2688) Free E-Book: Armenian Allegations: The Truth Must be Told by Edward Tashji

Armenian Allegations The Truth Must be Told  by Edward Tashji Armenian Allegations - The Truth Must he Told by Edward Tashji. December. 26. 2000

"... We aim to bridge the gaps Mankind is wont to create... From Keltia to Anatolia, Do Not Let the Light Go Out!" . . . .

In their lives together as husband and wife, they achieved no wealth. no fame, and no significant effect upon the events of human history at large. Yet, they each possessed a rare quality of human compassion. which this writer in this his first literary effort, proudly proclaims to be his lifelong inspiration in his search for brotherhood among peoples sharing a mutual history and culture. With eternal love and profound respect for my beloved parents. George and Isabel Tashji, the pages herein are dedicated to their sacred memory in gratitude for their gift of lout.

'Dearest mother and father, in your name I offer the reader a true living story of my lifelong efforts in an area which not one person of my ethnicity has had the courage or the desire to dwell. In your wisdom you have instilled in the hearts of your two sons the philosophy that love must prevail over hatred. For your monumental gift to us to be free of animosity, I pledge to you to continue your mission of cultural harmony. and therefore. I dedicate this work, before the world, to you both in your beloved memory.

Your loving son, Edward

In the preparation of this autobiography there was no interview with or material obtained from any historian, government official, or university academician. There are people to whom I remain eternally grateful for their guidance. their moral support. their encouragement. and above all. their love not only for me but for all humanity. As the pages which follow will describe, the significant contributions made by the people below, are presented here with the deep love, profound respect. and undying appreciation:

My beloved late parents, George and Izabel Tashji: my beloved wife of forty-two years. Mary; Mr. Tarik Bulut. the late Dr. Selahattin Buyukunal. Dr. Oktay Cumhur Akkent. Mr. Ergun Kirlikovali, His Grace Bishop Vsevolod of Scoples. the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church: the Archbishop. Metropolitan and clergy of the Syrian Orthodox (in Turkish. Suryani) Church. and Dr. Ata Erim. I pray God bless each of them for their wisdom. compassion and humanity.

As the names listed above. will be included in this hook, additional information in this section would be repetitious. However. I must in all good conscience. extend proper recognition to a gentleman who is beyond praise. and certainly beyond my ability to honor him with expressions of respect. love, and profound gratitude. For years. Dr. Ata Erim had urged. pleaded, at times with frustration and a hint of anger in his voice, demanded that this book be written. Without his friendship. his patient guidance, and support, this compilation of historical events and years of experiences, this biography would not have been brought to print.

I remain in your eternal debt, dear friend. my mentor, my beloved brother!

The American College dictionary defines the word autobiography as "an account of a person's life written by him./her." It is obvious that my edition was printed at a time prior to our "political correctness" era, for certainly the definition should also include: "... by herself"

Now we may correctly proceed. Bookshelves are filled with published materials pertaining to every facet of human existence, of civilization. religion, science, nature, history, politics. and as an example of our "advanced" civilization, we may include even books about pornography. Name the subject to be sure someone somewhere has written a book about it: Historic events, famous people,art,discoveries,inventions, cookbooks, ad infinitum: yes each has been researched and written about by authors worldwide since the inception of the printed word. So does the world need another biography? Probably not. especially since the author in his lifetime has not. and most likely will never be recognized for any appreciable achievement or success. Now that we have concluded With our humility, permit me to describe the sincere feelings of many people who would challenge even the suggestion that this writer has not achieved success and fame during his lifetime. It should be understood that neither has been my objective in my lifelong efforts pertaining to Turkish-Armenian history and relations. As a result we have been manifestly condemned by one community and praised by another.

The first time a suggestion was made to tile that I should write a book took place in 1968: the significance of that year will be described in a later chapter. Since then, till the present time many people, even those not personally involved in the subject matter, have repeated to me this idea. not merely to be complimentary. but because they truly believed that there was a need for our story to be told. After a long and deeply personal consideration. agreeing that this biography indeed had to be a story unlike any other, I decided to go ahead. Most assuredly.

there would never be a similar true life experience as will be described in these pages.

But written by whom?
Certainly not me! I was born of humble background, suffered poor health during my youth. was shy, lacking the scholarly credentials of even a novice author, and as if these were not challenging enough, I had never considered myself capable of influencing the intellect or the emotions of anyone beyond the age of six. So. no. not ine. certainly not to pen an autobiography'.

"But who knows better the events of your life. than you'?" I've been asked. "How, can you deny to people of good will, irrespective of their national origin, your efforts on behalf of harmony and brotherhood among peoples'?"

Now at the final stage of my life, dispelling earlier negativity. I have begun the humble attempt to describe here the events in the life, of this writer. As extremely helpful have been the individuals revealed in my acknowledgments. especially Dr. Ata Erim. I have come to recognize that ours is a living story which conveys a message to all peoples.

By any measure. we can not observe our country and nations world wide, without the realization that Mankind is at the threshold of self-destruction. Hatred. racism, political confrontation, famine, poverty,pollution, crime and immorality. Sounds very depressing, does it not'?

