05 March 2009

2764) Nothing Personal: Turkey’s Top Ten By Raffi K. Hovannisian *


Sporadic Few Reader’s Comments
Nothing Personal: Turkey’s Top Ten By Raffi K. Hovannisian *

Yerevan– That an Armenian repatriate, American-born into a legacy of remembrance inherited from a line of survivors of genocide [Did you not wonder why there was so many survivors, if it was a true genocide? ] nearly a century ago, feels compelled to entitle his thoughts with a focus on Turkey– and not Armenia– reveals a larger problem, a gaping wound, and an imperative for closure long overdue on both sides of history’s tragic divide. .

The new Armenia, independent of its longstanding statelessness since 1991, is my everyday life, as are the yearnings of my fellow citizens for their daily dignity, true democracy, the rule of law, and an empowering end to sham elections and the corruption, arrogance and unaccountability of power. Having suffered so much in the past, from the Ottoman Empire to the Soviet Union, today the Armenian people ironically are deprived in their own Republic of the very rights and freedoms that foreign empires had so often violently denied them. Armenia deserves good governance and better leadership across the board, and that time must come to pass.

[There is a huge similarity in the ‘perfection of corruption and absence of democracy’ in true sense, in both countries].

“Generation next” is neither victim nor subject, nor any longer an infidel “millet.” [This is a populist slander. There are 47 excerpts in Chapter 2 of my book, proving the opposite!] We seek not, in obsequious supplicancy, to curry the favor of the world’s strong and self-important, whose interests often trump their own principles and whose geopolitics engulf the professed values of liberty and justice for all. Gone are the residual resources for kissing up or behind.

[No one, not even Las Vegas pay back loser gamblers!]

And so, with a clarity of conscience and a goodness of heart, I expect Turkey and its administration to address the multiple modern challenges they face and offer to this end a list of realities, not commandments, that will help enable a new era of regional understanding and the globalization of a peaceful order that countenances neither victims nor victimizers.

[Sure, if you admit facts!]

1. Measure sevenfold, cut once: This old local adage suggests a neat lesson for contemporary officials. Before launching, at Davos or elsewhere, pedantic missiles in condemnation of the excesses of others, think fully about the substance and implications of your invectives and your standing to articulate them. This is not a narrow Armenian assertion; it includes all relevant dimensions, including Cyprus, the Kurds, the Assyrians, the Alewis, the Jewish and other minorities. Occupation, for its part, is the last word Turkish representatives should be showering in different directions at different international fora, lest someone require a textbook definition of duplicity. Maintain dignity but tread lightly, for history is a powerful and lasting precedent.

[Sir, you have not read even your own history, forget that you are an aggressor in Karabagh, killed innocent Moslems at Hodjali occupying 20% of Azeri land with Russian military back up? Aren’t you exceeding your limits by recommending how Turks should handle their own matters?]

2. Self-reflection: Democracies achieve domestic success, applicants accomplish European integration, and countries become regional drivers only when they have the political courage and moral fortitude to undergo this process. Face yourself, your own conduct, and the track record of state on behalf of which you speak. Not only the success stories and points of pride, but the whole deal. Be honest and brave about it; you do possess the potential to graduate from decades of denialism. Recent trends in civil society, however tentative and preliminary, attest to this.

[As a modest – decent and friendly to all Turk, I am prepared to face you, your historians and any evidence that you can lay in front of me. The problem is that no Armenian scholars or politicians have any such courage because they know they speak only populist unproven slanders, “denialism” being a very cheap lie !]

3. The Armenian genocide: Don’t fidget for the escape hatch, take responsibility. There is so much evidential documentation in the US National Archives, the British Public Record Office, the Quai d’Orsay, and even the German military archives to disarm the various instruments of official denial that have been employed over the years. But this is only the paperwork. The most damning testimony is not in the killing of more than a million human souls in a manifest execution of the 20th century’s first genocide or, in the words of the American ambassador reporting at the time, “race extermination.”

[Sir, you are speaking empty words…No one but you escapes!

