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25 January 2009

2715) Media Scanner 25 Jan 2009 (106 Items)

  1. Turkish PM stresses relations in congratulatory message to Obama
  2. Taraf - Scanner
  3. From The Margins: On The Inside, Are We Hrant Dink? Patrick Azadian
  4. Armenian Journalist Hopes Obama Will Protect Foreign Workers Rights
  5. Turkish FM Phones U.S. Counterpart
  6. Turkish Premier Congratulates Obama
  7. Association Launches Campaign To Confront Turkey's 'Unofficial' History
  8. Cooperation With Diaspora Should Be Moved From Charity Direction To Business Cooperation Sphere
  9. Susan Solomon: Lessons Learned From Teaching In A Distant Land
  10. Churchill's Crimes From Indian Holocaust To Palestinian Genocide
  11. New U.S. Administration's Policy On 'Genocide' To Affect Turkey-Armenia Relations
  12. Obama & Change-But How?
  13. Israel, Turkey & Genocide Politics
  14. Hrant Dink Day In London
  15. Armenian Diaspora Targets European Turks
  16. Obama To Promote U.S.-Armenia Relations, Aca Says
  17. Obama Brings New Hopes For Turkey Emrullah Uslu, Jamestown Foundation
  18. Turkish-American Relations In Obama Presidency: What Will Change?
  19. Open Letter To Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
  20. Armenian Culture Minister Assures That Not Armenian Monuments In The Territory Of Armenia Are In Very Good Condition
  21. Republic Of Armenia Has Diplomatic Relations With 153 Countries
  22. Expectations By Americans & By Obama
  23. Barack Obama May Face More Trouble Than Acknowledged
  24. Cheapening Change In Turkey
  25. Obama Presidency Boosts Both Expectations & Fears In Turkey
  26. Turkish PM Says Many Problems Waiting For Solution From Obama
  27. As Obama Says, ’I Do,’ Turks Ask, ’Will He?’
  28. Letter To President Obama
  29. Political Situation In Armenia From Intellectuals
  30. Letter To Obama: Turkey In An Arena Of Trials Inauguration Day
  31. Turkey Risks Credibility In Washington-Analyst
  32. Water Finds Its Crack:Armenian In Turkey Written by Hrant Dink
  33. Hrant Dink: I Am The One Who Understands His Nation's Pains And Bears That Burden Alin Ozinian - Hrant Dink
  34. Armenian-Turkish Relations Again At The Core Of Discussions
  35. The EU Pays Huge Money To Organizers Of Internet-Campaign For Apologizing To Armenians In Turkey
  36. Book "Imagining Armenia"
  37. Output In Italy "Stones On The Heart" Of Alice Tachdjian
  38. End Of Armenian Taboo In Turkey
  39. Strange Methods Of Turkish Press
  40. Genocide, Crime Defined Variable
  41. Day Of Reflection On Criminalization Of Holocaust Denial Pan
  42. Talat Pasha: Mémoires D'outre-Tombe
  43. Turkey: Call For Complaint Against Racist Association
  44. Turkey:Tree Of Gül
  45. Denial Of Armenian Genocide: Change In History Curriculum In Turkey
  46. Language Problem Between Turkish & Azeri
  47. Rwandan Genocide: Witness How The Comics?
  48. Revenues From Armenian Emigration In Sharp Decline
  49. Fethiye Cetin "Democratization Movement Of Turkish Society Is Inevitable"
  50. Turkey Will Quickly Recognize Armenian Genocide, As Composer Ara Guevroguian
  51. Clinton Evades Question On Claims Of Genocide In Senate
  52. Turkish Developed 'Spy' Satellite
  53. Flash Mob To Remember Hrant Dink In Istanbul
  54. Armenian Assembly Of America Welcomes Appointment Of Leon Panetta
  55. Meeting Between Armenian & Turkish Diplomats
  56. "I Ask Forgiveness" Géosociologique Analysis Of Signatories Of The Petition Of Turkish Intellectuals
  57. Jacques Remiller- Ump Deputy Mayor Of Vienna: Vienna Second Land Of Armenia
  58. Shall We Also Apologize from ASALA?
  59. Tribute To Black Sea’s Disappearing Cultures
  60. Israel Suppresses Armenian Genocide Recognition Campaign In U.S.
  61. “ Courageous & Honest Turkish Intellectuals” Are On Stage!
  62. Future Belongs To The Ones Who Have Clairvoyance
  63. Personal Dignity Problem Of Collaborators
  64. Undertaking Crime, Not Committed
  65. Ilhan Selcuk: Ergenekon Case was Planned by US and NATO
  66. New U.S. Administration Majority Stands For Armenian Genocide Recognition
  67. "It Is A Mistake To Consider Armenia Partially Free"
  68. Mr. Ara Sarafian Speaking As Archivist & Not As Historian
  69. America Ushers In Its 1st African-American Commander-In-Chief:44th President Obama
  70. System of Down & Eurovision: False Turkish Claim Exposed By Harut Sassounian
  71. Open Letter To Ara Sarafian
  72. Attempt to Character-Assassinate David Boyajian, Critic of ADL's Denial of Armenian Genocide
  73. Florida Turks Complain: "Never A Break...They Started Again!" Appo Jabarian
  74. Fethullah Gülen's Grand Ambition: A Self-Described "Man Of Tolerance" Is Anything But: Turkey's Islamist Danger: Is Fethullah Gulen Turkey's Khomeini? by Rachel Sharon-Krespin
  75. Islamists Approach Europe: The AKP Seeks To Islamize Not Only Turkey But Also Europe Bassam Tibi
  76. Petition To Excuse Turkish Armenian Intellectuals Answer Intellectuals
  77. Baskin Oran: "Undermining One Of The Biggest Taboos Of Turkey"
  78. Statements Of Ibrahim Sahin Impact On Armenians
  79. Taboo Of Genocide Broken
  80. Armenia Threatens To Leave The Council Of Europe
  81. B. H. Menendez Urges Clinton To Reaffirm Its Support For Armenian Genocide
  82. Reactions To The Conflict In Palestine And The Petition Of Apology To Igdir Mosque
  83. George Bush Thanked Armenia
  84. Intellectuals: Witnesses Of Their Own Era" M Balbay
  85. Former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel Reacts To Petition As An Excuse
  86. Restitution Of Property Looted During 1915 Genocide
  87. Liberté Pour L'histoire - Report Of Activities 2008
  88. Appel De Blois
  89. Armenians in US Praise CIA Chief
  90. Ben and Gil Meeting
  91. Coordinated Effort Through Democracy
  92. Future Of South Caucasus & Its Neighbors Conference Due In Istanbul
  93. Shahan Kandaharian: Turkey Between The Devil & Deep Sea
  94. ANCA: Menendez Urges Clinton To Reaffirm Armenian Genocide
  95. Armenian Cave Yields Ancient Human Brain
  96. Genocide Study Trap David B. Boyajian
  97. Vladimir Timoshenko: "Fact That Armenia Has A Large Amount Of Arms By No Way Guarantees Its Success In War"
  98. Anca Food Drive Needs You Now
  99. Angered by Turkish Criticism over Gaza, Israel May Recognize Armenian Genocide Sassounian
  100. Eternal Damnation Of Spotless Mind On Dangers Of Forgetting New Republic
  101. "Ara Sarafian Sinking In Quicksand Of Turkish Denial" Appo Jabarian
  102. Criminalization Of Holocaust Denial In Holland: Kamerlid Voordewind Table A Draft Law
  103. Timsales Karabekir Yildiran: "Armenian Genocide Does Not Exist"
  104. Armenia-Turkey Match Award By Price Of Fair Play Fifa
  105. Cultural Center In Eskisehir Forbidden To Jews & Armenians
  106. Egemen Bagis, Holocaust Denier Appointed Negotiator For Turkey To Join EU
. .

Turkish PM stresses relations in congratulatory message to Obama
Turkey’s prime minister stressed the preservation of relations and the strategic U.S.-Turkey partnership in his message of congratulations to President Barack Obama, the Anatolian Agency (AA) reported on Sunday.

"The preservation of the relations and the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States is of great importance not only for the national interests of our countries but also for regional and global peace and stability," Erdogan said in his message to the White House.

Erdogan re-affirmed his invitation to the U.S. president for a forum meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations which is scheduled for April.


BABCAN CONGRATULATES CLINTON
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan called to congratulate his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton on her new post late Saturday, AA reported citing diplomats.

The two top diplomats affirmed a strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States, saying that the two countries would work closely on regional issues as well as at the U.N. Security Council.

Babacan and Clinton also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East, stressing that frequent consultations would be useful on common issues on the agenda of the two countries. © Copyright 2008 Hürriyet



Armenian Analyst: Obama's Assumption Of Power Not To Change Us Policy With Respect To Black Sea Region 2009-01-24
ArmInfo. Barack Obama's assumption of power will not change the US policy with respect to the Black Sea region, independent analyst Igor Muradyan told journalists, Saturday.

"The problem is that the team around Obama is very interesting, professional, integrated in various power and analytical structures, but at the same time the team structure is far from the structure planned at the beginning of Obama's presidential way",- he said. Judging by this, Igor Muradyan thinks that the US policy with respect to Armenia and the whole region will undergo no changes.

"The USA will be gradually increasing its presence in the Black Sea region, as well as in the Central Asia. This is proved by many things; the fact that Robert Gates has remained US Secretary of Defense talks about various things",- said the analyst.

"The USA's interest in the Black Sea region is not just a caprice. The given region is closely connected with the issue of the US state security. Therefore, in the near future we should expect not the withdrawal of Americans from the region, but the consolidation of their presence",- concluded Muradyan.


Turkish Daily News January 23, 2009 Taraf - Scanner
"The events of 1915" and "Armenian claims on the events of 1915" are going to replace "so-called Armenian genocide" in news texts of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, or TRT, and Anatolian News Agency, or AA

MGK reached a decision in 2005 to use a more mild tone in relations with neighboring countries and to avoid the use of terms that create hostility between societies. The first step that year was removing hostile statements against Greece from schoolbooks and in 2007 a second step was made toward Armenia.

As there was no diplomatic relations between the two countries at the time, however, the act was an indirect one. Since September 2007, comments from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, publications of the Ministry of Education and news texts from TRT and AA have avoided the use of "so-called Armenian genocide."

It was reported that a board within the MGK formed to fight the claims of Armenian genocide cooperated with the Ministry of Education to eliminate hostile comments against Armenians from schoolbooks as well. The texts on the Web site of the Foreign Affairs Ministry including the "so-called Armenian genocide" have been changed as well


Today's Zaman, Turkey Jan 24 2009 What Can Obama Do For Me? Viewpoint - Zak Ettamymy
This is a question we Moroccans forget to ask our selves, we also forget to analyze the candidate, scrutinize him and his policies, demand a clear standing about issues that concern us as a group, a small group, but a potentially influential one, the Moroccan Diaspora; with its Muslims, Jews, Educated, Laborers, Students and mothers of a generation of Moroccan-Americans all have one passion, Morocco and its well being.

I took my time to support President Obama, I did not write during the Obama-euphoria after his election, I had to wait and see his commitment to world peace, ending injustice and above all on being a friend of Morocco and the Arab world. Why not? My vote counts and I can be demanding too. I wanted my vote to go to the person who can serve me best and serve my family and of course who can help my country of origin, no apology needed here, we are what we are and we should not separate American politics with our passion for Morocco. This message is not for those who claim to recreate themselves in this country and forget their country of origin; not for those who blame Morocco for their mediocrity or their situation and especially not for self-hating Moroccans, it is for those who embrace America with its bad and good and love Morocco for its bad and good. As a Diaspora, and one of the highest proportion in the world (12% of local total population) we have an identity crisis, we all vote, in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Canada and the USA for millions of reasons, that's why are not listened to, we are not counted because we are too spread out , no candidate tries to approach us because we are not united under one ideology, we are widespread in the political spectrum of the western world.

Israel was created because the Jews influenced the English Empire and pushed with the force of its unity Rothschild and Belfort to declare Palestine a future home for the Jewish people. This is by far the most successful action of any Diaspora. The Armenian Diaspora is very similar in its long reach, using its number to face a much bigger opponent Turkey. We, the Moroccan Diaspora are still in the identity crisis phase, maturity comes with a real leadership and a big help from the government of Morocco. Unfortunately, our Diaspora is ill-represented by personal greed and the old (BBAK KHO SAHBI) mentality. Some of the so-called leaders of the Moroccans-living in America are a real disgrace to all of us, they represent us because they know someone who knows someone who knows someone back home not because of their achievements in this country where things matter more. What can Obama do for us with these people heading our community? Nothing, he would not even recognize our importance and our potential. But on a personal level, I love the fact that this country gives us the chance to be what ever we want as a person and to be able to fall back on that when the group does not exists or is below your standards, my list of things I want Obama to do for me, as I wait for a unified list of us:

A complete halt of associating Islam with Terrorism, Islam phobia should be as taboo and as illegal as Anti-Semitism

A balanced middle east policy and a halt to American Veto's when it comes to the killing of children

A recognition of what Morocco has been doing since day 1 for this nation

A full support of the Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara, the least expected from a friend.

A strong pressure on the Arab leaders to get their act together and support their population

A real consideration to the Arab street, it is the real mood of the Arab world not the leaders

And of course, Economy¦

Mr. Obama, these are my wishes and I am entitled to them because I voted for you


Glendale News Press, CA Jan 24 2009 From The Margins: On The Inside, Are We Hrant Dink? By Patrick Azadian
January 23, 2009 marked the anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian author who championed freedom of speech and tolerance.

On the occasion, some chose the slogan `I am Hrant Dink' to express their support. On many of Internet's social utility sites supporters swapped their personal images with that of Dink. One week in a red bikini in Vegas, the next, the photo of the journalist who risked his life for truth and identity.

The `I am Hrant Dink' slogan was unique, as it engaged Turks as well as Armenians.

Yet, the meaning of the campaign eluded me for many reasons. I am not trying to be cynical or anticlimactic. And although we all have the right to say what we want, I have some genuine issues with such symbolic gestures.

It would be different if journalists who live under oppressive conditions came together and began a similar campaign. The absolute truth is that I am not Hrant Dink.

I asked a Turkish friend to describe her impressions of Dink to me.

Dicle Cetin is a university student from Ankara. She traces her roots to an Armenian grandmother from a village named Habab.

Cetin wrote: `You could imagine the impossibility of giving his whole message in a few words and I can't dare to do it actually but first of all, I think he was more human than most of us, he was a `human' in the real sense of the word. He had respect for everyone and for all kinds of the opinions, he was able to communicate with everyone through his big heart and the most important thing is, he was defending what he really believed at the cost of being excluded from not only the Turkish society, but also the diaspora and the Armenian patriarchate. He was beyond the ordinary, he was not a man of `sides.''

Are we Hrant Dink?

People like Dink do not come along very often. Indeed, he was not a man of `sides.' He wanted the Armenians to set themselves free of the `poison' they carry in their veins because of the act of genocide. He did not allow the act of genocide to be the main determinant of his identity.

At any cost, her believed in freedom of expression. Before a law passed in France that made the denial of the Armenian Genocide illegal, Dink declared: `I will go to France and publicly declare that there was no Armenian genocide ' even though I fervently believe the opposite.' He risked alienation from Armenians.

Am I Hrant Dink?

Make no mistake, Dink did not forget the past. When referring to the genocide he once said: `Call it what you want. I know what happened to my people.'

His self-assured approach suggested that he cared intensely for the present and the future, not just the past. He exuded confidence reserved for individuals free of victim mentality.

And he did this in a hostile environment. Not from Glendale or Montreal. Not from Washington, D.C. or Paris.

Referring to his environment Dink said: `To be honest, I feel haunted day in, day out. Ever seen a pigeon? Seen how it keeps turning its head? It shudders at the slightest noise, ready to fly away any instant. Can you call that life? The difference is that I can't fly away like a pigeon.'

Are you Hrant Dink?

To limit Dink's identity to just a Turkish journalist fighting for liberty would be denying him of his complete self. Dink was unmistakably Armenian and was persecuted because of it. Dink believed that the state had no right to strip him of his identity.

Dink criticized the patriotic verse Armenian school children are forced to memorize. He said that the lines `I am a Turk, I am honest, I am hardworking' were objectionable because `even though [he] was honest and hardworking, [he was not a Turk, [he] was an Armenian.'

Are we really Hrant Dink?

Dink is still not fully understood in Turkey nor the Diaspora. So forgive me for feeling that the slogan `We are all Hrant Dink' can ring hollow at times.

I leave you with a few simple thoughts:

To my Armenian brothers and sisters: `Are we willing to free ourselves of our genocide-centric identity? How long will we allow an outside entity to dictate our actions?'

To my Turkish cousins: `Is your collective conscience clear? Are you proud of what your ancestors did to mine?'

We are not Hrant Dink.

. PATRICK AZADIAN is a writer and the creative director of a local marketing and graphic design studio living in Glendale. He may be reached at respond@fromthemargins.net.

www.glendalenewspress.com


Armenian Journalist Hopes Obama Administration Will Protect Foreign Workers Rights at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Armenia, Broadcasting Board of Governors, FreeMediaOnline.org, Georgia, International Broadcasting, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia, Surrogate Broadcasting, Ukraine, Voice of America -

Anna Karapetian, journalist from Armenia fired by RFE/RL

FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog, January 22, 2009, San Francisco ' Anna Karapetian, a journalist from Armenia who in radio broadcasts funded by the U.S. government reported on human rights abuses in her country, is one of many people around the world who see Barack Obama's inauguration as a hopeful beginning of a new era of change in Washington. Ms. Karapetian hopes that with Mr. Obama's strong commitment to protecting workers' rights, the new administration will end the policy of a U.S. government agency which can arbitrarily fire its foreign journalists working abroad and denies them many of the basic labor law protections available to Americans citizens and residents of other democratic countries.

The policy in question was instituted by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the Federal government agency which manages privatized U.S.-funded international broadcasting stations, such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Alhurra Television. Ms. Karapetian became one of the victims of the policy when she was fired from her broadcasting job at RFE/RL in the Czech Republic after almost 12 years of employment, which she describes as `impeccable,' with `very good' and `excellent' performance reviews.

Legal cases against RFE/RL's employment practices have been filed by the dismissed employees with the Czech Supreme Court, the Czech Constitutional Court, and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Reports critical of their treatment have appeared in Czech media and included statements of support from Czech politicians. In yet another major embarrassment for the BBG, one of the most respected world statesmen, former Czech president and human rights activist Vaclav Havel, promised to personally monitor the cases of the fired employees.

The PR problem created by these cases and the damage to America's image abroad can be traced back to the actions of a relatively small group of unelected U.S. government officials. Less than ten men and women, selected by the leadership of their political parties, appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, serve at any one time on the bipartisan Broadcasting Board of Governors. Most of them are political loyalists and private businessmen without much foreign policy and human rights advocacy experience.

During the eight years of the Bush Administration, the BBG, which is responsible for RFE/RL's personnel policies, greatly intensified its efforts to subcontract U.S. international broadcasting operations to privatized institutions. One of the major attractions of subcontracting was the realization by BBG members that unlike U.S. government employees, foreign workers hired abroad can be easily dismissed at any time and for any reason, or no reason at all, under the so-called `employment-at-will' doctrine. At the same time, the BBG was eliminating programs and terminating employment of American journalists working at the Washington-based Voice of America, which it also manages, while transferring Federal funding to these privatized stations.

After her employment was terminated by RFE/RL, Anna Karapetian, mother of three minor children, found out that unlike VOA journalists employed in Washington, D.C., and unlike her American colleagues working at the RFE/RL headquarters in the Czech Republic, she did not have the protection of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Federal Civil Rights Act, and many other U.S. anti-discrimination laws. The Czech government made sure that locally-hired Czech employees would have the full protection of the Czech labor law, but at the insistence of the BBG it allowed RFE/RL to exempt foreign journalists working for RFE/RL in Prague. They were placed under the Communist-era law, still on the books, which was used to facilitate the Soviet domination of Czechoslovakia after 1968.

The influential Czech, quite pro-American newspaper, `Lidove noviny' wrote in an editorial:

`Prague headquarters of RFE/RL, which pretends to be a messenger of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, behaves as an employer in such a way as if the principles it heralds are relevant `just' for the whole planet but not for what is going on inside that estimable organization itself.' Read Anna Karapetian's Open Letter.

This legal limbo was specifically sought by the BBG and RFE/RL to prevent court challenges by foreign-based journalists against adverse personnel actions. Shocked and angered by how she was treated by her U.S. taxpayer-supported American employer, Anna Karapetian wrote in an open letter to freedom of the press and human rights organizations that non-American and non-Czech RFE/RL employees working in the Czech Republic, who often come from semi-dictatorial countries of the former Soviet Union, have `about as much legal protection as the inhabitants of Guantanamo: not in the country of their origin, not in the place of their presence, nor in the United States.'

While the BBG's actions now appear to many as wrong and hypocritical, during the Bush Administration, both Republicans and Democrats serving on the BBG, became convinced that it would be easier for them and better for the White House's war on terror to manage U.S. international broadcasting as a series of private businesses exempt from many U.S. government laws and regulations. These political appointees consistently eliminated programs at the Voice of America, where journalists enjoy significant independence and strong legal protections against arbitrary actions by management and were viewed as being opposed to the BBG's and Bush Administration's plans to transform U.S. international broadcasting. While BBG members claimed that their strategy would result in greater effectiveness and savings of taxpayers' money, they have created multiple broadcasting units with multiple executive and administrative positions, which independent studies and media reports described as wasteful and lacking proper programming and fiscal accountability. ProPublica.org: Report Calls Alhurra a Failure

The fact that the neoconservative privatization agenda was led and implemented by a number of prominent Democrats on the BBG, including at least two former members with close links to Vice President Biden, may not bode well for Ms. Karapetian's hopes for significant reforms at the BBG and at RFE/RL during the Obama Administration. As a U.S. Senator, Vice President Biden was a major patron of a former BBG member, Norman Pattiz, founder of the now failing U.S. radio syndicate Westwood One, who pushed hard for the elimination of VOA broadcasting services, including its Arabic Service, and was the primary force behind the establishment of privatized stations, such as Radio Sawa and Alhurra Television for the Middle East. Many RFE/RL and VOA journalists still hope, however, that President Obama and his close advisors will pay attention to media reports of mismanagement at the BBG. According to the latest Federal Human Capital Survey (FHCS), the employees of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) have recently given the BBG Board members and the officials of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) the worst ever rating for good management and placed the BBG at the very bottom of Federal agencies. Broadcasting Board of Governors Rated Worst Than Ever By Its Employees and As One of The Worst Federal Agencies

During the last months of the Bush Administration, Edward E. Kaufman, another former Democratic BBG member who is now a U.S. Senator from Delaware and was previously Joe Biden's chief of staff, worked closely with BBG's former Republican chairman, neoconservative Bush appointee, James K. Glassman, who later became the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. They agreed to terminate VOA radio broadcasts to Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, and India. Thanks to highly effective coordination behind the scenes by the BBG executive director, Jeffrey Trimble, who was formerly acting president of Radio Free Europe/Radio

Liberty, the Board succeeded in taking VOA radio programs to Russia off the air just 12 days before the Russian military forces attacked Georgia last summer and then refused to resume them.

On December 31, 2008, the BBG also ended VOA radio program to Ukraine just hours before Russia cut off the flow of natural gas supplies to Ukraine and the rest of Europe. Only one BBG member, Blanquita Walsh Cullum, the only working journalist serving on the Board, was reported to have voted against these program cuts and reportedly also opposed many of the management practices supported by other BBG members. The other current BBG members are: Joaquin F. Blaya, D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, and Steven J. Simmons. The BBG web site still lists Condoleezza Rice as an ex-officio member, even though she is no longer the Secretary of State and therefore no longer sits on the Board.

Ted Lipien, president of San Francisco-based media freedom nonprofit FreeMediaOnline.org, said that while privatized U.S.-funded broadcasting to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union was highly effective at times during the Cold War, `this so-called 'surrogate' broadcasting model turned out to be totally outdated and inappropriate for providing news to the Middle East and the former Soviet republics under drastically different conditions.' Lipien pointed out that for most of the Cold War, RFE/RL journalists, who were based in West Germany, enjoyed20far greater legal protections, as well as being protected from intimidation by communist security services, than the current RFE/RL journalists based in Prague and elsewhere behind the former Iron Curtain.

In addition to eliminating U.S. jobs and severely limiting the rights of overseas-based foreign journalists, the privatization of U.S. international broadcasting during the Bush Administration also produced major fiscal and editorial scandals at the newly established private stations and at RFE/RL. Both Republican and Democratic BBG members hoped that these private entities would be far more effective than the Voice of America in delivering programs against Islamist extremism. But the loosening of programming and fiscal controls and employment protections for journalists combined with the BBG's marketing policy designed to maximize audience size regardless of local media conditions led to numerous editorial failures at the privatized entities. At the same time, as a result of BBG's actions, some of them taken within the last few weeks, the Obama Administration found itself without radio broadcasts by the Voice of America from the United States to many countries around the world.

Unlike VOA journalists, many broadcasters at the privatized stations do not have extensive experience in reporting news about the United States and American politics. Some broadcasters, especially at Alhurra Television and Radio Sawa, have been accused of lacking basic journalistic training. U.S. and international media outlets reported that Alhurra aired unchallenged statements by Holocaust deniers and RFE/RL was criticized by a Russian human rights organization for giving extensive airtime to a Russian politician known for his racist comments about ethnic minorities, Jews, and Blacks. FreeMediaOnline.org reported that the BBG also failed to protect RFE/RL journalists and other employees who are Russian citizens and work in Russia. There is strong evidence that these employees are subject to blackmail and other forms of intimidation by the Kremlin's secret police. `U.S. Taxpayers Pay for Spreading Racist Views on Radio Liberty in Russia: What Would Barack Obama Say If He Knew¦' Use this link to the ProPublica.org web site to view the Alhurra Holocaust report (with English subtitles) as an example of what the BBG's marketing strategy has produced at these privatized U.S.-funded stations:
http://www.propublica.org/feature/alhurra-video

Ms. Karapetian points out in her open letter that foreign journalists employed by RFE/RL face serious risks from security services of local dictators when they work in their own countries and lack legal protections if they work at RFE/RL headquarters in the Czech Republic. But despite her accusations of mistreatment, she defends RFE/RL as a journalistic organization with a distinguished history that is still much needed by audiences in countries without free media. She also expressed concern that the personnel policies applied to foreign journalists at RFE/RL are damaging U.S. reputation abroad and give encouragement to authoritarian leaders in the former Soviet republics. According to Ted Lipien, the lack of basic job security and legal protections makes foreign journalists employed by RFE/RL far more vulnerable to threats from the security services of the countries to which they broadcast. Their family members who live in those countries are also subject to intimidation.

Ms. Karapetian ended her letter with an appeal to press freedom and human rights advocates to contact the current RFE/RL president, Jeffrey Gedmin, and urge him to put into action a statement from his recent speech that `We have as RFE/RL our intellectual and moral compass¦ We also need to lead by example¦'. Anna Karapetian is hoping that being true to President Obama's promise of change, his administration will show greater respect for the rights of foreign journalists employed by U.S.-funded international broadcasters. (Some media reports use `Karapetyan' as the spelling of her last name.)

Despite the reported failures on the part of the BBG, RFE/RL continues to play a vital role in many countries and, according to Ted Lipien of FreeMediaOnline.org, can be more effective in other countries if some of the failed policies of the Board of Broadcasting20Governors are reversed. The ability to tell America's story to the world in Voice of America broadcasts, however, has been largely destroyed by the privatization policies of the BBG during the past eight years. Journalists at VOA and RFE/RL hope that the Obama Administration will institute quick reforms in the use of `soft power' in communicating with the world. America's image abroad would be improved by restoring Voice of America broadcasts and by putting an end to the shameful practice of restricting rights of foreign journalists who work on behalf of the United States, Lipien said.

The Obama Transition Team official responsible for international broadcasting is Ernest J. Wilson III, Dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. His email address is: ernest.wilson@usc.edu.

If you wish to protest or comment on the treatment of foreign journalists working for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, you may also send emails to:

Jeffrey Gedmin, RFE/RL President, addressed to Mr. Martins Zvaners, Associate Director of Communications: zvanersm@rferl.org

Jeffrey N. Trimble, BBG Executive Director, addressed to the BBG Office of Public Affairs, publicaffairs@bbg.gov


Turkish Foreign Minister Phones U.S. Counterpart
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has telephoned his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton, Turkish diplomats said on Saturday, congratulating her on assuming the new post as secretary of state.

The two top diplomats affirmed a strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States, saying that the two countries would work closely on regional issues as well as at the UN Security Council.

Babacan and Clinton also discussed latest developments in the Middle East, stressing that frequent consultations would be useful on common issues on the agenda of the two countries. 25 January 2009, AA


Turkish Premier Congratulates Obama On Assuming Post
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama on his assuming the post in a message he sent to the White House.

"The preservation of the relations and the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States is of great importance not only for the national interests of our countries but also for regional and global peace and stability," Erdoğan said in his message.

Erdoğan re-affirmed his invitation to the U.S. president for a forum meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations which is scheduled for April. 25 January 2009, AA


Association Launches Campaign To Confront Turkey's 'Unofficial' History
"Only countries that have confronted their past have been able to realize their democratization process. A society that wants to confront its past has to question its heroes and sacred values," says Aytekin Yılmaz, the general coordinator of the Association of Confronting the Past and Researching Social Events (Toplumsal Olayları Araştırma ve Yüzleşme Derneği).

The association was established with the support of human rights activists and the Young Civilians, a civil society group known for its use of sarcasm in protests, and is composed of many prominent intellectuals, including Ayşe Hür, Tanıl Bora, Mithan Sancar, Etyen Mahçupyan and Mesut Yiğen.

The association, whose motto is “Those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it,” believes that if the gangs of the early days of the republic had been convicted, the Turkey of today probably would not have to deal with the Ergenekon gang, a clandestine terrorist organization nested within state organs and charged with plotting to overthrow the government.

According to Yılmaz, the Ergenekon investigation is an important step in confronting the past.

“A society that is not able to control its military is a doomed society. The military has been a founding element throughout the history of Turks, including the republic. The Ergenekon investigation led to it being questioned. If the investigation continues further east than Sivas, the way toward confrontation with the past will be opened,” he says.

He says the common theme between Ergenekon suspects -- their opposition to European Union values -- calls to mind an event in history known as Vaka-i Hayriye (the Auspicious Incident), which resulted in the abolishment of the Janissary army of the Ottoman Empire.

“Ottoman Sultan Selim III wanted to change the structure of the army and realign it with the values of the West. He was not successful. Twenty years after him, Mahmud II was able to do so. It was a bloody event. Of course, as an association that is against all kinds of violence, we don’t mean a bloody event. But if the Ergenekon investigation enlarges and also discovers what really happened in Kurdish populated areas, it could be a new Vaka-i Hayriye.”

Yılmaz says the state does not want to confront the past since it is not ready to apologize and society does not strongly demand confrontation, making their aim difficult to reach.

“The burden of the past is extremely heavy, and we cannot talk about society’s courage in carrying it, but still, we don’t think we are demanding too much. We aim to question the official history,” Yılmaz underlines, adding that this is why they launched a campaign called “Unofficial Republic” together with the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER).

According to them, since the very beginning, there were two faces to the republic: One of them was the official ideology that the citizens were born to and the other an unofficial republic composed of people who were excluded from the official republic -- political opponents, Kurds, religious people, Alevis and minorities.

As part of the Unofficial Republic campaign, the association will organize a number of events during the year, the first of which will be an inquiry into five Turkish intellectuals who were victims of summary executions:

“Although we call them assassinations by unknown perpetrators, the truth is they were killed by ‘deep’ forces,” Yılmaz says. The five intellectuals whose assassinations will be discussed are Mustafa Suphi, a Turkish communist leader who was killed with 15 of his friends in the year 1920; Ali Şükrü, a deputy and the leader of the opposition against Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was killed by Atatürk’s bodyguard; Sabahattin Ali, a novelist who was killed because of his political views; Musa Anter, a Kurdish poet killed by JİTEM; and Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated two years ago.

“The official republic continues manipulating society and trying to make it believe its official history. Societies that are not able to discuss their heroes and sacred values cannot confront and reconcile with their past; we have to think about our heroes,” Yılmaz says.

Toward this aim, the association has another campaign of apology and recompense. Researchers will look into some names from history and re-evaluate them, for example, Mahmut Esat Bozkurt, one of the very first justice ministers of the republic, and Hüseyin Avni Ulaş, who was an opponent of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

“The İstanbul Bar Association presents awards in the name of Bozkurt. His name is given to streets in many cities; he is respected greatly. Remember that he said, ‘Everything in this country belongs to Turks, and other peoples in this country have only one freedom -- to be slaves of the Turks.’ For example, Hüseyin Avni Ulaş, who was tried in court for allegedly being involved in an assassination attempt against Atatürk in 1926 and later acquitted, was actually a deputy who opposed every undemocratic decision of the time, including the İstiklal Mahkemeleri [Independence Courts],” Yılmaz says. The İstiklal Mahkemeleri were extra powerful courts established in the early days of the republic to try the opponents of the republican regime.

He underlines that when researching the unofficial history of the republic, there is no paucity of sources. “Actually there is paucity of research into the unofficial history of the republic. The same sources of the official history can be used, too. It depends on how you read them,” he says.

But Yılmaz adds that establishments that research history should be independent, and this is why they will soon launch a campaign for the abolishment of the Turkish Historical Society (TTK).

He also points out that there are disagreements over where they should begin confronting the past, whether they should start from the earliest or the most recent events.

“It is possible to start from 1915 or from the assassination of Dink. But it is preferable to start with recent events since the memory of society is fresh,” Yılmaz says.

According to him, the official history of the republic is militarist, and most official historians are racists. “It is very difficult for official historians to be independent because it would mean that they have to contradict themselves and all the work they have done until now.”

“As long as the domination of the military over civil society continues, it is impossible to confront the past. The relationship between society and the military is like being in love with the executioner. The second obstacle is the lack of independence of universities. In order to confront the past and reconcile with it, a new language is needed,” Yılmaz emphasizes.
25 January 2009,


Cooperation With Diaspora Should Be Moved From Charity Direction To Business Cooperation Sphere Noyan Tapan
http://www.nt.am Jan 23, 2009

YEREVAN, . Diaspora's potential is not used completely for the sake of development of Armenia's economy. Gohar Gyulumian, the economist of the World Bank Yerevan Office, said at the January 23 discussion organized jointly by the Ministry of Diaspora and World Bank Yerevan Office. She said that one of Armenia's biggest official donors, WB cooperating with the Ministry wishes to help in the issue of improving the relations with country's biggest unnofficial donor.

According to G. Gyulumian's evaluation, cooperation with the Diaspora should be moved from the charity direction to the business cooperation sphere.

According to her, Armenia has a problem of integrating to international economy and coming out to foreign markets. And according to G. Gyulumian, the Armenians worldwide can have much contribution in that issue. However, at present there are a number of circumstances hindering that potential's use, in particular, breaking off Armenia-Diaspora relations in the Soviet years, not knowing each other well, which in its turn results in the lack of confidence and caution. "The problems are different, but we should think of overcoming these obstacles, as only in that case we can record success," she said.

According to Minister Hranush Hakobian, it is natural that Diaspora's whole potential is not used, as it is a very difficult and large phenomenon. "It is not one structure, with which we work well or badly. To work with 7 million Armenians, who are not subordinate to you in the structural respect and are not obliged at all to fulfill your tasks, is very difficult. It is purely with friendly, partner, patriotic motives that they should come and spend their time, use their knowledge, experience, and abilities for the sake of homeland's development," the Minister said.

H. Hakobian said that the Ministry is already doing some work in that direction. In particular, three professional all Armenian conferences will be held this year. The first is a conference under the title Armenian Architecture in the 21st Century. Besides, according to the Minister, an attempt is made to create an all Armenian network contributing to strengthening of not only Armenia-Diaspora, but also Diaspora-Diaspora contacts.


Susan Solomon: Lessons Learned From Teaching In A Distant Land MarketingProfs Daily Fix, January 22, 2009
Jan. 22, 2009 (MarketingProfs Daily Fix delivered by Newstex) --I'm back from the Fulbright in Yerevan, Armenia. And while most of my current thoughts seem to be on the increasingly intimidating task of finding a new position in the marketing world, I have also spent sometime contemplating what my family and I just experienced.It was the adventure of a lifetime.

We left a comfortable California home to live in a nation literally half-way around the world. Adjusting to the 12-hour time difference might have been enough of a challenge, but not for us. We jumped in with two feet " going to school, teaching classes and trying to exchange as much about our respective cultures as possible. In total, I taught 110 students through the local university and then the country's marketing association. They were both graduate students and young working adults. Officially, my focus was on public relations, which I have written about in earlier posts.

However, what seemed to have resonated most was my instruction in the world of new media. I tried my best to explore new media communication forms with the students. We experimented by creating a class wiki (I highly recommend this for every educator). We discussed case studies about LinkedIn,Facebook and other social media platforms. And the assignment that undoubtedly inspired the most creativity was the task of developing that essential instrument of today's public relations professional "the business blog. I set a few parameters for my students' blogging.

First, they were to use only Wordpress or Blogger. I made this stipulation so that no one would get bogged down in the mechanics of more difficult bloggingplatforms. Additionally, the blog had to be about an established business or, if they could not obtain permission, they could create a blog for their university or a tourism blog promoting a certain aspectof Armenia. I want to share with you a few of my students' blogs. I do this not to show what I introduced to the classroom. Quite frankly, anyone could have assigned a business blog to these classes. All the work came from the students " not me.

However, I want to share with you these blogs because I believe they are representative of what some very talented young people can accomplish when provided the tools for great public relations. I think you will agree that the following examples of student work go far beyond typical templated business blogs.

These are good examples of both strategic and creative thinking, produced by young people who will undoubtedly become talented public relations professionals. It was a privilege to get to know the authors of these blogs and a thrill to see their work. First, I want to show you "I Love My Child," a blog developed by Arevik Ohanyan and Ani Abgaryan. Arevik comes from a family of educators and a few years ago, she started her own kindergarten in Yerevan. For this assignment, she teamed with her friend and fellow MBA student, Ani, to create a very appealing blog. Yes, it promotes the kindergarten, but it provides so much more information for the reader. Arevik and Ani discuss parenting topics such as television watching and choosing a toy for your boy or girl.

I love the design of this cheerful blog. It says "happy childhood" while clearly being a resource for parents who want to learn more about raising happy, healthy kids. As citizens of the first Christian nation, many Armenians take their Christianity very seriously. The country's young people in particular are very interested in exploring their religion. My student, Arsen Sargsyan, is one of these dedicated young adults. He is an MBA student and works at the National Leadership Institute, a Christian education center under the auspices of the Armenian Apostolic church. Arsen's blog, "Explore the Meaning of Life" discusses the work of the institute and a lot more. Arsen uses personal experiences to help elucidate many key aspects of the institute's message. It is a great start to a blog with lots of promise.

Areg Barseghyan and Yura Yeghiazaryan are also MBA students who chose not to promote a particular business with their blog, but instead help develop tourism to their country. Their blog, "Touch the History," introduces readers to the sounds, sights and tastes of Yerevan. I especially love their insights into the club scene. With Areg and Yura's information, you won't be steered wrong should you find yourself after midnight and looking for somewhere to go in Yerevan.

I hope you enjoy reading these students' blogs. They're just three that are representative of the talent and insights of the young people I had the privilege of getting to know during my stay in Armenia. Thanks to Areg, Yura, Ani, Arevik and Arsen for letting me share their work. But most of all, a nod of appreciation to all 110 of my students who taught me much more than I could ever teach them. They showed me that with such bright, creative young people, the world " and my profession --are clearly in good hands.


Churchill's Crimes From Indian Holocaust To Palestinian Genocide By Gideon Polya CounterCurrents.org Jan 23 2009, India
In WW2 Churchill deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death, continued to foster Muslim-Hindu antipathy that led to the horrors of Indian Partition and persuaded his War Cabinet on racist Partition of Palestine. Yet the holocaust-complicit Anglo media, academic and politician Establishment is still in denial.

Last year I published an article in MWC News entitled "Media lying over Churchill's crimes. British-Indian Holocaust" in which I summarized 15 major crimes in which Winston Churchill was COMPLICIT (notwithstanding that he is deservedly our hero for leadership in the fight against Nazism).

Before this article was published, a Yahoo or Google search for the phrase "Churchill's crimes" yielded about three (3) articles about Winston Churchill's crimes - an extraordinary testament to the Soviet-style effectiveness of Anglo mainstream media, academic and politician lying, censorship, self-censorship, ignoring and denial.

After publication of my article on MWC News a Yahoo search for the phrase "Churchill's crimes" yielded a peak of 35,000 URLs which has shrunk (no doubt due to more Bush, neo-cons, and Zionist Anglo censorship) to 17,400. Indeed pro-Zionist Google censorship -deliberate LYING by omission - means that a Google search for the phrase "Churchill's crimes" now yields 999 URLs and the direct link to my evidently extremely high-impact article is completely missing.

For your convenience, I have simply listed below an expanded list of immense crimes in which Churchill was complicit as a racist soldier, politician, mass murderer and holocaust-denying writer - indeed he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 for his numerous published works, especially his six-edition set The Second World War in which he ignored his deliberate, remorseless murder of 6-7 million Indians in 1943-1945 [ I have provided estimates of violent and non-violent avoidable deaths in square brackets].

1. British Indian Holocaust (1.8 billion excess deaths, 1757-1947; 10 million killed in post-1857 Indian Mutiny reprisals; 1 million starved, 1895-1897 Indian Famine; 6-9 million starved, 1899-1900 Indian Famine; 6-7 million starved under Churchill, Bengali Holocaust 1943-1945].

2. Sudan atrocities [horrendous British atrocities after the Battle of Obdurman 1898].

3. Boer (Afrikaaner) Genocide [28,000 Afrikaaner women and children died in British concentration camps, 1899-1902].

4. World War 1 promotion [World War I Allied military and civilian dead 5.7 million and 3.7 million, respectively; German-allied (Central Powers) military and civilian deaths 4.0 million and 5.2 million; troop movement-exacerbated Spanish Flu Epidemic killed 20-100 million people world wide. 1918-1922].

5. WW1 Dardanelles Campaign in Turkey [0.2 million Allied and Turkish soldiers killed, 1915; precipitated 1915-1923 Turkish Armenian Genocide, 1.5 million Armenians killed].

6. UK and US invasion of Russia 1917-1919 [millions died in the Russian Civil War and the subsequent Russian Famine; 7 million died in the circa 1930 Ukrainian Famine; and perhaps up to 20 million died overall in Stalinist atrocities].

7. British suppression of the Arab revolt in Iraq (invaded by Britain in 1914) [bombing of Kurds, poison gas use (1920s); violent UK involvement on and off , 1914-2009; 1990-2008 Iraqi excess deaths 4 million; under-5 infant deaths 1.8 million; refugees currently 6 million].

8. Support for British Occupation and opposition to Indian self-determination [1757-1947 excess deaths, 1.8 billion; 1895-1897 famine deaths1 million; 1899-1900 Indian Famine, deaths6-9 million deaths; 1943-1945 Bengali Holocaust deaths 6-7 million].

9. World War 2 promotion [World War 2 military deaths 25 million and civilian deaths about 67 million].

10. Promotion of Japan entry into World War 2 in order to involve the US and hence ensure victory [35 million Chinese avoidable deaths, 1937-1945; 6-7 million Indians starved, Bengal 1943-1945; millions more died in the WW2 Eastern Theatre].

11. Churchill knew Singapore was indefensible [8,000-15,000 killed, 130,000 captured in the 1941 Malaya campaign; 14,000 Australian, 16,000 British and 32,000 Indian troops surrendered in Singapore].

12. Churchill deliberately did not warn Americans about Pearl Harbor attack [Eastern Theatre WW2 deaths 45 million].

13. WW2 Bengal Holocaust, Bengal Famine [deliberate starving to death of of 6-7 million Indians; confessed by Churchill in a letter to Roosevelt].

14. Churchill rejected top scientific advice and supported bombing of German cities instead of protecting Atlantic convoys [0.16 million allied airmen killed; 0.6 million German civilians killed; Battle of the Atlantic almost lost; 7 million dead from famine in the Indian Ocean region related to halving of Allied shipping in 1943].

15. Churchill acknowledged the crucial importance of maintaining Hindu-Muslim antipathy to preserve British rule [1 million dead and 18 million Muslim and Hindu refugees associated with India-Pakistan Partition in 1947].

16. 1944 UK War Cabinet decision Partition of Palestine [in 1878, Jews were 5% of the Palestine population; in 1948 Jews were 1/3 of the population; there are now over 7 million Palestinian refugees; post-1967 Occupied Palestinian excess deaths 0.3 million, post-1967 under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million; excess deaths in countries partially or completely occupied by Apartheid Israel now total about 24 million; 4 million Occupied Palestinians are still illegally and abusively imprisoned by racist Zionists in their own country].

17. UK rejection of 1944 Brand plan to save Hungarian Jews [0.2-0.4 million killed by Nazis and Arrow Cross fascists out of 0.7 million; Zionists also opposed the Brand plan]

18. British, American, Zionist, Australian and European adoption of Churchill's holocaust commission and holocaust denying legacy, with post-war atrocities involving invasion, occupation, devastation and genocide [in relation to Occupiers (in parenthesis) 1950-2005 excess deaths in post-1945 occupied countries total 2 million (white Australia), 36 million (Belgium), 142 million (France), 24 million (Apartheid Israel), 0.7 million (Apartheid South Africa), 23 million (Portugal), 37 million (Russia), 9 million (Spain), 727 million (the UK) and 82 million (the US); 25 million Indigenous excess deaths in post-1950 US Asian Wars; 9-11 million excess deaths associated with 1990-2008 Bush Wars; post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Iraq 2 million, refugees 6 million; post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Afghanistan 4-6 million, refugees 4 million].

To paraphrase mathematician satirist Tom Lehrer's song "The Elements", "These are the only Churchill crimes currently known to Harvard/But there may be many others that haven't been discARvered".

While pro-Zionist Anglo censorship evidenced above is utterly obnoxious, the Churchill Centre (US and world-wide) must be complimented for publishing a critical review of my article, a Review that adduced the opinions of major historians, including Professor Sir Martin Gilbert, an eminent historian whose works I and no doubt numerous others turn to for information about Churchill, World War 2 , the Jewish Holocaust and Jewish history (see: HERE ) . My responses to what I will refer to as "the Review" are listed below.

(1). The Review was quite nastily critical of my article and commencing with the false assertion "Mr. [Dr] Polya begins by dismissing all historians who disagree with him as Anglo-American and Zionist propagandists, including official biographer Sir Martin Gilbert" -what I DID say was,

"Yet, to list just s few examples of UK-US holocaust ignoring, there is absolutely no mention of the 1943-1945 Bengali Holocaust in the biography of Winston Churchill by pro-Zionist Professor Sir Martin Gilbert (Gilbert, M. (1991), Churchill. A Life (Heinemann, London); the recent histories by leading conservative Australian historian Professor Geoffrey Blainey (Blainey, G. (2000), A Short History of the World (Viking, Melbourne), Blainey, G. (2004), A Very Short History of the World (Viking, Melbourne), Blainey, G. (2005), A Short History of the 20th Century (Penguin, Melbourne); the recent history of Britain by pro-Zionist Professor Simon Schama (Schama, S. (2002), A History of Britain (BBC, London)); or even in an important book on Denial entitled "Denial. History betrayed" by Australian historian Professor Tony Taylor (Monash University, Melbourne; see my review ""Denial" book ignores UK and US genocide crimes" ).

(2). The Review says that it sought comment and obtained the following bald denial comment from Professor Sir Martin Gilbert: "Churchill was not responsible for the Bengal Famine. I have been searching for evidence for years: none has turned up. The 1944 Document volume of the official biography [Hillsdale College Press] will resolve this issue finally."

However with due respect for Professor Gilbert's eminence, (a) Churchill was the ruler and the Ruler is responsible for the Ruled; (b), 6-7 million Indians perished (latest estimate from medical historian Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya , Wellcome Institute, University College London); (c) 1998 Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen blames the Ruler for a needless disaster; (d) and most importantly Churchill himself actually Cconfessed his inaction as follows in a now-released secret letter to Roosevelt in 1944 in stating "I am no longer justified in not asking for your help" (p158, "Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in global sustainability").

For a recent, succinct account of the "forgotten" World War 2 Bengal Famine see the 2008 BBC broadcast involving me, 1998 Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen , Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya , Wellcome Institute, University College London and other scholars ).

(3) The Review then quite astonishingly supports my thesis and itself damns Churchill with the following,

"Arthur Herman's excellent and balanced Gandhi & Churchill (New York: Bantam, 2008, reviewed in Finest Hour 138: 51-52). There is quite a lot on the Bengal Famine (pp 512 et. seq.), which Herman believes "did more than Gandhi to undermine Indian confidence in the Raj." Secretary of State for India Leo Amery, Herman writes, "at first took a lofty Malthusian view of the crisis, arguing that India was 'overpopulated' and that the best strategy was to do nothing. But by early summer even Amery was concerned and urged the War Cabinet to take drastic action.... For his part, Churchill proved callously indifferent. Since Gandhi's fast his mood about India had progressively darkened.....[He was] resolutely opposed to any food shipments. Ships were desperately needed for the landings in Italy....Besides, Churchill felt it would do no good. Famine or no famine, Indians will 'breed like rabbits.' Amery prevailed on him to send some relief, albeit only a quarter what was needed."

Malthusian over-population as an excuse for allowing mass death is obscene. Yet Churchill put it more bluntly in the only public statement of Churchill's about the Bengal famine that I have been able to find is Churchill's notorious anti-Indian comment that "they breed like rabbits" as quoted by India 's Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Amartya Sen in an essay to Asian Institute of Technology (2002): "Winston Churchill's famous remark about the 1943 Bengal famine - that it was caused by the tendency of the people to breed like rabbits -belongs to this general tradition of blaming the colonial subject".

One has to turn to the Whitehall, London, UK supervisor of the 1840s Irish Potato Famine (1 million killed, 1.5 million emigrated) , Charles Trevelyan, for a comparably obscene viewpoint about man-made mass starvation: "This being altogether beyond the power of man, the cure had been applied by the direct stroke of an all-wise Providence in a manner as unexpected and unthought of as it is likely to be effectual." (1846, C.E. Trevelyan, the responsible Undersecretary for the Treasury, commenting in 1846 on the Irish famine as a "cure" for Irish overpopulation) (see p257, Edwards, R.D. and Williams, T.D. (1957) (editors), The Great Famine. Studies in Irish History 1845-52 (New York University Press, New York).

Indeed G.M. Trevelyan (Regius Professor of Modern History and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and grandson of the English official Charles Trevelyan who supervised the Irish Famine) fails to mention the Irish Famine (and the Bengal Famine) in his "authoritative" "History of England" (Longmans. London), except for a brief aside: "the potato blight in Ireland in 1845-6 left him [Peel] no other choice than either to suspend the Corn Laws or to allow the Irish to die by tens of thousands" i.e. he suggests that the Irish Famine [1 million dead, 1.5 million forced to emigrate] was something averted by benign English wisdom (see p114, Chapter 13, "Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History").

(4). The Review gets an opinion from historian Arthur Herman who, notwithstanding his "Churchill proved callously indifferent" above, states, QUOTE: "The idea that Churchill was in any way 'responsible' or 'caused' the Bengal famine is of course absurd. The real cause was the fall of Burma to the Japanese, which cut off India's main supply of rice imports when domestic sources fell short, which they did in Eastern Bengal after a devastating cyclone in mid-October 1942". However this is simply incorrect.

1998 Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard University, formerly at Cambridge University, who witnessed the Bengal Famine as a child and was awarded the Nobel Prize for studies on famines, including the Bengal Famine) is quite clear that the Bengal Famine was NOT due to absence of food but to greatly elevated price in a merciless, British-ruled free market in which those who couldn't buy food simply starved. Burma occupation, Churchill's shipping cut-backs, and divide-and-rule British granting of Indian provincial food autonomy and other factors all contributed to the real killer -the huge increase in the price of rice, the Bengali staple that led to millions starving in the midst of plenty.

(5). The Review then argues that "There was a war on. More pressing military matters were at hand which governed his actions and decisions". This is indeed the view put forward by Professor Martin Gilbert in his book "A History of the Twentieth Century. Volume Two 1933-1951" (William Morrow, New York , 1998) that is remarkable and praiseworthy in British historiography for actually mentioning the Bengal Famine,

[my additions in square brackets]: "In the summer of 1943, as supplies of rice ran out [incorrect], famine spread through Bengal. Its ravages were savage and swift. The poor, and villagers in the remoter regions were its main victims [people starved in Calcutta], not only in Bengal, but in neighboring Orissa and distant Malabar. Within a few months, as many as 1,500,000 Indians had died [6-7 million died, 1943-1945]. The Bengal Famine was one of the worst famines of the century [p522]...Between 1939 and 1945 disease and hunger had taken their toll, with war conditions making it much harder to organize alleviation. In Bengal, a million and half Indians died of starvation [6-7 million died in Bengal, Assam and Orissa] [p725]".

Professor Sir Martin Gilbert (who I quote regularly on Jewish History and the Jewish Holocaust) used the "excuse " for war exigencies for the inability of the British to take requiste action - yet he tells us in his Jewish Holocaust histories (e.g. Gilbert, M. (1982), Atlas of the Holocaust (Michael Joseph, London)) that 1 in 6 Jews died from deprivation. Just imagine if a history of the 20th century devoted just a couple of sentences to the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and commented "Between 1939 and 1945 disease and hunger had taken their toll, with war conditions making it much harder to organize alleviation". And yet Professor Gilbert's book "A History of the Twentieth Century" is an outstanding exception in British historiography in actually mentioning the Bengal Famine (6-7 million dead), the Bengali Holocaust that was indeed the first WW2 atrocity to actually be described as a "Holocaust" by Jog in 1944 (see Jog, N.G. (1944), Churchill's Blind-Spot: India (New Book Company, Bombay)).

Winston Churchill totally ignored the Bengali Holocaust (and the 6-7 million people he deliberately murdered) in his 6-volume work "The Second World War" for which in part he got the 1953 Nobel Prize for Literature - and Professor Martin Gilbert also ignores the Bengali Holocaust in his "definitive" history of Winston Churchill (see Gilbert, M. (1991), Churchill. A Life (Heinemann, London)). Just imagine a biography of Adolph Hitler that failed to mention the Jewish Holocaust.

In Austria today anyone denying or minimizing the Jewish Holocaust faces up to 10 years in prison and other European countries have similarly criminalized such denial. Indeed it is also an offence to deny the Armenian Genocide in France and Belgium and a few years ago Germany suggested that the EU criminalize denial of all recent holocausts (see "Genocide denial, No-penalty criminalization required now" in MWC News).

(6). The Review further quotes Arthur Herman [my corrections in square brackets]: "Churchill was concerned about the humanitarian catastrophe taking place there, and he pushed for whatever famine relief efforts India itself could provide; they simply weren't adequate [utterly incorrect]. Something like three million people died in Bengal and other parts of southern India as a result [6-7 million died]. We might even say that Churchill indirectly broke the Bengal famine by appointing as Viceroy Field Marshal Wavell, who mobilized the military to transport food and aid to the stricken regions (something that hadn't occurred to anyone, apparently) [Churchill repeatedly rejected Wavell calls for help]."

General Wavell's diaries repeatedly make it clear that Churchill hated Indians and steadfastly refused his pleas for assistance with the Bengal Famine (see Moon, P. (1973) (editor), Wavell. The Viceroy's Journal (Oxford University Press, London) and Chapter 14 and 15, "Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History")

(7). The Review makes the astonishing assertion that "If the famine had occurred in peacetime, it would have been dealt with effectively and quickly by the Raj, as so often in the past". British India was maintained by STARVATION - indeed a very good account of this is given (with shocking photographs) by pro-Zionist Simon Schama in his "History of Britain" (which nevertheless ignores the WW2 Bengal Famine) (see Schama, S. (2002), A History of Britain (BBC, London); also see Davis, M. (2001), Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World (Verso, London) and "Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History" by Gideon Polya).

British mass murder of Indians commenced with the Great Bengal Famine in 1769-1779 (10 million deaths), concluded with the WW2 Bengal Famine (6-7 million deaths) and Churchill-inspired Indian Partition - and in between excess deaths (avoidable deaths) in 2 centuries of racist British rule totalled 1.8 billion. Yet these horrendous realities utterly ignored by Anglo historians (with a few notable exceptions) in a process of continuing, racist holocaust denial.

This is what Colin Mason says of the Bengal Famine in his "A Short History of Asia" (Macmillan, London, 2000, p178): "The famine, little publicized at the time because of war-time censorship, and, inexplicably, still ignored by many modern histories of India and most standard reference works ... Several of the factors mentioned above suggest a British "scorched earth policy: design to deny assets in Bengal to the Japanese, at a monstrous cost, should they successfully invade India, Those consequences severely indict British policy-makers of the time, and the failure to investigate and acknowledge them, is to the discredit of all subsequent British governments".

Today we have the same continuing ignoring, denial, excusing and minimizing of not just the Bengal Famine (6-7 million dead) and the British Indian Holocaust (1.8 billion excess deaths) but of the continuing, present-day atrocities of the Palestinian Genocide, the Iraqi Genocide and the Afghan Genocide ( post-invasion excess deaths 0.3 million, 2 million and 4-6 million, respectively; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million , 0.6 million and 2.1 million, respectively; and refugees totalling 7 million, 6 million and 4 million, respectively).

There is an ongoing Muslim Holocaust that is simply ignored by the West. Thus post-1950 avoidable deaths (excess deaths, deaths that did not have to happen) total 1.3 billion (the World), 1.2 billion (the non-European World) and 0.6 billion (the Muslim World), these estimates being consonant with estimates of post-1950 under-5 year old infant deaths totalling 0.88 billion (the World), 0.85 billion (the non-European World) and 0.4 billion (the Muslim World). 16 million people die avoidably each year on a Spaceship Earth (roughly half of them Muslims) with the First World in charge of the flight deck. Yet this ongoing Muslim Holocaust is utterly ignored in the racist, lying, Zionist-dominated Western Murdochracies (for details see "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950", G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/Gideon-Polya ).

However man-made global warming (the major climate criminal culprits being Zionist-backed US- Bush and their White Australian lackeys) threatens an even greater atrocity of Climate Genocide that, according to top UK climate scientist Professor James Lovelock FRS, will leave only 500 million (mostly European) survivors by the end of the century. As with the Bengal Famine, the post-war global avoidable mortality holocaust, a large proportion of the victims of this looming Climate Genocide will be Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust about 1,000 times greater than the WW2 Jewish Holocaust.

The fundamental messages from the Nazi German Jewish Holocaust ) (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and the contemporaneous but "forgotten" (and when mentioned mostly "excused") British Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million dead) are "zero tolerance for racism", never again to anyone" and "bear witness".

Yet in the last few weeks, as of Day 23 the racist Zionists (RZs) running Apartheid Israel have killed 1,310 Gazan inmates of the Israeli Gaza Concentration Camp as reprisals for zero (0) Israelis killed by rockets from brutally and murderously blockaded Gaza in the previous year - a reprisals "death ratio" of 1,310/0 = infinity. Occupied Palestinian violent and non-violent excess deaths since September 2000 total about 6,100 and 35,400, respectively , as compared to 1,185 Israeli deaths (see "Palestinian-Israeli death ratios. Nazi-style Israeli Gaza war-crimes" on MWC News).

UK, US, White Australian and Israeli state terrorism against the non-European and Muslim world will simply continue as long as the deadly consequences of these present and past imperialist excesses are simply ignored by Mainstream media, academics and politicians in the Western Murdochcracies. The REALITY behind this Zionist-Bush-ite "terror hysteria" big lie is astounding: 7,000 Westerners killed by Muslim-origin non-state terrorists in 40 years (including Israelis and assuming, against substantial evidence to the contrary, no US or Israeli involvement in the 9/11 atrocity) versus 9-11 million violent and non-violent avoidable deaths associated so far with the Bush Wars, 1990-2009 (see "9-11 excuse for US global genocide. The reveal 9-11 atrocity: millions dead (9-11 million) in Bush Wars (1990-2009)" .

There must be zero tolerance for racism, invasions, occupations, mass murder and lying.

Dear Reader, you can do your bit in the War against Zionist-Bush Lies by (a) informing everyone you can and (b) by eschewing any avoidable business dealings with people, institutions, corporations and countries involved in the Palestinian Genocide, the Muslim Holocaust and the looming Climate Genocide.

Dr Gideon Polya, MWC News Chief political editor, published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003), and is currently writing a book on global mortality


Turkish-American Relations In The Obama Presidency: What Will Change? Journal of Turkish Weekly Jan 23 2009 Turkey
* Interview with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sedat Laciner, head of the USAK

The director of the Ankara-based Turkish think tank USAK Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sedat Laciner evaluates the future of the Turkish-American Relations under the Obama administration.

* Question 1: How do you evaluate the future of Turkish-American relations under the Obama administration?

S.L.: "During the Bush presidency, the relations between Turkey and US were severely damaged. The Washington administration has an immense responsibility in this case. Turkey gave full support to the US' combat against terror. In this regard, Ankara sent Turkish soldiers to Afghanistan and acted in accordance with its Western allies in order to capture the militants of Al-Qaeda in Turkey or anywhere. Meanwhile, Turkey undertook a constructive role in the Middle East problems. However, when the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) rejected the US' request to base US troops in Turkey for an assault on Iraq on March 1, 2003, the US' Turkey policy was completely changed. As a result, Washington started to implement a punishment strategy against Turkey. Turkey is a democratic country and the government must implement its policies in line with the decisions of the parliament. The Turkish Government sincerely wanted to pass the 1 March Parlaiment Note to allow the US troops to use Turkish territories, yet the Government had no option but to implement the taken decision."

* Question 2: In this regard, has Turkey's rejection of the 1 March Bill cost too much to the US?

S.L.: "Of course, if it were possible for the US troops to use Turkey's territory, it would definitely become easier for US to invade Iraq. But, the US administration made a fatal mistake. They did not pay enough attention to the Turkish parliament and did not respect its pluralism principle. In this period, the US promised to provide a huge credit at an amount of 30 billion dollars and thought that Turkey could not reject its request to use Turkey's territory (because, Turkey was trying to recover its economy after the 2001 great economic crisis). The US expected to exploit from Turkey's difficult situation. The sarcastic expressions of some American politicians caused a negative impact on Turkish parliamentarians and Turkish people. As a result Turkish democracy decided and it said "no' to the US soldiers. If the US could use Turkish route, of course the risks in the operation would have been decreased a lot.

Although the US could not enter Iraq from Northern part of Turkey, the US was surprisingly not seriously affected in terms of military bases. One of the most important reasons for this was the errant strategy of Saddam Hussein. Saddam did not presume that Turkey would refuse permission for US troops and deployed a large amount of soldiers in the northern part of the country. Meanwhile, the Kurdish collaborators with the US in the North also prevented the passage of Saddam's soldiers. Thanks to these developments, Iraq was occupied by US troops in a very short time and it was brought under the control of US with very few casualties. In this regard, it is not possible to say that the Turkey's rejection of the US paved the way to a big tragedy, as the Vice President of US Dick Cheney and some other politicians had claimed in the recent past. The US did not have many difficulties during the invasion of Iraq, but after the invasion.

The problems of the US in Iraq did not begin during the invasion, but later. The US easily occupied Iraq easily but could not administer the occupied territory. The US soldiers created serious problems in the region due to their wrong strategy, human rights violations, and being unaccustomed to the indigenous people. At this point, Turkey offered help to the US and the Turkish parliament ratified the decision to send Turkish soldiers to Iraq to help the US as a result of the intense efforts of the Erdogan government. However, the US did not show any desire to accept Turkey's attempts and made a special effort to keep Turkey and Turkish approach outside Iraq and outside the region. It can be said that the policies of the Bush administration regarding the Iraq issue were founded on the ground of punishing Turkey and to keep it outside the Middle East and Iraqi issues. In addition, the US did not give any support to Turkey in combating terrorism during this period, especially between the years 2003 and 2007.

Furthermore, many people in Turkey even stated that the US supported PKK terrorism. During this period, Turkish public opinion showed a strong and unprecedented reaction against the US' approach to PKK terrorism and the Kurdish issue. Almost every political group in Turkey thinks that the US was not candid about the PKK terrorism. In this context, the terrorism problem still remains the most important issue between the two countries.

