- President's Silence, David Petrosyan,
- What Armenian Americans Think About Obama, Khatchig Mouradian
- Time for Turkey to be visionary in South Caucasus, Sabine Freizer
- Southern Corridor, Ergun Kirlikovali
- Bad Diplomacy, Cengiz Candar
- Armenia Should Stop Roadmap Talks Asbarez.Com Editorial
- Turkey In Mirror, Why General Mizrahi Was Right, Barbara Lerner
- Sukru Aya's Reply To Lerner
- Turkish-Armenian Relations & Public Opinion Polls, O.E. LUTEM
- Indigenous Genocide, Climate Genocide & Holocaust Denial, White Australia, Dr Gideon Polya
- Genocide Recognition (Greece - Australia - Armenia - Turkey) Dean Kalimniou
- Remarks at House of Commons, Demanding Justice for Armenians, Harut Sassounian
- Putting Principle Over Power: Why Samantha Power Must Resign, David Boyajian
- Recommendations For Armenian Diaspora, Bruce Fein
- U.S. Strategic Base Incirlik In Turkey, Appo Jabarian
- One More "Road Map" Or Just Another Myth? Karine Ter-Sahakyan
- Turkey Reacts To Obama's "Meds Yeghern;" Turkish Media Echoes Appo Jabarian
President's Silence, By David Petrosyan, May 11, 2009
The readers will know about the results of Prague meeting between Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan when they see this article. And when writing it, we have to assume the difficult burden of making predictions on its outcome.
On the eve of the meeting I suppose that most likely, its results will be not very comforting for the OSCE Minsk Group country mediators on settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. On the whole, expressing scepticism about Ilham Aliyev-Serzh Sargsyan meeting, we, nevertheless, cannot completely exclude a successful outcome of that meeting, that is, sides' consent to signing of the "Madrid principles" and a "Technical protocol."
Significant events took place in Stepanakert last week reflected in the statement of the Nagorno Karabakh Foreign Minister Georgy Petrosian at the parliament that "Madrid principles" are unacceptable for the leadership of that non-recognized state.
Besides, NKR NGOs also made a strict statement criticizing official Yerevan's position on the issue of opening of the Armenian-Turkish border and on Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey, as well as a term on illegitimacy of the current authorities in Armenia, that is, President Serzh Sargsyan's administration, was used for the first time.
NKR Deputy, Karabakh war hero General Vitaly Balasanian (he was elected from the proportional list of Movement-88/ ARF Dashnaktsutiun) came up with a very important initiative that they should adopt a legislative act prohibiting anyone, including official Yerevan, to carry out negotiations on issues regarding Nagorno Karabakh.
We start with the last initiative, which has not been transformed into legislation yet, though 20 out of 33 NKR parliament deputies formally supported it initially. If NKR parliament adopts such a legislative act and President Bako Sahakian signs it, it will completely correspond to the results of the referendum held on December 10, 1991 and to the current Constitution of that state.
However, the problems are not restriced to this. The point is that until recent times Stepanakert had been treating rather quietly the fact that the Armenian President represented its interests. It was this way since 1998 and the NKR higher leadership in the persons of Presidents Arkady Ghukasian and Bako Sahakian never remembered that they had an international mandate on participation in the negotiations not cancelled by anyone.
The NKR leadership in general equivocally treated Moscow Declaration on Nagorno Karabakh signed in early Novemer 2008 by the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia. Meanwhile there are certain doubts about whether the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan had the authority to sign such a document.
The point is that Armenia has a legal act of July 5 1992 adopted by the parliament. The essence of that legal act is that Armenia's leadership has no right to sign any documents on Nagorno Karabakh settlement unless Stepanakert official representative signs it.
Though for the present, that legal act's status is vague and special legal expertise or respective inquiry to the Constitutional Court will be needed for its clarification. However, it has not been cancelled by anyone. In any case, according to our information, there is no special official publication on cancellation of that legal act.
The First Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosian fully kept to that legal act. All documents on Nagorno Karabakh problem signed under him after adopting the mentioned act (Bishkek Protocol, Ceasefire Agreement, Agreement on Prevention of Incidents) contain Stepanakert's signature. Besides, during the term of the very L. Ter-Petrosian, official Stepanakert received a full-value status of a negotiations process participant according to the decision of the OSCE Budapest Summit in 1994. Thanks to that status it officially turned down mediators' proposal, the so-called "stage-by-stage variant," to which both Baku and Yerevan agreed. It was in 1997. Afterwards it caused President Levon Ter-Petrosian's resignation.
Second Armenian President Robert Kocharian also formally kept to the legal act of July 5 1992, as in the ten years of his tenure and negotiations official Yerevan signed no document on Nagorno Karabakh issue. However, it was under the very R. Kocharian that Nagorno Karabakh de facto lost the status of a negotiations process participant. Implictly it was assumed that Armenian President R. Kocharian, who is a native of Nagorno Karabakh, represents the position of Stepanakert and Yerevan. Stepanakert in the person of Presidents Arkady Ghukasian and then Bako Sahakian did not object.
Lastly, consider the above mentioned Moscow Declaration. Official circles in Stepanakert treated that document without special concern. Until recent times there were no objections to the "Madrid principles," either, of the essence of which official Stepanakart was well-informed. And now such indignation and non-agreement raise in the parliament, by the public, and even by the Foreign Minister.
As to Nagorno Karabakh NGOs' statements on illegitimacy of President Serzh Sargsyan, I would call all that "belated insight."
President S. Sargsyan has been holding his office for more than a year. During that period no NKR NGO called in question his legitimacy, all official NKR structures congratulated him on the occasion of election and no one spoke about his illegitimacy during the year. Moreover, NKR NGOs "did not notice" the bloody slaughter of March 1 2008 organized in Yerevan center by leaving President R. Kocharian and his circle. They "did not notice," either, several dozens of political prisoners kept at Armenian prisons, among which there are many participants of Nagorno Karabakh war. They "did not notice," either, disgraceful trials proceeding in Armenia over Serzh Sargsyan's opponents, including parliament deputies and Karabakh war veterans. People not agreeing to total violations of dignity and persecutions of the Armenian opposition and press representatives are only rare exceptions in Stepanakert.
Today, in this situation for NKR NGOs it is very difficult to expect adequate support of their position in the public opinion of Armenia as it was in the late 1980-s and in 1990-s.
Meanwhile the leadership of Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the person of President Bako Sahakian being responsible for its policy keeps silence on all above mentioned issues: "Madrid principles" and "Technical protocol," Armenian-Turkish-Swiss statement and "road-map," President Serzh Sargsyan's illegitimacy, etc. The point of view of President Bako Sahakian and not of parliament, Foreign Minister or NGOs is decisive for determining official Stepanakert's position. Observers in Yerevan only have to wait until NKR President Bako Sahakian determines the final position of Stepanakert.
"The Noyan Tapan Highlights" N18, May, 2009
--David Petrosyan is a political analyst in Yerevan, Armenia, and writes a regular weekly column in Noyan Tapan. He also provides weekly analyses to the Armenian service of SBS Radio in Australia, and written for a variety of Russian language political newspapers.
What Armenian Americans Think About Obama By Khatchig Mouradian, hairenik.com May 15, 2009
And What Needs To Be Done
On May 12, I wrote an article titled `Obama Alienates Armenian Americans,' in which I presented the reaction of Armenian leaders and commentators to what the community views as the continuous stream of blows from the Obama Administration in recent weeks. In the two days following the posting of the article on the Armenian Weekly website, many readers posted their views on Obama's `betrayals' and their suggestions about the road ahead.
The comments compelled me to write a second article, this time quoting the readers, some of whom were very insightful. After all, who are the leaders and commentators to listen to before formulating their policies and writing their commentaries if not the community itself?
At the end of the article, I suggest a way for the Obama Administration to begin remedying the situation.
`I told you so' Several readers said they had never trusted Obama in the first place and were surprised by the full support Obama had received from the Armenian community during his presidential campaign.
`Is anyone really surprised?' asked one reader. `I am continually surprised that people believed him. Obama wants everyone to think he's different. But he isn't. He's just another politician who will say anything he has to get elected.'
Another reader agreed. `I was amazed how the Armenian community was supporting Obama and all my friends thought I was crazy every time I told them that Obama will change his views shortly after becoming president. Well, I am sad to say it happened.'
`I'm not one bit surprised that Obama has turned on the Armenians,' said a third reader. `I'm sorry to all of you fellow Armenians who actually voted for him, believing his empty promises of standing behind Armenians, among all of his other promises. The man is a good `campaigner' and that's it.'
After criticizing those who voted for Obama as well as the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) for endorsing him, one person said, `I just feel sorry for all of you that thought Barack Obama was a `friend' to Armenians. I knew this was coming, and judging from some of the previous posts here, I'm not the only Armenian with some sense!' `I guess there were a lot of Armenians who drank the Obama Kool-Aid. You have been scammed. He got what he wanted: votes,' said yet another reader.
`Crushed' Most Armenian Americans supported Obama during his campaign and are now deeply disappointed.
`I am embarrassed to say that I was one of Obama's first supporters. I purchased books and t-shirts to support Obama the candidate. I no longer like Obama the president,' read one comment.
`President Obama, you systematically crushed our hopes,' read another. `I feel duped, foolish, broken-hearted, and disgusted, all at the same time. I think you missed your `calling': you should have been an actor.'
`I have never been disappointed in anything more than President Obama's not using the `g-word' on April 24th,' wrote one reader. `On five occasions he pledged to recognize the Armenian Genocide but failed as a president on recognizing the truth.'
Yet another reader summarized the situation as follows: `President Obama, you lost the love and trust of 1.5 million American Armenians and 6 million Armenians worldwide.'
Commenting on those who said they were disappointed by Obama, one person wrote, `I am glad you saw the light on Obama. There may be hope for you yet.'
`Barking up the wrong tree' A sentiment that is widely felt in the Armenian American community (and the Armenian Diaspora in general) is that the real actor to blame is the Armenian government, which signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkey on the eve of April 24, the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day.
`I blame all this entirely on the Armenian president Serge Sarkisian,' wrote one reader on the website. `It is entirely his fault that Obama is breaking all his promises. He signed that so-called `road map' agreement two days before April 24. He is a spineless man who has caved in to foreign pressure. He is not acting on the interests of the Armenian people and thus, he is dangerous to have as our president.'
The reader added, `By jeopardizing our national security, he and our foreign affairs minister have committed treason against the Armenian state. What's worse, he is going to stay as our president for at least another three years.'
`We American Armenians need to stop blaming Obama's administration,' said another, `and shift our attention to Armenia and its government. To gain credibility, respect, and monetary help, change Armenia's mafia government.'
`Return the paraphernalia' The suggestion Armenian Weekly readers made ranged from the sublime to the ridiculously extreme. Most of them seemed to agree, however, that there is a need to get even more active, and make the Obama Administration feel the heat.
One person said, `It's time to send all Democrats a message. Do not contribute to any Congressional races; get the word out about the other ways in which the president is systematically breaking his promises.'
Another asked his fellow Armenians to `wake up and change the way we do things,' calling for `a demonstration against the president and the State Department.'
A powerful call to action came from a reader who wrote, `There is no question that we've been ditched by the Obama Administration which is following State Department policy. I've just finished two letters-one to the president and one to Speaker Pelosi on these issues. Exactly right as stated in the article-the genocide resolution must now be back on the table and Congress must not let parity between Azerbaijan and Armenia be ignored. Letters, phone calls-everything.'we've got to get back to work.'
