15 March 2009

2780) ActionAlert : ABC TV (Australia) Visit Turkey & Armenia, Talk To People From Both Sides:Genocide by Ottoman Turks:Ghost From Past 22/04/2009

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

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com © This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com
Broadcast:ABC TV Australia 22/04/2008
Reporter: Eric Campbell
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Armenian National Committee Asks Armenians to join in congratulating ABC Foreign Correspondent, and Eric Campbell

What Will YOU Tell Your Kids, Tomorrow:
a) I couldn't care less. I couldn't be bothered OR
b) I've been a part of the action group fighting for the truth

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ABC Excerpts : Black
Sukru Server Aya's Comments: Bold & Blue
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Open Letter Reply With Request Of Public Announcement To AU Citizens

Gentlemen;
I am shocked at your becoming a center of continuous slandering propaganda against Turkey, and permitting yourselves to be used for broadcasting lies and distortions for a handful of Armenian propagandists who work hard to temper the Turkish-Australian friendship, despite a
. .
painful history! In this connection, you may please refer to my objections to your previous broadcasting, such as:
etc



While the landings under fire at Gallipoli Cove on the western coast of Turkey in 1915 were seen to have helped forge Australia's national identity, at the same time in Anatolia in central Turkey ethnic Armenians were being evicted, harassed and slaughtered.


Too many wrongs or lies in one short paragraph, viz:
1- Why did ANZAC come from so far away to Turkey?
What harm did Turks ever do to the ANZACS!

2- They landed on April 25, 1915; relocation decree was dated 27.5.1915 and was started in July 1915. All of the people in the fighting zones were evacuated for military necessities! Armenians were simply relocated in the same country at safer areas because acts of sabotage and treason. As Evidence See Photos Here. There has never been any proof of any planned slaughter and records show that “almost all columns arrived” at the new settlements-villages allocated to them, but some with losses of banditry, epidemics, food shortage, hardships. Unfounded accusations are “lies, slanders, distortions, fabrications”!



Respected historians say as many as a million people were killed and many more made refugees. (see extract*)


Referred Bernard Lewis does not speak of any murders, mentions deprivations at war time under severe climatic, transport, logistic, health conditions, common to all. Muslims also died for same reasons, were Armenians supposed to be immune to epidemics and hardships? We need not “historians speak” because available documents open to all on the internet write clear enough and are not refutable!

While in some countries such as France, it is a criminal offence to deny the Armenian genocide, successive Turkish governments refuse to acknowledge it. . .

Any act of murder and punishment, needs some very basic evidence, such as:
Reason of intent, benefit, place, date, location, numbers, murder tools, corpses, neutral sufficient eye witnesses, documents, legal investigation, court proceedings, verdict by authorized court under laws prevailing at time of murder! Which or how many of these can the reporter name? A mistake of France is an example of “wrong”!


Two years ago Foreign Correspondent broadcast a report featuring Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's most famous author who dared to speak of the genocide. Pamuk was convicted of insulting Turkey and later was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

Orhan Pamuk is simply a book writer, who became famous by speaking for he Armenian lobbies that Turks killed one million Armenians! Did he have any knowledge or prof of any kind? No! He was rewarded with the Nobel prize for becoming a reputed instrument for the Armenian slanders against Turkey. Regretably there are other “His Master’s Voice” records of Turkish origin, being paid for their being played by diaspora!

The report also featured an interview with Hrant Dink, the publisher of an Armenian newspaper in Istanbul. A few months later Hrant Dink was dead, allegedly shot by a teenage ultra-nationalist.

Mr. Reporter, when Hrant Dink was murdered by a fanatic young man, hundreds of thousands Turks marched İstanbul in protest of this “only one murder” versus some 240 acts of terror with over 52 Turkish diplomat or relatives killed. See below chronological list and photos! You can observe that on 17.12.1980 the Turkish Consul in Sydney Sarik Aryak, and his attache Engin Sever were both murdered in Australia, the killer was never caught, or actually let go outside of country! Sir, if I were in your shoes as an Australian, I would not know where to hide my face when speaking of a murder 20.000 km away, but forgetting the one in your own country? WHO PROTESTED THESE MURDERS IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY! Yes, who?

Chronological List Of Armenian Terrorist Activities From 1918 To 1999


Turkey's Prime Minister responding to news of Hrant Dink's murder saying that "a bullet has been fired at democracy and freedom."

Eric Campbell went to meet Fuat Turgut, the lawyer representing Yasin Hayal, accused of being the mastermind behind Hrant Dink's murder.

Turgut acknowledges that his client provided the alleged killer with a gun and cash. Yasin Hayal's father concedes in an interview with Campbell his son "might have been tricked because he loves his country and his nation."

The Dink case epitomises the hostility of some Turks towards fellow citizens who happen to be ethnic Armenians. Armenians feel that little will change unless Turkey acknowledges the root of the problem - the slaughter and forced expulsions of 1915 and 1916.


Armenians in Turkey (including some 50.000 who stay and work illegally to earn a living for those in Armenia) are extremely disturbed by these allegations made on behalf of them, from far away countries directly affecting their comfort and warm relations with other Turkish citizens! Those self-empowered diaspora Armenians including those in AU, most likely cannot even speak Armenian, they are not of Gregorian Church, do not have their own Armenian Schools, Hospitals and full freedom all other citizens enjoy. If you kindly refer to Chapter 15 Of My Book: ıt shows the population before and after the relocations based on various (British-American-French-Armenian) records with safe arrivals and numbers of people alive in 1918-1919 reported by Armenians as 800.000 to 1.2 million alive and by US Senate-Congress on 22.4.1922 as 1.414.000 alive at that tine! Who was slaughtered, are these records or your accusations wrong! Let the documents speak instead of biased base remarks!

Turkish MP Suat Kiniklioglu, a prominent member of his country's Foreign Affairs Commission tells Campbell that any suggestion Turkey was responsible for genocide "my government finds very insulting."

On the other side of the border, closed by Turkey, Armenia's Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian says the "genocide committed against the Armenian people was a huge tragedy and the sense of tragedy is being exacerbated with every passing day Turkey continues to deny."

In Armenia Eric Campbell interviews Dr Verijine Svazlian who has conducted hundreds of interviews with genocide survivors. "Gradually people opened up to me and acquired enough confidence to share some of the most horrifying, brutal and disgusting episodes of the massacres they were a witness to," she said.


My book based on anti-Turkish references is open on the internet to the whole World. So far no one could refute a single reference! Ask your politicians and historians to read “my references” and tell me which one is untrue!

Today there are a mere handful of survivors.
Mari Vardanyan, who is 102, remembers her grandfather being shot and the threat issued by Turks to the local priest. He was ordered to vacate his church or they would hang him and drink his blood.


Again Grand-ma stories of individual cases of reciprocal butcheries? I have witnesses and photos by thousands but more important I have the written confessions of brave Armenian volunteers, who filled water wells with live bodies, burned mosques with people inside, etc. etc.!

Around the world political argument continues over the Armenian genocide. Late last year US President George W. Bush rebuffed a proposal before Congress to pass a resolution formally recognising the genocide, for fear of jeopardising relations with Turkey, which is a key ally. Democrat presidential contenders, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama are committed to recognising the Armenian genocide if elected President.

* Extract from The Middle East, by Bernard Lewis, an authority on Islamic and Middle Eastern history.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1995

In the spring of 1915 when Armenian rebels had gained control of Van, the British were at the Dardanelles, the Russians attacking in the East and another British force apparently advancing on Baghdad the Ottoman government decided on the deportation and relocation of the Armenian population of Anatolia - a practice sadly familiar in the region since biblical times. Some categories of Armenians, along with their families, were declared exempt from the deportation order; Catholics, Protestants, railway workers and members of the armed forces. But the great mass of Armenians in Anatolia extending far beyond the endangered areas and suspect groups, was included in both the deportations and its deadly consequences,

The deportees suffered appalling hardship. In an embattled empire desperately short of manpower, neither soldiers nor gendarmes were available and the task of escorting the deportees was entrusted to hastily recruited local posses. Estimates vary considerably as to the numbers of but there can be no doubt that least hundreds of thousands of Armenians perished, perhaps more than a million. Many succumbed to hunger disease and exposure; great numbers were brutally murdered either by local tribesmen and villagers, through the negligence or with the complicity of their unpaid, unfed and undisciplined escorts, or by the escorts themselves.