This mistakes which occurred during the Bush administration would definitely pave the way to further problems in the upcoming years. Unfortunately, some people in Washington think that Turkish society can forget the bad things easily. Yet, this is not a true analysis. One of the most significant reasons for the Turkish parliament's rejection of the 1 March Bill was the repercussions from the two countries' previous run-ins. The Turkish intellectuals, bureaucrats, media, experts, and even laymen do not forget the US's biased behaviors regarding the 1964 Johnson Letter, the US's arms embargo on Turkey respecting Cyprus, and pro-Greek stance of the US in many occasions and the Armenian issue. Unfortunately, the Bush administration added new damaging even traumatic memories to the previous ones. Besides, the US soldiers headed bag the Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq. With these actions, the US not only punished, but also insulted Turkey. All of these bad memories would be remembered by the Turkish people and affect the relations between the two countries in the future. I am sure that no single Turkish soldier and citizen can forget the bag affair in coming years.

In this context, the new president must be aware of this heritage with good sides and with the sins and try to take action to eliminate the bad memories. He should ease the damages in the relations."

* Question 3: Finally, what do you want to advise the new US President?

S.L.: "First of all, the new president must give full support to Turkey about combating terrorism via a strong message. Although Iraq has been kept under the control of the US for about six years, up to now, the US military forces has not caught or arrested or judged any PKK terrorist. The PKK became stronger under the US occupation rule. In the following days, if the Obama administration could make a contribution by apprehending a famous name from the PKK, it would positively affect the US' image in the eyes of Turkish people. The US should do something in the PKK issue really important valuable to the Turkish people because the people here see the US somehow responsible for the increasing PKK terror.

Secondly, Obama must not act in line with the desires of the ultra-nationalist Armenian Diaspora. The US should keep its impartiality in the issue. While a historical dialogue process has been launched between Ankara and Yerevan, any radical expressions from Obama could damage this process. Obama should concentrate on today's problems rather than historical Armenian claims and support the efforts of rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia. He should not be emotional but realist. The only aim should be to establish Turkish-Armenian friendship on mutual interests of US, Armenia and Turkey.

Third, the EU membership of Turkey is of vital importance in terms of the peace in the Middle East and the relations between the West and the East. In conjunction with the full membership of Turkey, the EU would have a Muslim member country for the first time. Becoming an equal and strong member of the EU, Turkey can make significant contributions to the stability and development of the Middle East and greater East. Besides, Turkey would prove to construct a frank, constructive, and beneficial relationship for both sides between the Muslim and the Western worlds. In this way, Turkey could be a model country and success story for the Muslim world and help to eliminate the region's extremist religious groups. If the EU rejects Turkey due to the religious differences, this great mistake would be a great signal to the Muslim peoples in the world. The US can play a constructive role in bridging Turkey and the EU.

Finally the US must keep its promises in Cyprus. Turkish side fully support the Annan Plan, however while the Greeks strongly rejected the UN Peace Plan. The US and the EU promised a lot to Turkish Cypriots and Turkey before the referendum. However the side who was punished is the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. The US and the EU did not keep their promises. Turkish people are frustrated with the double standards in Cyprus issue. People here think that the EU and the US support the Greek Cypriots because of religious solidarity. I hope Obama will keep the US' words to the Turkish Cypriots."


New U.S. Administration's Policy On 'Genocide' To Affect Turkey-Armenia Relations Trend News Agency Jan 23 2009
Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 23 /corr. Trend News E.Tariverdiyeva /This year can become the year of normalization of the relations between Turkey and Armenia, and the policy of the new American Administration regarding "genocide" will affect these relations, however, not compulsorily negatively, experts consider.

"Incorrect step by the USA can damage the process of normalizing the relations between Armenia and Turkey", said last week the Foreign Minister of Turkey Ali Babajan, writes the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News newspaper reported.

During his pre-election campaign, the U.S. President Barack Obama, who took the office on Jan.20, qualified the events of 1915 in Ottoman Empire as genocide.

Being appointed to the post of the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton noted that the new U.S. Administration will be sequential in this question. During the election campaign Clinton unambiguously determined the position regarding "genocide". "I believe that the tragic events, organized and realized by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian population, will force the Congress and the U.S. President to recognize and remember the genocide of Armenians," Clinton said during the presidential campaign last summer.

After this, the statement by the Foreign Ministry of Turkey warned the new U.S. Administration against the recognition of the "genocide" of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, saying that "to consider the position of third country in this question is irrational".

The diplomatic relations are absent between Armenia and Turkey. In 1993 Turkey closed borders with Armenia in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in which it supports Azerbaijan.

On Sep. 6, 2008 at the invitation of the President of Armenia Serj Sargsyan, the President of Turkey Abdullah Gul arrived in Yerevan to watch the football match between the teams of Armenia and Turkey.

According to the observers, America's interference in the issue of recognition of "genocide" will affect the Turkish-Armenian relations, however not negatively.

The new U.S. Administration or its part supports Armenia in the problem of "genocide", and this strengthens the position of Armenia in the world, also, in the Armenian-Turkish relations, said Russian political scientist Mikhail Remizov.

According to him, improvement in the relations of Yerevan and Washington under strengthening of the lobbying positions of Armenia in the USA and, on the other hand, cooling of relations between Turkey and USA as a result can lead to changes and cause an improvement in the relations of Yerevan and Ankara.

"Since Turkey ceases to be the protege of the USA in the region, it must transform into regional leader, and for this, Turkey must solve all questions with Armenia," Remizov, director of the Institute of National Strategy, told TrendNews.

After Barack Obama takes the office of the U.S. President, it needs to expect "real breakthrough" in the issue of Congress's adoption of a resolution on recognition of "genocide" of the Armenians, said the director of the Armenian Institute of Oriental Study of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Ruben Safrastyan, Mediamax reported.

"Certain positive changes are possible in the Armenian-Turkish relations during this year," said Safrastyan.

"These will mainly be caused by how Turkish diplomacy will be able to give up its policy of pressure on Armenia and gradually will begin to approach the position of Armenia, exactly the establishment of relations without any pre-conditions," he told journalists on Wednesday.

Turkey advances a number of pre-conditions for establishing bilateral relations, in particular Armenia's refusal from the policy of the international recognition of "genocide" of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, and also Armenia's recognition of Turkey's borders.

According to the Turkish political scientist Sinan Ogan, precisely the loyalty of the American Administration to the question of "genocide" will accelerate the process of establishing relations between Turkey and Armenia. America tries to establish Turkish-Armenian relations, without acting as mediator, since it fears to spoil its relations with Ankara, Ogan said.

"Obama's Administration is prepared to recognize the fact of "genocide", and therefore Turkey will attempt to establish relations with Armenia before the fact of "genocide" is recognized in the White House," Ogan, director of the Turksam Center for Scientific Studies, told TrendNews in a telephone conversation from Istanbul.

Russian political scientist also considers that Turkey, as the strong side of dialogue, in light of worsening in the relations with the USA can think more constructively than earlier with regards the same theme of genocide. "Possibly there are some intermediate versions between the single-valued recognition and the categorical denial, and they can be begun to operate," said Remizov.

According to him, simple step is the initiation of the establishment of a commission for the more detailed study of the question. "Establishing a commission on the joint of historical science and diplomacy can put the beginning of a constructive dialogue and will help the sides not connect the current political relation with this question rigidly," Remizov said.

American political scientist Mark N. Katz considers that Turkey and Armenia can improve relations soon. "For Turkey, this is something that would improve its image in the West, and thus help its chances for entry into the EU," Katz, a professor of government and politics at George Mason University, told TrendNews via e-mail.

According to Katz, the August events testified that Armenia's tight alliance with Russia is not necessarily in Armenia's interest. "Armenia needs more friends, including Turkey, so that it does not have to rely so heavily on Russia," he said.

Large-scale military operations were launched in South Ossetia at night of 8 August. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, capital of South Ossetia. Later Russian troops seized the town and drove Georgian troops back to Georgia. On 26 August, Russia recognized independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and established diplomatic relations on 9 September.

"In this dialogue precisely Turkey is the strong side, precisely it is interested in solving this problem in order to strengthen its regional influence, whereas Armenia is extremely vulnerable," said Remizov.

R.Agayev (Moscow), B.Hasanov (Baku) contributed to the article.


Obama And Change - But How? Journal of Turkish Weekly Jan 22 2009 Turkey
Barack Obama is officially the President of the United States. For nearly, two months not only the US, but also the world discussed his election, his team, and the change he would bring to the White House. After eight years of Republican control, the West Wing passed to the hands of Democrats again. The George W. Bush administration, lately condemned for all the evil faced by Americans and the World has been replaced with a young, vigorous administration associated with the banners of change and hope. Nevertheless, Obama inherited the economic recession, Iraq failure, rising tension with Iran and Russia, and rising anti-Americanism. Change will take place, yet its extent is unknown.

The Reality and Expectations

The first signals from Obama administration about change are that it will not come in an abrupt and radical way. The team of rivals does not propose a major change but rather offers a change in tone in short term or may be called a slow moving change in the long-term. Frankly, Obama is proposing a genuine change, because an abrupt change is not a genuine change. Moreover, he seems to know that the presidency is not a post from which to give orders but a position to convince and cooperate. His inclusion of republicans in his team and certain posts are evidence for his bipartisan approach. Some analysts even claim that he is moving to center. This bipartisan approach will ease passing the bills he needs to deal with the internal and external problems. Besides his bipartisan approach, his presidential popularity will help to get the support of republicans in a less painful process. Indeed, what he proposes is not radically different from the republicans.

As most from the presidents do, Obama will probably focus on the domestic issues rather than foreign policy in the first several months. The main reason is of course his fresh presence in office and inexperience in foreign policy issues. This is not unique, for Obama is actually same as previous presidents who were inexperienced in foreign policy. For instance, Bill Clinton, a governor candidate, acted in a similar manner. Second, the primary expectation from him is to solve the economic problems, not the foreign policy issues. Moreover, the honey moon will end after a couple of months, and moving strategically necessitates using the bipartisan support credit wisely. Thus, the economy will be the cardinal issue in Obama's agenda, and the bills for the economic plan are the primary goal to attain.

This will both help solve the major issues and have a spillover effect on the other issues. Besides, this provides extra time for the foreign policy issues that Obama probably will not and cannot change in a short time period, such as the troop withdrawal from Iraq and closure of the Guantanamo Bay. At least giving the orders and implementation are different from each other. First of all, Robert Gates did not endorse the 16-month plan, and asserted that putting time limits on the withdrawal is not wise. Moreover, it is hard to withdraw the troops from Iraq in such short time. Consequently, with the name of residual force or other tern it seems that the US will keep a certain number of troops in Iraq. On the other hand, the number of troops in Afghanistan along with the NATO powers will increase.

Obama's National Security Advisor James L. Jones prioritizes Afghanistan and gives importance to shifting the War on Terror from Iraq to Southern Asia. He strongly claims that the primary frontier for the War on Terror is Afghanistan and the Iraq War was a total mistake. Obama's statements from the beginning of the campaign indicate his accordance with his advisor. This move makes the idea of sitting on the table with Iran and Syria more meaningful. The withdrawal necessitates the endorsement of neighbor countries in order to keep the region stable. These parameters may initiate a peace process between Syria and Israel in order to stabilize and secure the region.

Turkey and the US' Relations - Change in the Main Discourse?

These parameters also have an important role on relations with Turkey and the approach to the PKK issue. Turkey is an influential neighbor of Iraq and an important actor in the region that the US has to take into account for its interests in the region. Compare to Iran and Syria, Turkey is a democratic country andtherefore is a better role model for Iraqi government. Since the PKK is the primary obstacle to economic and political cooperation between the Iraqi administration and Turkey, a closer relationship between Turkey and the US against the PKK is expected, with a high possibility of troop withdrawal. Bush's declaration of the PKK as a terrorist organization and the sharing of intelligence between the US and Turkey were turning points in the bilateral relations. In the new term this cooperation may develop in depth and width with other issues. Thus, the Obama administration will maintain the existing policy of suggesting a solution between the Turkey and the Iraqi administration about the PKK problem and this may have a cooperative role in the elimination of PKK.

On the Armenian issue, during the campaign Obama pledged to use unwelcomed phrases by the Turkish side on April 24th of 2009. Joe Biden as the Vice President and Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House are to the Armenian Diaspora in the US. This means the likelihood of Armenian lobby's success is high. However, the advantageousness of this success to Armenia is questionable. Obama's statements on the issue will probably cause a reaction in the Turkish public and prevent, or at least delay, the normalization in bilateral relations between Turkey and Armenia.

Turkey is willing to solve its problems with Armenia, and President Gul's visit for the soccer match under certain public pressure is a solid evidence for this willingness. Nonetheless, such statements will increase tension and will make harder for Turkish leaders to propose a rapprochement to Armenia under such public pressure. Thus, the unwelcomed statements will complicate the relations and reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border. As another factor, Obama will probably be informed and warned about the importance of Turkey. Thus, Obama as the chief diplomat may not be as blatant as he was in the presidential campaign. Or at least this administration may try to balance this with more favorable moves to Turkey about other issues. For instance the US may make major moves on the elimination of the PKK to please Turkey as a balancing issue in a likelihood of the compromises given to Armenian lobby. Yet, regarding both the PKK and Armenia issues, it will be wiser for Turkey to follow a pro-active foreign policy instead of waiting for Obama and his actions on issues.

In short, Obama brings a moderate, slow-moving change, yet the hope lingers.


Israel, Turkey And The Politics Of Genocide January 24th, 2009 Gerald Caplan Globe and Mail
President Obama — I love saying those words — has momentarily united the world. Almost. Among the exceptions, though barely noticed by the mainstream media, is the estrangement of Turkey and Israel, previously staunch allies in the turbulent Middle East.

At first blush, this alliance may seem counterintuitive, but in fact it makes good strategic sense for both countries. Israel gets a warm working relationship with one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, while enriching Israel’s all-important industrial-military complex. Less than two months ago, for instance, came the news of a deal worth $140-million to Israeli firms to upgrade Turkey’s air force. In the hard-boiled, realpolitik terms that determine Israel’s strategies, it’s a no-brainer. Almost.

In return, Turkey gets military, economic and diplomatic benefits. But it also gets something less tangible, something that matters deeply for reasons hard for outsiders to grasp. As part of the Faustian bargain between the two countries, a succession of Israeli governments of all stripes has adamantly refused to recognize that in 1915 the Turkish government was responsible for launching a genocide against its Armenian minority. Some 2.5-million Armenian women, men and children were successfully killed.

I should make clear that this Israeli position is not held casually. On the contrary. Over the years Israelis, with a few notably courageous exceptions, have actually worked against attempts to safeguard the memory of the Armenian genocide. (The bible on this issue is the excellent book by an Israeli, Yair Auron, called The Banality of Denial: Israel and the Armenian Genocide, 2003.)

For many, this may well be a pretty esoteric sidebar to the world’s many crises. But readers need to understand that every Turkish government for almost a century now has passionately denied that a genocide took place at all. Yet the vast majority of disinterested scholars of genocide have publicly affirmed that it was indeed a genocide, one of the small number in the 20th century (with the Holocaust and Rwanda) that have incontestably met the definition set down in the UN’s 1948 Genocide Convention.

For Armenians in the Western world, even after 94 years, nothing is more important than persuading other governments to recognize this. For Turkish authorities, even after 94 years, nothing is more important than preventing that recognition. In that pursuit, Israel has been perhaps Turkey’s most powerful ally. After all, if the keepers of the memory of the Holocaust don’t acknowledge 1915, why should anyone else?

But the Israeli-Turkish bargain goes well beyond Israel. Not only is Israel, of all the unlikely states in the world, a genocide denier, but also many established Jewish organizations in other countries, especially the United States, have followed suit. In the United States, those who argue that denying the Holocaust is psychologically tantamount to a second holocaust have taken the lead in pressuring presidents and Congress against recognizing the reality of 1915. Resolutions calling for recognition are regularly pushed by American-Armenians and their many supporters. Jewish groups regularly lead the opposition. Some believe that members of these groups in fact understand perfectly well the rights and wrongs of the case. But a mindset that backs any and all Israeli government initiatives trumps all else. And successfully. Repeated attempts in Congress to pass this resolution has failed, even though the list of nations that now recognizes the Armenian genocide has grown steadily and, thanks to Stephen Harper, now includes Canada.

It is this rather unseemly, if not unholy, Israeli-Turkish deal that has been among the many victims of the latest Israeli attack on Gaza. Whether the Israelis anticipated it or not, the Turkish government turned against its erstwhile ally with a vengeance, pulling few punches. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan accused Israel of “perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction. Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents.” Mr. Erdogan described Israel’s attack on Gaza as “savagery” and a “crime against humanity.”

Israel formally described this language as “unacceptable” and certain Israeli media outlets have raised the stakes. The Jerusalem Post editorialized that given Turkey’s record of killing tens of thousands of Kurds in northern Iraq, “we’re not convinced that Turkey has earned the right to lecture Israelis about human rights.” Israel’s deputy foreign minister was even more pointed: “Erdogan says that genocide is taking place in Gaza. We [Israel] will then recognize the Armenian-related events as genocide.” Suddenly, genocide turns into a geopolitical pawn.

It isn’t easy to choose a winner in the cynicism stakes here. Here’s what one Turkish columnist, Barcin Yinanc, shrewdly wrote: “When April comes, I can imagine the [Turkish] government instructing its Ambassador to Israel to mobilize the Israeli government to stop the Armenian initiatives in the U.S. Congress. I can hear some Israelis telling the Turkish Ambassador to go talk to Hamas to lobby the Congress.”

I’m guessing some readers work on the naïve assumption that an event is deemed genocidal based on the facts of the case. Silly you. In the real world, you call it genocide if it bolsters your interests. If it doesn’t, it’s not. It’s actually the same story as with preventing genocide.

What happens now? Candidate Obama twice pledged that he would recognize the Armenian claim of genocide. But so had candidate George W. Bush eight years earlier, until he was elected and faced the Turkish/Jewish lobby. Armenian-Americans and their backers are already pressing Mr. Obama to fulfill his pledge. With the Turkish-Israeli alliance deeply strained, the position of the leading Jewish organizations is very much in question this time. Whatever the outcome, be sure that politics, not genocide, will be the decisive factor.

Gerald Caplan, author of The Betrayal of Africa, writes frequently on issues related to genocide.
www.theglobeandmail.com/


Hrant Dink Day In London, 2009 Nor Serount Cultural Association , Armenian Solidarity, Cardiff, Wales
The second anniversary of Hrant Dink's assasination was marked in London by a silent vigil in front of The Turkish Embassy at 1.00p.m. and a commemmorative meeting in the UK parliament in the evening, which consisted of two parts. The first part included a presentation by Elif Kalaycioglu on Hrant Dink's Legacy in Turkey.

The second part centered on the cultural rights of minorities in Turkey under the theme of "Turkey, respect your Minorities", with a focus on the Syriac/Assyrian community in Turkey.The participants in the second part were Yacoub Ghattas of the Syriac Church, Abdulmessih Barabrahem (from Germany) of the Assyrian Democratic Organisation, Sabri Atman of Seyfo Centre, John Pontifex of the Catholic Organisation Aid to the Church in Need, and Rebwar Fatah, editor of Kurdish Media.

The sponsor of the meeting was Andrew Dismore MP. Archbishop Toma Dawood of the Syriac Church was also present as were Baroness Harris and Maral Dink (niece of Hrant).

Deacon Yacoub Ghattas described the problems of the Syriac community in the Tur Abdin region of Turkey, especially the threats against Mor Gabriel Monastery. Rebwar Fatah, editor of Kurdish Media, spoke about Hrant Dink's signifigance in the wider context of free speech and minority issues in the Middle-East

Hope Against Hope? : Hrant Dink's Legacy and Civil Society in Turkey

by Elif Kalaycioglu

On the day of Hrant Dink's funeral, I was part of a small group of translators organized around Agos to assist foreign journalists. Aside from the sporadic news that reached us about Rakel Dink's deeply moving speech and the sheer number of people, estimated to be around 100,000, that had come together to mourn, say their farewells and also to show their solidarity, I did not witness the silent march of that day. What I saw instead was mostly the older members of the Armenian community that started coming to the church from the early hours of the morning and the feeling of sadness and loneliness that they communicated. As Hrant Dink's family and friends arrived at the church, walking through a human chain of young Armenians, I remember standing next to two women. One of them pointed to Etyen Mahçupyan, who has since then become the editor-in-chief of Agos, and said to her friend, "He is all we have left."

But weren't there thousands who were at the same time walking in silent mourning, trying to show precisely that they were not alone? Didn't the solemn black placards of the day say "we are all Armenians, we are all Hrant Dink." Indeed, in the conversations I had with family and friends, mostly young Turkish people, who attended the march, what came across was a new sense of hope that accompanied the deep sadness and anger felt at the murder of Hrant Dink. By coming together in such great numbers, perhaps this time we had not failed him and proved his trust in the changing society in Turkey true to some extent.

Yet, it was not an easy hope. For Hrant Dink's Turkish friends, or young Turkish people who have since tried to show their solidarity in various ways from trying to contribute to Agos to showing up at his trials or even by speaking out more, and hence being less complicit, this hope has come with a deep self-reflection and against a background of bleak developments.

Many, including authors, lawyers and similarly visible figures involved in the struggles for a more just Turkey, have spoken out very candidly about their regrets. That they had not attended his trials in greater numbers, that they had let the hassles of everyday life prevent them from showing more clearly that Hrant Dink was not alone. In this sense, perhaps one can see the latest apology initiative, for the insensitivity to and the denial of the Great Catastrophe of 1915, as connected to a deep process of reflection on the part of those who were already speaking out.

On the other hand, the equalization of Hrant Dink with Turkey's conscience has to a certain extent prevented another very important conversation from happening. A conversation that would focus on how this was not always an easy relationship. As an Armenian citizen of Turkey, a journalist, coming out of a leftist political tradition, an advocate and a self-proclaimed ordinary man, he was always more than one identity at a time. His "excesses" in that sense produced tensions, the discussions of which have been very revealing about the political culture and societal sectors in Turkey. The identity borders of the Turkish left and how it has dealt with non-class based issues is one quick example that comes to mind. This is a conversation that needs to be disentangled from the persona of Hrant Dink and pursued in very honest ways.

Let me now turn to the bleakness. The trial of those held suspect for his murder has proved a very frustrating quest for justice. At some of its worst moments, it has revealed the confidence on the part of not only the murderer but also the accomplices, that they can get away with it. And the justice system has not done much to change that perception. The court has repeatedly refused to investigate connections with other trials, which would point to the organizational structure behind the murder, showing once again that even when all the extrajudiciality and illegality comes out in the open, there is still no guarantee of justice. One can of course find other examples of this very pertinent to the Kurdish question such as the attitude toward the Semdinli bookstore bombing, ending in the expulsion from legal practice of the prosecutor who pointed at interesting links higher up.

Another daunting issue is the article 301 on denigrating Turkishness. Despite all the pressure on the government to remove it, the revision made to the law falls far short of the expectations of the civil society in Turkey and needless to say the EU. The 301 is much deeper than what can simply be described as a fascist law. The arbitrariness of its implementation, which goes far beyond the text of the law itself, was manifested when Hrant Dink was charged with the crime despite expert reports to the contrary. On October 11, 2007, Arat Dink, Hrant Dink's son was tried under the same article and found guilty of insulting Turkishness for republishing his father's words in Agos, which were and since have been republished in almost all mainstream media with no such repercussions.

Its openness to the interpretation and legal entrepreneurship has given way to self-censorship on the part of authors, editors and publishing houses as the responsibility falls on a wide array of actors. As a quick parenthesis, the unpredictable breadth of its application runs so deep that when I shared the news of my participation in this event with people who are involved in human rights work in Turkey, more than one has raised the question of whether any difficulties might arise from it.

The broader political climate has witnessed a constant back and forth between the same bleakness and hopeful developments. On the one hand, we have seen the emergence of a more statist AK Party that has taken an increasingly reluctant stance on the Kurdish issue on multiple occasions but that also undertook the establishment of TV Ses, a public channel which will broadcast in Kurdish. Similarly, Turkey's Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, has publicly chastised the apology initiative whereas the President, Abdullah Gül traveled to Armenia to attend the football game played between the national teams of Armenia and Turkey. A ground for further hope lies in the pursuit of the Ergenekon trial. This is a truly historical and novel trial, commonly seen as the first instance of Turkey confronting what is alternately called the "deep state," "state within the state," or the "counter guerrilla." The pursuit of the trial which began in July 2007 with a raid in Istanbul and the discovery of an arms depot has expended to reveal intricate connections between retired and active army officials, and civilians, with a strong suspicion about the existence of elaborate plans to create chaos, render the current government inept and steer the country in a different direction. Many have raised suspicions about the organization's connection to Hrant Dink's murder. The trial has been pursued despite multiple covert and overt attempts to stall the process.

Yet, at times the bleakness becomes overpowering and the near impossibility of separating the last two years of Turkey's history from a much longer history of violations and injustices, makes the question of what we have accomplished since Hrant Dink's death or whether there are any grounds for being hopeful a difficult one to answer. Add to this the hardness of anniversaries - how they remind us of both how much and how little has happened and underscore the importance of who is being commemorated very sharply.

In the days leading up to this conference, I felt at a similar juncture of hope and bleakness that I became aware of at the day of the funeral. I have observed the civil society in Turkey for the last two years, was involved in it as a young Turkish person, alongside others, who have attended the march, organized around Agos as contributors and translators, attended the trials to show that this pursuit of justice will not be a silent or an unrecognized one. All this gives me hope. The conscience of the Turkish society has opened up in ways that make it more difficult to make the likes of the Semdinli bombing forgotten. Through the cracks in the official ideology, all the stories that have been kept under it become visible and audible to a much wider sector of the society now ready to hear and see them.

But is this hope enough? Is it communicable or translatable in the face of such sadness? My wish is that we can feel and promote the hope alongside the pain of the bleakness and sadness, that we can see the difference between the state in Turkey and its society wherein further grounds for hope do, in fact, reside. As I have tried to express, this is not a easy hope, but it is the hope that we all need.

Part 2

"Turkey respect your Minorities" Sabri Atman of Seyfo Centre
Ladies and gentleman Distinguished guests

The developments in Turkey over the last three decades have been of both hopelessness and joy. Whereas at one point over 100,000 Assyrians lived in the region, now there are only a few thousand. The gap between the Turkish Government and the Assyrians living overseas widened during the 1980s and 1990s. The Assyrians were trapped in the middle of a civil war and suffered as a result of the atrocities.

Exiled Assyrians have visited and are visiting their ancestral villages in large groups and considerable investment lies ahead if the development can be sustained.

In addition, Assyrian representatives both within and outside the country have initiated negotiations with different parts of the Turkish government. There has also been contact with prominent people in Turkey itself. Villages are slowly being rebuilt. Plans for resettlement are being considered among the first generation of exile Assyrians in Europe.

Turkey, the EU and the Assyrians

Despite the positive development of recent years there is still a considerable amount of work to be done before Turkey can become a full member of the European Union. Among others is the lack of a proper judicial system and areas of concern in the democratic process have been brought up. Paramilitary groups in southeast Turkey continue to make life difficult for the inhabitants of the countryside. Disputes regarding land ownership and other disputes keep reminding us that the indigenous Assyrians are detached from the majority due to their different religion, culture and language. The Assyrians aspire to take part and contribute to the transformation process in which Turkey is involved. We believe in a different Turkey. A Turkey with Democracy and mutual understanding is possible with the support of groups in Europe and specifically the support from various EU institutions. The following questions have to be solved before the process can move forward.

1. Turkish Democracy

Turkish democracy has the potential to take great steps forward. What is characteristic of the Assyrians is the fact that they are not a minority that entered this region sometime in history. The Assyrian people have been living in these parts of Southern Turkey for thousands of years and they must be perceived as indigenous extension of the Mesopotamian civilization. A democratic state must follow international conventions and as such Turkey must recognize the Assyrians as indigenous people and ratify the UN Convention on indigenous people. This will guarantee the survival of the Assyrian cultural, social and political rights in the country, particular at a time when the numbers of Assyrians are falling dramatically.

2. The Fundamental Question

The Turkish government in the early 1900s ratified the so called Lausanne Treaty in which national minorities were defined and their rights agreed upon. The Assyrians were excluded from that treaty, a fact that has brought serious political and cultural difficulties for our people. The Lausanne treaty is of great importance, there must be a prerequisite, that the Assyrians be recognized in this document before proceeding to the adoption of the Copenhagen criteria.

3. History

Much of the 20th century history of the Assyrians, Armenians, Greeks, and Yezidis in Turkey has been of a great tragedy. It is normal for a democratic state to make up for its past mistakes by taking steps towards a new era. None of the current inhabitants of Turkey should feel guilt for the genocide of 1915 against the Assyrians, Armenians, Greeks and Yezidis. Such an initiative would speed up the work of reconciliation.

Recently, a group of 200 Turkish intellectuals launched an Internet campaign to apologize for Ottoman war crimes committed at the hand of Turks against Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks during World War I. The language used does not refer to the term genocide, as favored by the victims, though it is certainly helping to erode the biggest taboo in Turkey, as the campaign initiator Baskin Oran puts it. The language speaks of "the great catastrophe" but Assyrians as victims - over 500,000 were killed in the genocide -- are not mentioned. Meanwhile at least 25,000 Turks have signed the petition, prompting calls of treason by Turkish nationalists and media. The Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Erdogan himself has called the petition a "mistake".

Mr. Ahmet Türk DTP Chairman, continued his statements at the Assyrian association in Midyat with the following remarks: "We are ready to apologize for wrong doing. This is not to reduce the importance of the events. The events should be not brought up to the agenda by a simple apology. We are the people of this region and soil. Our struggle is aimed to allow people to live in brotherhood."

Closing his remarks, Mr. Türk said: "We, as Kurds, have our stake in the killing of this (cultural) richness. Today, when we see Armenian and Assyrian brothers, and look at them, we feel shame."

Mr. Türk's apology is definitely welcomed as a gesture of friendship by Assyrians. In fact, it is not the first time that a Kurdish leader has apologized for Kurdish crimes committed against Assyrians during World War I. Putting Mr. Ahmet Türk's statement in context of the Apology Campaign of by Turkish intellectuals, it is a courageous step by a party leader of the Turkish parliament.

4. Turks, Kurds Continue Attempts to Confiscate Assyrian Monastery's Land

Kurdish leaders from the villages of Yayvantepe, Eglence and Candarli, in cooperation with influential members of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), are continuing their so-called "lawful means" campaign to confiscate the land of the Assyrian monastery of St. Gabriel, founded in 397 A.D. During the Ottoman Empire the monastery received the status of a Foundation for the Syrian Orthodox Church and is still legally regarded as such. Over the last three decades it has developed into a major religious and community center that attracts tens of thousands visitors from Turkey and abroad. The entire region has benefited from this development, though for some fanatic Kurdish village heads, it seems to be a problem.

As their initial efforts did not materialize and court hearings and trials have been postponed, the Kurdish leaders of the villages increased pressure by harassing the monastery with more false accusations:

* The monastery has been established illegally while a wall has been built around it
* The Church is doing missionary work among the youth
* The teaching in the monastery violates Turkish laws
* National Unity is destroyed
* The church is a historic museum and should not be misused for praying
* The monastery does not pay taxes

Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs) living in Europe and elsewhere along with their Church organizations are closing ranks and are showing strong solidarity with St. Gabriel, while initiating appeals to EU institutions and European Churches for help and support.

A joint press release issued by the Assyrian Democratic Organization, Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Alliance and Syrian Orthodox Church of Göteborg, on November 26, stated "the head of the village Yayvantepe threatened to burn the monastery and raze it to the ground in front of the military personnel and the state prosecutor," with impunity. St. Gabriel monastery is regarded as the oldest religious center of the community for centuries; a threat to the monastery endangers the very existence of the remaining Christian minority.

In Germany, the highest Council of the Catholic bishops as well as the head of the Evangelical Churches promised support for the case as reaction to various appeals including from the Syrian Orthodox Church representatives. In reply to various requests by concerned Assyrians, the German Foreign Ministry replied on November 28 that, "The German Embassy in Ankara like other European Union (EU) member states as well as the EU Commission Representative in Ankara are closely observing the development concerning St. Gabriel and are in regular contacts with Turkish Government offices as well as with lawyers of the monastery". The German Foreign Ministry assures that they will follow the issues regarding St. Gabriel closely.

Assyrians over the world are following the case with fierce attention and hope that the Turkish judiciary system, after its apparent adaptation to EU norms, will speak justice and the Turkish authorities will stop the village heads, from bringing offensive allegations against such an ancient center of Christianity in Turkey.

5. Restoration

Churches, monasteries and villages have been destroyed. These need to be restored. The village of Hassana, for example was evacuated and destroyed completely as a result of the war. This village and others need to be restored. Families that are from these villages and who wish to return should be assisted to do so.

6. Security

Over the past few years the numbers of Assyrians visiting their home districts has increased dramatically. The driving force behind these has been the expectation to revive their childhood areas. As families come back, the lack of security is the main obstacle to long term development. The Turkish Government must provide security for those returning Assyrians and newly populated villages. Properties that have been taken illegally must be returned to their legal owners.

7. Reconstruction

Villages rebuilt by Assyrians must be given protection. Adjustment in laws and legal assistance in preparing documentation must be provided. Further, the names of all Assyrian villages which were changed to Turkish names must be restored. This will have a great symbolic meaning for the remaining Assyrians and those from abroad.

8. Return

The Turkish Government should aim through its Embassies and other institutions to encourage those Assyrians living overseas to return home. This can be accomplished by informing them of the current conditions and the advancements made in protecting their rights.

9. Statements

The slogan "Turkey is for the Turks" should be changed immediately. It should be replaced by one that says that Turkey is for all citizens regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.

10. Indoctrination

Indoctrination of Pan Turkism and Pan Islamism should stop in the schools. Textbooks that contain racially incitements and misleading information about the nation's minorities must be changed. Alternative textbooks should inform the Turkish people about the history of their minorities and their role in history objectively

Thank you for your attention!

Abdulmesih BarAbrahem (Assyrian Democratic Organization)

According to the Lausanne Treaty from 1923 the non-Turkish Christian minorities such as Greeks, Armenians and Jews in Turkey received at least a legally defined status concerning their own mother language and rights maintaining own schools. Nevertheless, and as many human rights reports proved, Turkey practically did everything to undermine this right by numerous state and local regulations in the past; hence, the minorities hope that in context of the European Union negotiations, their rights are defined in a way, that Turkey cannot so easily revoke them.

The Assyrian as indigenous Christian and multi-denominational (Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Church of the East) ethnic minority, with historical settlement areas in the southeast Turkey, was never recognized as minority in the sense of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923 that till today's forms the legal framework of the Christian citizens. While still in the 1960s, about 130000 Assyrians lived in Turkey, only about 15000 are remained today; belonging to various denominations, Assyrians live today in Tur Abdin and in Istanbul. Since Assyrians are not recognized as minority in the sense of the Lausanne Treaty, they were not allowed to open and maintain own schools, also they were not allowed to publish books and magazines in their own Syriac language, which is a modern dialect of Aramaic, spoken by Jesus Christ.

Lacking a legally defined status, Assyrians live basically in a juridical insecure "space". The remaining monasteries again and again received official prohibitions for the teaching of the Syriac language, which is used until today as the language during the Liturgy. De-facto, the prohibition which was issued on October 6, 1997 by the responsible province governor, Fikret Güven from Mardin, is in place until today. In its function as responsible for the security authority he justified back in time the prohibition with the "fact", that teaching in the Syriac language in the monasteries of the Tur Abdin, Deirulzafaran and Mar Gabriel, violates Türkish legal regulations.

For some years teaching of Syriac in the monasteries is at least tolerated, but a legally binding security does not exist still. Currently, approximately 80 pupils in the important monasteries and bishop seats such as Mar Gabriel (Midyat) and Dayrulzafaran (Mardin) are able to learn the Syriac language; but the situation pushes the pupils and the monastery schools into a dangerous "unlawful status". In fact, only some months ago, in the autumn of 2008, neighbouring village chiefs and close to the ruling AKP Party, have submitted a lawsuit based on fabricated accusations against the 1600 years old monastery Mar Gabriel, one of them being the "illegal teaching" of the language of Jesus Christ!

The prohibition of the Syriac language violates the freedom of religion. As the Republic of Turkey is a secular state, whose equal citizens enjoy freedom of religion according to its constitution, it should respect the international treaties it signed regarding religious and cultural freedom. In reality, Turkey today is clearly an Islamic coined/shaped state, which favours and demands above all the Sunni Islam.

Christians in Turkey are relegated to citizen of second-class and exposed to harassment between bureaucratic hurdles and physical threat. A public confession of a Turkish citizen to Christianity still leads to discrimination and persecution; and various missionary cases shown, Christians can be killed, if they freely express their believes. As for the Christian Assyrians, this leads to an additional problem area: Assyrian children and pupils in the Turkish schools are often forced to participate in Islamic lessons. Teachers make their advancement dependent of their participation in Islamic classes. Also Christian girls in the South-East region of Turkey are pressured to wear headscarves; their schoolmates mob them and insult them as "Christian pigs ", while Turkish teachers do not intervene.

To look further, Assyrians demand also that Turkey opens them similar possibilities similar to the recently introduced TV-transmissions in Kurdish language, which started beginning of this year.

While concluding, we would like to remind about the resolution of the European Parliament, which demands from Turkey the recognition of 1915 Genocide against the Armenians and Assyrians; this should be a precondition for Turkey's entry into the European Union.

Abdulmesih BarAbrahem
19th January 2009

Assyrian Democratic Organisation in Europe (ADO)

www.ado-world.org

Speech By John Pontifex - Aid to the Church in Need (UK), www.acnuk.org

"There is very little left of the Church here in Turkey - just relics and seeds."

Such were the remarks of a certain ANGELO RONCALLI. He was writing in 1939 as apostolic delegate in Istanbul barely two decades before being named Pope John XXIII.

Statistics alone bear out Cardinal Roncalli's comment. A century ago, Turkey had the most numerous Christian community in the Middle East. Today it is the smallest. There were about two million Christians in Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century - barely a quarter of that number remain.

Almost all of them are concentrated in the large cities of Istanbul, SMERNA (Smyrna) and MERSIN and the rest are in small communities scattered across the country. To continue with a brief overview of the Church in Turkey, about half the Christians in the region belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Next come the Catholic communities - about 30,000 in all - mainly Latin, but also Armenian, Syrian and Chaldean. It is understood that there are about 20,000 Protestants in total. The Greek Orthodox, led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I are now no more than about 5,000. In total, Christians represent less than half a percent in a population of 75 million, the vast, vast majority of whom are Muslim.

So how can it be that such a large Christian community has dwindled so drastically? The question is all the more relevant given the protection given to Christians in the Turkish Constitution. The Treaty of Lausanne, 24th July 1923 - widely considered to be modern Turkey's official birth certificate - not only affirms the equality of Christians with the other 'inhabitants of Turkey' but guarantees them their civil, political and cultural rights. It gives so-called 'protected' status to churches including the Greek Orthodox Church, the Armenian Orthodox Church and the Jewish community. Article 40 states: "Turkish nationals, belonging to non-Muslim minorities shall enjoy the same treatment and security in law and in fact as other Turkish nationals. In particular, they shall have an equal right to establish, manage and control at their own expense, any charitable, religious and social institutions, any schools or other establishments for instruction and education, with the right to use their own language and to exercise their own religion freely."

Words, as we all know, are fine things, but reality can be quite different. As an international Catholic organisation, Aid to the Church in Need is a charity which supports persecuted and other suffering Christians, carrying out more than 5,000 projects every year in a total of at least 130 countries. The charity, which has offices in 17 countries plus a project headquarters, is in contact with bishops and other leading clergy in countries and regions of most concern, which include Turkey. From the contacts the charity has forged as well as project and fact-finding visits carried out by project staff, ACN has become increasingly worried about the future of Christianity in the country. In ACN's Religious Freedom in the World report, released late last year, it concludes that even Churches recognised by the Treaty of Lausanne are under threat. It states: "The Christians who fall within the scope of the Treaty of Lausanne suffer serious discrimination. to the extent that today the Church community's future is seriously compromised."

And on this day when we remember HRANT DINK, the Turkish editor, columnist and journalist, who gave so much to promote the rights of minority groups in Turkey, it is important to underline that there remains an institutionalised discrimination against non-Muslims and especially Christians. The DYANET, which manages religious affairs, is far from impartial in its adjudication of matters for example approval of clergy appointments, training, salaries and teachers. The result is the decline of the Church.

For Christian groups who are so-called 'forgotten' by the Treaty of Lausanne, the situation is far worse. The Churches affected by this include members of the Oriental Churches (Assyrian-Chaldean, Syriac and Maronite) which is ironic given that they are the most ancient religions which exist in the country. Since they are not recognised, they do not have any legal status or any right which places them in an even more precarious position. These churches are deprived of the right to own and manage their own schools, social centres, seminaries or religious formation centres or to build churches.

So far as Western Christian denominations are concerned (Latin-rite Catholics and Protestants), they can only legitimate their presence thanks to letters sent by the Turkish authorities to the French, Italian and British authorities with the objective of guaranteeing the continuation of their work in the educational and health sectors-established centuries earlier by European missionaries. But their status is no more than that of managers of these charities. Catholics and Protestants do not enjoy any juridical status, they cannot own property, whether bought or inherited, nor can they construct new buildings, replace personnel or take someone to court.

This explains the problems last year when Cardinal Joaquin Meisner of Cologne submitted an application to enable a former church in Tarsus and now a museum to be turned back into a place of worship. The cardinal developed the plans to mark the Year of St Paul, as declared by Pope Benedict XVI, commemorating Tarsus as Paul's birthplace. Whilst the Cardinal was able to hold a service in the former church, those taking part had to ensure all vestiges of Christianity (Cross, candles, vestments etc) were taken away immediately. No breakthrough has yet taken place concerning the application to return the building to its former liturgical function.

But buildings are only the tip of the iceberg. Christians are excluded from professions, including the police, the army and higher administration. In the name of secularism, religious minorities cannot be represented in parliament which means they cannot defend their interests.

The lack of meaningful protection in law and government would explain why a build-up of anti-Christian sentiment has gone on unchecked. The last few years has seen an upsurge in physical and verbal attacks against Christians in Turkey.

Among the most notable of recent times took place in April 2007 when five young Muslims entered a Christian publishing house in MALATAYA (south-east Turkey) and slit the throats of three Protestants. Two of the victims were Christian converts and the other was a German. The publishing house distributed Bibles and other Christian literature. Fortunately, the accused were caught on the scene of the crime with butchers' knives in their hands and the blood on their clothes.

Attacks against clergy have been numerous.

a.. On 6th February 2006 Father ANDREA SANTRO, from Italy, was murdered while praying in the church of St Mary in TREBIZOND, on the shores of the Black Sea, in northern Turkey. b.. On 9th February 2006 Father Martin Kmetec, from Slovenia, was attacked by a group of young Muslims in the church of St Elena in SMYRNA. The list goes on.

But one of the most recent attacks is more revealing in terms of the motives of the aggressor.

a.. In December 2007, Italian Capuchin Father Adriano Francini, 65, was hospitalised after he was stabbed outside the Church of St Anthony in Smyrna. His attacker, a 19-year-old man, justified his crime saying that the priest had refused to baptise him. Almost certainly, the man was pretending to seek baptism. Later, the young man told police that he had been influenced by a TV series in Turkey depicting Christian missionaries as political 'infiltrators who pay poor families to convert to Christianity.

During interviews with Aid to the Church in Need, done both face-to-face and over the telephone, Bishop LUIGI PADOVESE of ANATOLIA has stressed again and again that there is a growing culture of anti-Christian sentiment, promoted primarily through the media. In July 2006, I interviewed Bishop Padovese after a man knifed the elderly FATHER PIERRE BRUNISSEN in the northerly city port of SAMSUN. Commenting on the attack, Bishop Padovese said: "The newspapers are trying to aggravate -to show the Christians as enemies of the people." The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Turkey in November/December 2006 revealed the extent of anti-Christian feeling. Beforehand, Bishop Padovese had said: "Many, many people think it's not acceptable for the Pope to visit the Patriarch. They have a very negative attitude."

Pope Benedict himself is well aware of the problems - the underlying threats to priests' safety, the barring of Christians from senior jobs, the ban on church building and repairs, the surveillance of all church activity. He knows, as was reported in 2007 by Archbishop FRANCESCHINI of SMYRNA, that in this secular country the Koran is obligatory, that religious education teachers are negatively biased in their treatment of the Gospels and the Church and that the military triumph of Islamic powers through history are gloried. In short, he is aware of the Islamisation of Turkish society, symbolised by the increase in women wearing the veil and the triumph in the polls of the Islamic party in July 2007.

Only through an end to intolerance will it be possible for the few seeds of Christian heritage that Angelo Roncalli John XXIII found in 1939 to germinate and flower anew in a new climate of inter-faith harmony. If Turkey wants to prove itself for entry into the European Union, it can start by cleaning up its act with regards to minority groups. It can ensure that those responsible for crimes against minorities or the promotion of religious hatred are stopped in their tracks. As Pope Benedict XVI only 10 days ago in his speech to the Vatican Diplomatic Corps: "Christianity is a religion of freedom and peace, and it stands at the service of the true good of humanity." He went on to call on authorities to put a stop to "intolerance and acts of harassment directed against Christians. They should repair the damage which has been done, particularly to the places of worship and properties; and encourage by every means possible due respect for all religions, outlawing all forms of hatred and contempt."

Thank you.

John Pontifex is Head of Press and Information, Aid to the Church in Need UK


Armenian Diaspora Targets European Turks
A new European Union framework decision on racism and xenophobia will threaten European Turks if it is extended to include claims that Anatolian Armenians were subjected to genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire, sources warn.

The framework decision, which was adopted last year in November, was initially criticized by Armenian groups because it did not refer to the Armenian "genocide," explicitly but now the Armenian diaspora is pushing hard to include it in the process of transposing the decision into member states' laws. If they succeed, the Turkish diaspora in Europe, which includes nearly 6 million people, will have great difficulties when speaking about the World War I-era killings of Armenians. Turkey could also face problems in its accession talks with the EU.

In a workshop organized by the European Armenian Federation in the European Parliament Wednesday, the Armenian group announced that they would be fighting hard to include the genocide allegations when the framework decision is adopted by member states.

Member states have been asked to adopt the framework decision within two years. If Armenian lobbies are successful in their efforts, merely saying that there was no genocide in 1915 could be punishable by between one and three years imprisonment. Armenian groups have been particularly interested in this framework decision because a pan-European agreement would apply in all 27 member states and there would be no further need for decisions from each member country's parliament.

One of the articles of the framework decision that seriously worries Turkey stipulates that the determination of whether or not a genocide has taken place can be made by a national court. Speakers at the workshop in the European Parliament stressed that it would be legally possible for a citizen of a European Union member state to go to a court to petition for such a decision.

Inge Drost, who attended the workshop from the Netherlands, announced that the Dutch justice minister was not interested in a separate law and that this would be problematic for the Armenian cause. Stressing that they were fighting hard to convince the minister otherwise, Drost said they had been successful in the removal of three Turkish-origin candidates who refused to acknowledge the Armenian "genocide" from party lists in the 2006 general elections.

Freedom of expression

The participants in the conference claimed that denying genocide was not within the scope of freedom of expression and that politicians should be convinced of this; however, Article 7 of the framework decision does indeed talk about freedom of expression and freedom of the press. The article says:

1. This Framework Decision shall not have the effect of modifying the obligation to respect fundamental rights and fundamental legal principles, including freedom of expression and association, as enshrined in Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union.

2. This Framework Decision shall not have the effect of requiring Member States to take measures in contradiction to fundamental principles relating to freedom of association and freedom of expression, in particular freedom of press and the freedom of expression in other media as they result from constitutional tradition or rules governing the rights and responsibilities of, and the procedural guarantees for, the press or other media where these rules relate to the determination or limitation of liability.

However, Ankara worries any decision by a member country could create an example for all 27 member countries.

24 January 2009, Selçuk Gültaşli Brussels


Obama To Promote U.S.-Armenia Relations, Aca Says PanARMENIAN.Net 21.01.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian Council of America congratulated President Barack Obama on his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States and Joseph Biden as Vice-President.

Today marks a momentous period in American history and the Armenian-American community is looking forward to working with the new Administration. As Senators, both Obama and Biden have demonstrated their support on issues of concern to the Armenian-American community, ACA said in a statement obtained by PanARMENIAN.Net.

Barack Obama reaffirmed his support for a strong "U.S.-Armenia relationship that advances our common security and strengthens Armenian democracy". He is also in favor of "promoting 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, and based upon America's founding commitment to the principles of democracy and self determination."

In his over 30 years of public service, Joseph Biden has been a strong and steadfast supporter of the Armenian community. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden was a co-sponsor of the Armenia?½ Genocide Resolution, and authored the Hrant Dink Resolution calling for the repeal of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code that punishes discussion of the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Council of America endorsed the Obama-Biden ticket. "The Armenian-American community congratulates our friends and supporters President Obama and Vice-President Biden", said Armenian Council of America Chairman Vasken Khodanian.

"The Obama message of change and hope has resonated around the world. We seek to foster a deeper and stronger relationship with the Obama Administration in a pursuing a new era and vision both here in the United States and in Armenia."

The Armenian Council of America is a grassroots organization dedicated to work with all political leaders, offering Armenian related news, analysis and resources for policymakers, media, students and activists, advocating issues important to Armenian Americans. The Armenian Council of America aims to strengthen U.S. -Armenia and U.S. - Nagorno Karabakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.


Henceforth Turkish Pupils Instead Of Expression "The So-Called Armenian Genocide" Will Say "The Events Of 1915"
ANKARA, JANUARY 21, NOYAN TAPAN. When touching upon the Armenian Cause pupils in Turkey's schools instead of the expression "ungrounded" or "the so-called Armenian Genocide" henceforth will use the expression "the events of 1915." According to the reports of Turkish media, Turkey's Ministry of Education made such a decision. The change, in particular, regards the expressions in the history textbook for the 8th form pupils.

It should be mentioned that as far back as on July 3, 2007 Turkey's government sent a circular letter to all Turkey's ministries, structures attached to them, governor's offices, municipalities, Supreme Educational Council, judicial structures, and Armed Forces General Headquarters, which prohibited using the expression "the so-called Armenian Genocide" in the country. Instead it was demanded using the expressions "the events of 1915" or "Armenian allegations regarding the events of 1915."


ANC Representative: Today People's Movement Is As Mighty As Never Noyan Tapan
YEREVAN, JANUARY 21, NOYAN TAPAN. "After the March 1 slaughter the authorities committed for the purpose of stopping people's peaceful actions a deep political crisis goes on in Armenia up to the present." Levon Zurabian, the Coordinator of the Armenian National Congress Central Office, stated at the January 21 press conference. According to him, its main reason is that the authorities refuse to look for political solutions. According to him, the "regime has adopted a dull-brained strategy having no prospects, aimed at wearing out and demoralizing the people's movement through keeping political hostages," and the authorities are ready to do anything to achieve that, in consequence of which Armenia suffers much losses. In particular, country's positions in the Nagorno Karabakh negotiations become weak, the investments within the framework of the Millennium Challenge corporation have been dampened, cooperation with the European Union is endangered.

"First of all the authorities are responsible for all this, the imprudent policy of which first of all leads them by the way of self-demoralization," L. Zurabian said.

While, according to him, today the people's movement is as mighty as never: the consolidation has been kept and ANC structures and abilities continue becoming strong. "We demand that the authorities stop the policy having no prospects, release all political prisoners. After it by establishing a dialogue with the opposition together find ways of Armenian political system's rehabilitation and restoration of democracy," L. Zurabian said.

In his opinion, there are all bases for making a decision to use sanctions to Armenia during the coming PACE session, as no progress has been recorded in the issue of fulfilling the demands. According to L. Zurabian, the Armenian authorities well realize and are terrified of the consequences of the sanctions to be used, but outwardly they show calmness to encourage their team-mates.


Obama Brings New Hopes For Turkey Emrullah Uslu, Jamestown Foundation http://www.jamestown.org/ Jan 21 2009 DC
President Barack Obama's inaugural address has been warmly welcomed by the Turkish media. Three of his statements have been commonly praised by the Turkish press: his warm message to the Muslim world, the virtue of democracy, and hope for the future. The liberal daily Radikal ran the headline "Virtue of Democracy"; the Center-Right Milliyet announced "A New World"; and the Center-Right Hurriyet's headline was "Our Hope Is Obama." The Center-Left Sabah's banner was "We Are a Friend of the World." The Islamist Yeni Safak used Obama's message to the Muslim world, "Extend Your Hand" for its headline, while Zaman pronounced "A New Beginning Full of Hope."

Almost all of the newspapers stressed the following paragraph from Obama's Inaugural address:

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist (www.cnn.com, January 20).

Obama's message to the Islamic world was welcomed. Editorial analyses of the substance of the speech have not yet appeared in the Turkish press, but comments in Internet blogs warmly praised Obama's words. Very few of the 116 messages in an Internet blog were negative. Some of the people were praying for Obama ("May Allah not embarrasses you"); and one said, "he gave a very positive message. My gut feeling tells me that this guy will deliver on what he says." "I hope you will not turn into another Bush," another blogger wrote. Still another said, "I am deeply touched by his speech and message. May God help Obama. Our prayers are with him, because he is not only the hope of America but the hope of all people" (www.haberturk.com, January 21). Some 80 percent of Turks were anti-American before this, but enthusiasm like this indicates that people are ready to forget what the Bush administration did in the Middle East and want to open a new chapter of relations with the Obama administration.

Columnists in Turkish newspapers take a positive view of Obama but also question whether he will actually be able to deliver on his promises. Beril Dedeoglu of Star, for instance, argues that Obama's policies call for sharing responsibilities with the international community. This policy can only be implemented if all players share accountability. In short, the United States outlined a model of cooperation and expects others to go along with it. If international players accept his plan there will be no problem...but if they do not? In this case, it appears that the United States will continue to punish those who damage the harmony of the American-led international cooperation (Star, January 21).

Soli Ozel of Sabah cited Obama's speech and interpreted it as a sign of change. Obama's statement that "as for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals" showed that he has a different approach from that of his predecessor Bush, Ozel said. In addition, "by emphasizing 'our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please,' Obama rejected neo-con, foreign policy principles. If Obama can keep his promises he will change not only his own country but also the rest of the world. I hope he can do it" (Sabah, January 21).

Cengiz Candar of Radikal is the most optimistic policy analyst. He thinks that "by electing Obama as President, the most powerful country in the world showed its capacity to change. It will initiate a momentum of change. After this, it will be very difficult to maintain those fossilized political structures and fossilized politicians in power" (Radikal, January 21).

Cuneyt Ulsever of Hurriyet does not agree with the optimist commentators, claiming that Obama simply cannot pursue his plans for change but will be a realist and will maintain the United States' position as a superpower. According to Ulsever, Obama's policy preferences will be tested in his Middle East policies. How fast will he withdraw American troops from Iraq? While withdrawing his troops, how will he shape the new balance in Iraq? Will he accept the reality of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the fact that it is not possible to control Afghanistan without establishing cooperation with the Taliban? Will he negotiate with Iran and convince it to stop enriching uranium? How will he position himself toward Hamas and Hezbollah? Will he continue to work with American-friendly Arab dictators, or will he endorse democracy in the Arab world? (Hurriyet, January 21).

In addition to the media's optimism, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expects Obama to "be the defender of those who have no defender and the voice of those who have no voice" (Star, January 21).

It seems that with Barack Obama, amost everyone, from the prime minister down to the man in the street, is ready to open a new chapter in Turkish-U.S. relations. They do, however, have some concerns as well. They want to know how he will handle the Armenian claims of genocide and whether he will continue to support Turkish efforts to curb Kurdish separatist terror activities. Given the fact that Obama's inaugural messages were warmly welcomed in a Muslim country like Turkey, where anti-Americanism was on the rise, it would perhaps be a wise step for Obama to visit Turkey in his early days in office to reinforce his positive position toward the Muslim world.


Turkish-American Relations In The Obama Presidency: What Will Change? * Interview with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sedat Laciner, head of the USAK

The director of the Ankara-based Turkish think tank USAK Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sedat Laciner evaluates the future of the Turkish-American Relations under the Obama administration.

* Question 1: How do you evaluate the future of Turkish-American relations under the Obama administration?

S.L.: "During the Bush presidency, the relations between Turkey and US were severely damaged. The Washington administration has an immense responsibility in this case. Turkey gave full support to the US' combat against terror. In this regard, Ankara sent Turkish soldiers to Afghanistan and acted in accordance with its Western allies in order to capture the militants of Al-Qaeda in Turkey or anywhere. Meanwhile, Turkey undertook a constructive role in the Middle East problems. However, when the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) rejected the US' request to base US troops in Turkey for an assault on Iraq on March 1, 2003, the US' Turkey policy was completely changed. As a result, Washington started to implement a punishment strategy against Turkey. Turkey is a democratic country and the government must implement its policies in line with the decisions of the parliament. The Turkish Government sincerely wanted to pass the 1 March Parlaiment Note to allow the US troops to use Turkish territories, yet the Government had no option but to implement the taken decision."

* Question 2: In this regard, has Turkey's rejection of the 1 March Bill cost too much to the US?

S.L.: "Of course, if it were possible for the US troops to use Turkey's territory, it would definitely become easier for US to invade Iraq. But, the US administration made a fatal mistake. They did not pay enough attention to the Turkish parliament and did not respect its pluralism principle. In this period, the US promised to provide a huge credit at an amount of 30 billion dollars and thought that Turkey could not reject its request to use Turkey's territory (because, Turkey was trying to recover its economy after the 2001 great economic crisis). The US expected to exploit from Turkey's difficult situation. The sarcastic expressions of some American politicians caused a negative impact on Turkish parliamentarians and Turkish people. As a result Turkish democracy decided and it said "no' to the US soldiers. If the US could use Turkish route, of course the risks in the operation would have been decreased a lot.

Although the US could not enter Iraq from Northern part of Turkey, the US was surprisingly not seriously affected in terms of military bases. One of the most important reasons for this was the errant strategy of Saddam Hussein. Saddam did not presume that Turkey would refuse permission for US troops and deployed a large amount of soldiers in the northern part of the country. Meanwhile, the Kurdish collaborators with the US in the North also prevented the passage of Saddam's soldiers. Thanks to these developments, Iraq was occupied by US troops in a very short time and it was brought under the control of US with very few casualties. In this regard, it is not possible to say that the Turkey's rejection of the US paved the way to a big tragedy, as the Vice President of US Dick Cheney and some other politicians had claimed in the recent past. The US did not have many difficulties during the invasion of Iraq, but after the invasion.
The problems of the US in Iraq did not begin during the invasion, but later. The US easily occupied Iraq easily but could not administer the occupied territory. The US soldiers created serious problems in the region due to their wrong strategy, human rights violations, and being unaccustomed to the indigenous people. At this point, Turkey offered help to the US and the Turkish parliament ratified the decision to send Turkish soldiers to Iraq to help the US as a result of the intense efforts of the Erdogan government. However, the US did not show any desire to accept Turkey's attempts and made a special effort to keep Turkey and Turkish approach outside Iraq and outside the region. It can be said that the policies of the Bush administration regarding the Iraq issue were founded on the ground of punishing Turkey and to keep it outside the Middle East and Iraqi issues. In addition, the US did not give any support to Turkey in combating terrorism during this period, especially between the years 2003 and 2007.

Furthermore, many people in Turkey even stated that the US supported PKK terrorism. During this period, Turkish public opinion showed a strong and unprecedented reaction against the US' approach to PKK terrorism and the Kurdish issue. Almost every political group in Turkey thinks that the US was not candid about the PKK terrorism. In this context, the terrorism problem still remains the most important issue between the two countries.
This mistakes which occurred during the Bush administration would definitely pave the way to further problems in the upcoming years. Unfortunately, some people in Washington think that Turkish society can forget the bad things easily. Yet, this is not a true analysis. One of the most significant reasons for the Turkish parliament's rejection of the 1 March Bill was the repercussions from the two countries' previous run-ins. The Turkish intellectuals, bureaucrats, media, experts, and even laymen do not forget the US's biased behaviors regarding the 1964 Johnson Letter, the US's arms embargo on Turkey respecting Cyprus, and pro-Greek stance of the US in many occasions and the Armenian issue. Unfortunately, the Bush administration added new damaging even traumatic memories to the previous ones. Besides, the US soldiers headed bag the Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq. With these actions, the US not only punished, but also insulted Turkey. All of these bad memories would be remembered by the Turkish people and affect the relations between the two countries in the future. I am sure that no single Turkish soldier and citizen can forget the bag affair in coming years.

In this context, the new president must be aware of this heritage with good sides and with the sins and try to take action to eliminate the bad memories. He should ease the damages in the relations."

* Question 3: Finally, what do you want to advise the new US President?

S.L.: "First of all, the new president must give full support to Turkey about combating terrorism via a strong message. Although Iraq has been kept under the control of the US for about six years, up to now, the US military forces has not caught or arrested or judged any PKK terrorist. The PKK became stronger under the US occupation rule. In the following days, if the Obama administration could make a contribution by apprehending a famous name from the PKK, it would positively affect the US' image in the eyes of Turkish people. The US should do something in the PKK issue really important valuable to the Turkish people because the people here see the US somehow responsible for the increasing PKK terror.
Secondly, Obama must not act in line with the desires of the ultra-nationalist Armenian Diaspora. The US should keep its impartiality in the issue. While a historical dialogue process has been launched between Ankara and Yerevan, any radical expressions from Obama could damage this process. Obama should concentrate on today's problems rather than historical Armenian claims and support the efforts of rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia. He should not be emotional but realist. The only aim should be to establish Turkish-Armenian friendship on mutual interests of US, Armenia and Turkey.

Third, the EU membership of Turkey is of vital importance in terms of the peace in the Middle East and the relations between the West and the East. In conjunction with the full membership of Turkey, the EU would have a Muslim member country for the first time. Becoming an equal and strong member of the EU, Turkey can make significant contributions to the stability and development of the Middle East and greater East. Besides, Turkey would prove to construct a frank, constructive, and beneficial relationship for both sides between the Muslim and the Western worlds. In this way, Turkey could be a model country and success story for the Muslim world and help to eliminate the region's extremist religious groups. If the EU rejects Turkey due to the religious differences, this great mistake would be a great signal to the Muslim peoples in the world. The US can play a constructive role in bridging Turkey and the EU.

Finally the US must keep its promises in Cyprus. Turkish side fully support the Annan Plan, however while the Greeks strongly rejected the UN Peace Plan. The US and the EU promised a lot to Turkish Cypriots and Turkey before the referendum. However the side who was punished is the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. The US and the EU did not keep their promises. Turkish people are frustrated with the double standards in Cyprus issue. People here think that the EU and the US support the Greek Cypriots because of religious solidarity. I hope Obama will keep the US' words to the Turkish Cypriots."

Muzaffer Vatansever (JTW) (Edited by Kaitlin MacKenzie, JTW) 23 January 2009


Open Letter To Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Letter To The Editor 22.Jan.09
Dear Mr Prime Minister,

Ref: VIP dinner-debate on 19th January in Brussels

I have always supported your actions in respect of Democratization Reforms in your country and I admired your brave stance against the Deep State in Turkey and against the Israeli atrocities in Gaza.

Furthermore, both I as an individual Member of the European Parliament but also my country's Government, supported Turkey's accession bid to the European Union.

Of course we have some major differences of opinion regarding the Cyprus Problem but, I have never been rude or objectionable to you at any of the few times that we have met.

Unfortunately, your response to me at the above dinner was not in the same reciprocate spirit as I would have expected from the leader of a country waiting to become a member of the European Union.

Having now had a chance to read, in the Turkish Press mainly, the translation of some of the things you said to me, I feel that your response was rude and insulting, not just to my person but to the European Parliament in which I am a representative.

I expect and hope, that an apology from you will be forthcoming in return of this letter.

Mr Prime Minister, Irrespective of what happened at the above dinner, I am still a strong supporter of the Turkish People fighting for Democratization and Europeanization of their country and I will continue to support your efforts to achieve these noble aims.