USA officially admitted that they have no valid documents; show me “authentic” British Documents outside of the Blue Book letters written by Armenians only for the Missionaries…and before you show me Quai d’Orsay documents Read the letter of "Boghos Nubar to Paris confessing “belligerent de facto” and article in London times! stop, cheap sermons, be specific, see chapter 15 of my book for Armenian population in 1914, maximum 1.3 to 1.5 millions. then, see the numbers reported living by British-American authorities, Armenian historians in 1919 – 1921 and finally reported by usa senate-congress to have 1.414.000 Armenians alive. stop cheap accusations, “extermination” add and subtract only!

4. Homeland-killing: Worse than genocide, as incredible as that sounds, is the premeditated deprivation of a people of its ancestral heartland. And that’s precisely what happened. In what amounted to the Great Armenian Dispossession, a nation living for more than three millennium upon its historic patrimony– at times amid its own sovereign kingdoms and more frequently as a subject of occupying empires– was in a matter of months brutally, literally, and completely eradicated from its land. Unprecedented in human history, this expropriation of homes and lands, churches and monasteries, schools and colleges, libraries and hospitals, properties and infrastructures constitutes to this day a murder, not only of a people, but of a civilization, a culture, a time-earned way of life. This is where the debate about calling it genocide or not becomes absurd, trivial, and tertiary. A homeland was exterminated by the Turkish republic’s predecessor and under the world’s watchful eye, and we’re negotiating a word. Even that term is not enough to encompass the magnitude of the crime.

[Ancestral heartland? Should Turks demand all Balkans or Middle-Asia countries from where they spread out! Three Millennium? Are you claiming “Biblical rights” when speaking “real politics?” 70% of the Yerevan Area was Moslem back in 1850s! Can you show but one Moslem mosque or family left? There are plenty churches, schools, hospitals of Turks of Armenian origin! In 1890s – 1903 when your churches were ripped down by Russians and you had no freedom in Russia, you organized to save – but truly destroy your own nation with reckless adventures of humpabets, looting, killing… and when the real trouble makers caused calamities to their once peaceful community, they all ran away to foreign countries, abandoning their own people. Examples: Andranik, Pastermadjian to USA, Drastamat to Europe and Germany, etc…. Law abiding Armenians of Turkey were untouched or did not suffer much… More than half a million Turks were killed during the same period of deprivations, by similar causes such as famine, epidemics… There was no crime, any crime that existed was personal and reciprocal… There is plenty of Armenian evidence and photos for the Armenian braveries in killing-fighting-murdering Moslems! Surely, Moslems repaid when it was their turn, but this is only a small fraction of losses and there are many stories of the humane relations between Turks and Armenians in those days, despite risks and disasters! Regrettably, even Mr. Hoannissian does not show any concern about the consequences of some 40.000 illegal Armenians earning a living in Turkey or some 70.000 Turkish Armenians who are greatly disturbed by these outside provocations by Protestants and Catholics, who are not even 5% of the Turkish Armenian community.

5. Coming clean: It is the only way to move forward. This is not a threat, but a statement of plain, unoriginal fact. Don’t be afraid of the price tag. What the Armenians lost is priceless. Instead of constantly and viscerally attempting to flee this catastrophic legacy through the decoy of counterarguments and commissions of various kinds, return to the real script. And rather than complain about or anticipate Armenian demands, undertake your own critical introspection and say what you plan to do to right the wrong, to atone for and to educate, to revive and restore, and to celebrate– yes, you, we and Hrant together– the Armenian heritage of what is today eastern Turkey. Finally take the initiative that you have not yet launched, the one that leads to a real reconciliation based on the terrible truth but bolstered by a fresh call to candor.

Coming clean? Sure, this was the subject of my London Conference, suggest you read. Hrant? Yes, hundreds of thousands Turks marched on streets protesting this only one idiotic murder? How many Armenians ever “talked” (not walked) in protest of some 50 Turkish diplomats killed by ASALA terrorists, later became Armenian veterans with medals! Reconciliation? Sure! But first respect your neighbors properties, borders and forget what you lost in gambling. YOU RISKED and YOU LOST!