The Ottoman central government seems to have made some effort to curb the excess. The archives contain telegrams from high Ottoman authorities, concerned with the prevention or punishment of acts of violence against the Armenians. They include records of almost 1400 hundred courts martials at which the Ottoman civil and military personnel were tried and sentenced, some of them to death for offences against the deportees.


I need not to comment on the drafted scripts of this interview. This individual dramatisation of one case one murder (forgetting ASALA’s terror by hundreds) is indeed ridiculous and shows the dimension of prearrangements. Mr. Reporter, all that I am saying here is within your reach by a simple click in the blogsite. If you find any of my references to be untrue, I promise to swallow all 702 pages of my book including the hard cover! DEFEND TRUTH AND DECENCY for a peaceful tomorrow! You are selling hatred and grudge, “the best selling item of the Armenian diaspora on which they collect, earn Money for themselves sending only a small fraction to their home country where people perish and try to get out as soon as possible.

If you will visit Armenia in the near future, fly via İstanbul and make sure that you spend a few days with me to take you around and let you speak to the “real Turkish Armenians” not the charlatans milking their community on benevolent excuses, to become even richer.

Sukru S. Aya (Born in 1930 - friend of all nationalities and many “decent” Armenians and also Aussies)


Transcript:
CAMPBELL: It is nearly a century since Armenians were massacred in Turkey, but the killing goes on. At a church in Istanbul, family and friends have come to honour and mourn the latest victim.

Hrant Dink was a writer who tried to bring about reconciliation between Turks and Armenians. He was murdered for his trouble. At this memorial led by his widow Rakel, fellow writers remembered a man who would dared to hope.

ASLI ERDOGAN: [Author] Hrant Dink represents the best part of us, the most peaceful part. I think everybody feels something in himself is killed is murdered. The peace… I think more than anything else he represents at least some sort of peace.


Question: Didn’t killed over 52 diplomats represent anything of innocence to you?

CAMPBELL: We met Hrant Dink two years ago, when he was editing an Armenian language newspaper called Argos. In a series of articles he had discussed a dark chapter in Turkish history, the forced deportation of Armenians in 1915.

No! Hrant was Protestant, writing against the Gregorian church and large Armenian community, because he was receiving grants from ANCA for his paper. Nevertheless, he “wanted to have peace and never approved violence or the intrusions of the diaspora” for the future of Turkish Armenians. He was a good willing person! Like 95% of all Turks, I feel extremely sorry fort his stupid murder and trust that the killer will be penalised to rot in prison.

HRANT DINK: [Archive footage] For the Armenian people, 1915 signifies the year when their existence as a nation and their right to live in that nation and land was destroyed.

If Dink made any such stupid statement, he also mentioned of the Armenian revolts and internal wars!

CAMPBELL: In calling it genocide he had brought down the wrath of the Turkish states. A magistrate had just sentenced him to six months in prison for insulting Turkishness.

I do not remember Dink speaking of any “Genocide” he spoke of killings and butcheries, and I reconfirm this fact but adding that they were RECIPROCAL. There is no clean hand!

HRANT DINK: [Archive footage] What is really dangerous for those who are in charge in Turkey is the awakening from inside.

CAMPBELL: A year later while he was appealing his conviction, Hrant Dink was ambushed and shot. The publisher of Argos, Sarkis Seropyan, discovered his body as he left the office. Dink had spoken of “dirty Turkish blood in veins” and that it will be replaced with “clean Armenian blood”, so this was enough for a Turkish fanatic believing in the dirt of blood instead of (Rh) and he shot him right on the street.

SARKIS SEROPYAN: We, as the closest associates of Hrant Dink were probably the last ones to realise that such a danger did in fact exist. Hrant, through his writing and articles often expressed if not a fear, a sense of anxiety – a danger like that of a frightened dove.

CAMPBELL: The murder revived tensions that have plagued this land since the days of Gallipoli. At his funeral more than a hundred thousand people marched in protest, many carrying placards proclaiming “we are all Hrant Dink” but some applauded.


Oh my God! What a “stupid statement for any reporter”! Why should and Australian speak of “murder-tension-Gallipoli” all put together because some idiot Turk, killed a good Turk of Armenian ethnicity! There was no one to applaud the murder! You are PROVOKING! Unless you PROVE, YOU ARE A LIAR Mr. Reporter!

When this nineteen-year old nationalist, Ogun Samast, was charged with Dink’s murder, police gave him a Turkish flag to hold as they posed for the cameras.

So What? Every idiot must have some stupid excuse!

SARKIS SEROPYAN: I felt sick in the stomach and great pain when I saw the photo, but unfortunately there are many people who have been pumped full of ultra nationalism.


CAMPBELL: In most countries what happened almost a century ago, would be a matter for history. Here it goes to the very heart of Turkey’s image of itself and of its revered founder Kemal Ataturk. It’s a criminal offence to even suggest the Turkish state was formed out of genocide and while the government is prepared to jail anyone who breaks that taboo, more sinister forces are willing and able to kill.

What a mixture of mumbo-jumbo words to fabricate a new provocation, using the word “Genocide” in every sentence! How you drag in Ataturk in the Picture, how can you form the Turkish Republic out of Genocide! This much of ignorance of NOT READING ANY BOOKS OF ARMENIANS (Nassibian, Pastermadjian) displays only the simplicity and brainwashed grudge or “the draft of the interview text given to him by a fellow Armenian”!

The Black Sea Port of Trabzon is renown as a hotbed for ultra nationalists. It’s home to more than a dozen people arrested over Hrant Dink’s murder, including the alleged mastermind, twenty-six year old Yasin Hayal. We traveled there with a controversial lawyer, Fuat Turgut who has offered his services for free to Hayal and his parents.

FUAT TURGUT: [to Yasin’s parents] So why do you think Yasin might have agreed to such a thing?

YASIN’S MOTHER: He might have been tricked, because he loves his country and his nation.

YASIN’S FATHER: To them, Yasin is someone who loves his country his nation, his flag – and he is someone they believe would do anything for his country.

CAMPBELL: The evidence against him seems damning. Yasin Hayal has an obvious penchant for weapons from his time in the army, but his parents believe the killing must have been orchestrated by more powerful forces.

YASIN’S FATHER: All we want is justice for our son to prevail. If our son is guilty he should be punished. But whoever led these kids into this, whoever directed them, should be punished as well.

FUAT TURGUT: It is said my client commissioned the hit. But what my client did was to give a gun and 180 new Turkish lira. No-one would commit murder for 180 Turkish lira. No one would commit murder just because they were given a gun, without any reason.

CAMPBELL: Fuat Turgut is himself an ultra nationalist, facing charges for plotting to kill a writer, charges he strenuously denies but he admits he has little sympathy for Hrant Dink.

FUAT TURGUT: I was in Antalya when I heard that Hrant Dink was killed. I’d be two-faced if I said that I was very sad. He was portrayed as a poor innocent journalist with holes in his shoes. I know that Hrant Dink was a pure enemy of the Turks.

CAMPBELL: At first glance, it seems hard to understand how Turkey could deny there was genocide. For centuries Turks and Armenians have lived side by side in the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire but in World War I, some Armenians took sides with invading Russians. In reprisal Turkish leaders ordered a mass deportation of Armenians to the Syrian Desert. Historians say as many as a million people perished, but history is viewed very differently in Turkey.

FUAT TURGUT: We never did such a thing. And we Turks feel very bad when we are falsely accused of it. We did not carry out genocide. On the contrary, the Armenians carried out genocide against us.

CAMPBELL: Armenia is now a tiny State on Turkey’s north-east border. Until 1991 it was a Republic of the Soviet Union, now it’s an independent country. Like Israel, its identity is defined by what it sees as a Holocaust.

Vartan Oskanian is Armenia’s Foreign Minister and the grandson of deported Armenians.

VARTAN OSKANIAN: [Minister of Foreign Affairs, Armenia] It was a, you know, genocide committed against the Armenian people that was a huge tragedy and the sense of tragedy is being exacerbated with every passing day as Turkey continues to deny. We think that wound can be healed only if Turkey recognises it.