This I will do, not as a sign of weakness on my part but because, during my brief time in politics I have learned not to denigrate Principle issues on personal grounds alone.

By the way, Mr Prime Minister, allow me to advise that, when you talk to an EU audience it is always necessary to have your facts right, otherwise they may not take you seriously.

And in this respect, you must accept, despite how much you disapprove of, that the whole of Cyprus has joined the EU not just "the South Greek- Cypriot Administration" as you wrongly said.

And that, all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots included, are EU citizens.

This is a fact which you should have definitely been fully aware of.

Mr Prime Minister, I hope you will regard this letter not as coming from an "enemy" but as coming from a friend and someone who wants to see Peace and Prosperity for the people both of your country but also of mine and someone who wants to look more forward to the Future and not backwards to the past.

Yours respectfully,
Dr. Marios Matsakis, MEP

Member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Turkey- EU
Cc. Presidents of the EP, the European Commission and of the European Council

Members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Turkey- EU
- Copyright © Famagusta Gazette 2009


Armenian Culture Minister Assures That Not Armenian Monuments In The Territory Of Armenia Are In Very Good Condition
YEREVAN, JANUARY 21, ARMENPRESS: The monuments of not Armenian origin situated in the Armenian territory are in a very good condition and are taken care of, Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosyan told Armenpress, informing that there are 350 Muslim monuments in the republic of which 15 are monumental, the rest are tomb-stones, including Mongol, Persian and Turkmen. In the territory of Armenia there are also Christian monuments not belonging to Armenians. The minister assured that the issues of their care and perseverance is always under the limelight.

H. Poghosyan expressed concern over the destruction of Armenian monuments in Azerbaijani territory and noted that the country impedes the visits of monitoring groups of international organizations having an issue to hide the fact of destruction of Armenian monuments in Old Jugha.

Referring to the initiative of the Council of Europe to send a group which will study the situation of monuments in Armenia and Azerbaijan, the minister said that the approach of the Armenian side is unequivocal: they may study all the monuments but they must particularly pay attention to the issues with which Armenia is concerned with, those historic-cultural values which are being destroyed in the territory of other countries.

"The Council of Europe did not specify by which principle the monuments will be viewed. If again they will not refer to the disputable issues, sending of the monitoring group will not give anything to Armenia. I think the Armenian side forwards this question in a right way as we have concrete issues: in the Azerbaijani territory on concrete monuments concrete actions are carried out," the minister said.

She assured that Armenia provided to the Council of Europe lists of all the monuments in the territory of the country and the studies in which conditions they are.

The Azerbaijani soldiers in December 2005 destroyed the Armenian cemetery in Old Jugha and built a shooting place there. After that Armenia voiced the fact in international establishments and called on studying and condemning it. Azerbaijan, though, impeded several times the entrance of PACE and UNESCO fact finding missions to Nakhijevan.


Republic Of Armenia Has Diplomatic Relations With 153 Countries ARMENPRESS Jan 21, 2009
YEREVAN, JANUARY 21, ARMENPRESS: This year Armenia plans to open diplomatic representations in Brazil, Lithuania, Finland and Japan.

Spokesman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry Tigran Balayan told Armenpress that during the previous year a consulate opened in Hague and a Consulate General - in Batumi. Lithuania opened embassy in Armenia. Armenia has permanent representations (embassies, consulates, representation) in 40 countries.

T. Balayan also noted that the program work of purchasing buildings for Armenian embassies in abroad will continue in 2009. With the means of the state budget buildings for embassies will be bought, but it is not yet clarified in what cities.

Armenia has diplomatic relations with 153 countries of the world. 26 countries have embassies in Armenia. Residents of ambassadors of 60 countries which are accredited in Armenia are outside of the country. Argentina and Japan are planning to open representations in Armenia.

Armenia regularly transfers membership fees to 53 organizations. Armenia has a status of observer in Eurasian Economic Union, Movement of non-joining and Francophone international organizations. In 7 international institutions the country has permanent representation mission.


[Opinion] Expectations By Americans And By Obama
Barack Obama has been criticized for being too cool, too aloof, even too serene. But the President Obama who delivered the inaugural address on Tuesday was anything but aloof.

He was passionate and pleading, somber and demanding. And he did something his predecessor, George W. Bush, never quite did: He asked Americans to sacrifice for the common good.

Obama broke abruptly from the giddy celebratory mood of the crowds that overfilled the National Mall to deliver a stern and sobering message: The nation’s challenges “are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short period of time, but know this, America: They will be met.”

This was not the reassuring, supportive, “Yes, we can” of the Obama presidential campaign; it was a harder-headed “Yes, we will -- but it won’t be easy.”

He didn’t congratulate Americans for electing him; he warned them, instead, that he will demand “a new era of responsibility.” He paused only briefly to acknowledge the racial progress that made his ascent possible. Instead, his main message was: We are in the moral equivalent of war, and now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of their president.

That’s why he echoed the words of war presidents who took office during earlier national crises: Abraham Lincoln (“amidst gathering clouds and raging storms”) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (“The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift”). As if the Civil War and the Depression weren’t crises enough, he reached back to George Washington and Thomas Paine pleading with the soldiers of the Continental Army not to leave in December 1776, when all appeared lost.

Part of this was basic political strategy. Aides say Obama knows public expectations are unrealistically high, and he needs to make sure voters understand that economic recovery won’t come easily or soon. “Our economy is badly weakened,” Obama said, “a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to prepare the nation for a new age.”

He wants Americans on board as he prepares to ask a lot of the political system in a very short time. He wants quick passage of an economic stimulus package that started at $775 billion and is still growing. He wants authority to direct many of those dollars plus $350 billion from the Treasury’s bailout fund wherever his economic advisers see fit. He wants Congress to pass a comprehensive national health reform plan, something no Congress has done. And he wants to tackle the financial problems of Medicare and Social Security right after that.

“Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans,” he said, accurately. “Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done.”

Obama did not mention (and did not need to, for the members of Congress on the West Front already know) that to pass his ambitious plan, he intends to do something both FDR and Ronald Reagan did: harness public opinion to put pressure on Congress. FDR used radio, Reagan used television, and Obama is using the giant e-mail list of supporters compiled during his campaign. As long as his approval rating holds at its current stratospheric levels (79 percent in the last Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg poll), he has a shot at achieving much of his wish list.

But Obama says he wants to do even more: He wants to change the basic tone of American politics. “On this day, we come to an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics,” he said. “What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.”

Obama knows that, like Lincoln and FDR, he will be judged on the results of his responses to the nation’s crisis, on “whether it works.”

The ambitions he outlined on Tuesday were audacious in their scale -- not only organizing an economic recovery but also remaking major parts of the federal government and banishing cynicism from national politics. Any president who can get all that done will deserve being compared to those giants. © Los Angeles Times, 2009 22 January 2009, DOYLE MCMANUS TODAY'S ZAMAN


[Opinion] Barack Obama May Face More Trouble Than Acknowledged
WASHINGTON -- He called them “gathering clouds and raging storms,” “icy currents” in a “winter of hardship.” But as Barack Obama spoke to the country for the first time as president, the world beyond Washington was filling in details of the hardships that he alluded to in his inaugural address.

Even as he finished the oath of office, the crisis in the financial services industry sent banking stocks plummeting, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average turned in its worst Inauguration Day performance in its century-plus history, losing 4 percent of its value.

For a nation weary of war and wracked by economic anxiety, it was a signal that Obama’s problems could be even worse than expected.

The new president offered few details of the path to prosperity beyond calling for shared sacrifice and cautioning that finding a fix will not be easy. Rather, he spent a surprising amount of time drawing connections between today’s problems and failed political leaders who he said had become consumed with “protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions.”

It was a rebuke of the highly partisan wars of recent decades that handicapped Washington, and it was delivered even as his predecessors, including presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, joined him atop the platform on the Capitol steps.

“In the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things,” Obama said, seeming to belittle what had come before him as frivolous. He called for a “new era of responsibility,” implying irresponsibility on the part of current political leaders.

“We come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics,” he said -- a passage that seemed to summon the impeachment of Clinton, the disputed 2000 election and the sharp-elbowed electioneering of Karl Rove, all of which helped leave Washington in gridlock for more than a decade. In promising such a clean and dramatic break from the past, Obama elevated his own role in guiding the nation from its problems, rather than diminishing expectations for his administration.

Obama drew directly from a prior president who remained popular while navigating a severe economic crisis -- and even made some mistakes in his first term. Just as Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to buck up Americans in his 1933 inaugural address by assuring them that, “plenty is at our doorstep,” Obama on Tuesday said American workers are “no less productive than when this crisis began” and that “our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed.”

Roosevelt retained public confidence as he tried, and at first failed, to restart the economy. Obama too is asking Americans to grant him time and room for experimentation.

“People are willing to exercise some patience here as long as they see him taking steps to address the problem,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a member of the House leadership.

But Van Hollen acknowledged, “How long that can go on before people are overtaken with frustration -- the jury is still out on that.”

Obama had hoped he could focus his early efforts at an economic recovery on winning congressional approval for an $825 billion economic stimulus plan that is widely seen as aimed at helping ordinary Americans. But the eruption of new financial troubles on Tuesday likely will force him to take steps to save the banking sector, a problem that federal officials hoped had been resolved. Indeed, the departing Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout program for the financial services industry proved so unpopular that Obama and his top aides had to lobby lawmakers personally even before they took office to ensure that Congress did not block use of the program’s remaining $350 billion.

Now Obama may need to take more drastic action -- possibly seizing troubled big banks, which could avoid drawing on more taxpayer money but risk spooking investors. A less-extreme option that the new administration is thought to be considering would create a government-financed “bad bank,” similar to the savings-and-loan era Resolution Trust Corp. It would take over the mortgage-backed securities and other toxic assets of banks, an effort to shore up their finances and rekindle the kind of lending that is needed to revive the economy.

The sell off in banking stocks on Tuesday was also an eerie reminder of the banking crisis that greeted Roosevelt’s 1933 arrival in office.

Obama had no sooner reminded a throng of more than 1 million well-wishers that “without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control” than shares of many of the nation’s big banks threatened to do just that, amid investor fears that the institutions could be in even worse shape than previously thought. Bank of America nearly lost 30 percent of its value despite receiving $45 billion in federal bailout funds. © Los Angeles Times, 2009 22 January 2009, RON DEPASQUALE TODAY'S ZAMAN


Cheapening Change In Turkey Asia Times Online http://www.atimes.com Jan 20 2009 Hong Kong
The ridiculous headline, "Hepimiz Keviniz " (We are all Kevin), used by Turkey's Star News to report Hollywood actor Kevin Costner's starring role in an ad for Turkish Airlines' new first-class service, seems a gross misappropriation of a phrase born to symbolize the Turkish peoples' empathy for persecuted people locally and across the globe.

The phrase Hepimiz (All of us) was made popular after the assassination of the journalist Hrant Dink in January 2007. Dink was a talented Armenian writer who had great faith in the Turkish people. He spent most of his life working to create a tolerant environment for people like himself who do not fit into the narrow state definition of "Turkishness".

When his 16-year-old killer, Ogun Samast, ran from the scene shouting: "I have killed the gavur" (foreigner or non-Muslim), the nation responded with an outpouring of shame. Streets were flooded with people and placards all defiantly proclaiming, "Hepimiz Hrant'iz, hepimiz Ermeniyiz" (We are all Hrant, we are all Armenian).

The phrase has since become a rallying cry for anyone defending human rights, free speech, equality, women's rights and racial diversity.

In 2008, when the Italian peace campaigner Pippa Bacca was raped and murdered while hitchhiking across Turkey wearing a bridal gown to symbolize her desire to spread a message of "marriage between different peoples and nations", her death was commemorated by supporters and women's groups with the words "Hepimiz Pippa'yiz".

Another example of the phrase has been in response to the savage attacks on Gaza, which have prompted marches in Turkey under the banner "Hepimiz Filistinliyiz" (We are all Palestinians).

The slogan made its first appearance in 2009, at the opening night party of the film The Queen at the Factory. In the movie, Hande Yener, the oft-touted Madonna of Turkish pop, plays the lead in the film which revolves around a brother's inability to accept his sister's homosexuality. Yener started the film's party by proclaiming Hepimiz Gay'iz.

When it first arrived the phrase was all encompassing, it seemed on a par with John F Kennedy's Ich bin ein Berliner, or the French response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, Nous Sommes tous Americains. After well-documented generations of distrust and dislike between Turks and Armenians, some felt it was an important watershed of language and symbolism between the two ethnic groups - something Dink himself would have applauded.

Indeed, the phrase was born in the spirit of fighting racial discrimination. The journalist Alaz Kuseyri, who was responsible for first running the headline on the front page of the widely read Nokta news magazine, was inspired by something he had seen two weeks earlier. At a soccer match in Istanbul, he had watched fans of Besiktas player Pascal Nouma hang signs around the stadium that said "Hepimiz zenciyiz" (We are all black).

The Hepimiz movement is an encouraging small sign in a country which has no national specialized body to combat racism and no nongovernmental organizations to fill the gap. Conservatives say Turkey has no race, but only economic, political or social problems; liberals think differently, and recent legislation put in place under the watchful eye of the ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance) is a step in the right direction.

School textbooks are being evaluated to remove negative views of some minority groups, especially Armenians. Judges and prosecutors have, since 2003, undergone special training on the European Convention of Human Rights. The new criminal code, adopted in 2004, stipulates a jail sentence of up to one year for anyone who discriminates on the grounds of language, race, color or religion in employment or access to public services.

There have also been modifications to the notorious Associations Act, which banned organizations formed to assert differences in class, race, language or religion. The same act now prohibits associations whose purpose is to "create forms of discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sect or region", however, it still maintains the oppressive ban on those who "create minorities on these grounds and destroy the unitary structure of the Republic of Turkey". But how is one to truly differentiate an organization that claims a minority exists with one whose purpose is to create a minority?

Optimists, as Hrant Dink was, like to believe that the citizens of modern Turkey are the inheritors of the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual rainbow that was the Ottoman Empire. They think that each separate ethnic group can be a tributary flowing into the broad fluid stream of Turkish consciousness, yet this seems unlikely in the short- to middle-term. Only weeks after Hrant's killing the "Hepimiz" that surrounded his death were divided; and once the initial shock had passed, it seemed most people were happy to be Hrant, but not Armenian. The head of the right-wing Milliyetci Hareket Partisi party echoed many people's thoughts when after Hrant's funeral he said; "What does that mean? We are all Turks, we are all Mehmets (Turkish soldiers)."

In the 2005 ECRI report on Turkey, the most common complaint was that while Turkey talked the talk - ie, passed the legislation - it failed to walk the walk. Although the report recognized that "changing attitudes is a much slower process than changing the law", it made specific comment that there had been delays in implementing the reforms and that administrative and judicial authorities often deliberately expressed a contrary attitude to new anti-discriminatory provisions.

Television companies like Star, instead of belittling a hopeful idea of unity by appending it to a Hollywood has-been, would do well to promote it and the multicultural ideas that lie behind it. Turkey's future depends on new definitions of inclusiveness, and Hepimiz is as good a place to start as any.

Fazile Zahir is of Turkish descent, born and brought up in London. She moved to live in Turkey in 2005 and has been writing full time since then.


Obama Presidency Boosts Both Expectations And Fears In Turkey Today's Zaman Jan 20 2009
As Barack Hussein Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States today, both Turkey's expectations and fears regarding the US capital seem to have increased.

Turkey is hoping for increased cooperation with the US in its fight against the terrorist activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and on regional issues where Turkey wants to have its say. Turkey has already made clear its willingness to help or guide the Americans in determining policies with regards to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Turkey wants to see a more cooperative and consultative US capital that does not impose its policies on its allies. Turkey is also hopeful that President-elect Obama will keep his word about establishing a just and stable peace in Palestine.

Despite its expectations from the "president of change," Ankara is also vigilant about the possible drawbacks the Obama administration can pose toward Turkey. Turkey's most obvious fear is about recognition of the Armenian claims of genocide by the administration. Obama already pledged during his election campaign that if elected he would recognize the Armenian claims.

Fear comes first

Obama's choices of Joe Biden as vice president and Hilary Clinton as secretary of state have made it clear to Ankara that the US will never be as friendly as it has been in the past when it comes to speaking about the Armenian claims. Obama and Biden have made clear more than once that they support Armenian claims that a genocide took place at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. As a senator, Clinton has, since 2002, co-sponsored successive "Armenian genocide" resolutions. From the very moment that her name was suggested as head of the State Department, Armenian diaspora organizations expressed their satisfaction with the appointment as they believe Clinton is "an individual with a strong record in support of Armenian genocide recognition." Experts are not altogether pessimistic about Washington's future decisions regarding genocide recognition resolutions that will certainly come to the House and probably to the Senate. The head of the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO/USAK), Sedat Laciner, recently told Today's Zaman that US recognition of Armenian claims of genocide would harm Obama's own policy on the Caucasus as he has lent support to the recent thaw in relations between Armenia and Turkey, which began with President [Abdullah] Gul's visit to Yerevan in September. Politicians would love to believe in this optimism, but it seems that Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is already worried. Speaking to the parliamentary Planning and Budgetary Commission, Babacan expressed his hope that the US would be more cooperative "despite statements by presidential candidates during their campaigns about issues that are sensitive for" Turkey.

Cooperation against 'common enemy' PKK

Despite its fears about possible US recognition of the Armenian genocide claims, Turkey is hopeful that the new administration will continue the Bush administration's hard-won support for Turkey's fight against the PKK's separatist terrorism. After a long period of tension between Ankara and Washington about the US's unwillingness to cooperate with Turkey against the PKK, Turkey managed to recruit the support of then-US President George W. Bush, who in 2007 declared the PKK a "common enemy" for Turkey, the United States and Iraq. Since then the US military has supplied Turkey intelligence about the PKK to facilitate Turkish cross-border raids on the terrorist group's bases in northern Iraq. Turkey hopes that the new administration will continue this policy of cooperation. President Gul has already spoken with Obama on the issue and received Obama's promises "that he believes Turkey has the right to fight against terrorism as part of its right to self-defense." Ankara especially fears the consequences of an unplanned, uncoordinated withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Sources say Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who recently visited the United States to attend a G-20 summit on the global financial crisis, raised Turkey's concerns when he met with Obama aides and asked that the withdrawal be carefully planned. Obama promised during his electoral campaign that he would withdraw US forces from Iraq in no more than 16 months' time.

From unilateralism to global cooperation

Ankara is hopeful about Obama's term in the White House since it regards this as an opportunity for the world order to metamorphose from imposing unilateralism to cooperative multilateralism. In an interview with Today's Zaman, President Gul said he perceived the biggest difference between Obama and the previous administration as Obama's readiness "to avoid unilateralism in world affairs and cooperate with other countries." Gul asserted that as far as issues where the US would seek multilateral action are concerned, Turkey would be one of the US's most important partners. Nonetheless, several Turkish analysts have cautioned that Ankara shouldn't accept multilateralism as a given and should adapt a proactive policy that would help thoroughly explain to the new US administration that the two NATO allies have to maintain a strategic dialogue rather than imposing unilaterally designed policies on one another. Ankara is particularly interested making its voice heard about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq, the Iranian nuclear power plant issue and the future of Afghanistan.


Turkish Pm Says Many Problems Waiting For Solution From Obama Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke at Ankara's Esenboga airport upon his arrival from Brussels. 21 January 2009

Turkish prime minister said on Tuesday that Turkey's full membership to EU was described as a common goal by Turkish and European officials during his recent visit to the Belgian capital.

Speaking at Ankara's Esenboga airport upon his arrival from Brussels, Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that EU membership was a "strategic goal" for Turkey.

"We have insistently emphasized during our talks that Turkey is not interested in any other option," Erdogan said.

Noting that Cyprus issue was on the agenda of the meetings as usual, Erdogan said that the full-fledged talks aiming at the solution of the Cyprus conflict, the progress made by Cypriot leaders so far and the upcoming process in the island were mainly discussed during the talks.

"Turkey supports this process. As a guarantor country, we desire an immediate solution," he said.

Erdogan also said that Turkey's reform and negotiation process gained velocity thanks to the fruitful activities carried out by the Turkish parliament.

Noting that local elections would take place in Turkey by the end of March, Erdogan said the Turkish parliament would work harder in an effort to rapidly introduce new laws after the elections.

Commenting on the energy issue as well, Erdogan said that the actions taken by Turkey within the scope of Nabucco project were discussed during the talks.

"EU member countries should be able to meet their natural gas needs through Nabucco as well," Erdogan said.

Erdogan also said that the fight against terrorism, the Middle East peace process, cooperation efforts in the Caucasus region and other regional issues were on the agenda of his meetings.

Asked whether we would have any contact with new President of the United States Barack Obama, Prime Minister Erdogan said, "there are many expectations. First of all, global crisis and the Middle East conflict are the problems waiting for solution from President Obama. If you ask about my expectations from him, I can say that I expect him to be the voice of all those silent and destitute masses." AA by Müge Yalçın - Milliyet


As Obama Says, ’I Do,’ Turks Ask, ’Will He?’
ISTANBUL - Turks’ belief in Obama’s ability to improve US relations around the world has risen in the last six months, a poll shows, but Turkish experts question if the new president is savvy enough to fulfill his promises. The change in public opinion is proof of Turkey’s social flexibility, one observer says

As the Obama era officially began with the new U.S. President’s inauguration to the White House yesterday, a poll revealed hope has risen sharply among Turks for improved U.S. ties with the rest of the world.

The percentage of Turkish people who believe Obama will strengthen U.S. relations with the rest of the world has risen from 11 to 51 percent in the last six months, according to a poll conducted for the BBC World Service. The results also represent a shift from an earlier poll by Gallup suggesting that most Turks were indifferent to who would become the next U.S. president.

This dramatic change is proof of Turkish society’s flexibility, Semiz İdiz, a columnist for daily Milliyet, told Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. "This also demonstrates that a stable antagonism toward the United States has not settled in Turkey, as we experienced during the Clinton administration," he said. Ali Tekin, an assistant professor at Ankara University, said the shift in Turkish public opinion could be viewed as normal given the extremely high anti-American posture among Turks. "It is normal that this negative view has declined a little due to Obama’s moderate messages and his promise to withdraw troops from Iraq," he said.

It is perfectly normal that Turks support Obama because he represents the average citizen and people can relate to that, said Professor Hüseyin Bağcı from the Middle East Technical University.

For Professor Hasan Köni from Yeditepe University, on the other hand, it was Obama campaign’s openness and easy accessibility for the public that appealed to people. "Take me for example. I wrote a comment on Obama’s Web site listing my suggestions to make the changes that he constantly talks about. The next day he replied saying we would make the change together. From then on I started to get e-mails every other day where he asked me whether I approved his choice of economy secretary or inviting me to the inauguration ceremony. How can you not love this guy," he enthusiastically explained.

Despite all that optimism, it is unlikely that Obama will be able to actualize all his promises, according to İdiz and Tekin. Tekin also said because government politics in the United States has a strong tradition of continuity, the Obama administration would most likely be a synthesis of the previous Clinton and Bush administrations. "After a president like George Bush, who made no positive contribution whatsoever to the world, Obama’s message to make the world a better place is definitely heard," he said.

In terms of Turkish-U.S. relations, a new era has begun where both sides will have to be extremely cautious, according to Bağcı. For the time being Turkey’s relations with Israel, which took a big hit with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s harsh criticism of the invasion of Gaza, will be one of the most important factors affecting bilateral ties, he said. Claiming that Israel has adopted a policy of ignoring Turkey and its potential as mediator in the region after Ankara’s strong reaction, Bağcı said it was Turkey’s future stance and discourse toward Israel and Arab countries that would determine its relations with the US. "Turkey’s attitude toward Israel will directly affect Obama’s attitude toward Turkey," he said.

Köni said Obama’s biggest promise for Turkey was his commitment to use America’s soft power and to withdraw from Iraq. "Military spending destroyed both the US and its allies’ economies. Giving up on hard power, namely the use of military, is very important," he said. Moreover, the withdrawal from Iraq would finally enable Turkey to increase trade in the region, he said. "For years Turkey has been preoccupied with terrorism generating from the Middle East. Turks certainly see Obama as an opportunity to end this."

Turkey aside, an average of 67 percent of people believe Obama will strengthen US relations abroad, with more than 50 percent thinking so in all but two Ğ Japan and Russia Ğ of the 17 countries polled. © Copyright 2008 Hürriyet


Letter To President Obama
Dear President Obama. Today, in a very critical period for your country and history of world, you are taking over the managing responsibility of U.S. to handle with very though issues.

First of all i wish you success sincerly in your tough duty. In the first day of your Presidency, i want tos hare my ideas with you as a Turkish citizen who wants peace, freedom and democracy in all over the world.

First of all i want to state this; It shows how faults could be fixed with democracy and how strong the democracy U.S. is since you are able to be elected as President even if you are one member of a minority which suffered because of racism for years, and since you are someone whose father is Muslim and someone who is an Afro-American with a middle name Huseyin. But as American administrations sometimes using their great force for favour of the country and the world, they sometimes do not. Best examples of the usage of the force of U.S. for malpractices lived in the presidency of George W. Bush. Bush administration is not only responsible of giving great damages to global economy but also responsible of suffering of people who lives in my region. We are really glad that Bush administration is finally over. And your Presidency wakes hope about change in the policies of U.S. and usage of the efficiency of U.S. in good way. May God help you for responding these expectations.

In under your administration, we hop efor U.S. to seek for resolution to the international conflicts in the way of diplomacy and peaceful initiatives with being loyal to international laws instead of trying to solve them with weapons and military ways. Events after 11 September should have showed these: Fight against terrorism can’t be successful without fighting against the reasons which causes terrorism, which are; injustice, repression and exploitation. Democracy can’t be exported with urging with weapons, but democracy could be encouraged by different ways. If the invasion and isolation of Palestine not ends, Israel can’t live in secure; peace can’t be provided in the region or in the world. You are responsible of the stabilization and peace in Iraq which is ruined and burned down, which is turned into a bed of terror by Bush administration.

Bush administration gave huge damages to Turkish-American relations. Because of the policies of Bush administration, reactions in Turkey against U.S. reached to levels which was never seen before. Main reasons for these reactions was; Bush administration’s passivity against PKK terrorists in northern Iraq which were attacking to Turkey over there. Bush administration did this in return of Turkey’s decision about not letting U.S. troops to use its lands for unfair and lawless invasion of Iraq. Another reason was murdering countless innocent civilian in Iraq. Another one could be thought as unconditional support of Bush administration to the militarist policies of Israel. The reactions in Turkey is not against the values that U.S. represents but is against the policies of Bush. To provide old prestige of U.S. in Turkey as in the times of President Clinton, give support to the democratization process of Turkey. Turkey should be the first country you will visit and adress to Muslim World.

It is expected for resolution of recognition of “Armenian genocide” to the Congress on 24 April and you are also thought to support that. I want to remind this to you about this issue; First of all it is not the job of Parliaments to make judge about historical events. Secondly, Turkish society lives a process of facing with its history of First World War which it was kept unenlightened. Recognition of such a resolution by the Congress will not only mean that U.S. had judged some very contraversial topic, but also will cause more hostility. If you support Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, what you should support is the negotiations between Turkish and Armenian governments.
Sahin Alpay , http://historyoftruth.com


Political Situation In Armenia From The Viewpoint Of Intellectuals Alisa Gevorgyan, "Radiolor" 20.01.2009
President of the Union of Writers of Armenia backs a Bulgarian Hero's theory of division of labor, i.e. the writer should write, the artist should paint, the doctor should cure. However, the upcoming session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the threat of depriving Armenia of the right to vote made the President of the Union of Writers and architect Levon Igityan leave aside their professional duties and look at the political situation from the viewpoint of an intellectual.

"Let's not look at all this through black glasses and let's try to value what we have," Levon Ananyan urges. He is confident that there are many things that do not depend on us. According to him, more than ever we need to be united, while in reality the opposition says one thing, the authorities - a different thing, and the society insists on the third thing.

"This polarized and extremely politicized atmosphere does not promise anything good," the President of the Union of Writers is confident.

Architect Levon Igityan says we have become a society seeking scandals. We do not like thinking long and it constantly seems to us that others should think and act instead of us. According to Levon Igityan, this is our greatest problem with all its manifestations. Levon Igityan is optimistic about the decision to be made at the forthcoming PACE session.


Letter To President Obama: Turkey In An Arena Of Trials Inauguration Day 20 January 2009

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
USA

Dear Mr. President:

I write this letter to you, Mr. President, with my highest and warmest regards, best wishes, and my hope for a better, more just world. I have fond memories of this particular day, 20 January, your day of inauguration as president. Forty-eight years ago—six months before you were born—I, along with my fellow West Point cadets, marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to salute the newly sworn president, John F. Kennedy. Next to graduating from West Point, it was the highlight of my life. January 20, 1961—it had snowed heavily the night before and the day dawned windy with arctic temperatures. It was perfect, a memory crystal buried deep. How young we were, so enthusiastic about confronting a dangerous world with our young president. But while euphoria is grand, it is also dangerous, Mr. President. It didn’t take long for reality to take hold. And so time goes. I have now lived in Istanbul, Turkey for nine years. Over these years a “reality” has set in regarding our beloved country, America. And so I write to you today, Mr. President, to warn you about conditions in Turkey. “The world,” wrote Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, “is an arena of trials.” And the Bush policy of making Turkey a “moderate Islamic republic” has been, and continues to be, an arena of disasters. Mr. President, time is of the essence to correct this. And you need to know more about Turkey to do so.

Accordingly, I have enclosed two books: one a biography, Atatürk, by Andrew Mango, the other, a copy of The Great Speech by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Nutuk in Turkish). The latter epic work flowed from the pen of Atatürk, a 36-hour speech delivered over six days in October 1927. Therein, he recounts the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Turkish Republic. It is an astounding document.
I have tried to show, in these accounts, how a great people, whose national course was considered as finished, reconquered its independence; how it created a national and modern state founded on the latest results of science. The result we have today is the fruit of teachings which arose from centuries of suffering,and the price of streams of blood which have drenched every foot of the ground of our beloved homeland. This holy treasure I lay in the hands of the youth of Turkey. Turkish youth! Your primary duty is ever to preserve and defend the national independence of the Turkish Republic. (Atatürk, The Great Speech, 715)

By reading this book, Mr. President, you will immediately understand the enormous genius of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. You will see how the forces of religious fundamentalism didn’t magically vanish after Atatürk ended the sultanate and abolished the caliphate. Instead, they continued to subvert his revolutionary reforms from the very beginning. This is the nature of religious fundamentalism here in Turkey. It never stops. It is vital that you understand this, Mr. President. Turkey has always been a target for these dark-minded forces. And now these ignorant minds run the country. Reading the words of Mustafa Kemal will also help you marshal your own significant resources and talents, for you seem to be blessed with a capacious mind much like Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s. Decisive, informed leadership is needed today by the president of the United States. These were defining characteristics of Atatürk, along with his great personal integrity. May you learn well from him, Mr. President, a man who fought a war against religious terrorists for his entire life.

Now the democratic, secular, social state of the Republic of Turkey, governed under the rule of law, is under siege, both from without and within. I know this, Mr. President, I live here, and what I know is not sanitized by political niceties and outright propaganda. The undoing of this nation, created in Atatürk’s mind as a young army officer, has been long underway. But now the day is here. The black-minded ignorance of religious fundamentalism becomes more apparent every minute. Alcohol bans, women shoved under politically symbolic headscarves at the behest of duplicitous politicians, a compliant, subverted media. Here, so-called “liberals” work in compliance with outside forces (your CIA, for example, Mr. President). And the corruption of the religious ruling party is stunning and stinks to the high heavens from theft, rampant bribery, and election fraud. Currently, a scam called Ergenekon purges the left-wing opposition rivals (all adherents of the enlightened principles of Atatürk). To further contaminate his work, a smattering of outright criminals is added to the list of detainees. All this and more has brought democratic Turkey near its knees. And Mustafa Kemal Atatürk never knelt for anyone, ever. As a child he even refused to play leapfrog.

European Union members, who never read him, wonder why so much fuss is made about Atatürk. Of similar traitorous stripe as the “entente liberals” of Atatürk’s day who conspired with the British occupiers for a mandate over Turkey, today’s “liberal” Turks (liboş) fall over themselves subverting secular Turkey and the principles of Atatürk, in the name of democracy. The ruling party works its religious agenda demeaning the integrity of women at every turn, debasing the liberation of women by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. And the United States of America, our country Mr. President, directly aids and abets these subversive forces. This is shameful.

Mr. President, most Americans remain ignorant about Turkey and, amazingly, even more so about Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Without knowing this man one knows nothing about this country. The enclosed books are my attempt to prevent you learning about Turkey solely by reading sterile briefing books, self-serving CIA studies, State Department policy papers, memoranda from your national security advisors, and, most particularly, reports from the western press. Most of the Turkish press, and, in particular, the current Turkish government are similarly ever-willing purveyors of self-interested propaganda. Beware, Mr. President, for you will receive regurgitations of superficial, stale, and even incorrect information, like the Bushian nonsense that Turkey is a “moderate Islamic nation.” Via the headscarf issue—the “ocular proof” of piety for western consumption—this ill-conceived initiative, without any Koranic justification, has created a gigantic, violent, societal schism in Turkey. Mr. President, is America a moderate Christian nation? I mean, should Americans wear visible crucifixes? Please reconsider this nonsensical policy, Mr. President. (Again, read The Great Speech to see how religious subversions beset Atatürk at every turn.)

One will be able to imagine how necessary the carrying through of these measures was, in order to prove that our nation as a whole was no primitive nation, filled with superstitions and prejudices. Could a civilized nation tolerate a mass of people who let themselves be led by the nose by a herd of Şeyhs, Dedes,Seyyits, Çelebis, Babas, and Emirs, who entrusted their destiny and their lives to palm readers, magicians, dice-throwers and amulet sellers? Ought one to preserve in the Turkish State, in the Turkish Republic, elements and institutions such as those which had for centuries given the nation the appearance of being other than it really was? (Atatürk, The Great Speech, 714)

Mr. President, even worse than misinformation, you will be regaled with assertions and protestations that the current religious-rooted government is representative and similar to the majority of Turkish people. Mr. President, it is extremely dangerous for you, and for the United States, to be deceived in this manner. Indeed this must sound strange to you, Mr. President, but it is true. There is a great muffling happening in Turkey today. So I caution you, to become truly aware of the situation in Turkey, you must first meet Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in depth. You must come to enlightenment about Turkey on your own recognizance, Mr. President, and not rely on the misinformed, the flatterers, and the deceivers, of whom there are legion.

While you may think you are different, Mr. President, be forewarned that, despite your access to the bright minds of the CIA, the State Department, and your White House staff, you will not get a true idea of the essence of Turkey, the nation. You may learn about this Turkish government, but that’s not learning about the Turkish nation. And you will certainly not learn anything from members of the present Turkish government about the nation’s soul.

The essence of the modern Turkish soul reposes in the materials I have sent, in a word, Atatürk. His accomplishments—military, political, social, educational, creative—represent a quest for justice for the collective life of his people, and in no small regard, for the world. “Peace at home, peace in the world,” he famously said. He possessed, as I suspect you do as well, Mr. President, what Reinhold Niebuhr called the “sublime madness in the soul,” saved from excessiveness by unusually astute powers of reason. So armed, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk battled against the powers of darkness and spiritual corruption in high places. So armed, he rescued his people from the debris of the Ottoman Empire. Today, his thoughts and deeds define the existential principles of the Turkish nation. But, Mr. President, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is now under attack from outside Turkey and within.

Nevertheless, his principles still inspire tens of millions of proudly secular Turks who long for the truly democratic nation he established. Believe me Mr. President, the “secular elite” described by the disgracefully biased and ill-informed writings of Sabrina Tavernise of The New York Times as “an immensely powerful coterie of generals and judges” is nonsense. Millions of us—yes, Mr. President, I too am a citizen of Turkey—took to the streets in the spring of 2007 against the policies of the U.S.-backed Erdoğan government. And matters have become even more dire since. Mr. President, perhaps you don’t know what’s going on with this government.

In the name of democracy, the ruling party, the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, Justice and Development Party) has made a shambles of Turkey’s founding principles. In the name of democracy there is vast bribing of the AKP electorate, predominantly poor and uneducated, with coal and appliances. Higher court deliberations on suits against the ruling party are regularly attacked by the ruling party, particularly by the prime minister, and literal targets (complete with crosshairs) are made of individual judges in the religious press.

In the name of democracy and social justice and legal egalitarianism, an enormous purge of hundreds of alleged opponents of the ruling party is taking place in a “fishing expedition” called Ergenekon. A literal witch hunt, so-called suspect members of a military-coup conspiracy ring are held without benefit of writs of habeas corpus; they have been held in jail—some for over 18 months—without being charged and later prejudicially tried in jail. Writers, journalists, university presidents, labor union leaders, lawyers, retired army officers, leftists all, are caught up in this disgrace of a dragnet. (As mentioned earlier, some ordinary criminals are mixed in for pollution purposes.) Mr. President, I write to you on their behalf, the educated, western-thinking intelligentia, now imprisoned in a Turkish gulag called Silivri, the largest prison in Turkey, and in Europe. And that’s where they are tried! In the prison! So you, Mr. President, as an attorney, undoubtedly instantly understand the extremely prejudicial nature of this trumped-up case.

Mass arrests typically happen immediately after the ruling party suffers a legal or corruption setback. For example, consider its trial in early 2008 where the AKP was found guilty of being the center of anti-secular activity in Turkey. A second roundup occurred as a result of a German charitable foundation called Deniz Feneri, “lighthouse” in English. Organized by Turks in both Germany and Turkey, Deniz Feneri stole 41 million euros from pious Turks in Germany and transferred 17 million of it to Turkey, some to media companies friendly to the ruling party. The AKP manager, Zahid Akman, of the Turkish government’s televison and radio system (RTÜK), was identified by the court as the bagman. He remains in his position, dutifully protecting the nation’s morals by blurring televised images of smoking and the consumption of alcohol. The German prosecutor stated that links of the Deniz Feneri embezzlement were traced to the office of the prime ministery.

The movement of Turkey toward sharia continues. Vast areas of the nation have been made alcohol-free. Swimsuit advertisements are banned in Istanbul. The Atatürk Cultural Center, located in prime space in downtown Istanbul, has been closed. No details are given regarding its status. Consequently, the Istanbul symphony, opera, and ballet, all state sponsored, have been sent packing. They are rumored to perform occasionally, somewhere. So much for cultural enlightenment. Oddly enough, Istanbul has been selected to be the European Capital of Culture in 2010; this is known as political lip service.

Mr. President, for too long a time America has attempted to efface the Turkish soul, to reshape this country, to include it in the American hegemony. All this subversion has been to, in effect, lobotomize the Turkish brain, ridding it of the noble thoughts of Atatürk, making it a congenial dolt, bowing and scraping to America’s wishes. Internally, this has been the primary responsibility of the ruling party. And it has done its job very well, almost bringing the once proud nation of Atatürk to its knees. Once, after a waiter dropped a heavily laden tray at a state dinner, Mustafa Kemal turned to his foreign guests and said, “As you can see I have taught my people to do everything but serve.” How ironic, how angering to the followers of Atatürk is the current servile, US-installed government. Consider this, Mr. President. Banned from running from office, without any legal credentials whatsoever, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was welcomed to the White House by George W. Bush as de facto head of the Turkish government. How outrageous! No wonder Erdoğan, habitually a dour, scowling man, beamed broadly whenever he visited Bush. Do not be deceived Mr. President, this government neither serves you, nor the Turkish people. In the name of so-called democracy, it serves itself.

It has long been at its destructive work, this imperialism. You know this personally, Mr. President. Why your very roots—one foot in Hawaii, the other in Kenya, your days of youth in Indonesia—all these highly personal experiences have surely informed your persona. Surely they speak to you of the same issue that so afflicts Turkey. Imperialism. Internal subversion. Corruption.

When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk rescued Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman five hundred year reign, he established a new way for the Turkish people to live their lives. It was the way of enlightenment, the western way. I hope that you can now begin to see how the west, for its own ill-reasoned self-interest, has encouraged the sabotaging of the enlightened principles of Atatürk. Most importantly, I hope that this whets your reading appetite to learn more about this incomparable man.

Mr. President, I am confident that you will adopt your policies, both within America, and without, in the spirit of those stirring words you wrote in Dreams from My Father about a different kind of politics:

“That politics will need to reflect our lives as they are actually lived.”
The majority of Turkish people want the very same thing. And if the United States can get out of their way, they can have it.

Sincerely yours,

James (Cem) Ryan

Enclosures:
Atatürk. Andrew Mango. John Murray Publishers, London, 2004.
The Great Speech (Nutuk). Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk Research Center, Ankara, 2005.

http://forreasonsunknown-cem.blogspot.com/


Turkey Risks Credibility In Washington-Analyst Hurriyet, Jan 19 2009
ANKARA-Turkey moves far from the transatlantic consensus on how to deal with Hamas and loses credibility as an interlocutor, according to an American analyst. The prime minister's vocabulary in his criticism over Israel leads to concern , he says

The choice of vocabulary employed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his criticism over Israel's Gaza offensive, as well as the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP's, relationship with Hamas have led to serious concerns in Washington, warned a senior American analyst.

"The risk is that Turkey moves far from the transatlantic consensus on how to deal with Hamas and loses credibility as an interlocutor," Ian Lesser of the German Marshall Fund said in an interview with the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Friday.

Praising Turkey's active engagement in Middle East politics as important, Lesser said Ankara's relations with Syria and Iran should not be put in the same basket with the issue of relations with Hamas. "The relationship with Syria has been useful. Maybe even the relationship with Iran is sort of understandable. But when it comes to Hamas, it is more problematic... The biggest concern from an American perspective is that Turkey loses its ability to play a useful role between Israel and its neighbors. Geopolitically this would have consequences," Lesser said.

Public reaction According to Lesser, American policy-makers in Washington understand the Turkish public's reaction toward Israel and the AKP government's consideration of that public opinion, however, it is the tone that raises eyebrows in Washington. "In the long-term this could affect Turkish public opinion negatively not only in relations with Israel but also with the United States," he said.

The state of play between Turkey and the United States under President Barack Obama will depend heavily on Ankara's perception of the transatlantic alliance, Lesser added. While pointing to Turkey's temporary seat at the United Nation's Security Council as an important asset in transatlantic cooperation, he implied that possible developments in Iran would serve as a litmus test for Turkey's direction.

"There will be serious questions of what Turkey will do on major security issues and the most important one is Iran. If there is a Security Council action on Iran's nuclear program then Turkey will have to make tough choices. I am not sure it will be a problem but Turkey and the US will have to work much closer," he said. The second major issue for Turkey during Obama's term will be the future of Iraq, Lesser added. Despite the common tendency to link this with the fight against the terrorist PKK organization, Lesser said Turkey's interest should be assessed in a wider, longer-term perspective in relation to U.S. disengagement.

"Certainly on the PKK issue, I do not think Turkey will have any problem with the Obama administration, I think there is a good recognition of Turkey's problems. I do not really expect any problems," Lesser said.

Lesser did not completely rule out the potential danger of the 1915 events turning into a crisis between Ankara and Washington under Obama's rule, however, he left room for optimism. He said, "I think this issue will be critical but it will not be the first time. We have had many experiences like this. Resolutions have not been very successful in the past. I do not think this will be any different. Smart, effective political people around Obama will understand its meaning for Turkey."

Relations with Armenia He also said the relations between Turkey and Armenia as well as the changing Turkish discourse on the issue would be seriously considered in Washington. "These issues will all be second considerations for Obama given the obsession with the economy. This is valid for congress too," he added. As Obama will take over the ship with the huge burden of the worsening economic situation, the events of 1915 will be among the secondary considerations, he said.

While admitting that for an outsider it is extremely difficult to understand what has actually happened in the Ergenekon saga, Lesser reacted to efforts to link the Ergenekon plot with the US. "It is just not true to think that somehow it is an American creation or there is an American involvement in this. People are not even sure what it is. I think it is part of this increasing pattern in Turkish society in recent years that reflects that a lot of suspicion about the United States," he said.


The Water Finds Its Crack: An Armenian In Turkey Written by Hrant Dink Jan 19 2009 Australia
The interest of foreign journalists, politicians and intellectuals in Turkey is more intense than ever. Their opening inquiries are clear and strong: "Where is Turkey going? Will nationalism increase? If it does, to what kind of a regime can Turkey slide?"

Then comes a special question, the one that people like me - a Turkish citizen and an Armenian - can always expect: "Are you minorities afraid of the way things are going?"

It is striking that those looking at Turkey from the outside are much more impatient, eager for quick answers and solutions, than those on the inside. To what degree is this impatience realistic? After all, throughout the period of the modern republic since 1923, Turkey is a country where changes have been dictated from top to bottom and thus one where inner dynamics from bottom to top are not easily activated. Turkish society is far more used to accepting change, allowing it to happen, than to initiating it.

This consistent structural character has allowed the "deep state" - the network of military and security forces that exercises real political control in Turkey - to survive the three major international developments influencing the country in recent decades.

First, the cold-war years of conflict (1940s-1980s) between the United States-led capitalist world and the Soviet Union-led socialist world. This external dynamic favoured the emergence of a radical, social left in Turkey, but the state's preference for western capitalism - aided by successive military coups d'état - crushed the left's challenge before it could become too powerful.

Second, the mullahs' revolution in Iran (1979). This external dynamic too had a harsh effect on Turkey; those in power instinctively saw its influence among religious Muslims in Turkey as equivalent to the demand for a change of regime, and thus something to be opposed by all means.

Third, the European Union (1960s-2000s). This outer dynamic is very different in its impact on Turkey than the first two. The main reason is that the EU finds nearly all elements of Turkish society and its institutions divided against itself on the issue. Political left and right, secular and religious, nationalist and liberal, state bureaucracy and military - the situation is the same in that everywhere there are internal conflicts over Europe at least as much as conflicts between the camps.

Since no part of Turkish society is homogeneously "for" or "against" the European Union, the EU process has had a singular effect: dissolving Turkey's existing polarisations and becoming itself the main inner dynamic of Turkish development. As the negotiations for Turkey's accession to the EU continue over the next decade, this dilemma will increasingly constitute the basis of Turkish politics. Every change experienced in the near future will "touch the skin" of nearly every section of society, creating widespread friction and probably a lot of annoyance.

From the inside, therefore, the questions facing Turkey are different from those posed by outsiders: "How can the oligarchic state, so accustomed to holding power, consent to share its sovereignty as a member of the European Union? Why is it so desperate to abandon the world it knows for an unknown future in Europe - is it the desire to be western, or the fear of remaining eastern?"

The great taboo

But the questions are not all one way. When the European Union is asked why it wishes to include Turkey, with its lower economic and democratic standards, the answer suggests an uncomfortable truth -that the relationship between Turkey and the EU is governed less by reciprocal desire than by fear. The military elite of the Turkish republic probably calculates that a Turkey unable to enter the European Union is in danger of becoming a strategical irrelevance, while the European Union's power-brokers must consider that a Turkey remaining outside of Europe might become a combatant on the other side of a "clash of civilisations".

As long as the engine of fear pushing from the back is stronger than the engine of desire pulling from the front, the dynamics of Turkish-European Union relations will be uneasy and contested on all sides - not just in Turkey.

Where fear is dominant, it produces symptoms of resistance to change at all levels of society. The more some people yearn and work for openness and enlightenment, the more others who are afraid of such changes struggle to keep society closed. In Turkey, the legal cases against Hrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk, Ragıp Zarakolu or Murat Belge are examples of how the breaking of every taboo causes panic in the end. This is especially true of the Armenian issue: the greatest of all taboos in Turkey, one that was present at the creation of the state and which represents the principal "other" of Turkish national identity.

In this atmosphere, a guiding watchword can be found in the first words of our national anthem. Indeed, I concluded my presentation to the conference at Bilgi University, Istanbul on "Ottoman Armenians During the Decline of the Empire: Issues of Scientific Responsibility and Democracy " on 24-25 September 2005 with these very words: "Do not fear".

The real desire

The best contribution to the understanding of modern Turkey I can make at this stage is through a theme I developed at that Istanbul conference.

The relation between every living being and its area of existence is contained within it and (in the case of human beings) embodied in its very name. The animate is present, together with its area of living existence, inside and not outside this being. If you take this animate away from its area, even on a golden plate, it means that it is being cut at its very root. Deportation is something like that. People who lived on this territory for 3,000 years, people who produced culture and civilisation on this territory, were torn from the land they had lived on and those who survived were dispersed all over the world.

If this axe to the root dominates the psychological condition of generations of this people, you cannot simply act as if the rupture does not exist. The experience is already internalised, recorded on its people's memory, its genetic code. What is its name? The discipline of law can be preoccupied with this question, but whatever it decides we know exactly what we have lived through. It can be understood, even if I should not use the word genocide, as being a tearing up of the roots. There is nothing to do at this point, but this should be understood very well.

I would like to illustrate this internalising of experience with a personal anecdote from several years ago. An old Turkish man called me from a village in the region of Sivas and said: "Son, we searched everywhere until we found you. There is an old woman here. I guess she is from your people. She has passed away. Can you find any relative of her, or we will bury her with a Muslim service".

He gave me her name; she was a 70-year-old woman called Beatrice who had been visiting on holiday from France. "Okay, uncle, I will search", I said.

I looked around and within ten minutes I had found a close relative; we knew each other because we are so few. I went to the family's store and asked: "Do you know this person?" The middle-aged woman there turned to me and said "She is my mother". Her mother, she told me, lives in France and comes to Turkey three or four times a year, but after a very short time in Istanbul prefers to go directly to the village she left many years earlier.

I told her daughter the sad news and she immediately travelled to the village. The next day she phoned me from there. She had found her mother but she suddenly began to cry. I begged her not to cry and asked her whether or not she will bring her body back for burial. "Brother", she said, "I want to bring her but there is an uncle here saying something", and gave the phone to him while crying.

I got angry with the man. "Why are you making her cry?", I said. "Son", he said, "I didn't say anything... I only said: 'Daughter, it is your mother, your blood; but if you ask me, let her stay here. Let her be buried here...the water has found its crack'."

I became thrown away at that moment. I lost and found myself in this saying produced by Anatolian people. Indeed, the water had found its crack.

A lady at the Istanbul conference implied that remembering the dead meant coveting territory. Yes, it is true that Armenians long for this soil. But let me repeat what I wrote soon after this experience. At the time the then president of Turkey, Suleyman Demirel, used to say: "We will not give even three pebblestones to Armenians." I told the story of this woman and said: "We Armenians do desire this territory because our root is here. But don't worry. We desire not to take this territory away, but to come and be buried under it."

Hrant Dink is a journalist and editor of the bilingual (Armenian-Turkish) weekly newspaper Agos in Istanbul. In October 2005, he was given a six-month suspended sentence for "insulting the Turkish identity" in a newspaper article which discussed the massacres of Armenians in 1915. He is appealing this decision.

Since April 2005, Hrant Dink (along with the Turkish human-rights activist Sehmus Ulek) is also being prosecuted under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code (formerly Article 159) for speeches they delivered in December 2002 at a conference in Urfa, southeastern Turkey, entitled "Global Security, Terror and Human Rights; Multiculturalism, Minorities and Human Rights". In his speech, Hrant Dink discussed his own relationship to official definitions of Turkish identity. The next hearing of the case is due on 9 February 2006.

On the comparable case of renowned Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, see this article by Murat Belge (himself facing charges along with four colleagues under Article 301 for his willingness to discuss the genocide, in a case that will come before an Istanbul magistrates' court on 7 February 2005):

"Love me, or leave me? The strange case of Orhan Pamuk" This article is published by Hrant Dink, , and openDemocracy.net under a Creative Commons licence. (This article was first published on 13 December 2005)


Hrant Dink : I Am The One Who Understands His Nation's Pains And Bears That Burden Alin Ozinian - Hrant Dink
www.turquieeuropeenne.eu Jan 19 2009 France

My point of view in these bills may be considered a very romantic one, but I have not denied it. I think also the world like Turkey takes double-faced position in the process of accepting the Armenian genocide. The world is aware of the reality for a long time; they had their role and influence on those times. Nowadays France accepts it after decades. It is not like moral attitude, because the case is used as trump card in relations with Turkey.

Alin Ozinian : "It was in the middle of October, 2006. We arranged to meet with Hrant Dink at his office in the "Agos" newspaper. I have taken interviews on the theme "Mental and spiritual atmosphere in Turkey about the Armenian Problem" with 30 Turkish academicians, journalists, politicians and intellectuals. Hrant got me acquainted with many of them. Now it was his turn to answer the questions.

It was warm atmosphere at the office and we easily started the talk. Sometimes we switched off the recorder during the friendly talk and he expressed his worries. I did not take them serious but the stupid scenery comes true just two months later. After the interview both of us was sure we did a real contribution for the existing situation: Me with my questions and he with his responds. We were quite happy.

Last time I talk to Hrant on 16 January 2007 when I was in Yerevan. I wanted some points of view to realize the project into a book. The talk was short. He said to me, "Come to Istanbul, we will talk face to face". I went to Istanbul for many times after our talk but we never talked face to face."

Will you tell me how, why and whose idea was to found the "Agos"?

The foundation of the newspaper was a difficult task as it was decided to publish the "Agos" according to the needs of Turkey's Armenian community. But the "Agos" was published contrary to some negative reactions. Up to then some questions were raised: it was not enough in the community to publish only in Armenian, as the majority of people came from Anatolia and they were Turkish speaking. There was a serious lack of information in the community as people can not read the Armenian press. And then enclosed society itself causes difficulties, it needed to get accustomed to. We had to struggle. The Turkish society accepted the Armenian community in other way. The word Armenian was considered to be an abuse; the Turks connected the Armenians with the Kurdish Worker Party (PKK) or with ASALA. There was a great anxiety and trouble in the community when the Karabagh problem was discussed in Turkey.

We lived like a worm. We heard what was on TV but could do nothing. We apposed, cried, told that all these were lie but could not speak loudly. We need to break the wall, it was necessary. One day the Patriarch Ghazanchyan invited us and told that there was a photo of an Armenian priest and Abdullah Odjalan in the "Sabah" newspaper and there was written under the photo "Here is the fact of Armenian and PKK collaboration". Then His Holiness stated that it was a lie, the priest was not an Armenian. He asked me and my friends who were with me at that time what we thought about all that. I expressed my point of view and suggested that it'll be meaningful if we invite a press- conference. It was a brave action, all the local and international press came and it was a great success. The impression was indescribable. After the meeting I suggested that it was nonsense to invite a conference on every occasion, we had to take definite steps. And I suggested publishing a newspaper.

We were running it with my friends. Later they left and I was the one to run it. By using the newspaper we also wanted to create an intellectual cuisine youth to grow sociologists and intellectuals.

What problems did you come across during foundation and after it?

The first problem was to subdue the community conservatism. We felt anti-sympathy by local Armenian press. There were people who thought we would work for months or in the best case for a year but it is 10 years that we have been working. Some people thought it was a regress to be published in Turkish. But we tried to do a good thing, by using the Turkish language for the community. I am sure they have already been persuaded.

When you founded the newspaper did you think it would be better for Turks to read the press and get some news about the Armenian community?

Our main objective for this society was to be a window to a large society. I think this is our success: the two societies started to penetrate into each other. We managed to discuss our own problems equal to Turkey's problems. We think that only through Turkey's democratization it was possible to solve the problems. Soon the community also started to show interest towards the main problems of society. The Armenian society together with the "Agos" struggled braver for its identity; felt the patronage started not to fear.

Will you tell about the peculiarities of being an editor, publishing a newspaper especially for a minority in Turkey? Please introduce us your viewpoints on freedom of the press in Turkey.

There is no special difficulty in publishing a newspaper for the minority. If you are not an editor with principle, if you do not have a certain political motivate, if you are interested more often in illustrated news then you have no professional difficulties. But if you are a journalist of certain ideas, sure you will have difficulties. Recently we have had some common difficulties connected with freedom of the press, in accordance with Turkey's criminal new code and the Press law there is some control over us. We also suffered: the newspaper was confiscated for several times. I think we get more than we deserve and the only reason is our attitude toward the Armenian problem. I am sure this is the reason but we have not repudiated yet, aside we will go on.

Let's talk on European Union role for Turkey. Is it necessary for Turkey to become a member of EU?

This is an irrevocable process for Turkey. It is necessary to understand Turkey's reason to enter EU it is not a simple desire. The real reason is the fear. It's the reason why this process moves so slowly. Why Turkey fears? It is the fear of instability and fear is mutual. Because of this fear this process is continuing and there is no way to go back.

If military in Turkey definitely had been rejected entering EU, the process will not come to this level. If we do not become a member of EU, one day we will also have to leave the NATO. The process goes so slowly because of the reason that there is no great desire to become a member of EU. I do not think it will be possible to stop the process. We may slow it, sometimes freeze it, but can not cancel it.

If we observe the history of the state there are three important periods influencing into Turkey's interact process. The first was Cold war period when the country had some problems with leftist movements and abolished them. The second period was when clerical forces came into office in Iran. Islamists of Turkey demanded their participation in country's administration and today they came into power. The third period is EU membership process and so far nothing had influenced Turkey so much. The process left no group homogeneous in Turkey. Today, there are powers among soldiers, bureaucrats, academicians and media who speak against EU.

What is the greatest problem in the process of Turkey's Europeanization and modernization?

Opposing reactions coming from the lower class by the upper class. The laws of the upper class. ?¢hese are the first problems. The second great obstacle is fear of the upper class. Turkey occupies less area unlike the Ottoman Empire, this is the reason of not to lose more. This can be also called "a syndrome of Sevres". Every change causes fear and doubt in Turkey. This is the reason why the changes in Turkey moves so slowly.

Turkey is both a crossroad and a border between West and East. I think Malatia is the border in Turkey. East and West of Malatia are quite different worlds.

In effect Turkey is a country of strategic importance but depends at the same time on East and West. Depending on the situation it will be injustice to wait quick adaptation from Turkey. One of the greatest reasons that changes do not occur easily is the new building built in Turkey which is the upper identity created and was obliged to whole society. That's why they are afraid to get to know their real history. Every other historic comment has an effect of an earthquake for the identity. This earthquake is also a threat for Europe. The identity may pull down but over whom this is uncertain...

May reformations take place in the sphere of democracy and human rights in the process of corresponding EU demands?

I have no doubt but it is a difficult process. Laws may be passed but while putting them into forces there will be opponents... Change of thinking is necessary, democracy will sufficiently change the way of thinking. The more the way of thinking is changed the quicker democratization will be.

However trouble of people in some situations is observable, For instance, freedom of thought is considered to be high treason (Turkey's criminal code, article 301), and freedom of religion, conscience (head scarf) may be accepted as regress. What is the reason? In effect are people ready for those reformas?

Today people are speaking about the raise of the nationalism but I do not believe that nationalism increases but it is being increased by some people. It became more obvious in the last two years. Those people do their best to model coming elections in Turkey.

They make plans to throw down the party "Justice and Development". However they have no reason neither economic, nor democratic. We are only to inspire nationalists and it is done everywhere at funerals of martyrs, against EU or while welcoming the Pope. I think the whole pain of those responses is the coming elections. They do not want to give sits to the Islamists in the government. We will see what will happen...

Do you agree that there are differences in Turkey based on ethnic roots? Can you speak about reasons provoking it and consequences following it?

As for ethnic roots, no doubt there are various attitudes. A simple example, today not only Muslims but also Christians, Armenians should have been in main headquarters, military powers, police, various official government offices and ministries. The main reason provoking it is security. Turkey has evaluated the contest of minorities in conception and takes it as a matter of security. I say facts, there are mathematical data. Out of 300000 Armenians at the Lausanne period today 60000 is left and the Turkish population is increased from 13 million up to 70 million. When one increases how it happens that the other is decreased? It was necessary to decrease the number of minorities. Some crucial points appeared, for instance the law for property tax, September 6, 1955 but what happened is already past. Besides, the Armenians for being safe and sound left Turkey because of economic and moral problems.

There is one more fact as well. You will not find anything connected with minorities especially the Armenians in any textbooks. There are facts on minorities only in the textbook of the National Security. In the elementary school there is not even a sentence like "Ali gives the ball to Hakob"; Ali will always give it to Veli. When we observe them we are nowhere. Only in the textbooks of National Security you may find the word "Armenians" which will take place in the unit of unprofitable groups which play bad tricks with Turkey.

How can you estimate relationship between Turkey and Armenia?

We may speak about non-existing relationships. I do not see any relationship after Armenia gained its independence. First the USA attempted to make some steps then EU but in vain. Desire exists but it is very weak. Turkey has not yet got accustomed to the thought that Armenia is an independent country in the Caucasus. There is a state, a neighbor, Turkey should comprehend this and start relationship. When state policy fails public policy takes its place. There are some attempts to establish non-governmental relationship from to sides, but they are very weak, very few.

What do you think the 1915 events should be called?

I have no doubt. It was genocide.

What do you think of diplomatic relations without preconditions suggested by Armenia and the committee of historians proposed by Turkey?

I do not think Turkey's attitude an honest one. The Armenian side is more sincerely.

Why? Do you have any doubts that the committee of historians will be of any use?

Yes, everybody thinks that the committee of historians will be of no use. Policy like always will go on without relations and results. This is the way which Turkey loves: no relations. I think Azerbaijan also obliges such policy to Turkey. The Armenian side is more reasonable and desirous.

What is your opinion about the third state to interfere the problem and bills on genocide accepted in parliaments?

My point of view in these bills may be considered a very romantic one, but I have not denied it. I think also the world like Turkey takes double-faced position in the process of accepting the Armenian genocide. The world is aware of the reality for a long time; they had their role and influence on those times. Nowadays France accepts it after decades. It is not like moral attitude, because the case is used as trump card in relations with Turkey. It is very painful for me as an Armenian when my tragedy is used as political trump card on international arenas. I can not stand it, I oppose against it. I am indifferent towards third states. I think the problem should be solved between Turkey and Armenia. But it should be solved not through punishing bills but morality. We do not need punishing bills in morality, our conscience is enough. I believe that these two states may overcome but I do not want to predict anything.

Do you divide Armenians between those who live in Armenia, in abroad and in Turkey, while speaking about the Armenian question?

Not only in connection with that matter but in general I think so. Turkey is a far and irresistible state for Diaspora but for Armenia it is a neighboring state and keeps Armenia independence. For the Armenians living in Turkey, Turkey is their motherland. Though I say such things I do not want to separate Armenians and accept the Turkish point of view. Turkey should establish good relations with every state. But these two states should come into conclusion and solve the problem. I do not think that Armenians living in Turkey must be involved in the talks as they are citizens of Turkey.

As a citizen of Turkey are you worried about the Armenian-Turkish closed border? What is your estimation on Turkey's policy towards Armenia that accepts Azerbaijan's problems as its own, and sets preconditions in the relations with Armenia?

During the Demirel's government good relations were established between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Turkey attempts to make relations with Armenia taking into account the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. Frankly saying Turkey does not want to annoy Azerbaijan negotiating with Armenia. Azerbaijan does not allow Turkey to negotiate with Armenia using the Karabagh problem.

Any nationalistic power will solve this problem in anti-Azerbaijani way. Turkey also takes this side and does not consider Armenia as its neighboring country. First Turkey exterminated the Armenian question, but as Armenia gained its independence the question again resurrected. Turkey suddenly saw a phantom and the same question raised how to do with Armenia. Turkey was in a desperate situation but the Karabagh problem emerged and clung to it with its four hands, rejoiced it and ran for help. Turkey thought that it would take a long time. This is the continuation of policy...

According to you is the Republic of Turkey the continuer of the Ottoman Empire in the history...

I do not expect apology or responsibility from anybody. I am the one who understands his nation's pains and bears that burden. I do not think of financial compensation or returning of lands. For me it is important to repair relations broken in the past, to know who and what circumstances played role. European states may also have a positive effect, compensate their guilt and try to soften the disagreement founding economical and cultural advantageous platforms to make the two states become closer.

May we state the role of the "Ittihat ve Terraki" is great in this matter?

Not only one group is in charge, there were assistants who promoted and closed their eyes on it. Today, also existing people who are reluctant that reality may come into world. If you seek responsibility there are many of them, each one has its share but I am not the one to remind of this. Presumably it sounds very romantic but every one should admit his guilt.

Let's try to analyze what are the main problems of the two states?