A clearly disappointed Obama supporter had another idea: `I suggest we pick a day where all Armenians that supported him send back their Obama paraphernalia, together with it a note stating, `I hope the Armenian issue doesn't mark the beginning of a huge back-slide of compromised campaign promises.''
Making sense of it all The Obama Administration's genocide denial, its failure to appoint any Armenian Americans to a decent position in the administration, and its proposal to break the military aid parity between Azerbaijan and Armenia and decrease foreign aid to Armenia, not only alienated most Armenian Americans but also placed the major Armenian American organizations-all of which had supported Obama-in a very difficult situation. After all, an entire community was mobilized to support what was touted as the most `Armenian-friendly administration' ever. And it was very difficult to challenge that label, with people like Joe Biden, Samantha Power-and Barack Obama himself-on the team.
With its actions, however, it seems that the administration is trying to become the administration that is the most unfriendly to Armenians.
Adding insult to injury, there has been no reaching out from the administration to the Armenian American community in any shape or form. Armenian Americans feel insulted and betrayed, and-regardless of what the president thinks about policy issues-they deserve some respect.
The administration has to reach out to the Armenian American community. That is the only smart way ahead.
Time for Turkey to be visionary in South Caucasus by Sabine Freizer*
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan put a brake on the reconciliation efforts with Armenia when he said that “until the occupation [of Karabakh] ends, the border gates will remain closed,” in Baku on May 13.
Optimism about the normalization of Turkey-Armenia bilateral relations, so prevalent on April 22 when the two countries announced that they had agreed on a comprehensive framework for reconciliation, has suddenly faded.
Normalization would include opening the Turkey-Armenia border, establishing diplomatic relations and the setting up of bilateral commissions to deal with multiple issues, including the historical dimension of their relations. It first seemed that these steps could be accomplished by autumn 2009. Now they may be delayed for years.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan put a brake on the reconciliation efforts when, in Baku on May 13, he did not mince his words: “The closure of the [Turkey-Armenia] border is a result of the [Armenian] occupation in Karabakh. … Until the occupation ends, the border gates will remain closed.”
The occupation of some 13.5 percent of Azerbaijan's territory by Armenian-backed forces started in 1992, when Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave which was an Armenian-majority autonomous region of Azerbaijan in Soviet times. Since the signing of a 1994 ceasefire, there has been no pulling back by any of the armed forces, and the ceasefire line remains an active front line where there are regular casualties.
Since 1993, Turkey has maintained a policy of keeping its border with Armenia closed until Armenian forces withdraw, largely due to its wish to express its respect for historical and ethnic ties with Azerbaijan. The closed-border policy had no impact on Armenia's Nagorno-Karabakh stance, and arguably made Armenia less likely to withdraw in exchange for peace; Turkey's threatening posture did however cost it considerable political capital in the US and Europe. But in 2008, after several years of secretive talks between Turkey and Armenia, it seemed as though Ankara had foresightedly de-linked its relations with Armenia from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Turkey appeared ready to re-open its border with Armenia as part of a broader normalization package with its immediate neighbor -- in exchange for Yerevan's recognition of Turkey's current borders and participation in a commission to analyze their historical differences, including the great massacre of Ottoman Armenians in 1915.
This visionary policy shift not only had the potential to help resolve one of the most strained relationships between two European countries since World War I but also to open new transport and communication links in the strategic South Caucasus. It was backed by Russia and even more strongly by US President Obama during his visit to Turkey in March.
For Turkey, breaking with its former tried and failed policy, normalizing with Armenia offers an opportunity to become a strategic player in the South Caucasus. It has had success in establishing discussions through a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform, but it will have difficulty promoting and leading this as long as it blockades one of the countries that participates. It wants to cooperate as equal partners with Russia in the South Caucasus, in political and economic spheres, but it will be limited unless it is seen as even-handed.
Russia, which has signed a collective security arrangement with Armenia, has understood this over the past several months and repeated its overtures to Azerbaijan in a host of fields. Turkey is interested in supporting the ongoing Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Process to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but it cannot be a neutral broker while it openly supports one of the conflicting sides. Finally an open Turkey-Armenia border is likely to have the immediate effect of ending Armenian perceptions of encirclement by hostile Turkic peoples, and making them more likely to withdraw from territories around Nagorno-Karabakh now retained as security guarantees. These are the messages that Turkey's leaders should be sending to their Azerbaijani counterparts, rather than nationalist pledges to remain “one nation in two states.”
Instead, Turkey seems on the verge of giving up these benefits, halting the momentum towards reconciliation and returning to its traditional positions. This strengthens arguments that it only used the promise of normalization in its talks with Armenia to delay US genocide recognition, especially by President Obama, on April 24. But Turkey should not allow its Armenia policy to be held hostage to the Nagorno-Karabakh stalemate or to Azerbaijani blackmail. Baku is now threatening to sell natural gas from its still-to-be-developed Shahdeniz 2 field to Russia, instead of Turkey, but it is likely to do this regardless of Turkey's relations with Armenia, if Russia offers it a better pricing and transit deal.
There is no doubt that progress on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would enhance Turkey's ability to normalize relations with Armenia and stability in the South Caucasus. But Ankara's best chance of bringing a new positive momentum to the process is precisely by normalizing with Armenia. It is quite wrong in believing that with its traditional policy it can have any impact on the talks mediated since 1992 by the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its French, Russian and US co-chairs, and more specifically since 2005 with the aim of obtaining agreement on a two- to three-page document on basic principles.
Regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, the best that can be expected any time this year is agreement on these basic principles, and the mediators sound optimistic about a possible breakthrough. Another meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents is expected in Saint Petersburg around June 4-6. But there is a long-running stalemate over several issues, including the modalities of a plan to hold a referendum to determine Nagorno-Karabakh's final status and the status and size of a possible corridor linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia in the Lachin district. Once an agreement on basic principles is signed, lengthy and difficult talks await the sides to reach a comprehensive settlement leading to the start of actual withdrawals.
If Turkey plans to wait until this occurs, it will remain on the sidelines for many years to come in the South Caucasus, allowing the US, EU and especially Russia to maintain the lead in its own backyard.
*Sabine Freizer is the Europe program director for the International Crisis Group.
17 May 2009 www.sundayszaman.com
Southern Corridor, Ergun Kirlikovali 09 May 2009
The European Union has just signed an agreement with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Egypt in a bid to press ahead with a gas pipeline that would reduce its reliance on Russian energy. That shows the determination on the part of EU to end Europe's energy dependence on Russia.
The European Union has just signed an agreement with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Egypt in a bid to press ahead with a gas pipeline that would reduce its reliance on Russian energy. That shows the determination on the part of EU to end Europe's energy dependence on Russia.
Mirek Topolanek, the Czech prime minister, said the aim to open up a "southern corridor‘ for supplies was ?not just a one-way street for pipelines...We envisage this as a new silk road where we?ll see the flow of information, goods, people and energy in both ways.
(Aljazeera, May 08, 2009) "Two suppliers — Azerbaijan and Egypt — and two key transit states — Turkey and Georgia — agreed to give ‘the necessary political support,? and, where possible, ‘technical and financial assistance? to the construction of planned pipelines and transport routes needed to bring gas from the Caspian Basin region and the Middle East to the European market."
(RADIO FREE EUROPE, Antoine Blua, May 08, 2009)
Here is the text of this important declaration ushering in a new age of energy diplomacy:
Declaration: Southern Corridor
Prague Summit, May 8, 2009
We, the Participants of the Southern Corridor Summit held in Prague on the 8th of May 2009;
express our political support to the realization of the Southern Corridor as an important and mutually beneficial initiative, which will lead to the promotion of common prosperity, stability and security of all countries involved;
understand the Southern Corridor as an area of mutual interest providing opportunities for cooperation of the various entities in our public and private sectors. The trigger but not the sole focus of this process of strengthening relations among the Southern Corridor countries will be enhancing our mutually beneficial energy cooperation, which has the potential to serve as a cornerstone for the overall cooperation among countries involved;
acknowledge that infrastructure projects which interconnect the countries along the Southern Corridor will act as a catalyst for further co-operation in other areas. The successful cooperation in the field of energy will encourage investments also in transport area. The development of transport infrastructure, including for energy, will lead to an intensification of people-to-people contact, which is the fundamental prerequisite to further social, economic and political cooperation in the whole region;
intend to overcome the main remaining commercial and non-commercial obstacles by coordinating on common progressive strategy, individual commitments of the countries concerned, namely energy producer, transit and consumer countries, and clear scheduling for the completion and functioning of concrete energy and transport projects to be realized and operated within the Southern Corridor, including the Trans-Caspian energy transportation projects;
consider the Southern Corridor concept as a modern Silk Road interconnecting countries and people from different regions and establishing the adequate framework, necessary for encouraging trade, multidirectional exchange of know-how, technologies and experience.
The Southern Corridor concept as a synergy of the following documents:
— the Partnership and Co-operation Agreements between the EU and Azerbaijan, the EU and Georgia, the EU and Kazakhstan, and the EU and Uzbekistan;
— the Association Agreement between the EU and Turkey and the EU and Egypt;
— the European Neighbourhood Policy, including the Action Plans, the Eastern Partnership, EU-Central Asia Strategy and the Black Sea Synergy;
— the Memoranda of Understanding on strategic energy partnership between the EU and Egypt , EU and Kazakhstan, EU and Turkmenistan and EU and Azerbaijan;
— the Declaration of the Budapest Nabucco Summit of 27 January 2009;
— the Declaration of the Sofia Energy Summit of 24-25th April 2009;
— The Baku Initiative and the Energy Road Map endorsed on the occasion of the Astana Ministerial Conference of 30 November 2006;
— The Baku Energy Summit Declaration of 14th November 2008;
— The Ministerial Statement on the Nabucco gas pipeline project of 26th June 2006;
— Agreements on transportation of oil and gas through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum oil and gas pipelines of 1999 and 2001 respectively;
— Agreement among the Republic of Turkey, the Hellenic Republic and Italian Republic concerning the development of the Turkey, Greece, Italy Transportation Corridor of 26 July 2007 in Rome;
— the European Council Conclusions of 8-9 March 2007, 16 October 2008 and 20th March 2009;
— the European Commission?s Second Strategic Energy Review of 13 November 2008;
— Decision No 1364/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning trans-European energy networks (TEN-E);
— Commission Decision granting financial aid for an action of 2.12.2008 in the field of the trans-European energy networks (TEN-E);
— the EU-financed INOGATE technical feasibility studies on the Trans-Caspian-Black Sea Gas Corridor as well as the feasibility study on the Caspian Development Corporation (CDC);
— the European Commission?s Communication on the extension of the major trans-European transport axes to the neighbouring countries, of 31 January 2007;
— the transport cooperation and initiatives involving the EU and the countries of the Southern Corridor ;
— And bearing in mind international treaties and obligations, including those arising from the Energy Charter Treaty, the Energy Community Treaty as well as the existing bilateral and multilateral agreements fostering the development of projects of the Southern Corridor;
That the concept for the Southern Corridor is complementary to other existing energy and transport partnerships and projects of the EU and is open for the participation and contribution of third countries on a case-by-case basis in concrete projects, upon agreement of all the Parties to this declaration directly involved.
