousands of activists to leap to Israel's defense when publications and networks failed to label terrorists correctly, blamed Israel unfairly or distorted Israel's defensive campaign to stop suicide bombing attacks.

Israel's defenders intuitively denounced and challenged the Ahmadinejads and David Irvings of the world, who denied the fact of a genocidal campaign against the Jews that we call the Holocaust. We recognize that these anti-Semitic deniers seek to delegitimize the Jewish state of Israel and lay the groundwork for another attempt to wipe out the Jewish people.

All nations have sacred memories and traditions surrounding their creation and their sacrifices. These are national legends that take on mythic proportions about the nations' founding fathers and the circumstances of the nations' formation. Sometimes, and often after difficult introspection, citizens recognize that their histories and heroes are not all black-and-white, and that a true national narrative involves a rich palette of greys as well. But that realization requires a national maturation, one that also demands the cognitive involvement of all parties to the narrative.

SUCH AN introspection took place among Americans in their historical narrative some 35 years ago. The publication of Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee in 1970 upset a nation used to Hollywood's version of valiant and white Indian-fighters taming the Wild West. The slaughter of Native Americans - "Indians" - and the military campaigns against the Navajos, Apaches, Sioux and Cheyenne tribes between 1860 and 1880 were eventually woven into the American historical tapestry. Finally in 2004 the National Museum of the American Indian opened on the National Mall of Washington D.C.

A similar museum to the African-American experience is still missing on the Mall. While the American public obviously knew of the history of slavery in the United States and Abraham Lincoln "setting slaves free," it probably wasn't until the release of Alex Haley's Roots and its romanticized television version in the 1970s that many Americans came to grips with the nation's racist, supremacist past.

Indeed, American historians still debate the nature of the relationship between the iconic Founding Father Thomas Jefferson and his quadroon slave and purported mistress, Sally Hemings. It is difficult for some Jefferson idolaters to fathom such a pairing. Two hundred years after Jefferson and Hemings spent time together, Hemings's descendants underwent DNA testing to determine whether Jefferson sired Hemings's children.

National legends and myths are not easily shaken.

IN ISRAEL, some of our national beliefs were stirred by the so-called new historians, who challenged many of our basic historical narratives. Perhaps the Israeli public is mature enough to examine the country's origin, but the rejection of the new historians' broad-stroke claims also reflects the failure of our Palestinian interlocutors to accept the notion that our intertwined histories are not black-and-white. Most Palestinians see no grey.

"There comes a stage in any revolutionary process when the movement relaxes its hold on the official narrative," historian Benny Morris told The Washington Post earlier this year. "The difference is that when that moment came in Israel, our long struggle with the Arabs remained an existential threat, as it still does today."

For the Palestinians, their nakba is their Truth; their "right of return" is their messianic vision; and their concept of any Jewish history in the land is that it is a total fabrication. To confront such absolutist, irredentist claims, Israel's defenders cannot afford to equivocate.

AS AN adviser for five years to the Turkish embassy in Washington, until earlier this summer, I understood why the Turkish government and people jump to deny claims that their ancestors committed a "genocide" against Armenians some 90 years ago.

It occurred during a maelstrom of battles and massacres. It was allegedly carried out by founding fathers who were bringing their country into an enlightened 20th century. And it was waged against an enemy guilty of the still unspoken crime of massacring hundreds of thousands of Muslims and thousands of Jews.

Armenians and Turks see no shades of grey, and for now, at least, demands are made only of Turkey to change its monochromatic narrative.

Israel's government and Jews in the United States must be careful when treading through the minefield of Armenian claims against Turkey. Jewish leaders in Armenia reported that they have heard local claims that Jews organized the 1915 massacres of Armenians (www.eajc.org/program-art-e.php?id=39).

There are accounts of Armenian massacres, between 1914 and 1920, of 2.5 million of Armenia's Muslim population (www.cs.utah.edu/~kagano/ermeni.htm).

Recently, Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan requested assistance in building a monument to 3,000 Azeri Jews killed by Armenians in 1918 in a pogrom about which little is known (www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/000730.html).

AND WITHIN our own lifetime - just some 15 years ago - Armenian troops massacred hundreds of Azeri Muslims. This from Newsweek, March 16, 1992:

"Azerbaijan was a charnel house again last week: a place of mourning refugees and dozens of mangled corpses dragged to a makeshift morgue behind the mosque. They were ordinary Azerbaijani men, women and children of Khojaly, a small village in war-torn Nagorno-Karabakh overrun by Armenian forces on Feb. 25-26. Many were killed at close range while trying to flee; some had their faces mutilated, others were scalped."

Both Turks and Armenians have their grisly tales of persecution and their vehement denials of genocidal designs. It is the task of the Jewish community to express sympathy for all the victims and outrage at all the perpetrators on both sides of the conflict. The US Congress and the Jewish community should encourage historians on both sides to objectively examine what took place.

Nations mature when they can look at themselves in the mirror and see the grey, the wrinkles and the blemishes.

The writer served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Israel's Embassy in Washington.

Another Turkish Writer Persecuted For Mentioning Armenian Genocide, 27.09.2008
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Members of four factions in Dutch Parliament, namely the Christian Union, the CDA (Christian Democrats), the SGP (Political Reformed Party) and the VVD (Liberal Party) have submitted Written Questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs about the permission of the Turkish Minister of Justice to prosecute Turkish writer Temel Demirer, because of his remarks on the Armenian Genocide the day after the assassination of the Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, the Federation of Armenian Organizations of the Netherlands (FAON) told PanARMENIAN.Net.

Written questions by the MP’s Voordewind (Christian Union), Ormel (Christian Democrats), Van der Staaij (Political Reformed Party) and Van Baalen (Liberal Party) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the permission to prosecute the Turkish writer are as follows:

1. Have you been notified of the news that the Turkish Minister of Justice has granted permission to prosecute writer Temel Demirer pursuant to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code because of utterances on the Armenian Genocide?

2. In which cases has the Minister of Justice given permission to institute a criminal case by invoking this Article after it had been amended under the EU pressure?

3. Which conclusion do you draw from this situation also considering the background of the answers to the earlier written questions on the condemnation of a Turkish writer due to publication of a book on the Armenian Genocide (nr. 3045), where you asserted that you could not at the time evaluate the effect of the amendment of Article 301 properly? Doesn’t this make clear that the amendment of Article 301 has, neither in material nor procedural sense, produced the intended result and that the further amendment of the Turkish Penal Code is necessary? If not, why?

4. Which measures are you going to take, bilaterally as well as in EU connection in order to make it clear to the Turkish government that the continuing violation of the freedom of expression is unacceptable?

Armenia Needs Open Borders For Energy, October 1st, 2008
YEREVAN, Armenia, Sept. 30 (UPI) — Though Russia and several other countries are using energy as a political tool, Armenians need to take a practical view of opening their borders, officials say.

In an interview Tuesday with the Armenian news agency A1 Plus, President of NATO Parliamentary Assembly Jose Lello said the high cost of energy and export prices for Armenia challenges conventional market conditions.

“So I think the Armenian people and Armenian authorities must look on perspectives emerging from open borders with great pragmatism,” he said.

Russian energy giant Gazprom Thursday said it would increase the price of gas exported to Armenia by 40 percent starting in April, and on Wednesday Azerbaijan, citing territorial disputes, said there are no plans to alter the route of the proposed Nabucco pipeline through Armenian territory.

Commenting on Russian aggression in the Caucasus region and its forceful moves in the energy market, Lello said Moscow should realize energy does not define geopolitical strategy, despite mounting demands for oil and gas in the region.

“Russia has to understand that life is not only energy, oil and gas,” he said.

September 22, 2008
Diasporan Youth Part 1, And A Censored Article By One Of Them
As a blog on Armenian diaspora issues, I find one of the most interesting subjects to be the youth. As the cliche goes the youth are tomorrow's future and the state of the Armenian youth can say a lot about the diaspora's future. My opinion on diasporan youth is mixed. I am pessimistic about youth in general even though I am one of them. I have found the way the outside world has more and more ways of creeping into homes via the internet and television has caused them to grow up faster and faster, not least of because of the messages they get from it which corrupts them at much younger ages (I am no Puritan but it is impossible to not notice the maturity- or lack there of- levels between eighth graders now and just a decade ago when I was one). The Armenian-American diasporan youth (the Armenian ghetto of Southern California aside) is most often a typical suburban kid with some level of ethnic flair, and while it's hard to stereotype such a huge group like east coast Armenians they tend to be upper middle class more often than not. When it comes to youth younger than me, as I feel about typical American children I am not overly pleased. Hopefully this is partly because of their age and is something they can grow out of, but the self-importance, gangster or harlot mentality, etc. is not uncommon amongst them. Most seem to be spoiled to some degree or just attitudy in most unattractive ways. There are many positives as well, especially when they are a little bit older because I also know many Armenian youth more my age have a love of Armenia and are very dedicated to Armenian causes for which they work tirelessly. Even though they are many generations removed the genocide is still an important issue to many of them which I find to be something good because the typical American youth today is completely ignorant of history and their past. The average Armenian-American youth is a hard worker and at least ok organizer, keeping afloat their organizations despite hardships and general nationwide downturn in fraternal organizations due to hundreds of other activities, sports, and responsibilities.

Not that this is anything new, but the typical Armenian-American youth just like so many of their peers across all ethnicities like to have a good time, drinking and partying is a hallmark of almost every community event. This is much to my distaste, though at the same time I know I can't expect otherwise and am cognizant that they are probably no better than their parent's generation- well I still think thanks to media influences they are probably more than a little worse but anyway... The two biggest of these community events each year cap the summer, the ACYOA Sports Weekend at the beginning and AYF Olympics at the end. I have attended both and as I mentioned they are seen mostly as a time to reunite with friends.. and an excuse to party overly hard. The two main diasporan youth groups are different and have their own sets of pros and cons, something I'd like to go into in another entry, but this one is about a certain issue related to one of them in particular.

When it comes to AYF it is more or less expected, but in recent years the Sports Weekend event has gained more popularity and has been growing. What is awkward for ACYOA is that while its party scene is not much different these days than AYF Olympics', it is a church-affiliated event and therefore much of the activities at it are hardly becoming of a church organization. I didn't attend Sports Weekend 2007, but apparently it was becoming clear that something needed to be done to curb this behavior (though according to my sources it wasn't as bad as it was at Sports Weekend 2006 which I did attend and just didn't notice because I am not with that scene). The ACYOA Central Council decided on some rules to make attending Sports Weekend harder, the main one being making everyone who attends get their application signed by their parish priest or board member. This would preclude the various people who are not affiliated with the church or are not overly serious about it, because while divisions are still tight in the diaspora there are of course many equal opportunist who doesn't care what party you are affiliated as long as there's a good party to be had. This decision was very controversial and met with a lot of resistance, all knew there was a problem but unsure of what the best approach was. I often feel that the Armenian Church hierarchy tends to ignore the voice of the youth, in part certainly because I mentioned many are not at the age at which they can make "serious" contributions and are often more interested in partying- so I almost can't blame them for being ignored. There are many youth in the church whoever have strong opinions which sadly are not heard. Almost paradoxically, I also feel they place too much significance on the importance of their young men, desprately needed to hopefully fill their shrinking ranks in the future- while ignoring and denying just as engaged if not more so young women even simple responsibilities they very much desire to have to say nothing about actual positions within the church.