Ask Mr. Vartan Oskanian, how is it possible to kill all 1.5 million Armenians from the existing 1.3 to 1.5 millions of Armenians alive in Turkey in 1914, but have a balance of living Armenians in 1918 of 1 million according to Armenian Leader Pastermadjian and historian Lalaian and still by end of 1921 to have 1.414.000 Armenians alive, according to the US Congress-Senate Joint report of 22.4.1922! Stop the empty words, give an explanation to these written data!

CAMPBELL: The statue Mother Armenia is a symbol of the importance of older women in this society. It overlooks the capital of Yerevan where just a handful of deportees are still alive.

Mari Vardanyan is a hundred and two years old. She is sometimes confused about the present but remembers her childhood as if it happened yesterday.

MARI VARDANYAN: Seven or eight of us young children were about to be thrown into a pit and buried alive. My aunt said “These are my children”, and she picked up two of us – me and my brother Kevork.

CAMPBELL: She survived to see family and friends die for no other reason than their race. One of her most vivid memories is the threat Turks made against the local priest.


Mr. Campell, back in 1850, 70% of Erivan were Moslems! In Turkey there are about 70-80.000 Armenians of Turkish nationality and some 50.000 Armenians who came as tourists and work illegally. They have their schools, nearly 40 Churches, two large hospitals! How many Moslems live in Armenia today? What happened to all mosques? Can you name ONE Moslem or Turkish family?

MARI VARDANYAN: One day they attached a bowl to the end of a rope with a note to the priest, saying “If you’re still around in three days we will use this rope to hang you – and this bowl to drink your blood”. That’s how the Turks behaved.

You write all this nonsense as if “serious history”!

CAMPBELL: To keep the memory alive, Armenia has built a giant museum of genocide. In meticulous detail it sets out the events of expulsion and persecution. Telegrams ordering the Armenian’s removal, eyewitness accounts of the massacres, graphic photos of the victims–even a Turkish official appearing to taunt starving children with the loaf of bread.

Armenians are to be”complimented” for building museums of blood – murder and hatred (collecting money to exhibit these inhumanities, partly true, partly distorted. Telegram order for relocation? Anything wrong? Eye witness accounts of murders, can you show but ONE which is not Armenian? Turkish official with bread? Another recently fabricated photo fallacy of which has been proven by British-Australian scholar Prof. Jeremy Salt! So far, Mr. Reporter you have not furnished even ONE valid document!

VERJINE SVAZLIAN: The holocaust of the Jews later on was carried out by more advanced methods.

My book explains with photos the service of some 20.000 Nazi Armenians involved in the Jewish holocaust!

KNARIK AVAKIAN: What more proof do they need to acknowledge the Armenian genocide?

So far there has been NO SHOWN proof of any Genocide done to Armenians, but we have plenty evidence of the partnership of several battalions under General Dro Drastamat Knajan, serving Hitler and speaking of joint Armenian-German victory in the 1945 New Year speech! Photos and evidence? Just ask!

CAMPBELL: Verjine Svazlian and her daughter Knarik Avakian are frequent visitors here. They’re historians who have spent their lives cataloging the crimes. Dr Svazlian is convinced Turks wanted to wipe out minorities and create an ethnically pure state.

DR VERJINE SVAZLIAN: Turkey ordered that it be cleansed of its Christian minorities. Neither the Armenians nor the Greeks had the right to live there any longer. The century-old hatred and intolerance of Armenians evolved to the perpetration of genocide. Those atrocities were not mere massacres. They can only be dignified as genocide. The world should distinguish these two terms, and speak out – in particular, President Bush.


Shameless lies about Christian minorities… All those who did not betray their country and have not gone to better places outside, are living-working like all other Turkish citizens. Name which Christian has been banned of prayers or church destroyed? Dr. Svazlian should first read the Memorandum given by the Armenian delegation to the 1919 Paris Conference, where Armenians want more than half of Anatolia from sea to sea but more important freed from all non-Christian elements, who were 85% of the population! By the way, weren’t all of them killed by Genocide? Who was to fil lup this huge land, size half of today’s Turkey?

CAMPBELL: The United States has supported this young democracy with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, but even the US Government remains coy about acknowledging history. Last October President Bush effectively vetoed a Congress resolution that would recognise the killings here as genocide. The White House was concerned it could jeopardise Turkey’s support in the war on terror.

Have you wondered why should USA give Armenia every year $ 100 million Grant (not credit) when Armenia keeps Russian soldiers in several bases and are best allies with Iran, and has territorial claims with all other neighbors, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan?

Turkey’s greatest fear is that Armenians may try to reclaim their land. The Khor Virap Monastery was once in the centre of Armenia - now it marks the border with Turkey. Most of the churches, farms and villages from which they were expelled, are on the other side. After World War I, Turkey swallowed up what Armenians see as their traditional land - even Mt Ararat, the symbol of the Armenian nation.

Republic of Armenia surrendered and signed Gumru Treaty in 1920 and saved the rest of the people from starvation. The treaty was signed later by Moscow Agreement and also 1921 Kars agreement. The little Armenia of 1.5 million people, size of a small township of İstanbul, is now challenging the 75 million Turkey, denying all treaties she signed. Today’s Armenia was land of the Ottoman Empire and was controlled either by Iran or Ottomans. The 1918 Armenian Republic was founded as a Turkish protectorate but after the surrender of the Ottoman Empire on 30.10.1918 they attacked for land grabbing, forgetting that they were kissing sultan’s feet six months earlier. They revolted, they gambled and the Russian Armenian leaders who caused these calamities over their people they all left and went to other countries (Andranik, Dro, Pastermadjian, etc).


DR VERJINE SVAZLIAN: As Hrant Dink once put it, even if Armenians were flown out by golden airplanes it would be nothing short of genocide, as they were uprooted from their birthplace and deprived of their homeland. ????

CAMPBELL: Even today Turkey refuses to have diplomatic relations with Armenia. Just down here is the border between Armenia and Turkey and it’s a no go zone. Turkey closed the frontier in 1993 shortly after Armenia won independence, the no man’s land is now patrolled by Russian soldiers. Nearly a century after the killings, this is a stark symbol of the bitterness and recrimination that still divides these neighbours.

Mr. Reporter, why don’t you say that Armenia committed Hodjali genocide, grabbed 20% of Azerbaijan land with the help and arms of the Russian army and that presently 1.5 refugee Moslems live in railway cars since they were kicked out from their homes by Armenians & Russians! Would you welcome a criminal neighbor who has desires on your properties and family? All the sudden all Armenians are all time innocent persons

VARTAN OSKANIAN: Well it’s Turkey’s policy. Armenia considers that the border from our side is open. We’ve never closed it. We will not. We think the state of affairs between our two countries today does not warrant a closed border. We’re not at war with each other.

We are not at war, but we foment and provocations all over the world, we have territorial claims in our written constitution, we want Money we want this, we want that and will give nothing! Bravo!

CAMPBELL: Across the border in Turkey, many feel Armenians owe them an apology. Every day in the capital Ankara, soldiers march to the tomb of Kemal Ataturk who led the defence of Gallipoli against allied invaders.

Apology from traitors that fought against their home country collaborating with invaders?

In 1919, he rescued Turks from disaster, establishing the state of Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. His battles were not just with the allies, but with Armenians who took up arms against the Ottoman State.

Suat Kiniklioglu is a member of the ruling Justice Party. His grandfather was killed by Armenians fighting with the allies.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: [MP, Justice Party] 1915, you have a crumbling empire. You have the Armenian siding with the Russians. There’s certainly a fringe within the Ottoman government that appears to have not the most friendliest of views about Armenians. But there is no determined programmatic you know, will of extermination of a particular ethnic group and… I think…

CAMPBELL: Are you sure about that? I mean did you go to the genocide museum when you were Armenia?

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Yes I did.

CAMPBELL: I mean here we have clearly Turkish soldiers leading out ...

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Yes they were removed.

CAMPBELL: Yes.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Yes they were removed to another territory.

CAMPBELL: Forcibly removed.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: That’s true.

CAMPBELL: To the Syrian Desert.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Yes but…
That was not desert, it was agricultural land on the river bank!

CAMPBELL: Where they died. I mean here are photos of people in the Syrian Desert who have starved to death.