That one of the basic prerequisites for developing the Southern Corridor is cooperation to establish interconnections starting with direct energy and transport links among the countries concerned as appropriate. We therefore agree to promote a common initiative to develop the conditions necessary for more effective transportation networks, including of energy resources, goods and people as well as an improved exchange of know-how and technologies within the Corridor with the participation of all the interested countries, international political conditions permitting. This should make the maximum use of the existing regional initiatives on energy and transport.
On the basis of declared principles in the field of energy we,
agree to give necessary political support and, where possible, technical and financial assistance to the construction of the Southern Corridor, including the Trans-Caspian energy transportation projects, in order to support the diversification of energy sources, markets and transport routes, which will not only enhance the energy security of the participating countries , but also will simultaneously constitute fair and profitable opportunities for energy producers, consumers and transit countries, while recognizing the need for this to be feasible, economically competitive, technically and environmentally sustainable and timely.
welcome transparency, competitiveness, long term predictability and stable regulatory conditions to underpin the realization of concrete infrastructure projects in the framework of the Southern Corridor. This should include
* firstly, the means to provide producers with reliable commitments of the consumers on their aggregate demand and the identification of non- committed natural gas and oil volumes by producer countries that can be dedicated specifically to the EU as well as the Corridor countries markets with a precise timetable for their availability on the basis of their commercial profitability;
* secondly, the establishment of necessary and appropriate transit and environmental arrangements in line with the Parties? international commitments;
* thirdly, the need for companies to ensure direct, industry-standard commercial agreements between producers and consumers.
envisage a mechanism for aggregating sufficient volumes to be transported through the Southern Corridor, and, take note of the feasibility study on the Caspian Development Corporation initiative that should lead to concrete proposals in this respect. In this context, eventually consider devoting, as appropriate, public and private financial resources necessary for the realization of the Southern Corridor, including encouraging the market-based participation of public and private companies.
attain the energy security of all parties including consumer and transit states, such as Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, on the basis of commercial agreements that are in line with the Parties? international commitments.
welcome that the countries concerned will endeavor to:
— implement a clear, transparent, cost-based, stable and non-discriminatory transportation regime for natural gas or oil across the territories of the Corridor countries to end consumer markets, in line with the Parties? international commitments.
— establish direct connections between both sides of the Caspian Sea as one of the main important elements of the effective energy cooperation and favour the interconnection of the Southern Corridor with the EU through strategic infrastructure projects necessary for carrying natural gas by pipelines or ships. In the gas sector, interconnection will be established among others through the Nabucco project and the ITGI project both of which are financially supported in the EU Recovery Plan endorsed by the European Council of March 2009 as well as other projects within the Corridor. In the oil sector, an extension of the already operating transportation system between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan could be developed in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions, taking into account the constrains of the Turkish straits.
— promote the activities of public and private companies that are involved or willing to participate in the realization of the Trans-Caspian energy link.
— achieve maximum energy efficiency and use of renewable energies as an important element for successful cooperation in the field of energy.
Therefore, we express our readiness to share technologies, knowledge and know-how in order to reach efficient fuel use and further development of alternative energy sources to allow long-term and sustainable growth for all Corridor countries;
— share technologies, knowledge and know-how for the development of energy resources, their transportation and technical upgrading within the Corridor.
In the field of transport we endeavour,
To support the promotion of regional and cooperative approaches to transport challenges in the Southern Corridor, which includes appropriate projects in the Mashreq, in particular Egypt and Iraq.
To intensify cooperation in view of promoting the implementation of relevant infrastructure projects and of policy measures to facilitate exchanges, to support efforts to make transport projects within the Southern Corridor an effective and responsive instrument of cooperation and enhancing public-private partnerships and other ways of attracting investments.
To implement the extension of transport trans European Networks to Turkey and South Caucasus and beyond to Central Asia along the Southern corridor, including connections to the Middle East.
To encourage, with respect to high importance of railway transport in economies of Corridor countries, all parties involved to further develop the strategic railway networks and their interoperability. In this regard we support the railway and maritime corridor connecting the Caspian Sea Region with the EU, as well as a roll-on roll-off ferry connections between the EU and the relevant countries of the Southern Corridor, including Georgia.
To share technologies, knowledge and know-how for technical upgrading of transport facilities within the Corridor in order to increase the transport efficiency.
To harmonize technical norms and standards, ensure transparent and competitive tariffs, and to simplify custom procedures and border crossing in order to ensure fluent movement of all kinds of goods as a basic condition for deepening of trade among the involved countries.
In the field of overall cooperation we agree,
That strengthening of mutual relations must go hand in hand with following principles: transparency, non-discrimination , market economy and commercial profitability.
To favour stable regulatory framework ensuring clear and predictable investment environment, which contributes to mutual trust necessary for successful realization of all strategic projects within the Southern Corridor.
With respect to implementation and follow-up, we agree to strongly support the following steps:
* The European Commission, together with the Council of the EU and the signatory partner countries, will monitor the implementation of this declaration and, in particular, work on developing an Action Plan seeking the implementation of the necessary conditions and the
appropriate supporting measures for the Southern Corridor.
* For the EU Member States concerned and Turkey to finish the negotiations of the intergovernmental agreement on Nabucco as quickly as possible, to sign it by the end of June 2009 in Turkey, and to continue to support the necessary steps for its implementation inter alia by identifying gas volumes available for marketing in the EU and Turkey.
* For the EU Member States concerned and the relevant countries to progress further on the timely realisation of the ITGI project.
* For the EU and the concerned countries to conclude the feasibility study on the Caspian Development Corporation initiative by the end of 2009 in view of the possible identification of relevant actions for the implementation.
* For the EU and Iraq to sign an MoU on Energy as soon as possible, and for the EU and Egypt to cooperate and agree on specific projects in developing Egypt?s gas reserves and export potential for the EU, including via the Southern Corridor and encouraging energy investment, transfer of know-how for this purpose.
* To cooperate on the objective of promoting the extension of the trans-European transport networks to the countries of the Southern Corridor;
* To work on developing an action plan on possible additional appropriate measures, including safety and security, to facilitate transport and transit flows along the Southern Corridor;
* To work on a list of priority projects and policy measures for the development of the Southern corridor, and attract funds to implement them.
Done and signed in Prague on 8th May 2009 in the presence of the representatives of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
For the EU,
H. E. Mirek Topolinek, President of the European Council
H. E. Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
For the Republic of Azerbaijan,
H. E. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
For the Republic of Georgia,
H. E. Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia
For the Republic of Turkey,
H. E. Abdullah Gul, President of Turkey
For the Arab Republic of Egypt,
H. E. Sameh Fahmy, Minister of Petroleum of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Bad Diplomacy, Cengiz Çandar
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan read plenty of poems in the Azerbaijani Parliament during a trip to Baku and removed all doubts of Azerbaijanis, President İlham Aliyev being at top, but caused Turkish diplomacy to be bogged down in the Caucasus. Let me say this right at the beginning: He showed an example of bad diplomacy.
Erdoğan surrendered the Caucasus diplomacy, which is way beyond Turkey’s dimensions, to Aliyev’s control. Behind Mr. Prime Minister’s "Baku Show," he took the state with five ministers, if there is no guarantee of the United States and Russia for the solution of the "Karabakh issue" very soon, Erdoğan, through his remarks, sentenced Turkey to diplomatic inertia and the status quo of recent years, which needs to be changed. "Karabakh is a cause. Closing the border gate with Armenia is an effect of the Armenian occupation there. Unless the occupation ends, the border gate will not be opened." Who says this? The prime minister of Turkey says it. I think the real question is who makes the prime minister of Turkey say this.
The border gate’s closing is not directly linked with the Armenian dominance in the Karabakh. The border was closed in 1993 after the Azeri territory in the Karabakh district, a total of five pieces of land and some part of two pieces, was occupied by Armenia.
The Armenian control in Karabakh was achieved in 1992 with the Hocali massacre and the coming down of Şuşa, along with an ethnic cleansing. The border was open then and remained opened. The Karabakh issue’s history dates way back before the border closing. Nagorno Karabakh was an "autonomous region" within the borders of the Azerbaijan Soviet Republic during the Soviets era. According to the 1989 census, 76.9 percent of the population (145,500) consisted of Armenians and 21.5 percent (40,700) of Azeris. In December 1989, Armenia Soviet Republic and Nagarno Karabakh Region Soviet decided reunification of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. Now, be careful. It was still the Soviet era. The decision, of course, was rejected by Azerbaijan. In 1988, due to the conflict over Karabakh, both countries were involved in ethnic cleansing, escalating the tension. Azerbaijan declared independence on Aug. 30, 1991. Three days later, on Sept. 2, 1991, Armenia proclaimed independence of the "Upper Karabakh Republic" from Azerbaijan.
The Upper Karabakh issue is more complex than it is assumed. And the surrounding Azeri territory was occupied by the Russian-backed Armenians gradually in order to have trump cards and for military reasons. We’re talking about 7,409 square kilometers of land here, which together with the Upper Karabakh makes 11,722 square kilometers, 13.4 percent of total Azeri land.
In the talks over two years under Swiss brokerage to seek normalization in Turkish-Armenian relations, the Karabakh issue, just like the so-called genocide allegations, was not set as a pre-condition, but "parallelism" looked for between "normalization" and the progress in Karabakh. This implicitly meant re-opening of the border gate between Turkey and Armenia by the time of signing the "Solution Principles in Karabakh" agreement in addition to a timeline for Armenian withdrawal from the Karabakh region set between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Erdoğan conditioned the "end of occupation" in Karabakh to the re-opening of the border gate. Since the final status of Karabakh may take quite long time, Erdoğan’s engagement makes normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations impossible in a foreseeable future. Erdoğan surrendered "diplomatic ropes" of Turkey to the hands of Aliyev. And Aliyev on the other side expressed content for being able to have control over Turkey by saying "Remarks of my dear brother is the most precious answer. There cannot be more open answer."
Aliyev’s father the late president Haydar Aliyev and the Armenian President Robert Kocharian of the period got very close to a solution during the talks held in the Key West of the United States in 2001. Haydar Aliyev’s solution model was a "package" solution. After taking the seat in 2003, his son Ilham Aliyev left his father’s solution route and adopted a "step by step" model. Aliyev met his Armenian counterpart Kocharian five times in the period 2003-2005 and with the current Armenian President Serge Sarkisian three times in the last one year.
From now on, Erdoğan will act at the discretion of Aliyev in order for Turkey to play a role in the Caucasus or in the international community via the Caucasus. This is to Baku’s benefit. Probably the most annoying part of the "Baku Show" was that Turkey showed once again how incapable it is in problem-solving. The Heybeliada (Halki) Seminary issue has been unresolved since 1973. In the Cyprus issue, Turkey left the "dissolution is the best solution" policy 30 years later but then locked itself in the opening of ports issue.
Even re-opening the border gate with Armenia has a slim chance. This is one of the damages caused by the "one nation, two states" demagogy. This is a demagogy because one should ask: Why it is not "one nation, three states"? If the Turkish nation is identical with that of Azeri, 25 percent of Iran and 35 percent of the Iranian capital of Tehran consist of Azeris. More Azeris live in Iran than Azerbaijan.
What about Kurds?
If Kurds have a "nation," then we should talk about "one nation, four states," referring to Turkey-Iraq-Iran-Syria. Or as it was reflected in a press briefing recently, since Turkey and Azerbaijan is a "one nation two states" and Turkey’s "unitary state structure" is beyond question, then is it a bad thing to resolve the Kurdish issue by agreeing with the principle of "two nations, one state"? Anyway, we’ll see how the "diplomacy goal" Erdoğan scored in Turkey’s own goal in Baku.