One of those young women, Arpi Paylan, wrote a response to the Sports Weekend problem after the introduction of the solution mentioned above in the lead-up to Sports Weekend 2008. She submitted it to the Hye Hokin newsletter only to have it rejected for being too controversal and likely to avoid exposing internal ACYOA issues, though it makes one wonder whether those issues are easily exposed by merely attending said event? Whatever the case the article never saw print and so I've decided to publish it here myself. Arpi's arguement that this is a needless measure which won't be effective was proven correct at this year's Sports Weekend 2008 which may or may not have been the craziest in history. Not only was there an attendance record but also pandemonium in the halls every night. I felt truly bad for the people unlucky enough to have been stuck on one of the Armenian floors, but I already risk losing readers with how long this entry is already. The coup de grace however was destruction of a fire extinguisher holder and subsequent discharge of it all over one of the hallways, resulting in a 3:30am fire alarm and mass evacuation of the entire hotel onto the street below crowded with fire trucks. The perpetrator(s) is still hazy, though at least one is a youth very much connected with the church while the others apparently were Bolsahyes. Immediate talk was that this event might have been the last nail in the Sports Weekend coffin, however the next day before leaving people were talking about next year so look out for another potentially crazy year and possibly even crazier rules. Without further ado here is Arpi's take on the situation before the pandemonium of Sports Weekend 2008 even broke out (which I must give much credit to the DC organizers, they worked so hard to make it happen and I feel so bad at how this work and trust was abused) which was rejected for publication by the ACYOA:

It seems that we Armenian youth have overstepped some sort of threshold of inappropriate behavior and are now scrambling to reevaluate and revamp Sports Weekend, an event that has been running successfully for years. The complaints are not new—every year someone has something acerbic and scathing to say about the way some of us Armenian girls choose to dress, about the drunken and aggressive conduct of our young men and the decidedly irreligious feel of the event as a whole. Let me make clear right now that I am not blind to the truth behind these criticisms—our conduct as an organization representing the Armenian Christian faith no doubt leaves an outsider with an utterly awful and ultimately inaccurate opinion of us. Nevertheless, I can not help but take issue with making any changes to Sports Weekend. My impulse is to argue that if the event is made even incrementally more selective, it will be hindering those exceptional few who come to the event with no prior exposure to their Armenian community and leave inspired to be dedicated and powerful leaders. This is an admittedly thin argument—the aforementioned people are far and few in between and in reality, the changes being implemented would not actually prevent people of this caliber from attending.

My opposition to changing Sports Weekend then, is this—that we are attacking the manifestation of a deeper, bigger problem and not the problem itself. Rather than getting angry over the inordinate amount of underage drinking that takes place, another look should be taken at what is being done at the level of the parishes to stymie such habits. We get angry over what we see, but what we fail to realize is that all of this—the dress, the conduct, the underage drinking—is all symptomatic of a deeper problem and neglect. We act as though these people we choose to admonish—the underage drinkers, the excessively inebriated legal drinkers, the scantily clad women, the unnecessarily aggressive men—are not a part of who we, as Armenian Christians, are. I am not trying to say that we Armenian Christians are a bunch of brawling drunks; rather, I am saying that it is wrong-minded and unchristian to act as though these people are separate from those of us who choose to behave upright. We are disowning them so that we may remain an upstanding ethnic minority within this vast and aggressively homogenous American existence. Rejection, admonishment and ostracizing are no way to treat the Christian Armenians who disappoint or embarrass us as an organization. That is not Christian behavior, that speaks ill of what the ACYOA stands for. Instead, as a Christian organization, we should do our best to dig deeper and understand what kind of pain and confusion may be driving our young men and women to act in ways that dishonor their heritage and faith. Something different needs to be done at the level of the parishes—what specifically, I think is up to the priests and parish leaders. I can guarantee that any changes made to Sports Weekend will have little actual effect—they will be the changes that we can flaunt to the hotel owners and other non-Armenians whose opinions we seem to value so much. Our survival and cohesion as Christian Armenians has nothing to do with those people. It has everything to do with us loving one another, accepting one another and working together to become a truly Christian community. This of course, means reevaluating so much about the way we choose to conduct our Armenian Christian lives, but I am of the opinion that this is a far more worthwhile enterprise than punishing specific individuals or by wagging a proverbial finger at the Armenian youth. Effort should be poured into reenergizing our spirit and faith in our everyday lives—this is the true challenge and one that requires every ounce of our energy.
by Danielbeast , http://armhye.blogspot.com

As Talks with Azeris/Turks Falter, Armenia Expands Access to Georgia/Iran By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier

The budding relationship between Armenia and Turkey, which started with last month's "football diplomacy" with much fanfare and high expectations, is facing serious difficulties.

While no one expected a quick resolution of the long-standing issues stemming from the Genocide and its persistent denial by Turkey, few anticipated that the nascent rapprochement would falter so quickly. After a very friendly and hopeful first meeting between the presidents and foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey, occasioned by the unprecedented soccer match between their national teams on September 6 in Yerevan, it appears that the Artsakh (Karabagh) conflict is the main reason for the sudden rift.

To begin with, it was strange that the presidents of Armenia and Turkey did not hold a follow-up meeting during their attendance of the U.N. General Assembly sessions in New York in late September. When Pres. Gul was asked by Turkish journalists why no meeting was scheduled with the Armenian President, he first said he was not aware that Pres. Sargsyan was coming to New York and then assured them that they would run into each other during one of many diplomatic receptions. Despite such optimistic talk, the two presidents never meet. They may have been waiting for the outcome of discussions between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey who met on the last day of their stay in New York.

On September 28, two days after Pres. Sargsyan left New York, he told reporters that there were "no concrete results yet" from the foreign ministers' meeting and that he had not expected much from their encounter. On the same day, Pres. Gul confirmed that there had not been any significant movement to merit the lifting of the blockade of Armenia. Taking a tough stand, he told a Turkish group that "no talks on border opening are possible before Armenia's liberation of Azerbaijani territories," according to the AzeriTaj news agency. Thus, Pres. Gul was reverting to Turkey's previous preconditions that had been long rejected by the Armenian side. A senior aide to Azerbaijan's president, in his turn, confirmed this week that several serious issues remain unresolved on the Artsakh issue.

Ankara and Baku assumed that since the Georgian-Russian conflict had temporarily deprived Armenia of the opportunity to import more than 70% of its vital supplies from Georgia's Black Sea ports, this was the ideal time to force Yerevan into making serious concessions on the Genocide issue and the Artsakh conflict.

Whether it was coincidence or not, several major initiatives announced by Pres. Sargsyan last week had the effect of countering the hard-line taken by Ankara and Baku in their recent negotiations with Armenia, and dispelling the false impression that Yerevan is desperately seeking to reopen the border with Turkey at any cost.

Pres. Sargsyan announced during his last week's visit to Tbilisi that he had reached an agreement with Pres. Saakashvili to jointly build a modern highway that would considerably shorten the transport time between the Georgian Port of Batumi and Yerevan.

In a nationally televised speech delivered for the first time in the Armenian Parliament - akin to the State of the Union address by American presidents before the U.S. Congress - Pres. Sargsyan announced that a new railway would be constructed to link Iran with Armenia, to facilitate and expand trade between the two countries. He also said that Armenia would build a new nuclear power plant to ensure that the country remains energy self-sufficient when its aging plant is shut down. Finally, he stated that a Pan-Armenian Bank and an investment fund would be established in Yerevan to finance these projects. He said that these "large and daring initiatives" would solve Armenia's important strategic and economic problems.

Along with these major programs, Armenia just formed a new Diaspora Ministry to streamline and strengthen its relations with millions of Armenians living abroad. On September 24, during a major banquet in New York, Pres. Sargsyan gave the 700 Armenian guests an uplifting message of unity, urging them to join forces for the betterment of Armenia and the Diaspora. He also thanked all those assisting in the resolution of the Artsakh conflict, "the condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, and the restoration of historical justice."

These new initiatives are bound to improve Armenia's bargaining hand and help negotiate with Turkey and Azerbaijan from a position of strength. The expansion of Armenia's alternate land routes through Georgia and Iran would considerably diminish the utility of opening the border with Turkey and circumvent more effectively the blockades imposed by Ankara and Baku.

While Armenian officials do want to improve relations with all of their neighbors, they are not so desperate as to make unacceptable concessions on the Genocide and Artsakh issues.

October 8, 2008
Atlantic Monthly Looks At Armenians And Obama
In its most recent edition, posted on its Website on Wednesday, the prestigious Atlantic Monthly focuses on the Armenian vote in the upcoming elections in an article entitled “McCain's Armenia Problem.” Below we present the article.

McCain's Armenia Problem

"In the superheated world of ethnic grievance politics, rarely do presidential elections feature such a clear contrast between two candidates. In California, New Jersey, Michigan and Nevada, that contrast could hurt McCain."

BY DANIEL NICHANIAN, From The Atlantic Monthly

Eight years ago, George W. Bush was battling an unexpectedly competitive John McCain for the GOP's presidential nomination. Scheduled to vote just days after South Carolina, Michigan suddenly looked decisive--and its substantial Armenian-American population became an attractive voting block.

Three days before the vote, Governor Bush sent a letter to two Armenian-American businessmen addressing the Armenian community's biggest demand--recognition that the 1915 extermination of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was an act of genocide. The Turkish government to this day denies that any genocide occurred, and no president since Ronald Reagan has used that term while in office. Bush pledged to correct that. “The Armenians were subjected to a genocidal campaign,” he wrote. “If elected President, I would ensure that our nation properly recognizes the tragic suffering of the Armenian people.” Bush lost in Michigan, won the presidency ; and then bailed on his pledge. Last fall, the House of Representatives looked set to adopt a resolution affirming the Armenian genocide. But as Turkey threatened to disrupt its commercial ties with the United States and to invade Iraq, President Bush warned that America could not afford to alienate Turkey and pushed Congress to drop the measure.

Today, Edgar Hagopian, one of the letter's two recipients, acknowledges his disappointment. “I have written to President Bush many times but have not gotten a response,” he said, reeling at the remarkable turnaround that transformed Bush into the biggest obstacle to an official recognition.