There are disappointments, unwillingness; enmity and fear... Today some new fears exist. The Armenians also fear we need to pay attention to them. The Armenians are subdued between Azerbaijan and Turkey. There are two states suppressing from right and left. Fear and insecurity is an important handicap it needs to be inoculated.

We need to explain fairly that Turkey may be a friend of Armenia. The Armenian side should be reasonable, should see the present situation. There is an independent Armenia with two states around carrying out an embargo. Armenia may relax only in the south but there is mullah administration which is not clear how long it may go on.

Diaspora should ponder on this. Armenia should settle good relations with its neighbors and to become a member of EU. If Armenia were a member of EU today Turkey will subject to embargo not Armenia but Europe.

Instead of passing bill in parliaments of different states it will be better for Diaspora to persuade those states to accept Armenia into EU. They should be reminded of their history, responsibilities as they have their share of guilt in today's situation. Diaspora at least should be able to say to carry out that. This is my formula to go ahead and we should demand from the Europeans for the steps taken in the past.


Armenian-Turkish Relations Again At The Core Of Discussions 19.01.2009 Alisa Gevorgyan “Radilour”
The Armenian-Turkish relations, the process of recognition of the Armenia Genocide are again in the center of discussions. During today’s press conference Head of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau's Hay Dat and Political Affairs Office Kiro Manoyan spoke about the above-mentioned issues. Turning to the Internet “apology campaign,” Kiro Manoyan said the campaign was a step against international recognition of the Armenian Genocide rather than an honest expression of apology to Armenians.

“To recognize the Armenian Genocide Turkey needs a revolution, a revolution in the mentality of the Turkish people,” the speaker said.

According to Kiro Manoyan, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the US can contribute to the improvement of the Armenian-Turkish relations, not vise versa, while the idea of the commission of historians is unacceptable, since it can mislead the international community.

According to Mr. Manoyan, the Armenian-Turkish relations are not on the agenda today, which is connected with the problems inside Turkley. In his words, the “Ergenekon” radical grouping is dangerous for Turkey and its activity can lead to the crash of the country.
Reproduction on full or in part is prohibited without reference to Public Radio of Armenia


Picking On The 'Wrong Armenian' Rick Anderson Seattle Weekly http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/ Jan 22 2009 WA

If you go back ten years, you see how little Armen Yousoufian was asking for: Some papers. He wanted to make sure that King County officials were being honest about their deal-making for a new "$300 million" Seattle football stadium (the true price tag was closer to $1 billion with interest and other taxpayer costs). Yousoufian was a hotel owner in the University District and worried about the impact of a hotel-motel tax to fund the stadium for billionaire Paul Allen. He made a public records request to see internal documents and splash a bit of sunshine into the county's back rooms.

The stadium, Qwest Field, has been operating for six years. Yousoufian, now semi-retired, still does not have all the documents he requested, nor does he have the full story of the county's wheeling-dealing with Allen. But, for his pissed-off persistence, he may soon have a million dollars, he confirmed this week.

And here he'd been happy with less than a half-million.

Yousoufian got the run-around under county executives Gary Locke and, later, Ron Sims, who stalled Yousoufian's record requests for five years, dating to 1997. He sued, and in 2001 a King County Superior Court judge found the county's actions "egregious," handing out a $5-a-day penalty. The $114,000 barely covered his legal fees, and didn't send much of a message. So the sore winner appealed. A higher court upped the daily penalty - a judge can impose from $5 to $100 a day by law - and Yousoufian was eventually awarded more than $432,000. Again, most went towards his legal fees. But he'd made his point, and was willing to end the battle.

The county wasn't. In 2007, it appealed. The state Supreme Court last week made it clear just how bad that move was: The county, wrote Justice Richard Sanders, snubbed Yousoufian, didn't follow the law, and effectively penalized him for asking for public documents, making him refile his requests 11 times over two years. Time to pay up.

The case was sent back to a lower court to impose a penalty of perhaps twice what Yousoufian has already been rewarded - closer to $100 for each day of violation. As Yousoufian likes to say, "They picked on the wrong Armenian."

The penalty, he said this week "could be even more than a million, depending on how the court calculates it." He wishes it was county officials paying it out of their pockets, he adds, rather than taxpayers. "But I hope this will finally send a very strong message. These aren't their records. They are the public's records."


The EU Pays Huge Money To The Organizers Of Internet-Campaign For Apologizing To Armenians In Turkey – List
[ 16 Jan 2009 ]
Baku-APA. The European Union was a promoter of the Internet-campaign for apologizing to Armenians in Turkey and paid huge money to the organizers of this campaign, the Turkish sources told APA.

Founders of the Helsinki Civil Assembly in Turkey professors Ahmet Insel and Halil Berktay, professor of the Bilgi University Murad Belge, Kurdish national Sherafettin Elchi, Kanal D presenter Mehmet Ali Birand, writer Adalet Agaoglu received 107 thousand 414 euro for each of them, professor Ibrahim Kaboglu – 193 thousand 548.73 euro, journalist Mine Kirikkanat – 70 thousand euro, professor Atilla Yayla – 449 thousand 620.40 euro, communist Ertogrul Kurkchu – 809 thousand 414 euro, “Mazlumder” circle – 81 thousand 735.15 euro, editor of the Armenian “Agos” newspaper Etien Mahchupian – one million 32 thousand 921.35 euro.

For this money they have to provide the Internet-campaign “We apologize to Armenians” and to involve more people in this campaign.


Release Of The Book "Imagining Armenia" by Joanne Laycock 25 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
The book by Joanne Laycock will be published in March 2009 by the publishing house Manchester University Press.

"Imagining Armenia: Orientalism, ambiguity and intervention, 1879-1925" examines how Armenia and Armenians have been portrayed in Britain at a decisive moment in modern history, when diplomats, scholars and humanitarians (here appointed Arménophiles) are committed to the past, present and future of Armenia.

Joanne Laycock poses a social and cultural theory to examine the relationship between the representatives of Armenia and the policy responses and humanitarian face of atrocity, genocide and the refugee crisis. This book illustrates how British observers represented the position of Armenians and took into account the stories of atrocities and oppression by the Ottomans. It continues to review the responses to the massacres of Armenians during the First World War, showing how images set Armenians were transformed as a result of this crisis. Joanne Laycock turns to the post-war in which attempts were made to define and establish an independent Armenian state while trying to find a solution to the problem of Armenian refugees. The book ends with the long-term implications of the abandonment of British and international Armenian in public memory.
Price: $ 74.95


Output In Italy "Stones On The Heart" Of Alice Tachdjian 25 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews

Alice Tachdjian, author Armenian resident in Italy, released and taken care of the agenda of his mother Varvara, survivor of the genocide of 1915. The story begins in Ulas, Armenian village in Turkey and speaks deportation and separation from her mother.

It is a story of vicissitudes, transfers before the final arrival in France. The book has the merit to describe the innocent eyes of a child the Armenian massacres of men, violence against women, deportation and hunger.


The End Of The Armenian Taboo In Turkey 25 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews By Nukte V. Ortaq, The Express
Tens of thousands of Turks have already signed the petition to ask forgiveness for the killings of Ottoman Armenians in 1915. And the debate swells.

These are only four small lines printed on a charcoal gray. But the authors of this short essay, a handful of Turkish intellectuals have put in full days a debate that took place so far, for the most part, behind the doors of campus. Since early December, 27 000 Turks have already initialed these two sentences: "My conscience can accept that it remains indifferent to the great catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians suffered in 1915, and the fact that we deny. I reject this injustice, and for my part, I share the feelings and sorrows of my Armenian brothers and sisters and I ask forgiveness. "

For some, the manifesto, written by a small group gathered around Baskin Oran, a former university professor and activist for human rights, is imperfect. Is it really that individuals living in the twenty-first century apologize personally for crimes, if they are ugly, perpetrated in 1915? "Do not underestimate your word, it is perhaps not the best but your words have pierced [indifference]," says the Armenian writer Karin Karakasli.

Treason

Opponents of lifting the taboo did themselves no trouble recognizing the importance of the thing. A group of retired ambassadors denounced the petition, which they consider contrary to the interests of the country. They see it as an act of treason against the 42 Turkish diplomats killed by Armenian terrorists Asala in the 1980s. Justice has opened an investigation and will consider prosecution. At the extreme right, the nationalist MHP (Nationalist Action Party) accused the petitioners blacken the Turkish history.

Against-the petitions have flourished on the Internet, demanding an apology for the Turks. The discussions are violent and sometimes to the threat. But all this excitement is hard qu'attiser signatory.



Apologizing to start talking about the

"The questioning of the Armenian taboo had actually begun in 1996 by the weekly Agos, directed by Hrant Dink, analysis Oral Calislar, a journalist for Radikal. His assassination in 2007 triggered a major trauma in the population. He chamboulé ideas that it was of brotherhood. "

"Apologizing for not ending, but on the contrary to be able to start talking about the subject", says the university Ayse Kadioglu, this is the challenge. French intellectuals of Armenian (filmmaker Patrice Leconte, the journalist Jean Kehayan, actors Simon Abkarian and Serge Avedikian ...) made no mistake: they wrote back in a public letter of thanks.

"The campaign" I am sorry ... "breaks the speech of those who defend the idea that everything that the state is just and must be accepted without discussion," Calislar advance. The analyst acknowledges the risk that the petition would add fuel to the fire of nationalist passions, but it's worth it. Cengiz Algan, an activist in the movement against racism DurDe (Hey, stop it!), Confides that the campaign will continue for one year: "This is just the beginning. And prejudices already retreating."

The Express - Paris, France


The Strange Methods Of The Turkish Press 23-01-2009
Info Collectif VAN - www.collectifvan.org - The Turkish press is customary misinformation chronic when the subject matter referred to the Armenian genocide. But one of his constant manipulation is to present two versions of the same information. The version in English, presenting the facts of a soft tone and police, is intended to non-Turkish, living in Turkey or elsewhere (journalists, diplomats, etc.). And the Turkish version, presenting the facts in order to maintain the hatred of Armenians in a wide readership Turkish or from Turkey, is sent directly to the Turkish population. On this occasion, we suggest you compare the two versions of the same information on the implementation of an Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, which appeared on the English website of Hurriyet and the Turkish version of the same newspaper. The English version emphasizes the positive side of this normalization announced. The Turkish title to the statement of Edward Nalbandian, Foreign Minister of Armenia: "Armenia would never give up its policy of recognition of the Armenian genocide."

The comments by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian were followed last week, the optimistic remarks of this kind, from his Turkish counterpart. The two countries have no diplomatic ties and in 1993 Ankara closed their land border in solidarity with its ally Azerbaijan over the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh.


Genocide, A Crime Defined Variable 23-01-2009
Info Collectif VAN - www.collectifvan.org - Gateway to the Guinean put online an article entitled "The genocide, a crime defined variable. The author rightly points out the Armenian genocide in these terms: "II) The Armenian genocide: 3 regimes, from 1894 to 1922, applied in different ways the same plan to exterminate the Armenians with its peak years of 1915 -- 1917; are successively Abdul Hamid (1841-1918), the Young Turks who had a national political party officially known as the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) with the famous minister of the Interior Talaat Pasha (1874-1921 ) and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1874-1921), founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. In 1915 and 1916, during the First World War, between 1 200 000 1 500 000 Armenians were killed on the spot or died during their deportation, or two thirds of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire. " As against, deceived by the propaganda denial Azeri and Turkish, he gave misinformation to recurrent Khojalu events. A subscriber of the Old-Media Collective VAN wrote to shine (mail to read at the end of the article).

Genocide, a crime defined variable

The term "genocide" appeared in 1944, at the end of World War II, as a neologism, but Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), Polish-born Jew and professor of law in the United States, which would have created the word genocide involving the Greek root "genos" (birth, genus, species) and "cide" suffix of Latin origin that means the idea to kill.

The genocide charge does not cover all the religious or ethnic massacres committed in history and continues to be subject to differing interpretations and claims.

In law, the concept is flexible in that it is the law that determines the recognition as genocide, the gravest crime in international law, according to some.

Painful events, the events have also expressed the conscience of the international community.

In Guinea, some have used the term, rightly or wrongly, to be called "stigma", the stigmatization of their ethnic group was the object, the victim.

The genocide debate

In dictionaries, the "Petit Larousse illustrated" defined as "crime against humanity for the destruction of all or part of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group".
Elsewhere, the idea of a crime "systematic and planned."

For the "Dictionary" is the "methodical destruction of an ethnic group."

Initially, the word "genocide" is associated with the Holocaust before its acceptance may be enlarged in 70 years. But between 1946 and 1948, a float had survived, including the United Nations that had been integrated "destruction of a group of a political nature" to the definition of genocide, before reconsidering delete this in the definition UN 1948. This deletion, according to some historians, the result of pressure from the USSR on the whole of the United Nations.

In law, it was in 1948 with the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide [cf. Resolution 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948] that the General Assembly of the United Nations officially recognizes. Entered into force in 1951, the text says: "Genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war is a crime under international law, that they (the UN) are committed to prevent and punish (...) condemns the direct and public incitement to commit genocide (...) means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such:

• Killing members of the group.
• Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
• Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
• Measures to prevent births within the group.
• Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. ".

At the national level, a State may decide to try a genocide against its own law. But it is also the jurisdiction of a supranational court which, by the genocide charge, endorse de facto recognition.

Long, there was that ad hoc courts created for the occasion. This was the case of:

• Nuremberg Tribunal set up in London on 8 August 1945 and his trial held by the victors of Nazi Germany on 20 November 1945 to 10 October 1946. 24 personalities Nazis were tried, accused of "crimes against peace", ie for the decision, prepared, organized war, "war crimes", ie to have violated the rules of war, implementing prisoners of war, for example, by not respecting the Geneva Conventions, "crimes against humanity", ie of having organized the deportation and massacre systematically disarmed people, especially in concentration camps and extermination.

• International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) set up on 8 November 1994 by the Security Council of the United Nations (see resolutions 955, 978 and 1165) which is based in Arusha (Tanzania).

• International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague established on 25 May 1993 by resolution 827.

• These last two are TPI ad hoc courts contrary to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which sits on a permanent basis after having been imprisoned in The Hague (Netherlands) in June 2006, Charles Taylor was the first head of state African trial by ICTY for crimes against humanity and 11 counts for a period from November 1996 to early 2001. The SCSL was established on 16 January 2002 (see resolution 1315).

• But in July 1998, the first permanent court was established with the International Criminal Court (ICC). She sits in The Hague and judge the "most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes." It is competent to qualify the genocide and has the distinction of intervene only when national courts are not dealing with a case that "procedures are not conducted in good faith."

Like all international tribunals born since 1945, the ICC can not impose death penalty. The period of imprisonment is 30 years, except for crimes of extreme gravity "as the genocide in which its statutes allow life imprisonment.

Recognized by more than 136 since its entry into force on 1 January 2002, the ICC has since made hundreds of deposits of complaints.

Finally, depending forums of the United Nations can also recognize some genocide. This applies to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which can provide advice and acknowledge and historical events as genocide. She also sits in The Hague, was established in Article 92 of the United Nations Charter, it was replaced in 1946, after the Second World War, the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) established by the League of Nations ( SDN) in 1922.

In debates, the term "genocide" remains a flexible concept, extensive. Some may argue that the United Nations only recognizes three genocide. Others deny the existence of a list drawn up for good and said that genocide is still subject to interpretation.

Other claims in an emerging dimension of memory, such as the recognition of the massacres in Ukraine in 1932-33 who were 6 to 7 million deaths, in 1793 Vendéens or Armenians.

Remains as the use of the word outside legal context, more and more common. For example, the "cultural genocide": Patrick Le Lay, then CEO of the television channel TF1, had spoken in the magazine "Bretons" in the summer of 2005 as "genocide" to denounce the eradication of the Breton language. This claim cultural and political times, is perceptible among Autonomist (Corsica, Catalonia, Scotland, Belgium, ...).

It is worth recalling that the "crimes against humanity" may be prescribed, to avoid any time limit, that the "principle of universal jurisdiction" to prosecute perpetrators of crimes against humanity regardless of their nationality or those of their victims.

Highlights of indelible

I) The massacres of Vendée (1793-1794) including the Battle of Savenay allegedly caused about 10 000 killed, a legalized killing by the Convention.

II) The Armenian genocide: 3 regimes, from 1894 to 1922, applied in different ways the same plan to exterminate the Armenians with its peak years of 1915-1917, which are successively Abdul Hamid (1841-1918); Young Turks who were a nationalist political party officially known as the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) with the famous minister of the Interior Talaat Pasha (1874-1921) and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1874-1921), founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey.

In 1915 and 1916, during the First World War, between 1 200 000 1 500 000 Armenians were killed on the spot or died during their deportation, or two thirds of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire .

III) The Shoah (or "judéocide") in Hebrew means catastrophe or "Holocaust" in French term, is the "Final Solution to the Jewish question" for the Nazis who had a vision of the world, a hierarchical division of the human species into races, including the "German race" was supposed to be at the top of the hierarchy.

Upon the arrival of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) to power on 30 January 1933, the anti-Semitic measures will grow in the boycott of Jewish shops on 1 April 1933, the Nuremberg laws prohibiting Jews certain professions attendance at some public places, sex and marriage with "subjects of Aryan blood" in 1935 and "Kristallnacht" in 1938. The death camps (Vernichtungslager) are not concentration camps: their purpose is not forced labor or imprisonment but the immediate death by gas and they were most often located on rail junctions (except Chelmno ) to facilitate the transport of Jews and Gypsies in Europe (see Auschwitz, Birkenau, Chelmno, to Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka).

IV) Roma: their genocide would have at least 200 000 dead, they were persecuted for racial reasons and also their destiny was in many ways parallel to that of the Jews. The Einsatzgruppen (mobile extermination units), with the support of the Security Police (Sipo) and the National Security Service (SD), by killing tens of thousands were also imprisoned in concentration camps (see Bergen-Belsen, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Mauthausen and Ravensbrück).

V) The genocidal regime of Pol Pot in Cambodia will end on 7 January 1979, but in 4 years of terror, "Khmer Rouge" killing about 2 million people. It was not until 2007 that set up the first international tribunal designed to try the perpetrators of this crime against humanity.

VI) The Kurds genocide:

a) The Kurds in Iraq, known as the Anfal campaign took place from February to September 1988 he was ordered by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein (1937-2006) and executed by hanging for crimes against the humanity leading to the elimination of over 180 000 Kurdish civilians. The most famous episode of this genocide is the chemical gas bombing of the town of Halabja on 16 March 1988, planned by Ali Hassan Al-Majid said Chemical Ali (1941-2007), cousin of Saddam Hussein and who made between 3 200 and 7 000 people.

b) The Kurds in Turkey: in 1915, more than 1 500 000 victims of massacres and atrocities continue.

VII) The Palestinians:

a) Sabra and Shatila: The number of victims varies according to sources between 700 and 3 500 in the two refugee camps of Beirut (Lebanon) in September 1982 that genocide was perpetrated by Lebanese Christian militia led by Elie Hobeika ( 1956-2002) in an area secured by the Israeli army during Operation "Peace for Galilee".

The commission "Kahane", which the Israeli government to investigate the massacre, had established the responsibility of certain political figures including Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon the time.

b) Gaza: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, said he was "shocked and outraged" by the spectacle he saw Tuesday 20 January 2009 after three weeks of Israeli barrage of fire l 'offensive' Lead hardened "against Hamas has claimed more than 1,300 dead, 6,000 injured, destroyed 5000 houses, 16 government buildings, 20 mosques, even cemeteries, caused thousands of homeless and about 2 billion dollars damage. He asked for a thorough investigation.
"He is just an image, not a voice," says an engineer Palestinian 40 years on the UN Secretary-General, recalling that the UN had never managed to enforce their resolutions by the 'Jewish state.

"The Gaza Strip is now an area hit by an earthquake," said in Geneva the head of the health of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Guido Sabatinelli. In Gaza, some already speak of "genocide of depleted uranium" with the use by Israeli aircraft bomb GBU-39, a "smart gun" from the "military genius" American.

VIII) The Azeri Genocide of 1992 orchestrated by the Armenian government with the massacre on 25 February 1992 by its troops in the town of Khojaly the Nagorno-Karabakh.

IX) The massacre at Srebrenica of 2 August 2001: Radovan Karadzic is being held at the detention center of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. The former Bosnian Serb leader, a fugitive for over 12 years, is charged with "genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes" from 7 to 8 miles Bosnians.

X) The Rwandan genocide: it took place from April 6 to July 4, 1994 in Rwanda, a country in East Africa between Hutu and Tutsi after the death of President Juvénal Habyarimana (1937-1994); his plane crashed under strange and not yet clarified.

It would have been 1 074 017 dead according to an official assessment published by the Rwandan Ministry of Territorial Administration, after a census conducted in July 2000. However, only 934 218 victims have been identified with certainty.

In an interview in November 2008 and after the publication of a book prefaced by Pierre Pean, "The Secrets of international justice" (Duboiris Editions, 2005), Charles Onana, an investigative journalist and essayist French, refutes the theory of planning a genocide by Hutu and believed that the fax of the Canadian general, Roméo Dallaire, the planning of the genocide does not exist in the United Nations. "Yes, the whole world has been misled and manipulated. I am not saying that there were no deaths in Rwanda, but I say that what happened in 1994 is a war between Hutu and Tutsi, each group was killed and that each group took the victims. I publish the reports of diplomats from the United Nations including the correspondence of former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali that describe exactly what is happening on the ground in April 1994. The lies and manipulation have made the world believe that this was a planned genocide by the Hutu against the Tutsi.

Today, I bring the evidence, through the international criminal court, that is not true and that many people are condemned to life imprisonment on the basis of false and forgery. In 2000, the expert report of the OAU on Rwanda said: To our knowledge there are no records, no minutes of meeting and any other evidence that puts his finger on the precise moment when some individuals, under a master plan, have decided to eliminate the Tutsi. "

XI) In Darfur genocide continues. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, to the Security Council of the United Nations, presented his report on Sudan and made a request for an arrest warrant against President Omar Al-Bashir for 10 charged with "war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide."

The latter has developed a policy of destroying the 3 ethnic groups "Four", the "Massalit" and "Zaghawa. For the prosecutor, his responsibility is exposed: "Al-Bashir has committed crimes through members of the state apparatus, the army and the Janjawid militia (residual forces of the army) (. ..) He is the commander in chief of the armed forces (...) It is at the top of the hierarchical structure of the State he personally directs and ensures the integration of the Janjaweed militias in this structure. " Since 2003, according to the UN, the war in Darfur has made 200 000 deaths and 2 million displaced.

As regards the transatlantic slave trade ", the Law of 21 May 2001 'Loi Taubira" on slavery, states in Article 1: "The French Republic recognizes that the transatlantic slave trade and trafficking in the Indian Ocean on the one hand, and slavery on the other hand, carried from the 15th century, the Americas and the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Europe against African people, Amerindian, Malagasy and Indian constitute a crime against humanity ".

More than genocide is the qualification of "crime against humanity" which is used here.
As for the "slave trade Arab-Muslim", the historical survey of the anthropologist and economist sénégalais Tidiane N'diaye [ "Veiled Genocide" (Editions Gallimard, 2008)] refers to the practice of the 7th to the 20th century alleging biased vision of the history of slavery in Africa because only trade-oriented West. This, he said, because of Solidarity "coreligionnaire" in Africa, but perhaps also for political reasons. "Such a holocaust, he says, something strange, very many people would like to see covered forever the veil of oblivion, often in the name of a certain political or religious solidarity. ". The conditions were absolutely claims: "Under the Advanced Arabic, (...) millions of Africans were razziées, killed or captured, castrated and deported to the Arab-Muslim world. This in inhuman conditions, in caravans across the Sahara or sea, from the counters to human flesh of Eastern Africa. "This deal continues but to a lesser degree in other aspects.

In Guinea, some based on the doctrine of genocidal "methodical destruction of an ethnic group" have attacked, rightly or wrongly, both dead and previous Presidents of the Republic:

Between A. Sékou Touré and Peuhl, some have blithely taken the step and used the term in their tumultuous relationship before independence and in 70 years, including the famous "Peuhls Complot" (cf. The speeches in the official newspaper "Horoya" No. 2232 "The perfidious enemies of the people" of 9 August 1976 and 22 August 1976 by A. Sekou Toure). The Guinean Association of Victims of Camp Boiro (AGVCB) refers to 50 000 victims.

"The misunderstanding between Lansana Conté and Malinke with the summary execution of chiefs of the first Republic in the wake of the advent of the Military Committee for National Recovery (CMRN), as well as the authors of the alleged" coup State in July 1985 charged with Diarra Traoré, former Prime Minister and the phrase offensive and regrettable "Wo fatar. They were all from the Malinke ethnic group. Is this a coincidence or a premeditated? Should we learn of genocide to describe the idea to attack an ethnic group, the speech and / or the number of casualties suffered atrocities against this ethnic group qualify for genocide? The question remains, when the answers, history will judge.

However, the distinction between "crime against humanity", "war crime" and "genocide" seems tenuous, thin as it is always the issue of degradation of the human person. The martyred people of Guinea has paid a heavy price for 50 years of independence.
=======================

Dear Sir,
I wanted to congratulate you on your analysis of the genocide that I just read on http://www.kababachir.com/autresinfosdetails.php?recordID=11766 but I stopped my momentum by the following passage:

VIII) The Azeri Genocide of 1992 orchestrated by the Armenian government with the massacre on 25 February 1992 by its troops in the town of Khojaly the Nagorno-Karabakh

Some elements to deepen your information:

Former President of Azerbaijan Ayaz Mutalibov has denounced this farce whose purpose was to misinform the media.

Ayaz Moutabilov confirmed that the Armenians had opened a humanitarian corridor along the river Karkar, for the evacuation of the civilian population of Khodjalou. The authorities in Baku have prevented the evacuation resulted in the death of Azeri civilians in the firing of Armenia.

This maneuver was revealed by Rahim Raziev a former minister of Azerbaijan, which in an interview said they had prepared a trap to remove Moutabilov government. The minister has spent 10 years in prison for treason status after these revelations.

The massacre of the Azeri population was orchestrated by the power to criminalize the Azeri and Armenian to avoid responding to the charges on the massacres of Sumgait and Baku.

Also on Sunday, 1 March 1992 there was an exchange of bodies between Armenian and Azeri at the initiative of the Iranian Red Crescent. Hundreds of corpses littering the ground. Suddenly a helicopter flew over Azerbaijan this tragic scene with carrying Azeri and foreign journalists who took photos during the exchange process. "

The day after the press and Turkish television has presented a report which used the photos "of the massacre of thousands of Azeris by Armenians during the invasion of Khodjalou.

Cordial feelings
AK


Day Of Reflection On The Criminalization Of Holocaust Denial Pan 23-01-2009
Info Collectif VAN - www.collectifvan.org - Le Collectif VAN invite you to read this Press Release published on the website of the Euro-Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy on 23 January 2009.
23 January 2009

Citizens of German, Austrian, Belgian, British, Spanish, French, Dutch, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Switzerland took part in the seminar organized by the Euro-Armenian Federation

The working day and reflection organized by the Euro-Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy on Wednesday January 21 has attracted great interest in several European countries. Under the honorary presidency of Ms. Martine Roure, Vice President of the European Parliament, the day was centered on the recently adopted Framework Decision by the Council to reach a wide criminalization of Holocaust denial.

In a packed house, an impressive number of activists, organizations responsible for human rights and legal experts from a dozen European countries take note of this new European criminal law and how it can be implemented in their respective countries.

In his welcome address, Mrs Roure said that as a rapporteur for the Parliament of the Framework Decision, it would listen to the conclusions of this day of reflection. Mr. Csonka, Head of Unit, criminal law of the European Commission has presented the text of the Framework Decision but also the limitations that Member States have spared its scope. Mr. Csonka explained that the Framework Decision had the merit to exist, highlighting the difficulties that have paved the way for consensus among the 27 members of the Union. He emphasized the progress report that will put the Commission at the end of phase two years given to the implementation of the Framework Decision. He also explained that in the event of entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the prerogatives of this provision would be strengthened.

Legal practitioners from seven European countries (Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Slovakia, Switzerland) have subsequently presented the case law and instruments related to the fight against Holocaust denial in their respective countries. They also tried to extrapolate this to the existing qu'apportera the implementation of the Framework Decision in their law.

Me Krenc (Belgium), lawyer and secretary general of the Institute of Human Rights of the Bar of Brussels, has engaged in an analysis of the provisions of this law and in particular asked whether it was driving rather a regression in terms of legal previous commitments of Member States, particularly under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Bouncing on the specific problem of the Armenian genocide - a genocide that occurred before the existence of appropriate international courts and has led to precisely put into place - Bezelgues Me (Germany) has campaigned for the definition of "open lists" and revision of "genocide proved "or" indisputable genocide "to sit on objective factors The deniers to punish. He was supported by Senator Roelants du Vivier, initiator of a draft Belgian law to penalize denial of Armenian genocide and Tutsi. Lagarde Me (France) has also criticized the lobby of historians who "want - for profit reasons - to write books on the history immediate" exempt themselves while ordinary laws of insult, libel, broadcast false information or denial.

The summaries of their statements and full audio recordings will be posted on the website of the Euro-Armenian Federation. The day ended with a dialogue of many questions from an audience.

The meeting noted that in several European countries, we are very close to the enactment of a law criminalizing denial of Armenian genocide, paradoxically, the Framework Decision provides the possibility for national legislation, but also gives them the opportunity 'escape.

"After the adoption of the EU Framework Decision, it would be incomprehensible that those countries that have recognized the genocide of Armenians exclude the negation of genocide in the same part of the penalty," said Hilda Tchoboian, president of the Federation of Euro - Armenian. "We defeated the reasons of Realpolitik at these awards in Europe, our countries have an obligation to produce results in the European fight against this scourge that negationism racist, and for that they must once again give up their logic of Realpolitik "said Hilda Tchoboian.
Source / Link: FEAJD


Talat Pasha: Mémoires D'outre-Tombe 23-01-2009
Info Collectif VAN - www.collectifvan.org - In the Turkish newspaper Taraf, dated 9 January 2009, the Turkish intellectual Murat Belge back with an exasperated grin on interviews Murat Bardakci in Milliyet, referring to the publication of Papers Talat Pasha, who, day after day, kept the deportation of its Armenian victims and arrived at the figure of 972 246. Murat Belge ironically on the findings of negationists Bardakci who believes that this is not genocide, "We are finally illuminated. One can not speak of a million because it lacks 28 000 and they are not all dead. ". He continued: "Hiding the Armenian issue was even more difficult because at the time, everyone was aware and had been hidden only to the young generations in Turkey. And now that reality resurfaced. "A translation of Zaven Gudsuz for the Collectif VAN.

From Talat Pasha
Murat Belge - 09.01.2009
Taraf

These days, it is difficult to write anything other than the custody conducted under the Ergenekon operation, which are the headlines. But I will. Moreover, I do not know any of the charges and I will have nothing to add, except my personal impressions ...

I have much to say about the book Murat Bardakci which has a deep connection with the Ergenekon operation. The author had already started to publish''The Journal of Talat Pasa''in the form of drama that has been interrupted since its inception on grounds that is aware, as is common in Turkey.

Therefore, the publication in book form is a happy and important event. The Milliyet newspaper gave it special importance in relation to the subject. Silence observed elsewhere around the publication is very eloquent.

Bardakci Murat is not an author acknowledges that''genocide''but as a historian he could not help but publish documents in its possession.

Milliyet:''According to documents in the 30 residential areas, before and after the deportation, the difference in the Armenian population is 972 246. Bardakci reminds us that those who claim [there was] 1.5 million people, are wrong because the figure of 972 includes 246 deaths from various reasons and those who have left the territory of the Empire.''

Finally, we are enlightened.

One can not speak of a million because it lacks 28 000 and they are not all dead.

In my personal opinion, the number of victims is between six and seven hundred thousand and it is clear that not all are dead, otherwise how can we explain the existence of so many Armenians in France and the United States.

Many women have been saved or assimilated into the local population.

Consider a technique problem: the figure of 900 000, maybe 100, 000, even 50 000, and can further reduce the number of deaths. But in international law, the term genocide is not just the fact of''kill, kill''but also a deliberate attempt to change a lifestyle of a community. For this reason, I consider the term genocide rather problematic. If you want to move forward on this issue, instead arguing slogans negationists little or implausible, try to make the texts of laws and more precise.

The issuance of documents and books do not change what we already knew, but it is a direct confirmation of Talat Pasha same. Moreover, himself has never denied the facts.

In his time, nobody knew the facts and everyone was aware. Defending Talat was no denying the facts. He said that the Armenians would have done the same if the Turks had not made before them.

And now, what are the reactions of those who remained silent as the founders of the Association Talat Pasha? They will not question the mathematical knowledge of Pacha.

You can not hide reality for eternity. Lincoln said,''You can fool some for a while and other forever but you can not fool all the people all the time.'' Hide the Armenian issue was even more difficult because at the time, everyone was aware and had been hidden only to the young generations in Turkey.

And now that reality resurfaced.

The publication of the intentions of Talat is timely. At the same time published the minutes of the court martial that deny denial of the possibility of declaring that it was a verdict under pressure from the forces of occupation. ... Now, they can not say that Talat has implemented its plan under pressure.

But the arguments are not lacking in denial, they can re-declare that the documents are forged.

Original title: Talat Paşa'nın ağzından

The strange methods of the Turkish press
Info Collectif VAN - www.collectifvan.org - The Turkish press is customary misinformation chronic when the subject matter referred to the Armenian genocide. But one of his constant manipulation is to present two versions of the same information. The version in English, presenting the facts of a soft tone and police, is intended to non-Turkish, living in Turkey or elsewhere (journalists, diplomats, etc.). And the Turkish version, presenting the facts in order to maintain the hatred of Armenians in a wide readership Turkish or from Turkey, is sent directly to the Turkish population. On this occasion, we suggest you compare the two versions of the same information on the implementation of an Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, which appeared on the English website of Hurriyet and the Turkish version of the same newspaper. The English version emphasizes the positive side of this normalization announced. The Turkish title to the statement of Edward Nalbandian, Foreign Minister of Armenia: "Armenia would never give up its policy of recognition of the Armenian genocide."

Hurriyet

English version: http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/domestic/10836258.asp?gid=243

Translation of the English version:
Yerevan - Armenia said Wednesday they were very close to the normalization of relations with neighboring Turkey after a century of hostility, reported Reuters.

The comments by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian were followed last week, the optimistic remarks of this kind, from his Turkish counterpart. The two countries have no diplomatic ties and in 1993 Ankara closed their land border in solidarity with its ally Azerbaijan over the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh.

Relations were haunted by the events of 1915, the ex-Soviet Armenia considers as a "genocide". Ankara denies that it was a genocide. But there was a diplomatic progress in recent months, with the visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gül to Yerevan in September to attend a football match between the two countries. "We are very close to the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations," Nalbandian said at a press conference, reported Reuters.

"We can take the next step and resolve the question whether Turkey, as Armenia, approach it without preconditions and open the border," he said. "After the border opens, we are ready to form a committee on which we can discuss issues concerning the two countries." Since its war with Russia last year has raised the question of the role of Georgia as a transit route for oil exports and gas from the Caspian Sea, Armenia is being seen as a potential alternative .

Better relations with its neighbors will also Ankara's candidacy to the European Union. The Turkish Foreign Minister, Ali Babacan, said in a television interview last Friday that the normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey was now "a dream." "I can easily say that we have never been so close to the goal on the final normalization of relations with Armenia," he said.

23 January 2009 http://collectifvan.org/
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Hurriyet
Turkish version: http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/dunya/10826858.asp
Translation of the Turkish version:

Nalbandian said: "Armenia would never give up its policy of recognition of the Armenian genocide."

Speaking at the press conference, Nalbandian said that Armenia will accept the formation of an intergovernmental commission [on the events of 1915] only if Turkey opens its borders and establish diplomatic relations with Armenia without conditions preconditions. According to the Armenian press, Nalbandian said at the press conference that "Turkey does us no favors in normalizing our relations." He also told the same press conference:

"Yerevan will not sacrifice to normalize relations with Ankara."

Nalbandian continued: "Armenia would never give up its policy of recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the international community. Darkest pages of history must be turned but the lessons of the past must not be forgotten. Armenia will not never doubted the reality of the Armenian Genocide. "

'Agree with Babacan'

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia has also said that he agreed with his Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, that the two countries approached reconciliation. He added however: "The problems can be solved only if Turkey agrees to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia without conditions."

Nalbandian also said that after the planned meeting of the Platform for Stability and Cooperation in the Caucasus (CSCP). Under the auspices of Turkey.


Turkey: Call For Complaint Against The Association Racist 25 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Info Collectif VAN - www.collectifvan.org - Five defenders of Human Rights, Keskin, Günaysu, Yurtsever, ?ener ARPAT and made a call to file complaints against members of the association Osmangazi, because of racist banners against Armenians and Jews they wore. In Eskisehir, the Federation of Cultural Centers of Osmangazi had an event to criticize the intellectuals who apologize to the Armenians and the attacks of Israel in Palestine. Members wore signs: "Free dogs, Armenians and Jews can not enter." Come to the Court of Sulatahmet on 12 January. Collectif VAN presents you with a translation of an article published in Turkish on the website of the newspaper Bianet of 8 January 2009.

Call for complaints against members of the association racist

The defenders of Human Rights, Keskin, Günaysu, Yurtsever, ?ener ARPAT and made an appeal to the signatories to make a complaint against members of the association Osmangazi, because of racist banners against the Armenians and the Jews they wore. Come to the Court of Sulatahmet January 12.

BYA Haber Merkezi - İstanbul 8 January 2009,

Five women defenders of human rights will bring a complaint against members of the association Orhangazi who have staged demonstrations launching racist slogans against the Armenians and Jews.

Eren Keskin, Ay?e Günaysu, Leman Yurtsever, Hürriyet ?ener ARPAT Müjgan and called on people wishing to support them, to bring their ID to 13 h30 before the Court of Sultanahmet.

At the event held in order to blame the attacks of Israel against Gaza, members of the association Orhangazi have brandished placards with insulting as: "The dogs may enter through this door, but Armenians and Jews can not enter. "

Turkish translation of the SC for the Collectif VAN - 12 January 2009


Turkey: The Tree Of Gül 25 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Info Collectif VAN - www.collectifvan.org - In response to "accusations" made by the member of the CHP Canan Aritman who said that Turkish President Abdullah Gül was by his Armenian mother, the nationalist Turkish OdaTV site has posted a very long article on the genealogy of Turkish President Abdullah Gül and based on a study of Soner Yalçin (specialist on the question of dönmes and Sabeti). This is very familiar with the history of Turkey and the Armenian issue. Author of several influential books, he worked for the Turkish TV channels as an expert. Any demonstration of his pedigree (prepared by the family of Gül) is probably intended to convince the public of the origins of the Turkish President, while leaving some obscurities: thus we do not know the woman from the great-grandfather maternal Gül (probably around 1880-1915).

Another unresolved issue despite efforts to justify the origins ethnically "pure" of Turkish President: family paternal Gül fled the town of Siirt in 1915. Another article states that OdaTV it shows that even the Turks were forced to move in 1915 and that Armenians were not the only ones to be deported away from sensitive areas ... Since in the other article if his family was Armenian, it would not have moved to Kayseri because she knew that it deported Armenians ...

The author fails to note that the ancestors of Gül include goldsmiths and jewelers, generally trades at the hands of Armenians.

The article, we offer translation, also spoke of family ties paternal Gül with the party MSP (Milli Selamet Partisi "Hi National Party) - the first part of the Turkish Republic - whose founder was Necmettin Erbakan, from the city of Sinop on the Black Sea coast, and Prime Minister of Turkey in June 1996 to June 1997. Some residents of Sinop claim to know the origins of the Armenian grandmother of Necmettin Erbakan. If this information unverifiable (which came from another channel) proves accurate, it would certainly shed light on unexpected and amusing that an Islamist party was founded by Armenians forcibly converted to Islam and whose descendants would be vectors, via the AKP to power in Turkey, a traditionalist Islam cloister women at home, to the chagrin of admirers of Mustafa Kemal. Recall that it had completed the work in pursuing genocidal Armenian families returned to Turkey after the genocide it has helped to deprive Turkey of the Armenian population to remain on its historical territories, as had choices to blend into the mass and s'islamiser ...

"The mother of President Gül is the Armenians?"

The campaign sought to excuse Armenians created a stir in the Assembly Nationale.La member of the party CHP Ms. Canan ARITMAN created controversy by saying that President Gül supported the campaign as an excuse: "We see that Gül supports this campaign, Gül should be the representative of the Turkish nation and its ethnic origin (Note CVANc'est to say Améniens).

ARITMAN continued his remarks by adding: "I learned the origins of the Armenian mother of Mr. Gül, in Izmir on the same assertions of his maternal uncle Mr. SATOGLU (specialist in neurology at the hospital" ATATURK Egitim Hastanesi. "I never questioned the origins of anyone and we respect all people irrespective of its origins.

However, Mr. Gül as the representative of the Turkish people and as such it must ensure the rights and honor of the nation which he is President.

I would expect from a President of the Turkish nation that says to the world that the people and the Turkish government did not commit genocide. Not having done its duty, I express my indignation.

After these controversies, there was discussion of the origins of President Gül, that the journalist Soner Yalçin had tried to clarify in its editorial of 26 August 2007 in the daily Hürriyet. According to the article Soner Yalçin, it scans the genealogy of President Gül up to 600 years back:

"What originally Gül is it? What are its kinship with the family Sarrafzade Sivas? "

The Gül have moved from Siirt in the year 1915? The Gül they hold half of Kayseri? What are the links between Aksemseddin, the tutor of Mehmet II the conqueror of Istanbul and the family of Gül, who is really Tennuri Sheikh, the great-great-grandfather gül? What are the famous names among the cousins of Gül? What are the similarities between Gül's wife, Mrs. Hayrunnisa Gül and Gül's mother?

Gul's cousin, Mehmet Celalettin SATOGLU and author of "The Encyclopedia of Kayseri" Abdullah SATOGLU (Nota CVAN: paternal uncle of the mother of Gül) said with certainty that the genealogy of the maternal family back over Gül 600 years. And the first person who has done research on genealogy in the family of Gül being the great-grandfather maternal Gül.

Above all it seems useful to recall that the genealogies prepared by the families themselves must be scrutinized with care and use of reserves when the authenticity of the facts.

Let us get to the heart of the matter after these warnings.

Genealogy Maternelle de Gül:

From this pedigree, there is the so-called Hüseyin Efendi whose job was to be a silversmith and it was from the province of Sivas.

The family was known as "brokers" (probably a name close to moneylenders, usury is forbidden to Muslims).

Hüseyin Efendi probably had a son called Sheikh Ibrahim TENNURI, whose date of birth is unknown, however the date of his death is the year 1482.

It is interesting to look more closely at the biography of this illustrious ancestor of Gül: after primary school Sheikh TENNURI will study being Konya Mevlana students Yakup Sari. After the death of his mentor, he will be appointed as a professor at the Medrassa of Hunad Hatun "in Kayseri. A few years later, the internal regulations of the Medrassa which provided that only teachers Hanafi rite (CVAN Note: One of 4 schools of thought within Sunni Islam ) could teach, having been modified, and as Sheikh TENNURI was Chafite rite, he had to resign. On hearing of the rising fame preceptor of Mehmet II, Aksemseddin he will leave at Beyparazi and become a member of the Brotherhood Bayramiye.

For 3 months, he isolated from the rest of the world of the living as a hermit, follow training in Sufi mysticism.

After being appointed Sheikh in brotherhood and obtaining his master, will TENNURI based in Kayseri Sufi school.

It will develop its own methods of treatment of constipation, which will in fact led to the abandonment of the name "bin" Sarrafzade (CVAN Note: in Arabic "bin" means "son of"). It soothed his disciples constipated them sit in a hot oven (oven: tandoor or tennur), we will give him the nickname "Tennuri.

He will learn a day while teaching a new major who will rush to leave Istanbul to be with his master Aksemseddin: the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmet II.

3 months after the conquest of Istanbul, he will finish his poetry (consisting of 5140 verses) that it will dedicate to Mehmet II 'the Conqueror' (the book is now in the Süleymaniye Library). The Sultan will be affected by this gesture and reward TENNURI and his son making the issue a decree exempting taxes.

In his poems Sheikh Ibrahim Tennuri use the nickname "Asik (Nota CVAN: Achik rule - equivalent to Troubadour), and will be buried and his son Sheikh Ali Sheikh Lütfullah and in the crypt of the Mosque" Seyh Camiisi "that it has made building between Avenue Talas out of Kiçikapi in the street that bears his name.

"Half belongs to the family Gül:"

The genealogy of the maternal line of President Gül continues with Sheikh Kasim the son of Sheikh TENNURI.'s Daughter Sheikh Kasim, Ayse, married Süleyman Efendi a cleric of the Kayseri Ouléma. The Cadi Bedreddin Mahmud born of the union-Ayse Süleyman Efendi will the prosperity of the family (Nota CVAN: Cadi = judge in the Muslim community).

"The Haj Mahmud Bedreddin (Nota CVAN: Hadj = nickname given to the Muslim who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca), will be the richest man of Kayseri. By accessing the property records of the" Foundations "No. 966 / M. 1558, we find that half of the property belongs to Kayseri "Cadi Bedreddin Mahmud.

"The family SATOGLU"

To summarize, the maternal line of the family of Gül continues with the descendants of: Abdulhay, Mahmud Pasa, Mustafa Efendi, Haci Pasa.

The genealogy of the family seems more readable to the advent of the Republic, one of the descendants of "Sarrafzade" that is "Fatma Hanim" takes the name of her husband "Haci Mükremin" SATOGLU.

The couple Mükremin Haci-Fatma Hanim have 5 children: Mustafa, Ayse, Ibrahim Nafiz, Fatma (Nanekioglu) and Captain Ahmet Efendi. Genealogy is close to Abdullah Gül.

Ibrahim Nafiz is back great-grandfather maternal Gül (the father of the grandfather of his mother).

We have no information on the wife of Ibrahim Nafiz and the couple has 4 children: Mükremin, Behiye, Mehmet Ali, Merzuka.

There is no information on the descendants of Behiye and Merzuka; are they died very young or have they ever married?, The only known genealogy is the male heir of the family.

Mehmet SATOGLU (1876-1968) the father of the grandfather of Gül is a distinguished member of the religious confraternity KADIRI, as I indicated, he will implement the family genealogy.

Mehmet SATOGLU married twice, his first wife put the world's grandfather Gül: Ismail SATOGLU will appoint Avediye her daughter, the mother of Abdullah Gül.

SATOGLU Ismail, who was a teacher, married "Hatice Kadin" and they have 3 children: Ahmet, Nazif and Avediye (CVAN Note: The mother of President Gül).

Let a haul in the genealogy of maternal President Gül to look at the paternal line.

We note that there is very little information about the paternal ancestors of Gül: According to the biography of President Gül (Koske Gül Hârekati "Authors: H. & B. TECIMEN Bengisu published Akis), and some articles in the press (article published in "Hürriyet" of 23.08.07), the family had moved GÜL of the province of Siirt on Develi (CVAN Note: In the province of Kayseri).

It is noted that the year 1915 is a pivotal period in Anatolia, which has seen major upheaval.

During 1915, because of their support to the Russians on the front of the Caucasus, the Armenians would be deported. Why Gül family left Siirt to come in Kayseri? The family has it installed in Kayseri to escape the front fighting and internal strife? We know that the troubles were widespread throughout the country.

The paternal grandfather Gül was born in 1927, 12 years after the move, and probably does not remember the causes of this move. It is likely that the decision to move to Kayseri was taken back by the paternal grandfather Haci Abdullah Efendi.

It is interesting to look at the onomatologie (scientific name) which is widespread in the West and neglected at home.

"Abdullah" means slave of God. During the Ottoman period, it prénommait orphans and abandoned children. The great-grandfather of Gül he was an orphan in a war?

There are also writings that deny the move to Siirt Develi (Article dated 30.04.07 in Aksiyon Kalyoncu & C. article dated 14.08.07 in Zaman S. Kurt). It would be interesting for further research on genealogy father to remove the veils of mystery.

"The destiny of the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law"

Decrypt marriage Adeviye SATOGLU and Ahmet Hamdi GÜL: The maternal grandfather of GÜL was a teacher in Yeniköy near Torba in the province of Izmir. His three children went to school, marry his daughter Adeviye Ahmet Hamdi, a worker at the plant Aviation Kayseri, before they finish high school.

What was interesting in this union: The SATOGLU came from a rich and easy while GÜL were modest.

Adeviye by marrying very young are destined to a life of housewife. During their first years of marriage the couple lived in the neighborhood Sahabiye in the apartment of SATOGLU, and Abdullah GÜL come to the world in this house.

Many years later Hayrünnisa Özyurt leave school "Cemerlitas kiz Lisesi" without finishing high school and married Abdullah GÜL. Hatice sister of Abdullah GÜL experience the same destiny as his mother and sister-in-law (CVAN Note: the GÜL wife).

You can continue as follows: Kübra, daughter of President GÜL just graduated and is getting married in a month. Hümeyra (the niece of President GÜL), the daughter of Hatice, finished his studies. She is engaged and is preparing her marriage.

We are entitled to ask for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdullah Gül and others they consider their daughters in the best schools and marry them immediately without even entering the workforce?

Should we not all work together men and women for development and prosperity of Turkey? Why are our women, our daughters should be cloistered?

The children of the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic should they not be references to the youth of our country? That is what we should discuss in our society, rather than instead of headscarves. Adeviye, Hayrünnisa, Hatice, Reyhan, Kübra, Hümeyra, and all others are present in the genealogy of the family but they had no say in the life and decisions.

"The famous names of the family"

The first person who was a member of the organization Milli Görüs is the brother of the maternal grandfather Mehmet SATOGLU which was among the 18 founding members of MNP Milli Nizam Partisi (Nota CVAN: Parti de l'Ordre National ) with Necmettin Erbakan. Contrary to the allegations published in newspapers this was not the father Ahmet Hamdi Gül will enter the family GÜL in the organization Milli Görüs "but Mehmet SATOGLU.

The father of President Gül will be an unsuccessful candidate in legislative elections in 1973 on the party list MSP (Nota CVAN: Milli Selamet Partisi "Hi National Party"). SATOGLU in the family, the cousin's mother GÜL, Abdurhaman SATOGLU write the book: "Türkiye'de Selamet (CVAN Note: The Hi Turkey) touts the party MSP (Nota CVAN: fundamentalist Islamic party).

Families Göbülük and Fisekcioglu, cousins of Gül are jewelers in Kayseri, exercising the aboriginal occupation of the family.

Among the younger family members, some have had meteoric rise in the private sector: Fatih Gemalmaz is CEO of Sony-Ericsson, Cemil Satoglu is CEO at the insurer "Sigortasi Ankara.

Among the relatives, some have the same poetic inspiration that illustrious ancestor Sheikh Ibrahim Tennuri, as the great-uncle Abdullah Satoglu, Emine Beyza Satoglu, Yüksel Gemalmaz, Hulusi Satoglu ....

His cousin is the Betül Gemalmaz Turkish translator for the American author Nancy Butler "Akilli Kadinlar, Metroseksüel Erkekler (Note CVAN - likely in English translation: Smart Women, Metrosexual men).

In the family, there are film critics as Murat Mihçioglu wrote movie reviews in the magazine "Esquire", "altyazı", "Antrak" while pursuing academic studies.

Gul's niece, Hümeyra Tekelioglu (CVAN Note: the daughter of his sister Hatice) says tests in the magazines "Turuncu and Patika.

Among the family members of Gül, some are pursuing academic careers, beginning with the maternal uncle, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Satoglu, Dr. Fehime Benli, Dr. Bilal Eryilmaz, Dr. Gemalmaz Yüksel, Mehmet Satoglu Mirat.

Some members of her family embraced a political career, starting with the husband of his sister, the AKP deputy Mehmet Tekelioglu, Ahmet Göbülük City Council member from the agglomeration of Kayseri, Mehmet Goze City Council member of the Greater Istanbul. Gülsüm Satoglu, president of the Women's Party in Izmir and AKP candidate in recent parliamentary elections. Others, such as Saban Bayrak (Nota CVAN: Macit Gül husband and father of Reyhan) was a member of Kayseri for the party "Refah Partisi (Nota CVAN: RP, the Welfare Party founded by Erbakan).

Mehmet Satoglu engineer in aeronautics, is both the husband of the sister of President Gül and the son of her aunt Hamdiye Hanim.

The President Gül has two maternal uncles, one is Professor Dr. Ahmet Satoglu and the other is retired expert in the tobacco industry.

Source: Odatv.com dated 18 December 2008.


Denial Of The Genocide Of The Armenians: Change In The History Curriculum In Turkey 23 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews

Teachers of history classes 8 th in Turkey will now use the term "the events of 1915" instead of the use of "the alleged Armenian genocide" or "unfounded Armenian genocide" in giving courses on the issue during their history lessons.

According to the Turkish daily Milliyet that is the Turkish Ministry of National Education (Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı (MEB)) who took this decision in connection with the Council coordinating the fight against the alleged genocide (Asilsiz Soykirim iddiaları island Mucadele Koordinasyon Kurulu (ASIMKK)) and the Directorate of Education and Education (Talim ve Terbiye Kurulu (TTK)).

The Turkish Ministry of Education will implement the change with the educational program in history classes 8th in primary schools.

Thus according to the positions of the ASIMKK the curriculum entitled "The history of the revolution and Kemalism" has been changed. The course on the Armenian issue taught in the seventh unit of the book under the title "Turkey after Ataturk: Post World War II" has been rewritten.

The presentation of the old curriculum, which had read "the teaching of the historical development of Turkish-Armenian relations and the Armenian allegations" had been replaced by the following new "teaching of Turkish-Armenian relations and events 1915.

The educational content about the story of the Armenian question is also changed and the daily Milliyet says that courses on the issue now will include documentary films.

Department officials have said that this change is implemented now in the curriculum and that if "the alleged Armenian genocide" or "the Armenian genocide without foundations" still existed in the books they will not be used by teachers .


The Language Problem Between The Turkish And Azeri 24 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
The only issue that remained unresolved between the Turkish-speaking peoples is the issue of simplification of the alphabet, said Ambassador of Turkey in Russia Halil Akinci.

According to him, even in the nineteenth century, the Turks in the world accepted the Istanbul dialect as their common language, accessible to all people who speak Turkish. But as a parade every time people have given preference to its own language which is quite natural.

"On the question of a language and an alphabet common to Turkish-speaking peoples, we can count on the intelligence of Azerbaijan, which can be a bridge between the peoples of Turkey. A common language will understand the Turkish peoples. Today, however, some people in Turkey are operated by larger nations. From a political association is not possible and it can not be discussed "he said.

According Akinci, the Turkish-speaking states must be close to each other. "In this, Turkey continues to work in transition towards a common Roman alphabet. All other states, whose people speak Turkish, must unite in the Turkish "said the diplomat.

According to the ambassador, youth can make an enormous contribution to the integration of Turkish-speaking peoples. This can be achieved through the exchange of students.


The Rwandan Genocide: Witness How The Comics? samedi24 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
More than 14 years later, the controversy is still raging around the Rwandan genocide. Rare event to the extent of trauma caused by what is the last genocide of the 20th century, it has inspired many literary and film. In theaters: 100 days (GB), A Sunday in Kigali (Canada), Keepers of the memory of Rwandans Eric Kabera, a few days in April of the Haitian Raoul Peck, two Hollywood films, Shooting Dogs and Hotel Rwanda and, finally, a TV French Operation Turquoise. In literature, two attempts attract attention. The first is the Rwanda write duty of memory (1998), which led to the publication of titles moving Boubacar Boris Diop, Tierno Monénembo or Véronique Tadjo. The second is the extraordinary work of Jean Hatzfeld, author of several books of evidence: In the bare life, a season with machetes and strategy antelope.

In the field of comic books, the picture is more mixed. the cartoonists have not fully invested the subject and works are rare and fragmentary. The task is certainly difficult. How to draw such an event? How to account for the unspeakable in the image? Difficult obstacle is not always bypassed ...
If comics for adults and adolescents are full of killings, massacres and other acts of bloody, process of genocide remains an extremely delicate exercise. The Armenian and Cambodian genocides have led to low production of albums, in French at least. As for the Jewish genocide, it was not until 1987 that a major work to be born, with the release of volumes of Maus of American Art Spiegelman remained since unmatched, even if other talented authors have discussed .

The Rwandan genocide is an entirely different nature from those three genocides Firstly because it is the first case where the main victims of genocide (the Tutsi) eventually win a military victory. The RPA is in power in Kigali since 1994. Another difference, it is a "near genocide" and, after the war, perpetrators and survivors have returned to live in houses they occupied before the genocide.

The cartoonists who have tracked the three major genocides of the 20th century as the Holocaust, the Cambodian genocide and the Armenian genocide, have done on the basis of testimonies and documents, but very few have experienced the event. In the case of Armenia or of the Shoah, the witnesses are rare. To this is added the delay of several decades between the release of albums and the time of these tragedies. In the case of Rwanda, there is a lot of survivors of this period, especially among local designers. The Europeans, Jean Philippe Stassen first, were able to visit and conduct a proper investigation in the field. The works from them, are therefore both the story and work memorial.

Genocide seen from the inside

The need to account for what he lived motivated the work of Rupert BAZAMBANZA. Born in 1975, he emigrated from Rwanda in Montreal in 1997. He now works as a graphic illustrator. His comic smile still was praised by critics. It tells the true story of friends, Rwanga, a Tutsi family in which Rupert lived, since preparations for the genocide to the post. The only survivor was the mother, Rose, who currently lives in Rwanda. Beyond the duty of memory, BAZAMBANZA has made his book a true teaching tool that aims to explain the origins and workings of the massacre. The author himself appears sporadically in his comics: "Hell exists. It is here on earth. It is called hatred and racial discrimination. I saw with my own eyes ..." Two years later, his speech is as implacable: "Much of my book is about the genocide but I did not show many massacres. I show the most difficult times we spent during the 3 months of genocide. A other part of my comics includes before genocide and its preparation. I show how we grew up in a system that led to genocide. I also condemned the abandonment of the international community would not intervene. (1) "Since then, BAZAMBANZA regularly lectures across Canada and is preparing another book.

In Rwanda, few books for the youth was spent in the genocide. In addition to two editions Bakam brochures, there are a few pounds thanks to grants made by Handicap International and two BD (in Kinyarwanda). Gira Amahoro (What you have peace! Greeting used by the Rwandans as a hello), edited by 2 000 per Ibarwa, is a collection of five short cartoons from a few pages each, for a total of 32 pages. The authors are students of primary and secondary schools who won a drawing contest on the theme of genocide. The children expressed their desire to live in peace in their country.

At the same publisher in 2004, was released Akabando k'iminsi (The next day) by Jean Marie Vianney Bigirabagabo. It does not deal with the genocide itself, but rather the consequences later. The story develops relations between neighbors who, having opposed during the war, must learn to live together. Ibarwa is an association of writers from Rwanda that seeks to promote the literary and artistic creativity in the country. You can find other planks of comics which raised the image of kadogos (children - soldiers), especially in the oldest magazine for children in Africa, Hobe or in a "very friendly and humorous" on last page of the magazine of the Ministry of Defense, Ingabo. But the allusions to the genocide are not explicit. These titles and magazines appear under the policy of unity and reconciliation. These are the texts thesis that want to implement a speech responding to moral duty to remember and the need for repentance. In 2000, Charles Rukundo (screenplay) and Jean Claude Ngumire (2) (designer) create a comic strip - the magazine for soap Huguka. This series was published in album the following year with the support of the Belgian Cooperation, under the title Umwana nk'undi (Child as another). The album tells the story of Rudomoro and his sister Makobwa, two children whose parents were murdered. Rudomoro left school, becoming street children and delinquent. Makobwa however, despite attempts to stay on track ends up in prostitution.

Since 2002, Ngumire lives in the Netherlands with his family and works as an illustrator - graphic independent. It tries to carry out a project on genocide autobiographical, "Nyamijos 1994 ... and the world we left." The reasons given recall those of his compatriot BAZAMBANZA ... "15 years long, but it seems it is very short to forget. When I draw a few scenes from the time I tell myself that it happened yesterday. As if time has stopped. The book talks about my days awarded during the genocide in the Nyamirambo district where UNAMIR, the international community, so the West. we have left to human barbarity planning. I had little hope of survival, but by some miracle I got out alive. Many of my neighbors, friends, families, have not been so lucky. The idea of a comic book about this period came when I was in the camp for displaced Ndera (after the RPF has removed us from the clutches of the Interahamwe militia.) This is where I started a few sketches. Then when I arrived in Holland, I did not know who actually tell the story, except to me itself. (3) "

The need to testify

Of European cartoonists have addressed the question of Rwanda. The first is Jean Philippe Stassen who has devoted a trilogy Deogratias (2000), Pawa (2002), Children (2004). The first Déogratias tells the history of the genocide through the madness of a young boy, Déogratias, we discover that before and after the genocide. He wanders through the streets of Butare, look crazy, always looking for urwaga (banana beer). Sometimes it takes for a dog and remembers .... With his "eyes committed (4)", Stassen sign the book on the Rwandan genocide, without indignation, or moral, just as a witness not a caricature. Reflecting the complexity of the drama, without showing images of the genocide (only two stamps evoke the massacres), it points out the various responsibilities without Manicheism and stressed the enormous suffering caused by the events, stressing "because the authors genocide are not monsters but people like you and me, we must try and convict (5). But on a sensitive subject, his work is obviously not unanimous. In a 2001 article, the writer Appollo Reunion says: "Stassen does nothing and does nothing in this process murderer ... Because Stassen is full of good feelings, but can we speak of a genocide with good feelings? Can we realize the horror with kindness? (6) "

Two years after Deogratias, Stassen sign Pawa (Power), the subject editorial hybrid, combining simple, text and illustrated comic books. In ten chapters, the author analyzes the political situation and human the Great Lakes region. It shows that the scientific racist discourse taught by the Europeans proved decisive in the opposition Tutsi - Hutu, even though "All the whites had been evacuated since April 9. There was a single when the genocide been committed. (7) "

With his third work, the very sober Children Stassen back to fiction. In an African country, it can be assumed to be Rwanda, children weave wicker baskets in the shop of an NGO, while outside noise of the fighting gets closer. Slowly, the children will join the violence around them, given the absence of hope. With this third opus, the designer completes the evocation of a theme that is a bit too commonplace today, it's true but it is a very important issue for me. The work of memory is important, we must consider the best way to make this work. (8) "

In 2001, the authors Congolese (DRC) Willy Inongo (screenplay) and Senga Kibwanga (drawing) publish couple model couple cursed editions Christian Coccinelle BD (Belgium). The story is set around the true fate of a couple "mixed" Hutu - Tutsi Virginia and Richard, forced to flee Rwanda with their three children during the outbreak of the genocide and their inability to remain in refugee camps or return the country because of their mix. The authors show racism and hatred in both groups of countries: in the genocidal Hutu, of course, but also among the soldiers of the Tutsi RPF. Designed in black and white, the work shows very few images of death and murder.

Jeroen Janssen has coached several stages of BD in Rwanda in the early 90s until the end of 2007 (9). Africa has a lot to his work as he devotes several albums, especially Bakame (2003 - named after a hare, traditional tales of heroes) and De grote toveraar (2007) (10). On Genocide, Jeroen has released an album in 1997, Muzungu Sluipend gif (white creeping poison) divided into three chapters. His testimony is interesting because it is one of the few European designers to have lived all this time and have started drawing before the genocide. "I did the first story in Rwanda in 1993, before the genocide. On 2 and 3 I've made in 1994-1996, after the genocide, in Belgium. (11)" The beginning of the album tells the underlying tensions in a village through rumors of poisoning. Edwin, a young Belgian Cooperation, is witnessing these events. The allusions to the conflict Hutu - Tutsi are visible in the second story that ends when the Rwandan president's plane was shot down. The third story takes place in Belgium after the genocide ... Again, the genocide is discussed and is the backbone of the album, but very few images of the massacres are visible. Edwin very involved in all these conflicts and remains a neutral observer and passive. Janssen there is little key to understanding the conflict and the sources of this hatred between the two communities.

In 2007, the small BD Maïsha children in the land of a thousand hills, sold to benefit the Foundation Sonia Rolland discusses in Chapter 4 the Gisozi memorial built in honor of the victims of genocide, referring to the tragedy in the most pedagogical and simple as possible.