People in cities where there was no war, Beirut, Aleppo etc. died of epidemics and starvation by about 10%. Soldiers in the army died for about 30% behind the lines because of same reasons. Armenian camps were fed by Turks as much as they could have, when all sea ports were blockaded by Russian-French-British navy! Only Relief ships were let go bringing supplies to Christians only under the protection of famished Turkish soldiers. No relief supplies were given to Turkish camps or orphanages caring Armenians!

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Exactly, that’s true.

CAMPBELL: I mean this was a government policy.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: No one is, look no one is challenging that. Yes many of these things happened, it’s true but the problem is, the difference between this a government policy to remove an ethnic community from one place to, out of the war theatre basically, and a planned extermination of a population such as done in World War II is a very different thing.

PROTESTORS CHANTING: We are all Hrant… We are all Armenians.

CAMPBELL: Writers who challenge the official version of history risk imprisonment. Article 301 of the Criminal Code prohibits insulting Turkishness.

WOMAN PROTESTOR: Hrant Dink can still be among us in the struggle for democracy.

CAMPBELL: Ultra nationalist lawyers have used it to prosecute anyone who suggests there was genocide. Despite his 301 conviction, Dink remained a vocal critic but his family now declines to speak because of death threats.

Asli Erdogan is a leading novelist who was a friend of Hrant Dink.

Do you think writers can afford to stay silent now?

ASLI ERDOGAN: I think on the contrary that we have never had that luxury to be silent. On the other hand these kind of threats are just number one reason that the writers should speak up so who is doing to defend freedom of talk more than the writers and journalists. It is our job.

CAMPBELL: The most prominent target of ultra nationalists has been Orhan Pamuk who was recently awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Two years ago, we filmed him fighting an attempt to jail him for violating Article 301.

ORHAN PAMUK: I made a comment to a Swiss newspaper about the fact that a million Armenians were killed here and then we are unfortunately the nation, we are not talking about this thing. This was a taboo, which lies at the heart of modern Turkish Republic.

CAMPBELL: Orhan Pamuk beat the prosecution but is now in fear of Hrant Dink’s killers. When the alleged mastermind Yasin Hayal was brought into court last year, he had this chilling warning for Pamuk.

YASIN HAYAL: Orhan Pamuk should be smart!

CAMPBELL: Lawyer Fuat Turgut who derides Pamuk by giving him an Armenian name, says it was not a threat just sensible advice.

FUAT TURGUT: I repeat my client’s statement and said I agreed with what he had told Orhannes Pamukyan, that he should stop making false accusations against the Turkish people and Turkish government. There is no sense in looking for a threat in this.

CAMPBELL: But Fuat Turgut now stands accused of plotting to murder Pamuk. In January, he was arrested in a massive police swoop on ultra nationalists. Turgut and thirty others, including two former generals were allegedly plotting to overthrow the government after murdering supposed traitors. Turgut is now on bail defending the charges.

FUAT TURGUT: It is ridiculous to say that I am a member of a terrorist organisation.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: They are typical paranoid ultra nationalists who cannot adjust to a global world that is open, transparent, more liberal, and they cannot just digest the fact that this country is on its way to become a European democracy.

CAMPBELL: The controversy over Dink’s murder has crystallized debate about Turkey’s future. The Justice Party came to power in 2003, ending decades of rule by secular nationalists. While its critics accuse it of being Islamist, the Justice Party insists it stands for moderation. Under pressure from the European Union, it has promised to abolish Article 301.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: We are determined that such cases will no longer be opened against people like Orhan Pamuk and others. I may not agree with Orhan Pamuk and what he says but I think he has a right to say it.

CAMPBELL: But so far the government’s promise has come to nought.

ASLI ERDOGAN: I don’t think 301 is likely to be banned. It will be changed into another form, but there will be another 301, 401, 501, 601 – whatever.

CAMPBELL: In a cruel aftermath to Dink’s murder, his son Arat and his publisher Sarkis Seropyan, have been given suspended prison sentences under a 301 prosecution brought by ultra nationalists.

FUAT TURGUT: We got a conviction against Hrant Dink for six months. We will also take his beneficiaries to court for compensation because he falsely accused us Turks of genocide.

SARKIS SEROPYAN: As a close friend of the family… I can say that Hrant Dink’s family is determined to continue his work.

CAMPBELL: The killing of Hrant Dink has exposed the raw wounds of Turkey’s past. Some hope it will galvanise Turkey to admit its mistakes. Others fear there will be still more victims of a never-ending conflict.

www.abc.net.au




Record of Correspondence
Correspondence Date: 22/03/2009 08:44 AEST
Response Required: true
Program: Foreign Correspondent
Program Date: 22/04/2009
ABC Service / Network: ABC Television
ABC Recipient: ABC TV
Subject: Genocide by Ottoman Turks:Ghost From Past

and

email to : foreign2 at your.abc.net.au



Mr Campbell,

The primary intentions of your work about the “Armenian genocide” (which I discovered here were surely good, but the accumulation of approximations, factual errors, and logical fallacies conducts to a result very different to the reality. I have unfortunately not the time to analyze all your numerous mistakes. Some points only:

1) “While in some countries such as France, it is a criminal offence to deny the Armenian genocide, successive Turkish governments refuse to acknowledge it.”

The penalization propositions, made by the deputy Masse in 2006, was not voted by the French Senate, despite the efforts of the Coordination Committee of French-Armenian associations (CCAF). Hurriyet (in English).

The current government supports this refuse: LeFigaro.fr (in French).

These propositions will be never a law, said Pierre Lellouche, a member of the current majority: TodaysZaman.com (in English).

During a public discussion with a leader of the CCAF, in December 2008, Rama Yade, French secretary to Human Rights, said: “It is important that the historians work at first about this subject”. As pointed correctly the CCAF, with ire, this kind of response is in contradiction with the “recognition” law of 2001. This law is unconstitutional, and could be abrogated, as asked by Liberté pour l’histoire, an association of several hundreds of historians.

Jean-Claude Gaudin (UMP), senator and mayor of Marseille, who supported strongly the penalization proposition in January 2008, i.e. some weeks before the municipal elections, said: “We support the CCAF proposition, but it will fail. A law cannot replace history [...] Moreover, even if the candidacy of Turkey would be refused, Turkey is a great country. We [= France and EU] have particular ties and agreements with Turkey.”

2) “Respected historians say as many as a million people were killed and many more made refugees. (see extract*)”

You are right to quote Bernard Lewis, but you do not seem understand what Prof. Lewis says. Prof. Lewis does not refer to the “killing of one million of Armenians”, but to the global losses of one million of Armenians, in majority because involuntary causes, such epidemics and decease. Prof. Lewis adds that “The Ottoman central government seems to have made some effort to curb the excess. The archives contain telegrams from high Ottoman authorities, concerned with the prevention or punishment of acts of violence against the Armenians. They include records of almost 1400 courts martial at which the Ottoman civil and military personnel were tried and sentenced, some to death for offences against the deportees.”

Writing in 1995, Prof. Lewis could not know the recent researches, by Prof. Yusuf Halaçoğlu and Yusuf Sarınay, which demonstrated that, only during the Spring 1916, 1 673 Muslims were tried by courts martial. Among their, 67 were sentenced to death and hanged, 524 sentenced to jail, 68 sentenced to forced labour or other (see Yusuf Halaçoğlu, The Story of 1915. What Happened to the Ottoman Armenians?, Ankara, TTK, 2008, pp. 82-87). During the year 1915, twenty others were sentenced to death and hanged after order of Talat Pasha, number one of the CUP, accused without any proof to be the supreme organizer of the so-called “Armenian genocide”; Jemal Pasha, governor of the Near East and number three of the CUP regime, ordered to arrest several other criminals, in January and February 1916, who was sentenced to death and hanged (Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 2005, pp. 111 and 113).

3) More generally, you do not consider the argumentation of well-respected historians, specialists of Ottoman History, and/or author of comprehensive studies about the events of 1915-1916, like Roderic H. Davison, Gwynne Dyer, Yusuf Halaçoğlu, Guenter Lewy, Justin McCarthy, Andrew Mango, Jeremy Salt, Gilles Veinstein or Robert Zeidner (a more comprehensive list is in appendix). So, your presentation is completely one-sided.