6. Never again: The rewards of coming to this reality check far outweigh its perils. What is unfortunately unique about the Holocaust is not the evil of the Shoah itself, but the demeanor of postwar Germany to face history and itself, to assume responsibility for the crimes of the preceding regime, to mourn and to dignify, to seek forgiveness and make redemption, and to incorporate this ethic into the public consciousness and the methodology of state. Germany, now a leader in the democratic world, has only gained and grown from its demeanor. Brandt’s kneeling should not remain unique. A veritable leader of the new Turkey, the European one of the future, might do the same, not in cession but in full expression of his and his nation’s pride and honor. My grandmother, who survived the genocide owing to the human heights of a blessed Turkish neighbor who sheltered little Khengeni of Ordu from the fate of her family, did not live to see that day.

Mr. Hovannissian is again “dreaming” of collecting indemnities for an alleged unproven and not discussed crime!

7. The politics of power: Turkey’s allies can help it along this way. Whether it’s from Washington and its transatlantic partners, the European Union, the Muslim world or even Moscow, to which Ankara has most interestingly been warming up of late, the message might be delivered that, in the third millennium AD, the world will be governed by a different set of rules, that might will respect right, that no crime against humanity or its denial will be tolerated. The Obama Administration bears the burden, but has the capacity for this leadership of light. And it will be tested soon and again.

Respect of rights? Can Armenia make a small trial? Is it not Moscow’s soldiers presently in Armenia? The present crime is your “wasting time” by gambling on the present and future of your own compatriots instead of admitting today’s facts!

8. Turkey and Armenia: These sovereign neighbors have never, in all of history, entered into a bilateral agreement with each other.

Whether diplomatic, economic, political, territorial, or security-specific, no facet of their relationship, or the actual absence thereof, is regulated by a contract freely and fairly entered into between the two republics.

Your ignorance of Armenian history is unbelievable! First, I suggest that you read chapter 3 of my book. Then read chapter 20, pages 407-423, learn that the short-lived Armenian Republic was a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire (and they received food thereafter escaping sweeping famine). Read pages 407-423 tell me the excerpt that is not true!

It’s about time. Hence, the process of official contacts and reciprocal visits that unraveled in the wake of a Turkey-Armenia soccer match in September 2008 should mind this gap and structure the discourse not to run away from the divides emanating from the past, but to bridge them through the immediate establishment of diplomatic relations without the positing or posturing of preconditions, the lifting of Turkey’s unlawful border blockade, and a comprehensive discussion and negotiated resolution of all outstanding matters based on an acceptance of history and the commitment to a future guaranteed against it recurrence. Nor should the fact of dialogue, as facially laudable as it is, be pitched in an insincere justification to deter third-party parliaments, and particularly the US Congress, from adopting decisions or resolutions that simply seek to reaffirm the historical record. Such comportment, far from the statesmanship many expect, would contradict the aim and spirit of any rapprochement.

Acceptance of history? Yes! Accept the Treaties Armenia signed in the past! Remove stupid statement from your constitution demanding ownership of a huge land where you were scattered and not more than 15% of the population. Remember that you had asked this huge land at the Feb. 1919 Paris Conference cleaned out of all non-Christian elements (85%)! By the way, since you claim that 1.5 million people was killed during relocation, what living people was to fill up this huge land? Sir, you are speaking round words without essence. Just be realistic and frank, the spirit of rapprochement is there, but your imagination is above clouds!

9. The past as present: The current Armenian state covers a mere fraction of the vast expanse of the great historical plateau upon which the Armenians lived from the depths of BC until the surgical disgorgement of homeland and humanity that was 1915. Having managed for seventy years as the smallest of the republics of the USSR, Soviet Armenia was the sole remnant component of the patrimony in which the Armenians were permitted by the Soviet-Turkish accords of 1921– the Armenian equivalents of Molotov-Ribbentrop– to maintain a collective existence under the Kremlin’s jurisdiction. Even such obviously Armenian homesteads as Mountainous Karabagh and Nakhichevan were severed by Bolshevik-Kemalist complicity and placed, in exercise of Stalin’s divide-and-conquer facility, under the suzerainty of Soviet Azerbaijan. Accordingly, as improbable as it seems in view of its ethnic kinship with Azerbaijan, modern-day Turkey also carries the charge to discard outdated and pursue corrective policies in the Caucasus. This high duty applies not only to a qualitatively improved and cleansed rapport with the Republic of Armenia, but also in respect of new realities in the region.