In 2005 and 2008, were released two volumes of Rwanda 94, a collaboration between the Congolese Masioni (drawing) and the French Cécile Grenier and Ralph (scenario). The action takes place during the genocide. The treatment by the authors at this event with the other slice. If other albums evoke the massacres without showing it is not the same for these two volumes murder or killing one another and not sparing the reader. The authors also directly involved in the French army in the French military describing as genocide ... Without doubt the book's most biased of all ...

Through his works, the authors of comics demonstrate their willingness to report to a painful event in the history of mankind. Their albums show that Bd is not a speech or as a historian or as a discourse of power but as a privileged form of artistic expression of memory. Please note the oversimplification almost inseparable from any work of the mind .... As aptly summarizes the writer Appollo Reunion [that] "is even more the order of the comics, but of morality. How can we speak of a genocide? The choice of fiction did avère perhaps not the most appropriate, because it necessarily aesthetic biases irrelevant, because the simplification is never far away, and we can not accept to play a genocide as a mere pretext for fiction. (12) "
Christophe-Cassiau Haurie www.africultures.com/php/index.php?nav=article&no=8265


Revenues From The Armenian Emigration In Sharp Decline 23 January 2009, Gari / armenews
The Armenian authorities have repeatedly reassure public opinion, minimizing the effects of financial crisis on global economic and Armenia, they intend to stop with a plan seeking to revive the largely state. Armenians working abroad probably do not have the same optimism and the effects of the crisis are already feeling their currency shipments to Armenia, which contribute much to economic growth. This windfall has significantly reduced in the last quarter of 2008, which should force the Armenian authorities to revise again lowered their growth forecasts, including the slowdown was also announced. According to the latest data provided by the Central Bank of Armenia, foreign currency transfers from individuals registered by the local banks have experienced annual growth of 26.2%, reaching $ 1.5 billion over the period January-November 2008.

These transfers are not trading nearly 14% of GDP, a figure that illustrates the importance of the recent Armenian emigration, located mostly in Russia, a country that has been hit by the crisis, the economy of Armenia and the living standards of its people. Especially it is estimated that a comparable volume of funds has been transferred to Armenia, bypassing banks. Bank transfers had registered a dramatic increase of 45% before the collapse of stock markets in the United States and the rest of the world in September. The shock waves from the financial crisis have been felt in Russia, where they have installed hundreds of thousands of Armenians who regularly send a portion of their income to their family in Armenia.

The economic situation in Russia was aggravated by the sharp fall at the same time oil prices, which increased continuously in recent years had encouraged the country to live in its oil revenues. According to the Central Bank of Armenia, remittances amounted to $ 102.6 million in November 2008, 7% less than in November 2007. Officials of the Central Bank of Armenia that all foreign currency inflows in Armenia from January to November 2008 amounted to 2.1 billion dollars with an increase of 42% or 273.8 million dollars for the month of November. The Armenian authorities show signs of anxiety, fearing that the decline in revenue does monetary effects on Armenia of a crisis to which they thought they could cope without much difficulty, and it affects a rate growth, which for the first time in years in the last quarter of 2008, was only a number. "If economic growth slows in Russia, the incomes of our compatriots will decrease, and the transfer of private funds they do to Armenia," the prime minister was concerned Tigran Sarkissian in October 2008, adding that "this could have a negative impact on our financial sector and consumption in general, because 80% of these transfers are back in consumer goods. " The remittances from Armenian emigrants have not only contributed to the revival of consumption, a major factor in the dynamism of the economy, but they also enabled Armenia to finance its trade deficits and massive public. The trade deficit of Armenia was in excess of 3 billion dollars in 2008.


Fethiye Cetin "The Democratization Movement Of Turkish Society Is Inevitable" 21 December 2008, Krikor Amirzayan / armenews
We met Fethiye Cetin, the Turkish lawyer of Armenian origin, an activist for human rights, imprisoned for three years in Turkey, following the military coup of 1980 is now calm. We met in Marseille three days, from 13 to 15 December. Fethiye Cetin accompanied Rakel Dink Marseille in the capital. The two women had come at the invitation of the organizers of the 2nd National Book Festival Armenia. The opportunity for "News Magazine of Armenia" of the interviewer.

Armenia-News Magazine: Cetin Madam, we know your commitment to freedom and human rights in Turkey. You are also involved in the case of Hrant Dink. You encounter difficulties in carrying out your action or the exercise of your job?

Fethiye Cetin: You say that it's easy, you would be lying. Of course, that many problems because it is a country that is changing, albeit slowly, towards a form of democracy. Istanbul but we still come to work and achieve some successes.

Armenia-News Magazine: Turkish society is it really a step towards democracy?

Fethiye Cetin is indisputable. Turkey is changing every day, and probably much faster than you can imagine. Today we have a lot of Turkish citizens who have a new look and a dispute on the Armenians and the genocide.

Armenia-News Magazine: Do you think the weight of nationalism called "secularism" of Ataturk can allow development to democracy?

Fethiye Cetin: the movement of change, democratization is very strong. And it is inevitable. You can only imagine the profound changes that have occurred in recent years in attitudes. We must encourage this movement.

Armenia-News Magazine: Are not you afraid of being targeted by such violence by extremists in Turkey?

Fethiye Cetin: The risk remains. But why worry? I reaffirm that every day those who join our ideas and want to really democratize Turkey are more numerous. And in the street, through eyes that I have the Turkish citizens in Istanbul, I see that those who support me may be as many as those who hate me. For we must know that in Turkey, you are loved and supported, or you're hated. It is the country of extremes and there is no room for balance. Interview in Marseille by Krikor Amirzayan


Turkey Will Quickly Recognize The Armenian Genocide, As The Composer Ara Guevroguian 21 December 2008, Krikor Amirzayan / armenews
In an interview with the press club "Desagéd" ( "Viewpoint") in Yerevan on 20 December, the famous Armenian composer Ara Guevorguian, wished that "the year 2009 becomes one of the recognition by Turkey of the Armenian genocide . A. Guevorguian added "we have hopes for this because the dialogue between Armenia and Turkey has begun. A few years ago it was unthinkable that Turkish intellectuals to ask for forgiveness to the Armenians. A petition today in this direction is underway and this movement is growing in Turkey, so I think that very soon the Armenian genocide will be recognized by this country. "According to A. Guevorguian recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey allow the establishment of peace between the two steps. "Such acts of barbarism will not happen again," said the composer famous for the defense of culture and identity Armenian. Krikor Amirzayan


15.01.2009 Clinton Evades Question On Claims Of Genocide In Senate by Ümit Enginsoy
WASHINGTON - Testifying at her confirmation hearing during a Senate panel Tuesday, Hillary Clinton, U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of state, declined to qualify the 1915 incidents as "genocide", when asked by a pro-Armenian senator how the new administration would describe the incidents.

Clinton was outlining the upcoming Obama administration's foreign policy priorities and principles at the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She needs the Senate's approval to take up her new job. Obama will take over the presidency next Tuesday.

Recalling that Clinton and Obama had both pledged to recognize the incidents as "genocide" when they were rivals in the presidential election campaign, pro-Armenian Senator Robert Menendez asked Hillary if the new administration would consider "genocide" recognition.

"I know the positions you have taken as a senator, and I applaud them. I hope that they will not change drastically as you move to secretary of state," said Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey. He also asked about the new administration's policy on Cyprus' reunification.

"Senator, we will be looking very closely at those and other challenging issues with the eye of moving forward and being effective in responding to these very legitimate concerns," Clinton replied, declining to comment more.

Cautious position
Although Hillary qualified Menendez' questions as "very legitimate concerns," she did not say that the 1915 incidents were "genocide." Analysts viewed Clinton's response as a deferral of assuming a formal position on this sensitive matter.

U.S. Armenians hope that at a time when Obama, Clinton and Vice President-elect Joe Biden have all already supported their case before November's presidential election, they will this time win a formal U.S. "genocide" recognition during the new Democratic administration's term. Ankara has made it clear that formal U.S. "genocide" recognition would hurt bilateral ties in a major and lasting way.


Turkish Developed 'Spy' Satellite -In Partnership With Thales 22 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Following a tender Turkish dating back several years, the company Telespazio (Rome), a subsidiary of Finmeccanica Group (Milan) / Thales (Toulouse), specializing in earth observation and satellite navigation, won contract manufacturing of a spy satellite commissioned by the Department of Turkish Defense (MoD).

Despite the reluctance of the Turkish government to assign the project to a French participation in society for adoption by the National Assembly the draft law criminalizing denial of Armenian Genocide (2006), the development of the satellite returns to Gokturk Telespazio and Thales Aliena Space. According to one of the leaders of the Turkish Ministry of Industry, was preferred Telespazio to Thales because Turkish resentment over the decisions of the French Parliament.


The Turkish authorities had considered the offers of the European EADS Astrium Satellites (GB), German OHB System and other companies in a selection process that took more than two years. IAI (Israel), was eliminated from the framework of tenders because of restrictions imposed on Turkey, including the ban on overflight of Israeli airspace.

The contract, valued between 250 and 270 million euros, includes the construction and launch of satellite Gokturk and assembly of its ground facilities at the premises of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the integration of satellite and Turkey the construction of the test center in Turkey belong. These projects demonstrate the government's willingness to develop a national industry for production of satellites.


Turkish military satellite, Göktürk-1 will receive high-definition optical systems with an observation on the ground between 2, 50 m and 80 cm from an orbit at an altitude of 700km.

The Ministry of Defense of Turkey does not hide its intention to fight against terrorism through the satellite, which will also used his skills in civilian oversight activities such as control of forest land, monitoring of illegal construction, the determination of damage after natural disasters and many other applications without any geographical restriction announced Murad Bayar, Undersecretary of Defense Industries (SSM).

The satellite should be launched into orbit in 2012.
Jean Eckian


Flash Mob To Remember Hrant Dink In Istanbul 21 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
A flash mob, the term typically crowd mobilization or lightning flash, is a gathering of a group of people in a public place to carry out agreed to advance to disperse quickly. The gathering is usually organized through the Internet, participants (the flash mobbers) did not for most.

The message "We were killed that day, also was sent via the Facebook site and attended by over 300 people. These people including students and retirees, were given appointments twice on 18 January and 19 December at 15h to commemorate the anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink.

During the meeting the representative scene when Hrant Dink was shot and fell to the ground was played by the participants. A camera recorded this demonstration to raise awareness of violence of this tragedy for the country. The interpreters have fallen one after the other. Each of them, after lying a few seconds and has set the record when the soul leaves the body. The only thing that interpreters have had to do was get up and walk without looking at the camera after standing.

HRFOR Eylem Akkaya, Ilker Eraslan Ibrahim Bas, Erdi Biltekin and Hüseyin Civan had told the Turkish daily Hürriyet before the operation as "the murder of Dink injury is the deepest and coolest caused by Ergenekon, the deep state and against the guerrillas. We also commemorate our intellectuals who were victims of murder. We invite everyone to join us again and for justice. "

Ilker Easlan said rehearsals for the stage began in November via the technique of flash mob. Although this technique is used for fun abroad, he said it was used in Turkey to focus attention on social events and traumas. An announcement is made on the Internet to bring people together and then they perform the scene.

Eylem Akkaya said that "the main purpose of this performance is to see the moment when Dink was killed in the crowd in different locations in Istanbul and keep the memory of the event expenses.

According to Ibrahim Bottom "When Dink was killed, our company was also killed and injured. We must never forget the pain. "

Speaking of the mission of Hrant Dink, the interpreters have said Dink was our brother, who has defended the fraternity and fought for it. He was killed and we were also killed. This pain is the pain of all. "

The interpreters, who have sought to draw attention to the importance of promoting brotherhood in Turkey, as opposed to nationalism and racism. Their message: "We must talk about the damage nationalism and racism in all people, young to old. We can have security and peace when we standardize this thought. "


The Armenian Assembly Of America Welcomes The Appointment Of Leon Panetta 21 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
President Barack Obama has formally appointed former Chief of Staff of the White House in the era of Bill Clinton and current member of Congress Leon Panetta (D-California), as Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

"During his terms in Congress, Leon Panetta has repeatedly expressed its support for recognition of the Armenian Genocide," said Bryan Ardouny director of the Assembly.

"Coupled with the decision of President Obama to appoint Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat-New York), as Secretary of State, which supports the U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide, this appointment represents another step in rebuilding American credibility in the fight against genocide. "

Leon Panetta was 16th and 17th district in Congress from 1977 to 1993. During his career in Congress, Leon Panetta has been a supporter of the Armenian issue and has co-sponsored several resolutions honoring "an Armenian Remembrance Day."

Leon Panetta has also made several statements at the conference commemorating the anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

On 29 April 1992, he said "this infamous massacre involving the whole country was an Armenian indelible horror in human history too often overlooked and ignored and it is with a heavy sense of history lessons that I agree this commemoration today ... We are compelled to remind us of the terrifying attempt to annihilate the people as a duty, both to honor the dead and prevent the reproduction of genocide. Indeed, by acting against hate and fear, we honor those who died unjustly and ... "April 24 1915 marked the beginning of a systematic attempt by the Ottoman regime to expel and exterminate the Armenians of the Anatolian peninsula ... "All this is for those victims and for all oppressed peoples of today, those who died and those who survived, that we take time to reflect on the Armenian genocide and its implications for all of us today. "


Meeting Between Armenian And Turkish Diplomats 21 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
According to the statement broadcast by CNN-Turk, a meeting between Armenian and Turkish diplomats was held on January 5 as part of establishing a dialogue between the two countries. The same source indicated that the Turkish government is making efforts to normalize relations with its neighbor by 24 April.

Embassy of France in Armenia Press Service


"I Ask Forgiveness" Géosociologique Analysis Of The Signatories Of The Petition Of Turkish Intellectuals 19 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
"My conscience can accept that it remains indifferent to the great catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians suffered in 1915, and it denies. I reject this injustice, and for my part, I share the feelings and sorrows of my Armenian brothers and sisters and I ask forgiveness. "

This is the text accompanying the signatures of 265 Turkish academics and intellectuals, organizers of an unprecedented campaign, published in the countries of the Levant, on the internet on 15 December 2008. Among them, there are the names of Baskin Oran, a professor of political science, that of Cengiz Aktar, experts on European and economist Ahmet Insel.

Immediately countered by several other petitions tinted ultra nationalism, the statement shows how the Turkish progressive society wants a new era in the Armenian-Turkish friendship, through repentance and later reconciliation. A reconciliation that would have legitimacy as the formal recognition and repairs resulting from the theft of property of the Armenian people suffered a genocide imprescriptible.

Conversely statements of Baskin Oran, one of the first signatories that the petition would have the sole purpose of softening the Diaspora in its claims, it is clear that the tens of thousands of signatures from 's add to those initiatives, do not participate in this scheme. And that, probably a continuation of the great emotion caused by the assassination of Hrant Dink (19 January 2007), editor of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos.

Even if the petition is controversial in its wording (Great Catastrophe), because, it seems, for possible prosecution under the iniquitous Article 301, it is undeniable that "apart in the wall of denial , raised by Taner Akçam, is eager to leave the light on the screen of the Turkish Ottoman past. What is comforting is that the largest number of signatories is based on the student gent.

100 years after the massacres of Adana, the vast Internet market follows the step of Nazim Hikmet, Halil Berkay Ali Ertem, Orhan Pamuk, Kemal Yalcin, Ayché Nour and Ragip Zarakolu or Shikho Yousif and the multitude stationed under the gantry Truth and ready to finish with the official position. But the fact remains that, as the injured animal, the Armenian remains vigilant to any adverse notice. While thanking the civil society to lead the way, repentance can not be expressed by the Turkish State. An official repentance leading to a justice of victims, the Armenians.

Jean Eckian

Figures as at 15 January 2009: 27,516 signatures

COMMENTS
Interrupted several times during the month of December 2008 attack by hackers, the petition has undergone significant changes. A significant number of entries are recorded several times by changing either the name of the city of origin or occupation. Also, mistakes in wording, particularly in the "occupation" have caused some signatories to double registration, registration without malicious or insulting. This is why, between 31 December 2008 and 8 January 2009, the webmaster of ozurdiliyoruz.com proceeded to clean the list that seemed to stagnate and even decline to eye. Given these factors, we can estimate that there remains a margin of error equal to 0, 2% for duplicates on the overall results.

SIGNATORIES
Upon considering the listing, we find that the students who hold the head of signatories, followed by "teachers". Homonyms, names, first names are legion. Note the presence of 154 "Arslan. The 209 "Aslan" in the original list have been eliminated.

The most REPRESENTATION

More than 6300: Students
More than 1700: Teachers
More than 1200: Engineers, Self
More than 1000: Workers, Retirees

Less than 700: Lawyers, Housewives
Less than 600: Journalists
Less than 500: Doctors
Less than 400: Artisans, Accountants, Authors, Writers, Educators
Less than 300: Unemployed,
Less than 200: Architects, Researchers, scientists, lawyers, psychologists
Less than 150: Bankers, Foremen,

From 130 to 10

Actors, directors, anthropologists, archaeologists, Insurers, Barmen, Biologists, Cafetiers, Cameramen, Caricaturists, taxi drivers, chemists, traders, financial advisors, Decorators, Dentists, Designers, designers, directors of education, economists, editors, electronics, Farmers, Financial, Government officials, geophysicists, geologists, Designers, Guides, historians, printers, film industry, textile industry, tourism industry, instructors, interpreters, Jewelers, Libraires, Marchands, mathematicians, musicians, teachers, photographers, Physiotherapists, Poets, Cops, Politicians, Main colleges, producers of films, commercials, Restaurateurs, Writers, Secretaries, Servers, sociologists, statisticians, trade unionists, Tailors, Technicians, Sales, Veterinary, etc.. Diplomats and 3 ...

GEOGRAPHY OF SIGNATORIES
The city of Istanbul won the Palme (9937), followed by Ankara (2129), Izmir (1823) and Diyarbakir (1423). Then: Mersin (482), Bursa (415), Adana (394), Antalya (382), Van (375) and Mardin (334).

Figures for other Turkish cities ranging from 283 to then 1 signatories representing more than 200 towns and villages.

ABROAD
3793 signatories have registered from 63 countries. At the top of the Top 5: Germany (1729), followed by the United States (343), UK (324), France * (310), Switzerland (231). Then: Poland, Austria, Sweden, Canada, Belgium, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands. None of South America.

Note: 5 signatories of Japan, 4 Azerbaijan (2 politicians and journalists 2), 1 of Armenia, Karabakh 1, China 1, 1 Colombia, 1 Greenland, 1 in Kosovo, 1 from Ecuador, 1 of 1 of Kenya and Singapore. A twenty cities or countries and could not be identified.

Study Jean Eckian Reproduction prohibited without permission


* Signatories in France are living in Paris, Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Marseille, Toulouse and Valencia (in descending order).


Ibrahim Sahin: We Started With The Struggle Against ASALA 20 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Statements to the Justice Ibrahim Sahin, a former member of the intelligence services: "In 1983 I was appointed to head a police force to fight against the Armenian terrorist organization ASALA.

"With the start of PKK terrorism, we have been instructed to fight against this terrorist organization," he added.

"Later, the leaders of the PKK and ASALA met and ASALA was incorporated in the PKK," he concluded.


Jacques Remiller - Ump Deputy Mayor Of Vienna : The City Of Vienna Second Land Of Armenia 27 December 2008, Stéphane / armenews
As secretary of friendship group France-Armenia's National Assembly, and alongside Bernard SAUGEY and François ROCHEBLOINE, I had the honor of meeting Mr. Armenian President Robert Kocharian. Together, we worked, thought about the future of Armenia and its place in the world. This young nation must grow and prosper in peace internally and externally. Armenia must be regarded by other countries in the world with the same eyes as France. A look of friendship and deep respect. During my trip to Armenia at the head of a delegation in Vienna, I discovered the Armenian soul: warmth and generosity.

I had on several occasions, the opportunity to talk with His Excellency Edward Nalbandian, Armenian Ambassador to France. He is familiar with Vienna and its community and has frequently honor of his visit. Beyond the politics in my capacity as Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly is as mayor of Vienna in the Isere I wish also to speak, because in Vienna city the past two millennia we have forged a strong bond with our sister city Goris, brotherly and historical bond linking Vienna to Armenia. Vienna was in effect at the beginning of last century a destination for the people of the Armenian diaspora. A city where the Armenians have demonstrated the tremendous asset that is the nobility of his blood: integration. Many families in Vienna, we show that their heart is just as Armenian, a Frenchman. This commitment was reflected in 1992 by a pairing with Goris.

Since my arrival in the responsibilities of the city, I wanted to give new impetus to bilateral relations between our two cities. Goris offer multiple actions by new paths of development. In a spirit of continuity and development that we are providing strong support to any initiative or exchange with the objective of enriching the cultural, social and economic Goris.

With the Vienna-Goris Association, chaired by Jacques KECHICHIAN, an association that brings together all the Armenian associations of our city, we work hand in hand to advance the projects. Together we think and we act within the framework of a real policy of decentralized cooperation. So two years ago, we started with the hospital in Vienna a draft donation of a scanner for the hospital in Goris. With this donation, we offered to Armenia 3rd scanner in the country. With this solidarity, Goris and an entire region can now take advantage of advanced technology to improve the health of inhabitants. We still have many projects as the establishment of a hotel in Goris to allow the development of tourism in a region with unique heritage and the development of la Francophonie to develop the teaching of English. A language so dear to the heart of the Armenians and that they have honor if dignity during the visit of President Jacques Chirac in September 2006. As a parliamentarian, I travel and several years later I still feel the emotion felt during the concert by Charles Aznavour on the place of France in Yerevan.

Jacques Remiller
Deputy Mayor of Vienna
Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Secretary of friendship group with Armenia


Shall We Also Apologize from ASALA?
The chaos that was caused by an apology campaign led by group of our citizens, has reached to a surprising dimension. “40 wise men cannot take out a stone that is thrown to a well by a madman”, is an appropriate saying for the situation. It is perceived that the ones who have launched the campaign are not able to see the outcomes of their actions, which goes beyond their target because of their lack of vision.


No one could understand what the target was. It is funny that Armenians are also confused.

The Announcement for the Apology Received the Greatest Criticism from Armenians; not Turks

The ones who apologize, who placed their heads under the sand would understand what we mean if their cultural accumulations is sufficient enough to scrutinize the Armenian and the other countries’ media.

The Armenians did not like the announcement!

Clearly, the campaign has intensified the aggressiveness of the radical Armenian leaders.

The following are the instance from the opportunist Armenian leaders and media, which put forward that the while the dosage of the assaults has increased, the quality has decreased:

“-Turks attempt to suppress the responsibility of genocide by simply apologizing, the announcement contains a series of deficiencies, “Great disaster” expression is used instead of “Armenian genocide”, it is indirectly attributed to the year of 1915 instead of 1915-1923, the announcement of apologizing is not issued by the government of Turkey but a group of people in Turkey, and even though it had come from the government of Turkey, the apology would not replace an alternative of reparations and restitution…

-The memories of the Armenian nation are closely related with Ağrı Mountain, and no one can deny that the fact that the mountain belongs to Armenia even though the Byzantine, Persian, Arab, Russian, Seljuk and the Ottoman civilizations had co-existed in these lands during the history, it is unfair to leave this mountain outside the borders of Armenian state because of some certain conditions 80 years ago, and in this context, the mountain should returned back to its real owner and Armenia should regain its own lands, where the borders would be re-determined…

-Nevertheless, the announcement serves a functional goal like educating Turkish nation (!) on Armenian genocide, which was left in dark for a very long time in Turkey, and instead of a history commission which will be consisted of Turks and Armenians, a “Turkish commission” that would make it possible for the Turks to discover the crimes committed against masses by their own ancestors and a forum is needed to be formed to discuss all of these…”

Peace among Turkey-Armenia is Being Sabotaged, the Historical Instigation is Attempted to be Revived

It is observed that the expansion among Turkey and Armenia has disturbed some circles lately. The most disturbed circle is, of course, the circle, which attempts to control Diaspora. They do not wish the instigation, which they have been obtaining great gains for long years, to be removed.

Optimistic hopes had started to produce its leaves with the creation of mutual dialog atmosphere. The ones among both Turks and Armenians, who think that the things that occurred in the past should not cast a shadow at the future, had started to talk straightforwardly, and express their thoughts fearlessly.

First, Hrant Dink was killed. Immediately following that incident, a march called “We are All Hrant” was organized in Istanbul. Observing the fact that the placards were ready in their hands, it seems that the march was planned beforehand.

Later, books which asks sympathy for the Armenians written by some native writers were on the market.

A letter, which demanded recognition of the genocide claims and signed by 300 people in Armenia was sent to our president with an excellent timing.

And currently, an “apology” campaign was launched. The goal and the basis of this campaign is uncertain.

When you arrange these developments in order, you can locate the pieces of the puzzle in their particular places.

The real murderers of the Turks, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians, the ones who live at the region, will appear when all the peaces of the puzzle, are put in their proper places. Then, the following fact will be perceived: Who does the lobby, which commits genocide, is serving?

In another words, the circles that are disturbed of the dialog attempts between Turkey and Armenia, are at work.

This campaign causes an incitement of the mutual hostility between Armenian side and Turkish side, and a polarization among the people of these countries. At the same time, it serves to loneliness of the circles that are seeking a dialog in both countries.

These people, who are not historians or experts on the issue, and who come forward without making researches in the archives of Turkey or related countries, and who are in an effort of creating an image of intellectual for themselves, have found a right to convict Turkey by obeying the demands of the ones, who direct them.

Or else, do the half intellectuals, who think that they do not have an alternative other than giving single-sided concessions as a result of “doormat” psychology, when they turn their other side after they are slapped, think that the problem will be solved? And the most pathetic situation is that the names of some people were added at the list without their information.

In another words, the well-known fooling tactic is also being used here. The uninformed citizens are used at a policy which intends starting a quarrel between Turks and Armenians. It is reported that many objections rose from the citizens, whose names were illegally added to the list by the ones, who are responsible of the web site until now. It will not be surprising if these constitute a lawsuit because of the illegal use of the names and personal information.

It is not hard to estimate that the mentioned attempt, which we do not wish to name it as a bad intentioned one but rather “excessively innocent and single-sided well-intentioned” one, will harm more than making a contribution to the softening and dialog process among the sides.

While in an effort of putting things in order but as a result ruining completely, these people, who apparently are set in motion with the direction of the other countries, and whose history information and devotion to the country they were born, is weak, are not even aware of the fact that they are being exploited.

Ignorant persons, who call themselves as “intellectuals”, do not have a right to create illusion, which presents the situation like the only ones who suffered during that time were the Armenians. Firstly, we recommend them organize a trip to the Eastern Anatolia and to visit the mass graves of Turks, who were massacred by Armenian gangs and secondly, to make a research at the Ottoman archives and later at the Tashnak archives if they can manage.

Currently, one of the greatest deficiencies of Turkey is her insufficiency for bringing up intellectuals, who would avoid slandering Turkey for to be sufficient at the international platforms.

Let’s complete our words with the following epigram, which is convenient to the current time and circumstances: Half preacher deprives you of your own religion, half doctor deprives you of your own live and half intellectual deprives you of your own country.

Editor - GenocideReality.com


by Vercihan Ziflioğlu Tribute To Black Sea’s Disappearing Cultures
ISTANBUL - 'Sonbahar' (Autumn), a recently popular Turkish film directed by Özcan Alper from the Black Sea region, is the first in Turkey to use the Hemshin language. The film also reflects the magic geography of the Black Sea.

Tribute to Black Sea’s disappearing cultures

The preservation of the Hemshin people, one of Turkey’s oldest cultures, is the focus of Turkish film director Özcan Alper’s, new film "Sonbahar" (Autumn). The film is a tribute to the disappearing culture of Hemshin people of the Black Sea region and was filmed using the Hemshin language.

Alper, who defines himself as Hemshin, describes the people as those who hid their Armenian identity and became Muslims in the 17th century. Alper said the Hemshin people continue to speak Armenian, but do not consider themselves Armenian or Turkısh. "Their lifestyle and customs are totally different," Alper said.

He said he had never been affected by what he had gone through. "I shot ’Autumn’ in Hemshin, Georgian and Turkish languages. I didn’t censor myself but sometimes worried if I would have a problem during filming. This film is a kind of elegy for a disappearing geography and culture."

Alper is the first Turkish director to shot a film in the Hemshin language. His first short feature film "Momi" received great interest at international festivals in 2000. Despite the film’s simple plot, Alper said a suit was filed against him in the State Security Court because of its language. "The artists who played the role of grandmother and children were received fines even though the film had no political elements. It was the story of a child who platonically loved a woman," he said.

Before its release in Turkey, the film was shown at more than 10 international festivals including the Locarno Film Festival and arose big interest. It will be screened for audiences at the Swedish Goteborg and Dutch Rotterdam film festivals in the coming weeks.

The premiere of the film was in the Black Sea cities of Rize and Artvin. "My aim was to see the reactions of Hemshin people. They don’t like others to talk about their origins, but they have been more tolerant in recent years. Moreover, if a person among them handles this issue, they show more empathy," Alper said.

Alper said he adopted a manner against a possible reaction, adding, "I challenge them if necessary. I say to them that this is my native language and it is my right to talk about it."

Alper said even people who had never been to a cinema attended the premier of the film and that reactions were very positive among people who were seeing a film for the first time in their own language.

Reactions of Hemshin people seen first
Alper, pointing out Turkey’s cultural richness, said, "If this country becomes more democratized, and a way is paved for art, there would be more success." He said, despite "Autumn’s" political elements, he did not have the same problems he had eight years ago from "Momi." "I think prejudices are gradually fading away," he said. In his films, Alper shows scenes from daily life. He said his aim was to show the natural life and that the mother and villagers acting in "Autumn" had been chosen from local people.

Yusuf's love for Elka
The film tells the story of Yusuf who returned to the Çamlıhemşin-Fırtına Valley after spending 12 years in prison for a political offence. He spends his time with his childhood friend Mikail. One day, Mikail takes him to a bar, where he falls in love with a Georgian dancer named Elka. As his tragic end approaches, Yusuf’s last hope is his love for Elka.

© Copyright 2008 Hürriyet


Israel Suppresses Armenian Genocide Recognition Campaign In U.S. 15.01.2009 PanARMENIAN.Net
Besides all possible support to anti-Armenian activities in the United States, a number of Israeli scientific organizations with the help of some Armenian individuals are penetrating in various research centers in the U.S. and Europe, an Armenian expert said.

The main goal of such scientists is to disseminate a pseudo-theory that the Armenian ethnos is Semitic and is similar to the Jewish nation, Eduard Abrahamyan, an expert of Mitq analytical center said in his Israels policy in Caucasus: tasks and regional allies article obtained by PanARMENIAN.Net.

Spreading this propaganda throughout the United States, Israel tries to suppress the Armenian Genocide recognition campaign. Developing an opinion that Asia Minor is not the historical homeland of the Armenian people, Tel Aviv is eager to take control over the influential capital of the Armenian community through mass interfusion of the Armenian and Jewish Diasporas, the article says.

The Judaization project was worked out by Turkish and Jewish historians and psychologists in 1930ies with a purpose to suppress the Armenianhood with its memory of the 1915 events.

Pro-Turkish organizations and officials in Europe were pushing a theory of Jewish origin of Armenians.

The problem is that Armenian scientists do not realize the threat of this pseudo-theory, which is being persistently spread throughout the republic.

In other words, Jewish activists are fulfilling Turkey and Azerbaijans tasks in the republic, the auricle says.


“the Courageous And Honest Turkish Intellectuals” Are On The Stage!
We startled with brand new news yesterday. As you know, a campaign, which is pioneered by some journalist and academicians, is being initiated for apologizing. We were aware of some kind of “campaigns”, which are pioneered by genocide sections (most of whom are run by the Armenians and their supporters) of some American universities and are supported by Halil Berktay, Fatma Müge Göçek, Elif Şafak, Murat Belge, Taner Akçam . These were the works of the individuals or small groups (Conferences at universities, articles at the foreign newspapers etc.). It seems that they have currently decided to maximize it; increase its effects in the favor of the Armenians. They are planning to turn it into a “broad based campaign” in the New Year…

Congratulations, congratulations. Who knows they may receive great New Year presents and thanks to all from “abroad”…Of course, this was not easy. Therefore, the Armenian Diaspora, applauded and honored the ones who support them by saying that “courageous and Turkish intellectuals are supporting our thesis” in the media and universities.

Presently, a statement was delivered accompanied by the Orhan Pamuk’s history knowledge (!) about the campaign that is due to be initiated. The reason was revealed as: “This issue has not been talked for almost 100 years in Turkey, the history is not objectively expressed, most of the people in Turkey think that the incidents were “mutual massacres” and they even think that nothing had happened to Armenians. Since, “the official history” was saying so…”

Firstly; I am stating that the aforementioned claims are completely wrong as I am the one, who writes the most on the “Armenian claims and developments over the issue” according to the researches (The research was issued on the press.) Secondly; they said: “Who ever wishes to apologize can apologize…” which is not different than my words when reactions rose and I said: “I said it, you can hang me if you want to” when National Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül said: “Could we be a national government if Greeks and Armenians remained in Turkey?” Okay, you said it but your words are a huge mistake, which could place Turkish government into a difficult position when is used against her. Can you slip off easily by this way?

The groups, which are not historians but make statements in a strong and certain way, as if they have memorized both native and the foreign archives, would give great damages to Turkey. The ones, who sign it, should be aware of their responsibility when they attend the campaign. Of Course, not if they are one of the examples of Taner Akçam, Halil Berktay, Orhan Pamuk…

Armenian relocation was never let to be forgotten in Turkey and it was discussed greatly in the late decade wit its all dimensions. Turkish History Society invited historians from Armenia and all over the world for months by saying: “Let’s examine the documents together”. Even a single historian could not COME.” They just said: “First, Turkey should admit genocide, and then we will come.” This is nothing but directing Turkey in favor of them. We wonder if the ones, who started a campaign, which would simply mean “Admitting Armenian claims” be able to demand and GET an apology from Armenia for the killings of almost 550 thousand prior and after the relocation from May of 1914 to May of 1915 by the Armenian gangs (For example; 100 thousand in Van, 100 thousand in Erzurum, more than 20 thousand in Kars)?

Will they be able to demand and GET an apology for the deaths occurred during the exile of Turks and Muslims by the Armenians and Russians from the Caucasus to Anatolia when 300-400 thousand people were killed by the Armenian gangs, while some of them dies of hunger prior the relocation in 1914?

Did they read the first Prime Minister of Armenia Kaçaznuni’s talking and confessions in his book entitled “There is Nothing Tashnak Party Could Do”? Or this move is something like the conferences, which is organized at the Bilgi University and no one who posses contrary thoughts is excepted, in spite of the fact that they claim it never was “discussed”.

Source: Ruhat Mengi- Vatan Daily Nespaper-05.12.2008
www.genocidereality.com


Future Belongs To The Ones Who Have Clairvoyance
The pressures of the Western circles against Turkey for “refreshing memory” on the Armenian issue, has started to become boring. The Ottoman Empire and its successor Turkish Republic will almost be declared as the criminal of war (!) due to its independence struggle against invaders and their collaborators during the World War I.

We think that the ones who should really refresh their memories and pay compensation, if it is possible to take decisions over the past, are not the grandchildren of the Ottoman but the grandchildren of the Armenian Diaspora and the countries, which use them as pawns by all occasions.

We are a young nation that can see the future however, we haven’t forgotten the past. We think different from the ones at the Armenian Diaspora and the ones, who incite them since we do not wish to establish our future on hate and enmity. Nevertheless, the ones, who wish to make new accounts and organize new orders over a war that was left at the past, are unable to make head of tail of the possibilities that would come out once the Pandora’s Box is opened.

Firstly, discussing the Armenian issue so intensively in the Turkish society, will lead to a questioning of the losses and damages. When everyone directs their eyes at the past, then maybe for the first time the Turkish society would start to question the things that had happened deeply.

What will happen if the ones, who has close relatives at the mass graves, the ones, who escape from the massacres of the Armenian gangs by leaving Caucasus, their homeland, call them to account for their past and demand an apology?

Both the Armenians and the Diaspora can not account to the point the problem would go if they start to ask questions like:

*While 60 thousand or so Armenians exist in Turkey, why there has not remained even a single Turk in Armenia, at Raven (Yerevan), the homeland of my ancestors while 85 percent of the population was composed of Turks at the past?

*While Armenians are able to make researches at the Ottoman archives, and organize trips to Turkey, why can’t I enter the Armenian archives, why can’t I go to the lands of my ancestors?

*While Diaspora and Armenia demand recognition of the deaths which occurred during the relocation as genocide and expect a compensation to be paid, why can’t I demand recognition for genocide and demand compensation, even though the mass graves, population records and other documents are evident?

*While Armenia demands our eastern provinces and to rise the Serves Treaty again that has been buried at the pages of the history, why doesn’t Turkey demand the lands of Armenia back, the lands of where my ancestors had lived?

* Why would we apologize? Why don’t the grandchildren of the Diaspora, who has betrayed Turks with whom they co-existed for centuries?

*Why doesn’t French, English and Russians, who made the ones that lived at these lands in peace hostile towards each other, apologize both from Armenians and Turks? Of Course, aren’t they the ones, who programmed the Armenians to kill their neighbors and left no possibility for them to co-exist with Turks in the lands in peace?

Let’s think now; who benefits from the tense relation between Turkey and Armenia and Turks and Armenians? Who creates a hate between the two countries and uses it as a master card?

The history is just a repetition for ignorant and narrow minded persons. However, only the ones who take lessons from the past and broadminded people would be able to look at the future with confidence by not falling at the same traps and solving the problems. And this is the first condition of being an intellectual. A person, who moves when someone pulls the strings, who cannot see the results of his words and most important of all who talks on the issues at which he does not know and is not an expert, can not be characterized as an intellectual.

Editor www.genocidereality.com


Personal Dignity Problem Of Collaborators
Our collaborator “intellectuals” are starting a new campaign in the New Year, and it is called as: I Apologize!

Who are they apologizing from? They are apologizing from the Armenians! These people, led by Prof. Ahmet Insel, Prof. Baskın Oran, Dr. Cengiz Aktar, Ali Bayramoğlu, Halil Berktay, Elif Şafak, Murat Belge and Taner Akçam, who posses such strong personality have found the following text appropriate for the “signature campaign” that will be started on the web:

- My conscience does not accept the denial and insensitiveness against the Great Disaster, which the Ottoman Armenians were exposed in 1915. I deny this unfair situation and on behalf of myself, I share my Armenian brother’s sentiments and grieve and I apologize from them.

The afore-mentioned “call of the intellectuals” will be on the web for a year and an effort will be shown for the highest attendance, as they pronounce it…All right, and then what? The Armenian Diaspora, in another word, the Armenian lobby, which is organized outside of Armenia, will start to dance and they will start to “scream for genocide”!

What is left for the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Armenian relocation; only six more years!” 2015 is the final date for the “First apology, then compensation and finally land” trio! Of Course we should also mention its importance for our intellectuals as well. That was written by Ruhat Mengi, the writer of the Hürriyet daily newspaper: -Congratulations, congratulations, all will receive very nice New Year presents and thanks from abroad”

First of all it has become inevitable to make contribution with a couple of info against this undignified attempt!

Do the Turkish origin “intellectuals” who lead the campaign and who wrote this text know what I will tell them one by one?

-Have they read the statements of Kaçaznuni, the first Prime Minister of Armenia, in his book titled “There is Nothing Tashnak Party can do” as a result of what inhuman Armenian activity was the horrifying relocation decision taken?

-Aren’t they aware of Bemard Lewis’s declaration in 1993 to French Le Monde, which indicated: “The relocation move of the Ottoman in 1915 was not an Armenian genocide; it was just a side effect of the war? This is the outcome of my whole researches.”

-Don’t they know that the most esteemed historians of the world like Justin McCarty, Stanford Shaw, Norman Stone, Andrevv Mango, and Guenter Lewy said: “Genocide is never in question? Insisting on this issue is a cruelty against Turks” as a result of the researches that were made at the archives of England, Russian, German and Turkey.

-Don’t they even know that the invader English soldiers had forcedly took 143 foremost Ottoman intellectuals including a former grand vizier, minister and deputies, to Malta and questioned with the accusation of “Armenian genocide”, however, the English judges were not able to convict these people despite all kinds of pressures?

-Don’t they even know that the Armenian gangs slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Turkish, Kurdish Muslims with the support of Russians and French just for achieving the majority in the region?

- Perhaps they even don’t know that the Armenians have rejected the proposal of Turkey for wide opening the archives and make a research on it together by saying that “first admit genocide”.

However, if they know these issues and nevertheless they close their eyes and sign “a text that apologizes” then both what a shame and what a pity!

Just at this point, the lines at the letter of Daniel Ducoste, which were sent to England, France and Italy, who confiscated almost all of the revenue of the Ottoman 119 years ago in 1889, are vital: -we need “native missionaries”, who can understand the language, religion and traditions of the Ottoman…

So that means; the show of the native missionaries, in other words collaborators, would never come to an end! What else?

- Meaning that collaborators do not posses a dignity problem!

Source: Ümit Zileli- Cumhuriyet Daily Newspaper-15.12.2008
www.genocidereality.com


Undertaking A Crime That Is Not Committed
Currently, the real intention of the Western countries is to incite Armenian Diaspora against Turkey. The recent developments are the results of this incitement. It is a known fact that the act of moving parallel with the Western imperialism and the Armenian Diaspora, “the ones inside us”, who do not make us long for the “English comrades” at the Salvation War, have increased their propaganda activities.

According to a discussion on the web, a group of so-called intellectuals, which also include lecturers and journalists, undertook a signature campaign related with the Armenian relocation in 1915.

It should not be doubted that the afore-mentioned group, which describe the name of their campaign that is reported to start on the web on the New Year, as “I apologize”, will continue its struggle both within and outside the country. By means of the so-called signature campaign, the occurrences at the Armenian relocation in 1915, which is described by the Armenians as the “Great Disaster” will be carried to the current day!

By presenting an announcement called “We apologize” to the public opinion the so-called intellectuals, who feel admiration for the USA and the EU, would show that they will not keep silent against the “Great Disaster” which Armenians suffered in 1915.

Considering that it would attract the attention of the group, which initiated “I Apologize” campaign (!), we will be contended with reminding the statement of Professor Andrew Mango, who is famous with his books on Atatürk and the Turkish history, that was made during a television program dated March 15th, 2005 on Sky-Turk channel:

An attempt for categorizing the Armenian incident, which had occurred at the Eastern parts of Turkey, as an exceptional situation, is made intentionally. I think it is not genocide. While the Russian armies advanced towards Anatolia, tens of thousands of Turks have also died. Armenians had also massacred Turks. This is a mutual war. However, it can never be called as genocide. Nevertheless, Armenians never admit that the incidents had occurred in such way. The number of Armenians in Anatolia is not more than 1, 5 million. These had immigrated to Lebanon, Syria and Armenia. Most of the 1, 5 million had managed to be saved. Professor Justin Mc Carthy from the USA has made significant studies at this area. Armenians do not take his studies into account. The Armenians had demanded support on this issue following the World War II in order to earn privileges from the allied forces. They had demanded support from the allied forces by saying: “We started uprisings for you”. The Turkish, English, French and German archives are open on the Armenian issue. However, the Armenians insist on not opening their archives. They immediately deny the offer for opening their archives, thinking that their claim will weaken.

The “Blue Book” is a propaganda book of England. The fact that the book is a propaganda book should be accepted without an argument. Most of the documents within the book are taken from the reports of the missionaries. They are the confessions, which are heard by the Americans, who work for the Armenians during the war from Tashnaks. The cruelty, which was imposed against Turks, was not mentioned at these reports. The recognition of the Armenian genocide by the Parliaments is both wrong and funny. The “Blue Book” is a single-sided document. A good scientist always examines if the documents are real or not. The campaign of the Armenians against Turks continues since 1955. I don’t think that it will easily stop. “

See the statements of impartial historians like Dr. Mango, and then notice the statements of the intellectuals inside us, who talks just like European Union! While European Union was drawing a new path for Turkey, I wonder if “the ones inside us” would one day apologize from the families of the diplomats, who were massacred ruthlessly by Armenians, our Foreign Ministry and the Turkish nation?

We have to be extremely careful during this sensitive period, when Western powers and the Diaspora threat our sovereignty and land integrity…

Source: Daver Darende (Retired Diplomat-Writer) Cumhuriyet Strategy- 15.12.2008
www.genocidereality.com


Ilhan Selcuk: Ergenekon Case was Planned by US and NATO January 15, 2009
ISTANBUL - Ilhan Selcuk, daily Cumhuriyet's influential columnist, claimed that the Ergenekon Case was planned by the United States to divide the Turkish Army into two poles as the 'pro-Ergenekon group' and the 'anti-Ergenekon group'.

Mr. Selcuk in his Thursday essay underlined the US' and the NATO's role in the Ergenekon debates. He asked "is CIA trying to divide Turkish Army into two. Has the United States planned the Ergenekon for that end?". Mr. Selcuk implied that the Ergenekon Case was planned and by the US and the NATO.

Cumhuriyet is an Istanbul-based leftist nationalist newspaper.
Journal of Turkish Weekly (JTW), USAK

New U.S. Administration Majority Stands For Armenian Genocide Recognition 14.01.2009
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Majority of the U.S. 111th Congress members stand for recognition of the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915, Armenian National Committee of America Communications Director Elizabeth Chouljian told PanARMENIAN.Net.

"April 24, 1915, signified the beginning of a systematic attempt by the Ottoman regime to deport and exterminate Armenians from the Anatolian Peninsula. Over the next 8 years, 1 1/2 million Armenian people were murdered by minions of the Ottoman Empire. Those who were spared were driven from their homes. It is for those victims, and it is for all oppressed peoples today, those who have died and those who survived, that we take time to reflect on the Armenian genocide and its implications for all of us today," said CIA Director-designate Leon Panetta.

Interior Secretary-designate Ken Salazar, Labor Secretary-designate Hilda Solis and Transportation Secretary-designate Ray LaHood are among Cosponsors of Armenian Genocide Resolution H.Res.106.

In addition to Administration officials, the U.S. Congress is today led by among the most energetic and vocal advocates of American recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

"A grave injustice was committed and the fact that our nation is not officially recognizing these crimes as genocide is a disappointment," said Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

"It truly saddens me that after 93 years, the U.S. has failed to acknowledge the Armenian
Genocide for what it was," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"Genocide is a very powerful word, and should be reserved for only the most horrific examples of mass killing motivated by a desire to destroy an entire people. Without a doubt, this term is appropriate to describe the unimaginable atrocities suffered by the Armenian people from 1915 to 1918," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman.

"Acknowledging when genocide has occurred is not simply a theoretical or legal exercise. It is key to preventing genocide from happening again. That’s why, in my view, we must change U.S. policy to reflect the true nature of the tragic events that were perpetrated against the Armenians by calling them what they were: genocide," said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry.


"It Is A Mistake To Consider Armenia Partially Free" A1+ 13 January, 2009
According to head of the Vanadzor office of the Helsinki Citizen's Assembly Artur Sakunts, the Freedom House evaluation of Armenia doesn't correspond to reality.

According to Sakunts, Armenia is not a partially free country as stated in the evaluation of Freedom House this year; rather, it is completely not free.

Artur Sakunts listed a number of conditions that allow him to disagree with the evaluation given by the Freedom House experts, including prohibition of halls for the opposition, ban on marches and demonstrations, as well as limits set on freedom of speech and use of electronic media.

"There is a large scale of violations in Armenia, including assaults against political prisoners and others regardless of political views, as well as average citizens. It is simply a mistake to consider Armenia half-free when there are political prisoners," Artur Sakunts goes on to say.

According to the Freedom House international law defense organization, there was a decline in freedom last year in Armenia. Last year, Armenia's reputation went down in terms of political rights. As stated in the "Freedom in the World-2009" report, it is due to the events that took place in the wake of the February 19 presidential elections.

Artur Sakunts believes that the decline in reputation in terms of political rights was registered before and not after the presidential elections.

"There has been no freedom in Armenia since the state overturn in 1998 and it reached the peak on March 1," said Sakunts.

Freedom House has observed 193 countries of which 89 were considered free, 62 were partially free, while 42 were not free countries. Georgia and Turkey were considered partially free, while Azerbaijan is not a free country. Russia was also considered as not a free country, while Ukraine is in the list of free countries.


Mr. Ara Sarafian Speaking As An Archivist And Not As A Historian 3 jan 09 Editor Armenian Life

Dear Editor:

In comparing the Armenian Genocide with the Jewish Genocide, it should be noted that the Germans were more advanced in their methods, but that the Armenian Genocide served as a template for what the Germans were to do--even as to the pre-murder planning. If one examines what the Ottomans did and what the Nazis did, one would see a virtual step-by-step duplication even to the complaints by the military of both nations that the use of much-needed equipment and facilities to kill the Armenians (in World War I) and to kill the Jews (in World War II) was hampering the efforts to win their respective wars.

Also, it should be noted that there are five conditions, any one of which constitutes a "genocide," and the Armenian Genocide, uniquely, meets all five criteria--unlike the genocide of the Jews and all other genocides. So, if Mr. Sarafian says that it is unfair or unwise to compare the two, he is right in that the Armenian Genocide was more thoroughly planned and executed.

Second, on at least three occasions that I can discover (twice before he took office), Adolph Hitler (who knew a thing or two about killing people) referred to what the Ottomans did to the Armenians as his intention to do to the Jews. It is logical to assume that if he didn't think that the Ottoman deeds were worthy of copying, he would not have referred to them.

Third, it might be a good idea to determine when Mr. Sarafian became a "historian." Several years ago, when I used that term to describe him, he corrected me to say that he "was not a historian, but an archivist." Taking him at his word (since he never finished his pursuit of a PhD degree) I used "archivist" to describe him, thereafter. For the record, the Oxford English Dictionary defines "archivist--a person who is in charge of archives," and Webster defines "archivist--a keeper of archives or records.." The Oxford defines "historian--an expert in history," and Webster defines "historian--a writer of history. chronicler, annalist [note: not analyst!--ak], one versed in history." Assuming that Mr. Sarafian knows both terms--since he did "correct" me--perhaps we should take him at his word, and accept that it is an archivist speaking and not a historian.

Thank you for your consideration.

Andrew Kevorkian
Philadelphia, PA.


America Ushers In Its 1st African-American Commander-In-Chief:44th President Barack Obama
By Appo Jabarian Executive Publisher / Managing Editor USA Armenian Life Magazine January 23, 2009
As the world watched along with millions of Americans in welcoming the first African-American president, at noon on Tuesday January 20, history was made on the steps of the US Capitol. President-Elect Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and Kansan mother, took the oath of office, placing his left hand on the Bible that Abraham Lincoln used when he took a similar oath in 1861.

Back then, the nation had fallen into turmoil because of the Civil War over slavery. Today, Obama's Great American Union faces economic challenges unmatched since WWII, two wars in foreign lands, and a host of major issues.

Leaving behind the campaig days, Pres. Obama embarked on the difficult business of governing from "Sea to shiny Sea."

At the exact moment when he uttered the words "so help me God," the newly sworn-in President was ready to face a myriad of national issues.

If he "felt nervous about becoming president in a few hours, he didn't show … as he cracked jokes and breezed through a series of volunteerism events and bipartisan dinners. 'I don't sweat,' said the 47-year-old man about to inherit … the helm of the world's lone superpower. 'You ever see me sweat?'" reported Charles Babington of the Associated Press.

Ever since his victory in Nov. 2008, then President-Elect Obama wisely reminded fellow Americans that everybody needed to make some kind of sacrifice or contribution for the general welfare of the 233 year-old nation. On Monday he reiterated his expectations from the American people by quoting Martin Luther King Jr., as saying, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." He added: "Given the crisis that we're in and the hardships that so many people are going through… We can't allow any idle hands."

Pres. Obama brings to the Oval Office a personal background enriched with philosophical, political, and sociological heritage. As he has shown on numerous occasions he carries the ineffaceable influence of Pres. Lincoln, Pres. John F. Kennedy, Civil Rights Advocate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his devoted and wise mother Ann Dunham, his highly intelligent father Barack Obama Sr., his maternal grandparents, among others.

He also takes into the highest office in the land the strong mandate that he received during the election. A fresh reminder of that mandate was the overflowing of the nation's capital with around two million participants of the Presidential Inauguration events.

They had flocked to the District of Colombia in droves from various parts of the United States and dozens of other countries. They had come to fulfill their pilgrimage to the modern American cradle of the rebirth of populist democracy.

Among the hundreds of thousands of contemporary pilgrims were those who have fought and continue to fight for several noble goals, including the rebuilding of the U.S. economy on healthier foundations, the ending of the war in Iraq, securing health care for everyone, quality education, along with other international issues such as stoppage of genocide in Darfur; reaffirming of U.S. record on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, among others.

As Pres. Obama begins to tackle the pressing issues, one of the key issues that will need his undivided attention is foreign policy and the U.S. State Dept.'s performance under his presidency.

There is no doubt that Pres. Obama will remember how misdirected foreign policy has badly damaged not only his immediate predecessor Pres. George W. Bush's legacy but also the image of the United States at home and abroad.

Usually, a strong indication of the rating of a foreign policy surfaces early on. One of the precursors of foreign policy that's out touch and out of control is the denial of the Armenian Genocide during the first April after taking of the presidential oath.

That's what happened during Pres. George W. Bush's era (2001-2009). During that period, the neo-cons, mostly consisted of certain segments of Turkey-worshipping Israel lobby, and unprincipled financiers, hijacked and manipulated Bush's foreign policy and formulated a series of self-damaging policy decisions that started with Pres. G.W. Bush's April 2001 breaking of his campaign promise to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.

In his first Armenian Genocide-related presidential statement Pres. Bush used every word in the dictionary to describe the premeditated annihilation of the Armenians at the hands of Turkey in 1915-1923 as being genocide except the single word itself.

Next came the wrong decision to manipulate the facts regarding the so-called "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and to ultimately go to a war that caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilian lives; the loss of over 4500 U.S. military members' lives; the irreparable bodily damage harming over 18,000 U.S. soldiers; the indiscriminate destruction of billions of dollars' worth of civilian infrastructure in Iraq, and the wasting of over seven hundred billion dollars of U.S. taxpayers' funds.

Pres. Bush's pre-occupation with the wrong war degenerated into a major mishandling of the U.S. economy, which collapsed on Pres. Bush's ruling Republican party's platform.

Pres. Obama's inauguration speech, delivered immediately after his oath taking, focused on two themes: responsibility and restoring public confidence.

I am confident that my fellow Americans massively will take ownership of the patriotic responsibility that the new President referred to. And I am equally confident that Pres. Obama will be able to restore public confidence by:

- Converting the great popular mandate into an unshakeable political will and determination to fulfill his campaign promises to really bring change to the way the federal government is run in Washington;

- Holding true to the teachings of Lincoln, Kennedy, and King and making government truly work for the people;

- Carrying out his plans for major overhaul of the economy by redirecting the federal funds to job-producing projects, both for short and long term objectives; by closing the loopholes in the federal laws that facilitate the siphoning of the U.S. taxpayers funds into the deep pockets of self-interests;

- Holding his moral high ground by not caving in to the ill-devised political pressure by the genocide-denier Turkey (which amounts to a gag rule imposed by a foreign country Turkey on our sovereign nation, the Unites States); by not allowing Azerbaijan and Turkey to economically and militarily threaten the twin republics of Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh Republic); by assisting the International Court of Justice to duly and legally prosecute the criminal regime in Sudan for its genocidal campaign in Darfur; by disallowing Israel to misuse its war arsenal, including phosphoric bombs against innocent civilian men, women, elderly and children in Gaza or elsewhere.

My confidence is backed by my willingness to act as an individual citizen along with hundreds of thousands of fellow activists who acted valiantly during the last few years, and in defiance of the so-called pundits.

It took massive collective activism to bring real change in the outcome of presidential elections. Now it will take another wave of massive activism to achieve genuine transformation in Washington and elsewhere


System of A Down and Eurovision: False Turkish Claim Exposed By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier Senior Contributor, USA Armenian Life Magazine

The Turkish media regularly reports false stories and makes exaggerated claims. The latest example of misinformation is the Turkish claim of preventing the participation of the world famous American-Armenian rock band System of A Down (SOAD) in the May 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.

What are the facts? Last August, in an interview with Asbarez newspaper, SOAD's lead singer Serj Tankian said that a Finnish journalist had asked him if he would be interested in participating in "a song competition" which would raise "awareness about the Armenian genocide." Tankian told the reporter that it was "an interesting idea." When the reporter asked if he would be interested in participating in such a song contest, Tankian said, "Maybe, yeah."

Soon after the Finnish interview, Tankian said he was inundated with media reports that he was "going to take System of A Down to do this Eurovision thing." He told Asbarez: "It was all a misinterpretation and a misunderstanding to a point where I had to actually call my label reps [representatives] in Finland and asked them to please tell the journalist to retract those statements, since I never said that."

Despite Tankian's attempts to lay these rumors to rest, the Armenian and Turkish media continued to report that SOAD would be presenting a song on the Armenian Genocide on behalf of Armenia in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Armenian public TV officials, who have the task of selecting Armenia's official representative to the Eurovision Song Contest, repeatedly announced that they had received no such request from SOAD.

Nevertheless, Parliamentarian Akif Ekici, a member of an opposition Party, speaking in the Turkish Parliament, urged Prime Minister Erdogan to act quickly to prevent SOAD from presenting a song dedicated to the Armenian Genocide in the Eurovision Contest. Worried that hundreds of millions of viewers throughout the world would become aware of the Armenian Genocide, Ekinci asked Erdogan: "What will happen if this group wins the contest with its song on [the] so-called 'genocide?' Would the world recognize [the] genocide?" Ekinci also wanted to know if Erdogan had taken any steps in this regard with the Armenian government.

Having invented a fictional participation by SOAD in Eurovision, the Turkish media went further in misleading the public. Last week, Kanalturk proudly announced a decisive Turkish victory, claiming that as a result of Turkish complaints, the SOAD song on the Armenian Genocide was left out of the Eurovision competition.

Turkish State Television claimed that Armenia was forced "to withdraw the SOAD group" from Eurovision because of "the great reaction" of the media "reaching all the way to the Turkish Parliament." Kanalturk further alleged that Armenian officials did not find SOAD's participation in Eurovision appropriate, at a time when they were trying to reconcile with Turkey. Regrettably, Lragir, an opposition newspaper in Armenia, reprinted these false allegations last week, claiming that Armenia withdrew SOAD from the Eurovision Song Contest at Turkey's demand.

To set the record straight, once and for all, this writer contacted Serj Tankian who stated: "This whole Eurovision thing has been a funny and interesting phenomenon. It started with a Finnish journalist asking me if I would ever be interested in participating in Eurovision, (which I had no idea what it was), and use it as a way to promote recognition of the Armenian Genocide. I told him I didn't know what it was but I'd look into it. He kept on re-raising the issue over and over, and I said 'you're making it sound like a good idea' so I'll look into it. I never said to him or anyone else that I would do anything regarding Eurovision, let alone get SOAD involved in it. In fact, after the initial reports I called our Warner label rep in Finland and asked them to call the journalist and have him retract the statement, because it's false. Nonetheless this has spread. I have denied it in the press numerous times already."

Tankian further noted: "Neither I nor anyone I know has spoken to the Armenian government about Eurovision. However if the Turkish government doesn't fess up to its own history and recognize the Genocide, it may be something to consider."

It would be highly ironic if Turkish claims of success in suppressing the dissemination of information about the Armenian Genocide through music trigger a popular demand for the participation of SOAD in Eurovision, which would dramatically raise the issue of the Genocide before a worldwide audience!


Open Letter To Ara Sarafian via www.armenianlife.com
Subject: Comments regarding Armenian Genocide

Ara,

With all my respect, please, do not make ANY COMMENTS regarding the Armenian Genocide in any Turkish media, to any Turkish journalist or to any Turkish official, unless they officially RECOGNIZE the Armenian Genocide. This is how Hatout Sassounian treats them, correctly and successfully! They are masters of putting words in one's mouth and distorting any statement.

I don't have to remind you, that the Turks still dream of an Armenia without Armenians.....you must be kidding if you don't already know this....

Zaven Khatchaturian
Glendale, California


Attempt to Character-Assassinate David Boyajian, A Critic of ADL's Denial of Armenian Genocide
By Appo Jabarian, Executive Publisher / Managing Editor, USA Armenian Life Magazine , January 16, 2009

Recently David Boyajian, a Newton, Massachusetts-based writer and activist, wrote an article titled "Newton is no place for swastikas or ADL hypocrisy," and unfairly became target for character-assassination by an ADL supporter.

In his letter to the editor, published in The Newton Tab, Larry Epstein wrote: "I, for one, am growing tired of seeing the Anti-Defamation League and, by extension, the Jewish community, continue to take the heat from the likes of David Boyajian for what is a legitimate debate among historians regarding the question of genocide in Armenia."

I should like to see Mr. Epstein's reaction when a non-Jew raises doubts about the veracity of the Jewish Holocaust qualifying its outright denial as a "legitimate debate among historians."

One must "marvel" at Mr. Epstein's taste for "the better of two worlds" as he promotes "vigorous debate among those historians," exhibiting great craving for seeing organizations like the Anti-Defamation League get away with the denial of the Armenian Holocaust unscathed. Yet he shows a strong disdain when they become target for criticism. He sees "Jews being scapegoated."

Can Epstein answer the question "why Newton Mayor David Cohen, a fellow Jew among several righteous Jews, including French world-acclaimed philosopher, writer and media personality Bernard-Henri Levy, another fellow Jew, and several Jewish American organizations and groups are not criticized?"

To the contrary, they are highly appreciated and respected. As Mr. Boyajian clearly points out "the Newton Human Rights Commission and Mayor David Cohen courageously severed ties with the No Place for Hate (NPFH) program of the ADL due to the latter's actions against Armenians. … Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Lexington, Medford, Needham, Newburyport, Northampton, Peabody, Somerville, Westwood, and Watertown have, like Newton, castigated the national ADL and dropped NPFH. So did the Massachusetts Municipal Association, which represents every city and town. Human rights advocates, many of them Jewish, have also condemned the ADL's stance against Armenians."

Boyajian further pays homage to righteous Jewish-American, Italian-American, Arab-American, Hellenic (Greek) -American, Afro-American, Latino-American and other ethnic-American organizations as he further highlights the fact that "the American Jewish World Service, American Jewish League for Israel , Jewish War Veterans of the USA , and a dozen other principled Jewish groups support the Armenian resolution. So do the NAACP, Sons of Italy, Nat'l Council of La Raza, NOW, American Values, Arab American Institute, Cambodian Assoc. of America, Int'l Campaign for Tibet, Christian Solidarity Int'l, National Council of Churches, and some 70 more organizations."

To his credit, Boyajian masterfully reveals ADL's hidden agenda: "Foxman is loath to back out of his deal with Turkey. It's clear that the main ADL agenda is political wheeling and dealing and not, as claimed, universal human rights. The public and ADL's principled grassroots members have been misled. The national ADL's stance against Armenians lends credence to those who accuse it and groups like AJC of exploiting the Holocaust for political purposes and of being insincere about others' human rights. That is a far greater disservice to Jews and humanity than any spray-painted swastika."

I wonder if Epstein has read Bernard-Henri Levy's most recent courageous and lucid article titled "Eternal Damnation of the Spotless Mind," in the New Republic magazine
( http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=6224df6f-137e-4e80-a2b4-8a074537ffe2)
Mr. Levy wrote the article "in remembrance of the renowned Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, murdered two years ago, on Jan. 19, 2007, for his comments on the slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces during WWI ... in horror that the police officers guarding the 17-year-old murder suspect, Ogun Samast, saw fit to take a video in which he proudly held the Turkish flag as they recorded their brief association with him for posterity ... in solidarity with the brave group of 200 Turkish writers and intellectuals who recently signed an online petition apologizing for the massacre, risking their freedom to keep pressure on the Turkish government."

Levy added: "Outrages like Dink's murder will continue. They will continue as long as Turkey, fearing the loss of prestige and alarmed by the possibility that it will be obliged to pay reparations to survivors and their descendants, continues to deny that the Armenian genocide took place. This struggle will continue as long as there are no laws in place penalizing genocide denial -- and these laws are needed not only in Turkey, but around the world."