© Copyright 2008 Hürriyet
Armenia Should Stop Roadmap Talks Asbarez.Com Editorial, May 15th, 2009
It is becoming increasingly evident that the so-called roadmap discussions with Turkey are proceeding with preconditions, despite continuous claims by Armenian authorities that they are not.
After Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Abdullah Gul made an announcement last week following their meeting in Prague, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan not only continued his public statements that without a resolution to the Karabakh conflict there would be no border opening, but he also took his message to Azerbaijan, where in meetings with Aliyev and other leaders he reassured the Azeris that, in fact, the resolution of the conflict was a precondition.
President Sarkisian made a counter announcement condemning Erdogans statement, saying that Turkeys announcement could hinder the peace process and the Turkish-Armenian roadmap discussion was more a slap on the wrist than a definitive posturing of a president who has agreed to an already controversial agreement.
Turkeys continued rhetoric-whether its designed to appease Azerbaijan or its own disgruntled population-should send a clear signal to the Armenian authorities that continuing the roadmap process would only further hurt Armenian interests, since it is crystal clear that Turkey has three preconditions with which it is advancing its position. A resolution to the Karabakh conflict, the establishment of a historic commission and Armenias recognition of the current Turkish borders have always in, one way or another, been partys of Turkeys approach to this matter.
Armenia should not fall prey to the fallacy that if it pulls out from the talks it will lose credibility within the international community. This argument has been advanced by certain political forces, which have other gains in this process and sets dangerous precedents that could jeopardize Armenias national security.
Back in 1993, Turkey unilaterally decided to close its borders with Armenia citing the Karabakh conflict as the impetus. It is up to Turkey to open the border and by drawing Armenia into a negotiation process it aims to legitimize its aggressive policies. The West has immersed itself in this process to protect its own interests and has succeeded in drawing Armenia into an ultimately compromising situation.
The unfortunate announcement of the roadmap agreement has been made. However, if these talks are truly being held without preconditions, then Armenia has nothing to lose but more to gain from halting the process. But if the contrary is true, which it may likely be, the Armenian leadership should immediately withdraw from the roadmap talks and pursue a policyvis-à-vis both Karabakh and Turkey that guarantees Armenian national interests and security.
Turkey In The Mirror, Why General Mizrahi Was Right By Barbara Lerner
In January, Turkey’s current prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, created an international sensation at the World Economic Forum in Davos when he stormed out of the meeting after accusing Israeli soldiers of deliberately killing innocent Palestinians in Gaza, calling it “a crime against humanity.” When Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, the commander of those soldiers, heard that, he reportedly replied: “Erdogan should first look in the mirror.” General Mizrahi is right, and all Turks should take his advice, but not for the reason most Turks think.
Most Turks assumed General Mizrahi was referring to the increasingly loud international chorus insisting that Turks, too, are guilty of crimes against humanity because they committed genocide against innocent Armenians in World War I. They think he was saying, in effect, “We may be wanton killers, but you have no standing to criticize us, because you are too.” I don’t assume that’s what the general meant — because the truth, and the point, is the opposite. Persistent and hugely successful propaganda campaigns to the contrary notwithstanding, Jews are no more guilty of wanton murder today than Turks were of deliberate genocide in World War I (as I’ve argued here and here).
General Mizrahi’s legitimate point is that people who have felt the lash of unjust accusations by corrupt foreign leaders, and the dangerous mobs they incite, should refuse to join in when mobs unjustly target another state, demonizing it and whitewashing its enemies.
That’s doubly true when the targeted state is a loyal, longtime ally like Israel. And what is true for Israel is true as well for Turkey’s other small, beleaguered ally, Azerbaijan, a Turkic sister state that was finally freed from Russian occupation only to suffer again, now, under partial Armenian occupation. Practical benefits reinforce the moral claims that both these struggling democracies have on Turkey: e.g., access to Israel’s technological and defense wizardry, to Azerbaijani oil, and to the great promise of the Nabucco project to make the abundant oil and gas of the Caspian Sea region available to Turkey and the West in a way that will prevent Russia, Iran, or the Arabs from having a stranglehold on vital resources we all need. This latter project could make Azerbaijan a model for Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, two other newly freed Turkic states struggling for a viable way forward, a way to exploit their gas and oil resources without falling back under Russian domination. It would also give hope to the other newly freed and struggling Muslim “Stans” in the region, and to Georgia’s beleaguered Christians.
TURKEY IN THE TRANSNATIONAL MIRROR
Prime Minister Erdogan prioritizes none of that. His focus is on the global stage, where Israel is hated, Azerbaijan is ignored to the point of invisibility, and the “Stans” are not a big enough voting bloc to matter. There, abandoning old allies and embracing Palestinians and Armenians instead is a winning move. Let’s count the ways: It puts Turkey in sync with both the Islamists and the blindly self-righteous Socialists, the two big multinational blocs that dominate the U.N. It pleases European Union transnationals who appease both blocs and call it statesmanship. It gives the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) the Muslim unanimity against Israel that Turkey denied it in the past (along with Iran, before the Islamists seized power there in 1979). It wins Turkey special points with its new best friends: an increasingly expansionist Russia; a rapidly nuclearizing Iran, along with its satellite, Syria, and its terrorist surrogates, Hezbollah and Hamas; and Sudan, a current practitioner of actual genocide against its own desperate and friendless people.
Last but not least in this media-driven world of ours, condemning Israel makes Erdogan an international celebrity, winning him flattering attention not just in the Turkish press — increasingly owned and dominated by his AKP (Justice and Development) party through relatives and friends — and in Arab-government-controlled outlets like Qatar’s ubiquitous al-Jazeera television network, but in the increasingly anti-Western Western media too. And it evokes cheers from mobs in streets, squares, and campuses from Cairo to London to Los Angeles. At Atatürk Airport, on his return from Davos, Erdogan was greeted by a cheering mob, shouting “Bravo Erdogan” and “Death to Israel.”
Prime Minister Erdogan is an ambitious man. At Davos, he didn’t just add Turkey’s voice to the growing multinational chorus demonizing Israel and taking a see-no-evil stance toward the Palestinians. He went beyond simple acquiescence, making a bid to put Turkey at the head of the latest wave of Israel-bashing by saying what all the other Jew-bashers were saying, but saying it louder and more dramatically, from an unexpected platform.
TURKEY IN THE MIRROR OF THE PAST
Many explanations have been offered for why Erdogan and his “moderate Islamist” party are behaving this way, but the idea that the AKP is reverting to the ways of its Ottoman ancestors is ahistorical and demeaning to the Ottomans. It is true, as Muslim-bashers in the West persistently point out, that Ottoman sultans were a far cry from politically correct 21st-century liberals. But it is also true that for 500 years, the Ottomans were light years ahead of their contemporaries when it came to dealing with religious minorities, particularly the Mizrahi — the Jews of the East. Those centuries saw recurrent waves of anti-Jewish incitement, many culminating in terrible peaks of slaughter. Demonization of Jews was rampant in the Muslim world, and widespread in Christian Europe too. But not in Turkey.
Turkey was different. It always stood largely apart from the great waves of Jew-hatred that periodically darken the world, and was never fully engulfed by them. Until the birth of America, it was virtually unique in this respect. Turkish sultans didn’t demonize Jews, or join forces with those who did. They didn’t echo or broadcast ugly Arab or Christian blood libels. Instead, they did their best to impose their own more rational and tolerant attitudes toward Jews and other peaceful minorities on all the peoples they ruled, and to recognize and utilize the skills of all their subjects. Of course Christians and Jews were dhimmis in the Ottoman empire, and that is always a painful burden. But Turkish sultans were also Caliphs — supreme interpreters of Islam for all Muslims — and their Islam was not the Islam of today’s Saudis or al-Qaeda. Under Ottoman rule, Jews and Christians — Armenian Christians especially — could generally practice their religions freely within their own self-governing millets.
The most famous illustration of this persistent Ottoman policy is the remark of Beyazit II, the Turkish sultan who welcomed a new group of Jews to Turkey in the 15th century — the ones who were expelled from Spain during the Inquisition. He said: “How can you call Ferdinand of Aragon a wise king? He has made his land poor and enriched ours.”
This venerable Turkish stance toward the Jewish people didn’t end with the Ottoman Empire. The secular republic of Turkey that rose from its ashes in 1923 was neutral in World War II, like Switzerland, but much more generous to the demonized victims of Europe’s last great wave of hate. Turkey gave refuge to thousands of Jews fleeing the Nazi inferno — Turkish Jews who had been living abroad, and many Ashkenazi (Western) Jews too. Turkish ambassadors in Nazi-occupied Europe took real risks to make it possible for Jews to escape to Turkey. Free-thinking Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, was gone by then (he died in 1938), but his successor, a devout Muslim named Ismet Inonu, struggled to be faithful to Atatürk’s vision of a secular state that not only tolerated Jews and other loyal non-Muslims, but abolished their dhimmi status altogether.
TURKEY IN THE DOMESTIC MIRROR TODAY
Judging by the responses I got when I visited with Istanbul’s Jews in 2001, the policy of Inonu and his successors worked. Like the Muslim Turks I met on that same trip, the Istanbul Jews were honest about Turkey’s lapses and flaws, and impatient with the less-than-competent political leaders in those pre-AKP years, but they were fiercely proud of their country, and fully at home in it. Today, after six and a half years of AKP rule, many Jews are profoundly uneasy, painfully aware that increasing numbers of their fellow Turks now echo the lies others tell about them and see them as foreigners in the land they have embraced as Turks for five centuries and more.
Jews aren’t the only people being demonized in Erdogan’s Turkey. Indeed, their treatment, so far, is mild compared with that being meted out to Turkey’s Muslim secularists. They are the targets of a vast, ongoing conspiracy investigation known as Ergenekon. A hitherto unknown government prosecutor, working with no-holds-barred police investigators, launched the case in June 2007, weaving an ever more complex and elaborate tale of a fantastically sinister secularist plot to massacre large numbers of innocent Turks as a prelude to the violent overthrow of the AKP government.
Some 200 alleged co-conspirators have been arrested so far, and this year there are new arrests every month — some weeks, almost every day. Many of the accused are prominent men and women who fall into one of four categories: (1) Turkish journalists who have criticized Erdogan and/or reported on AKP corruption, and owners of the remaining independent media outlets that employ those journalists; (2) Turkish military officers — at first mostly retired army men, some quite high-ranking, and more recently, active army and navy officers as well; (3) Turkish intellectuals — university rectors, professors, scholars, and scientists — with records of outspoken support for Atatürk’s bedrock commitment to the separation of mosque and state as the defining principle of the Turkish republic; and (4) Turkish business and professional men and women known to share those views. A number of the arrestees are old and ill. Prison has been hard on them. Some have died there, or soon after their release.
TURKEY, THE FUTURE, AND MAY 17, 2009
Turkey’s unique Ottoman Empire lasted for five centuries. The question today is whether Turkey’s unique secular republic will make it to its first centennial in 2023. The answer, sadly, will be no, if the Turks continue to look to the European Union for salvation. The transnationals who run the EU have many reservations about admitting a Muslim-majority state like Turkey to their national-sovereignty-superseding, Islamist-appeasing club, but a principled objection to the idea of a “moderate Islamist” government is not among them. They quite like that idea, seeing it, as President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice once did, as a model for other Muslim-majority states to emulate.