Bush's record is sure to haunt McCain's 2008 presidential run, but it's not as if the Arizona senator needed any help in alienating Armenian-Americans. McCain's own stance against genocide recognition and his relative indifference toward bilateral relations with Armenia have been a matter of record since well before George W. Bush emerged on the national stage. Barack Obama, conversely, looked committed to the affirmation of the events of 1915 as a genocide long before he decided on a presidential run. In fact, in the superheated world of ethnic grievance politics, rarely do presidential elections feature such a clear contrast between two candidates. In the case of states with a substantial Armenian-American presence (including California, New Jersey, Michigan and Nevada) that contrast could hurt McCain.

Historically, neither party has owned the support of Armenian-Americans. Rather than stake their fortune with one party, national advocacy groups--starting with the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and the Armenian Assembly--have pursued a bipartisan course.

Thanks in part to this strategy, the Armenian-American community has grown into a highly effective interest group. Cory Welt of Georgetown's Eurasian Strategy Project mentions the Armenian lobby's strength as an explanation for what he calls the “exceptional” size of Armenian foreign aid. The Congressional Caucus on Armenian issues has a bipartisan leadership (it is co-chaired by a Democrat from New Jersey, Rep. Frank Pallone, and a Republican from Michigan, Rep. Joe Knollenberg) and a large contingent of 150 members, including 13 of Michigan's 15 U.S. Representatives, 38 of California's 53 and 11 of New Jersey's 13.

As a result, there has been little partisan divide on issues like genocide recognition and Armenian foreign aid, and past presidential candidates on the left and on the right were careful to pander to Armenian-American concerns. George H. W. Bush and his son both talked of genocide prior to their election before resorting to euphemisms once in office; Bob Dole was one of the strongest advocates of recognition efforts, as was John Kerry, who also championed other issues including the opening of the Turkey-Armenia border.

Denis Papazian, the Founding Director of the University of Michigan's Center of Armenian Studies, explained that a sizable share of Armenian-American voters considers candidates' stances on Armenian issues and can be swayed by a pledge to support genocide recognition efforts. For instance, Papazian pointed to the strong support the community offered Bob Dole in 1996. He also estimated that Bush's letter during the 2000 campaign boosted his support in the Armenian-American community. "If two relatively neutral candidates are running,” Papazian explained, “Armenian American voters will stay within the party [they usually feel the closest to]. But if one of them makes a promise to recognize the genocide, he will get a lot of votes."

Papazian himself fits that description. A Dole supporter twelve years ago, he is now supporting Barack Obama--identifying the Illinois Senator's stance on recognition as a crucial factor in that decision. Another prominent Armenian-American who has undergone the same transition is Oscar Tatosian, the Chairman of the Diocesan Council of the Armenian Church of America. He, too, was a Dole supporter; he, too, describes himself as an independent and identifies genocide recognition as a primary issue; he, too, is supporting Obama. Both well-connected and highly-involved members of the Armenian community, Papazian and Tatosian professed to knowing many who share their outlook.

Voters like Papazian and Tatosian are giving Democrats hope they can make inroads in the Armenian community. And while this might simply be due to a coincidental combination of one-time factors--a hostile Republican Administration, an unusually enthusiastic Democratic candidate and an uncommonly skeptical Republican nominee--Armenian-American issues have a decidedly more partisan feel this year.

For one, the genocide question is only one of many issues on which the Bush Administration has attracted criticism from the Armenian community. Stephan Astourian, a professor of history at Berkeley, also lists “Bush's attempts at cutting the allocation of foreign help for Armenia almost every year, his clear orientation towards oil-based money and pro-Azerbaijan stance”--a reference to Armenia's conflict with Azerbaijan over the province of Nagorno-Karabagh.

As importantly, McCain is the first presidential candidate in the past two decades who is on the record as opposing genocide recognition without already being a member of the incumbent Administration. Hagopian, one of the recipients of Bush's letter in 2000, remains a strong conservative who supports McCain's candidacy, but he admits his frustration with the Arizona Senator's positions. “He has not been a friend of the Armenian community,” he said.

In 1990, McCain voted against a recognition resolution that was sponsored by then-Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole. In 2000, campaigning for the Republican nomination in California, McCain confirmed that he would not support such a resolution. "It was not under this government in Turkey,” McCain said. “I don't see what this resolution does to improve this situation one iota." The Senator has stuck to his position in 2008, attracting widespread criticism from Armenian groups. “I think the most dangerous part of Senator McCain is that he is toeing the old Cold War era line that Turkey is this invaluable ally we cannot offend,” warned Areen Ibranossian, the Chairman of Armenians for Obama, a group promoting the Illinois Senator among Armenian-Americans nationwide. (The McCain campaign did not return my requests for an interview.)

By contrast, Obama has pledged that his Administration would recognize the 1915 extermination as an act of genocide. His campaign released two statements on this issue on January 19 and on April 28. “The facts are undeniable,” one statement said. “An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy.” Dennis Papazian predicted that Armenian voters “will shift towards Obama because of their belief that he will recognize the genocide.”

Some Republicans like Edgar Hagopian predict that a President Obama would renege on his pledge just as President Bush did, but Obama's supporters praise the sincerity of his commitment to Armenian-American concerns and point to his familiarity with these issues. “This is an individual who is more knowledgeable about Armenian-Americans than most candidates are and have been,” said Rep. Pallone, the New Jersey Democrat who co-chairs the Caucus on Armenian Affairs. Obama spoke about the Armenian genocide well before launching his campaign, and many activists take that as reassurance that his stance is more than an electoral gimmick. Elizabeth Chouldjian, a spokesperson for the ANCA, and Areen Ibranossian both cited an Obama press conference during a congressional trip to Azerbaijan in 2005. Asked about his support for genocide affirmation in a country that has a tense relationship with Armenia, Obama did not shy away from reiterating his stance, a moment Ibranossian described as “extraordinary.” “He had no reason to put out his neck and defend himself,” he said.

Nearly all of Obama's backers also point to his relationship with a high-profile adviser who is ironically no longer part of his campaign. In her work on genocide prevention and in her book A Problem from Hell, Samantha Power has focused on the international community's failure to recognize genocides like the one that decimated the Armenians in 1915, arguing that a proper understanding of past catastrophes is crucial to preventing genocides in the present. Power resigned from the campaign after calling Hillary Clinton a “monster” in March, but many in the Armenian community believe her outlook has shaped Obama's foreign policy views.

The campaign's January 19 statement, for instance, connected the recognition of the Armenian genocide with broader issues of genocide prevention. “A principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide,” the statement said, “starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history.”

The contrast between Obama and McCain extends more broadly to the United States' relationship with the Republic of Armenia. Obama's January 19th statement pledged to maintain Armenian foreign aid and to move toward a resolution of the Karabagh conflict that would respect the “principle of self-determination”--language close to Armenian demands. The ANCA's Elizabeth Chouldjian praised Obama's positions as “the strongest we've gotten from a candidate in over ten years.” (The ANCA endorsed Obama in January, just as it supported John Kerry in 2004; the group remained neutral in the 2000 election.) On the other hand, John McCain has remained largely silent on these issues, an attitude his critics deride as worrisome indifference.

The California-based Armenians for Obama group plans to educate Armenian-American voters about these differences. The organization is conducting extensive phone bank operations to contact as many Armenian-American voters in swing states as possible. “Our first objective is to make sure that all Armenians know Obama's stance on issues,” said Ibranossian, the group's chairman. “We take Obama's message and try to make it more consumable by Armenian-Americans, more relatable to their concerns.”

Ibranossian argued that extensive outreach in large Armenian communities in the Detroit and Las Vegas regions could prove decisive. “If we can get them out to vote,” he said, “that could make the difference in swinging the election from red to blue.” Armenian Republicans are mounting an effort of their own to help McCain, but they are getting a late start and the organization they are relying on--the National Organization of Republican Armenians (NORA)--has been largely inoperative over the past eight years.

Like many others before him, Obama will have to weigh conflicting interests if he gets to the White House. Georgetown's Cory Welt points out that Obama “has been insistent on the importance of reaching out to international partners and that Turkey will be one of the countries that he will want to reach out to. He will quickly find the genocide issue to be an obstacle.”

Until then, Obama's position has given hope to many Armenian-Americans--even to those who are not planning on voting for him. A spokesperson for NORA and a McCain supporter, Peter Musurlian is nonetheless hopeful that President Obama might finally succeed in moving the United States towards genocide recognition. “I wouldn't cry in my beard if Obama is elected, I would say let's look at what he does on April 24th,” he said, in a reference to the commemorative date of the Armenian genocide. “Hopefully he will do better than President Bush.”

Little Armenia Journal, By Ara Khachatourian
It was 17 years ago this past Saturday (October 4, 1991) that I drove in to Los Angeles from Boston on my big move to Southern California. I arrived in Glendale and called up some friends, who were aware that I was on my way but did not know exactly what day I would arrive.

I set my bags at what is now Days Inn in Glendale, and drove off to meet my friends.

First stop: New Hampshire Avenue in Hollywood. I picked up my friend Anahid Adamian (now Oshagan), who was involved in a celebration of her own. The family was gathered to celebrate the birth of her brother. I picked her up and asked “where to?”

“There's a 'kebab night' at the Hollywood Center organized by the AYF Mousa Dagh Chapter. Let's go there,” she said.

So, we drove a couple of blocks and there on the corner of Lexington Street and Vermont Avenue stood the Armenian Center, with which I was very familiar since I had visited Los Angeles several times prior to my final move.

Fast forward 17 years and here I am again at the same Hollywood Center that welcomed me to Los Angeles almost two decades ago. Except now I call it my office.

Asbarez and Horizon moved to the newly refurbished old Hollywood Center last week. As we are transitioning into our new location, we look fondly back at the times and experience we have all shared within these walls. This week as I've spoken to friends and community members on the phone, every time I mention we have moved to the Hollywood Center--or to some the Mousa Dagh Center--the conversation always goes to “do you remember that one time...”

Well now this place with its rich history is ready to make more history. The hall that we used to hold our meetings and kebob nights is now the state-of-the-art Horizon Television studios, where production has begun on our daily programs.

The AYF and ARF Karekin Njdeh Gomideh offices now house the Asbarez editorial staff, as we all await the completion of the Asbarez portion of the building, downstairs adjacent to the ARS Social Service Center.

No move, however, is without its growing pains. Technical and logistical difficulties have created some unforeseen obstacles in the early days of our move. But already two weeks into it, we have almost dotted all the “i”s and crossed all the “t”s and are ready to serve the community and continue producing our products--newspaper, television, the website.

Every morning as I reach Western Avenue on Santa Monica Boulevard the street signs and the light-post banners signaling my arrival at Little Armenia instills a sense of pride. Now that Asbarez and Horizon are part of this reality we are committing to join the community and all of its community organizations with a commitment to make it truly a heartbeat of our larger Armenian-American community.