In short Mr. Ex-Minister instead of accepting today facts and starting cooperation with your neighbors, you have territorial demands from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, living Moscow and Tehran as your best allies! What are the new realities in the region? Accepting the stupid claims of a handful of dissolute Armenians, badly managed and betrayed by their own leaders?

10. Mountainous Karabagh from sea to shining sea: Called Artsakh in Armenian, this easternmost territory of the Armenian Plateau declared its independence from Soviet Azerbaijan in 1991 in full compliance with controlling Soviet legislation, customary international law, and the Montevideo Convention. Against the odds of a David-and-Goliath struggle for liberty and identity, its people valiantly defended their hearths and homes first against provocations and pogroms, and then in the face of “Grad” rocket launchers, cluster and other indiscriminate aerial bombings of civilian targets, and finally in response to an all-out war of aggression that brought together as bedfellows the Azerbaijani military, Turkish advisers and through them NATO-vintage materiel, “mujaheddin” mercenaries, and some transitional rogue units from the devolving Soviet army.

You call aggression and occupation by force “defense of hearths” and speak of David-Goliath mythology in today real politics?

Almost miraculous in view of the tragedy of modern history, the Armenians of Artsakh were able to successfully defend their homeland, secure their frontiers from further attack, and ultimately resist the temptation of an excessive counter-offensive, so signing a ceasefire with Azerbaijan in May 1994. Unlike Nakhichevan– where no Armenians remain today and where even the final vestiges of Armenian cultural heritage have been defaced and destroyed, as recently as December 2005, by an official policy of the Azerbaijani state– Mountainous Karabagh held its own and most exceptionally surmounted the Stalinist legacy of subjugation and colonization. Turkey, as Azerbaijan’s proxy in the wider world and as an important political contributor, must come to respect Karabagh’s choice and include it in any platforms or other initiatives brought to the regional table. Of course, the diplomatic agenda continues to comprise such issues as the return of refugees to their places of origin, the opening of communications, demilitarization and peacekeeping, territorial adjustments and security guarantees, but none of these can or will happen unilaterally or in one direction only. Mutuality is key in every category, and the final agreement of the parties, together with the ensuing supervisory regime, must attach equally to all from the Caspian to the Black Sea. When considering, for instance, the secured right of voluntary return for refugees and their progeny, or else a reactivation of normal transportation avenues, the scope of these provisions and the related security protocols must embrace Azerbaijan, Mountainous Karabagh, Armenia, and Turkey. In this sense, a durable and equitable resolution of the Azerbaijan-Karabagh standoff is substantively derivative from the Turkish-Armenian relationship and the course of its development.

On the road to inevitable self-discovery, Turkey, its future with Armenia, and their immediate neighborhood have come to form one of the planet’s most sensitive and seismic tectonic plates. Neo-imperial interests and raw power in their pursuit can no longer control the shift. Integrity, equity, and a bit of humility might help to save the day. And our world.

This tirade of communist style self-justification and logic, with simple shiny words of no real value, shows that the Armenian politicians from the Government to Opposition, is tied up with the illusion of Great Armenia (when their people are going away) also depending on outside powers (Russia, EU and USA) to again put force on Turkey. Armenia was used and dumped by the super powers a century ago, and still does not realize that they have to behave and act like good neighbors instead of turning the world upside down with lunatic claims and justifications.

* Raffi K. Hovannisian was Armenia’s first minister of foreign affairs and currently represents the opposition Heritage party in the National Assembly

by Sukru Server Aya
Genocide of Truth E-Book Download Link
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