But the sad truth is that under the AKP, emulation is proceeding in the opposite direction: Turkey is becoming more like the oppressive, corrupt, and propaganda-dominated Arab states from which Atatürk deliberately distanced Turkey. Today, it’s fashionable in some Turkish circles to disparage Atatürk for his “isolationism,” but a more accurate summary would describe him as a leader who was highly selective about the close ties he established with foreign nations — the tie with Australia, for example, which remains strong to this day.
Another, even sadder truth, for me as an American, is that support from the U.S. for Turkey’s proud, secular tradition is even less likely under our current president. Barack Obama shares the EU’s enthusiasm for “moderate Islamist” states. Unlike ex-president Bush, he also shares the EU’s uncritical embrace of the view that the massacre of Armenians in World War I was full-scale genocide on the part of Turkey, and why not? Our popular new president embraces all the currently popular transnational prejudices, including those that unfairly target America — exaggerating our sins and ignoring the role we have played in making the world a safer, freer, more civilized place, and the enormous price we have paid to do that. Instead, Obama joins Erdogan in courting U.N. and OIC favor by giving short shrift to embattled friends (e.g., Georgia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Colombia, and Mexico, as well as Israel), while simultaneously reaching far out to countries with dangerously hostile and aggressive leaders — countries like Iran, Syria, Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba.
The bottom-line truth is that if Turkey’s unique secular republic is to be saved, it will be Turks alone who save it. Right now, the odds against that look intimidatingly high, but they were much higher in the 1920s, when the Turkish republic was born. Like Turkey’s isolated and embattled secular loyalists today, Turks then had many foreign enemies and no foreign friends. Everyone was sure the Turks would not only lose their remaining imperial possessions; they would lose sovereignty over their historic homeland too. But they did not.
Atatürk accepted the loss of empire without regret, for the most part, but he rallied and unified the Turkish people into an indomitable force that ultimately defeated every attempt to subject Turkey to foreign control. Today, it’s home-grown Islamists who are trying to turn Turkey into something foreign: a state as oppressive and intolerant as the ones that dominate the OIC, intimidate the EU, and cooperate with self-righteous socialists to turn the U.N. into a mockery of the principles of its founders.
Can Turkey’s secularists turn back the tide and regain control of their country? In elections in March of this year, they reduced the AKP vote for the first time since the party took power in 2002, increasing their own vote totals even in poor areas where the AKP tried to buy votes by giving out free washing machines and refrigerators. But Turkey’s secular politicians, like Israel’s unapologetic Zionists, have yet to put aside their relatively minor political differences and unite into a truly formidable electoral force.
Ordinary Turks have had less difficulty making that necessary move. In April 2007 they came together in mass demonstrations across Turkey to pledge support for their secular republic and denounce AKP efforts to Islamicize it. Rallies in Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir drew more than a million supporters each, and there were sizeable gatherings in smaller cities too. Speakers at all the rallies were impassioned, as were the cheering crowds, but, unlike the more frequent but much smaller demonstrations by Islamists and by Turkey’s hard Left, the secularist demonstrations were all peaceful.
In 2008, Turkey’s secularists took their protest to the courts. When the Erdogan government pushed for legislation to lift the ban on Muslim headscarves for women on university campuses, secularists petitioned to have the courts declare that this, and a number of other AKP actions, were clear violations of constitutional provisions limiting the reach of Islam in Turkish society. These provisions have been central to the Turkish Republic since Atatürk founded it; they are a large part of what has made modern Turkey so different from every other Muslim-majority nation for the past 85 years. They are not anti-religious provisions — mosques are plentiful in Turkey, and Turks are free to worship in them as they choose — but they insist on a sharp separation between mosque and state, forbidding any intrusion of Islam into government, any government action to promote Islam, or any imposition of sharia on Turkish citizens by law.
The chief prosecutor of Turkey’s Court of Appeals, Abdurrahman Yalçinkaya, asked the Constitutional Court to find the AKP guilty and apply the legally prescribed remedy — removing Erdogan and his cohorts from office and holding new elections. The high court agreed that the AKP had violated the constitution, but fell one vote short of the margin required to oust the party. The judges let AKP off with a fine and a warning, and the government celebrated its victory by making more Ergenekon arrests.
Secularist Turks — Atatürk’s Turks — are hoping to mount mass rallies again on May 17, and the size of the crowds will give us some indication of the current strength of their movement. If defeatism prevails and the crowds are smaller than they were in 2007, the near-term future looks bleak. But if secular-state loyalists turn out in numbers that exceed the impressive totals of 2007, Turkey may yet surprise the world again. For the future — not just of the Turks but of everyone who loves freedom — we should all pray that they do.
— Barbara Lerner is a frequent contributor to National Review Online
Sukru Aya's Reply To Lerner
Dear Miss Lerner,
- I know you are not o genocide advocate, but in reference to your second paragraph, I annex a captain Miles-Sutherland report of “Harbord report” in 1919, which is self-explanatory and belies Armenians.
- Regarding your comments on Davos, etc, I am not in a position to make remarks on cleanliness, when most (all) have had their hands in dirt!
- I sympathize and share your comments on the abuses made on our secularism, the corruption of ethical and most other values and principals. Since I stand for “reason” versus “religiosity”, I thank you for your objective remarks.
- Should I be visiting Israel for some conferences on the “Armeno-Israel” distortions as a guest of Turkish Jews, perhaps I can express my concern on behalf of Turkish Jews, for the instantaneous fluctuations or lack of evaluation by political leaders, for personal publicity.
(Gen. Harbord Commission)
From: Report of Capt. Emory Niles and Arthur Sutherland, 1919
Although it does not fall within the exact scope of car investigation one of the most salient facts impressed on us at every point from Bitlis to Trebizond was that in the region which we traversed the Armenians committed upon the Turks all the crimes and outrages which were committed in other regions by Turks upon Armenians. At first we were most incredulous of the stories told as, but the unanimity of the testimony of alt witnesses, the apparent eagerness with which they told of wrongs done them, their evident hatred of Armenians, and, strongest of all, the material evidence on the ground itself, have convinced as of the general truth of the facts, first, that Armenians massacred Musulmans on a large scale with many refinements of cruelty, and second that Armenians are responsible for most of the destruction done to towns and villages. The Russians and Armenians occupied the country for a considerable time together in 1915 and 1916, and during this period there was apparently little disorder, although doubtless there was damage committed by the Russians. in 1917 the Russian Army disbanded and left the Armenians alone in control. At this period bands of Armenian irregulars roamed the country pillaging and murdering the Musulman civilian population. When the Turkish army advanced at Erzindjan, Erzerum, and Van, the Armenian army broke down and all of the soldiers, regular and irregular turned themselves to destroying Musulman property and committing atrocities upon Musulman inhabitants. The result is a country completely ruined, containing about one-fourth of its former population and one-eighth of its former buildings, and a most bitter hatred [of] Musulmans for Armenians which makes it impossible for two races to live together tat the present time. The Musulmans protest that if they art forced to live under an Armenian Government, they will fight, and it appears to as that they will probably carry out this threat. This view is shared by Turkish officers, British officers, and Americans whom we have met!
A further aggravating condition is the state of affairs across the border. We have no way of knowing how far the complaints of the refugees prove true and how far the Musulmans are themselves to blame by organizing resistance to the Armenians. In any case, the inhabitants of the Turkish side of the frontier believe that their co-religionists on the Armenian side are being massacred and treated with utmost cruelty and this belief intensifies the feeling against the Armenians. It is most strongly urged that conditions in the Caucasus be investigated with a view to ascertaining the true state of affairs, and if the Musulman reports are true, that steps be taken in order to prevent disorders that make a permanent settlement in this region mare difficult that the present circumstances already make inevitable.
Attention is called to the annexed statements of refugees and inhabitants regarding atrocities. (not appended in this text]
Turkish-Armenian Relations And Public Opinion Polls by Omer Engin LUTEM, AVIM
It can be observed that public opinion polls are being carried out lately both in Armenia and Turkey regarding mutual relations. These polls are more frequent in Armenia. In a survey conducted in October 2008, 11% of those interviewed cited that no cooperation should be established in any field with Turkey, while 33% believed that reconciliation with Turkey is not possible and 64 % stated that relations could be built with Turkey yet that it would be useful not to forget that Turkey is Armenia’s enemy.
In a survey conducted in December, the percentage of those against establishing relations with Turkey was 7%. Those who favor building relations with Turkey after genocide allegations are recognized were 18 %. Considering that it is out of question for Turkey to recognize genocide allegations, it is calculated that those against having relations with Turkey were 25 %. On the other hand, those who favor establishing relations with Turkey without any preconditions were 26%. 50% of those who took part in the survey saw Turkey as an economic partner. In conclusion, it is possible to say some indecisiveness reigned in Armenia in those days regarding cooperation with Turkey in the realm of politics. It seems that a problem does not exist with regard to economic cooperation.
In a poll conducted at a more recent date, at the beginning of April, concerning opening of borders, 11 % of those surveyed have stated this time that they fully opposed the opening of borders while 27% said the borders could be opened if Turkey recognizes the “genocide”, and the 54 %, that constitute the majority, have stated that the border should be opened without any pre-conditions.
61 % of the respondents to a poll conducted in mid-April expressed that they opposed forging close relations with Turkey.
Regarding a poll conducted in connection to the Turkish-Armenian joint declaration of 22 April 2009 that stated a consensus has been reached on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of relations between the two countries and a road map has been determined, 67 % of the respondents have voiced a negative opinion on the said declaration.
According to these investigations, it is observed that in the last few months the Armenian public opinion has moved from indecisiveness to nurturing negative feelings about normalizing relations with Turkey and the opening of borders. It is understood that the primary factor influencing this development has been the opposition of nationalist circles, especially the Dashnaks, to normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia before the demands for land and reparations are placed on the table. In fact, as is known, the Dashnaks have recently withdrawn from the coalition government.
When it comes to Turkey, with some exceptions, the media has been supporting for a long time now the normalization of relations and opening of the borders. In spite of this, in a research made by GENAR between the 17th and 26th April, to the question ‘‘whether they support the initiatives to open the borders and to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia’’, a great majority of the respondents (67%) have answered that they do not support such an initiative. It is probable that due to severe opposition from Azerbaijan such that Turkey has been trying to establish relations with Armenia without taking into consideration Azerbaijan’s interest, a significant part of the Turkish public opinion adapted a negative attitude for the normalization of relations with Armenia. Prime Minister Erdo?an’s various statements since then linking the opening of the borders to ending the occupation of Azerbaijani territories might have altered this perception to a certain extent.
All these researches show that there exists serious antagonism, at least reservations, at the public opinions of both countries as regards opening of the borders and establishing normal relations. It is possible that this situation may have a more complicating and delaying effect on the sensitive negotiation process between the two countries.
Indigenous Genocide, Climate Genocide And Holocaust Denial By White Australia, By Dr Gideon Polya
Australia has an over 2 century history of involvement in genocide. However this appalling genocide history is kept hidden by a sustained process of Australian holocaust denial and genocide denial
Before going further it must be clearly stated that the term “Genocide” used here is “Genocide” as precisely defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention as follows: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” (see: http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow/genocide/convention.html ).