Construction has already begun on the new Armenian Community Center adjacent to the St. Garabed Armenian Church and the Rose and Alex Pilibos School. This new facility will house the organizations previously occupying the new Asbarez and Horizon center. A quick walk to that part of our neighborhood a couple of days ago brought me in touch with some old and new faces at Alex Pilibos, who promised to stop by; And of course Very Rev. Vicken Vassilian who welcomed us to the neighborhood in a warm and heartfelt manner only befitting a Der Hayr.

This does not mean that we don't miss Glendale--our home for almost a quarter of a century. As the epicenter of the Armenian community in California, Glendale still remains that vibrant, and in so many ways a true little Armenia. We promise all our community members in Glendale that our geographical location change will not alter our proximity to the city, community and its residents.

So, here we are, at the heart of Little Armenia, from where I hope to share some experiences with our readers intermittently from this column.

Until then, come and visit us. We are at 1203 N. Vermont Ave., Little Armenia,

An Interview With The Armenian Editor Of 'Russia Today', October 3 2008
Russia Today is the face of Russia today,
Margarita Simonyan is the Editor-in-Chief of Russia Today
At 26, in the world today, she is the youngest head of a global news and entertainment TV channel. In the past year formerly vocal critics of the channel have been replaced by a more balanced discussion about what type of news an English-speaking audience expects from a Russian information channel broadcasting only in English. Passport Moscow Editor Jeremy Noble interviewed Margarita Simonyan in her office, on the one-year anniversary of Russia Today. (The interview naturally was in English).

Jeremy Noble: Do you think that it is accurate to say that Russia Today is the face of Russia today? I mean by this, that the channel presents a very professional, very polished and very articulate image of Russia.

Margarita Simonyan: We are aiming to become the face of Russia today. We want to be the first, the best, the quickest, the most aware TV channel talking about Russia and the CIS. We want people to trust us, when they want to know about Russia, we want them to watch Russia Today.

J.N.: As the Editor-in-Chief do you see yourself as being somehow part of what we are calling the face of Russia Today?

M.S.: I am not the face of Russia today as a channel; we have many handsome and beautiful presenters who can claim to be the face of the channel. I feel myself a part of my country but no, the channel is not about me.

J.N.: Do you then see yourself as being only one part of a large team?

M.S.: Yes. We are all in the same boat, Russians and foreigners. I am proud of my team, I trust them; they are all dedicated people who are %u218into' this channel, who know %u218what the story is about.' There are no 'accidental people' here, as we call them in Russia. It doesn't matter if they are Russians or foreigners.

My parentage is 100% Armenian, although my parents themselves were brought up in Russia. I too was born and brought up in Russia. My motherland is Russia, no matter that I have not one drop of Russian blood.

J.N.: How would you present on Russia Today, say, a conflict that might arise between Armenia and Russia which might affect you on a personal level?

M.S.: I have only been to Armenia once, on an official delegation accompanying President Putin.

What you see is dependent upon where you stand. A sophisticated Cambridge-educated Englishman will see Russia but won't feel her. But if you were born and brought up in a distant provincial region, and felt with all your inner being the %u21890s in Russia, the end of the USSR, you would feel your country in a different way. When you have experienced a country's history like that, you understand.

J.N.: Can I ask you please more about your upbringing. You were born in Krasnodar and educated there. In the 10th Class you went on an exchange programme to the US; how was that visit important for you?

M.S.: It was 1995 to 1996. I was fifteen, the age when your views on life are being formed. When I was in the US I came to better appreciate life in Russia. At the same time I got into American habits and beliefs, large and small. Small beliefs can be important, for thinking about other people. I will give you an example; when I am driving in Moscow and I see that people are trying to cross the road, I stop; that is not a very Russian characteristic. About beliefs, you have to start with yourself. If you want to fight corruption, then you have to stop the cheating in the classroom.

J.N.: Would you say that you have a Western work ethic?

M.S.: In Russia Today there are things that we do in a Russian way, and others which can be called %u218Western.' You received your higher education at Kuban State University, and then at the Television School of Vladimir Pozner. Pozner is perhaps the most famous example of a Russian media personality who is equally at home in both Russia and the West. Do you see yourself in that same way, I mean, as someone who understands and is comfortable in both those 'worlds'?

I am comfortable in both of them, yes; understand the West just as well as I understand Russia, no. I don't think that one can say that one fully understands a foreign country, the West. I won't claim that I understand any other country as well as I know Russia.

J.N.: You have had a very varied and interesting career, with periods of journalism %u218in the field' and a stint as Kremlin correspondent for Rossiya TV channel. How is that background important for being the Editor-in-Chief of Russia Today?

M.S.: I think that what we are talking about is balance. It makes it much easier for me to talk to people who work with me, with the experience I have. It would be impossible to be a part of my team without those two types of experience. I understand my colleagues when they are in the field and when they are in the Kremlin.

J.N.: What is the difference between %u218field' journalism and %u218red carpet' journalism?

M.S.: The difference is that it is difficult to make %u218red carpet' journalism interesting for viewers. In the field, in Beslan, for example, it is not difficult; you have action, background, everything is there. But you have to show that %u218red carpet' reporting is also just as important; the decisions you might be talking about could be affecting millions of people. You have to find a common language with the audience. Sometimes a journalist will call me and ask, “Margarita, how am I going to write this story?I always try to suggest a personal angle, “how does this situation affect a typical family?”

J.N.: It sounds as if you have a very approachable management style?

M.S.: I try to. I do not want to be sitting behind closed doors.

J.N.: President Putin sent flowers to you on your twenty-fifth birthday. Clearly the President thinks highly of you; how does this high regard affect your work?

M.S.: (Laughing) That question! I was at a press conference, where President Putin was talking with the President of Tajikistan. It was my twenty-fifth birthday, which is a special anniversary. The other journalists were talking about it, the President heard them, and that was how I received the flowers. It was very spontaneous. I don't think that you can call it a presidential high regard. Don't you think that the President has more important things to think about? Like all of the other heads of TV channels, we meet at celebrations. I understand that the President watches the channel and I hope that he likes it.

J.N.: You are twenty-six; that is very young to be the head of a major TV channel. Do you think that your youth is one of the reasons why the President picked you for the job?

M.S.: Do you seriously believe that the President personally chooses an editor for Russia Today? (laughing). To be young and ambitious is nothing unusual. But yes, even for Russia, that is young. Having said that, you will know yourself how young the senior managers of companies can be in Russia. My youth, I agree, is important. My generation does not have old stereotypes about the West. I was eleven when the Soviet Union broke up. We had the chance to travel, to see with our own eyes. We are not suspicious about everything that comes from the West. This is an advantage; it allows me and my generation to be more open and objective. Just because somebody does something differently doesn't mean that it is wrong.

J.N.: You are a Russian woman with a high-powered job. In Russia there are not so many women who have made it to the top of the tree in their chosen profession. Do
you see yourself as somehow breaking the mould of traditional Russian society?

M.S.: (Laughing) I hear many top managers telling me that women are more reliable than men. (Pause). It is not that women cannot achieve what they want to achieve in Russia; it is only that in Russia, less women than in Europe want to have a career. For example, here at the station we have had situations where very talented and promising women have decided to take a long break in their career because they have had babies.

J.N.: Do you see yourself as a role model for other ambitious Russian women?

M.S.: I can't talk about people I do not know; but I can say that many of my friends do not want to work such long hours as I do.

J.N.: Let us talk about Russia Today. You have been quoted as saying that you did not want to move away from the programming format used, for example, by CNN, Euronews and BBC News. How, then, is Russia Today different from these other channels?

M.S.: It is not about format; it is about content. It is about looking at things from other perspectives.

We pay more attention to the regions in Russia, for example, which are not covered by the other channels. We don't want to cover only what everybody else is covering. We do cover, obviously, for example, the death of Litvinenko, what we call the headlines; but at the same time we are always trying to find what nobody else is talking about. We want to go beyond that, deeper. We look at conflicts in Georgia, elections in Ukraine, something more detailed. We wouldn't exist without the details; they are what make us different.

J.N.: Why does Russia today need a Russia Today?

M.S.: Well, because until recently Russia did not have a way of speaking to the world. Russia needs a visual voice. Take, for example, a person who is interested in Russia, but doesn't speak Russian, he could not know what is happening in Russia, which is not right. France has France 24, the Arab world has Al Jazeerah; now Russia has Russia Today. We want our audience to trust us, to believe that what they are seeing is what we have seen with our own eyes. The image that we broadcast is not coming from something we have read or copied, but is based upon what we have seen, or experienced. We are looking through native Russian eyes, and speaking what we see.

J.N.: You have been quoted as saying that you are not translating Russian news into English, but that you are writing and broadcasting in English as a first language. Can you please explain what you mean by this?

M.S.: We hold meetings in English here at the station; we run the station in English; the cameramen and technicians are speaking to presenters in English. In other departments, for example the legal department, we are working in Russian. As far as Russia Today as a channel is concerned, we don't merely polish to a high gloss, or mirror and report second-hand information; we explain what is happening in Russia because we want our audience to understand. We cannot expect our audience to know about Russia a priori as a native Russian; we have to always ask ourselves how much information our audience might have already, before we begin; but at the same time we are not going to explain about Ivan the Terrible. We expect that our audience switches on because they already have an interest. That said, we are learning about our audience. Russian TV channels are only broadcasting for Russians. They know their audience. As yet, we do not know our audience, when it is coming from all over the world; say from Iowa, or Japan, but we will.

J.N.: You said also in a recent interview that, “we are not translating Dostoevsky.” what did you mean?

M.S.: We are not translating words, we are translating a country.

J.N.: Do you think of your job as being in any way political?

M.S.: Let me think about it. No. And I wouldn't like us to be political; we want to stick to pure journalism. But it is easy to be tricked into politics nowadays by a slick PR campaign which you can mistake for the truth. We have to be careful as a channel. September 26, 2008

Bryza: Karabagh Is Part Of Azerbaijan, 09 Oct 2008
(REGNUM Agency): American co-chair of the Minsk Group Mathew Bryza, in an interview to BBC, has confirmed the announcement by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the sides have reached final agreement on the key principles and are now hurdling over a few minor issues.

`There are a few key elements we have to resolve. These are difficult questions, which, as always are discussed at the end of negotiations. But they can be resolved if both sides express a good will.' Bryza did not disclose exactly which issues remain unresolved so far. He did mention, however, that `Armenians have to realize that Karabagh is part of Azerbaijan'.Original article in Russian: www.regnum.ru/news/armenia/1067232.html

A Clear And Almost-Present Danger: Ethnic Conflict, October 9, 2008, Mustafa Akyol
BELFAST – When you stroll down the streets of this city, you see how painful and enduring an ethnic conflict can be. Despite the recent peace process, which brought an end to the decades-old war between Catholics and Protestants, the bitterness is still very much alive. There are “peace walls” in around 80 different spots of Belfast, which divide the neighbors who abhor each other simply for who each other are. In order to avoid the stones thrown off the walls, some houses are protected with barbed wires.