This book does not suggest that the solutions for the problems which plague the earth are to be found in these pages. But it does offer the reader a factual account of one average American's lifelong dedication to the reduction. if not the total elimination, of the worst of our world's ills - that being hatred. In fact, as a result of our humble efforts we have proven that indeed goodness and compassion can eliminate hate and vengeance. Success might be achieved with a college degree. it might be baking a cake. and it could conceivably even he transforming hatred into love.

Is this what we have done'? As you read these lines, are you asking if this author claims to have uncovered a mysterious formula to an unattainable equation'? The answers are debatable, which means sonic have said that I have not succeeded - in tact committed grievous and unforgivable sins against my people. While at the same time and with equal emphasis. others have said quite the contrary, that our tireless efforts and immeasurable successes are worthy of the highest praise, as they serve as an endeavor which should he emulated by all peoples of this faltering earth. The reader of this book will hopefully decide. opting for a condemnation or commendation. For me, unequivocally. 1'd hope it would be the latter - but then you expected this sentiment, yes'?

The lifelong effort, the fervent wish. coupled with the fusion of' emotion, frustration, sadness, and joy, has prompted this continuation of the ancestral brotherhood between the Turkish and the Armenian peoples. Well, that is just fine: but if you are not of either background. why should you be interested enough to read this book?

Firstly, you have paid the price of this book and it would be a waste to discard it while you are reading the Foreword. Secondly, and far more importantly, if you are a loving parent, if you are closely affiliated with any religious or educational institution. if you are concerned about the historical accuracy of a loyal and staunch ally of the United States, and finally it' you believe that goodness must prevail over evil, then this is a story worth reading. My main challenge in this work is to maintain the interest of the reader, especially if the reader is outside of the Turkish and Armenian communities. But the offering of this text promises to be factually informative and accurate. while hoping to be philosophically stimulating. Whether I succeed in this endeavor. at this time remains uncertain: however. the accuracy of the following pages and the honesty of my motivation in preparing this autobiography is totally irrefutable. The reader will find no pseudonyms, no mythical places or events, in this work: there will be authentic names, places, dates (where possible) or events, from which has evolved an American "Friend of the Turks."

And now, the controversy, the inexplicable dilemma which this writer has faced most of this life. As the pages herein will reveal, there has been, for well over eighty years, a manifestation of' bitter hatred within the Armenian community (outside of the Republic of Turkey). toward the Turkish nation and her people. It' the reader has even a minimum knowledge of' the history of these peoples, it is a certainty that the Armenian version of the events which had taken place in Otto-man Turkey during the early years of this century, have been read over and over again. In the United States of America and in many other countries, the Armenian perspective of the most tragic period of 'Turkish-Armenian history has been accepted as historical fact. As a result, a relentless and highly financed movement fully active to this day -remained unchallenged, and numerous non-Armenian authors have written books on the subject of a mythical genocide inflicted upon the Armenian population of Turkey. During this monumental onslaught upon the history and honor of the Turkish people. what was the response of Turkey and in particular. the Turkish-American community?

Defying all comprehension, there was no response, no effective action to correct the historical fabrications of extremist political groups functioning to this day. in the United States.

The one day there appeared an individual born of an Armenian mother. who publicly declared his strong opposition to the Armenian position, and there you have my inexplicable dilemma: Do I follow the popular and espoused position of my own people. or do I remain faithful to my own fundamental principles, and attempt to give voice to countless facts which must be considered if there is to he a rational and unbiased review of this most contentious subject? The latter has been my choice!

The writer has referred briefly to his parents and their two sons. of which he is the younger. As this autobiography will describe actual names and events. a more specific identification of my family and that of myself, I believe, would assist the reader in being more aware of the background of one who has become to be known as a "Turk Dostu" in Turkish, or: Friend of the Turks.

My mother, whom I have identified as being born of Armenian ancestry, was born in the city of Balikesir (Ottoman) Turkey. My father was the only child of Syrian Orthodox parents born in Urfa (Ottoman era) Turkey, known today as Sanliurfa. This community known as Suryaniler in Turkish, had (and still does), prospered in culture and religion for centuries, as did all the ethnic and religious groups. within the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman millet system was instituted to differentiate the many segments of its population such as: Greek, Arab, Jewish. Kurdish, Armenian, Muslim Turkish. Syrian Orthodox, among others. A land of multiple faiths, languages, and ethnic origins, flourishing in harmony, long before these freedoms came to the new world. Because my father was not an ethnic Armenian, the suffix ion or van. does not appear at the end of our surname.

My wife's parents were both of Armenian birth, also born in Ottoman Turkey. Her father. who died in Massachusetts. USA, when she was three years of age. had been born in Adiyaman, and her mother had been born in Harput. In her home Armenian and English were spoken, whereas in ours my parents spoke to my bother. Terrence. in Turkish and to me in Armenian. We were raised with the culture, the foods, nutsic, and the history of our parents and people as described by them. totally void of all animosity, for the land, the nation, and the people of The Republic of Turkey. This was their legacy to their sons.