Further, in assessing deaths from particular policies of invasion, occupation and dispossession one notes that deaths can be violent (from bombs and bullets) or non-violent (from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease). Both kinds of avoidable death (death that should not have happened) are included within the term “excess death” used below (see “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/Gideon-Polya/ and “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950 (2008 lecture)”:
The following catalogue of Australian involvement in Genocide - as defined by the UN Genocide Convention and notably in British- and American-imposed genocides - is given below in roughly chronological order from 1788 (the year of European Invasion and First Settlement) to 2009. A key reference is my book “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”; other relevant books are Chalk, F. and Jonassohn, K. (1990), “The History and Sociology of Genocide. Analyses and Case Studies” (Yale University Press, New Haven & London); Tatz, C. (2003), “With Intent to Destroy. Reflecting on Genocide” (Verso, London); Blum, W. (2006), “Rogue State, A guide to the world’s only superpower” (Zed Books, London); and my book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (GM. Polya, Melbourne, 1998 & 2008: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ). The following list is an updated and amplified version of that originally published in MWC News as ”Australia’s secret genocide history. La Trobe, “Bundoora Eucalyptus” and black crimes of white Australia” on MWC News, 30 April 2008: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/22128/42/ .
1. 18th-19th century Aboriginal Genocide (the Indigenous Aboriginal population dropped from about 1 million to 0.1 million in the first century after invasion in 1788).
2. Tasmanian Aboriginal Genocide (the “full-blood” Indigenous population dropped from 6,000 to zero in 1803-1776; however there are several thousand “mixed race” decendants of Tasmanian and Mainland Aborigines still living in Tasmania today).
3. British Indian Genocide (post-invasion excess deaths 0.6 billion, 1757-1837; 0.5 billion, 1837-1901 under Queen Victoria; 0.4 billion, 1901-1947, and 1.5 billion in all - or 1.8 billion if you include the so-called Native States of the British Raj).
4. European Chinese Genocide (10-100 million deaths in the European imperialism-driven Tai Ping rebellion period; Australia was involved in suppressing the Boxer rebellion).
5. Maori Genocide (the Maori population dropped from 0.1-0.2 million in 1800 to 42,000 in 1893; Australia was involved in the 19th century Maori wars).
6. African Genocide (scores of millions perished over 5 centuries of European slavery and colonialism; Australians participated in the Sudan War, 1881-1898 and the Boer War in South Africa, 1899-1902).
7. Pacific Genocide (there was a catastrophic population decline due to introduced disease and slavery; thus 40,000 Fijians died from measles out of a population of 150,000 in 1876; “blackbirding” slavery was conducted by Australians in the late 19th century, with the Melanesian slaves - “Kanakas” - being taken to sugar plantations in the Australian state of Queensland).
8. Boer (Afrikaaner) Genocide (1899-1902; 28,000 Afrikaaner women and children died in British concentration camps; Australians participated in the Boer War as immortalized in the movie “Breaker Morant” ).
9. Armenian Genocide (1.5 million killed; the Australian invasion of Gallipoli as part of an Anglo-French force in 1915 helped to precipitate this atrocity; indeed April 24 is Armenian Genocide Day and April 25 is the day of the Australia invasion in 1915 and also a sacred war dead remembrance day for Australians and New Zealanders – it is called Anzac Day after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) which stormed ashore on that first Anzac Day at Gallipoli in 1915).
10. Bengali Genocide (6-7 million perished in the “forgotten” man-made Bengal Famine atrocity in Bengal and adjoining provinces in British India, 1943-1945; Australians were there and indeed the Governor of Bengal in 1944 was an Australian, R.G. Casey; for a recent BBC broadcast about the WW2 Bengal Famine involving me, Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen of Harvard University, medical historian Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya of University College London and other scholars see: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/
11. British post-1950 Third World Genocide (1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to British occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era totalled 727 million; Australia has the same Head of State as the UK and continues to be a loyal military ally of the UK in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan).
12. US post-1950 Third World Genocide (1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to US occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era totalled 82 million; Australia participated in all post-1950 US Asian Wars in Korea, Indo-China, Iraq and Afghanistan with Indigenous Asian excess deaths now totalling 25 million).
13. Australian Colonial Genocide (1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to Australian occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era, namely Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands totalled 2.1 million).
14. 20th century Aboriginal Genocide (total excess deaths are clearly of the order of 1 million; 0.1 million Stolen Generations Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their Mothers in the 19th and 20th centuries; excess deaths in the 11 years of the Bush-ite Howard Coalition Government totalled 90,000 for 1996-2007; currently about 9,000 Indigenous Australians die avoidably each year out of a population of about 0.5 million as detailed in item #18 below).
The following Australian genocide involvements in this catalogue of horrors are ongoing.
15. Palestinian Genocide (post-1967 excess deaths 0.3 million, post-1967 under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million and 7 million refugees; with bi-partisan agreement Australia provides diplomatic, financial and haven support for Israeli state terrorism – even when directed against tens of thousands of Australian citizens as in Lebanon in mid-2006 - and up to life imprisonment for anyone giving support to the Hamas Party that overwhelmingly won the 2006 Occupied Palestinian elections; Australia makes contributions to racist Zionist colonization – i.e. to the Palestinian Genocide - tax deductible: http://www.greenleft.org.au/2008/745/38562 ).
16. Iraqi Genocide (4.1 million excess deaths 1990-2009; 1.3 million post-invasion violent excess deaths and 1.0 million post-invasion non-violent excess deaths i.e. 2.3 million post-invasion violent and non-violent excess deaths; 0.6 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths; and 5-6 million refugees; Australia has been militarily involved in the Iraqi Genocide since 1990; for details as of March 2008 see “Iraqi Genocide”: http://www.brusselstribunal.org/
17. Afghan Genocide (3-7 million post-invasion violent and non-violent excess deaths, 2.3 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths, and 4 million refugees; Australia was involved militarily in Occupied Afghanistan from after the US invasion in 2001).
18. Ongoing Aboriginal Genocide (9,000 excess deaths annually; 90,000 excess deaths in the last 11 years of Bush-ite Coalition rule; for details and documentation see “Aboriginal genocide. Racist White Australian child abuse and passive mass murder”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/15140/42/ ).
19. Biofuel Genocide (16 million die avoidably each year but this is increasingly biofuel-impacted as the legislatively-mandated US, UK and EU biofuel perversion forces up global food prices; Australia is a major sugar cane grower and sugar exporter with 60% of sugar going to bioethanol production worldwide; Australia has biofuel-promoting legislation and is a major canola grower, this being a major source for biodiesel; for detailed and documented analysis see my Biofuel lecture notes: http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com/2008/05/biofuel-famine-biofuel-genocide-meat.html
and http://climateemergency.blogspot.com/2008/04/biofuel-famine-biofuel-genocide-and.html ).
20. Climate Genocide (16 million die avoidably each year already from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease; Professor James Lovelock FRS says that only 1 billion will survive this century i.e. about 10 billion (2 billion being Indians) will perish this century due to unaddressed climate change; on a per capita basis Australia is among the very worst greenhouse gas (GHG) polluters – in terms of 2004 figures for “fossil fuel-derived annual per capita CO2 pollution” Australia is about 40 times worse than India and 160 times worse than Bangladesh if you include Australia’s world number 1 coal exports; for details and documentation see “ “Climate Disruption, Climate Emergency, Climate Genocide & Penultimate Bengali Holocaust through Sea Level Rise”:
Of these Australian-complicit genocides, the already-commenced Climate Genocide is most likely going to be the worst – with the likelihood of 10 billion non-Europeans perishing due to First World inaction over First World GHG pollution. Australia is a disproportionate contributor to this man-made holocaust that is largely confined to the non-European World. Australia is the world’s biggest coal exporter, the OECD’s worst per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) polluter and a remorseless world leader in annual per capita GHG pollution. “Annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution” in units of “tonnes CO2-equivalent per person per year” (2005-2008 data) is 2.2 (India), 6.7 (the World), 11 (Europe), 27 (the US) and 30 (Australia; or 54 if Australia’s huge Exported CO2 pollution is included).
Just as Australia has made Palestinian Genocide tax deductible, so the latest Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) of the extreme right wing, pro-coal, pro-war Rudd Labor Government provides massive, “business as usual” subsidies for GHG polluters (see “Pro-coal Australian Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) devalues Australian lives, threatens Biosphere and ignores Science “:
Yet politically correct racist (PC racist) Australia steadfastly “looks the other way” and its past and present involvements in the above atrocities are overwhelmingly not reported by racist, lying, holocaust-ignoring Mainstream media nor taught in Australia’s schools and universities. PC racist White Australia just cannot see the “elephant in the room” – its continuing involvement in over 2 centuries of horrendous genocide.
Remarkable evidence of this Australian Holocaust Denial and Genocide Denial is obtained when one does a Search for the various genocides, specifically for the phrases “Aboriginal Genocide”, “Indian Genocide”, “Bengali Genocide”, “Iraqi Genocide” etc, on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) search device (see: http://www.abc.net.au/ ) - the result is essentially ZERO (0) related links found, whereas searches for these phrases on Yahoo or Google variously reveals hundreds to tens of thousands of URLs.
The Australian ABC is generally regarded as the most “liberal” of the Mainstream media of Australia – and indeed is regarded as “left wing” by the generally extreme right wing journalists of the Murdoch and Fairfax media empires that dominate “news” reporting in holocaust-complicit and holocaust denying, “look the other way” Australia – the Land of Flies, Lies and Slies (spin-based untruths). It is not hard to imagine the awfulness of the other generally pro-coal and pro-war Australian Mainstream media in relation to holocaust commission, genocide commission, holocaust-ignoring and genocide-ignoring.
Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Decent people are obliged to (a) inform others about these continuing atrocities and (b) ensure that they are not complicit in these crimes of genocide commission and genocide denial through avoidable dealings with the people, corporations and countries responsible for these outrages.
Australians are trapped in a Mainstream media-imposed Orwellian dream and will only conceivably stop doing Genocide when they are informed that they are doing it. Sanctions and boycotts are urgently required because Australia is committing these crimes for money – and money is the only thing that amoral, wealth-obsessed Australia will understand.
Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003). He has recently published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/Gideon-Polya and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ) and an updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History, Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2008: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ). He is currently teaching Biochemistry theory and practical courses to second year university agricultural science students at a very good Australian university.
12 May, 2009, Countercurrents.org
These are indeed, horrible human events however, one thing that the vicitms shared was the fact that the victims were usually forcibly disarmed i.e. gun control, by the larger and politically more powerful majority or when less technologically advanced societies encountered more technologically armed Europeans. Ask any dictator that gun control works. In the 20th century alone, well over 300 million people were directly or indirectly killed by governments. That's why I'm a firm adherent to 2A. "Come and get some"
"Never give up your firearm"
Jordan Maxwell, FTW, Third Way | 05.12.09
Genocide Recognition (Greece - Australia - Armenia - Turkey) Dean Kalimniou
On 30 April 2009, the South Australian lower house did a remarkable thing; it recognised the genocide of the Christian peoples of Anatolia during the Ottoman Empire. The full text of the motion that was passed is as follows:
"That, whereas the genocide by the Ottoman state between 1915-1923 of Armenians, Hellenes, Syrian and other minorities in Asia Minor is one of the greatest crimes against humanity, the people of South Australia and this House –
(a) join the members of the Armenian-Australian, Pontian Greek-Australian and Syrian-Australian communities in honouring the memory of the innocent men, women and children who fell victim to the first modern genocide;
(b) condemns the genocide of the Armenians, Pontian Greeks, Syrian Orthodox and other Christian minorities, and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of racial, religious and cultural intolerance;
(c) recognises the importance of remembering and learning from such dark chapters in human history to ensure that such crimes against humanity are not allowed to be repeated;
(d) condemns and prevents all attempts to use the passage of time to deny or distort the historical truth of the genocide of the Armenians and other acts of genocide committed during this century;
(e) acknowledges the significant humanitarian contribution made by the people of South Australia to the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide and the Pontian Genocide; and
(f) calls on the commonwealth parliament officially to condemn the genocide."