Much can be read from the murals on the walls. In a Protestant neighborhood, these eye-catching paintings tell how horrible the Catholics, and even Catholicism itself, is. “There will be no peace in Ireland,” Oliver Cromwell reportedly once said, “until the Catholic Church is crushed.” What is shivering is that this historical quote from the 17th century is very much relevant to our day in the minds of the radical Protestants of North Ireland.

Turkishess vs Kurdishness?:
The mood is not too different on the other side of the wall. Catholic neighborhoods are full of murals that denounce “British imperialism” or plates that honor their brethren who were killed by British bullets. My taxi driver, whose Catholicism is as unmistakable as his strong Ulster accent, tells me how “those Protestant killers” tormented his community for decades.

Sometimes people, especially secularists, interpret the case of Northern Ireland as a “religious conflict” — a relic from the pre-Enlightenment age where religion mattered too much. But actually it is a secular conflict in which the apparently religious identity is in fact an ethnic one. A famous joke summarizes it all: Somebody in North Ireland responds to a survey question about religious affiliation by declaring himself an atheist. “Would that be a Protestant atheist,” comes the insistent reply, “or a Catholic atheist?” It is really ethnicity that divides here, not theology.

Much more needs to be said about North Ireland, to be sure, but I will just focus on what is relevant for Turkey. The drama in the former case points to a very important lesson: Ethnic conflict can well arise in a modern and wealthy nation. This is crucial, because for decades, the Turkish intelligentsia, especially the political left, argued that the problem in Turkey’s Southeast was that the region was not modernized and developed enough. The terrorism of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, they argued, was a result of the pre-modern “feudal” social structure of the Kurdish populace.

But the truth was quite the opposite. In fact the PKK was, and still is, a very “modern” organization. It is actually a revolt against not just the Turkish state, but also the Kurdish tradition. The recent news story on CNN International by reporter Arwa Damon, which has caused great uproar in the Turkish media saying it whitewashes the PKK, is actually right on the mark: This terrorist group is also a “progressive” one, which claims to “liberate women” and transform the society. Yet, of course, while it is “liberating” women from the male-dominated Kurdish culture, it is turning them into apparatchiks of a rigid ideology. Traditional obedience out; modern servitude in.

Which brings us to a sobering fact: Modernity is not always a good thing. All totalitarians, from Hitler to Stalin, were modernizers. So even are most radical Islamists: They use modern means to achieve a modern political program. And, of course, all nationalists are a part of modernity. Nationalism is actually a product of modernity itself. Until the 19th century, the most important identity for most people, was religion. In Turkish lands, for example, the question “Who are you?” would be given a common answer: “Thank God, I am a Muslim.” With modernity came Turkishness and Kurdishness, and the conflict between them.

No easy way out:
What this means is that Turkey will not be able to solve its Kurdish question by simply modernizing itself. Better infrastructure or “education” in the Southeast are good goals in themselves, but they will not resolve the ethnic problem. The PKK was founded by university graduates who became more ethnically conscious precisely thanks to that education. While their fathers were calling themselves “Muslims” first, they started to call themselves “Kurds” and “revolutionaries.”

This also means that the Kurdish question will be the most fatal one for Turkey in the next few decades. The secularist-Islamic divide, the other main axis in this country, will be softened by the advancement of modernity: Conservative Muslims are actually becoming more and more like the secularists in the way they live. (Even their ways of corruption are becoming very similar.) But the ethnic consciousness in society is rising in a very dangerous way. After every act of terrorism by the PKK, Kurdish neighborhoods in big cities become targets of rage. Thank God nothing horrible has happened yet. But it might, and the PKK is deliberately provoking it.

In the past, right-wing hotheads in Turkish streets could be rallied only against the “infidels” — which could include the unorthodox Alevis too. But now, Kurds are becoming the main targets. For that they are not fellow Muslims anymore; they are a distinct ethnic group.

The only way out of this dilemma can be to retain the good aspects of tradition, such as the sense of Muslim fraternity, while embracing the good aspects of modernity, such as liberal democracy. Whether Turkey will be able to that is the million-dollar question. Turkish Daily News

Nicole Pope Peace In The World, But Peace At Home?
It took an earthquake to improve relations with Greece, a football match provided the excuse to establish dialogue with Armenia and a television soap opera is transforming Turkey’s image across the Arab world, where the Turkish government is also pursuing mediation efforts.

But what will it take to restore peace at home?

The Turkish government has successfully engaged with friends and former foes abroad in recent years, adopting a proactive diplomatic stance that has won the respect of many international observers (as well as a degree of scorn from those who see the government’s regional engagement as proof that Turkey is moving away from the West). Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s bold policy U-turn on Cyprus in 2004 and President Abdullah Gül’s recent visit to Armenia have shown that the Turkish authorities are at times prepared to take risks to secure a more peaceful environment for the country.

Why, then, is it that when it comes to solving homegrown conflicts, the authorities appear stuck in a rut, unable to depart from traditional policies even when they have proved insufficient? The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, like its predecessors, has lately given the impression that it is abandoning the festering Kurdish issue, reduced to one of terrorism, to the security forces.

As expected, Parliament extended for another year the government’s authority to conduct operations in northern Iraq. Yet no one seems convinced -- not even, it appears, military commanders themselves -- that more air attacks or cross-border incursions will bring the conclusive victory that has already been announced prematurely on numerous occasions. Nor is it clear that broadening the powers of the police, with the risk of increasing human rights violations, would stop the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacks.

During his visit in Germany earlier this year, the prime minister caused controversy when he described as “a crime against humanity” attempts to assimilate the Turkish community. He urged Turks to integrate, but to defend their own culture. Yet when it comes to the Kurds in Turkey, most of whom are loyal citizens of the Turkish Republic but are also attached to their own language and culture, the authorities fail to see the parallel and turn a deaf ear.

The economic package unveiled this summer for the Southeast, if properly implemented, could contribute to boost economic activity in a region that still lags way behind the national average in terms of economic development, but it still ignores the political dimension of the problem. In a courageous speech in Şemdinli in 2005, the prime minister acknowledged that Turkish citizenship was a primary identity that did not exclude other, secondary identities. Since then, he has apparently retreated and the government has avoided further political discussion of the Kurdish issue.

Turkish nationalists are convinced that opening the matter to debate would reinforce terrorism and lead to the break up of Turkey. But could a democratic quest for a peaceful solution really be more divisive than the cycle of violence that has been tearing the country apart for far too long, at the cost of thousands of young lives?

Taking steps to address the political aspects of the Kurdish question would not, in itself, put an end to PKK attacks, but it would help isolate armed radicals and prevent more frustrated young people from swelling their ranks. Without a new policy and a multi-pronged approach that should also involve developing ties with the Iraqi Kurds, expanding cooperation with the Iraqi government and with the US, as well as using military means, in years to come, as in years past, it is possible that newspapers will continue to carry on their front pages the sad images of families mourning their sons. 10.10.2008

Armenian President Serzh Sargsian Will Meet Turkish President Abdullah Gul In About A Week
The first initiative was made on September 6 in Yerevan and the second will be in Istanbul on October 16, Turkish newspaper Radikal said.

Visit of Armenian President following the visit of Turkish President opened the doors towards a positive process in one of the most sensitive problems in the Middle East.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said last Saturday in New York that the opening of the border gates with Armenia hinged on the solution of the existing problems.

"The aim of the talks with Armenia is to start the dialogue that would remove the problems. If these problems were solved in this process, then we can have any kind of cooperation, including the opening of the borders, full-fledged relations and broader economic solidarity," Gul told reporters in the Turkish House in New York.

In The Caucasus, Being Cautious Works Best , Mansur Aslanov, Turkish Daily News, October 6, 2008

Recently, Azerbaijan has lived through some dramatic changes, which are having profound effect on the nation's outlook and perceptions. The most obvious, of course, is Russia's show of force against the fellow Caucasus nation of Georgia. For Azerbaijan, Moscow's easy and previously unthinkable blatant annexation of Georgia's territories demonstrated the vulnerability of its main access route to the outside world. Suddenly, the idea of the East-West Corridor, a cornerstone of the regional developments since the early 90s, is severely undermined.

Perhaps even more shocking was that the Western reaction to the outright crossing of once clearly marked "red line" of entering Georgia amounted to nothing serious and has, in effect, condoned Russian behavior. If Russian readiness to invade and erratic moves by Georgia's leaders came as little surprise, the degree of weakness of the West, especially that of the United States, was unexpected. Similarly surprising has been Turkey's cold shoulder to Tbilisi. If Ankara's willingness to blur its regional vision from time to time in order to accommodate Moscow has been a persistent pattern, Turkish easy-going view of Georgia's tragedy does not make much sense in the long term.

Emotional scar of Gul's visit
Speaking of Turkey, many Azerbaijanis watched in disbelief as President Abdullah Gul joined Armenia's Sarkissian in Yerevan. Within two months since Radovan Karadzic's arrest for war crimes, the Turkish President was visiting a leader who admitted to an international journalist that he was behind the mass murder in Khojaly during the Armenia-Azerbaijan war and that the objective was to instill mass terror. While smaller in scope, in Azerbaijani psychology, Khojali has a place very similar to the tragedy of Srebrenica in Bosnian minds. Therefore, the deep emotional scar of seeing together Gul, the leader of Azerbaijan's closest people, and Sarkissian should not be underestimated. Of course, Azerbaijan's President Aliyev and his Armenian counterparts meet, but those meetings take place on neutral grounds and have a goal of discussing specific proposals toward resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, not grand symbolism.

Turkey has also chosen rather interesting timing for new and somewhat vague proposals as well as major symbolic gestures. Azerbaijanis, seeing their main regional partner, Georgia, being strangled and still digesting the implications of Western impotence, suddenly faced ambiguity from fraternal Turkey. All of this combined, can produce a major re-evaluation of Azerbaijan's perceptions and, certainly, contributes to strengthening Russia's regional dominance. In an unpleasant deja vu, some in Azerbaijan were reminded about being abandoned by Turkey in the 1920s only to be consumed by Russia. The history of Moscow playing regional games more skillfully than Ankara should not be ignored by Turkish policymakers as they assess the costs and benefits of their next steps.

Turkey's relative success in the region has been built on its strategic relations with both Azerbaijan and Georgia and its alliance with the West. In fact, Turkey has done pretty well in the region. Today, Ankara can either expand that success rightfully claiming the mantle of a regional leader and peacemaker, which seems to be a new obsession of Turkish leaders, or waste the credit it has earned over the last two decades trading real benefits for ephemeral symbolism.