Had Epstein read the above, possibly he would not have resorted to character-assassinating Mr. Boyajian by misusing the anti-Semitism card against him and the Armenian survivors demanding restorative Justice.

I wonder what he has to say about Levy's courageous conclusion that "Laws prohibiting Holocaust denial are expressions of the fact that genocide, a perfect crime, leaves no traces. In fact, the obliteration of those traces is genocide's final phase. Holocaust deniers are not merely expressing an opinion; they are perpetrating a crime."

"Denial is the final stage of genocide," Gregory Stanton, president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, told the Intelligence Report magazine on June 3, 2008. "It is a continuing attempt to destroy the victim group psychologically and culturally, to deny its members even the memory of the murders of their relatives. That is what the Turkish government today is doing to Armenians around the world." And Epsteins and Foxmans of this world have no qualms about conspiring with that perpetrator and denialist nation, Turkey.

In a related most recent development, "Enraged by the abrasive tone of Turkey's condemnation of Israel's attack on Gaza, Israeli officials and Turkish analysts are now raising the possibility that Tel Aviv may retaliate either by recognizing the Armenian Genocide or refusing to help Turkey to lobby against a congressional resolution on the genocide," wrote Harut Sassounian, the Publisher of The California Courier.

Mr. Sassounian further stated: "In the coming days, Turkey's relations with Israel may further deteriorate as Turkish politicians, journalists, and leaders of non-governmental organizations urge Erdogan to go beyond mere words and expel Israel's Ambassador from Ankara, recall Turkey's Ambassador from Tel Aviv, cancel all military and economic agreements with Israel, and ban over flights by Israeli pilots in Turkish airspace. Erdogan may resort to such punitive actions in order to appease widespread anti-Israel anger by large segments of the Turkish public prior to local elections which are critical for his ruling political party."

What has Epstein to say about the imminent possibility of official Israeli recognition of the Armenian Genocide?

Adding insult to injury, Epstein misuses the 'Anti-Semitism" card against Boyajian, a defender of the truth, in a shameless attempt to character-assassinate him.

By misusing the "Anti-Semitism" card, he has rendered a major disservice to righteous Jews who consciously abstain from taking such immoral positions. He owes Mr. Boyajian and Armenians an apology.


Florida Turks Complain: "Never A Break...They Started Again!" By Appo Jabarian Executive Publisher & Managing Editor January 9, 2009
On Friday January 2, my first workday coffee of 2009, at the Glendale, CA-based Urartu (ancient Armenia) café came with much laughter and flair.

While sipping my coffee, I logged into my inbox to browse through the subject lines of dozens of e-mail messages. One particular subject line caught my attention. A friend had forwarded that message to me. The subject line read: "[FLTURK] Never a break...They started again!"

A Florida Turk who had just learned that a lecture was going to be delivered on January 7 by the daughter of a genocide survivor made that complaint to his fellow deniers.

I told my fellow coffee connoisseurs about the FLTURK's member's reaction, one friend countered: "These denialist Turks should know that we have not yet began to fight, and that they should expect more such events not just in Florida but all around the world."

At the beginning of the New Year, while several Armenian organizations and groups were busy observing the Armenian Xmas on Jan. 6, the Florida Atlantic University was set to present the following day well-known author Margaret Ahnert with the lecture "The Knock at the Door: A Journey Through the Darkness of the Armenian Genocide."

In June of 2007, several denialist Turks disrupted her book reading at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in New York City's Upper East Side. One of the Turks was arrested by fast-responding New York police.

The sentence "Never a break...They started again!" hilariously reflects the frustration of the denialist Turks here in the United States at anyone or any entity that dares to openly discuss the calamity that befell the Armenians at the turn of the 20th century.

The words "They started again!" also illustrates the sense of being in a hot pursuit by the evangelizers of the truth. In this particular case, the organizer of the lecture was not an Armenian-American group but an American university.

On January 5, The Los Angeles Times featured a truthful opinion article by Esra Özyürek, an associate professor of anthropology at UC San Diego and the author of "Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey" and "Politics of Public Memory in Turkey."

Prof. Özyürek wrote: "I grew up in Turkey in a politically engaged, educated and reasonably liberal family in the 1970s and the 1980s, and I had only a vague idea about the animosity between Turks and Armenians. It wasn't until I enrolled in graduate school at the University of Michigan, one of the most important centers of Ottoman and Armenian studies in the United States, that I learned about the unacceptably sad end of the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire."

He concluded: "Turks growing up today surely are better informed about the history of the land they inhabit. Even those who accept the nationalist line have to be aware of the sudden end of the centuries-long Armenian presence in Anatolia [Western Armenia and Cilicia – Ed]. Regardless of the terms they employ or the specific amount of responsibility they willingly shoulder, this next generation of Turks is already in a much better position to face the darkest aspect of their national history and develop a more responsible relationship to it."

The sense of being "under siege" by these denialists must be growing stronger on a daily basis as the number of righteous Turks grows steadily not only in the United States and other countries but in Turkey itself.

Very soon, these Turkish denialists will complain "they started again," against righteous Turks.



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

Fethullah Gülen's Grand Ambition: A Self-Described "Man Of Tolerance" Is Anything But: Turkey's Islamist Danger: Is Fethullah Gulen Turkey's Khomeini?, by Rachel Sharon-Krespin, Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2009, pp. 55-66

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

As Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) begins its seventh year in leadership, Turkey is no longer the secular and democratic country that it was when the party took over. The AKP has conquered the bureaucracy and changed Turkey's fundamental identity. Prior to the AKP's rise, Ankara oriented itself toward the United States and Europe. Today, despite the rhetoric of European Union accession, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has turned Turkey away from Europe and toward Russia and Iran and reoriented Turkish policy in the Middle East away from sympathy toward Israel and much more toward friendship with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria. Anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic sentiments have increased. Behind Turkey's transformation has been not only the impressive AKP political machine but also a shadowy Islamist sect led by the mysterious hocaefendi (master lord) Fethullah Gülen; the sect often bills itself as a proponent of tolerance and dialogue but works toward purposes quite the opposite. Today, Gülen and his backers (Fethullahcılar, Fethullahists) not only seek to influence government but also to become the government.

In 1998, Fethullah Gülen left Turkey for the United States, reportedly to receive medical treatment for diabetes. Since his voluntary exile, Gülen has resided on a large, rural estate in eastern Pennsylvania, together with about 100 followers, who guard him and tend to his needs. It is from his U.S. base that Gülen has built his fame and his transnational empire.

Today, Turkey has over 85,000 active mosques, one for every 350 citizens—compared to one hospital for every 60,000 citizens—the highest number per capita in the world and, with 90,000 imams, more imams than doctors or teachers. It has thousands of madrasa-like Imam-Hatip schools and about four thousand more official state-run Qur'an courses, not counting the unofficial Qur'an schools, which may expand the total number tenfold. Spending by the governmental Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet Işleri Başkanlığı) has grown five fold, from 553 trillion Turkish lira in 2002 (approximately US$325 million) to 2.7 quadrillion lira during the first four-and-a-half years of the AKP government; it has a larger budget than eight other ministries combined.[1] The Friday prayer attendance rate in Turkey's mosques exceeds that of Iran's, and religion classes teaching Sunni Islam are compulsory in public schools despite rulings against the practice by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Turkish high court (Danıştay).[2] Both Prime Minister Erdoğan and the Diyanet head Ali Bardakoğlu criticized the rulings for failing to consult Islamic scholars.

Gülen now helps set the political agenda in Turkey using his followers in the AKP as well as the movement's vast media empire, financial institutions and banks, business organizations, an international network of thousands of schools, universities, student residences (ışıkevis), and many associations and foundations. He is a financial heavyweight, controlling an unregulated and opaque budget estimated at $25 billion.[3] It is not clear whether the Fethullahist cemaat (community) supports the AKP or is the ruling force behind AKP. Either way, however, the effect is the same.

Gülen's Background

Born in Erzurum, Turkey, in 1942, Fethullah Gülen is an imam who considers himself a prophet.[4] An enigmatic figure, many in the West applaud him as a reformist and advocate for tolerance,[5] a catalyst of "moderate Islam" for Turkey and beyond. He is praised in the West, especially in the United States, as an intellectual, scholar, and educator[6] even though his formal education is limited to five years of elementary school. After receiving an imam-preacher certificate, he served as an imam, first in Erdirne and later in Izmir. In 1971, the Turkish security service arrested him for clandestine religious activities, such as running illegal summer camps to indoctrinate youths, and was, from that time on, occasionally harassed by the staunchly secular military.[7] In 1981, he formally retired from his post as a local preacher.

To build an image as a proponent of interfaith dialogue, Gülen met Pope John Paul II, other Christian clergy, and Jewish rabbis[8] and emphasizes the commonalities unifying Abrahamic religions. He presents himself and his movement as the modern-day version of tolerant, liberal Anatolian Sufism and has used the literature of great Sufi thinkers such as Jalal ad-Din Rumi and Yunus Emre, pretending to share their moderate teachings.[9] Quotes from their teachings adorn Fethullah's Gülen's propaganda material. The movement, its proxy organizations, and universities—including Georgetown, to which it donates money—hold conferences in the United States and Europe to discuss Gülen. In October 2007, the British House of Lords feted Gülen with a conference in his honor.

Gülen was a student and follower of Sheikh Sa'id-i Kurdi (1878-1960), also known as Sa'id-i Nursi, the founder of the Islamist Nur (light) movement.[10] After Turkey's war of independence, Kurdi demanded, in an address to the new parliament, that the new republic be based on Islamic principles. He turned against Atatürk and his reforms and against the new modern, secular, Western republic.

In 1998, Gülen departed for the United States, reportedly to receive medical treatment for diabetes. However, his absence also enabled Gülen to escape questioning on his indictment in 2000 for allegedly promoting insurrection in Turkey in a series of secretly-recorded sermons. Since his voluntary exile, Gülen has resided on a large, rural estate in eastern Pennsylvania, together with about 100 followers, who guard him and tend to his needs. These servants are educated men who wear suits and ties and do not look like traditional Islamists in cloaks and turbans. They follow their hocaefendi's orders and even refrain from marrying until age fifty per his instructions. When they do marry, their spouses are expected to dress in the Islamic manner, as dictated by Gülen himself.[11] It is from his U.S. base that Gülen has built his fame and his transnational empire.

Gülen's Education Network

The core of Gülen's network is his educational institutions. His school network is impressive. Nurettin Veren, Gülen's right-hand man for thirty-five years, estimated that some 75 percent of Turkey's two million preparatory school students are enrolled in Gülen institutions.[12] He controls thousands of top-tier secondary schools, colleges, and student dormitories throughout Turkey, as well as private universities, the largest being Fatih University in Istanbul. Outside Turkey, his movement runs hundreds of secondary schools and dozens of universities in 110 countries worldwide. Gülen's aim is not altruistic: His followers target youth in the eighth through twelfth grades, mentor and indoctrinate them in the ışıkevi, educate them in the Fethullah schools, and prepare them for future careers in legal, political, and educational professions in order to create the ruling classes of the future Islamist, Turkish state. Taking their orders from Fethullah Gülen, wealthy followers continue to open schools and ışıkevi in what Sabah columnist Emre Aköz called "the education jihad."[13]

The overt network of schools is only one part of a larger strategy. In a 2006 interview, Veren said, "These schools are like shop windows. Recruitment and Islamization activities are carried out through night classes ... Children whom we educated in Turkey are now in the highest positions. There are governors, judges, military officers. There are ministers in the government. They consult Gülen before doing anything."[14]

The AKP's controversial education policies, coupled with the Islamist indoctrination in Fethullahist schools, have accelerated the Islamization of Turkish society. During AKP's first term in government, the Erdoğan government has changed textbooks, emphasized religion courses, and transferred thousands of certified imams from their positions in the Directorate of Religious Affairs to positions as teachers and administrators in Turkey's public schools.[15] Abdullah Gül, Turkey's first Islamist president and a Gülen sympathizer, appointed a Gülen-affiliated professor, Yusuf Ziya Özcan, to head Turkey's Council of Higher Education (Yükseköğretim Kurulu, YÖK). He has also used his presidential prerogative to appoint Gülen sympathizers to university presidencies.

Beyond Turkey, the Fethullahist schools also serve as fertile recruiting grounds. In his Institut d'Etudes Politiques doctoral thesis on Gülen schools in Central Asia, Bayram Balcı, a French scholar of Turkish origin, wrote, "Fethullah's aim is the Islamization of Turkish nationality and the Turcification of Islam in foreign countries. Dozens of Fethullah's ‘Turkish schools' abroad—most of which are for boys—are used to covertly ‘convert,' not so much ‘in school,' but through direct proselytism ‘outside school.'" Balcı explained, "He wants to revive the link between state, religion, and society."[16] The schools of Gülen's Nur movement in Central Asia have worked to reestablish Islam in a region largely secularized by decades of Soviet control. Balcı explained, "The aim of the cemaat is to educate and influence future national elites, who will speak English and Turkish and who will one day prove their good intentions towards Fethullahists and towards Turkey." Several countries in the region have taken steps against Gülen's educational institutions because of such suspicions. Uzbekistan has banned the schools for encouraging Islamic law,[17] and the Russian government, weary of the movement's activities in majority Muslim regions of the federation, has banned not only the Gülen schools but all activities of the entire Nur sect in the country.[18]

Neither Uzbekistan nor Russia are known for their pluralism, but suspicion about Gülen indoctrination has spread even to more permissive societies such as that of the Netherlands. In 2008, members of the Netherland's Christian Democrat, Labor, and Conservative parties agreed to cut several million euros in government funding for organizations affiliated with "the Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen" and to thoroughly investigate the activities of the Gülen group after Erik Jan Zürcher, director of the Amsterdam-based International Institute for Social History, and five former Gülen followers who had worked in Gülen's ışıkevi told Dutch television that the Gülen community was moving step-by-step to topple the secular order.[19] While the organizations in question denied any ties to the Gülen movement, Zürcher said that taqiya, religiously-sanctioned dissimulation, was typical in the movement's interactions with the West. An unnamed former Gülen follower who also once worked in Gülen schools and ışıkevi reported that Fethullahists called the Dutch "filthy, blasphemous infidels" and that they said "the best Dutchman is one who has converted to Islam. All the Dutch must be made Muslims."[20] Indeed, of the thousands of Fethullahist schools in more than one hundred countries that allegedly teach moderation, none are located in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran that exist under domineering strains of official Islam, and most appear instead geared to radicalize students in secular Muslim and non-Muslim societies.

Eviscerating Checks and Balances

Fethullahists have also made inroads into Turkey's 200,000-strong police force. Their infiltration has had a compounding effect, as Fethullahist officials have purged officials more loyal to the republic than the hocaefendi. According to Veren, "There are imam security directors; imams wearing police uniforms. Many police commissioners get their orders from imams."[21] Adil Serdar Saçan, former director of the organized crimes unit within the Istanbul Directorate of Security, confirmed these statements in reports he prepared on the Fethullahist organization within the security apparatus. In a 2006 interview, he said,

Fethullahists began organizing inside the security apparatus in the 1970s. In police academies, students were being taken to ışıkevi by class commissioners. One of those commissioners is now the director of intelligence at the Turkish Directorate of Security. During my time at the [police] academy, those in the directorate who did not have ties to the [Gülen] organization were all pensioned off or fired in 2002 when the AKP came to power. … I was at the top of my class when I graduated from the police academy, and throughout the twenty-four years of my career, I maintained and was honored for my stellar record. After 2002, the AKP blocked my promotions. They promoted only those officers whose files were tainted with allegations that they were engaged in reactionary Islamist activities. … Belonging to a certain cemaat has become a prerequisite for advancement in the force. At present, over 80 percent of the officers at supervisory level in the general security organization are members of the [Gülen] cemaat.[22]

Such statements, however, may have consequences.[23] In October 2008, Turkish police arrested Saçan on suspicion of involvement in the so-called Ergenekon plot to overthrow the Turkish state.[24] Most Turkish analysts believe that the Ergenekon conspiracy, short of any evidence of unconstitutional activities, is more a mechanism by which the Turkish government can harass critics.[25]

Writer and journalist Merdan Yanardağ provided statistics to illuminate the Islamist penetration of the Ankara Directorate of Security. He explained,

Prior to Ramadan, personnel at the Directorate of Security in Ankara were asked whether they would be fasting during Ramadan, in order to establish the number of meals that would be needed during that period. Of the 4,200 employees, only seventeen indicated that they would not be fasting. Considering that some of the seventeen might have been sick or taking medications, the numbers speak for themselves. [26]

Wiretapping scandals in spring 2008 also highlighted Gülenist penetration of the security service's most important units. After the Turkish Security Directorate obtained a blanket court permit in April 2007 to monitor and record all the communications in Turkey including mobile and land-line telephones, SMS text messaging, e-mail, fax, and Internet communications,[27] Turks have grown uneasy about having telephone conversations fearing intrusion into their privacy. Recent leaks to pro-AKP media of recordings of military personnel meetings, lectures, top secret military documents, strategic antiterrorism plans, private medical files of commanders, and contents of personal conversations between state prosecutors have shocked the nation as has the appearance on the Internet video site YouTube of some of those recordings.

The alleged network of Fethullah followers in the security system has an impact on domestic affairs as they use restricted technology or privileged information to further their political agenda. In February 2008, for example, several websites posted the voice recording of a secret speech delivered by Brig. Gen. Münir Erten announcing the timing of an upcoming Turkish military operation into Iraqi Kurdistan, details of a private discussion with the chief of the General Staff, and private information concerning Gen. Ergin Saygun's health.[28] The following month, several websites including YouTube posted a secretly recorded conversation between prosecutor Salim Demirci and a colleague regarding Erdoğan and Efkan Ala, then governor of Diyarbakir and subsequently a counselor of Erdoğan's office. Erdoğan responded by ordering a criminal investigation against Demirci.[29] In June 2008, the Islamist Vakit published Saygun's entire medical file, disclosing information about his diabetes as well as the treatments and medications he had received in the Gülhane military hospital.[30] Others whose tapped conversations appeared on Islamist websites and in Gülen's newspaper network included Erdoğan Teziç, the former head of Turkey's Higher Education Council, and prominent members of the center-left opposition Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP). Many Turkish journalists believe that Fethullahist-dominated police tap their communications, and according to reports, the head of the wiretapping unit, who was appointed by Erdoğan in August 2005, is a Fethullah follower.[31] Islamist newspapers including Vakit, Yeni Şafak, Zaman, and the pro-AKP Taraf published leaks from private conversations held inside government offices and military headquarters. The Islamist, pro-AKP media has reported alleged confidential evidence relating to the police investigation of the so-called Ergenekon plot that posits a secularist cabal of military officers, journalists, and professors sought to overthrow the AKP government.[32] The net effect of such leaks is to tar the reputations of or intimidate AKP's political opponents and the Turkish military.

Islamization within police ranks also contributes to police brutality against anti-AKP demonstrators. On May 1, 2008, the police used gas bombs, pepper gas, water cannons, and clubs against workers who wanted to celebrate May Day peacefully in Istanbul's Taksim Square, the traditional site of demonstrations in Turkey's largest city; scores were injured.[33] Labor unions and opposition parties condemned the police brutality and accused Erdoğan of using police to silence opposition voices.[34] Police also suppressed labor protests in Tuzla (Istanbul) shipyards.[35] Similarly, police have harassed individual citizens after they criticized Erdoğan's policies. Erdoğan's own security guards abducted a 46-year-old man from Antalya for speaking out in public against his social security policies, taking the man to a deserted location where the guards beat and threatened him. The victim alleged that his attackers said they could easily plant guns or drugs on him and kill him.[36]

While Turkey's military is guarantor of the constitution, Veren alleged that Fethullahists had also entrenched themselves within the military, police, and other professions:

The Fethullahist military officers were once our students, who we financially supported, educated, and assisted. When these grateful children graduated and reached influential positions, they put themselves and their positions at the service of Fethullah Gülen … [Gülen] directs and instructs, and, through them, maintains power within the state … When Gülen's students graduate from the police or military academies—as do the new doctors and lawyers—they present their first salaries to Fethullah Gülen as a gesture of their gratitude. Newly graduated officers even bring him the swords that they receive during the graduation ceremony.[37]

According to Veren, Gülen has argued that the military expels no more than one in forty Islamist officers; the rest remain in undercover cells. While such allegations may seem the stuff of conspiracy theory, recent leaks to pro-AKP media suggest a number of Islamist sources within the military ranks, creating speculation that followers of Gülen now populate the senior infrastructure of the Turkish General Staff. Such speculation gained additional credence after the August 2008 Supreme Military Council (Yüksek Askeri Şura, YAŞ), which, for the first time, declined to expel suspected Islamists from military ranks.

The AKP government has also aided the Gülen movement with its reorientation of the judiciary. Over the first five years of his rule, Erdoğan replaced thousands of judges and prosecutors with AKP appointees. Now that the president is Islamist, it is unlikely that he would veto the appointment of Islamists to the bench, as did his predecessor Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Indeed, it now appears that the government intends to appoint thousands more to judicial positions.[38] The AKP has also enacted a law that would require applicants for judgeships to first interview with AKP bureaucrats in order better to gauge and adjudicate applicants' adherence to Islam. The results of the AKP's targeting of the judicial system are already apparent as anti-secular, pro-AKP officials have been at the forefront of some controversial trials, such as the case against Van University president Yücel Aşkın,[39] the Şemdinli investigation in which the prosecutor tried to implicate Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt before he became chief of the General Staff, and, most recently, the Ergenekon probe.

Indeed, it is such overtly political and vindictive prosecutions that have led some former Gülen sympathizers, such as University of Utah political scientist Hakan Yavuz, to a change of heart. In one interview, Yavuz told odatv.com that four important legal cases had changed his thinking: the case against Aşkın; the Semdinli case; the Atabeyler operation, uncovered in 2005, involving an organized crime group with alleged plans to assassinate Prime Minister Erdoğan;[40] and the Ergenekon probe. Yavuz explained, "The cemaat has attempted to steer all four cases. Look at the slanderous reports in archives of the cemaat's newspapers, how they defamed Yucel Aşkın. And now it's Ergenekon. Keeping [prominent] personalities in jail for over a year without indictment is inexplicable." Yavuz also suggested Gülen's cemaat spoke differently to its members than to outsiders and that it was pursuing a political agenda that conflicted with the founding philosophy of the modern Turkish republic. He accused Fethullahists of "co-optation" and said that they were recruiting people and paying them money—without any formal receipts or records—to write and speak favorably about the movement while criticizing the secular Turkish state.[41]

The Fifth Estate

If the police, military, and courts might normally protect rule-of-law from within official Turkish government structures, there might still be an external check to abuse of power in the Turkish media. The Turkish media has traditionally been relentless in its reporting of abuses of power and corruption. Soon after assuming office, however, Erdoğan proved intolerant of the concept of a free press. The AKP government has systematically sought to create a media monopoly to speak with one voice and on behalf of the government. Erdoğan lashes out at media organs that he does not control. In his first term, Erdoğan brought more than a hundred lawsuits against sixty-three journalists in sixteen publications, against many writers, as well as the leaders and members of parliament of all opposition parties. The number of lawsuits may be far greater. In 2008, Erdoğan declined to answer a parliamentary inquiry by a Democratic Left Party deputy demanding information on how many lawsuits Erdoğan had initiated against journalists—claiming that such information was in the realm of his private life."[42] Most of Erdoğan's lawsuits against journalists involve criticism that any other democracy would consider legitimate. In 2005, for example, he sued Cumhuriyet cartoonist Musa Kart for depicting him as a cat entangled in a ball of string. Last year, he sued the LeMan weekly humor magazine for ridiculing him in its January 30, 2008 cover.[43]

Erdoğan lost some of his lawsuits, and courts threw out others, but the effect has nonetheless been chilling. Journalists know that not only does the prime minister seek to make them financially liable for any criticism, but that the AKP might even seek to assume control of their publications. During AKP's 6-year rule, the government has seized control of several media outlets and subsequently sold them to pro-AKP holdings affiliated with the Gülen community. In April 2007, for example, the governmental Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (Tasarruf Mevduatı Sigorta Fonu, TMSF) seized Sabah-ATV, Turkey's second largest media group in a predawn raid. The TMSF, staffed by Erdoğan appointees, then sold the group to Çalık Holding, the CEO of which is Erdoğan's son-in-law. Çalık financed the purchase with public funds taken as loans from two state-owned banks and by partnering with a newly-founded, Qatar-based media company that bought 25 percent of Sabah shares. It was Abdullah Gül who introduced Ahmet Çalık to Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa during his January 2008 visit in Syria; Çalık also accompanied Gül in February and Erdoğan in April when they visited Qatar. Media reports indicated that other consortiums that had initially shown interest in purchasing Sabah-ATV with their own money pulled out of the tender shortly before the bid after Erdoğan contacted them, leaving Çalik the sole bidder.[44] Sabah has since become a strong advocate of the AKP government. In September 2008, Erdoğan demanded all party members and aides boycott newspapers owned by the Doğan Media Group after it reported on laundering of money to Islamist charities.[45]

Excluding the Islamist television and radio stations, newspapers such as Zaman, Sabah, Yeni Şafak, Türkiye, Star, Bugün, Vakit, and Taraf all have AKP and/or Gülen-affiliated ownership. By circulation, such papers represent at least 40 percent of all newspaper sales in Turkey.[46]

What Are Gülen's Intentions?

Conglomerates have long had a dominant position in Turkish society. Secular businessmen such as Aydın Doğan and Mehmet Emin Karamehmet have interests not only in industry but also in media, the banking sector, and even education. Never before, though, has a single individual started a movement that seeks to transform Turkish society so fundamentally. Gülen now wields a vocal partisan media; a vast network of loyal bureaucrats; partisan universities and academia; partisan prosecutors and judges; partisan security and intelligence agencies; partisan capitalists, business associations, NGOs, and labor unions; and partisan teachers, doctors, and hospitals. What makes Gülen so dangerous? Gülen's own teaching and sermons provide the best answers.

In 1999, Turkish television aired footage of Gülen delivering sermons to a crowd of followers in which he revealed his aspirations for an Islamist Turkey ruled by Shari‘a (Islamic law) as well as the methods that should be used to attain that goal. In the sermons, he said:

You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers … until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this. If they do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads, and Muslims will suffer everywhere, like in the tragedies in Algeria, like in 1982 [in] Syria … like in the yearly disasters and tragedies in Egypt. The time is not yet right. You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it … You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey … Until that time, any step taken would be too early—like breaking an egg without waiting the full forty days for it to hatch. It would be like killing the chick inside. The work to be done is [in] confronting the world. Now, I have expressed my feelings and thoughts to you all—in confidence … trusting your loyalty and secrecy. I know that when you leave here—[just] as you discard your empty juice boxes, you must discard the thoughts and the feelings that I expressed here.

He continued,

When everything was closed and all doors were locked, our houses of isik [light] assumed a mission greater than that of older times. In the past, some of the duties of these houses were carried out by madrasas [Islamic schools], some by schools, some by tekkes [Islamist lodges] … These isik homes had to be the schools, had to be madrasas, [had to be] tekkes all at the same time. The permission did not come from the state, or the state's laws, or the people who govern us. The permission was given by God … who wanted His name learned and talked about, studied, and discussed in those houses, as it used to be in the mosques.[47]

In another sermon, Gülen said,

Now it is a painful spring that we live in. A nation is being born again. A nation of millions [is] being born—one that will live for long centuries, God willing … It is being born with its own culture, its own civilization. If giving birth to one person is so painful, the birth of millions cannot be pain-free. Naturally we will suffer pain. It won't be easy for a nation that has accepted atheism, has accepted materialism, a nation accustomed to running away from itself, to come back riding on its horse. It will not be easy, but it is worth all our suffering and the sacrifices.[48]

And, in yet another sermon, he declared,

The philosophy of our service is that we open a house somewhere and, with the patience of a spider, we lay our web to wait for people to get caught in the web; and we teach those who do. We don't lay the web to eat or consume them but to show them the way to their resurrection, to blow life into their dead bodies and souls, to give them a life.[49]

Many Gülen supporters and members of the Islamist media affiliated with the cemaat suggested the sermons were somehow forged[50] but the denials are unconvincing given the video footage and reports by Gülen movement defectors.

U.S. Government Support for Gülen?

Many Turkish analysts believe that, prior to Erdoğan's election, Gülen and his supporters in the U.S. government helped obtain an invitation to the White House for him at a time when Erdoğan was banned from politics in Turkey due to his Islamist activities—an event viewed as a U.S. endorsement ahead of the 2002 Turkish elections. That the U.S. government and, specifically, the Central Intelligence Agency support the Gülen movement is conventional wisdom among Turkey's secular elite even though no hard evidence exists to support such allegations.

When Turkish secularists are asked to defend the view that Gülen enjoys U.S. support, they often point to his almost 20-year residence in eastern Pennsylvania. After the Supreme Court of Appeals in Turkey (Yargıtay) confirmed on June 24, 2008, a lower court's ruling to acquit Gülen on charges that he organized an illegal terrorist organization to overthrow the secular government in Turkey, Gülen won another legal battle, this time in the United States. A federal court reversed U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service decisions that would have denied Gülen's application for permanent residency in the United States on the basis that Gülen did not fit the criteria as someone with "extraordinary ability in the field of education." The Department of Homeland Security characterized Gülen as neither an expert in the field of education nor an educator but rather as "the leader of a large and influential religious and political movement with immense commercial holdings."[51]

While the court ruling that allowed Gülen to remain in the United States may provide fodder for Turkish analysts who suggest U.S. support for Gülen, the process is actually more revealing. Indeed, the U.S. government noted that much of the acclaim Gülen touts is sponsored or financed by his own movement. Gülen attached twenty-nine letters of reference to his June 18, 2008 motion, mostly from theologians or Turkish political figures close to or affiliated with his organization. John Esposito, founding director of the Saudi-financed Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, who, after receiving donations from the Gülen movement sponsored a conference in his honor, also supplied a reference. Two former CIA officials, George Fidas and Graham Fuller, and former U.S. ambassador to Turkey Morton Abramowitz also supplied references.

The letters may have worked. On July 16, 2008, U.S. district judge Stewart Dalzell issued a memorandum and order granting Gülen's motion for partial summary judgment and ordering the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to approve his petition for alien worker status as an alien of extraordinary ability by August 1, 2008. The court found that the immigration examiner improperly concluded that the field of education was the only statutory category in which Gülen's accomplishments could fit and that Gülen's accomplishments in such fields as theology, political science, and Islamic studies should also be considered. The court further determined that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Administrative Appeals Office erred in concluding that Gülen's work was not "scholarly" by applying an unduly narrow definition of the term. Finally, with regard to the statutory requirement that the applicant show that his or her entry into the United States would substantially benefit the United States, the court found that Gülen had met the requirement.[52]

Regardless of the legal rationale behind his current stay, the U.S. decision to grant Gülen residency will enable his movement to continue to imply Washington's endorsement as the AKP and its Fethullahist supporters seek to push Turkey further away from the secularism upon which it was built.
Conclusions

Gülen enjoys the support of many friends, ideological fellow-travelers, and co-opted journalists and academics. Too often, concern over Gülen's activities is dismissed in the Turkish, U.S., and European media as mere paranoia. When Turkey's chief prosecutor indicted the AKP for attempting to undermine the secular constitution, the pro-Islamist media in Turkey along with Western diplomats and journalists dismissed the case as an "undemocratic judicial coup."[53] Yet at the same time, many of the same outlets and officials have hailed the Ergenekon indictment, assuming a dichotomy between Islamism and democracy on one hand, and secularism and fascism on the other.[54] The repeated branding in Islamist outlets of Turkey's Islamists as "reformist democrats" and of modern, secular Turks as "fundamentalists" has to be one of the most offensive but sadly effective lies in modern politics.

Indeed, Turkey has never seen a single incident of attacks on pious Muslims for fasting during Ramadan, whereas in recent years there have been many incidents of attacks on less-observant Turks for drinking alcohol or not fasting.[55] While women who cover their heads in the Islamic manner can move freely in any area of the country, uncovered women are increasingly unwelcome in certain regions and are often attacked.[56]

Contrary to the impression prevalent in the West—that the conflict is between religious Muslims and "anti-religion, secular Kemalists"—the fact remains that the majority of Turks, secular included, are traditional and observant Muslims many of whom define themselves primarily as "Muslims first."[57] While the Turkish constitution recognizes all Turkish citizens as "Turks," the dominant sentiment in the country has always been that in order to be considered a Turk, one must be Muslim. The complete absence of any non-Muslim governor, ambassador, or military or police officer attests to the prevalence of Islam's dominance in the Turkish establishment. Therefore, it appears Gülen is not fighting for more individual freedoms but to free Islam from the confines of the mosque and the private domain of individuals and to bring it to the public arena, to govern every aspect of life in the country.[58] AKP leaders, including Gül and Erdoğan, have repeatedly expressed their opposition to the "imprisonment of Islam in the mosque," demanding that it be present everywhere as a lifestyle. Most Turks vividly remember statements by AKP leaders not long ago rejecting the definition of secularism as "separation of mosque and state." Gül has slammed "secularism" on many occasions, including during a November 27, 1995 interview with The Guardian. What Turkey's Islamists really want is to remove the founding principles of the Turkish Republic. So long as U.S. and Western officials fail to recognize that Gülen's rhetoric of tolerance is only skin-deep, they may be setting the stage for a dialogue, albeit not of religious tolerance, but rather to find an answer to the question, "Who lost Turkey?"

Rachel Sharon-Krespin is the director of the Turkish Media Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Washington D.C.

[1] Can Dündar, Milliyet (Istanbul), June 21, 2007; Reha Muhtar, Vatan (Istanbul), June 22, 2007.
[2] Milliyet, Mar. 10, 2008; Hürriyet (Istanbul), Mar. 10, 2008.
[3] Helen Rose Ebaugh and Dogan Koc, "Funding Gülen-Inspired Good Works: Demonstrating and Generating Commitment to the Movement," fgulen.com, Oct. 27, 2007.
[4] Merdan Yanardağ, Fethullah Gülen Hareketinin Perde Arkasi, Turkiye Nasil Kusatildi? (Istanbul: yah Beyaz Yayın, 2006), based on interviews with Nurettin Veren on Kanaltürk television, June 26, July 3, 2006.
[5] "Fethullah Gülen Is an Islamic Scholar and Peace Activist," International Conference on Fethullah Gülen, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Nov. 2007; J. J. Rogers, "Giants of Light: Fethullah Gülen and Meister Eckhart in Dialogue," The University of Texas, San Antonio, Tex., Nov. 3, 2007.
[6] See for example, Rogers, "Giants of Light"; USA Today, July 18, 2008.
[7] Bülent Aras, "Turkish Islam's Moderate Face," Middle East Quarterly, Sept. 1998, pp. 23-9.
[8] Anadolu Ajansı (Ankara), Feb. 10, 1998.
[9] Booklets on Anatolian Sufism with citations from Mevlana Celleddin Rumi distributed at the "Muslim World in Transition: Contributions of the Gulen Movement" conference, London, Oct. 25 – 27, 2007.
[10] Aland Mizell, "Clash of Civilizations versus Interfaith Dialogue: The Theories of Huntington and Gulen," KurdishMedia.com, Dec. 31, 2007; idem, "Are Islam and Kemalism Compatible? How Two Systems Have Impacted the Kurdish Question?" Iraq Updates, Nov. 28, 2007.
[11] Interview with Nurettin Veren, Kanaltürk television, June 26, 2006.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Sabah (Istanbul), Dec. 30, 2004.
[14] Veren interview, Kanaltürk, June 26, 2006.
[15] Cumhuriyet (Istanbul), Dec. 23, 2007.
[16] Bayram Balcı, "Central Asia: Fethullah Gulen's Missionary Schools," Oct. 2001.
[17] Interview with Merdan Yanardağ, Gerçek Gündem (Istanbul), Nov. 20, 2006.
[18] Hürriyet, Apr. 11, 2008.
[19] Erik-Jan Zürcher, "Kamermeerderheid Eist Onderzoek Naar Turkse Beweging," NOVA documentary, July 4, 2008.
[20] Cumhuriyet, July 9, 2008; Netherlands Information Services, July 11, 2008.
[21] Yanardağ, Fethullah Gülen Hareketinin Perde Arkasi, Turkiye Nasil Kusatildi?
[22] Adil Serdar Saçan, interview, Kanaltürk, July 3, 2006.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Samanyolu television, Oct. 13, 2008.
[25] See, for example, Michael Rubin, "Erdogan, Ergenekon, and the Struggle for Turkey," Mideast Monitor, Aug. 2008.
[26] Yanardağ interview, Gerçek Gündem, Nov. 20, 2006.
[27] Vatan, June 2, 2008; Hürriyet, June 2, 2008.
[28] "SOK! Tuggeneral Munir Erten den SOK aciklamalar!" accessed Oct. 27, 2008.
[29] "Sok Video! Cumhuriyet Savcisi Salim Demirci," accessed Oct. 27, 2008.
[30] Vakit (Istanbul), June 14, 2008.
[31] Vatan, June 2, 2008; Hürriyet, June 2, 2008.
[32] BBC News, Feb. 4, 2008; Frank Hyland, "Investigation of Turkey's ‘Deep State' Ergenekon Plot Spreads to Military," Global Terrorism Analysis, Jamestown Foundation, July 16, 2008.
[33] Reuters, May 1, 2008; Sendika.org, Labornet Turkey, May 1, 2008; Vatan, May 1, 2, 2008; Milliyet, May 1, 2, 2008; Hürriyet, May 1, 2, 2008
[34] Vatan, May 2, 2008; Milliyet, May 2, 2008; Hürriyet, May 2, 8, 2008.
[35] Hürriyet, Feb. 28, 2008.
[36] Milliyet, May 14, 2008.
[37] Yanardağ, Fethullah Gülen Hareketinin Perde Arkasi, Turkiye Nasil Kusatildi?
[38] "Turkish Judiciary at War with AKP Government to Defend Its Independence," MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1520, Mar. 27, 2007.
[39] "The AKP Government's Attempt to Move Turkey from Secularism to Islamism (Part I): The Clash with Turkey's Universities," MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1014, Nov. 1, 2005; "Professor from Van University in Turkey Commits Suicide after Five Months in Jail without Trial," MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1025, Nov. 18, 2005.
[40] Zaman (Istanbul), Apr. 18, 2008.
[41] Odatv.com, May 30, 2008; Hürriyet, June 13, 2008; Akşam (Istanbul), June 16, 2008.
[42] Radikal (Istanbul), Apr. 7, 2008.
[43] Hürriyet, Oct. 21, 2008.
[44] Hürriyet, May 14, 2008.
[45] Hürriyet, Sept. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 2008.
[46] Milliyet, July 14, 2008; Cumhuriyet, July 15, 2008
[47] Turkish channel ATV, June 18, 1999.
[48] Ibid.
[49] Ibid.; "The Upcoming Elections in Turkey (2): The AKP's Political Power Base," MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 375, July 19, 2007.
[50] Sabah, Jan. 2, 3, 2005.
[51] "Fethullah Gulen v. Michael Chertoff, Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, et al," Case 2:07-cv-02148-SD, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
[52] Ibid.
[53] Turkish Daily News (Ankara), Mar. 16, 2008; Vakit, June 7, 9, 2008; Yeni Şafak (Istanbul), June 9, 2008.
[54] Mustafa Akyol, "The Threat Is Secular Fundamentalism," International Herald Tribune, May 4, 2007; "Islam Will Modernize—If Secular Fundamentalists Allow," Turkish Daily News, May 15, 2007; "Mr. Logoglu Is Wrong, Considerably Wrong about Turkey," Turkish Daily News, May 24, 2007.
[55] Vatan, Aug. 21, 2008; Turkish Daily News, Sept. 23, 2008.
[56] Hürriyet, Feb. 14, 2008; Milliyet, Feb. 14, 2008; Vatan, Feb. 14, 2008, Cumhuriyet, Feb. 14, 2008.
[57] Yeni Şafak, July 7, 2006.
[58] "Turkish PM Erdogan in Speech during Term as Istanbul Mayor Attacks Turkey's Constitution, Describing It as ‘A Huge Lie': ‘Sovereignty Belongs Unconditionally and Always To Allah'; ‘One Cannot Be a Muslim and Secular,'" MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1596, May 23, 2007.


http://www.meforum.org/article/2045

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com
Islamists Approach Europe, Turkey's Islamist Danger: The AKP Seeks To Islamize Not Only Turkey But Also Europe, by Bassam Tibi, Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2009, pp. 47-54

Since their electoral landslide victory in November 2002, Islamists within Turkey's Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) have camouflaged themselves as "democratic Islamic conservatives."[1] The AKP claims to be the Muslim equivalent of the Christian-Democratic parties of Western Europe. Such an analogy is false, however. What the AKP seeks is not "Islam without fear," to borrow the phrase of Trinity College professor Raymond Baker,[2] but rather a strategy for a creeping Islamization that culminates in a Shari‘a (Islamic law) state not compatible with a secular, democratic order. The AKP does not advertise this agenda and often denies it. This did not convince the chief prosecutor of Turkey who, because of AKP efforts to Islamize Turkey, sought to ban the party and seventy-one of its leaders. While the AKP survived a ban, the majority of justices found that the AKP had worked to advance an Islamist agenda and undermine secularism.[3] Nevertheless, the AKP enjoys the backing of the United States and the European Union as well. Through its support for institutional Islamism in Turkey, the West loses its true friends: liberal Muslims.

Advance of Secularism

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L), Javier Solana, European Union high representative, and José Zapatero (R), Spanish prime minister, meet at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Riga Summit, November 29, 2006. A problem for both Turkey's entry into the European Union and the Turkish diaspora in Europe is how to encourage the Turkish diaspora's Europeanization. If Turkey were to become a secular, European-style democracy, it would face no obstacles to European Union accession.

The processes of secularization predate the Kemalist revolution and trace back to the Tanzimat reforms, which Ottoman sultans began in the mid-nineteenth century. However, it was the Kemalist revolution that established real secularism in Turkey. Today, Turkey is the only one of fifty-seven majority Muslim states in which secularism is constitutionally enshrined. After establishing the republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk abolished the caliphate, Shari‘a courts, and other aspects of the Islamic legal system and religious order. The problem remains, however, that while the state is secular in terms of its full adoption of the Swiss legal code, such secularism does not extend to civil society, at least in terms of "open society."[4]

Constitutionally, Turkey is a secular state but, in reality, both Turkish civil society and its institutions are weak. In this sense, Turkey does not meet the democratic standards prevailing in the member states of the European Union. Turkish law guarantees neither freedom of religion nor freedom of speech. In 2005, Turkish authorities sought to prosecute prominent Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk for his remarks regarding the World War I-era deaths of Armenians.[5] The AKP has legislated a variety of reforms, but these remain more cosmetic than real.[6] Şerif Mardin, a political science professor at Sabancı University who is sympathetic to the AKP, argues that "Civil society is a Western dream … [It] does not translate into Islamic terms."[7]

Still, Turkey is democratic. Despite coups in 1960, 1971, and 1980, Turkey has had thirteen competitive, national elections in the past half-century and more than twenty changes of ruling party. Next to Mali and Senegal, Freedom House ranks Turkey the freest majority Muslim country.[8] But, even if it compares favorably to other majority Muslim countries, Turkey is not a fully democratic state. Its national security council, Milli Güvenlik Kurulu (MGK), was long run by the military and is still dominated by the military.[9] While not the most democratic institution—the MGK could, in practice, overrule parliament—the organization has secured the secular character of Turkey much as Iran's Council of Guardians intervenes to ensure that country's Islamist character. Ironically, even as European officials applauded reforms that, in August 2004, bestowed a civilian head and civilian majority upon the MGK, Turkey has become less democratic.

Today, the AKP party with almost a two-thirds majority in parliament, rules Turkey like a one-party state. The party ignores the opposition and has abandoned efforts to reach out to any constituency beyond Anatolian Islamists. It awards state positions, for example, almost exclusively to Islamists.[10] Still, even as Ankara backslides away from democracy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül leverage the European Union accession process to create an illusion of tolerance and reform.

Turkey's Approach to Europe

In a sense, the AKP's Islamism and European outreach illustrate a paradox in the way Muslims approach Europe: Either they favor Europeanization of Islam or Islamization of Europe.[11] With reform and accommodation, Islam can be compatible with democracy, but Islamism cannot. In the world of Islam, Islamism aims at reversing the process of cultural modernization. Today, acculturation and secularization are reversed into re-traditionalization, de-acculturation, and de-secularization. The ongoing de-Westernization in Turkish society is clear. There have been three Islamist parties since the 1970s with a real chance of acquiring power. All three were judicially invalidated—the Milli Selamet Partisi in 1980, the Refah Partisi in 1998, and the Fizelet Partisi in 2001—for the threat they posed to secularity in Turkey.[12]

Each of the Islamist leaders pursued different strategies. Neçmetten Erbakan who, as Refah leader, became Turkey's first Islamist prime minister, combined Islamism with neo-Ottomanism—an ideological revival of Ottoman glory—and pan-Turkish outlooks. The Erdoğan generation of Islamists, in contrast, presents itself in European terms, but its commitment to both Europe and democracy is instrumental. As Hudson Institute scholar Zeyno Baran explains, the AKP's commitment to democracy rests not on philosophical agreement with its principles but rather because "democratic elections … [have] proven to be the easiest and most legitimate path to power."[13]

Europeanized Islam embraces the values of cultural modernity, pluralism, and secular tolerance. Secularism and religious tolerance have, in many ways, provided the basis of European cultural development. Despite its Christian roots, Europe has been secular since the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Polemics that insist that the European Union is reluctant to accept an Islamic country into its fold are false. Europe was Europeanized through "the spread of one particular culture."[14] There is no reason why Turkish assimilation into Europe could not Europeanize Turkey just as the EU has Europeanized Spain, Greece, Poland, and in part, Romania. Turkey, after all, is contiguous with Europe and shares a common Byzantine heritage with much of southern Europe, including not only the Balkan states but also much of Greece.

Ottoman modernity, however, never accepted the spirit of Europe. It was based on the adoption of European instruments and technology but the rejection of European values. Such instrumental Europeanization did not stabilize the Islamic-Ottoman rule but rather contributed to its downfall. The Kemalist revolution arose from the failure of the Young Ottomans and Young Turks. Atatürk's agenda was the Europeanization of Turkey, not only technologically but also with the adoption of cultural outlooks based on modern values and norms. The Kemalist revolution sought to give Turkey a civilizational identity defined not by religion but rather by cultural values shared with Europe: secularism, individual human rights, civil society, and the rule of law. The problem with Atatürk's Europeanization of Turkey was that the process was a revolution from above, imposing innovations on society without providing the necessary cultural underpinning. By focusing on urban centers, it left the countryside barely affected. The result was a bifurcation of society: a European, urban culture in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, and a rural society deeply rooted in Islamic tradition.[15]

The AKP, however, does not accept Europeanization. Rather, AKP leaders pursue a double strategy: They verbally dissociate their party—and themselves—from political Islam while simultaneously embracing Islamic identity politics and, like many Islamist parties across the globe, also engaging in anti-Christian polemics.[16] The AKP uses education as its major instrument to further Islamist identity politics, introduce reinvented Islamic values, and de-Westernize society. And while the AKP claims secular credit for pursuing Turkey's EU membership, it defames Europe as an exclusionary "club of Christians."[17] Since its November 2002 accession, the AKP has engaged in a "creeping Islamization."[18] The AKP has sought to further this through politics of cultural Islamization, especially in education and media. Erdoğan has worked to expand Anatolian culture in the cities, helped by internal migration. The slums and shanty towns have become the AKP's chief base of support.

Needed: Islam's Europeanization

The problem of both Turkey's entry into the European Union and the Turkish diaspora in Europe is not Islam itself but rather how to encourage the Turkish diaspora's Europeanization. If Turkey were to become a secular, European-style democracy, it would face no obstacles to European Union accession, nor would such a strong boundary exist between Turkey and Europe if Turkey's religion were a more civil Islam.[19]

What Turkey needs is not simply a laundry list of civil reforms but Europeanization of Islam. There is nothing European about the ghettos of Turkish migrants living in Islamic enclaves in Berlin suburbs such Neuköln and Kreuzberg. These "Muslim enclaves"—including the Turkish ones—are "in the West, but not of it."[20] The AKP encourages such a division, though. In February 2008, Erdoğan labeled assimilation of Turks a "crime against humanity."[21] The Turkish diaspora in Europe remains antagonistic to their new home. The two major Turkish mosques in Germany—in Pforzheim and Bremen—are named Fatih (conqueror) after Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror who, in 1453, captured the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, modern day Istanbul.

Most Turks in Germany are not integrated into civil society. If Turkey, as the AKP sees it, enters the European Union, it would resemble more the Kreuzberg and Neuköln enclaves than the European parts of Istanbul or Ankara. While Erdoğan says his decision to guide Turkey toward Europe is firm, declaring, for example, that "Turkey has no other alternative than the full membership of the EU,"[22] it is less certain whether Europe could absorb a country ruled by Islamists.

The question of whether Turks can or will adopt a Europeanized Islam is crucial because demography and migration suggest that Europe will be dealing with Turkey for years to come. Turkish migration westward is not simply a twentieth and twenty-first century phenomenon but part of a larger pattern that began almost a millennium ago.[23] Many Turks joined Ottoman incursions into southeast Europe for opportunity and adventure.[24] Turkey's European Union accession would lead to a similar movement of population. The European Union's living standard and generous welfare system will attract Turkey's rural population, which suffers from an unemployment rate between 20 and 30 percent, and where many do not receive welfare benefits.[25] Indeed, some Turkish politicians have suggested that this migration should make Turkey more attractive to Europe arguing that Turkey can offer Europe, with its aging and declining populations, a young Turkish population. There is something to this. Turkish population figures have doubled since 1970 while Western European states have a shrinking population due to low birth rates and an aging population.[26] No doubt, migration would be an advantage for Europe, as much as it has been for the United States, provided that Europe, like the United States, assimilates its immigrants.

Given the AKP's instrumental approach to EU accession, it is ironic that while the European public largely opposes Turkey's accession, European diplomats still push the Turks to undermine the three pillars of the secular republic—the military, judiciary, and educational system—purportedly to make Turkey fit into the European Union. While European officials couch their prescribed reforms in the language of transformational diplomacy and democracy promotions, they ignore that Islamists only accept democracy as the rule of the majority, not as a culture of pluralism. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1999, the late prime minister Bülent Ecevet responded to European criticism of the imbalance of power between the parliament and the MGK by explaining, "In your countries, the political culture [of] secularity is well established, and therefore, there is no need for a guardian to protect it. In my country, Turkey, secularism still lacks firm foundations and can always be threatened, therefore the need to protect it."[27]

The Turkish writer Murat Çakır described the Islamists as "pseudo-democrats," who use democracy as a cover for the promotion of Islamization whether in Turkey itself or among the Turkish diaspora in Europe.[28] He observes that Ankara does not contribute to Europeanizing the Turkish Muslim diaspora. Mosques, built and administered by the Turkish state through the Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı (directorate of religious affairs), are not European even if they are moderate in comparison to the more militant Milli Görüş mosques.[29] The difference between the Diyanet and Milli Görüş mosques, however, has eroded since AKP accession led to its control of the Diyanet.

The secular commitment to democracy and to its values does not register in the Islamist model of an Islamic state (din-ü-devlet), which the AKP's actions show it accepts. Why then have Western policies toward Turkey not changed under AKP rule? Part of the problem is that Europe does not have a clear awareness of its civilizational identity. In contrast, migrants and Turkey itself strongly cultivate civilizational awareness in their own identity politics. The Islamist challenge and the potential of Islamization are based on facts, but they are not well understood in Europe. The Turkish diaspora in Europe, as well as the population in Turkey itself, is caught between Europeanization and Islamization. The European decision-makers have proven in the past to be incapable of designing policies to address challenges arising from ethnic-cultural diversification of the population. European officials neglect or simply ignore cultural issues such as the identity of Europe and Europeanization.

The AKP Abandons Compromise

Compromising and power sharing are an essential part of democratic politics. Repeated experience with Islamists show that they go to the ballots but fail to compromise when they win. The AKP is no exception. Erdoğan wanted to promote his foreign minister, Abdullah Gül, to the presidency in 2007, and he did so at the expense of a traditional process of consensus-building among opposition parties and so sparked a political crisis. While the AKP won subsequent parliamentary elections, its victory had as much to do with the weakness of the secularist parties as with satisfaction with the AKP. The 2007 election win enabled the AKP to retrench, sending Gül to Çankaya palace as the first non-secular president of Turkey.

With its majority solidified and no longer fearing the veto of a secular president, the AKP accelerated its de-secularization of Turkish society. Here, the head scarf is especially important. Among Islamists, the head scarf is not just an article of clothing but an icon of civilizational divide. Islamists view the head scarf as a provision of the Shari‘a.[30] It has become symbolic of the tension between Europeanization and Islamization. In a 2004 ruling, the European Court of Human Rights found the right to a head scarf not to be a human right, thus dismissing an Islamist lawsuit.[31] Upon their reelection, though, the AKP decided to provoke secular elites with legislation enabling female university students to wear a head scarf on campus and in classes. On June 5, 2008, the Turkish Supreme Court deemed the AKP's law to be unconstitutional on the grounds that it eroded Turkey's secular character.[32] Soon after, the London-based pan-Arabic daily Al-Hayat quoted Erdoğan as stating, "We are going to shut down the constitutional court."[33] Many Europeans have cheered Erdoğan and condemned court actions in Turkey. AKP partisans in the Turkish press and proponents of Turkey as a model of moderate Islam in the United States and Europe labeled Turkish secularists as "fascists" and accused them of undermining "democratic" Islamists.[34] Zeyno Baran observed that such an artificial dichotomy "inadvertently strengthens hard-line Islamists."[35] As the West sides with the Islamists, the opposition, feeling abandoned, has become more anti-Western. Again, Baran explains, "The opposition's anti-Western stand is more like that of a lover with a broken heart … [they] fear that Europeans push them to undertake reforms that will make Turkey more Islamic, and then will tell them that they are too Islamic to join a Western club."[36]

The crisis continued into the summer as the Constitutional Court heard arguments that the AKP had violated the principles of a democratic and secular Turkish republic.[37] Had the court dissolved the party, it would have toppled the government and plunged the country into political turmoil.[38] The court wanted to avoid this outcome as it would have ended the AKP but not the Islamist challenge. The AKP could simply have transferred its assets to another party and reemerged under a new name, just as the AKP had emerged from the ashes of Fezilet. The court did not acquit the AKP, however, but instead gave it a strong warning to stop steering Turkey away from the secular order that the constitution mandates towards an Islamic one. Court president Haşim Kiliç stated, "There is no verdict on closure … However, in this ruling a serious warning has been issued to the party [AKP], and I hope this conclusion will be elevated and will be taken accordingly."[39]

Secularism Abandoned

Western politicians, scholars, and opinion leaders barely understand what is going on in Turkey. Too many Western pundits depict Turkey's increasing Islamism as fortuitous. The Rand Corporation's Stephen Larrabee, for example, wrote, "Under the AKP, Turkey has emerged as an important diplomatic actor in the region … without the AKP … the United States would lose an important partner in trying to stabilize this volatile region … At the same time, banning the party could undercut efforts to promote reform and democracy in the Middle East."[40] Such views infuriate secular Turks. It is ironic that the intra-Turkish debate on the pernicious nature of Islamism has been more open than the Western one.

In the name of democratic reforms, as European diplomats have observed, the AKP has reduced the secular impact of the army, defamed judicial defense of the constitution as a "judicial coup," expanded the Imam Hatip religious schools and equated them to secular schools, and fired university presidents. Too many in the West praise the AKP as "moderate Islamic." The only difference, however, between moderate and jihadist Islamists is the use of the ballot box instead of violence to come to power. It may be important to include Islamists in democracy but certainly not with the Western naive notion that inclusion will tame Islamism. This is the lesson that should be drawn from Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and certain Islamist parties in Iraq.

Hamas and Hezbollah may be represented in parliaments, but they have kept their militias that represent the antithesis of democracy. They show how their embrace of the democratic game is only a tactical step. The AKP may be better than Hamas and Hezbollah since it has no militia although its dominance and use of the police force and secret services have become nearly as abusive.

The proper solution for crisis-ridden Turkey is neither the tacit Islamic law of the AKP nor a coup by the Turkish secularists. Rather, the European Union and the United States should encourage the strengthening of civil society by making the weak institutions of Turkish democracy stronger. Moderate Islamists want to Islamize, not democratize.[41] They are committed to the procedure of democracy but not to its pluralistic and peaceful political culture. Political Islam in Turkey is an important issue for Europe. Turkey not only has close relations to the West, but it also has a diaspora of more than four million in the European Union.[42] While many moderate Muslims seek to Europeanize Islam, the Islamism practiced by the AKP is an ideology of cultural divide, tension, and conflict, despite all of the pro-Europe rhetoric in which Islamists in Turkey engage in their pursuit to exploit the European Union for their agenda of Islamization.

Bassam Tibi is a professor of international relations at Göttingen University in Germany and A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. His most recent book is Political Islam, World Politics and Europe (New York: Routledge 2008).

[1] Ihsan Dagi, "Turkey's AKP in Power," Journal of Democracy, July 2008, pp. 25-30.
[2] Raymond William Baker, Islam without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003).
[3] BBC News, July 28, 2008; Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2008.
[4] Fatma Müge Goçek, Rise of the Bourgeoisie, Demise of Empire, Ottoman Westernization and Social Change (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996); Niazi Berkes, The Development of Secularism in Turkey (London: Hurst, 1998).
[5] Tagesanzeiger (Zurich), Feb. 5, 2005; Spiegel Online (Hamburg), Dec. 16, 2005.
[6] Turkey 2006 Progress Report (Geneva: European Union: European Commission, Nov. 8, 2006), pp. 25-8.
[7] Şerif Mardin, "Civil Society and Islam," in John Hall, ed., Civil Society (Cambridge, U.K.: Polity, 1995), pp. 278-9.
[8] "Combined Average Ratings: Independent Countries 2008," Freedom in the World (Washington, D.C.: Freedom House, 2008), accessed Sept. 11, 2008.
[9] Turkey 2007 Progress Report (Geneva: European Union: European Commission, Nov. 6, 2007), p. 9.
[10] See Turkish Daily News (Ankara), Aug. 7, 2008.
[11] Bassam Tibi, "Europeanizing Islam, or the Islamization of Europe," in Timothy Byrnes and Peter Katzenstein, eds., Religion in an Expanding Europe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 204-24.
[12] Marvine Howe, Turkey Today. A Nation Divided over Islam's Revival (Boulder: Westview, 2000), pp. 1-10, 179-94; Sueddeutsche Online (Munich), July 31, 2008.
[13] Zeyno Baran, "Divided Turkey," The Journal of Democracy, Jan. 2008, pp. 56-7.
[14] Robert Barlett, The Making of Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), p. 269.
[15] Ellen K. Trimberger, Revolution from Above (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1978), p. 112.
[16] Ursula Spuler-Stegemann, ed., "Introduction," Feindbild Christentum im Islam (Freiburg: Herder, 2004), pp. 7-11.
[17] Agence France-Presse, Jan. 26, 2008.
[18] Baran, "Divided Turkey," p. 69.
[19] Bassam Tibi, "The Quest of Islamic Migrants and of Turkey to Become European," Turkish Policy Quarterly, Spring 2004, pp. 13-28.
[20] John Kelsay, Islam and War (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1993), p. 118.
[21] FAZ.net (Frankfurt), Feb. 10, 2008.
[22] Welt Online (Berlin), Feb. 11, 2008.
[23] Lord Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries. The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire (New York: Morrow Quill, 1977), pp. 15-7.
[24] Metin Kunt and Christine Woodhead, Süleyman the Magnificant and his Age. The Ottoman Empire in the Early Modern World (London: Langman, 1995), p. 10.
[25] Serhat Salihoğlu, "Welfare State Policies in Turkey," South-East Europe Review for Labour and Social Affairs, Oct. 2002, pp. 21-6.
[26] Daten, Fakten, Trends zum demographischen Wandel in Deutschland (Wiesbaden: Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung und statistisches Bundesamt, Bevölkerung, 2008), p. 31.
[27] World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, Feb. 1999.
[28] Murat Çakır, Die Pseudodemokraten. Türkische Lobbyisten und Islamisten (Düsseldorf: GDF Publikation, 2000), pp. 101-76.
[29] For more on the Milli Görüş, see Lorenzo Vidino, "The Muslim Brotherhood's Conquest of Europe," Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2005, pp. 25-34.
[30] Nilüfer Göle, The Forbidden Modern: Civilization and Veiling (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996).
[31] "Case of Leyla Şahin vs. Turkey," European Court of Human Rights, application no. 44774/98, Nov. 10, 2004; "Grand Chamber Judgment: Leyla Şahin v. Turkey," European Court of Human Rights, press release, Nov. 10, 2005.
[32] The New York Times, June 6, 2008.
[33] Al-Hayat, June 11, 2008.
[34] See, for example, Mustafa Akyol, "The Threat Is Secular Fundamentalism," The International Herald Tribune, May 4, 2007.
[35] Zeyno Baran, "Illiberal Democracy? Fighting for Turkey's Soul," The International Herald Tribune (Paris), June 11, 2008.
[36] Ibid.
[37] BBC News, July 28, 2008; Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2008.
[38] The International Herald Tribune, July 30, 2008.
[39] The International Herald Tribune, July 30, 2008.
[40] Stephen Larrabee, "Turkey's Broadening Crisis," The International Herald Tribune, July 25, 2008.
[41] Bassam Tibi, "Islamist Parties. Why They Can't Be Democratic," Journal of Democracy, July 2008, pp. 43-8.
[42] Bevölkerung und Erwerbstätigkeit. Bevölkerung mit Migrationshintergrund. Ergebnisse des Mikrozensus 2006 (Wiesbaden: Statistisches Bundesamt, 2008), pp. 5-13, 60; Internationales Statistisches Jahrbuch (Wiesbaden: Statisitisches Bundesamt, 2006), p. 241.


http://www.meforum.org/article/2047


Petition To Excuse Turkish Armenian Intellectuals Answer Intellectuals 15 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews

In response to the campaign of apology to Turkish citizens, persons of Armenian origin decide to make a public statement.

In Turkey, a public apology to the Armenian people victim of "The Great Catastrophe" of 1915 began in December 2008 and should continue in 2009.

It confirms that civil society is showing increasing willingness to open its lift the veil on a hundred-year history obscurely transmitted or denied by the Turkish state.

This initiative is primarily a matter of conscience within the Turkish community worldwide, but it relies on words addressed for the first time to Armenians.

It is diverted, attacked from all sides and Turkey, its initiators big risk.

Some people of Armenian origin have decided to personally and publicly respond to this gesture. They chose to do what will be the second anniversary of the death of Hrant Dink, Armenian journalist in Turkey, murdered in Istanbul on 19 January 2007.

This statement comes from very diverse, including artists and intellectuals, all animated and beliefs collected by relatives.

Thank you

Thank you to the citizens of Turkey, which just launched a petition to ask for forgiveness, individual Armenians today.

(Petition Online www.ozurdiliyoruz.com)

They agreed publicly in their soul and conscience, not to support the denial which they have been subjected for almost 94 years. Through their unprecedented gesture, they recognize that the denial of the victims of the genocide of 1915 has resulted in the denial of legal injuries of the survivors and descendants.

Aware of the risks they face, I decided to take my turn to answer other than indifference, or critical attention. Citizen of the World and child survivors of Armenia, I express my appreciation to the signatories for their courage.

Denial and deception have been and continue to make the bed of extremism, generating hatred and suffering. Any form of violence must now belong to the past.

Today may be the time for truth that soothes, meeting and sharing. This is the path opened by Hrant Dink. I believe in the strong determination of men and women on both sides to accelerate this process on a human level.

Turkish civil society is entitled to know, freely and independently, all that happened. Everywhere and also in Turkey, information and books available, testimony and evidence are still there, the lyrics are loosened despite denials and against the state.