Noting in passing that the Assyrian community has been misdescribed as ´Syrian,´ a grave error that will hopefully be rectified, this recognition of the genocide of the Christian peoples of Anatolia forms a historic landmark in the history of the Armenian-Australian, Assyria-Australian and Greek-Australian people. This is not a political or ethnic victory, for we are thankfully not enmeshed within the warp and the weft of the greater geo-strategic and political games played by the representatives of our mother countries. This is not a victory of diplomats, who for the most part shy away from agitating publicly on what we term to be "national issues." Most importantly, this act of recognition is balsam applied to the unhealed wound in the souls of genocide victims and their descendants. The Australian historical narrative often tends to ignore the socio-political events that its migrant populations have experienced. Yet these events, often traumatic, inform these Australian´s world-view. The opinions and emotions forged during such times have been transplanted to this country and often, passed down the generations. Horrific international experiences such as the Holocaust or the Genocide are thus pertinent to this country because they have affected, directly or indirectly, a portion of the Australian community.
South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson was thus entirely correct when he stated in his speech: "We should support the motion to recognise the Armenian, Pontian Greek, Syrian Orthodox, (sic) Nestorian and Assyrian communities who flourish in Australia today. The Republic of Turkey, having dispersed these people to the point of the globe farthest from Anatolia, can hardly complain that, in the freedom of the Antipodes, they perpetuate the memory of their ancestors and their culture. These Australians—and I remind Senator Ferguson that they are Australians with the full right of citizenship to talk about topics that Senator Ferguson considers too ancient and too controversial—came to Australia from countries, including Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, where they had settled after the genocide."
The Leader of the South Australian Opposition, Martin Hamilton Smith also spoke upon the relevance of the empirical and personal connection: "As a man married to a Greek, with a son who is half Greek, who is Orthodox, this has very much touched me and my family. Let there be no doubt in the mind of any South Australian about my view and the view of the state Liberals of these terrible and tragic events."
Further, through the international treaties it has signed, Australia has cast itself as a democratic, humanitarian country, that abjures all forms of totalitarian terror, it is a humanitarian victory for all Australians who still believe in the democratic process and principled politicians. As John Rau, Member for Enfield stated: "The fact that this motion is before the parliament, the fact that we are debating this matter and we are talking about this matter is at least some modest way that we as legislators in what is, after all, only a provincial parliament—I should not really say that here, should I, but that is what we are—can make some contribution to raising public awareness, both of the terrible circumstances of this particular conflict, but also of the fact that these conflicts can and do and will occur again unless people are aware of these issues and take intelligent, statesmanlike solutions to these problems to hand." The Member for Fisher, R B Such, went further, courageously acknowledging his own battles as a child, in coming to terms with tolerance, before stating: "We cannot afford to sit back and do nothing. We need to ensure that we are ever vigilant and that we promote tolerance and empathy, particularly amongst our children, so that we rid the world and ourselves of the evil that can be reflected in the sort of genocide and intolerance that is highlighted in this motion today."
The debate in the SA parliament on the Genocide thus underlies just how principled its politicians are. Some of the debate centred on a few comments published in the Diatribe a few weeks ago, about Senator Ferguson´s denial of the historical authenticity of the Pontian Genocide. In particular, the Diatribe had opined: "Playing ethnic politics is a dirty game that threatens to shatter social harmony quite a good deal more easily than referring to or interpreting historical events. The fact of the matter is that Australia's communities of diverse backgrounds have proven that they can co-exist peacefully in fruitful collaboration and ties of friendship because of our joint commitment to multicultural Australia. No cynical, irresponsible or misguided attempt to score points or votes off the back of any arbitrarily chosen ethnic group should ever be permitted to bear the bitter fruit of discord."
It appears that this was the guiding principle of all the politicians who spoke on the motions, from both major parties, though I regret the misguided attempt in Parliament to use this quote to accuse others of ´using´ ethnics as pawns in a broader political game. This notwithstanding, it was gratifying in the extreme to witness these politicians quote extensively from the research of Dr Panayiotis Diamandis, Thea Halo´s famous book "Not without My Name," William Dalrymple´s "From the Holy Mountain," and even from primary sources such as the archives of the Greek government: "The government of Ankara decided that the Greeks of the regions of Atabazar and Kaltras, first, and later the Greeks of the Pontos , would be slaughtered and eliminated. He assigned Yavur Ali to burn down a Greek village which is near Geive and to kill all of its inhabitants. The tragedy lasted two days. The village, with its 12 factories and its nice buildings became a dump site. Ninety per cent of the population were slaughtered and burnt. The few who were able to escape in order to save their lives went to the mountains. In order to preserve his Chets , Mustafa Kemal had to find an area which he could attack."
The extensive references to the actual historical events and their effects prove that these politicians are not motivated by political expediency in the recognition of the Genocide. Indeed, they have nothing to gain politically from doing so. Instead, through their own research and critical faculties, they have become convinced that the Genocide of the Christian peoples of Anatolia is a historical fact that needs to be recognised at a formal level. All of them ought to be commended for this, especially in the face of vociferous protest by the Turkish consular authorities. I am informed, though I have not seen a copy of the relevant letter, that the Australian Foreign Minister has written to the Attorney General of South Australia, stating that it is not the Federal Government´s policy to recognise the Genocide. Perhaps the Australian government should take a leaf out of the enlightened South Australian parliament´s book and pass resolutions based on fact and not Realpolitik.
The president of the Federation of Pontian Organisations of Australia, Harry Tavlarides, the alternate president, Panagiotis Jasonides and many others have worked tirelessly over the years, not to politicise the issue, but to firstly raise awareness of the Genocide among the Pontian and broader Greek community, then to liaise and co-ordinate commemoration events with the Armenian and Assyrian communities (and indeed, it was this diametric move away from isolationist activities and the placing of the Pontian Genocide into the broader context of the fate of other Christian nations in the same region, that arguably allowed the issue of recognition raise itself from the quagmire of obscurity,) and finally, to present the facts to members of Parliament and have them make up their own mind.
In many ways, the whole campaign for Genocide Recognition has its inception in Federation member, Central Pontian Association "Pontiaki Estia´s" Pontian Genocide Workshops. The brainchild of Litsa Athanasiadis and George Papadopoulos, these have run for almost a decade now, having transmogrified into the cultural and theatrical annual "Seed" event at the Clocktower Centre in Moonee Ponds. Neos Kosmos has also played a prominent role in raising awareness of the Genocide and calling for its recognition through its frequent articles on the topic over the years and of this, and the fact that South Australian parliamentarians: "draw the attention of the house to an article in Neos Kosmos , described by some as Australia's leading Greek newspaper and the largest ABC audited ethnic publication," we should all be very proud. As one member of the Pontian Federation remarked to me: "I was told a few years back by some first generation leaders of the Pontian community that there was absolutely no way that the Pontian Genocide would ever be recognised in Australia. Now look how far we have come." We have come thus far, because of the grass roots support of a broad swathe of the Australian community, carefully informed, and despite the politicking of most of our parochial community organizations.
In a sense, I sympathise with members of the Turkish community who will feel enraged at the South Australian Parliament´s recognition. After all, they, just like us, share nationalistic myths about the destiny and character of their race. They, just like us, have been brought up to think that there race is noble, just, courteous and of great benefit to mankind. An official recognition of the genocide shatters such myths just as it calls them into question. As a corollary, why does official Greek historiography skim over the massacre of innocent Turks during the taking of Tripolitsa, or the atrocities committed by the Greek army in Asia Minor? Simply because the Greek people are also, to some extent, informed by the same nation-building myths. What the recognition teaches the Turkish community, as well as us, is that crimes against humanity are not committed by races. They are committed by human beings, and it is those human beings, not their race, creed or colour that are to be condemned. It is degrading to defend the indefensible and we should all be possessed of the conviction to uphold what is right and denounce the wrong, regardless of our kinship with its perpetrator
The recognition of the Genocide should thus not be viewed as the ascendancy of one ´ethnic´ lobby over another. It is justice achieved, a little victory for a people downtrodden and crushed into the dust. All that remains therefore, as we pay respect to their memory, is to echo the laudable sentiments of the Honourable Michael Ferguson: "Rest eternal, grant unto them, Oh Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon them. May they rest in peace and rise in glory." ?µ??.
May 11, 2009, By Dean Kalimniou, Australian Macedonian Advisory Council , info at macedonian.com.au
Remarks at House of Commons, Demanding Justice for Armenians, Harut Sassounian, Publisher, The California Courier
At the invitation of the British-Armenian All-Party Parliamentary Group (BAAPPG), I spoke on May 7 at a special conference on the Armenian Genocide held at the House of Commons, Committee Room 3, the British Parliament, London.
Dr. Israel Charny, Director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, was also invited to speak at this conference. Regrettably, due to a last minute illness, Dr. Charny could not attend. His prepared remarks titled, "Denial of Genocide is not only a political tactic, it is an attack on decent people's minds and emotions," was read by Peter Barker, a former broadcaster of BBC Radio.
The conference was chaired by House of Lords member Baroness Cox, Chairman of BAAPPG. In attendance were: Members of the House of Lords, the Armenian Desk officer of the Foreign Office, representatives from the Embassies of Greece, Kuwait, Serbia, Slovenia, and Syria, non-governmental organizations, scholars, journalists, and other distinguished guests.
In my remarks titled, "Armenian Genocide and Quest for Justice," I cited the acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide by the United Nations, European Parliament, legislatures of more than 20 countries, U.S. House of Representatives, Pres. Reagan, 42 out of 50 U.S. States, and the International Association of Genocide Scholars.
I concluded that "after so many acknowledgments, the Armenian Genocide has become a universally recognized historical fact."
I expressed regret that the United Kingdom remained one of the rare major countries that has yet to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. I pointed out that"Britain's siding with a denialist state is not so much due to lack of evidence or conviction, but, sadly, because of sheer political expediency, with the intent of appeasing Turkey."I urged British officials to heed the cautionary words of Prime Minister Winston Churchill who said: "An appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
I suggested that Armenians no longer needed to convince the world that what took place during the years 1915-23 was "a genocide."
Here are excerpts from my May 7 speech:
"A simple acknowledgment of and a mere apology, however, would not heal the wounds and undo the consequences of the Genocide. Armenians are still waiting for justice to be meted out, restoring their historic rights and returning their confiscated lands and properties.
"In recent years, Armenian-American lawyers have successfully filed lawsuits in U.S. federal courts, securing millions of dollars from New York Life and French AXA insurance companies for unpaid claims to policy-holders who perished in the Genocide. Several more lawsuits are pending against other insurance companies and German banks to recover funds belonging to victims of the Armenian Genocide.
"In 1915, a centrally planned and executed attempt was made to uproot from its ancestral homeland and decimate an entire nation, depriving the survivors of their cultural heritage as well as their homes, lands, houses of worship, and personal properties.
"A gross injustice was perpetrated against the Armenian people, which entitles them, as in the case of the Jewish Holocaust, to just compensation for their enormous losses.