More dialogue on more sophisticated terms is needed between Azerbaijanis and Turks. The former, often seeing Turkey in simplistic terms, have not been fully successful in making their case to the more liberal sections of Turkish society. The liberals, in turn, keep seeing Azerbaijan through a misleading prism of domestic politics. For instance, the ideas of Turkism do not bear anti-liberal flavor in Azerbaijan and other Turkic nations, quite to the contrary. They, as often happens, fall victim to misnomers. Nor is Azerbaijan's problem with Armenia that of history and symbols. The conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh is a practical issue, which should be resolved on practical terms with respect to the rights of Azerbaijanis and Armenians alike. This is not about digging in one's past and projecting it on present-day political divisions, it is about actual people and issues of today. Turkish liberals taking a closer look may find it still more comfortable to side with Azerbaijani victims of ethnic cleansing than with radical Armenian nationalists all too ready to use violence. Furthermore, what would be the choice of a liberal Turk: a society, ideally, based on civic identity and, by the way, rather tolerant of expression of religious identity or an exclusive ethnicity-dominated political system?

Assuming direct ownership of Nagorno-Karabakh
Thus, looking at Armenia and Azerbaijan, Turkey should employ healthy and informed pragmatism. If Armenia's leader is serious about ending its nation's self-isolation, Turkey can and should use this opportunity to help re-integrate the region. This could be the case with Sarkissian because his country's strategic vulnerability has been made plenty clear by the war in Georgia and because he needs to restore his legitimacy, which, after coming to power, was marred by shooting protesters. If so, he also understands that the real sustainability of Armenia's future lies not in opening borders with Turkey alone, but in a comprehensive approach involving normalization with Azerbaijan and joining the regional infrastructure. For Armenia, the difference between being an impasse on Turkey's east and a major transit point between East and West seems pretty clear.

So it should be to Turkish leaders. Moreover, whatever symbolic benefits new friendship with Armenia can bring to Ankara, potentially losing a stronghold in Azerbaijan would immediately decrease Turkey's regional role. Therefore, Turkey's approach should focus on expanding its presence, not losing the most important pillar of it. To do so, Turkey's leaders should be much more forceful in explaining to Sarkissian that any progress should involve some progress on Nagorno-Karabakh. They should also work diligently to continuously reassure Azerbaijan, especially the public opinion, that Turkey does consider Azerbaijani interests when talking to Armenia, even better involve Azerbaijan in the conversation. This is important not only because should the efforts succeed, the benefits can be enormous, but also, because if they fail, Turkey wouldn't lose Azerbaijan. Of course, any attempts to bring in Armenia into a more integrated region should not be done at the expense of abandoning Georgia, a wounded, yet very important regional friend.

By stepping up its regional activism and its president visiting Yerevan, Turkey has assumed direct ownership of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. If some think that it has made its life easier, they need to look at the history of international involvement with protracted conflicts. Owning the conflict means that Turkey will be more than ever involved in the Caucasus and bear greater responsibility than before. If Ankara threads carefully and cautiously, this could be Turkey's best hour. If not, then the 1920's may return to haunt all of us with a vengeance.

Armenian Genocide Museum Of America Announces Major Research Library Donation, armradio.am

Two donors, who presently wish to remain anonymous, have gifted the Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA) with an exceptional collection of books and other printed material focused on the Armenian Genocide and its documentation.

The collection of several thousand rare and out-of-print books and other documents is slated for transfer to the AGMA in time for the opening of the museum in 2010. AGMA will include a complete facility to support ongoing research at the museum.

The remarkable collection contains many valuable items including maps, photographs, and other historical evidence reflecting acquisitions, research, and exploration across numerous archives.

In making their gift to AGMA, the two donors stated: "Indeed, the very raison d'être of this collection is that everyone needs to know that there is a massive amount of documentation on what happened to the Armenians. At the same time, there is also ample testimony that they were able to overcome the attempt to annihilate them and to recover from such unprecedented adversity. And, all this with a great deal of help from the U.S.A. What better place to show this than in Washington, DC?"

The donors hope that the gift will serve as an incentive for others to contribute relevant works as well. Collection development is a major objective of=2 0the AGMA library. Accepting the donation, AGMA Trustee and Building and Operations Committee Chairman Van Krikorian, said: "We are thrilled to receive this astounding gift of an entire library of specialized publications concentrating on the Armenian Genocide. The donors' monumental achievement in creating this collection and tremendous generosity in choosing the AGMA as the home for the collection represent a true match made in heaven."

Krikorian went on to say: "This collection of works ranging in their coverage from the mid-1800s to the present has personal meaning for a variety of reasons. First, this specialized Armenian Genocide collection is destined to constitute the foundation of the museum library. Second, the donation of this entire pre-existing collection, along with our own Assembly and ANI materials, and in light of the help we are getting from the Near East Foundation and the Armenian Genocide Museum in Yerevan, and others, immediately puts AGMA out front in Washington for running the type of research center that we plan and need to support the museum, its exhibits and activities. Our donors have established a standard of sharing with this extraordinary donation in the same community-minded spirit of Anoush Mathevosian, Hirair Hovnanian, and the Kechejian family, which we hope others will emulate."

The library donors are scientists with advanced degrees, one with Armenian roots and the other with no such roots but with a20fervent interest in human rights, peace, and social justice. The gift is being made in memory of the parents of one of the scientists. They were from the same small mountain village in the Kharpert region of Armenia. One was a Genocide survivor; the other was a "gamavor" or volunteer from America who served in the Armenian Legion or Legion d'Orient.

This special collection will significantly expand the holdings of the Armenian National Institute (ANI), which has been serving as the research facility of the AGMA. ANI is already the beneficiary of the oral history project conducted by the Armenian Assembly of America in the 1980s, which also sponsored in the 1990s, the first comprehensive collection of 37,000 pages of U.S. documents from the National Archives issued on microfiche with a 476-page guide to the documents, both published by Chadwyck-Healey, Inc.

Over the years, ANI has also acquired important archival holdings from around the world.

To Restore The Picture Of Mount Ararat On The Logo, Hayots Ashkhar Daily, 09 Oct 2008, Armenia
Opening yesterday's press conference with the topic on changing the emblem of the Football Federation of Armenia, ROUBEN HAYRAPETYAN, Head of the Football Federation, admitted that he had made a wrong step, assumed the responsibility for that and made a public apology to his compatriots.

"There has been an omission or lapse. I admit my mistake to the full and correcting it, I apologize to our football society, all those who disapproved of my step and were dissatisfied with it," Head of the Football Association of Armenia announced. He also informed the participants that they have announced a new contest for the emblem of the Federation, and one of their requirements is presence of Mount Ararat on the logo.

The Great Game In The Caucasus: Bad Moves By Uncle Sam, By Conn Hallinan Counterpunch.Com, October 7, 2008

The tale of what the Bush Administration is up to in the Caucasus is slowly filtering out, although the U.S. press has largely deep-sixed the story. The recent Georgia-Russia war was just one move in a chess game aimed at cornering the energy reserves of Central Asia, extending the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to Moscow's vulnerable southern border, and ending Russia's control of the Black Sea. Georgia was just a pawn - an expendable one at that - in a high stakes game.

While the White House and some in the European Union (EU) represent the recent war as one between an increasingly powerful Russia reasserting itself in its former empire versus a small, democratic nation trying to recover two of its former provinces, that story is fraying a bit. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was recently condemned by the EU's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights for undemocratic practices, and a recent NATO analysis of the war supports the Russian charge that Tbilisi started the whole affair. The maneuvers that led to the war, however, have gone largely unreported.

Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the U.S. moved into Kazakhstan, Central Asia's richest energy producer. U.S. oil companies, including Chevron, showed up in an effort to pry Kazakhstan away from its leading partners, China and Russia. Kazakh President Nurusultan Nazabayev was wined and dined, campaigning to get his country to send its oil through the trans-Caucasus Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, thus bypassing Russia and putting China's energy jugular in Western hands.

The U.S. put a full-court press on oil-rich Azerbaijan as well.

Georgia was on the chess board because the BTC runs thorough that country's south. The U.S. cemented control over the pipeline by helping to sponsor the "Rose Revolution" that brought Saakashvili to power in 2003.

But there was more than oil at stake in all this.

Starting almost a decade ago, the U.S. began pressuring fellow NATO member Turkey to modify or abrogate a rather obscure treaty called the Montreux Convention, a 1936 agreement that gives Turkey the right to restrict the passage of warships through the Bosporus Straits and the Dardanelles. The Convention has allowed Turkey and Russia to control the Black Sea and to prevent any foreign power from establishing a major presence there.

The U.S., which was not a party to the original treaty, has pressed Turkey to let it turn the Black Sea into a NATO lake. Turkey is a NATO member, as are Bulgaria and Rumania. The U.S. already has military bases in Romania. If the Bush Administration had succeeded in bringing the Ukraine and Georgia into the Alliance, NATO would have checkmated the Russian fleet at Sevastopol, restricting its access to the Mediterranean and isolating it from the Middle East.

However, the Americans play a lousy game of chess, particularly if some of the pieces on its side of the board have different agendas.

Take Turkey, for instance.

Ankara has not only shown no inclination to dump the Montreux Convention, it has proposed a "Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Pact" that would sideline NATO in favor of a settlement by regional powers. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented the proposal to Moscow shortly after the war.

"The chief value in the Turkish initiative," said Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov, is that it is "common sense" and assumes that "countries belonging to the region themselves should decide how to conduct affairs there."

Lavrov went on to add two other "regional" issues that could be dealt with using a similar framework: Iraq and Iran.

That the Turkish proposal caught the Americans by surprise is an indication of how the U.S. failed to understand how complex the game of chess is in that region of the world. Turkey is indeed a member of NATO, but it also has its own national interests to consider.

While Turkish trade with Georgia is $1 billion a year, it's almost $40 billion with Russia. Turkey also gets 70 per cent of its natural gas from Russia. Turkey and Russia have long dominated the Black Sea, and both see it as central to their economic and security interests. If the U.S. moves large numbers of warships into the area, it won't just be the Russians who lose control of that body of water.

Neither are the Turks eager to modify international treaties like the Montreux Convention. Doing so, writes M.K. Bhadrakumar, a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service and a former ambassador in the region, "would open a Pandora's Box. It might well turn out to be a step towards reopening the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, the cornerstone which erected the modern Turkish state out of the debris of the Ottoman Empire."

According to Bhadrakumar, the U.S. plan was to bring Kazakhstan into NATO as well. The Kazakh-Russian border is the longest land border shared by any two nations in the world. "It would be a nightmare for Russian security if NATO were to gain a foothold in Kazakhstan," he says.

In short, what the U.S. is up to is the 21st century's version of the "Great Game," the competition that pitted 19th century imperial powers against one another in a bid to control Central Asia and the Middle East.

The move to surround Russia and hinder China's access to energy is part of the Bush Administration's 2002 "West Point Doctrine," a strategic posture aimed at preventing the rise of any economic or military competitors.

When U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently said that Russia was facing international isolation over the Georgia war, she was whistling past the graveyard. Rather than being isolated, the Russians have been lining up allies among the very states the U.S. had hoped would join it in ringing the Russians with newly recruited NATO allies.