In this context, I welcome this initiative as a genuine sign of hope and progress of history and, personally, I support it. The first 21 signatories:

Simon Abkarian, actor, director (Paris), Serge Avedikian, actor and director (Paris), Alain Alexanian, chef and consultant (Lyon), Simon Azilazian, an entrepreneur (Marseille), Denis Donikian writer (Paris ), Atom Egoyan, filmmaker (Toronto), Aram Gazarian, surgeon (Lyon), Claire Giudicenti, editor, literary agent (Paris), Patrice Leconte, filmmaker (Paris), Jean-Claude Kebabdjian, publisher, chairman of Association (Paris ), Jacques Kebadian, filmmaker (Paris), Robert Kechichian, filmmaker (Paris), Jean Kehayan, journalist and essayist (Marseille), Arsine Khandjian, actress (Toronto), Nourhan-creator perfumer Francis Kurkdjian (Paris), Gérard Loussine-Khidichian , actor (Paris), Michel Marian, Professor of Philosophy (Paris), Nair Nahapetian, journalist, novelist (Paris), Didier Parakian, an entrepreneur (Marseille), Hélène Piralian, psychoanalyst and author (Paris), Gérard Torikian, composer and actor (Paris)

and

Michel Abrahamian, an entrepreneur (Avignon), Ashot Ashot, painter (Paris), Véronique Agoudjian Pharmacist (Paris), Olivia Alloyan Librarian (Lyon), Krikor Amirzayan, journalist and cartoonist (Valencia), Gorune Aprikian, producer (Paris), Areva Eugenie, actress and agent (Paris), Edmond Aslanian professor (Albertville), Hovnatan Avedikian, actor (Paris) Hourig Attarian, academic (Montreal), Vicken Attarian, businessmen (Montreal), Martine Batanian, writer (Ottawa), Daniel Besikian photographer (Paris), Mireille Besnilian, translator (Paris), Chloe Chapalain, decorator (Paris), Michel Chirinian, town hall (Avignon), Anahit Ter Dasseux Mesropian, psychoanalyst (Paris), Anaïd Donabedian, university professor (Paris), Hervé Georgelin, university (Montpellier), Isabelle Guiard, actor and musician (Paris), Christophe Hovikian, educator and musician (Paris), Annie Kebadian, theater program (Paris), Elisabeth Kiledjian, Producer (Paris), Isabelle Kortian (Paris), Anahid Krimian, speech (Paris), Marie-Anne-Métayer Djivelekian Producer (Paris), Gérard Malkassian, Professor of Philosophy (Paris), Helena Melkonian, lyrical artist (Perpignan) Levon Minasian, screenwriter and director (Paris), Alain Navarra, art historian (Cannes), Isabelle Ouzounian, editor (Paris), Christine Papazian, assistant executive (Paris), Michael Papazian, decorator (Paris), Michele Raineri , President of Association (Epinal), Armand Sarian, an entrepreneur (Paris), Anne Sarkissian, director (Paris), John Sarkissian, real estate agent (Paris), Bernard Sarry, hospital (Limoges), Aram Sédéfian, author Composer (Paris), Sarkis Tcheumlekdjian, director (Lyon), Chouchane Tcherpatchian Abello, costume (Paris), Pascal Tokatlian, actor (Paris), Gisèle Tsobanian, founder Cultural Association (Paris), Berge Turabian, librarian, author composer (New York), Claude Vartan, retired (Suresnes)


Baskin Oran: "Undermining One Of The Biggest Taboos Of Turkey" 15 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
More than 25,000 Turks have added their names to a statement online making excuses for crimes committed during the First World War.

The weekly DER SPIEGEL spoke with the initiator of the campaign Baskin Oran.

SPIEGEL: Since the beginning of your online campaign, more than 25,000 Turks have signed a statement of apology for war crimes committed by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. More than a million Armenians lost their lives in catastrophic events, which began in 1915. Is this the beginning of a critical review of the past?

Baskin Oran: The Turks, who are now making excuses are not responsible for the sins of 1915. There is no collective crime, but there is a collective conscience. With our campaign, we érodons one of the biggest taboo in Turkey. Even so, the campaign is late, after decades.

SPIEGEL: The Turkish nationalists say you chip the country's image. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in agreement.

Oran: I do not agree. I think that really improves image abroad. Beyond that, however, are the grandchildren of Armenians who have finally heard this excuse - in a country like Turkey, where there is no "culture of apology."

SPIEGEL: What effect will the campaign does about the Turco-Armenian relations?

Oran: Most Armenians welcomed our initiative. But there are the intransigents who criticize our petition for a specific use of the word "lgénocide. They are afraid that our excuse to thwart the demands of Armenian repairs. Such people see us as just the lackeys of the Turkish state.

SPIEGEL: What kind of feedback have you received Turkish citizens.

Oran: Unfortunately, they were mostly negative. Every day, I personally receive around 200 letters of hate. Many accuse me of insulting the Turkish people. But we must bear in mind that every child learns that it is the Armenians who killed Muslims. Our education is guilty of the collective amnesia of the country. In eastern Turkey, but it is true that in the past, many people have suffered from attacks of revenge on the part of Armenia.

Interview conducted by Daniel Steinvorth SPIEGEL 12/30/2008


Statements Of Ibrahim Sahin Impact On The Armenians 15 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Statements Ibrahim Sahin shock: "I collected information for the MIT and the military." "I gather information on the Armenians to the Turkish intelligence services (MIT) and military officials," said Ibrahim Sahin, placed under arrest in connection with the Ergenekon case, quoted by the daily Milliyet.


Turkey: The Investigation Into Ergenekon Reveals A List Of Persons Sentenced To Death 15 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews

As part of the investigation into the Ergenekon nationalist organization, a list of people to be slaughtered was revealed three days ago.

The list contains names of celebrities as well as names of Armenians. Although it has not yet been released, comments are going well. Ergenekon aimed to bring down the government.

Who was in this black list? The issue has raised serious comments in Turkey.

The former assistant chief of the Special Operations Unit of the Department of National Police, Ibrahim Sahin, said during the investigation that he had collected information on the Armenians, but no had no intention of endangering their lives. The editor of the Turkish-Armenian newspaper Marmara, Robert Hatechian told "Radiolour" that, according to unofficial information, the question refers to an Armenian named Mathilde, Serbil called in Turkish, where he had been told that an Armenian woman looking for gold and that his identity was revealed. It turned out that the woman, rented rooms to newly arrived Armenians in Turkey, said Sahin.

In addition, he said he received a directive to find out what kind of meetings organized the Armenians in Turkey every month. Sahin said he had been instructed to collect information on 525 Armenians.

In the wake of arrests in connection with the Ergenekon case, it became clear that an attack was planned against the four Turkish intellectuals - the initiators of the campaign of apology to the Armenians.

According to reports, the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop Mesrop Mutafian was also part of the blacklist. Let us not forget that a few months after the assassination of Hrant Dink had received threatening letters.

The security services have always refrained from publicizing the list of persons targeted for security reasons. According to Rober Hatechian, this information will soon be clarified.

"We must wait a few days because the current situation is chaotic in Turkey. Sixty VIP under protection," said Hatechian.

Anna Nazarian - Radiolour
***
Gérard Merdjanian Translation - comments

The huge stone thrown into the pond in 2007 is still making waves. For many, Ergenekon is the armed wing of the "deep state", that is how the ramifications are many and deep.

The case began in June 2007 by the discovery of a cache of weapons, which showed a group of organized crime (Ergenekon) integrated within the state and supported by senior military and civilians. Ergenekon sees itself as the defender of the secular republic in reference instead of the myth of the birth of the Turkish nation.
***
http://eafjd.eu/spip.php?


The Taboo Of Genocide Broken 15 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
"The definitive history of the Armenian genocide" is how qu'Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, the book describes his compatriot Taner Akçam a shameful act - The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility (ed . Denoel). The Turkish historian and sociologist, has gained access to military archives and unpublished court and took the party to focus on original Ottoman documents: a first. It aims to demonstrate the responsibility of Turkey and the establishment from 1915 of a deliberate policy aimed at the destruction of the Armenian people.

Threatened in his country for its positions and the repeated use of the term "genocide", Taner Akçam in the USA and teaches at the Center for the Study of the Holocaust and genocide in Minnesota. This is not the first time he was forced into exile. Taner Akçam has been an active militant of the extreme left in the 1970s and what is more in favor of the Kurdish cause. In 1976, he was sentenced to ten years in prison for activism. He manages to escape a year later and fled to Germany where he won political refugee status. It is from 1988 he became interested in the history of violence in the Ottoman Empire. For him, the Armenian issue can not be separated from the birth of the modern Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal. Taken to task by Turkish nationalists, it now claims that far from having discouraged, this hostility was prompted by pride, to continue his research. He published various articles and a dissertation on the subject. In 1999, Turkey released in the first edition of a shameful act.

Today, Taner Akçam does not return to his country where he feared for his life. The ultranationalist organization the Gray Wolves launched a campaign which calls for the lynch. In 2007, the intellectual of Armenian descent, Hrant Dink, was murdered in Istanbul by a young person, certainly encouraged by such hate speech. However, the petition signed by nearly 25 000 calling for Turkish recognition of the Turkish responsibility in the events of 1915 ad may be the beginning of awareness among the population. Referring to Turkey, Taner Akçam says she shines with its chronic instability and that everything is possible: one day, a book committed as his can leave without anyone sourcille, and the next day, the author may be brought before the courts and threatened with death. ¦ A shameful act - The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, ed. Denoel, 482 pages.

Aurélien Mathé www.20minutes.fr/article/287741/Monde-Le-tabou-du-genocide-brise.php


Armenia Threatens To Leave The Council Of Europe 15 January 2009, by Virginia / armenews
The Council of Europe illegally interfering internal affairs of Armenia and encroaching on its sovereignty by supporting the release of dozens of jailed opponents, said Wednesday 14 January, Rafik Petrossian, a legislator of the Republican Party (HHK) .

"If it continues like this, Armenia will leave the Council of Europe," he added. "But I think it will not happen because PACE observers will soon come here, see progress and not to take such punishment."

Britain's John Prescott and the French Georges Colombier, reporters of the inspection committee of the PACE on Armenia, should arrive in Yerevan on Thursday for the investigation. They will decide, after talks with Armenian leaders, whether to suspend the voting rights of its members to the Armenian PACE.


B. H. Menendez Urges Clinton To Reaffirm Its Support For Armenian Genocide 15 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Speaking on television during the confirmation hearing of the future Secretary of State before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) welcomed the long support for Hillary Clinton recognition of the Armenian genocide and urged it to maintain this position of principle on the basis of human rights as a senior diplomat of the nation, "said Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

"We wish to thank Bob Menendez to support the need for the United States to recognize the Armenian genocide during the hearing today to confirm the charges of Senator Clinton, who has been hearing watched carefully by Tens of millions of people across the United States and worldwide, "said Aram Hamparian, executive director of ANCA. "His comments stressing that the Secretary of State designated long supported the resolution on the Armenian genocide and the commitment made by President Obama to recognize the Armenian genocide if elected, make the new administration includes a number Previous officials with a history of struggle for recognition and commemoration of this crime against humanity ".

During the meeting of the Foreign Relations Commission of the Senate, Senator Menendez said:

"I hope that your support on the Armenian genocide when you were a senator, also lent support by the elected President, will continue. You know that if we say never again, it will be necessary to recognize that as' increased so that we can move forward. And I hope you will be the advocate for us from where we were, and move forward to a recognition of this part of history that is universally recognized so that we can move forward in compliance. "

"I also wish, in this part of the world which is very important to me on the reunification of Cyprus, we have honest traders in the State Department, at the end of the day. One of them recognized that if the Greek and Turkish Cypriots could work with each other, they seek to establish a bizonal, bicommunal federation that could move forward, reuniting the island and end the militarization of incredible Island - the most militarized in the world per capita. So I hope you will consider these issues. I know that the positions you have taken as a senator and I support them. I hope they will not change drastically as you move into your new role. "

Secretary of State designate, Hillary Clinton responded: "Senator, we will look very closely at these questions and others with an eye to move and be effective to address those very legitimate concerns. "

Public Radio of Armenia
***
Gérard Merdjanian Translation - comments
We can only thank Senator Menedez for his perseverance.

The Turkish and Israeli lobbies certainly play their important role in the future negative vote on a resolution on the Armenian genocide.

It is hoped that the future U.S. administration, does not realpolitik at the expense of the values of justice and human rights. For once.
***
http://eafjd.eu/spip.php?


Reactions To The Conflict In Palestine And The Petition Of Apology To The Mosque Of Igdir 14 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Haci Huseyin Yesil Imam of the mosque Chaglar in the Turkish province of Igdir, condemned "Israeli aggression against Palestine and the petition of apology to the Armenians.

"Today Israel is killing innocent people and children in Palestine, showing his cruelty, while the West just quietly observe these atrocities," he said.

"At the same time, the Armenians who committed genocide in the same geographical area, are doing everything possible to reduce the Turkish people. Intellectuals call us to make excuses for Armenia. But in fact it is the Armenians who should make us an apology. We will never forget the genocide committed in Igdir and its suburbs and in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly "said Imam Yesil.

This is not the first time that it responds to the petition as an excuse. There are already 15 days during his sermon he said "Armenians have killed thousands of people in this region. Here you can find anyone who has no parent who does not suffer because of the torture of Armenians. " Affirming that the actions of the ASALA were clear, Huseyin Yesil said "those who should apologize are Armenians. Because it is possible to find traces of the massacres that have been made by Armenians in the region. This behavior false intellectuals saddens us deeply. We are the children of a generation that has suffered as a result of Armenian atrocities. The apology to Armenians who killed our grandfathers saddens us. "


George Bush Thanked Armenia 14 January 2009, by Virginia / armenews
Tuesday 13 January, the outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush thanked Armenia for its participation in the operation in Iraq.

"The willingness of the Armenian people to support the establishment and strengthening of democratic government in Iraq, despite great hardship, is a testament to their spirit strong. Armenians can be proud of their participation in the successful operation to help Iraq secure its liberty, "Bush said in a letter to President Serge Sarkissian, posted on its website.

"The United States looks forward to new cooperation with Armenia on other interests in the South Caucasus region and around the world," he added.

Armenia has deployed about 50 soldiers, military doctors and other non-combat personnel in Iraq in early 2005, despite security problems of the small Armenian community in this country torn by war. The deployment reflected increased military ties with the United States. Sarkisian visited Iraq in November 2006 when he was defense minister.


Intellectuals: Witnesses Of Their Own Era" by Mustafa Balbay 14 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Of the many definitions of "intellectual", here is one of my favorites: Intellectuals are the witnesses of the era in which they live.

The testimony of an era is not as easy as some may think. A real intellectual ferocity dessine with reality. Intellectuals are people who can say and write about the reality around them ...

There are many difficulties for intellectuals in countries like Turkey, at the crossroads of world events.

On the other hand, there are some people who think that being an intellectual means to be a part of world politics, instead of treating the facts of their time!

They started a petition with the following: "My conscience refuses insensitivity towards the huge disasters suffered Ottoman Armenians in 1915 and its negation. I reject this injustice, I share the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers and sisters and I ask forgiveness. "

The petition is projected to last one year, which gives the impression that it is part of a long-term, not short term.

Reading the petition, someone who is ignorant of history would have the impression that:

1. In 1915, only the Armenians suffered. This injustice must be repaired.

2. Since an apology is necessary, the Armenians, who were completely innocent, have experienced a great tragedy.

3. The Ottoman Empire was a State taking power and control all the events on its territory and entered the action only against the Armenians.

4. In this era and then, no other state has been strong enough to act against the Ottomans. The Ottomans were seen as a unique power.

5. The Republic of Turkey, the successor of the Ottoman state, dismissed all allegations, has not offered any information or documents on the events, has not opened its archives and either closed their ears.

But in fact, none of these perceptions is true:

1. 1915 saw the bloodiest battles of the First World War.

2. The Battle of the Dardanelles this year was a struggle for survival for the Ottomans during which they have only tried to defend himself.

3. Faced with this situation, the Ottoman Empire has taken a series of measures against the events in Anatolia, just as he defended himself in the Dardanelles.

4. When the British invaded istanbul, they searched every nook and crack in vain to find information or documents relating to a massacre against the Armenians. Archives English, American and Russian from this era are similarly silent.

5. In the years that followed, Turkey has proposed to leave the issue to historians and announced each time the archives are open to researchers.

Today, some people who do not care about healing ties between Ankara and Yerevan are working to act against Turkey in coalition with Armenians:

The recognition, compensation, land ...

First, the alleged genocide will be recognized ... While compensation is required and finally the land ...

It is the duty of intellectuals to reveal those facts ...

If someone needs to apologize for the events of 1915, the imperialist states of that time ...

Article published in the newspaper Cumhurriyet on 18 December 2008 Translation NAM


Former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel Reacts To The Petition As An Excuse 14 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
In an interview with the magazine Ekoenergy the 9th Turkish President Suleyman Demirel criticized the government policy against the separatist PKK and the petition of apology launched by a group of Turkish intellectuals for the genocide of 1915.

Evaluating the petition as an excuse, Suleyman Demirel said "what happened in 1915 was a war started and it was mutual."

Süleyman Demirel said, "Those who came in saying" I apologize "are apologies from whom? And why do they apologize? It is extremely wrong. And that is why Turkey has full reacts against this event. In fact you can tolerate such initiatives in democratic countries but it is extremely disturbing and unnecessary. "


Restitution Of Property Looted During The Genocide Of 1915 14 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Berzan Boti, a resident of the town of Siirt in Turkey's decision to let all its properties Seyfo Center, Research Center of the Assyrians. The properties consist of land and houses that belonged to the Assyrians before the genocide of 1915.

A year ago, Berzan Boti, came into contact with the Center Seyfo. In the letter he apologized for what happened in 1915 and stated desire to make properties. In his letter he said: "When I discovered that the properties that my brothers and I had inherited from our father was not ours, but the properties taken Assyrians murdered in 1915 I have a feeling Wind indescribable guilt and shame. I have long thought with difficulty before making a decision. I tried to put myself in position. I personally apologize to each and Armenian Assyrian I met. But this does not get rid of crime that our ancestors have committed. Although I am not personally responsible for what happened in 1915, I felt I had to do more than just an apology. Finally, I came to the decision to make all the properties that I inherited from my ancestors in the Seyfo Center, which fights for recognition of the genocide in 1915.

Berzan Boti has now signed a document saying that Sabri Atman, founder of the Seyfo Center, is responsible for the properties. Sabri Atman has received the letter and said that the action of Boti is honorable.

"It's a beginning and hope that others who have obtained property during the genocide taking their responsibility as Berzan Boti has done," said Sabri Atman.

For security reasons Berzan Boti has not given its true identity. The transfer of ownership at Seyfo Center will take place during a press conference in Sweden this spring.


Liberté Pour L'histoire - Report Of Activities 2008

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I do not want the end of January, 2009, to pass without communicating to you an assessment of our activities in the past year. On the whole it is positive. As you have possibly learned from articles in the press, the mobilization of Liberté pour l’Histoire, today across Europe (cf. Le Monde November 28, 2008) and our Appel de Blois (October 11, 2008), have allowed us to score the following decisive points:

1. The Parliamentary Mission of Information on Memorial Questions which had listened to numerous historians and jurists, among them our vice president, Françoise Chandernagor, and myself, decided that the National Assembly should cease enacting laws that designated as “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” (modern terms) events that took place in the past. The Mission, presided over by the President of the National Assembly himself, unanimously (thirty deputies representing all of the parties) reaffirmed that it was not the role of Parliament to write history. From now on, when members of Parliament wish to express their regrets or their compassion concerning an historical event it is recommended that they do so by “resolutions” which do not have the constraining power of law and that cannot result in judicial action.

(See the Rapport of the Mission « Rassembler la Nation autour d’une mémoire partagée » www.assemblee-nationale.fr.)

2. The government has decided against sending to the Senate the second proposal of the law concerning the “Armenian Genocide” voted at the end of 2006 by the National Assembly. In light of the arguments presented by our association and the conclusions of the Parliamentary Mission, the government no longer seeks to apply to the law on the “Armenian Genocide” of 1915 the penal sanctions envisioned by the “loi Gayssot” of 1990 concerning the nazi’s crimes. The law of 2001 on Armenia is retained, but it does not forbid debate.

3. Before the menace of a European framework-decision concerning the “fight against certain forms of racism by means of penal law,” Liberté pour l’Histoire, on the occasion of the Rendez-vous de l’Histoire de Blois, October 10-11, launched an appeal published by Le Monde and echoed by the major European newspapers. As of today, we have received more than 1,100 signatures representing the collectivity of historians. We have published the list in the form of a full-page advertisement in Le Monde on November 28. On the same day this framework-decision was signed in Brussels. However, France has opted for a minimalist approach suggested by Liberté pour L’Histoire: the new crime, very general, established by this framework-decision (crime of “banalization” and of “complicity in banalization” of all war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocides”) only concerns those crimes previously qualified as such by an international tribunal. This allows, in practice:

a) To reserve the application of this new charge to contemporary crimes, the only ones susceptible, in fact, to being adjudicated either by an ad hoc international tribunal or by the new International Criminal Court.

b) To avoid retroactive and automatic penalization of all “historical laws” already adopted by our Parliament.

Certainly it would have been even more preferable, both for scholars of the contemporary period and for future historians, to avoid any further criminalization of opinions or in the canonization of any judgement, but this framework-decision, proposed by the French government since 2001, had already been adopted by the Counsel of Ministers of the European Union and voted by the Parliament of Strasbourg when we became aware of it. At least, by prompting them to make the issues more precise, we have avoided the worst case scenario, that a historian, for example, could be brought before a court for having “minimized” and “contextualized” the massacre of the Angevins in the Sicilian Vespers of 1282…

4. Concerning the intervention of Parliament in educational programs, a public exchange of letters took place between Xavier Darcos, Minister of National Education, and myself (see the letter on the Web site of Liberté pour l’Histoire.) The report of the Accoyer Parliamentary Mission clearly confirmed the decision that had been taken by the Constitutional Council on January 31, 2006, removing article 4 of the law of February 23, 2005 concerning the recognition by educational programs of the positive role of the French Presence in the Outre-mer. “It must be clear for all,” the Accoyer report affirmed, “that the Parliament must not exceed the realm of law by prescribing the content of history syllabi.”

Not withstanding these successes we must remain vigilant:

— First, because we must carefully follow the elaboration of future texts (the European framework-decision must be “transposed” by our Parliament within two years) as well as the evolution of the jurisprudence of courts.

— Next, because nothing prevents our Parliament, which has for the moment returned to its senses, to come back at any time to its earlier errors.

— Finally, because, in light of the recent reform of the Constitution, the Constitutional Council might have to pronounce, in the months to come, on the memorial laws that have already been enacted.

Liberté pour l’Histoire must, more than ever, remain an active interlocutor with the public authorities. In this spirit a meeting has already been set for January with Claude Guéant, (General Secretary of the Elysée), Henri Guaino (Special Counselor for the President of the Republic) and Jean-Louis Debré (President of the Constitutional Counsel).

We urge you thus to join, to rejoin, and to encourage others to join. For our international friends who belong to the European Union France established that, for the framework-decision adopted November 28, 2008 concerning the “fight against certain forms of racism and xenophobia” the option deadline offered to title 1 paragraph 4 remains, contrary to the project of the initial text, open for two years.

This certainly means that the 27 countries of the European Union that are signatories to the framework-decision are already obligated to have in their laws the equivalent to our “loi Gayssot” of 1990 concerning nazi’s crimes (or of the similar German law), and even a bit more: penal sanctions extended to three years in prison for all attempts at “banalization” or “complicity in banalization” of war crimes and crimes against humanity adjudicated up to 1945 by the Nuremberg Tribunal (article one, paragraph one, line d).

On the other hand, it remains possible, thanks to the option, to limit, for all other collective crimes committed in the course of history, penal sanctions incurred by possible commentators to only those “war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocides” recognized as such by an international criminal court (in other words, “contemporary crimes”).

It is necessary and sufficient that a government requires to exercise the option envisioned by article 1, paragraph 4, of the framework-decision, an option that the French government, alerted by Liberté pour l’Histoire, has exercised at our request and that, as of the present, is the only government to have so acted.

Since this option remains open to all states until November, 2010, it would be good if you would encourage your government (Minister of Foreign or European affairs and Parliament) to exercise this option with the Brussels authorities. The option is exercised in the form of a declaration, the text of which is as follows: “[this country] declares, in conformity with article 1, paragraph 4, that it will not make punishable the negation or gross banalization of the crimes addressed in paragraph 1, points c) and d) unless these crimes have been established by a definitive decision issued by a national court and an international court.”

It is true that the “residual” penalization which remains, even after the exercise of the option, may trouble future historians, who will not be allowed to criticize either judgments of various international ad hoc tribunals created during the past fifty years or those of the International Criminal Court that has recently been established. Any reconsideration of the facts that these courts have considered as proven could result in the criminal sanctions envisioned by the European text. However, contemporary historians will not be hindered in the pursuit of their research and in the expression of their opinions on the more distant past (the Crusades, for example): this is the lesser evil.

The future will require great vigilance because if the framework-decision which has just been adopted only concerns the “banalization” of collective crimes committed for reasons of racism, xenophobia, or religion (when these latter are focused on an ethnic minority), certain states of the European Union have again requested similar legislation condemning the “banalization” of collective crimes committed for political reasons by totalitarian regimes; in particular this is aimed at crimes of communist regimes in certain countries of the Union (especially the Baltic states). The Council of European Ministers has already invited the Commission to hold public hearings on these crimes and to examine, within two years, the possibility of the adoption of a second framework-decision.

In the intermediate term one cannot thus exclude:

— On the one hand, an extension of the European law to crimes committed for religious reasons without any “ethnic” connotation (the European wars of religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries or the Irish problems could be included).

— On the other hand, an extension to political crimes committed in the past (without statute of limitations) by a totalitarian regime.

If one is not careful, what margin of discussion and evaluation will remain to the historian who will soon be accused, concerning any crime that our contemporary society condemns, of “relativism,” “contextualization,” “comparativism,” or “complicity in banalization”?

*
In the name of the Association Liberté pour l’Histoire, I send you my best wishes for the new year.

Pierre Nora, President of Liberté pour l’Histoire, January 12, 2009.





Appel De Blois (English Version) www.lph-asso.fr/actualites/42.html

In order to approve the "Appel de Blois", send an e-mail to contact at lph-asso.fr, give your first and last names and write "read and approved". Everyone is entitled to give its signature. Academics should add their university and others their residency.

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

First signatories : AABELVIK Hanne-Guro, Oslo (SE) · ABAJO VEGA Noemi, Barcelone (ES) · ABBATTISTA Guido, Trieste (IT) · ABBÈS Anne (FR) · ABBOTT Steve (GB) · ABEL Burkhard, Osthofen (DE) · ACCORNERO Cristina, Turin (IT) · AGBAZAHOU Christel, Blagnac (FR) · AGRIANTONI Christine, Volos (GR) · AGULHON Maurice, Villeneuve-les-Avignon (FR) · AKGÜRBÜZ Cemal Engin, L’Horme (FR) · ALARY Éric, La Croix-en-Touraine (FR) · ALBERTI Elisabetta, Massagno (CH) · ALDEBERT Jacques, Vanves (FR) · ALDERMAN Geoffrey, Buckingham (GB) · ALEXANDRE Françoise, Paris (FR) · ALLAIN Jean-Claude, Paris (FR) · ALLAIRE Jean-Marie, Rennes (FR) · ALLCOCK Matthew (GB) · ALLEN Andrew, San Francisco (US) · ALLIES Paul, Montpellier (FR) · ALPTEKIN K. Ekim, Ankara (TR) · ALVAREZ DO BARRIO Manuel, Alicante (ES) · ÁLVAREZ JIMÉNEZ David, Madrid (ES) · AMIEL Pierrette, Pantin (FR) · AMORETTI Francesco, Salerne (IT) · ANDERSON Gordon, Glasgow (GB) · ANDREAU Jean, Paris (FR) · ANDREUX Jean-Émile, Jérusalem (IL) · ANGRÉMY Jean-Pierre, Paris (FR) · ANGUSTURES Anne, Paris (FR) · APPETECCHIA Ilaria, Rome (IT) · ARMAROLI Andrea, Modène (IT) · ARNAUD Patrice, Paris (FR) · ARREDONDO Jaime, Houston (US) · ASSERETO Giovanni, Gênes (IT) · ASSMANN Aleida, Constance (DE) · ASSMANN Jan, Heidelberg (DE) · ATAUZ Devrim, Houston (US) · AUDOUSSET Sophie, Paris (FR) · AURELL Martin, Poitiers (FR) · AYA Ukru, Istanbul (TR) · AYGEN Zeyno, Rockville (US) · AZÉMA Jean-Pierre, Paris (FR) · BABÈS Leïla, Lille (FR) · BACCON Suzanne, Vendôme (FR) · BACKERRA Manfred, Hambourg (DE) · BADINTER Élisabeth, Paris (FR) · BÄHRE Klaas, Hanovre (DE) · BAIADA Luca, Rome (IT) · BARACCA Pierre, Lille (FR) · BARBERON Martine et Michel, Tours (FR) · BARBIER Elsa, Chatou (FR) · BARBLAN Marc Antonio, Genève (CH) · BARDOT Christian, Sceaux (FR) · BARNAVI Élie, Tel Aviv (IL) · BARRET Christophe, Paris (FR) · BARROCHE Julien, Paris (FR) · BARROS Oscar, Santander (ES) · BARTHÉLEMY Dominique, Paris (FR) · BASKERVILLE Geoffrey (GB) · BASSETS Lluc, Llagostera (ES) · BASTOGY Gilles, Paris (FR) · BATTLE Max, Oxford (GB) · BAUMLER Alan, Keith (US) · BAUR Georges, Bruxelles (BE) · BEAUFORT Reynald, Reims (FR) · BECKER David, Sumy (UA) · BECKER Jean-Jacques, Paris (FR) · BEGOT Danielle, Fort-de-France (FR) · BÈGUE Michelle, Montpellier (FR) · BELALA Monika, Paris (FR) · BEN M'BAREK Khaled, Besançon (FR) · BENAITEAU Michèle, Naples (IT) · BEN-AMOS Avner, Omer (IL) · BENDER Ryszard, Lublin (PL) · BENNASAR Bartolomé, Toulouse (FR) · BENTLEY Jerry H., Honolulu (US) · BERELOWITCH Wladimir, Paris (FR) · BERGER Gérard, Saint-Étienne (FR) · BERGÈS Michel, Bordeaux (FR) · BERGVELT Ellinoor, Amsterdam (NL) · BERKTAY Halil, Istanbul (TR) · BERMAN Franklin (GB) · BERTHOD Laurent, Villeurbanne (FR) · BERTIN Cécile, Nantes (FR) · BERTIN Sandrine, Bruxelles (BE) · BERTON Mathias, La Roche-sur-Yon (FR) · BERTRAM Günter, Hambourg (DE) · BERTRAND Christiane, Blois (FR) · BERTRAND Jean-Marie, Paris (FR) · BERTRAND Mickaël, Dijon (FR) · BESSON Hugo, Aubervilliers (FR) · BEYLAU Pierre, Paris (FR) · BEZIAS Jean-Rémy, Nice (FR) · BÉZIAU Loïc, Béziers (FR) · BIANCO Lucien, Dauphin (FR) · BIAO Yang, Shanghai (CN) · BIGOTTE Samuel, Issy-les-Moulineaux (FR) · BILE Federico, Annunziata (IT) · BILLARD Hugo, Meaux (FR) · BIMBENET Jérôme, Le Raincy (FR) · BIZRI Hala, Beyrouth (LB) · BLACHÈRE Camille, Lyon (FR) · BLACK John, Londres (GB) · BLANCHARD Pascal, Marseille (FR) · BLOCKMANS Wim, Wassenaar (NL) · BLOFELD Piers, Londres (GB) · BLOM Philipp, Vienne (AT) · BLUSSÉ Leonard, Leyde (NL) · BOGAERT Brenda (GB) · BOISSEL Isabelle, Taverny (FR) · BOISSELLIER Stéphane, Blois (FR) · BOLOGNE Jean-Claude, Paris (FR) · BOMPRESSI Ovidio, Massa (IT) · BONNET Jean-pierre, Poitiers (FR) · BORDES François, Paris (FR) · BORRELLI Antonio, Venise (IT) · BØRRESEN Jacob (NO) · BOSSHART Ruedi, Zurich (CH) · BOSSIS Mireille et Philippe, Paris (FR) · BOTZ Gerhard, Vienne (AT) · BOULIGAUD Françoise, Roanne (FR) · BOURDELAIS Patrice, Paris (FR) · BOURGON Jérôme, Lyon (FR) · BOUSQUET-LABOUÉRIE Christine, Tours (FR) · BOWERS Anthony, Huddersfield (GB) · BOYER Michel, Lussas (FR) · BRACHET Jean-Paul, Paris (FR) · BRADDELL Jocelyn, Dublin (IE) · BRANCACCIO Maria Teresa, Amsterdam (NL) · BRAUMAN Rony, Paris (FR) · BRAZZODURO Andrea, Rome (IT) · BRICE Catherine, Paris (FR) · BRIQUEL CHATONNET Françoise, Paris (FR) · BRIZAY François, Angers (FR) · BRÖMER Rainer, Mayence (DE) · BROUGH Douglas, Ashford (GB) · BROWN Martin D., Londres (GB) · BROWN Sheryl J., Liberty (US) · BRUHIERE Monique, Saint-Rémy (FR) · BRUHNS Hinnerk, Paris (FR) · BRÜLL Christoph, Eupen (BE) · BRUMONT Francis, Magnan (FR) · BRUN Jean-François, Saint-Étienne (FR) · BRUNI Lorenzo, Pérouse (IT) · BRUNNER Rainer, 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(GB) · HARRIS Keiren (GB) · HARRISON Noel (GB) · HARTOG François, Paris (FR) · HASENOHR Geneviève, Paris (FR) · HAUREZ Rosemonde, Paris (FR) · HAYAERT Valérie, Tunis (TN) · HAYAT Jeannine, Paris (FR) · HAYDN JONES Chris et Jan (GB) · HAYNES John Earl, Kensington (US) · HECHT Carmen Rebecca (DE) · HEINTZ Robert, Vincennes (FR) · HENNE Thomas, Tokyo (JP) · HENRY Maryvonne, Boulogne-Billancourt (FR) · HERMAN Jacques, Pully (CH) · HERUCOVA Angelika, Bratislava (SK) · HIERONIMUS Marc, Amiens (FR) · HIGGINS Ronald, Hereford (FR) · HOBSBAWM Eric, Londres (GB) · HÖCHST Michael, Hambourg (DE) · HOCQ Christian, Bullion (FR) · HÖRNLA Christian, Dorsten (DE) · HUBBARD William H., Haugesund (NO) · HUIBAN Patrice, Saint-Germain-en-Laye (FR) · HUIJSMAN Ronald, Delft (NL) · HUNT Lynn, Los Angeles (US) · HUSSON Benoît, Rosny-sous-Bois (FR) · IACHELLO Enrico, Catane (IT) · IDRISSI Mostafa Hassani, Rabat (MA) · IEVA Frédéric, Turin (IT) · IOGNA-PRAT Dominique, Paris (FR) · IPSEN Gabriele, Stuttgart (DE) · JACQMIN Claire, Tokyo (JP) · JACQUIN Christian, Nevers (FR) · JAMIN DE CAPUA Barbara, Levallois-Perret (FR) · JANSON Henrik, Göteborg (SE) · JASKOWIAK Alexis, Valenciennes (FR) · JAUME Lucien, Pantin (FR) · JEAN-MARIE Laurence, Caen (FR) · JEANNENEY Jean-Noël, Paris (FR) · JESTAZ Étienne, Mandelieu-La-Napoule (FR) · JEWSIEWICKI Bogumil, Québec (CA) · JIMENES Rémi, Tours (FR) · JOBBINS Bob (GB) · JOHANNSEN Joerg, Flensburg (DE) · JONAS David G. (GB) · JONES Steve (GB) · JORIOT Philippe, Gap (FR) · JOUVE Dominique, Rouziers-de-Touraine (FR) · JULLIARD Jacques, Paris (FR) · JUNYENT SÁNCHEZ Emili, Lérida (ES) · JUPEAU REQUILLARD Françoise, Vincennes (FR) · KAESS Élisabeth, Strasbourg (FR) · KALINDE Antoinette, Genève (CH) · KALUS Ludvik, Paris (FR) · KARTHÄUSER Michael, Recht (BE) · KAUFFMANN Grégoire, Paris (FR) · KAZANCIGIL Ali, Paris (FR) · KERR Charles J., Independence (US) · KESSEL (van) Tamara, Amsterdam (NL) · KESSLER Christian, Tokyo (JP) · KHAPAEVA Dina R., Saint-Pétersbourg (RU) · KIMBER Richard A., Saint Andrews (GB) · KIMOURTZIS Panayotis, Rhodes (GR) · KINDO Yann, Privas (FR) · KINKELIN Konrad, Villeurbanne (FR) · KIWITT Eckhardt, Munich (DE) · KLEIN Jean-François, Paris (FR) · KLINKHAMMER Svein, Trondheim (NO) · KNÖRIG Rüdiger, Berlin (DE) · KOCHANEK Joseph (FR) · KOESSLER Thierry, Reims (FR) · KOKKINOS Georges, Rhodes (GR) · KOPOSSOV Nikolaï, Saint-Pétersbourg (RU) · KOSOWSKI Therese, Wiesbaden (DE) · KOULOURI Christina, Corinthe (GR) · KRAKOVITCH Odile, Garches (FR) · KREIS Georg, Bâle (CH) · KRIEG-PLANQUE Alice, Paris (FR) · KUBLER Anne, Paris (FR) · KUNNAS Tarmo, Helsinki (FI) · LABORIE Pierre, Paris (FR) · LACHAISE Bernard, Talence (FR) · LAHIRE Bernard, Lyon (FR) · LALANDE Nicolas, Pau (FR) · LAMAZOU-DUPLAN Véronique, Pau (FR) · LAMBIN Jean-Michel, Genech (FR) · LAMOTHE Mathilde, Pau (FR) · LANCEL Juliette, Cachan (FR) · LANDRY-DERON Isabelle, Paris (FR) · LANDSMANN Ingo, Münster (DE) · LASPOUGEAS Jean, Troarn (FR) · LATOSI Didier, La Terrasse (FR) · LAURENT Élisabeth, Foix (FR) · LAVILLE Christian, Québec (CA) · LAVIN Marie, Nogent-sur-Marne (FR) · LAVOISY Pierre, Rumegies (FR) · LE FUR Yannick, Versailles (FR) · LE GALVIC Patrick, Saint-Denis (FR) · LE GOFF Jacques, Paris (FR) · LE GOFF Jean-Pierre, Chatou (FR) · LE POURHIET Anne-Marie, Paris (FR) · LE QUANG Grégoire, Lyon (FR) · LE RU Laetitia, Perrigny (FR) · LEBOE Jason P., Winnipeg (CA) · LEBRETON Jean-Claude, Cellettes (FR) · LECAILLON Jean-François, Paris (FR) · LECLANT Jean, Paris (FR) · LECLERE T. (FR) · LECUIR Jean, Toulouse (FR) · LEDDA Michele, Leeds (GB) · LEFEUVRE Daniel, Saint-Denis (FR) · LEGENNE Guillemette, Marseille (FR) · LEHERISSEL François, Saint-Maur (FR) · LELEUX Marie-claude, Sèvres (FR) · LEMAIRE André, Paris (FR) · LEMONDE-SANTAMARIA Anne, Saint-Vincent-de-Mercuze (FR) · LEMONIDOU Elli, Rhodes (GR) · LENA Mathieu, Lorient (FR) · LERCH Dominique, Vincennes (FR) · LERESCU Nick, Glenwood (US) · LESAGE Sylvain, Guyancourt (FR) · LETERRIER Sophie, Arras (FR) · LEWIS Brian, Montréal (CA) · LEWY Guenter, Washington (US) · LEYMARIE Michel, Lille (FR) · L'HÉRITIER Michel, Besançon (FR) · LIAKOS Antonis, Athènes (GR) · LIÉBERT Georges, Paris (FR) · LIEVEN Anatol, Washington (US) · LINDEPERG Sylvie, Paris (FR) · LINDLEY Clive, Monmouth (GB) · LINNEBANK Geert, Londres (GB) · LØKHOLM Sigurd, Haslum (NO) · LOSONCZY Anne-Marie, Paris (FR) · LOUBET DEL BAYLE Jean-louis, Colomiers (FR) · LUCIANO Persico, Crémone (IT) · LÜDEMANN Gerd, Göttingen (DE) · LUIS Jean-Philippe, Clermont-Ferrand (FR) · LUKOWSKI Jerzy, Birmingham (GB) · LYTTELTON Adrian, Bologne (IT) · MADSEN Roar, Trondheim (NO) · MÄGER Mart (EE) · MAIER Charles S., Cambridge (US) · MAILLARD Christophe, Besançon (FR) · MAIRE Catherine, Paris (FR) · MAJOR Peter, Budapest (HU) · MALANIMA Paolo, Naples (IT) · MALOSSE Pierre-Louis, Mauguio (FR) · MANDIL François, Pontarlier (FR) · MANEUVRIER Christophe, Caen (FR) · MANTERO Rafael Sánchez, Séville (ES) · MARAVAL Pierre, Paris (FR) · MARCO Jorge, Madrid (ES) · MARCONIS Robert, Ramonville-Saint-Agne (FR) · MARESCALCHI Maria Laura, Bologne (IT) · MARINA Sellia, Cessaniti (IT) · MARMO Marcella, Naples (IT) · MARRUS Michael R., Toronto (CA) · MARTIN Michèle, Montreuil (FR) · MARTINA Giancarlo L., Udine (IT) · MARTÍNEZ GONZALO Pilar (ES) · MARTÍNEZ MORENO Vicente (ES) · MARTOIRE Jeanne-Laure, Lyon (FR) · MARTZ Jean-Patrick, Villeurbanne (FR) · MARUEJOL Florence, Paris (FR) · MASON Simon, Petersfield (GB) · MASTROGREGORI Massimo, Rome (IT) · MATEOS Abdón, Barcelone (ES) · MATHER Charles (rev.), Gloucester (GB) · MATHIEU Amélie, Lyon (FR) · MAURICIO IGLESIAS Miguel, Montpellier (FR) · MAURO Manno, Rome (IT) · MAURY François, Orléans (FR) · MAYALL J. B. L., Cambridge (GB) · MAZEL Florian, Rennes (FR) · MAZOYER Camille, Sante Fe de Bogota (CO) · MAZZINI Elena, Pise (IT) · MCCAIG Donald, Williamsville (US) · MCINTYRE Andrew (GB) · MCKAY Bob, Séoul (KR) · MÉDARD Madeleine, Autun (FR) · MEDRI Guido, Bologne (IT) · MELANDRI Pierre, Paris (FR) · MENESES CASTAÑEDA Zenobia, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (ES) · MERIGGI Maria Grazia, Bergame (IT) · MERSI Stefano, Genève (CH) · MESSICK Melissa, Cadix (ES) · MESSNER Claudius, Lecce (IT) · MIAS Claude, Paris (FR) · MICCOLI Luisa et Giovanni, Trieste (IT) · MICHAUX Madeleine, Nevers (FR) · MIDDELL Matthias, Leipzig (DE) · MIGONI Riccardo, Capoterra (IT) · MIKULSKI Krzysztof, Torun (PL) · MILDT (de) Dick, Amsterdam (NL · MILLER Scott C., Boulder (US) · MILLIGAN Don, Manchester (GB) · MILLOT Jean-Paul, Nevers (FR) · MILZA Pierre, Paris (FR) · MINK Georges, Nanterre (FR) · MINNITI Fortunato, Rome (IT) · MIRANDA Cándido, Ponte Vedra (ES) · MISTRAL Madeleine, Grand-Saconnex (CH) · MITTEAU Anne (FR) · MODZELEWSKI Karol, Varsovie (PL) · MOISL Hermann, Newcastle (GB) · MOMBELLI Mirella, Rome (IT) · MONIOT Henri, Paris (FR) · MONNERAT Sandrine, Berne (CH) · MONTCHALIN (de) Véronique, Chartres (FR) · MOORE Edwin, Glasgow (GB) · MORAT Daniel, Berlin (DE) · MOREAU Mickaël, Bonneville (FR) · MORENO CHÁVEZ José Alberto, Mexico City (MX) · MORO Francesco, Cuneo (IT) · MOSTARDINI Andrea, Rome (IT) · MOTIKA Raoul, Hambourg (DE) · MOUGIN Françoise, Paris (FR) · MOUHOT Jean-Francois, Birmingham (GB) · MOUT Nicolette, Leyde (NL) · MUHAJIR Umair Ahmed (GB) · MÜLLER Klaus-Jürgen, Hambourg (DE) · MUNS Maarten, Diemen (DE) · MURDOCH Iain, Warwickshire (GB) · MURGESCU Mirela Luminit,a, Bucarest (RO) · MURRAY Peter, Maynooth (IE) · MUSALLAM Adnan, Bethléem (Cis-JO) · NANICHE Claudette, Igny (FR) · NASRA Mostefa, Échirolles (FR) · NAVEH Eyal, Tel Aviv (IL) · NEANDER Joachim, Cracovie (PL) · NERSESSIAN Vrej, Londres (GB) · NEVEU Valérie, Angers (FR) · NICHOLLS A. J., Oxford (GB) · NIEUWOUDT Egbert, Stellenbosch (ZA) · NIHAT Ali, Oxford (GB) · NIJHUIS Ton, Amsterdam (NL) · NIKEL Séverine, Paris (FR) · NILSSON Sara Ellis, Göteborg (SE) · NORA Pierre, Paris (FR) · NOTARI Matteo, Neggio (CH) · NOYON Joël, Mâcon (FR) · OLIVA Vincenzo, Rome (IT) · OLOFSSON Magnus, Lund (SE) · ORAN Baskin, Ankara (TR) · ORAN-MARTZ Sirma, Villeurbanne (FR) · ORY Pascal, Chartres (FR) · OUSTLANT Jean-luc, Plaisir (FR) · OVREVIK Bjorn Oystein, Horten (NO) · OWENS Dr. (GB) · OZOUF Mona, Paris (FR) · ÖZTÜRK Erkan Can, Levallois-Perret (FR) · PAGANO Emanuele (FR) · PAILLETTE Céline, Paris (FR) · PAINTING Brian, Reading (GB) · PALM Lennart Andersson, Göteborg (SE) · PARCOLLET Dominique, Paris (FR) · PARKS Michael, Los Angeles (US) · PARRAD Sylvie, Essômes-sur-Marne (FR) · PARVÉRIE Marc, Saint-Augustin (FR) · PASCHEN Joachim, Hambourg (DE) · PAUL Jean-Louis, Dinan (FR) · PÉAN Pierre, Bouffémont (FR) · PEARCE Martin (GB) · PECHA-SOULEZ Michel, Chanzeaux (FR) · PEIRANI Nicolas (IT) · PELAT Mathieu, La Réunion (FR) · PÉRARD Alain, Draveil (FR) · PÉREZ Joseph, Bordeaux (FR) · PERIN-DUREAU Michel-Philippe, Châteauneuf-sur-Isère (FR) · PERRIER Éléonore, Grenoble (FR) · PERRIN Pascale, Bruxelles (BE) · PERROT Jean-Claude, Paris (FR) · PERVILLÉ Guy, Toulouse (FR) · PETOT Françoise, Antony (FR) · PÉTRÉ-GRENOUILLEAU Olivier, Paris (FR) · PETROVIC Vladimir, Skopje (MK) · PEUSCH Marc, Wasserbillig (LU) · PEZZI Teresitta, Ravenne (IT) · PEZZINO Paolo, Pise (IT) · PFEIL Ulrich, Paris (FR) · PFUETZNER Andreas, Salzburg (AT) · PHAM Karine, La Corogne (ES) · PICARD Christophe, Paris (FR) · PIKETTY Guillaume, Bourg-la-Reine (FR) · PISA Michele, Hamilton (CA) · POLLMANN Judith, Leyde (NL) · POMIAN Krzysztof, Paris (FR) · PONDARD Aude, Paris (FR) · PORTEVIN Jacques, Levallois-Perret (FR) · POTEKHIN Dmytro (FR) · POUILLON François, Paris (FR) · PRAT André (FR) · PRAUSER Steffen, Birmingham (GB) · PREVEDEL Michael, Centennial (US) · PRODI Paolo, Bologne (IT) · PROST Antoine, Paris (FR) · PUENTE RUBIO Dimas, Guadalajara (ES) · PUISEUX Hélène, Paris (FR) · PUISSANT Jean, Bruxelles (BE) · PULT Anna Maria, Pise (IT) · PURSEIGLE Pierre, Birmingham (GB) · QUENTIN Bernadette, Évreux (FR) · QUINSAT Françoise, Lille (FR) · QUINTANA-PAZ Miguel Angel (ES) · RACHET Sylvie, Paris (FR) · RAPOPORT Michel, Paris (FR) · RAYTCHEVA Lilia, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (FR) · READ Piers Paul, Londres (GB) · REDIGOLO Stefano, Venise (IT) · REGOURD François, Massy (FR) · REID David (FR) · REISINGER Craig M. (GB) · REMY Sylvie, Paris (FR) · RENDERS Hans, Amsterdam (NL) · RENE-BAZIN Paule, Meudon (FR) · RENONCIAT Annie, Paris (FR) · REPOUSSI Maria, Thessalonique (GR) · REVEL Jacques, Paris (FR) · RICHARD Gilles, Tours (FR) · RINDONE Elio, Rome (IT) · RIVARD Robert Leon, Amherst (US) · ROBIN Jacques (FR) · RODOLPHE François, Jouy-en-Josas (FR) · RODRIGO Javier, Saragosse (ES) · ROGER Liliane, Loudéac (FR) · ROMAN Alain, Saint-Malo (FR) · ROMANO Sergio, Milan (IT) · RONCUZZI Giovanni, Ravenne (IT) · ROSE Jonathan, Madison (US) · ROSSELLÓ Alex Homar, Barcelone (ES) · ROSSI Paolo, Florence (IT) · ROUAULT Rémi, Caen (FR) · ROUDINESCO Élisabeth, Paris (FR) · ROUGIER Hélène, Lyon (FR) · ROUSSEAU Paul, Paris (FR) · ROUSSELIN Paul, Caen (FR) · ROUSSO Henry, Paris (FR) · ROUVEURE Adine, Lyon (FR) · ROUX Jean-Pierre, Grenoble (FR) · RUIZ-MANJÓN Octavio, Madrid (ES) · RUMBLE Greville, Nutley (GB) · RUMIN Fanch, Saint-Nazaire (FR) · SABINE Mark, Nottingham (GB) · SABY Pierre, Lyon (FR) · SAGER Alain, Nogent-sur-Oise (FR) · SAGNER Pavel (CZ) · SAINT-ROBERT (de) Philippe, Paris (FR) · SALACHAS Jasmine, Paris (FR) · SALAMITO Jean-Marie, Paris (FR) · SALOMONI Antonella, Bologne (IT) · SALVATORI Olivier, Paris (FR) · SALVUCCI Richard, San Antonio (US) · SANTAMARIA Yves, Grenoble (FR) · SANTIN Nathalie, Caen (FR) · SANTOMAURO Michael (GB) · SÁPI Géza, Francfort-sur-l’Oder (DE) · SARAGAT Maria Pia, Rimini (IT) · SARRAZIN Franck, Paris (FR) · SARTRE Maurice, Chambray-lès-Tours (FR) · SAURÍ MERCADER Francisco Manuel (ES) · SAUTEREAU Manuelle, Le Havre (FR) · SAYAG Yves, Montalcino (IT) · SCHEBEN Thomas, Francfort-sur-le-Main (DE) · SCHILLER Ben, East Anglia (GB) · SCHILLING Robert, Montpellier (FR) · SCHMIDT Dieter, Berlin (DE) · SCHOETTLER Peter, Paris (FR) · SCHWARCK Christian, Oxon (GB) · SCHWARTZ Annie, Bailly (FR) · SÉCAIL Claire, Paris (GB) · SELLIER Geneviève, Paris (FR) · SELVA Anne, Salon-de-Provence (FR) · SENARD-BLOCH Catherine, Gif-sur-Yvette (FR) · SÉRANDOUR Arnaud, Paris (FR) · SERRIER Thomas, Francfort-sur-l’Oder (DE) · SHELDON Richard, Bristol (GB) · SHEPPARD Gordon J., Londres (GB) · SINEUX Pierre, Caen (FR) · SLOSS Colin (GB) · SMITH Richard (GB) · SOCRATE Francesca, Rome (IT) · SORENSEN Oystein, Oslo (NO) · SOTINEL Claire, Paris (FR) · SOUBBOTNIK Michael A., Paris (FR) · SOULEZ-LARIVIERE Daniel, Paris (FR) · SOURICE François-Xavier, Franqueville-Saint-Pierre (FR) · SOUYRI Pierre-François, Genève (CH) · SPAGNOLO Carlo, Bari (IT) · SPRENGER Scott, Provo (US) · STALLMAN Richard M., Cambridge (US) · STANO Vito, Bari (IT) · STEINBERG Thomas Immanuel, Hambourg (DE) · STENHOLM Markku, Kotka (FI) · STILES Dean, Douvres (GB) · STOLS Eddy, Herent (BE) · STOLZ Peter, Berlin (DE) · STONE Roger (FR) · STORA Frank, Paris (FR) · STOUDER Paul, Grosrouvre (FR) · STOUFFS Nadia et Jacques (CH) · STRAZZA Michele (IT) · STROUMSA Guy G., Jérusalem (IL) · SUMPTION Jonathan, Londres (GB) · SUSSEL Philippe, Paris (FR) · TAMAS Gergely, Budapest (HU) · TEGÜN Bülent, Istanbul (TR) · TEULINGS Jasper, Amsterdam (NL) · TEYSSÈDRE-JULLIAN Emily, Le Monastère (FR) · THESEN Rainer, Nuremberg (DE) · THEVENET Anne-Marie, Niort (FR) · THOMAS David, Londres (GB) · THOMPSON Peter, Wahroonga (AU) · THONGNAM Somchai, Bangkok (TH) · TIBERTO Franca, Lugano (CH) · TILLMAN Christian, Leamington Spa (GB) · TINTORÉ Natalia, Paris (FR) · TISON Hubert, Paris (FR) · TORRI Michelguglielmo, Turin (IT) · TOUREAUX Guy, Sarzeau (FR) · TOURNÈS Ludovic, Cachan (FR) · TOURON Émilie, Labastide-Cézéracq (FR) · TOUZALIN Marie-Hélène, Paris (FR) · TRAVERSO Enzo, Paris (FR) · TROISI SPAGNOLI Giovanna, Paris (FR) · TRYZNA Nicolas, Thiais (FR) · TÜRKOĞLU Didem, Istanbul (TR) · TURREL Denise, Paris (FR) · TUTIAUX-GUILLON Nicole, Arras (FR) · VAAGLAND Odd (NO) · VABRE Sylvie, Toulouse (FR) · VAÏSSE Maurice, Paris (FR) · VALAT Bruno, Albi (FR) · VALGE Jaak, Viljandi (EE) · VALLEJO Luisa, Madrid (ES) · VALLS MONTÉS Rafael, Valence (ES) · VAN BOXTEL Carla, Rotterdam (NL) · VAN DER LEEUW-ROORD Joke, La Haye (NL) · VAN TORHOUDT Éric, Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives (FR) · VANKOVSKA Biljana, Skopje (MK) · VATTA Antonio, Gênes (IT) · VEINSTEIN Gilles, Paris (FR) · VELDE Henk te, Leyde (NL) · VELLUT Jean-Luc, Louvain-la-Neuve (BE) · VERCLYTTE Thomas, Nîmes (FR) · VERDES-LEROUX Jeannine, Paris (FR) · VERGE-FRANCESCHI Michel, Tours (FR) · VERGEZ-CHAIGNON Bénédicte, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (FR) · VERGNON Gilles, Valence (FR) · VERLEY Patrick, Genève (CH) · VERSINI Alain, Paris (FR) · VEYNE Paul, Bédoin (FR) · VIAL Éric, Paris (FR) · VICENTINI Claudio, Naples (IT) · VIENNOT Anne-Catherine, Le Havre (FR) · VIGNAUX Michèle, Paris (FR) · VILLAPADIERNA Ramiro, Berlin (DE) · VILLE Sébastien, Budapest (HU) · VINATIER Jean, Paris (FR) · VINCENT Catherine, Paris (FR) · VIOLLET Christian, Orléans (FR) · VIRET Jérôme, Caen (FR) · VODISEK David, Volmerange (FR) · VOGT Michael, Elbingen (DE) · VOIRON Philippe, Châtenay-Malabry (FR) · VOLPATO Sébastien, Nogentel (FR) · VUILLEMIN Alain, Vincennes (FR) · WALKER Roger, Paris (FR) · WALKER Syd, Kuranda (AU) · WALLACE Edward (US) · WALRAND Gilles Marie, Jouars-Pontchartrain (FR) · WALSHE Robert, Aix-en-Provence (FR) · WASSEF Pierre, Paris (FR) · WEBER Jacques, Nantes (FR) · WESSELING Henri, La Haye (NL) · WESTSTEIJN Arthur, Florence (IT) · WHEATCROFT Andrew, Moffat (GB) · WIDMANN Andreas, Hanovre (DE) · WIESENAECKER Philipp, Niedernhausen (DE) · WIEVIORKA Annette, Paris (FR) · WILLEMARCK Frederik, Londres (GB) · WILLEMART Philippe, Sao Paulo (BR) · WINKLER Heinrich August, Berlin (DE) · WINOCK Michel, Paris (FR) · WINTERHALTER Cecilia, Rome (IT) · WIRZINGER Heidrun, Neustadt (DE) · WOOLF Linda (GB) · WRIGHT Nicholas, Norfolk (GB) · YOUNG Alistair, Fife (GB) · YOUNG Emily, Londres (GB) · YUEN John, Hong Kong (CN) · YVOREL Jean-Jacques, Juvisy-sur-Orge (FR) · ZANNI ROSIELLO Isabella (IT) · ZARCONE Thierry, Paris (FR) · ZARROW Peter, Taipei (TW) · ZATON Monique, Cornebarrieu (FR) · ZELIS Guy, Louvain-la-Neuve (BE) · ZELLER Pierre-Marc, Prissé (FR) · ZEN Stefano, Naples (IT) · ZIVOJNOVIC Sanja (NL) · ZOELLNER Reinhard, Berlin (DE) · ZUNZ Olivier, Charlottesville (US).


Ümit Enginsoy, Armenians in US Praise CIA Chief
WASHINGTON - The choice of a leading public figure as Obama’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency has been praised by a major U.S. Armenian group.

Armenians in US praise CIA chief The President-elect’s choice, Leon Panetta, was a strong backer of the move by the U.S. congress to recognize the 1915 incidents as "genocide."

"During his years in Congress, Leon Panetta repeatedly expressed his support for affirmation of the Armenian genocide," said Bryan Ardouny, executive director of the Armenian Assembly of America, or AAA, according to a statement released by the group late Monday.

"Coupled with President-elect Obama's decision to nominate Senator Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, who is on record in support of U.S. affirmation of the Armenian genocide, this nomination represents another step in restoring U.S. credibility in fighting genocide," Ardouny said.

Panetta represented a California congressional district from 1977 to 1993. He later became former president Bill Clinton's White House chief of staff. Many U.S. Armenians live in California, and most lawmakers from this state strongly support Armenian causes. "Panetta... made several floor statements commemorating the anniversary of the Armenian genocide," the AAA said. He needs to be confirmed by the Senate.


Are Armenians Ready For Recognition? ,Sassoon Grigorian, Associate, Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Sydney, Australia, 11 January 2009

Approaching the 100th anniversary, Turkey recognizes the Armenian genocide – its decision embraced by the European community and the United States. The Armenian community meets the decision with surprise, then a few moments later – asks itself, "what next?"

This moment may only be years from now. The decision that Turkey faces is not a decision of if, but when. Turkey is showing all the signs of preparing its population of eventual recognition.

You don’t think so? Well who would have thought following the murder of Hrant Dink, at his funeral, one hundred thousand mourners would march in protest of the assassination, chanting, "We are all Armenians".

Most recently, some 200 Turkish intellectuals have launched an internet petition about the genocide, saying that they are sorry. The text of their apology does not use the term genocide, but at least 27,000 Turks, from all walks of life, have signed the petition.

And, in 2005 Prime Minister Erdogan had first made the offer of a joint study between Turkish and Armenian historians in a letter to President Robert Kocharian sent on the eve of events marking the 90th anniversary of the start of the genocide. In his written reply,

Kocharian effectively rejected it and proposed instead the creation of a Turkish-Armenian inter-governmental body that would address this and other issues of mutual concern.

For many, the establishment of the joint study is seen as an opportunity for Turkey to deny the historical truth of the Armenian genocide. However, the study may also provide the Turkish Government the opportunity to allow a so-called independent body to make a difficult decision on its behalf. The Government can argue that recognition was not something they were forced, but merely recommended by this so-called independent body.

For Turkey, national pride is also at stake. Any recognition is highly unlikely to include reparations, exchange of lands, properties or the like, but more likely a formal apology, in effect meeting the needs of the Europeans and the United States, and possibly even the Republic of Armenia - but not necessarily for the Diasporan Armenian community.

And what then? A possible split of positions within the Armenian community, with some arguing for compensation (monetary or otherwise), the right of return, and claims to historical lands. No longer a united position, but a collection of different viewpoints.

Since visiting Turkey five years ago, I have seen this development of recognition not only commence but gather at accelerated pace.

No one should doubt the sophistication of Turkish diplomacy. For years Greece as member of the EU threatened to veto the possibility of Turkey being granted entry to the club. Following a rapprochement between both nations, that threat is withdrawn. Cyprus also was making similar declarations a few years ago; however, now having discussions on reunification with its northern neighbour, such matters are muted.

Rather than being an outside player in the past, Turkey has emerged as a pivotal player in the Caucasus by the establishment of a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform. It consists of five countries. These countries are Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia. Again, through its diplomatic initiative.

There are many who will argue that this scenario of recognition with no attachments will be an unwelcome one. They may argue that with open borders, Armenia would be avalanched by cultural influences from Turkey. Already the Turkish Radio and Television Organisation (TRT) is preparing for the new Armenian TV station, which will begin broadcasts at the end of 2009.

I would argue this presents the Republic of Armenia an opportunity for the first time to have normal relations with its largest neighbour, presenting significant trade opportunities. An opportunity for once and for all to lift its socio economic status to a more level playing field and compete with the rest of the world. It may have to deal with cultural influences, but isn’t Armenia already influenced by the region it is in?

Whatever the eventual outcome, one thing is for sure; the Armenian Diasporan leadership is on notice. For more than 90 years they have been able to effectively campaign from the same song sheet. Well the game has changed, and the time has come to reconsider its tactics and planning.

Further, both Armenian Diasporan organizations and the Armenian government need to consider establishing initiatives of their own to deal with the issue. For example, President Sargsyan’s invitation to President Gul to the world cup qualifier football match between Armenia and Turkey was a welcome one.

By taking the initiative, you are more likely to set the agenda, as Turkey has done with their proposed joint study and the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform.

Armenians put simply need a new game plan or face the prospect of being caught off guard.

I welcome comments made. I do
S Grigoria 01/12/2009
I welcome comments made. I do think the reality is that communities in the diaspora, and the people of the Republic of Armenia do have, and are motivated by different interests. That said, when it comes to recognition it is one and the same. The issue will be when this is addressed, how to reconcile a joint/single position beyond, whatever that may be.

to be more precise, the
Visitor, 01/12/2009
to be more precise, the impression comes from these 2 paragraphs: "For Turkey, national pride is also at stake. Any recognition is highly unlikely to include reparations, exchange of lands, properties or the like, but more likely a formal apology, in effect meeting the needs of the Europeans and the United States, and possibly even the Republic of Armenia - but not necessarily for the Diasporan Armenian community." "Whatever the eventual outcome, one thing is for sure; the Armenian Diasporan leadership is on notice. For more than 90 years they have been able to effectively campaign from the same song sheet. Well the game has changed, and the time has come to reconsider its tactics and planning." It's hard to imagine that Armenians in Armenia would have different needs from Armenians in Diaspora regarding recognition; I'm also sure that in Armenia itself leadership is on notice as well. Ideally I would very like to see 1 leadership for our nation comprised from people in and outside Armenia, and in general more consolidation of us in any aspect. I didn't mean to critisize or side track the meaning of this article:)

This is very important
Visitor 01/12/2009
This is very important question I've heard many times. Good article. One I'd like to make is that it leaves an impression that the writer has some separation in his mind between people in Armenia and Diaspora. I hope this is not what author feels, but that's the impression I've got. Best Regrads armenian from Armenia

This is a very interesting,
by Nora 01/12/2009

This is a very interesting, forward thinking view. Worthy of discussion and serious consideration.

http://www.keghart.com/node/249


The Ben and Gil Meeting By Avedis Kevorkian, Philadelphia PA, 9 January 2009
As everyone knows, the American government has a vast surveillance network around the world, utilizing satellites, electronic eavesdropping, and on-the-ground agents.