May they rest in peace.

Table of Contents:

a. The lives and experiences of my parents.
b. The calamity of war and relocation. ca. 1915
c. A horrific journey concludes in survival.

a. My parents meet for the first time.
b. A refugee girl. an Ottoman officer, and a letter
c. Marriage, an interpreter in Aleppo, and a major opportunity.
d. Separation as father emigrates to the U.S. of America.

a. A dishwasher's day off: an entire day in a movie theater.
b. One year of separation. reunion in Troy. New York.
c. Hard working parents have two sons and become home owners!
d. Home life. community life, and adjustments.

a. To the older son in Turkish. and to the younger in Armenian.
b. Many stories and comments but Turkish interest was distant.
c. Awareness of anti-Turkish sentiment outside our home.
d. This scenario extends to our lives in New York City.

a. In our home, friendship with Turks begins.
b. A marriage, n1c1 country style: it was arranged.
c. The first Middle-Eastern band in New York.
d. "Mom. I've found a Turkish family. here. in St. Albans'"
e. The Turkish .Van in our home; the epitome of reconciliation.

a. "Welcome my children, this is your home."
b. The message of ALL religions fulfilled in our home.
d. The Turkish Navy returns, letters maintain our brotherhood.
c. Our first visit to Turkey; and my destiny becomes irrevocable.

a. A totally inconceivable experience. 1968.
b. From the leaders of government, to the humble of Anatolia.
C. At the Mausoleum of Ataturk. a statement in the Book-of-Honor.
d. "I implore you sir. this book must be translated."

a. Become members of a Turkish-American Association.
b. Early activities extend 17 years in the Anadolu Club.
e. Public speeches, meeting, demonstrations, thousands of letters.
f. Our third trip to Turkey; 1988 meeting with the third President.






Author's Note
There is no conceivable way In which the author can prove the statements, opinions, descriptions of a life in Ottoman Turkey as revealed to me in our home, during the lifetime of my beloved parents. Within the front chapters of this book, where the influences of my parents had manifested itself in our home. are specifically described as I remember them. Their factual experiences arc presented here with no exaggerations or personal interpretations on my part. if I were to enter in these pages untruthful statements or experiences of my parents. I might deceive the reader: but one day, maybe very soon, I will have to answer to my God for any deliberate deception. In order to make or prove a point. I have not resorted to fraud of any kind, this I solemnly swear to you. the reader.

In like manner, where the author lacks specific knowledge of names, dates, places. and events, it will be so stated. I am now living the final phase of my life and the purpose fir this autobiography is not self aggrandizement or financial gain. This authentic compilation of events and experiences strives to emphasize a philosophy of love and compassion being far more desirable and constructive than hatred and the corruption of young minds. Before my God, this is my legacy. not only to the Turkish and Armenian peoples. but to all Mankind. Accept this therefore as my humble effort to continue the love and the wisdom of my beloved parents to a degree far beyond their expectations, and certainly beyond my scope to fully comprehend my destiny of becoming a most unique Friend of the Turks.

Edward Tashji

1. It began in in Ottoman Turkey
This most unique story began in Ottoman Turkey. many years before the birth of the author. How then, it may be asked, could an autobiography begin before the author was born? As the reader will discover. this authentic description of' the life of one "average" American. is filled with many inexplicable events which had confounded peoples of different backgrounds, as well as the author himself. It is the events which took place in a country about which most Americans had little knowledge during the Ottoman period, which are most pertinent to this factual story as it brings together a young man and a young woman who had very little in common. but shared the total upheaval and human suffering caused by a World War conflagration which had destroyed their way of life in their homeland. As far as knowledge or recognition is concerned, I feel many of my fellow-Americans would have difficulty in locating a staunch ally of the United States. a nation of almost seventy million people. on the world map.

Mother Izabel Tashji was born as Zabel Tashjian, in Balikesir. Turkey, to Armenian parents in a family of six children. Father George Tashji was born as the only child of Survani (Syrian Orthodox) parents, in the town of Urfa, Turkey. His name had been Circi (pronounced Jirgi) Monotar. 'Tashji. and much of his life in Urfa (today known as Sanliurfa), remains unknown to this writer due to the fact my interest in our family history had not developed during the lifetime of my beloved father. I do know my paternal grandfather had been crippled by severe arthritis, which to a lesser degree has been passed on to me. My paternal grandmother had devoted her life caring for her invalid husband; and each of them had aspired their son would become a doctor. Though his youth was uneventful, my father became educated and had been fluent in Arabic, French. Armenian, Ottoman Turkish, and English. He spoke and wrote these languages. and as fate would have it. his linguistic accomplishments were to be most beneficial to him toward the conclusion of the First World War.

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ISBN: 193057435-5 Printed in the United States of America
Rose International Publishing House
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced. stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted. in any term or by any means. electronic, mechanical, photocopying. recording or otherwise, Without prior permission of the publisher and the copyright holder.

1. Printing: July 2004
2. Printing: August 2004
3. Printing: April 2005


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