During the recent meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe, Kazakh President Nurusultan Nazarbayev assured the Russians they could rely on Kazakhstan for support. "I am amazed that the West simply ignored the fact that Georgian armed forces attacked the peaceful city of Tskhinvali," said Nazarbayev, "Kazakhstan understands all the measures that have been taken [by Russia] and supports them."

The SCO is made up of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Azerbaijan, another major target for the U.S., has kept quiet on the Georgian War, but announced that it was reducing the amount of oil and gas it was shipping through the BTC pipelines and increasing its shipments through Russia and Iran. "We knew there was a risk of political turmoil in Georgia, but we did not expect war," Elhar Nasirov, vice-president of Azerbaijan's state oil company, Socar, told the Financial Times. "It's not a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket, especially when that basket is so fragile."

If both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan balk at using the BTC, it could not only derail U.S. strategy in the region, but the pipeline itself.

While NATO has tried to put up a united front on Georgia, the Alliance is deeply split between the U.S., Britain, Poland and the Baltic States on one side, and France, Germany, Italy, and Spain on the other. In part, the reluctance of the latter group to join Washington's crusade against Moscow is based on self-interest. Russia is an important trading partner and provides Europe with much of its energy.

But a number of European countries are also having serious doubts about Georgia's leader. According to Der Spiegel, NATO intelligence sources back the Russian account of the war, not Georgia's. "Five weeks after the war in the Caucasus the mood is shifting against Georgian President Saakashvilli," the newspaper wrote on Sept. 15.

This shift in sentiment has even been voiced in the U.S. Congress, although it has yet to be reported in any major U.S. media. Addressing the Senate Armed Services Committee Sept. 9, Senator Hillary Clinton said it was not "smart" to isolate Russia over the war and pointedly asked, "Did we embolden the Georgians in any way?" Clinton called for a commission to look into the origins of the war, echoing a similar call by Europe's foreign ministers meeting in the French city of Avignon.

At a meeting of the EU's inter-governmental commission in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said it was important to "strengthen the partnership between the European Union and Russia, and France and Russia."

While a Harris Poll shows that some Europeans are now "more concerned" with Russia than they were before the war, the same poll shows the U.S. is still considered a far more serious "threat to global stability." The poll also indicates overwhelming opposition in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Britain to increasing military spending in the aftermath of the Georgian war. Indeed, any government that presses for a more aggressive posture toward Russia, or knuckes under to Washington's pressure to increase military spending, is likely to find itself out of power.

The Georgian war, like the Iraq war, were disasters brought on by a combination of imperial arrogance and fundamental cluelessness. The U.S. now finds itself locked into a military stalemate in Iraq and Afghanistan, increasingly isolated in the Middle East and Central Asia, and enmeshed in one of the greatest financial meltdowns in its history.


This is how empires end. Hallinan can be reached at ***@sbcglobal.net

The President Gul Will Present Its Platform On The Caucasus In Moscow , 10 October 2008 by Gari / armenews
Turkish President Abdullah Gul will present his "platform of stability and cooperation in the Caucasus" on the occasion of his visit to Moscow scheduled for next December. The Turkish ambassador in Moscow, Halil Akinci, said that talks on bilateral relations between Mr Gul and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev will include the international financial crisis and its impact in both countries. Regarding the "platform" proposed by Ankara, the Turkish ambassador recalled that many countries offered their mediation with a view to contributing to peace in the Caucasus, but stressed the "particular" the Turkish initiative, "in Since it involves the countries concerned and is based on the principles and standards of the OSCE

Armenian Genocide: The Turkish Province Of Kirklareli Breaks Its Ties With Dobrich And Burgas , 10 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews

The authorities of the province of Kirklareli located in Thrace Turkish announced Aug. 20 that they had ended their relationship with the cities of Burgas and Dobrich after the two Bulgarian municipalities have decided to recognize the Armenian genocide. Dobrich status as a "sister city" was also canceled.

Cavit Çalayan, the mayor Kirklareli CHP said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had sent a warning to municipalities asking not to establish links with Burgas and if there were to break.

He said that 12 municipalities in Bulgaria had recognized the Armenian genocide, but what was really important actions with Dobrich.

"The decision we Dobrich offense," said Cavit Çalayan. "We need to show them that there is a price to pay is that of an international project worth 600,000 YLT. We did not sign and have said why. " "We have no relationship as sister city with Burgas" he said. "We have sent a letter condemning their decision to recognize the alleged Armenian genocide."

Cavit Çalayan said that in his decision Burgas was under the influence of the growing power of nationalist party Ataka in the municipal council of Burgas.

The Director Of Topkapi Supported The Establishment Of An Armenian Chair At Galatasaray University , 10 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews

The historian Ilber Ortayli current director of the Palace Topkat commented in the press the visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gül Armenia in early September.

"In all its dimensions, Gül's visit to Armenia was not only a good," he said. "If I had known, I would certainly party. The attitude pursued hitherto could not produce a solution to the problem. If I had included myself a historian, in the delegation, I would be left without hesitation. The Turks and Armenians have breathed the same air for centuries. I worked to establish Armenian studies departments in universities for a very long time "Ortayli said. "We are told that we established one in the Erciyes University in Kayseri. But in fact these departments should be established in Istanbul. Those who want power should learn to speak Armenian. We thought of opening a department of Armenian studies at Galatasaray University.

Abdullah Gul's Interview In Newsweek October 4, by Stéphane / armenews

Foroohar: The conflict in Georgia and Russia is obviously in the spirit of chacun.Quel role Turkey can play given the geopolitical dynamics?

Abdullah Gul: The West [of Turkey] we have the Balkans. We Are we the Caucasus. Both their regions and stability are important to us because if you have stability in the Caucasus and you add confidence then you have the right climate for economic cooperation. And the Caucasus is the key both for energy resources that the safety of transport energy from east to west. Transportation through Turkey. That is why we are very active in attempts to try to achieve an atmosphere of dialogue and thus establish a climate for solving problems. If there is instability in the Caucasus, it would be a sort of wall between East and West, if you have stability in the region, this could be a door.

Only With My Dear Hrant At The Monument Of Genocide "First, Show Respect For The Pain Of Everyone" By Hasan Cemal , 6 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews YEREVAN

I will never forget that once Hrant Dink said: "First of all, let us show respect for the suffering that each of us has endured." Perhaps these words of Hrant and suffering that he and his ancestors who suffered made me come for the first time in Armenia and made me live a moment of intense emotion in the early morning in Yerevan before the genocide memorial.

Mount Ararat, overlooking Yerevan, appears and disappears in fog. Majestic and sad at the same time, this snowy mountain summit seemed so close that we think can almost touch it.

In front of the mausoleum, only with Hrant Dink in the silence of the morning, I think of the pain and suffering.

And I think sharing the pain.

In the strange silence of dawn, I'm alone with Hrant. And the cry of Rakel is in my ear ...

The tragic events experienced by the Armenian nation and Hrant had with an impressive level of maturity.

Perhaps that pain has helped him to speak and write in the language of his conscience. We always learn something from others. So I learned Hrant, both during his lifetime and after his death.

I learned that you can not escape history.

In silence clear morning, I thought again, with Hrant in my opinion * * mind, how meaningless it is to deny history and at the same time, how risky it is to be a slave history and pain and sorrows.

In the peaceful silence in the morning, so I thought again with Hrant to the futility that still want to deny the past, as well as risks of being up prisoner of history, their suffering and sadness.

The voice of my maternal uncle was by far "the roots do not disappear, my son!"

It was Circassian, tribe Gabarday.

But it did not Circassian identity; he did not understand that talk of "roots".

That was our fear of the state. "

When I insisted he said "does not mention these things." But near death he whispered in my ear: "However, the roots will not disappear, Hasan my son!"

The roots of the people, the land where we have our roots are very important. It is a crime against humanity to separate a people from its language and its identity and it is also a great crime to separate a people from their roots and his country. And finding an excuse for these actions is an inseparable part of the crime.

Armenians have lived a great tragedy when they were uprooted from Anatolia. They tested in 1915 and 1916. Since then, the nostalgia of Anatolia has never dimmed.

The Turks also have endured suffering too. They tested when they were chased from the Balkans and the Caucasus, and when they knew the war in Anatolia.

The Kurds also have endured suffering too. They were when their identity and language have been denied and when they were evicted from their land. This is not to compare the pains and sorrows. It would be a mistake. The suffering does not compare. It is this thinking that the sentence of Hrant Dink me back into the ear like a broken record: "Let us first show respect for the suffering that we all endured." Hrant spoke quietly of his own pain: " I know what happened to my ancestors. Some of you call it a "massacre" somebody "genocide", someone a "mandatory evacuation" and yet someone "a tragedy". My ancestors, they used the expression of typical Anatolian "kiyim" (kill).

"If a State uproots its own citizens from their homes and countries - especially the most vulnerable: women, children and elderly - and send unknown roads and endless after which a large part of them been decimated, how to explain today how our contortions to describe this reality are our specificity of human beings? How much humanity do we therefore ¬ able to save in each of us if we're to semantic acrobatics to know whether this is genocide or deportation, especially if we are then unable to condemn them in the same way every two? "

Is it absolutely put quotation marks when describing the suffering? Should systematically categorize?

Admittedly, this is not unimportant. However, I do not think it is always useful. Especially when Turks and Armenians have an equation involving Turkey, Armenia and the Armenian diaspora.

The story is entangled.

The reason and common sense are entangled.

The dialogue is closed.

And this entanglement aid "fanatics". It becomes easier to produce hatred and hostility from the pages of history.

So what we need to do is make the work of fanatics more difficult. We must find a way to move towards greater love and peace without becoming slaves to history, without becoming hostage to the past pain and suffering.

In this foggy morning, before the Monument of Genocide, I listen to the voice of Hrant Dink. He asked: "Should we behave as criminals of the great tragedy of the past, or will we write new pages as civilized people taking lessons from these mistakes?"

We will first understand the pain of each share and show respect.

Things will follow.

Is not my dear Hrant?

You always say "no confession or denial, first understanding. And you know that the understanding was only possible through democracy and freedom.

My dear brother, I think of you while in Yerevan day dawns and a glowing sun rises into the sky through the mist. In this beautiful morning silence, for you I am introducing a bouquet of flowers at the foot of the memorial, because it is you, what are the penalties that you endured that brought me here ...

Yes, first of all, let us show respect for the suffering that each of us has endured.

Hasan Cemal

* Hasan Cemal is the son of small-Djemal Pasha, a member of the Young Turks triumvirate, accused of having ordered the Armenian genocide. Turkish daily Milliyet on 6 September 2008

Under Pressure, The Football Federation Withdrew Its New Logo , 9 October 2008, by Virginia / armenews

The new logo of the Armenian Football Federation (FFA), widely criticized as no longer appear mountain biblical Mount Ararat currently on the territory of Turkey, should again be changed, "said FFA Wednesday October 8. The previous previous logo, bearing the image of Mount Ararat, was changed before the match Armenia-Turkey last month in Yerevan.