4) “Two years ago Foreign Correspondent broadcast a report featuring Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's most famous author who dared to speak of the genocide. Pamuk was convicted of insulting Turkey and later was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.”

Orhan Pamuk did not use the word “genocide”; and was not convicted. Moreover, the group which attacked Mr. Pamuk in justice is currently in a Turkish jail, for plot against State safety.

It is a performance to make several huge distortions in less than three lines.

5) “The report also featured an interview with Hrant Dink, the publisher of an Armenian newspaper in Istanbul. A few months later Hrant Dink was dead, allegedly shot by a teenage ultra-nationalist.”

We should wait the end of the trial for be completely sure, but it seems that the murder of Hrant Dink had in fact few direct links with the journalistic activities of the victim. The fool teenager seems to be manipulated by the Ergenekon, a gang of former members of the Gladio networks, who had the habitude to destabilize their proper country (“tension strategy”, used too in Italy and Belgium during the 1970’s-1980’s), and wanted to continue.

Anyway, after Hrant Dink’s assassination, several hundreds of thousands of Turks (in majority, peoples who does not consider the word “genocide” as an appropriate qualification for the Armenian case) made a huge demonstration in Istanbul.

On the other hand, Armenian terrorists killed at least 70 peoples (including 31 Turkish diplomats, or members of their family or their staff) during the 1970’s-1980’s (73 if you include three French civil servants killed in Lebanon during the years 1987 and 1988), committed 41 attempts of assassination (including 28 Turkish diplomats and 13 other peoples), 105 hostages taken, 160 bomb attacks and 22 attempts of bomb attacks. The two principal Armenian terrorist groups were the Justice Commando of Armenian Terrorist (JCAG, called Armenian Revolutionary Army from 1983 to 1985) and the Armenian Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). Both JCAG and ASALA used drug smuggling and racket as sources of financing.

Among the Turkish diplomats killed by Armenian terrorists, there is Sarik Ariyak, assassinated by JCAG on December 17, 1980. Engin Sever, security guard of S. Ariyak’s, was killed too. Moreover, on November 23, 1986, an Armenian terrorist, Hagop Levonian, was killed in Melbourne by his proper bomb. The explosion wounded an Australian national, and caused considerable material damage.

Not a single important Armenian association (out of Turkey) denounced the crimes. It is easy to understand why.

JCAG was the terrorist branch of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), the most important party among the so-called “Armenian Diaspora”. The Armenian National Committee of Australia is the political branch of the ARF in your country, like the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) in USA and the Comité de défense de la cause arménienne (CDCA) in France. Both ANCA (USA) and CDCA supported openly the terrorist attacks of the JCAG.

Important Armenian-American, Armenian-French and Armenian-Swiss associations paid the lawyers of the JCAG, or even ASALA, terrorists. The most prominent French politician of Armenian descent, Patrick Devedjian, was one of the lawyers of the ASALA. Ara Toranian, chairman of the CCAF from 2003 to 2007, was the chief of the political branch of the ASALA from 1976 to 1983, and, until 1988, the editor-in-chief of Hay Baikar, a newspaper who supported vehemently the physical violence against Turks and Turkey. Mourad Topalian, president of the ANCA between 1991 and 1999, currently in charge of political fundraising given by ANCA, was sentenced in 2001 to 37 months of jail by an US tribunal for illegal storing of explosives and weapons, linked to terrorist activities, i.e. JCAG . Viken Hovsepian, currently an official representing of the ARF in USA, was sentenced to four years of jail for his participation to a plot for destroy the Turkish consulate in Philadelphia.

According to Gaïdz Minassian, a French political scientist of Armenian descent, who used the archives of the Dashnak Party, when the ARF suspended his terrorist activities, in 1985-1986, it was decided that the experts in explosives would be sent to the camps of the PKK (Guerre et terrorisme arméniens, Paris, PUF, 2002), a Kurdish terrorist organization, strange mix of Maoism, Islamism and gangsters (PKK is one of the most important drug smugglers in the world).

6) “In reprisal Turkish leaders ordered a mass deportation of Armenians to the Syrian Desert.”

Armenians were not deported to “the Syrian desert”, but to agglomerations of Syrian provinces, where several dozens of thousands of peoples, mostly Muslims, lived already before 1915. Ottoman government sent huge quantities of money for help the displaced Armenian, and authorized US, then Swiss, charitable associations to send a complementary help, although this help was only for Christians, and not for Muslims, who suffered to famine and epidemics, too. The fact that, in several cases, the orders of Istanbul government were not obeyed is another problem.

Anyway, around 700 000 Armenians were resettled by Ottoman forces, during the years 1915 and 1916. Among their, around 300-400 000 perished. These casualties are not exceptional for the WWI in Ottoman Empire and Caucasus. Indeed, the Russian army displaced around 350 000 Armenians during the same period, and around 175 000 perished. During the February 1920, 5 000 other Armenians were displaced by French army, and among 2 and 3 000 died.

It is also important to notice that almost all the Armenians of Istanbul (160 000), Edirne (33 600), Izmir (13 000), Aydın (25 000), Kastamonu (13 700), Marash (6 000) and Aleppo (25 000), like several thousands of Armenian artisans, soldiers, Catholics, etc. were not resettled, and lived in the same conditions than their Muslim neighbors until the end of the war.

7) “Today there are a mere handful of survivors. Mari Vardanyan, who is 102, remembers her grandfather being shot and the threat issued by Turks to the local priest. He was ordered to vacate his church or they would hang him and drink his blood.”

Why do you quote only an Armenian testimony, and no one Turkish testimony?

In 1986, several old Turks helped archeologists of Erzurum University to find mass graves of unarmed Muslim civilians, killed by Armenian volunteers, and gave several horrible precisions about the way of assassination used by these Armenians. The video of Oba excavation (in Kars region) is available online:

YouTube 1 (subtitles in English).

During an interview to the TRT (Turkish Public TV), recorded in 1996, Abbas Günes (born in 1897; deceased recently) remembered how his brother was beheaded by Armenian volunteers, in the Kars region, during the WWI: YouTube 2 (only in Turkish; but that’s irrelevant; look just at their face).

In 1999, another mass-grave was found, thanks to Abbas Günes’ testimony and archive documents.

The Kars region was a part of Russia between 1878 and 1918; so, the Armenians of Kars were not deported, and the atrocities committed against Muslims cannot by anyway be considered as “revenge acts”.

Several dozens of Turkish testimonies, collected from 1980 to 1985, were translated into English in 1997, and are available here, online

Just one example, Mehmet Şaar:
“I am from the Göllü village. The Armenians revolted when the army in Van retreated toward Erzurum [i.e. during the Spring 1915]. Our mothers and fathers were all slain by Armenians. My father, a gendarme sergeant, was among those killed. The villagers in Mollakasım, Amik, Sıhayne, Göllü, Hıdır, Kurtsatan, and Köprüköy were also murdered. Parts of our village hid in Zeve and were later killed, but we were able to escape. Armenians tortured and inflicted all types of cruelties on the people they kidnapped. They cut up pregnant women and removed the unborn children with bayonets. They raided and burned all of the Muslim villages, murdering men, women, young and old. The Muslim population which fled the villages I named tried to escape by crossing the bridge on the Ablengez River. The Armenians demolished the bridge, and threw the bodies of their prisoners into the river. In the spring when the snow melted, the bodies were emptied into the lake. During the day, my mother, my two sisters, and I would lie low and advance slowly by the crops on the river, and at night we would stay in the hills. We knew if the Armenians found us they would kill us. My mother died before we reached Diyarbakır. I later lost my two sisters, and was left all alone. I stayed in Diyarbakır for three years, and returned to my village the fourth year. Since Van and the Muslim villages were all burned and destroyed, we settled down in an Armenian village since they remained intact. We later returned to our villages which we rebuilt with our own hands.

Words cannot express the torture we suffered at the hands of the Armenians. We lost our homes, families, and possessions. After losing my mother, father, and two sisters, I also lost my cousin and other relatives who were trying to escape to Tatvan by ship with thousands of other people. All of the passengers on the ship were brutally slaughtered and dismembered by the Armenians near the Parkat village near Adilcevaz.”