What most people don't know is that this surveillance includes a listening device in the private office of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

A contact at the CIA has sent me a transcript of the recent meeting between His Holiness and Aram of Giligia. He explained that a team of experts had listened intently to the recording and another team of experts had read and re-read the transcript and they have decided that there is nothing dangerous or sinister about the meeting. Thus, my contact felt comfortable about sending me the copy.

In his note, he explains that the device is sound-activated. The transcript reads as follows:
[There are routine noises, until a buzzer sounds.]
Yes?

Your Holiness, there is someone out here who claims that he is the Head of the Armenian Church and would like to see you.

The head of the Armenian Church?
Yes, Your Holiness.

But he was here just a few months ago. Well, all right, show him in. He must have forgotten something.

[There is a shuffling of chair noises, footsteps, and the sound of a door opening.]

Hello, again, Karekin. . . . Wait, you aren't Karekin.
No, I'm Aram.
But, you told my secretary that you were head of the Armenian Church.
Well, actually, I am one of the heads.
One of the heads? Karekin didn't say anything about another head.
Yes, I expected as much. That is just like him. Wherever he goes, he never mentions me, as if I don't exist. That's why I follow him around.

Why follow him around? Why not just talk to him?
Impossible. We don't meet very often.
Why not? Etchmiadzin isn't that big, is it?
Oh, well, you see, I am not in Etchmiadzin.
I don't understand. Please explain.
You see, I am the Catholicos of the See of Giligia.

Giligia? That's in Turkey. I didn't know there were any Armenians left in that part of Turkey. What are you doing there?

Actually, I am not there. I am in Lebanon.

You are head of the Giligia See, you are in Lebanon, and you claim to be the head of the entire Church which is based in Etchmiadzin, in Armenia. It's all so confusing. After all, everyone accepts Karekin as the head of the Armenian Church. Isn't it confusing to try to convince people that there can be two heads of one church?

Yes, it is, which is why I insist the Armenian Church is unique and there are two heads and that I am one of the two heads. For the present, that is. What I am trying to do is promote myself as an equal to Karekin. And then, maybe down the road, who knows? You see, the Armenian Church was once in Giligia, as the Armenians kept getting kicked around and as it kept moving its government the Mother See kept moving with it and, so, Giligia was created when the kingdom was there. And Giligia was where the last Kings of Armenia reigned. So, when the kingdom died, the See of Giligia more or less died.

I see. And, you brought it back to life.
Well, not exactly.
Please explain.
Actually, Ben. May I call you "Ben."
Yes, please do.
You may call me "Gil." Well, you see, Ben, actually, it is too complicated for non-Armenians.

Try me. I like to play with complicated things. It keeps my mind alert.

Well, until the Kingdom was set up in Giligia, there was no See there. So the Giligian See was set up. After the kingdom died, the Mother Church moved back to Etchmiadzin and Giligia returned with it. That was in 1441. Then, in the 1930s it moved to Lebanon, but kept its name. Then, an archbishop of the Etchmiadzin Brotherhood was elected Catholicos there, and it came back to life, so to speak. And, one thing led to another and for political reasons, during the Cold War, the Giligia See sort of, kind of, declared itself independent of Etchmiadzin.

Let me play with this, Gil. For a thousand years, there was no See in Giligia. Then for a couple-hundred years, there was a See in Giligia. Then for about five-hundred years, there was no See of Giligia. Now, there is a See, and you are its head, and you want to be considered one of the heads of the entire Church. Do I have that pretty much right? And besides, isn't the Cold War over?

There you are. I told you that non-Armenians couldn't understand it. And, Yes, the Cold War is over, but we sort of like the idea of my being a head.

But you can't be.
Well, we say we are.
You win, Gil. I really don't understand.

So, why don't we forget all about it. It really gets complicated after that. Let's leave it that I am now the head of Giligia, and I and my followers think I should be the legitimate head of the Church since I inherited the See of the last kingdom. And, besides, Lebanon is bigger than Armenia and everyone knows where it is. Hardly anyone knows where Etchmiadzin is.

I still say that none of this makes sense, and I am not going to try to understand.

You are wise. Don't bother.

All right. Now that you are here, Gil, what did you come to see me about? What can I do for you?

Well, Ben, what I would like is to have some photos taken of the two of us. I always travel with a photographer wherever I go, and have photos taken. This helps with my image--especially with Armenians. The Armenian newspapers really eat up these photos, and they make me appear more important than I am. First, they see Karekin's photos then they see mine with the same people.

That's it? You came just to have photos taken?

Yes. I hope you don't mind.

No, not really. I suppose there are some people who wonder what a Pope does all day. But, I still think all of this must get confusing and cause problems--even for Armenians--with you following in Karekin's footsteps, so to speak?

Not really. I have been doing it so often, ever since I took office, so people expect to see me go where Karekin goes. It's all very simple. Whenever I get Karekin's travel plans, I give them to my travel agent and he makes the arrangements, we set a schedule, and my Press Office does the rest.

Where will you be going next?
I am not sure, but I have heard rumors that Karekin is going to East Fignewton Falls in Idaho.
Never heard of the place.
Neither have I.

Are there any Armenians there? Maybe he is going there for a vacation.

I don't know, but if Karekin is going there, I will be going there. But, to get the matter at hand, is it possible to get some photos?

Yes, I suppose so.

Good. By the way, I will be giving you a few trinkets. They make for great props in photos.

Oh. Well, in that case, I will try to find something laying around which we aren't using, and which I can give you. When we get outside, I will ask my secretary to find something while the photographer sets up his equipment.

Good. Oh, by the way. Where is a good restaurant? I just love Italian food, but I can't get anything really good in Lebanon.

I can recommend Luigi's, in the center of Rome. Best Italian food anywhere. You must try the linguine with marinara sauce. Out of this world. And order a bottle of "Est! Est! Est!" to go with it. Great combination.

Thanks, What's the address?

I don't know. My driver takes me there. We'll ask my secretary, when we go out. By the way, if you ever go to Bavaria, I can recommend a great place for pork-sausages and sauerkraut.

No, I have no plans for Bavaria. At least, Karekin has no plans for Bavaria, so I won't be going there. And, if you are ever in Beirut, Ben, I can recommend a good shish-kebab restaurant. Oh, is it all right if I mention your name at Luigi's? I think it will help me get a good table and better service.

Yes, of course, Gil. Shall we go out and get the photo session over with? I was working on my gift list for Santa Claus, and I want to get it out before it's too late. The Italian postal service gets rushed at this time of the year.

[Sounds of footsteps, and a door opening and closing. Then a long silence.]

[Sounds of a door opening and footsteps, and a person sitting heavily into a chair. Sound of a switch being flipped.]

Yes, Your Holiness.
Have they gone?
Yes, Your Holiness.

Good. Now, listen carefully. If anyone else comes here saying that he is the head of the Armenian Church, tell him I am not in.

Yes, Your Holiness.
[There is the sound of a long sigh. Then silence.]
The transcript ends there, but my contact has appended a note saying that, to be safe, two agents were sent to Luigi's to determine if it is a meeting-place for spies and foreign agents. The report says that it appears to be what it is, a restaurant. They also report that the linguine with marinara sauce is, indeed, out of this world. And the suggested bottle of "Est! Est! Est!" made the meal fantastic.

It would appear that, after all, there is really some good in all the efforts of the American surveillance networks.

Avedis Kevorkian, Philadelphia, PA USA, www.keghart.com/node/248


A Coordinated Effort Through Democracy, By Aram Adamyan MSc MBA ACCA, Toronto, 9 January 2009
Two-thousand-and-eight was a year full of political activities in the homeland and geopolitical developments that left their impact on Armenia.
- The presidential election was held in February and was followed by the tragic events in March that shook up Yerevan and the whole country.

- The Russian-Georgian war that broke out in August had many negative effects on Armenia, but the Armenian economy would have seen more catastrophic results had the war lasted longer.

- Armenia’s president, S. Sargsyan invited his Turkish counterpart to come to Yerevan and watch the football match between the teams of the two countries. In September, President Gül made the unprecedented journey that seemed to signal a thaw in the diplomatic relations between the two countries, and shortly afterwards a meltdown of Armenian-Turkish relationship was observed.

- During the Fall, Turkey proposed the Caucasus security initiative supported by Russia, and Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations about Nagorno-Karabakh were reactivated. These events culminated in the Russian-sponsored Maindorf Declaration.
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- In the midst of all these activities Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey held tripartite meetings and discussions about Karabakh. They plan to have more meetings devoted to Karabakh as well as to other outstanding issues, such as the closed borders between Turkey and Armenia, and the Genocide of the Armenians that Turkey denies.

- On the international scene, two events deserve special mention. Barack Obama, a supporter of the Genocide bill, was elected as the new President of the USA. The European Council initiated and continues to exercise pressure on Armenia for its failure to meet Human Rights standards.
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Turkish-Armenian Relations

The Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations which previously were conducted through the Minsk group, transformed into Armenian-Turkish negotiations, whereby the Turkish side represents both Turkey and Azerbaijan, while the Armenian side represents Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Turkey continues to keep its border with Armenia closed, and refuses to establish diplomatic relationships with Armenia only because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Indeed, in taking such a course towards Armenia, its policy is nothing more than an extension of Azerbaijan’s policy towards Armenia.

During these negotiations, Turkey actively promotes the idea of forming a joint commission of historians to study what happened during 1915-1923. The goal is to prevent the new US Administration from calling the massacres Genocide. Historically the Armenian Diaspora has conducted the efforts related to the recognition of the Genocide by the international community. It is fair to claim that the current format of negotiations provides obvious tactical advantages to the Turkish party. Neither Nagorno-Karabakh Republic nor the Armenian Diaspora is represented in the talks.

To make matters worse Turkey and Azerbaijan claim that the Republic of Armenia is an aggressor and has annexed Azerbaijani territories. They try to play the card of the victim, and propagate the idea that the issue of the occupied Azeri territories should be part of the discussions related to the Genocide. Moreover, Turkey tries to create artificial conflicts of interests between Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora in order to claim that there is no pan-Armenian position with respect to the Genocide issue.

It will not be surprising to see Turkey seeking Russia’s help to prevent furthering the promotion of the recognition of the Genocide in the Western countries, where the Armenian Diaspora is active. Of particular importance for Turkey is the USA, where the president-elect has made reassuring promises to Armenians. While Russia itself has a very influential Armenian Diaspora, it does not have direct leverage over the Armenians in the Western countries. However, Russia has the potential of inducing indirect modifications through Armenia to reduce the level of demands by the Western Armenian Diaspora.

Russia – Turkey - Europe - NATO

After the war in Georgia, Turkish and Russian relations became warmer as Turkey showed support to Russia’s actions. Her neutral to pro-Russian stand is partly explained by trade motives and secondly by a latent desire to distance itself from US interests in the region. In return, Turkey expects favors by having Russia exert pressure on Armenia to make concessions in Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations, and possibly other matters.

The war was a Russian effort to prevent NATO expansion in the Black Sea area. USA replied by establishing a diplomatic post in Crimea. This strategically important peninsula, which is part of Ukraine, is inhabited by a pro-Russian population and where the Russian Black Sea Navy base is located. The Russia-West tension will involve Crimea in the near future. To continue to enjoy Turkey’s friendly stance Russia has to content with Turkey’s expressed intent of having continuance of Russia’s change of stance and intrusion in matters related to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Unfortunately, on many occasions Armenians have paid too high a price for Russian interests in the region, eventually rendering Armenia weaker and more dependent on Russia. On the other hand, the US administration, while being pressured by its domestic Armenian Diaspora, can impose some conditions over the Republic of Armenia if it decides to recognize the Genocide.

The thrust over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh comes from not only Turkey and Russia. The West requires secure transfer routes for energy resources from Azerbaijan and Central Asia bypassing Russia. In that pursuit, it tries to please oil-rich Azerbaijan. A quick resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict makes it possible to realize such a goal, provided Armenia makes significant concessions. Accordingly, the co-chairs of the Minsk group upheld the principle of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The principle of self-determination has gone out of the door despite the involved countries’ recent recognition of independence of separatist formations: Kosovo by USA and France, South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russia.

Armenia is experiencing pressure on yet another level. In its December meeting in Paris, the European Council Parliamentary Assembly’s Human Rights Monitoring Commission – PACE - proposed an extremely drastic measure to punish Armenia through suspending its voting power in the European Council. The decision was made on grounds that human rights conditions in Armenia were not acceptable. It was related to the continuance of imprisonment of opposition members regarded as political prisoners. While Armenians should welcome genuine European community concerns of human rights conditions in Armenia, it is impossible not to notice a concurrence in timing of the Commission’s decision with concerted efforts of several parties to exercise pressure over Armenia during the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations.

Hypocrisy of the West

It is ironic that the European Council recognized the results of the presidential election in Armenia as legitimate, and went on even further by appreciating “the progress in the election process” over the previous years. Yet the very same Council declares the same country to be in violation of Human Rights because of the presence of political prisoners.

Is not recognizing the results of the presidential election, later turning around and talking about Human Rights violations at a crucial time of negotiations a well planned means to exert pressure over Armenia? Is the suspension of a mere 6.8 million dollars designated for one of the Millennium Ventures program planned for 2009 on the same grounds of human rights violations just a coincidence? Meanwhile the West approves 4.5 billion dollars to Georgia despite the presence of the same unacceptable Human Rights conditions, and despite the facts of the Geogian authorities chasing their political opponents resulting in, for example, France granding political asylum to Irakli Okruashvili - the former Defense Minister of Georgia - who currently is in the opposition. Moreover, the West is mum even about the Georgian massive attacks on South Ossetian civilian population.

The same European Council endures dynastic transfer of power in Azerbaijan. On March 18, 2009, Azerbaijan will conduct a referendum. It is proposed to remove the clause from the Constitution that bans the same person being elected President of the country more than twice. If the referendum is successful it will effectively make Ilham Aliyev a life long President. While this proposal has nothing at all in common with the European standards of democracy, the European Council remains silent. The reaction of the European Council regarding to the expected massive forgeries in the referendum will be another measure to evaluate the true mission of that organization in the region.

Democracy and Pan-Armenian Strategy

Bearing in mind the potentially disastrous outcomes of the above developments, Armenians everywhere, in the Armenian Diaspora and the Republic of Armenia, need to work out a clearly defined joint strategy and an action plan. While external factors are out of our control, building a humanistic oriented democratic Armenia depends only on Armenians. This will not only lay grounds for repatriations in future, but also combat current external pressures on Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations. Our history, values, rich cultural heritage, an established Armenian Diaspora in the Western countries are all significant factors and ideal internal resources for building democracy in our country. We currently face huge political pressures within our society, and it is expected to get worse with the damaging effects of the world economic crisis on Armenian economy.

Ironically, while we Armenians uphold the democratic principle of the right to self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh to counter the calls for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, we have no success in building a democratic society at home. Releasing prisoners who are detained based on unsubstantiated pretexts, initiating a political dialogue with the opposition, and diffusing the tense political atmosphere are vitally important for a country involved in its future-defining negotiations.

It is high time that we coordinate our efforts to circumvent manipulations hatched up by major geopolitical forces that today, once more, are playing the Genocide card to the tune of their interests and to the detriment of Armenians and Armenia. A pan-Armenian strategy would provide the means to neutralize such efforts.

Without a pan-Armenian strategy defining and prioritizing our national goals and centred on building a fair and democratic society at home - a materially better one than in the other countries of the region - external influences will significantly increase the pressure on Armenia, and could lead to unacceptable concessions for both Nagorno-Karabakh and the process of the recognition of the Genocide by the international community. We have to realize that Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations will decide not only the future of it but also Armenia’s existence as a whole. We have to succeed in fully incorporating the Armenian Diaspora into building a prosperous homeland. Armenia must be able to protect all its people and fully represent aspirations of the Armenian Diaspora.

Political stability based on democracy and respect for Human Rights is a precondition for the mentioned goals. The Armenian authorities must convince that the national interests are ahead of personal gains and the desire to hold political power. They should stop using the presence of external threats as an excuse to create an oppressive atmosphere in the country. Likewise, the political opposition, the intelligentsia, the various interest groups, and the Diaspora need to recognize that unity is crucial, and look beyond immediate limited interests. Armenian democrats, inside and outside of Armenia, need to recognize those external threats, and hold the survival of Armenia uppermost in their minds.

The measures outlined above will define our collective responsibility as a nation towards future generations; and as a nation looking to the future we have no right to fail in these momentous times. www.keghart.com/node/246


Future Of South Caucasus And Its Neighbors Conference Due In Istanbul PanARMENIAN.Net 12.01.2009
On January 17 and 18, the UK Consulate in Istanbul will host an international conference titled "The Future of South Caucasus and Its Neighbors," which will bring together state figures and experts from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, EU and U.S.

U.S. Co-chair of the OSCE MG Group, Ambassador Matt Bryza, EU Envoy for South Caucasus Peter Semneby and LINKS Executive Director Dennis Sammut are also expected to attend the conference.

The discussions will focus on inter-ethnic conflicts, including Nagorno Karabakh, the Russian-Georgian relations in the context of European security and other regional geopolitical issues, 1news.az reports.


Turkey, Armenia To Receive Fifa Fair-Play Award PanARMENIAN.Net 12.01.2009
World's football governing body is set to donate its 2008 fair-play prize to Turkish and Armenian national football teams for their contributions to peace in a World Cup group stage match.

FIFA will present the international award at a ceremony on Monday in Zurich, Switzerland, the Anatolian Agency reports.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited Yerevan on September 6, 2008 to watch the qualifier between Armenia and Turkey together with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan.


Shahan Kandaharian: Turkey Between The Devil And The Deep Sea, PanARMENIAN.Net 12.01.2009
Lebanon is concerned over the escalating conflict in Gaza. The panic spread among the population when northern Israel was bombarded from Lebanon's territory, said a member of Hay Dat office in Beirut.

"After a response fire, Hezbollah denied its participation in hostilities strongly condemned by the Lebanese army and Defense Ministry," Shahan Kandaharian told PanARMENIAN.Net.

Touching on Turkey's position, he said that Arab states appreciated official Ankara's stand. "Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan labeled resumption of hostilities as crime against humanity. It was harsh message to Tel Aviv from a non-Arab country. Nevertheless, I think this statement was meant to calm down the Turkish public which protested Israel's actions in Gaza," he said.

"Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said resumption of hostilities is disrespect for Ankara, which undertook mediation between Syria and Israel. Turkey is between two fires. On the one hand it should please its strategic partner, Israel. On the other hand, it should smooth internal tensions," Mr. Kandaharian said.

On December 27, 2008, Israel launched a military campaign codenamed Operation Cast Lead, targeting the members and infrastructure of Hamas. As of 12 January 2009, 13 Israelis and 898 Palestinians are estimated to have perished in the conflict. All but three of the Israeli casualties have been soldiers, while 333 of the Gaza casualties have been women and children. 257 children in Gaza have been killed, making up a third of Palestinian casualties.



ANCA: Menendez Urges Clinton To Reaffirm Armenian Genocide
-- Asks Secretary of State-Designate to Continue Record of Armenian Genocide Recognition During Confirmation Hearing Viewed by Tens of Millions

-- Watch Video exchange between Sen. Menendez and Sec. Of State Designate Clinton at http://www.youtube.com/ANCAgrassroots

WASHINGTON, DC - Speaking today during the nationally televised Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing for the incoming Secretary of State, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) praised Hillary Clinton's long record of support for Armenian Genocide recognition and urged her to continue her principled stand on this core human rights issue as the nation's top diplomat, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

"We want to thank Bob Menendez for raising the need for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide today during Sen. Clinton's confirmation hearing, which was watched intently by tens of millions across the United States and around the world," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. "His comments, which cited both the Secretary of State-Designate's longstanding support for the Armenian Genocide Resolution and President Obama's pledge to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide as President, reflect the fact that the incoming Administration includes an unprecedented number of officials with substantial track records of fighting for the proper acknowledgement and commemoration of this crime against humanity."

During Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioning, Sen. Menendez stated:

"I hope that the support that you gave while you were a Senator to the question of the Armenian Genocide, that the President-Elect has himself supported, recognition of that. You know, if we are to say never again, part of that is ultimately the recognition of what has happened so that we can move forward. And I hope that you will be an advocate of having us get off of where we have been and move forward to a recognition of that part of history that is universally recognized so that we can move forward in that respect."

"And I also hope in a part of the world that's very important to me, on the question of reunification of Cypress, that we have honest brokers at the State Department, at the end of the day. One that recognizes that if Greek and Turkish Cypriots could work with each other, they would seek a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation that could move forward and reunify the island and end the incredible militarization of the island - the most militarized part of the world per capita. So, I hope that you will look at those issues. I know the positions you've taken as a Senator and I applaud them. I hope that they won't change drastically as you move to Secretary of State."

Secretary of State Designate Clinton responded:

"Senator, we will be looking very closely at those and other challenging issues with the eye of moving forward and being effective in responding to these very legitimate concerns."

Video of the exchange is posted on the ANCA YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/ANCAgrassroots

President-elect Obama and Vice-President-elect Biden have actively, repeatedly, and energetically called for U.S. reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide during their terms in the Senate. Of President-elect Obama's cabinet level nominees to date, at least four, including Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton, have championed this human rights issue.

Excerpts of statements by key Obama Administration officials regarding Armenian Genocide affirmation are provided below.

** President-elect Barack Obama: "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... America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President." (1/19/08)

** Vice President-elect Joe Biden: "Recognition by the United States of the Armenian Genocide is not the final goal. The real goal is the recognition of Turkey - of the Turkish Government - of the Armenian Genocide and the establishment of a common Turkish-Armenian understanding of the events and tragedy that took place," stated Sen. Biden. The real goal is the recognition of Turkey, of the Turkish Government, of the Armenian Genocide and the establishment of a common Turkish-Armenian understanding of the events and tragedy that took place." (7/29/08)

** Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton: "I believe the horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide. I have twice written to President Bush calling on him to refer to the Armenian Genocide in his annual commemorative statement and, as President, I will recognize the Armenian Genocide. Our common morality and our nation's credibility as a voice for human rights challenge us to ensure that the Armenian Genocide be recognized and remembered by the Congress and the President of the United States. (1/24/08)

** CIA Director-designate Leon Panetta: "April 24, 1915, signified the beginning of a systematic attempt by the Ottoman regime to deport and exterminate Armenians from the Anatolian Peninsula. Over the next 8 years, 1 1/2 million Armenian people were murdered by minions of the Ottoman Empire. Those who were spared were driven from their homes. It is for those victims, and it is for all oppressed peoples today, those who have died and those who survived, that we take time to reflect on the Armenian genocide and its implications for all of us today." (4/29/92)

** Interior Secretary-designate Ken Salazar: Cosponsor of Armenian Genocide Resolution S.Res.106. (4/16/07)

** Labor Secretary-designate Hilda Solis: Cosponsor of Armenian Genocide Resolution H.Res.106. (1/31/07)

** Transportation Secretary-designate Ray LaHood: Cosponsor of Armenian Genocide Resolution H.Res.106. (8/27/07)

In addition to Administration officials, the U.S. Congress is today led by among the most energetic and vocal advocates of American recognition of the Armenian Genocide:

** Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi: "A grave injustice was committed and the fact that our nation is not officially recognizing these crimes as genocide is a disappointment." (12/12/08)

** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: "It truly saddens me that after 93 years, the U.S. has failed to acknowledge the Armenian genocide for what it was." (4/24/08)

** House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman: "Genocide is a very powerful word, and should be reserved for only the most horrific examples of mass killing motivated by a desire to destroy an entire people. Without a doubt, this term is appropriate to describe the unimaginable atrocities suffered by the Armenian people from 1915 to 1918." (4/27/06)

** Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry: "Acknowledging when genocide has occurred is not simply a theoretical or legal exercise. It is key to preventing genocide from happening again. That's why, in my view, we must change U.S. policy to reflect the true nature of the tragic events that were perpetrated against the Armenians by calling them what they were: genocide." (6/19/08)


Armenian Cave Yields Ancient Human Brain Excavations have produced roughly 6,000-year-old relics of a poorly known culture existing near the dawn of civilization, By Bruce Bower ScienceNews.org
PHILADELPHIA - In a cave overlooking southeastern Armenia's Arpa River, just across the border from Iran, scientists have uncovered what may be the oldest preserved human brain from an ancient society. The cave also offers surprising new insights into the origins of modern civilizations, such as evidence of a winemaking enterprise and an array of culturally diverse pottery.

Excavations in and just outside of Areni-1 cave during 2007 and 2008 yielded an extensive array of Copper Age artifacts dating to between 6,200 and 5,900 years ago, reported Gregory Areshian of the University of California, LosAngeles, January 11 at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. In eastern Europe and the Near East, an area that encompasses much of southwest Asia, the Copper Age ran from approximately 6,500 to 5,500 years ago.

The finds show that major cultural developments occurred during the Copper Age in areas outside southern Iraq, which is traditionally regarded as the cradle of civilization, Areshian noted. The new cave discoveries move cultural activity in what's now Armenia back by about 800 years.

`This is exciting work,' comments Rana Ã-zbal of Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey.

A basin two meters long installed inside the Armenian cave and surrounded by large jars and20the scattered remains of grape husks and seeds apparently belonged to a large-scale winemaking operation. Researchers also found a trio of Copper Age human skulls, each buried in a separate niche inside the three-chambered, 600-square-meter cave. The skulls belonged to 12- to 14-year-old girls, according to anatomical analyses conducted independently by three biological anthropologists. Fractures identified on two skulls indicate that the girls were killed by blows from a club of some sort, probably in a ritual ceremony, Areshian suggested.

Remarkably, one skull contained a shriveled but well-preserved brain. `This is the oldest known human brain from the Old World,' Areshian said. The Old World comprises Europe, Asia, Africa and surrounding islands.

Scientists now studying the brain have noted preserved blood vessels on itssurface. Surviving red blood cells have been extracted from those hardy vessels for analysis.

It's unclear who frequented Areshi-1, where these people lived or how big their settlements were. No trace of household activities has been found in or outside the cave.

Whoever they were, these people participated in trade networks that ran throughout the Near East, Areshian proposes. Copper Age pottery at the site falls into four groups, only one of which represents a local product. A group of painted ceramic items came from west-central Iran. Some pots display a style typical of the Maikop culture from southern Russia and southeastern Europe. Still other pieces were characteristic of the Kura-Arax culture that flourished just west of Maikop territory in Russia.

Radiocarbon dating of pottery and other Copper Age finds pushes back the origins of the Maikop and Kura-Arax cultures by nearly 1,000 years, Areshian says.

Additional discoveries at Areni-1 include metal knives, seeds from more than 30 types of fruit, remains of dozens of cereal species, rope, cloth, straw, grass, reeds and dried grapes and prunes. A hard, carbonate crust covering the Copper Age soil layers, along with extreme dryness and stable temperatures inside the cave, contributed to preservation of artifacts and, in particular, the young girl's brain.

Medieval ovens from the 12th to 14th centuries have also been excavated at the cave's entrance, underneath a rock shelter. Areshian expects much more material to emerge from further excavations at Areni-1 and from explorations of the many other caves bordering the Arpa River. `One of these caves is much larger than Areni-1, covering about an acre inside,' he said.


The Genocide Study Trap By David B. Boyajian
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently asked Armenia to agree to the creation of a Turkish and Armenian commission that would study the murder of Armenians in 1915 to determine if it constituted genocide.

President Bush liked the idea. So did German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis.

The Turkish members of such a commission would, of course, never consent to a finding of genocide. The result, therefore, would be a "hung jury," exactly the kind of ambiguity that Turkey is looking for.

Fortunately, at least for now, President Robert Kocharian turned Turkey down. He suggested, instead, an "intergovernmental commission" that could discuss "any issue."

What many individuals and countries are unaware of, or deliberately ignoring, is that the mass killings of Armenians have already been the subject of a number of studies conducted by third party organizations.

Verdict: Genocide

In 1985, the United Nations Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities issued a genocide study that is sometimes referred to as the Whitaker report.

"The Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916," stated Paragraph 24 of the report, is an example of "genocide." Furthermore, it "is corroborated by reports in United States, German and British archives and of contemporary diplomats in the Ottoman Empire."

The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, sitting in Paris in 1984, impaneled a jury of Nobel Prize recipients and distinguished experts in international law from around the globe. Its conclusions, published in "A Crime of Silence: The Armenian Genocide," sliced Turkey to pieces:

"The extermination of the Armenian[s]through deportation and massacre constitutes a crime of genocide...within the definition of the [UN Genocide Treaty of] 1948."

Furthermore, "By virtue of general international law" and the UN's 1968 "Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutes of Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity", the jury determined, "no statute of limitations can apply" to Turkey's crimes.

Nor can Turkey use "the pretext of any discontinuity in the [1915 vs. current Turkish] state" and so "must recognize officially...the consequent damages suffered by the Armenian people."

Another study, requested by the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC), was released in 2003. TARC itself was, of course, controversial and ill-fated. Nevertheless, the study, facilitated by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), concluded that the 1915 murders "include all of the elements of the crime of genocide as defined in the [UN Genocide Treaty of 1948]."

(In view of TARC's US State Department sponsorship, it was to be expected that the report also alleged that the 1948 Genocide Treaty is not retroactive to 1915 and, consequently, Armenians cannot assert land or reparations claims against Turkey. In any event, for the reasons cited by the 1984 Tribunal and others, the report is wrong about Armenian claims and implicitly acknowledges that, conceding that it did not consider "other...international law").

Genocide Games

Were there to be another study, Turkey, the US, Europe, various business interests, and perhaps Turkish friends such as Israel and Pakistan, would covertly try to bring about a judgment of "no genocide" or "we are unable to arrive at a decision." The study would also emulate the TARC report by trying to relieve Turkey of liability.

The West, after all, wants to shield eastern Turkey from Armenia claims as that territory is the only land bridge to the oil and gas rich Caspian Sea basin that bypasses Russia and Iran.

Even during the Cold War, international political pressure corrupted a UN report on genocide. The report's Paragraph 30, issued in 1973, had stated that the Armenian "massacres" were considered "the first genocide of the 20th Century." Turkey objected and was supported by the US, Austria, France, Iran, Italy, Nigeria, Pakistan, and others. During the ensuing years, Paragraph 30 was removed.

Just last year, a United Nations report on the mass killings in Darfur, Sudan decided they might not be "genocide." Even the US had, grudgingly, termed them genocide. The report may have been the victim of clandestine international influence.

Still, let's suppose that a new study were to reaffirm that Turkey committed genocide.

Turkish Tricks

Regardless of what it may promise now, Turkey will almost certainly reject a verdict of genocide. It has, after all, brushed aside every previous study that affirmed the factuality of the Genocide.

Even if it were to accept such a verdict, Turkey would retreat to its well-known fallback position: "Modern" Turkey bears no legal responsibility for the actions of "Ottoman" Turkey.

Turkey's pathetically obvious game is to keep asking for new studies until it gets one that concludes there was no genocide. That would be bad news for Armenians. Western nations would pronounce the Genocide issue dead.

The Diaspora's Job

Besides, should we be trading our dignity and rights for what is likely to someday be an ambiguously-worded, half-hearted statement of guilt by the Turkish government?

Even a sincere genocide acknowledgment's value is questionable as, by itself, it is unlikely to heal Armenian wounds or change Turkish policy toward Armenia.

Only restitution and the return of Armenian land will ultimately bring a significant degree of satisfaction. Restitution means the recovery of, or in some instances compensation for, homes, farms, stolen assets, schools, communal property, and thousands of churches.

Quantifying the theft and material damage committed by Turkey is urgently needed. A starting point is published studies from the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and more recent works by scholars such as the late Professor Kevork K. Baghdjian. Last year's successful prosecution of the New York Life Insurance Company by Armenians shows that headway can be made.

Geographic and demographic studies of eastern Turkey should also be undertaken. Future territory must include a Black Sea coastline so that Turkey and its friends can no longer block Armenian access to Europe and Russia.

We recognize that achieving all our goals right now is not realistic. In the meantime, Armenia must at least avoid anything that would make the future prosecution of claims more difficult.

Poor and preoccupied with Karabagh and the Turkish blockade, Armenia lacks the resources and public relations savvy to undertake a full defense of its rights against Turkey. Diasporan think tanks and political parties must, therefore, shoulder the burden. Is it not the job of political parties, after all, to uphold national rights?

But, first, we must not yield to the temptation for yet another study to confirm what we and the world have already proved: Turkey committed genocide against Armenians.

Now, let's move on.
David B. Boyajian is an Armenian American freelance writer based in Massachusetts


Vladimir Timoshenko: "The Fact That Armenia Has A Large Amount Of Arms By No Way Guarantees Its Success In War" 11 January 2009, Today Az
Russia will never make an official statement about the new illegal delivery of arms in the amount of $800,000,000 to Armenia, said military expert Vladimir Timoshenko.

According to him, only international inspectors can hold an investigation, referring to a contract on limitation of ordinary arms in the flanks, according to which there are restrictions for Armenia and Azerbaijan, which they have no right to violate.

"Moreover, Russia's decision to withdraw arms from Georgia to Armenia should not be surprising. To dislocate a part of them in Armenia is easier for Russia than to transport them back to Russia. This is natural and this was known before", said he.

He confirmed that there is a need for the international investigation of the delivery fact, which however can be investigated only by international structures.

Speaking about the importance to challenge Russia's role as an unbiased mediator in the Karabakh conflict resolution, considering the strengthened supply of arms by this country to one of the conflict parties, he said there are grounds for raising such issues.

"But I also stress that Russia is not interested in the resolution of this conflict. Official Moscow even avoids statements in support of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, preferring phrases like "Negotiation yourself and we will support this agreement".

Any issue can be raised theoretically... But no practical steps will be taken", noted Timoshenko.

He said the intensive armament of Armenia may break the balance, but it should be taken into account that not only technical factor plays a role here, among which he listed the preparation level of the personal staff, moral spirit, tactics and strategy of conduction of hostilities and so on.

"Many factors play a role here. Therefore, the fact that Armenia has a large amount of arms by no way guarantees its success in war".


ANCA Update, Feed The Hungry: Anca Food Drive Needs You Now, January 12, 2009
Interested in hosting a "Cans for the Cause" Food Drive in your area? Email garo at anca.org

Armenians for Obama: Get the Inside Story. Newly released 60-page report - Read it Now
Answering the Obama Call to Service: ANCA Launches "Cans for the Cause" Campaign to Help Local Food Banks

New Term, New Opportunities: ANCA Welcomes 111th Congress
Expanding the Team: Community Organizer Garo Manjikian Joins ANCA Washington, DC Staff
ANCA Capitol Conversations Video: Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone Discusses 2009 Agenda
Watch it now. . .

In the News: Eternal Damnation of the Spotless Mind On the Dangers of Forgetting. Read it Now

Answering the Obama Call to Service: ANCA Launches "Cans for the Cause" Campaign to Help Local Food Banks

Effort Honors U.S. Humanitarian Relief for Armenian Genocide Survivors from 1915-1923
WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has answered President-Elect Barack Obama’s challenge to Americans to participate in National Day of Service activities with a nation-wide campaign to feed the hungry. The Day of Service is set to coincide with Martin Luther King Memorial Day (January 19) and the Presidential Inauguration (January 20th).

In honor of U.S. humanitarian assistance efforts for survivors of the Armenian Genocide from 1915-1923, the ANCA has initiated the “Cans for the Cause” Campaign, which encourages community members to work with local ANCA chapters and Armenian American organizations, or take the lead themselves in canned food drives across the U.S., to assist food banks dedicated to feeding the hungry. Read more. . .
www.anca.org



Angered by Turkish Criticism over Gaza, Israel May Recognize Armenian Genocide By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier
Enraged by the abrasive tone of Turkey's condemnation of Israel's attack on Gaza, Israeli officials and Turkish analysts are now raising the possibility that Tel Aviv may retaliate either by recognizing the Armenian Genocide or refusing to help Turkey to lobby against a congressional resolution on the genocide.

This unexpected turn of events was in response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan's continued harsh criticisms, accusing Israel of "perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction. Allah will sooneror later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents." Erdogan qualified Israel's attack on Gaza as "savagery" and a "crime against humanity." He also refused to take calls from Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and rejecteda request by Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to visit Ankara.

Israel initially downplayed the hostile comments emanating from Turkey. The Jerusalem-based DEBKAfile reported that "a deep crisis in Turkish-Israel relations appears to be the first strategic casualty of Israel's offensive to suppress Hamas' rocket campaign." An Israeli Foreign Ministry official told Turkey's ambassador to Israel that such harsh words were "unacceptable" among friendly nations. Another Israeli official added: "It would be necessary toevaluate the damage to the relationship that these [Erdogan's] comments have caused." In a January 5 editorial, the Jerusalem Post escalated the level of Israeli displeasure by questioning Turkey's credibility on passing judgment on other countries: "On balance, we're not convinced that Turkey has earned the right to lecture Israelis about human rights. While world attention focuses on Gaza, Turkish jets have bombed Kurdish positions in northern Iraq. Over the years, tens of thousands of people have been killed as the radical PKK pursues its campaign for autonomy from Turkey. Kurdish civilians in Iraq complain regularly that Ankara's air force has struck civilian areas where there is no PKK activity. The next Israeli government should weigh whether Israel can accept as a mediator a country that speaks, albeit elliptically, of our destruction.

Meanwhile, if Turkey persists in its one-sided, anti-Israel rhetoric, the Foreign Ministry might consider recalling our ambassador in Ankara for consultations." Finally, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, Majalli Whbee angrily lashed back at the Prime Minister of Turkey. Several Turkish media outlets quoted Whbee as stating: "Erdogan says that genocide is taking place in Gaza. We [Israel] will then recognize the Armenian related events as genocide." Whbee, a member of the Israeli Knesset and a close confidante of Prime Minister Olmert, issued the following warning to Turkey: "We, as Israel, hope that Prime Minister Erdogan's statements will not damage our relations. But, if Turkey does notbehave fairly, this will have its consequences."

While it is unlikely that Israel would reverse its long-standing refusal to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, it may decide not to accommodate future Turkish requests to have American Jewish organizations to lobby against a congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide.

Commentator Yigal Schleifer explained in his EurasiaNet article that Erdogan may "find himself walking a tightrope when it comes to distancing Turkey from Israel. Ankara has long depended on Israel to act as a conduit to Washington and to American Jewish organizations who have frequently acted as a kind of surrogate lobby for Turkey in Washington. In the past, Jewish organizationshave been instrumental in helping Turkey block efforts to introduce resolutions in Congress recognizing the Armenian genocide of 1915. 'There is real anger with Erdogan on Capitol Hill and among people who follow Turkey in Washington,' says a Washington-based consultant who closely monitors Turkish affairs. 'Nobody is threatening anything right now, or knows if there are going to be repercussions, but this is going to have an effect.' Adds the consultant: 'There is a sense that Erdogan has used up a lot of good will.'"

The Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet, in a January 9 editorial, tried to downplay the consequences of the Turkish anger at Israel, by stating that the latter hopes "the Jewish lobby in the United States=80¦will ensure, through its clout on issues such as preventing Armenian genocide bills, that Turkey falls in line=80¦. It is suggested that if Turkey does not fall in line, that same lobby will punish her by refusing to help on this score, or even by ensuring that such bills pass."

Turkish columnist Barcin Yinanc described in Hurriyet the absurd situation Turkish leaders will find themselves in a couple of months: "When April comes, I can imagine the [Turkish] government instructing its Ambassador to Israelto mobilize the Israeli government to stop the Armenian initiatives in the U.S. Congress. I can hear some Israelis telling the Turkish Ambassador to go talk to Hamas to lobby the Congress. Erdogan's harsh statements against Israel have certainly not gone unnoticed in Israel=80¦. I am sure the Israeli government as well as the Jewish lobby in America will not forget these statements."

Turkish leaders may wish to remember that the last time they irritated a prominent Jewish-American congressman, he retaliated by supporting congressional action on the Armenian Genocide. Cong. Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor anda staunch opponent of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, surprised everyone in 2005 when he voted in favor of a congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide in the House International Relations Committee. Lantos disclosed that he was backing the Armenian resolution in order to teach the Turks a lesson for not supporting the U.S. on the eve of the Iraqi War.

In the coming days, Turkey's relations with Israel may further deteriorate as Turkish politicians, journalists, and leaders of non-governmental organizations urge Erdogan to go beyond mere words and expel Israel's Ambassador from Ankara, recall Turkey's Ambassador from Tel Aviv, cancel all military and economic agreements with Israel, and ban overflights by Israeli pilots in Turkish airspace. Erdogan may resort to such punitive actions in order to appease widespread anti-Israel anger by large segments of the Turkish public prior to local elections which are critical for his ruling political party.


Eternal Damnation Of The Spotless Mind On The Dangers Of Forgetting The New Republic By Bernard-Henri Levy
I write this in remembrance of the renowned Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, murdered two years ago, on Jan. 19, 2007, for his comments on the slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces during WWI ... in horror that the police officers guarding the 17-year-old murder suspect, Ogun Samast, saw fit to take a video in which he proudly held the Turkish flag as they recorded their brief association with him for posterity ... in solidarity with the brave group of 200 Turkish writers and intellectuals who recently signed an online petition apologizing for the massacre, risking their freedom to keep pressure on the Turkish government.

Outrages like Dink's murder will continue. They will continue as long as Turkey, fearing the loss of prestige and alarmed by the possibility that itwill be obliged to pay reparations to survivors and their descendants, continuesto deny that the Armenian genocide took place. This struggle will continue as long as there are no laws in place penalizing genocide denial -- and these laws are needed not only in Turkey, but around the world.

Critics may say, "It is not for the law to write history." That is absurd. History has been written a hundred times over. The facts have been established, and new laws will protect them from being altered.

In 1929, the British statesman and author Winston Churchill wrote that the Armenians were victims of genocide, an organized enterprise of systematic annihilation. The Turks themselves have admitted it. In 1918, in the aftermath of WWI, Mustafa Kemal -- soon to be granted the honorific "Ataturk" -- recognized the massacres perpetrated by the Young Turk government.

The laws already in place in many countries regarding Holocaust denial do not touch historians -- for them the question of whether the slaughter of the Jews was or was not genocide is no longer at issue. What is at stake is preventing the erasure of such crimes from our society's memory.

Take France's Gayssot law, which criminalized the denial of crimes against humanity, and which as yet has been applied only to denial of the Jewish Holocaust. This is a law that reins in the fringe and extremist politicianswho engage in lightly cloaked anti-Semitism and who may be tempted to advocate Holocaust denial. This is a law that prevents masquerades like that of historian David Irving's trial in London in 2000.

Irving brought a libel case against Deborah Lipstadt, author of "Denying the Holocaust," who had labeled him a spokesman for Holocaust deniers. Though the judge ruled in notably strong language that Irving was indeed a Holocaust denier, in the absence of laws penalizing this offense, Irving walked free. Meanwhile, the tabloid journalists and talking heads muddied the issues and ultimately drew more attention to Irving's work, which may well have been his intention all along.

Critics will say, "Where will the law stop?" since technically we could also extend this law to include the denial of the crimes that took place during the colonial era, the publication of the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, even the sin of blasphemy. Must we forbid the expression of opinions that do not mirror our own? This is a trap, for two reasons.

First, the law would be focused specifically on genocide, a large-scale criminal enterprise in which, as Hannah Arendt said, someone gets to decidewho has the right and who does not to inhabit this earth. Second, the deniers don't just have conflicting or nonconformist opinions. They categorically deny that this horrific crime took place at all.

The logic and pattern of the crime of genocide was clarified and refined over the 20th century, with the massacre of Armenians as a seminal event. Hitler was impressed, nay, inspired by the scope of the Armenian genocide. In August 1939, days before he invaded Poland, he said to his generals, "Who still talks nowadays about the extermination of the Armenians?"

It was a genocidal test firing. It was the basis for the Allies' use of the phrase "crimes against humanity" in their May 24, 1915 statement regarding the massacre of Armenians "with the connivance and help of the Ottoman authorities." It was a reference for the Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin -- who coined the term "genocide" and is responsible for developing our understanding of this crime -- when he was incorporating the definition of "genocide" into the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

I have spent some time perusing the Armenian genocide deniers' literature, which is remarkably similar to the literature on the destruction of the Jews. The same arguments minimizing the number of deaths ("sure, there were some,but not as many as they say") and the same reversing of roles -- just as Holocaust deniers render the Jews responsible for the war and their own martyrdom, their Turkish counterparts claim the Armenians betrayed the Ottomans by allying with the Russians, thus sealing their own fate.

Some may ask, "Can't the truth defend itself?" No, I am afraid not. Consider that in 1942, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, ordered the formation of Sonderkommando 1005, whose mission it was to dig up the dead, to burn their bodies and dispose of the ashes. In one of his memoirs of the camps, Primo Levi recalled that the SS militiamen enjoyed admonishing their prisoners that when the war was over, there would not be a single Jew left to testify and if by chance one did survive, they would do whatever was necessary to make sure his testimony would not be believed.

A similar logic drives those who proclaim to Armenians, "No, your brothers and sisters are not dead. Your parents, grandparents and great-great-grandparents are not dead, as you're so foolishly claiming." Such statements betray the absolute, insane hatred they harbor, against which factual evidence and debate are useless and the truth is impotent.

Laws prohibiting Holocaust denial are expressions of the fact that genocide, a perfect crime, leaves no traces. In fact, the obliteration of those traces is genocide's final phase. Holocaust deniers are not merely expressing an opinion; they are perpetrating a crime.

Bernard-Henri Levy's new book, "Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against The New Barbarism", was published in September by Random House. This article was translated from the French by Sara Sugihara.


ARPA Institute Presents Dr. Rubina Peroomian at Merdinian on Jan. 22 SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. - The ARPA Institute presents a Lecture/Seminar "And Those Who Continued Living in Turkey after 1915" by Dr. Rubina Peroomian, on January 22 at 7:30 p.m., at the Merdinian Auditorium,, 13330 Riverside Dr., Sherman Oaks., Calif.

The recent political developments in the world has created a new atmosphere whereby the events of 1915 and the plight of the Armenian survivors in Turkey, be they Christian, Islamized, or hidden, have been espoused and fictionalized in the literature of Turkey.

Artistic expressions echo the continuing trauma in the life of these "rejects of the sword," a Turkish moniker for Armenians, having "undeservedly" escaped from death.

The stories that Turkish writers unearth and the daring memoirs of Turkish citizens with an Armenian in their ancestry, as well as obscured referencesto these same stories and events in Turkish-Armenian literature, have unveiledthe full picture of survival, with an everlasting memory of the lost ones, but also of forced conversions, of nurturing the "enemy" in the bosom, and of the dehumanization and sexual torture of men and women. A multifaceted image, an identity, of what is broadly generalized as Turkish-Armenian, thus emerges,a phenomenon that contradicts the long-researched and explored concept of the Diasporan-Armenian post-Genocide ethnic identity. Nevertheless, the sociopolitical and religious impositions and the hegemony of Muslim identity have not been fully challenged yet. External pressures may influence the metamorphosis ofthe Turkish state, but the real change should come from within the Turkish society. That change may be underway. The recent book And Those Who Continued Living in Turkey After 1915 addresses the issues of the psychology of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide who remained in Turkey, their lifestyle after the tragedy, and the struggle to preserve their identity. Dr. Rubina Peroomian will focus on: What happened to the women and the children who were kidnapped during the massacre? What happened to those Armenians who were forced to adopt Islam? How does the Armenian community of Istanbul live, and what does it do to preserve its Armenian identity?

Rubina Peroomian, Ph.D., a lecturer of Armenian language and literature, is currently a Research Associate at UCLA. She is the author of several books, textbooks, chapters in books, and research articles in scholarly journals on Armenian Question and the Armenian Genocide. Her major publications include Literary Responses to Catastrophe: A Comparison of the Armenian and the Jewish Experience (1993), Armenia in the Sphere of Relations between the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Bolsheviks, 1917-1921 (1997) in the Armenian language (translated and published in Russian), The Armenian Question, a series of textbooks in Armenian for grades 10-12 (1990-1999), and a comprehensive textbook of the History of the Armenian Question for high schools in Armenia (2000). And Those Who Continued Living in Turkey after 1915 (2008) is her most recent publication. She has lectured widely, participated in international symposia.

She has received Lifetime Achievement Award by the Armenian Educational Foundation and the Mesrob Mashtots Medal with an encyclical by Catholicos Aram I of Cilicia.
The California Courier


We Apologize For The Ones Who Apologize!
English-American historian Bernard Lewis, who is one of the most respected scientists not only for his country but for the world as well, had made a very important statement also on Turkey to Le Monde in 1993.

He had stated that during his research at the related archives he reached at the fact that the Armenian relocation by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and the incidents and deaths that occurred in the meantime were not genocide; they were just side effects of the war.
After that the statement of Lewis, the famous historian, was regarded as the denial of “the Armenian genocide” and he was finned for 1 Frank by a court in France.

Nevertheless, even this great unfairness, which is contrary to “freedom of expression” and “democracy”, did not stop the Princeton University Professor from telling the truth and being a honest scientist…He was mot a Turkish citizen but he could not keep silent against labeling Turkey as “the first country that committed genocide in the 20th century”, including this inaccurate information at the history books and the later possibility of “land and compensation demands”.

On the other hand, a certain group of academicians and journalists of Turkey, were attending at the conferences that are organized by the Armenian lobby and genocide departments at the universities of the USA and Europe, were supporting the accusations of “Turkish thesis; denier Turkey” not even questioning the fact that “they have never accepted examining documents by sitting at the same table with Turkey” and not even examining the archives of their own countries. Yusuf Halaçoğlu, the Turkish Historian Society Head, was keeping on making calls: “Let’s examine the documents together.” Nevertheless, the Armenian historians were not coming but this group keep on claiming: “Turkey does not discuss: It is a taboo in Turkey” like a parrot.

Some of these were telling that “they knew nothing about the relocation and 1915 incidents until they had gone to the USA and when they met with the Armenians there, they perceived to what extent Turkey was guilty” at their interviews on the famous newspaper of the USA (we wonder how could that happened and who ensured it) .
One of them had started his speech at the University of Minnesota as I am not a historian; I do not understand such incidents“and later finished his speech as “Turkey had definitely committed Armenian genocide.”

One another had learned about “the facts when he listened to the memories of his elderly aunt in the USA”, and perceived the incidents immediately with all their details.

That means that there was no need for cross-examining the English, German, Russian, Turkish archives, the uprising that were erected by the Armenians, who were living with prosperity under the Ottoman Empire-as Kaçaznuni had confessed during his speech at the parliament-for the promises of the Western countries, fighting against the Ottoman together with the armies of the enemy, setting the villages on fire and massacring villagers, and there was no need to read about the Turks, who were executed for “committing a crime during the relocation” and 143 people, who were taken to Malta by England for an interrogation and later setting them free.
These Bernard Lewises, Andrew Mangos, Justin Mc Carthies, Stanford Shaws and the Turkish historians (they even claimed for some of these that ‘They are working on the account of Turkey’ without feeling ashamed) had lost time, making fool of themselves by examining the history in couple of countries for years. If they have had asked some of our academicians and writers, they would tell about “the method for learning history without reading”.

Lately, lots of letters are received from the ones, whose grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles aunts were set on fire after being locked at the mosques or from the ones who saw the incidents.

We wonder if these ladies and gentlemen, who memorized the history of their own country in the USA that were told in a single-sided way by the Armenians, thought of listening to the associations, which were established by the unjustly treated Turks at the eastern regions? I don’t think so. If they thought about it, they should have talked impartially. At least the ones, who have conscience, would have feel disturbed.

One of readers asked: “All of a sudden, the intellectual word becomes so invaluable, isn’t it?” And a lot of similar reactions like these…

I think it will be compulsory to initiate an anti campaign called as: “We apologize for the ones who apologize” as soon as this “apology campaign” starts. Let’s think about it!

Source: Ruhat Mengi-Vatan Daily Newspaper-08.12.2008
www.genocidereality.com



"Ara Sarafian Sinking In The Quicksand Of The Turkish Denial" By Appo Jabarian 13 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Ara Sarafian, head of the Gomidas Institute in London, was quoted last month in Hurriyet, a Turkish daily conservative-nationalist, and known for its denial of the Armenian Genocide, for saying''we can not compare the Armenian Genocide with the Holocaust. Those who were driven from their lands suffered a lot, but survived.''

Several other Turkish state lies were repeated by Mr. Sarafian I wrote a December 12 titled''Ara Sarafian: pertussis Turkish media negationists''criticizing its violently anti-Armenian and anti-Armenian.

Who desperately needed to save his discredited reputation as a historian appointed publisher doing business with Turkey denial, Sarafian wrote an article defending himself in the December 18 issue of the Armenian Reporter.

Bernard Nazarian London replied that: "From Ara Sarafian is a summit of opportunism that bordered on treachery and betrayal. It is now to the liabilities of the Armenian cause. In all the paragraphs, there are serious distortions of the truth and inaccuracies offensive with at least two attacks directed against Armenia, based on a false presentation of the facts and the situation in Armenia, which in my view, the Armenian government should respond without delay. "

Nazarian added:''In particular, its claim on the restriction of press freedom in Armenia, and especially with regard to research on the Armenian Genocide-in paragraph 8 - is a serious distortion and misrepresentation of facts, implying that Armenia and Turkey is of that view and held a 'official line''that all journalists and scholars must follow - an enormous distortion and evil.''

In addition, Nazarian wrote:''His efforts only tend to reduce the Armenian Genocide in a theoretical debate in which the state criminal and oppressor (Turkey) and the nation victim (Armenia) would be treated on an equal footing under Faults on both sides! (paragraph 7). To this end, he must resort to blatant lies and distortion of facts. The three million Armenians living in the Republic of Armenia and the military threat, political and genocidal posed by extremist nationalist ideology and racist and the Turks, not to mention the security of the Armenian state , do not Ara, it does not mention because it is too busy preparing for the beauty contest suggested by Turkey, but disastrous for us Armenians, between Armenia and the Diaspora!''

Nazarian stated:''Although I have no comment on this stupid comparison of the Armenian Genocide with the Holocaust and his attack against Dadrian, Ara turns to consider the facts clearly. As Dadrian and others have shown (for example, in The Holocaust is unique), a certain point of view, genocide is far more cruel in its nature and its destructive cruelty, and more (still in the same volume) Armenians have lost a homeland and a territory which can not be said of Jews in Germany and Eastern Europe. And of course after the hostility of genocide against Armenians, the blockade after the independence and bellicose threats against the Republic contrast with the treatment that the German Government has given to Jews and Israel, with compensation of several billion , apology and prosecution in the German law of any denial in Germany.

Nazarian concluded:''Ara wants to get his thirty pieces of silver at any price. It must be known. It will then settle in Turkey to take the position recently vacated by Halaçoglu (the former President of the Turkish Society of History of the note-edition) or make a lot of money in publishing Holocaust denier who does not his name.

Another militant Armenian these statements shocked, Aram Karapetian, wrote on ThearmenianGroup@yahoogroups.ca: "The article by Mr. Sarafian does not Mr. Sarafian ... I fear it is a Article shameful about a shameful act ... There is no need to discuss. However, I can understand and academic and intellectual favorable to discussion and analysis, because that is how they earn their living. "

Mr. Sarafian wrote in the Reporter:''The Armenian Genocide is not the Holocaust. The Young Turks did not have the equipment necessary to make a genocide comparable to the Holocaust.''

Mr. Karapetian objected: "The Turks had little money and did not have the budget to build concentration camps and gas chambers: this is it sufficient to do less than the Holocaust? I am ashamed to even a comparison. If you think in percentages, then the fraction of the Armenian nation who died was higher than that of Jews. Some Germans also saved their Jewish neighbors, so what? The Germans have already paid for their crimes and continue to pay for their crimes. Which side the character is he? "

In paragraph 7, "Playing the victims of the Armenian Genocide''Sarafian wrote:''The question of genocide is not a simple matter of justice for the Armenians, but a case of justice for all. This is essential for the peaceful resolution of past disputes. There is no room for ignorance and dogma.

Karapetian Sarafian correct:''It totally dilutes the case of genocide in this paragraph. It is actually very simple. Armenians living in their ancestral lands and Turks were killed and deported altogether. Now, while some academics and intellectuals to create a different scenario for a living, that's another story. It is unfortunate that some sell anything to make money. Give them the appearance of intellectual arguments and scholarship does not cover the stench.

Rather than helping to save Mr. Sarafian its image, the article in the Reporter is bogged down further in the quicksand of Turkish denial.

In a related development, Delphine Strauss wrote in the Financial Times on December 18:''The Turkish President Abdullah Gül intervened Thursday to defuse a debate explosive following a campaign of Turkish intellectuals calling for an apology for the massacres of Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman Empire. More than 13 000 people (more than 20 000 at Monday December 22 - note to editors) have made their names on the site www.ozurdiliyoruz.com ( 'we demand an apology') launched on Monday by a group of intellectuals, it is a sign of changing attitudes towards one of the most sensitive of the past in Turkey. Strauss continued,''But Mr. Gül is distanced himself from this review Thursday, saying in a statement that while he had worked to promote the official position of Turkey abroad, the rising public debate that the Turks feel "more confident in themselves and in peace with their history '.'' Strauss added:''Cengiz Aktar, an organizer of the demand for online apology, said that the denial of the bloodshed of 1915 was the founding myth of modern Turkey. ''

A Turkish-known dissident intellectual, wrote recently in Nazarian, describing the situation in Turkey following the petition 'we ask you to excuse':''My problem is with the state, with its brutal legacy. We are here again in an atmosphere of lynching Turkish fascists. Again, they begin their threats. It's like vomit. This country is deeply poisoned by the lies of ultra nationalism, with an ideology of totalitarian state and a strong militarism. This is a period of transition, but there is a danger, but may become worse. But after a while, it may be better. If we can survive, we can also see some very important changes.

While many Turks are making great efforts to do away with the dark past of their nation, Sarafian seems to want to live with their criminal past.

Appo Jabarian Publishing Director Manager Edition 26 December 2008 USA Armenian Life Magazine - Issue # 1135 December 26, 2008 - January 1, 2009


Criminalization Of Holocaust Denial In Holland: Kamerlid Voordewind Table A Draft Law 13 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
The parliamentary party Dutch Christian social values ChristenUnie (CU), Kamerlid Voordewind tabled a bill before the National Assembly of his country aimed to penalize any initiative to approve or deny genocide.

"The murder of a nation is the most serious offense that can make people" Voordewind Kamerlid wrote in the brief comment of its proposed law. "Denying consciously offend or discriminate against others must be prevented," he continues.

For those directly involved as victims or their survivors, the denial of genocide is "very painful" and "deeply offensive" as in the case of "the Holocaust or the Armenian genocide."

Voordewind Kamerlid wants "issue" with his proposal "a clear signal to society that denying genocide is liable to criminal prosecution. In a time when everything must be discussed, it is useful to state clearly that denying genocide is "unacceptable." His proposed legislation is not intended to impose silence on freedom of expression "he says. MP wants to add the crime of Holocaust denial in Article 137 of the Penal Code, by adding a section 137a. The sentence that the judge may impose will be a maximum of one year imprisonment or a heavy fine.

The Council of State advised Kamerlid Voordewind, does not include the value of its draft law. The denial of genocide is already resolved with the current legislation, said the council.

Voordewind Kamerlid found that the criminalization of Holocaust denial is not clear from the existing laws. In addition it finds that genocide is so serious that it is essential that states explicitly approve or deny a genocide is liable to criminal prosecution.
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Timsales Karabekir Yildiran: "The Armenian Genocide Does Not Exist" 13 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
The daughter of Karabekir Kazim, one of the commanders of the Turkish army during the War of Independence [1920-1923] and President of the Foundation Karabekir Kazim, Timsales Karabekir Yildiran said his father has also protected the Armenian orphans.

A photographic exhibition comprises 59 photos, held at the Center for Fine Arts in Yalova with the theme "Kazim Karabekir" was inaugurated by the mayor of Yalova Binicioglu Barbaros and Timsales Karabekir Yildiran.

Following the exhibition at the talks, citing Yildiran his father and the "liberation struggle" said his father was known as "father of orphans." She added: "My father protected the orphans of war. The orphans have worked in sewing or making boots. He even formed a choir. If it deals with children because he himself had become an orphan at 11 years. "

"The alleged Armenian Genocide"

TM Karabekir added that "there are 189 mass graves while Turkey has no record of a mass grave Armenian. Why is no Armenian graves? This demonstrates that the Armenian Genocide does not exist. Kazim Karabekir protected both orphans that Turkish Armenians. The proof of this gesture is a gift sent from the orphanage of Armenians Trabizonde. In this gift we see the photo of K. Karabekir and below a sign "Thanks to the Father of Orphans."

Thereafter she played the musical works written and composed by his father "Turkish Vaillant"

At the end of the conference the mayor has offered to T. K Yildiran a copy of the cup of coffee qu'Ataturk used in "Palace Walk"

Translation by NAM Hrant.


The Armenia-Turkey Match Award By The Price Of Fair Play Fifa 13 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
The International Federation of Amateur Football (FIFA) decided to award the prize Fair play to the federations of Armenia and Turkey at a ceremony held on Monday in Zurich, Switzerland.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul had visited September 6 in Armenia at the invitation of Armenian President Serge Sarkissian at the qualifying match for the World Cup in 2010 between Armenia and Turkey breaking no relations between the two neighboring countries.

Abdullah Gul was invited back Serge Sarkissian to visit Turkey on 14 November 2009 for the return match.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country was the head of the EU presidency had called the meeting to "historic and courageous initiative". The international press was also warmly applauded the visit, while 70% of the Turkish public had expressed its approval in accordance with the opinion polls.

Consequently, according to FIFA sport and more specifically football, has helped alleviate a situation where traditional diplomacy had failed since 1991, the year of the independence of Armenia.

As for the match itself, 10,000 fans were present in the stadium to witness this historic meeting. Turkey won the match by 2 goals to zero but the most important by FIFA is that the game was played without problems.

The award was given by the President of UEFA and a member of the Executive Committee of FIFA Michel Platini Senes Erzik and member of the executive committee of FIFA.


The Cultural Center In Eskisehir Forbidden To Jews And Armenians 12 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Capa Niyazi, president of Osmangazi, the federation of associations to Eskisehir in Turkey, held on 7 January 2009 a press conference during which he showed a sign that it read "Through this door dogs may but not the Jews and Armenians "indicating that he blamed those who ask forgiveness to the Armenians and Israel for its attacks against Palestine.

Niyazi Capa Armenia has claimed that there are signs with words "Dogs and Turks can not return." "They put us in balance and dogs. So we are taking in our arms dogs, we go up that dogs are more valuable they are. "

The President Niyazi Capa put on the table a doll, prosthetic arms, hands and legs bloody.

He said "during its history of thousand years, we never left a legacy that we déshonorerait. Those who act with the orders of the diaspora [Armenian] although they are listening. They have gone too far. You've done as people degenerate, of mixed blood. You ask forgiveness of the people who during the war where Osmanlis fought on seven fronts, have betrayed their master, cowardly murdered 34 government officials. We ask for apologies of countries that support human rights. The Europeans, pimps PKK responsible for our martyrs irrespective 30,000 women and children must ask for forgiveness. The enemies of Islam, or sucking blood pouring must suffer the punishment of God. "

At the end of the conference, Niyazi Capa and his supporters have laid before the cultural center for the journalists with the signs, taking a dog in their arms.


Egemen Bagis, A Holocaust Denier Appointed Negotiator For Turkey To Join EU 12 January 2009, Stéphane / armenews
Turkey has appointed a new chief negotiator for his candidacy to the European Union, reported the Anatolian News Agency.

The function was entrusted to Egemen Bagis, a notorious Holocaust denier and adviser to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who speaks fluent English and French, she said Thursday evening. Previously, the case was taken over directly by the Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. But some circles blamed him for slow progress in the rapprochement with the European Union. Turkey began negotiations in 2005 leading to accession.

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