This change has not been unanimity is the least we can say. Political and civil them complained. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsoutioun) even suggested that it was designed by the Turks. It questions the politicized nature of the FFA and its logo.

Ruben Hayrapetian, the FFA chairman, said Wednesday that the decision to remove the current logo Ararat was a mistake. "I apologize to the Armenians for this serious error," he told journalists.

Armenia: Cognac, Caviar And Comics , 9 October 2008 by Stéphane / armenews, Yerevan

Perhaps one day, Margerin leave aside the banana Lucien, his favorite character, for the tignasse the Jackson Five Hrayr Hakobyan, the rich Armenian businessman at the heart with his new friend Jean Mardikian, d A real coup de foudre between Angouleme, Cognac and this small country of three million inhabitants, the confines of Europe and Asia. A thunderbolt celebrated large bumper of spirits of all colors, against a background of culture and business, cartoon and Armenian solidarity between prodigal children of the diaspora and students wonders of capitalism ' post-Soviet era.

For the Charente, the challenge is not small. It goes beyond the framework of the first comics festival in Yerevan, held from Friday to Sunday in the warm Armenian capital. A comics and cognac, it could add a tradition much more surprising, that of caviar. It is, in any case, the dream of this Hrayr Hakobyan, who volunteered two years ago Chatenay castle and its single vineyard in Cognac, and Armen Petrossian, the pope of the black gold sofa .

A comics festival in a country where it does not exist
Childhood friend of the second - their parents were comrades in exile in Paris - and now inseparable from the first, the key character of this incredible story is Charentais. Just retired council, municipal Angouleme, Jean Mardikian was launched, to 73 years in a foolish gamble worthy of a Tintin adventure: to create in its original homeland, as he had done ago 35 years in his adopted city, a festival of comic books. Starting from nothing, or almost five albums published in Armenian altogether, and one author, forced to self-publish.

Seeing Friday the Armenian Minister of Culture and the French Ambassador inaugurate the first festival in Yerevan in this small baroque theater of the city, Tigran Mangassaryan has said he had come to the right place presenting itself, Two years ago, in Angoulême, so that helps develop the comics in his country. "We ourselves, we did not believe it. This is the faith of coal, "smiles, the angels, the" Baron "John Khatchig Mardikian, as it is known here as the President of the Association for the Advancement of comics in Armenia.

If the event did not raise the crowds as the chorus of Azna-vour stirring every night jets of water from the magnificent Place de la Republique, the festival has succeeded promising start. Attracted by reports on TV, many young Armenians came to sign dedications to the authors invited - a casting, including three former Grand Prix city of Angouleme, Margerin, Cestac and Berberian - and listen to lectures Jean-Philippe Martin and Gerald Gorridge, the two evangelists angoumoisins the ninth art embedded in this exotic adventure.

Of culture in business
The Charentais were almost more this weekend in Armenia as the port of Royan. Among them, Christian Delage, the boss of the company of the same name, and sponsor of the festival unexpected Yerevan: "It's myself who have offered my assistance to Jean Mardikian says the entrepreneur of Gensac-La -Pallue, which caps adorn the past few years the Armenian brandy bottles. "It's good when culture and economy come," he feels, while Jean Mardikian, it presents between two plates of comics, who may soon be his client, Hrayr Hakabyan .

The Armenian businessman shares the same philosophy of trade. He also proposed its own financial assistance to the festival. Better, Saturday morning, he gave a tour to Jean Mardikian and friends of 800 m2 dilapidated that it is willing to rent to retype to his position and to freely available to the future school of comics mounted close links with the school's image Angoulême.

"I am sick," s'esclaffe he was surprised when this sudden passion and expensive for small Mickey before being a little more specific: "John Mardikian helps me to develop my business Charente. And I using my side, sliding there, before launching both, with the sister Hrayr Hakobyan in the recitation of a poem by a writer victim of genocide.

The illustration of the famous Armenian solidarity, uniting the Diaspora and local businessmen, allowing this former Soviet republic to modernize an impressive speed.

Picnic with the sturgeon
Next week in the Charente, Jean Mardikian, with its memories of college, which will serve as an interpreter at his friend six months. Before the administration and the elected, they will defend the whole file to create a breeding of sturgeon and caviar making Cognac. Originally scheduled on the property of Castle Chatenay, the project has been split into two to comply with environmental constraints: the "window" of activity in town, livestock in a more appropriate at the outside.

The sturgeon are ready for the big trip. Hrayr Hakobyan has provided the hospitality that business. He used the festival to offer an entertaining and tasty fish to grill the delegation charming beside his fish ponds. It is after a broken path under the protection of Russian rifles guarding the Turkish border, with an unobstructed view of the inaccessible Mount Ararat, it fattens 38,000 fish. A bunker sheet served as farm from which the female sturgeon are trading around 1.000 €.

We must not be fooled by appearances, such as this rudimentary board that serves as a picnic table, covered with bottles of champagne local Armenian cognac, vodka or wine, samples of the production of Hrayr Hakobyan. The flashy, it's not the kind of businessman. In worn jeans with hems that went to its offices, located above a modest neighborhood fish to supplement his empire with an airline!

This should detonated in Cognac, where the new Lord of Chatenay, when it is passing itself goes shopping at Auchan in thongs. bd.charentelibre.com


Sukru Server Aya said...

Par. 25 - 1922 The Holocaust of Smyrna Sent To The Writer

Mr. Dean Kalimniu,

Re: 1922 THE HOLOCAUST OF SMYRNA, by Australian Macedonian Advisory Council, Oct.15, 2008

Dear Sir,

First, let me compliment you for writing your name and E-mail openly for the article that has been posted. Your subject essay was referred to my information as well, in so far that I am a self-educated person on several subjects of history. I had and still have many friends of all ethnicities or nationalities in amicable relations with all of them. Since I have done considerable reading on various religions, I respect all faiths and the personal preferences of individuals to believe or exercise whatever it makes them happy, but the moment such religious or nationality values are used as weight on the scale of “humane standards and relations”, I reserve the right to express my opinion, not to counter react, but try to find where truth stands! I do not know your profession and depth of information on the subject you have penned a dramatic presentation of certain historical events, and distorted to unbelievable limits of “megalo idea” or anti-Turkish prejudices. I respectfully, ask your good selves or Professor Rudolph J. Rummel which you value as the full authority, or Professor Kolloglu Kirli, a professor of Sociology at Bogazici University, or any authority that you know or hear, to refute the documentary evidence, I enclose herewith, with my remarks. If you will kindly enter my name in the google or “TurkishArmenians” blogsite you can get access to my book “The Genocide of Truth” or my over 135 articles posted in there. Regrettably, your article is “another act of genocide of truth” and I will try to express my counter evidences, as short as possible, without adding “juices of prejudices” to cover up some facts or sound dramatic, pitiful, victimized etc. which has been actively propagated for nearly two centuries by ethnicities under the Ottoman rule, which resulted in their independencies, “where they were majority” of the living people. Just for the sake of clarity and correction of some of your biased evaluations, let me clarify that:

a- You evaluate the whole region or harbor cities of the Aegean-Mediterranean, as “Greek for 3000 years”, forgetting that there was no “nations” at that time, and you are speaking mostly of local “city-states”, where particularly in the harbors, “Greek was the universal commercial language”, as much as “English is used today”.

If the language is enough for identity, then we can claim that all USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand are all English because they speak English. The first edict given by Sultan Mehmet to the Genovese of Constantinople when he conquered the city in 1453, was written in Greek and can be seen in the British museum. Does this mean that Mehmet or the Genovese leaders were Greek? Izmir-or Smyrna was always a cosmopolite city being a port and close to heavily Greek populated islands or the mainland, which was Ottoman at that time. Yet, the minorities who lived mixed in the city, (Greeks, Jews, Levantines, Armenians, Assyrians) never constituted even half of the population when put altogether.

b. You mention that Greeks occupied Izmir, “after they were authorized by the Treaty of Sevres of 1919”. Sir, Greek army (supported by British-French and American) landed in İzmir in early May 1919 to intercept the occupation of the area which was promised to Italians after the Mudros Ceasefire of 30.10.1918. The dead born Treaty of Sevres was signed on Aug. 10, 1920, about 15 months later and was not ratified by any government, not even the Ottoman’s!

c. You mention “liberation of Izmir by Greek troops” on May 2, 1915 (?). May be you meant 1919! In May 1915, Allied forces had landed at the Dardanelles only and were stuck there! There was no other occupation of Izmir until the Allied Forces (which had dissolved their large armies after the surrender of Germans and Turks) decided to use the “willing Greek armies” to avoid the occupation “promised to Italy”. You are so much prejudiced that you underscore “Turks who rallied around Mustafa Kemal (not Ataturk yet) to attack the Greek troops who were attacking the Turkish mainland!


Please refer to http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2008/08/2551-genocide-of-truth-presentation-by.html?showComment=1219282980000 posting and comments of the undersigned, versus the book by Giles Milton http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2008/07/2527-protesting-abc-radio-australia.html with the excerpts from my book on this subject, which are self explanatory and belong to the persons who were the eyewitness of the events. Please also refer to another discovery in San Antonio Express, which you can read in full at http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2008/07/2543-armenians-not-turks-set-smyrna.html

In your evaluation Chrysostomos was an “ethnomartyr”, which means that he was a rebel against his own state who had acknowledged his authority on religious ceremonies only…not to invoke all Christians to fight and kill Moslems!

My given references (also annexed above for your convenience) tells who burned Izmir! Let me add one detail which has not been mentioned in the given references and which is second hand. The fire was started in the Turkish quarter and based on the usual direction of “imbat wind” in the region, it should have spread in the direction of Turkish quarters. But something unusual happened and the direction of the wind was changed into the opposite, and it was therefore that the Armenian-Greek (heavily populated) areas burned which first. More details you can find in the report of Paul Grescovitch the Fire Fighter Chief and the Greek firemen, most of whom had left their posts, having cut the water hoses. It is all there in the official U.S. reports Sir… If persons like Rummel, Milton, Kolloglu and others authorize themselves to write books based on assumptions, without digging the records (as much as I did as a person not trusting the shallowness of many scholars), this only proves their own ignorance or prejudice… I welcome reciprocally, any evidence to invalidate the ones I had searched and found to satisfy my own curiosity and share with decent humans, regardless of their ethnicity or faiths or other personal preferences.

Note: I will not be surprised if you have similar prejudices on the so called “Armenian Genocide” fanfare! I attach my essay http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2008/10/2610-genocide-lies-need-no-archives.html which is a challenge or invitation to all others that can present original documentary proof to belie the ones I have used to prove my common sense! If most others do not take the pain to print such serious arguments and read it from paper (instead of surfing screens), they are free to believe in what is more pleasant and easy for them…but not truthful!

Yours Cordially,
Sukru S. Aya Istanbul, 20.10.2008 (IP Address Logged)

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