A compilation of Ottoman documents shows that, from 1914 to 1921, at least 524 000 Muslims of Eastern Anatolia and Caucasus were killed by Armenian gangs:
(tabulation for 1914-1919 period is pp. 375-376)
(tabulation for 1919-1921 period is pp. 1053-1054)

Other compilations were translated into English, especially the one here

This information is corroborated for a large part by Russian and Western sources. For example, the diary of Russian lieutenant-colonel Tverdokhlebof (English version).

Quote:
“Antranik has promised the artillery officers in their barracks, that order and discipline would soon be restored [in February 1918]. However this promise was in no way fulfilled, although the government of Transcaucasia had delegated Antranik and Dr. Zavrief to Erzeroum for this special purpose. In town, the tumult calmed down to a certain degree and peace came back to the villages where no one was left alive! However, when the Turkish troops came near Illidja, the Armenians began again to imprison the Turks in Erzeroum, and, especially on the 25th of February, the arrests had reached vast proportions. In the night of the 26th, the Armenians, eluding the vigilance of the Russian officers, indulged again in massacres, but, frightened by the Turkish soldiers, fled. These massacres were not at all by chance. On the contrary, they were so well organized that all those who had not been arrested at first were so afterwards, and then put to death one by one. The Armenians congratulated themselves on having massacred that evening three thousand persons. The number of those defending the town was so few that they could not hold out against two cannons and 1,500 Turkish soldiers and fled. But the number of persons massacred that evening was very high. The Armenian notabilities were quite capable of preventing the massacres.”

And the report of Captain Emory Niles and Mr. Arthur E. Sutherland, official investigator of US government for Eastern Anatolia in 1919:

Quote:
“In the entire region from Bitlis through Van to Bayezit we were informed that the damage and destruction had been done by the Armenians, who, after the Russians retired, remained in occupation of the country and who, when the Turkish army advanced, destroyed everything belonging to the Musulmans. Moreover, the Armenians are accused of having committed murder, rape arson and horrible atrocities of every description upon the Musulman population. At first we were most incredulous of these stories, but we finally came to believe them, since the testimony was absolutely unanimous and was corroborated by material evidence. For instance, the only quarters left at all intact in the cities of Bitlis and Van are the Armenian quarters, as was evidenced by churches and inscriptions on the houses, while the Musulman quarters were completely destroyed. Villages said to have been Armenian were still standing whereas Musulman villages were completely destroyed.”

It is not difficult to find them on the Web. How come you couldn't find them? Lack of curiosity? or Lack of honesty? Anyway, surely it must be the lack of professionalism.

Signature

PS. As you can guess in reading my name, I have no Turkish, Turkic or even Ottoman origins.

Appendix
A partial list of non-Turkish scholars who reject the “genocide” thesis, or consider the question as a controversial issue:
Batkay, William, Associate Professor of Political Science, Montclair State University;
Childs, Timothy (dec.), former Professor of Ottoman History, Johns Hopkins University;
Courbage, Youssef, Researcher, National Institute of Demographic Studies, Paris France.
Cuthell, David C., Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies and Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University;
Davison, Roderic (dec.), former Professor of Ottoman and Turkish history, George Washington University;
Duben, Alan, Professor of History, Istanbul Bilgi University;
Dumont, Paul, Chairman of Turcology Department, March Bloch University, Strasbourg, France;
Dunér, Bertil, former Senior Researcher, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs,Stockholm, Sweden;
Dyer, Gwynne, Ph.D. in Ottoman Military history and Journalist;
Erickson, Edward J., researcher at Birmingham University, Retired Lieutenant-Colonel (U.S. Army);Fargues, Philippe, Senior Research, National Institute of Demographic Studies, Paris, France;
Fromkin, David, Professor of International Relations, History, and Law, Boston University;
Georgeon, François, Senior researcher, (CNRS) National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, France;
Gunter, Michael M., Professor of Political Science, Tennessee Technical University;
Hurewitz, Jacob Coleman (dec.), former Professor of Middle Eastern Politics, Columbia University;
Jäckel, Eberhard, Professor Emeritus of Modern World History, Stuttgart University;
Levy, Avigdor, Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University;
Lewis, Bernard, Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern History, Princeton University;
Lewy, Guenter, Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern History, Massachusetts University;
Lowry, Heath, M. Kemal Ataturk Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies,Princeton University;
Mango, Andrew, Author, Historian and Researcher, University of London;
Mantran, Robert, (dec.) Former Professor of Turcology, University of Aix-Marseille,France;
McCarthy, Justin, Professor of History, University of Louisville;
Nora, Pierre, former Professor of Contemporary History, The School of High Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris), Member of the French academy, Paris, France;
Oberling, Pierre, Professor of Ethonology, Hunter College, CUNY;
Rémond René (dec.), former president, The National Foundation of Political Sciences, Paris;
Roux, Jean-Paul, Former Director of Research (CNRS), National Center for Scientific Research , Paris, France;
Rustow, Dunkwart A. (dec.), former Distinguished Professor of History, CUNY Graduate School;
Salt, Jeremy, Visiting Associate Professor, Bilkent University;
Shaw, Stanford J. (dec.), former Professor of Ottoman and Turkish History, UCLA;
Stone, Norman, Professor of International Relations, Bilkent University;
Hew Strachan, Professor of Contemporary History, Oxford University;
Veinstein, Gilles, Professor of Turkish and Ottoman History, Collège de France;
Wieviorka, Annette, Senior Researcher (CNRS), National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, France;
Williams, Brian, Associate Professor of History, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
Yapp, Malcolm E., Professor Emeritus of History, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies;
Zarcone, Thierry, Senior Researcher in Turkish history (CNRS), National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, France.
Zeidner, Robert F., Ph.D. in Ottoman History, University of Utah.




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While the landings under fire at Gallipoli Cove on the western coast of Turkey in 1915 were seen to have helped forge Australia's national identity, at the same time in Anatolia in central Turkey ethnic Armenians were being evicted, harassed and slaughtered.

Respected historians say as many as a million people were killed and many more made refugees. (see extract*)

While in some countries such as France, it is a criminal offence to deny the Armenian genocide, successive Turkish governments refuse to acknowledge it.

Two years ago Foreign Correspondent broadcast a report featuring Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's most famous author who dared to speak of the genocide. Pamuk was convicted of insulting Turkey and later was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

The report also featured an interview with Hrant Dink, the publisher of an Armenian newspaper in Istanbul. A few months later Hrant Dink was dead, allegedly shot by a teenage ultra-nationalist.

Turkey's Prime Minister responding to news of Hrant Dink's murder saying that "a bullet has been fired at democracy and freedom."

Eric Campbell went to meet Fuat Turgut, the lawyer representing Yasin Hayal, accused of being the mastermind behind Hrant Dink's murder.

Turgut acknowledges that his client provided the alleged killer with a gun and cash. Yasin Hayal's father concedes in an interview with Campbell his son "might have been tricked because he loves his country and his nation."

The Dink case epitomises the hostility of some Turks towards fellow citizens who happen to be ethnic Armenians. Armenians feel that little will change unless Turkey acknowledges the root of the problem - the slaughter and forced expulsions of 1915 and 1916.

Turkish MP Suat Kiniklioglu, a prominent member of his country's Foreign Affairs Commission tells Campbell that any suggestion Turkey was responsible for genocide "my government finds very insulting."

On the other side of the border, closed by Turkey, Armenia's Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian says the "genocide committed against the Armenian people was a huge tragedy and the sense of tragedy is being exacerbated with every passing day Turkey continues to deny."

In Armenia Eric Campbell interviews Dr Verijine Svazlian who has conducted hundreds of interviews with genocide survivors. "Gradually people opened up to me and acquired enough confidence to share some of the most horrifying, brutal and disgusting episodes of the massacres they were a witness to," she said.

Today there are a mere handful of survivors.

Mari Vardanyan, who is 102, remembers her grandfather being shot and the threat issued by Turks to the local priest. He was ordered to vacate his church or they would hang him and drink his blood.

Around the world political argument continues over the Armenian genocide. Late last year US President George W. Bush rebuffed a proposal before Congress to pass a resolution formally recognising the genocide, for fear of jeopardising relations with Turkey, which is a key ally. Democrat presidential contenders, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama are committed to recognising the Armenian genocide if elected President.


* Extract from The Middle East, by Bernard Lewis, an authority on Islamic and Middle Eastern history.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1995

In the spring of 1915 when Armenian rebels had gained control of Van, the British were at the Dardanelles, the Russians attacking in the East and another British force apparently advancing on Baghdad the Ottoman government decided on the deportation and relocation of the Armenian population of Anatolia - a practice sadly familiar in the region since biblical times. Some categories of Armenians, along with their families, were declared exempt from the deportation order; Catholics, Protestants, railway workers and members of the armed forces. But the great mass of Armenians in Anatolia extending far beyond the endangered areas and suspect groups, was included in both the deportations and its deadly consequences,

The deportees suffered appalling hardship. In an embattled empire desperately short of manpower, neither soldiers nor gendarmes were available and the task of escorting the deportees was entrusted to hastily recruited local posses. Estimates vary considerably as to the numbers of but there can be no doubt that least hundreds of thousands of Armenians perished, perhaps more than a million. Many succumbed to hunger disease and exposure; great numbers were brutally murdered either by local tribesmen and villagers, through the negligence or with the complicity of their unpaid, unfed and undisciplined escorts, or by the escorts themselves.

The Ottoman central government seems to have made some effort to curb the excess. The archives contain telegrams from high Ottoman authorities, concerned with the prevention or punishment of acts of violence against the Armenians. They include records of almost 1400 hundred courts martials at which the Ottoman civil and military personnel were tried and sentenced, some of them to death for offences against the deportees.


Transcript:

CAMPBELL: It is nearly a century since Armenians were massacred in Turkey, but the killing goes on. At a church in Istanbul, family and friends have come to honour and mourn the latest victim.

Hrant Dink was a writer who tried to bring about reconciliation between Turks and Armenians. He was murdered for his trouble. At this memorial led by his widow Rakel, fellow writers remembered a man who would dared to hope.

ASLI ERDOGAN: [Author] Hrant Dink represents the best part of us, the most peaceful part. I think everybody feels something in himself is killed is murdered. The peace… I think more than anything else he represents at least some sort of peace.

CAMPBELL: We met Hrant Dink two years ago, when he was editing an Armenian language newspaper called Argos. In a series of articles he had discussed a dark chapter in Turkish history, the forced deportation of Armenians in 1915.

HRANT DINK: [Archive footage] For the Armenian people, 1915 signifies the year when their existence as a nation and their right to live in that nation and land was destroyed.

CAMPBELL: In calling it genocide he had brought down the wrath of the Turkish states. A magistrate had just sentenced him to six months in prison for insulting Turkishness.

HRANT DINK: [Archive footage] What is really dangerous for those who are in charge in Turkey is the awakening from inside.

CAMPBELL: A year later while he was appealing his conviction, Hrant Dink was ambushed and shot. The publisher of Argos, Sarkis Seropyan, discovered his body as he left the office.

SARKIS SEROPYAN: We, as the closest associates of Hrant Dink were probably the last ones to realise that such a danger did in fact exist. Hrant, through his writing and articles often expressed if not a fear, a sense of anxiety – a danger like that of a frightened dove.

CAMPBELL: The murder revived tensions that have plagued this land since the days of Gallipoli. At his funeral more than a hundred thousand people marched in protest, many carrying placards proclaiming “we are all Hrant Dink” but some applauded.

When this nineteen-year old nationalist, Ogun Samast, was charged with Dink’s murder, police gave him a Turkish flag to hold as they posed for the cameras.

SARKIS SEROPYAN: I felt sick in the stomach and great pain when I saw the photo, but unfortunately there are many people who have been pumped full of ultra nationalism.

CAMPBELL: In most countries what happened almost a century ago, would be a matter for history. Here it goes to the very heart of Turkey’s image of itself and of its revered founder Kemal Ataturk. It’s a criminal offence to even suggest the Turkish state was formed out of genocide and while the government is prepared to jail anyone who breaks that taboo, more sinister forces are willing and able to kill.

The Black Sea Port of Trabzon is renown as a hotbed for ultra nationalists. It’s home to more than a dozen people arrested over Hrant Dink’s murder, including the alleged mastermind, twenty-six year old Yasin Hayal. We travelled there with a controversial lawyer, Fuat Turgut who has offered his services for free to Hayal and his parents.

FUAT TURGUT: [to Yasin’s parents] So why do you think Yasin might have agreed to such a thing?

YASIN’S MOTHER: He might have been tricked, because he loves his country and his nation.

YASIN’S FATHER: To them, Yasin is someone who loves his country his nation, his flag – and he is someone they believe would do anything for his country.

CAMPBELL: The evidence against him seems damning. Yasin Hayal has an obvious penchant for weapons from his time in the army, but his parents believe the killing must have been orchestrated by more powerful forces.

YASIN’S FATHER: All we want is justice for our son to prevail. If our son is guilty he should be punished. But whoever led these kids into this, whoever directed them, should be punished as well.

FUAT TURGUT: It is said my client commissioned the hit. But what my client did was to give a gun and 180 new Turkish lira. No-one would commit murder for 180 Turkish lira. No one would commit murder just because they were given a gun, without any reason.

CAMPBELL: Fuat Turgut is himself an ultra nationalist, facing charges for plotting to kill a writer, charges he strenuously denies but he admits he has little sympathy for Hrant Dink.

FUAT TURGUT: I was in Antalya when I heard that Hrant Dink was killed. I’d be two-faced if I said that I was very sad. He was portrayed as a poor innocent journalist with holes in his shoes. I know that Hrant Dink was a pure enemy of the Turks.

CAMPBELL: At first glance, it seems hard to understand how Turkey could deny there was genocide. For centuries Turks and Armenians have lived side by side in the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire but in World War I, some Armenians took sides with invading Russians. In reprisal Turkish leaders ordered a mass deportation of Armenians to the Syrian Desert. Historians say as many as a million people perished, but history is viewed very differently in Turkey.

FUAT TURGUT: We never did such a thing. And we Turks feel very bad when we are falsely accused of it. We did not carry out genocide. On the contrary, the Armenians carried out genocide against us.

CAMPBELL: Armenia is now a tiny State on Turkey’s north-east border. Until 1991 it was a Republic of the Soviet Union, now it’s an independent country. Like Israel, its identity is defined by what it sees as a Holocaust.

Vartan Oskanian is Armenia’s Foreign Minister and the grandson of deported Armenians.

VARTAN OSKANIAN: [Minister of Foreign Affairs, Armenia] It was a, you know, genocide committed against the Armenian people that was a huge tragedy and the sense of tragedy is being exacerbated with every passing day as Turkey continues to deny. We think that wound can be healed only if Turkey recognises it.

CAMPBELL: The statue Mother Armenia is a symbol of the importance of older women in this society. It overlooks the capital of Yerevan where just a handful of deportees are still alive.

Mari Vardanyan is a hundred and two years old. She is sometimes confused about the present but remembers her childhood as if it happened yesterday.

MARI VARDANYAN: Seven or eight of us young children were about to be thrown into a pit and buried alive. My aunt said “These are my children”, and she picked up two of us – me and my brother Kevork.

CAMPBELL: She survived to see family and friends die for no other reason than their race. One of her most vivid memories is the threat Turks made against the local priest.

MARI VARDANYAN: One day they attached a bowl to the end of a rope with a note to the priest, saying “If you’re still around in three days we will use this rope to hang you – and this bowl to drink your blood”. That’s how the Turks behaved.

CAMPBELL: To keep the memory alive, Armenia has built a giant museum of genocide. In meticulous detail it sets out the events of expulsion and persecution. Telegrams ordering the Armenian’s removal, eyewitness accounts of the massacres, graphic photos of the victims – even a Turkish official appearing to taunt starving children with the loaf of bread.

VERJINE SVAZLIAN: The holocaust of the Jews later on was carried out by more advanced methods.

KNARIK AVAKIAN: What more proof do they need to acknowledge the Armenian genocide?

CAMPBELL: Verjine Svazlian and her daughter Knarik Avakian are frequent visitors here. They’re historians who have spent their lives cataloguing the crimes. Dr Svazlian is convinced Turks wanted to wipe out minorities and create an ethnically pure state.

DR VERJINE SVAZLIAN: Turkey ordered that it be cleansed of its Christian minorities. Neither the Armenians nor the Greeks had the right to live there any longer. The century-old hatred and intolerance of Armenians evolved to the perpetration of genocide. Those atrocities were not mere massacres. They can only be dignified as genocide. The world should distinguish these two terms, and speak out – in particular, President Bush.

CAMPBELL: The United States has supported this young democracy with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, but even the US Government remains coy about acknowledging history. Last October President Bush effectively vetoed a Congress resolution that would recognise the killings here as genocide. The White House was concerned it could jeopardise Turkey’s support in the war on terror.

Turkey’s greatest fear is that Armenians may try to reclaim their land. The Khor Virap Monastery was once in the centre of Armenia - now it marks the border with Turkey. Most of the churches, farms and villages from which they were expelled, are on the other side. After World War I, Turkey swallowed up what Armenians see as their traditional land - even Mt Ararat, the symbol of the Armenian nation.

DR VERJINE SVAZLIAN: As Hrant Dink once put it, even if Armenians were flown out by golden aeroplanes it would be nothing short of genocide, as they were uprooted from their birthplace and deprived of their homeland.

CAMPBELL: Even today Turkey refuses to have diplomatic relations with Armenia. Just down here is the border between Armenia and Turkey and it’s a no go zone. Turkey closed the frontier in 1993 shortly after Armenia won independence, the no man’s land is now patrolled by Russian soldiers. Nearly a century after the killings, this is a stark symbol of the bitterness and recrimination that still divides these neighbours.

VARTAN OSKANIAN: Well it’s Turkey’s policy. Armenia considers that the border from our side is open. We’ve never closed it. We will not. We think the state of affairs between our two countries today does not warrant a closed border. We’re not at war with each other.

CAMPBELL: Across the border in Turkey, many feel Armenians owe them an apology. Every day in the capital Ankara, soldiers march to the tomb of Kemal Ataturk who led the defence of Gallipoli against allied invaders.

In 1919, he rescued Turks from disaster, establishing the state of Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. His battles were not just with the allies, but with Armenians who took up arms against the Ottoman State.

Suat Kiniklioglu is a member of the ruling Justice Party. His grandfather was killed by Armenians fighting with the allies.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: [MP, Justice Party] 1915, you have a crumbling empire. You have the Armenian siding with the Russians. There’s certainly a fringe within the Ottoman government that appears to have not the most friendliest of views about Armenians. But there is no determined programmatic you know, will of extermination of a particular ethnic group and… I think…

CAMPBELL: Are you sure about that? I mean did you go to the genocide museum when you were Armenia?

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Yes I did.

CAMPBELL: I mean here we have clearly Turkish soldiers leading out ...

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Yes they were removed.

CAMPBELL: Yes.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Yes they were removed to another territory.

CAMPBELL: Forcibly removed.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: That’s true.

CAMPBELL: To the Syrian Desert.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Yes but…

CAMPBELL: Where they died. I mean here are photos of people in the Syrian Desert who have starved to death.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: Exactly, that’s true.

CAMPBELL: I mean this was a government policy.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: No one is, look no one is challenging that. Yes many of these things happened, it’s true but the problem is, the difference between this a government policy to remove an ethnic community from one place to, out of the war theatre basically, and a planned extermination of a population such as done in World War II is a very different thing.

PROTESTORS CHANTING: We are all Hrant… We are all Armenians.

CAMPBELL: Writers who challenge the official version of history risk imprisonment. Article 301 of the Criminal Code prohibits insulting Turkishness.

WOMAN PROTESTOR: Hrant Dink can still be among us in the struggle for democracy.

CAMPBELL: Ultra nationalist lawyers have used it to prosecute anyone who suggests there was genocide. Despite his 301 conviction, Dink remained a vocal critic but his family now declines to speak because of death threats.

Asli Erdogan is a leading novelist who was a friend of Hrant Dink.

Do you think writers can afford to stay silent now?

ASLI ERDOGAN: I think on the contrary that we have never had that luxury to be silent. On the other hand these kind of threats are just number one reason that the writers should speak up so who is doing to defend freedom of talk more than the writers and journalists. It is our job.

CAMPBELL: The most prominent target of ultra nationalists has been Orhan Pamuk who was recently awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Two years ago, we filmed him fighting an attempt to jail him for violating Article 301.

ORHAN PAMUK: I made a comment to a Swiss newspaper about the fact that a million Armenians were killed here and then we are unfortunately the nation, we are not talking about this thing. This was a taboo, which lies at the heart of modern Turkish Republic.

CAMPBELL: Orhan Pamuk beat the prosecution but is now in fear of Hrant Dink’s killers. When the alleged mastermind Yasin Hayal was brought into court last year, he had this chilling warning for Pamuk.

YASIN HAYAL: Orhan Pamuk should be smart!

CAMPBELL: Lawyer Fuat Turgut who derides Pamuk by giving him an Armenian name, says it was not a threat just sensible advice.

FUAT TURGUT: I repeat my client’s statement and said I agreed with what he had told Orhannes Pamukyan, that he should stop making false accusations against the Turkish people and Turkish government. There is no sense in looking for a threat in this.

CAMPBELL: But Fuat Turgut now stands accused of plotting to murder Pamuk. In January, he was arrested in a massive police swoop on ultra nationalists. Turgut and thirty others, including two former generals were allegedly plotting to overthrow the government after murdering supposed traitors. Turgut is now on bail defending the charges.

FUAT TURGUT: It is ridiculous to say that I am a member of a terrorist organisation.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: They are typical paranoid ultra nationalists who cannot adjust to a global world that is open, transparent, more liberal, and they cannot just digest the fact that this country is on its way to become a European democracy.

CAMPBELL: The controversy over Dink’s murder has crystallised debate about Turkey’s future. The Justice Party came to power in 2003, ending decades of rule by secular nationalists. While its critics accuse it of being Islamist, the Justice Party insists it stands for moderation. Under pressure from the European Union, it has promised to abolish Article 301.

SUAT KINIKLIOGLU: We are determined that such cases will no longer be opened against people like Orhan Pamuk and others. I may not agree with Orhan Pamuk and what he says but I think he has a right to say it.

CAMPBELL: But so far the government’s promise has come to nought.

ASLI ERDOGAN: I don’t think 301 is likely to be banned. It will be changed into another form, but there will be another 301, 401, 501, 601 – whatever.

CAMPBELL: In a cruel aftermath to Dink’s murder, his son Arat and his publisher Sarkis Seropyan, have been given suspended prison sentences under a 301 prosecution brought by ultra nationalists.

FUAT TURGUT: We got a conviction against Hrant Dink for six months. We will also take his beneficiaries to court for compensation because he falsely accused us Turks of genocide.

SARKIS SEROPYAN: As a close friend of the family… I can say that Hrant Dink’s family is determined to continue his work.

CAMPBELL: The killing of Hrant Dink has exposed the raw wounds of Turkey’s past. Some hope it will galvanise Turkey to admit its mistakes. Others fear there will be still more victims of a never-ending conflict.
www.abc.net.au

2 comments:

Josephine Georges, Lakemba, NSW, Australia said...

Mr Aya,

I read you letter and I wholeheartedly share your concerns.

Thank you for raising several fundamentally important questions about his false and implied accusations and crooked analogy.

I just don't understand why a reporter supposed to be very good journalist does such shallow arguments.

I hope he has the guts to defend himself by writing back to you

Josephine Georges
Lebanese Australian

(IP Address Logged)

Alex Bartlett, Petersham, 2049 Sydney said...

I think the Campbell guy hasn't done any investigative reporting here, and he was just so happy with some given script feed by a sympathy seeking armenian propagandist.

Just look and get the feelings of the following lines:

"Respected historians say as many as a million people were killed and many more made refugees"

"While in some countries such as France, it is a criminal offence to deny the Armenian genocide, successive Turkish governments refuse to acknowledge it. . ."

"Today there are a mere handful of survivors.
Mari Vardanyan, who is 102, remembers her grandfather being shot and the threat issued by Turks to the local priest. He was ordered to vacate his church or they would hang him and drink his blood. "


Why some people still want to believe such one sided stories of ABC,

or am I the only tall poppy around?

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