"Restitution can take many forms. As an initial step, the Republic of Turkey could place under the jurisdiction of the Istanbul-based Armenian Patriarchate all of the Armenian churches and religious monuments which were expropriated and converted to mosques and warehouses or outright destroyed.
"In the absence of any voluntary restitution by the Republic of Turkey, Armenians could resort to litigation, seeking 'restorative justice.'
"In considering legal recourse, one should be mindful of the fact that the Armenian Genocide did neither start nor end in 1915.
"Large-scale genocidal acts were committed starting with Sultan Abdul Hamid's massacre of 300,000 Armenians from 1894 to 1896; the subsequent killings of 30,000 Armenians in Adana by the Young Turk regime in 1909; culminating in the Genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 to 1923; and followed by forced Turkification and deportation of tens of thousands of Armenians by the Republic of Turkey.
"Most of the early leaders of the Turkish Republic were high-ranking Ottoman officials who had participated in perpetrating the Armenian Genocide. This unbroken succession in leadership assured the continuity of the Ottomans' anti-Armenian policies. The Republic of Turkey, as the continuation of the Ottoman Empire, could therefore be held responsible for the Genocide.
"An important document, recently discovered in the U.S. archives, provides irrefutable evidence that the Republic of Turkey continued to uproot and exile the remnants of Armenians well into the 1930's motivated by purely racist reasons. The document in question is a 'Strictly Confidential' cable, dated March 2nd, 1934, and sent by U.S. Ambassador Robert P. Skinner from Ankara to the U.S. Secretary of State, reporting the deportation of Armenians. "In the 1920's and 30's, thousands of Armenian survivors of the Genocide, were forced out of their homes in Cilicia and Western Armenia to locations elsewhere in Turkey or neighboring countries. In the 1940's, these racist policies were followed by the Varlik Vergisi, the imposition of an exorbitant wealth tax on Armenians, Greeks and Jews. And, during the 1955 Istanbul pogroms, many Greeks as well as Armenians and Jews were killed and their properties destroyed.
"This continuum of massacres, genocide and deportations highlights the existence of a long-term strategy implemented by successive Turkish regimes from the 1890's to more recent times, in order to solve the Armenian Question with finality.
"Consequently, the Republic of Turkey is legally liable for its own crimes against Armenians, as well as those committed by its Ottoman predecessors. "Turkey inherited the assets of the Ottoman Empire; And, therefore, it must have also inherited its liabilities.
"Finally, since Armenians often refer to their three sequential demands from Turkey: 'Recognition' of the Genocide; 'Reparations' for their losses; and the 'Return' of their lands, Turks have come to believe that once the Genocide is recognized, Armenians will then pursue their next two demands.
"This is the main reason why Turks adamantly refuse to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. They fear that acceptance of the Genocide would lead to other demands for restitution. They believe that by denying the first demand, they would be blocking the ones that are sure to follow.
"The fact is that, commemorative resolutions adopted by legislative bodies of various countries and statements made on the Armenian Genocide by world leaders have no force of law, and therefore, no legal consequence. "Armenians, Turks and others involved in this historical, and yet contemporary issue, must realize that recognition of the Armenian Genocide or the lack thereof, will neither enable nor deter its consideration by international legal institutions.
"Once Turkish officials realize that recognition by itself cannot and would not lead to other demands, they may no longer persist in their obsessive denial of these tragic events.
"Without waiting for any further recognition, Armenians can pursue their historic rights through proper legal channels, such as the International Court of Justice (where only states have such jurisdiction), the European Court of Human Rights and U.S. Federal Courts.
"Justice, based on international law, must take its course."
Following an extensive question and answer period, Armenia's Ambassador to Great Britain, Vahe Gabrieliyan, delivered the closing remarks. Based on the speeches of the two speakers, the BAAPPG issued a statement calling on the British Government to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
Putting Principle Over Power: Why Samantha Power Must Resign By David Boyajian
Samantha Power, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs in Pres. Obama's National Security Council (NSC), has failed the American people and her own principles regarding genocide recognition. She must resign.
Let's look at how Power got into this sad state of affairs. Power is, of course, the well-known, highly regarded genocide studies specialist. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning book on genocide, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, harshly criticized policymakers in the U.S. who "avoid use of the word genocide" and are slow to "reckon with" genocide. Chapter One, "Race Murder," focused on the Armenian genocide.
Following the book's publication, many Armenians saw Power as a sort of heroine. Indeed, two years ago, her Time magazine article, "The U.S. and Turkey: Honesty Is the Best Policy," argued for passage of the Armenian genocide resolution in Congress. She condemned Pres. Bush for "avoiding honesty" in opposing it and for not correctly characterizing the Armeniangenocide as "genocide." And yet Pres. Obama himself - Power's boss - just avoided the "G word" in his April 24 statement about 1915.A President without Principle Obama imitated his three predecessors(but not Reagan, who acknowledged the Armenian Genocide in 1981) by using words such as "massacre," not "genocide," in his statement. Obama tried to score points with Armenians by tossing in the term "Meds Yeghern" - great catastrophe. In reality, Armenians themselves rarely use that term to refer to the Genocide. The Armenian word for genocide is actually "Tseghasbanoutyoun" - race killing.
Now compare Pres. Obama's evasive language with candidate Obama's promise: "As President, I will recognize the Armenian Genocide" because it is "a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence."
If Power advised Obama to acknowledge the genocide, he obviously rejected that advice, and broke his own pledges. If, on the other hand, she advised the president to not use the "G word" because Armenia and Turkey will allegedly establish a "joint historical commission" on 1915, she was woefully misguided. Turkey would ensure that such a body could never come to a timely and definitive decision. It also makes no sense for Power or Obama to support such a "commission" since they themselves previously affirmed the veracity of the genocide.
And let's put to rest the myth that reaffirmation of the genocide could harm the United States. Turkey depends on America for sophisticated military weapons, support for billions in loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, advocacy for Turkey's membership in a reluctant European Union, and much more. No country that has acknowledged the Armenian genocide has ever experienced much more than rhetorical Turkish reprisal.
Notice that since Obama's dishonest April 24 declaration, Power has said nothing to Armenian Americans. No explanation. No apology. Nothing.Power Plays And let's understand that Power was directly complicit in having voters believe Obama's genocide promises. Last year, Power made a 4-minute video in which she passionately appealed to Armenian Americans to support Obama. He had, she said, read A Problem from Hell and understands "genocide prevention and the costs of denial." He's a man of "unshakable conscientiousness" who "can actually be trusted." She urged the Armenian community to "take my word for it." Naively, many did. "Armenians," she also said, "have always taken me seriously." Yes, but at this point in time, only if she resigns.
Frankly, I've had reservations about Power's commitment to justice for Armenians ever since her April 24 genocide presentation at Tufts University several years ago. She seemed to disparage Armenian demands for reparations. "Do you really want," she asked the largely Armenian American audience, "a check from Turkey?" I stood up and pointed out that Armenians were seeking material restitution for the Armenian nation as a whole, not "checks" for students to squander on clothes and cars. She has since received documentation about the exact nature of Armenian demands.
Whatever her excuse, Power now appears to be precisely the kind of official whom she excoriated in her book and article, one who "avoids use of the word genocide."
The only way she can distance herself from the unprincipled political calculations of Pres. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom she once labeled "a monster," is to resign.
Understandably, no one wishes to give up the power and prestige of being an NSC director. Power's association with Obama has even brought her romance. Last year, she married top Obama advisor and Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein. The president and Sunstein were friends and colleagues for 12 years when they taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Sunstein is reportedly in line for a White House appointment. He could be embarrassed if his wife resigned from the administration. But no more than Power would be if she does not resign.
Power really has only two choices. She can resign. Or she can lose the trust and respect of the American people. The author is a freelance writer.
Recommendations For The Armenian Diaspora, Bruce Fein, The Huffington Post May 8, 2009
The ongoing high-level efforts between Turkey and Armenia to normalize relations, including establishing diplomatic relations and opening the land border between the two countries, have received President Obama’s imprimatur during his recent visit to Turkey.
While the negotiated resolution of any conflict is a desirable goal, the Turkish government would be wise to weigh the public’s expectations of this dialogue with existing realities, which will affect the immediate and long-term outcome of bilateral developments between the two countries and Turkey’s relations with the United States and Azerbaijan.
First, there is a dichotomy of interests among the Armenian stakeholders in this dialogue. The interests of the Armenian Diaspora, even different Diaspora organizations, the American political establishment and Armenia are divergent. The increasingly boisterous voices in the Armenian Diaspora which object to the Armenian government’s engagement with Turkey; the dismissal of the bilateral process by U.S. lawmakers who carry the Armenian lobby’s torch in Congress; as well as the full blown campaign by all Armenian advocacy and lobby groups in furthering their legislative, educational, political and public affairs agenda in the U.S.and elsewhere, are proof of this divergence.
On the other hand, the Turkish community abroad, particularly in the U.S., has by and large voiced support of the Turkish government’s dual approach that manifests itself in engaging in diplomatic efforts to normalize relations with Armenia on the one hand, and in committing to accept the findings of an impartial international commission that will address the contested period of Armenian-Ottoman history and the “genocide” question, on the other.
However, supporting the process does not mean turning a blind eye to competing Turkish interests and other realities. There are wide-spread concerns among Turks and others that Turkey will lose much and gain little from the entente it labors upon with Armenia. Without a doubt, the most significant loss Turkey may endure from this process, particularly from opening its land border with Armenia, could be estranging its natural strategic ally, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has shown significant reaction to Turkey’s perceived “de-linking” of the continuing Armenian occupation from its negotiations with Armenia.
Those in support of normalizing relations with Armenia frequently allude to the potential spillover effect this will have on a peaceful solution to the Karabakh conflict and also stem the “genocide” campaigns by the Armenian Diaspora. However, others argue that the economic effect of a closed land border with Turkey is the only incentive for Armenia to engage in a meaningful dialogue with Azerbaijan on lifting its occupation. Some Azeri analysts argue that removing this sanction may deprive Armenia of any incentive for peace and leave Azerbaijan with no option but a new war.
The Turkish-Armenian dialogue is known to have been advocated by successive U.S. administrations as a way to “pacify” the Armenian lobby and to weaken the incessant congressional efforts for U.S. recognition of the “Armenian genocide,” a development that would most certainly damage U.S.-Turkey relations.
However, pursuing this advice without addressing the underpinnings of the global Armenian campaign against Turkey will most certainly result in great disappointment for Turkey.
The “Armenian Genocide” narrative is an existential narrative for the Armenian Diaspora. It has become the glue that bonds the community across social, economic and political lines. Perpetuating this narrative and activating the community around legislative, educational, philanthropic and political endeavors has become the lifeline for Armenian Diaspora organizations, including the Armenian Church. Hatred against modern day Turks and Turkey has become an identity strengthening tool, particularly employed toward young Armenians, and examples of this hateful behavior against ordinary Turks abound.
It is in this area where Turkish analysis about the Armenian Diaspora’s state of mind, its wide-reaching agenda and impact seems to be most deficient. The benefits that Turkey expects from rapprochement with Armenia can not be achieved as long as the Armenian Diaspora’s realities are ignored. Unless Armenia and other interested parties can engage the Armenian Diaspora in this process and help bring about fundamental changes in the community, the “genocide” issue will remain at the center of their agenda. Consequently, Turkey’s outreach to Armenia will have no effect on the Armenian Diaspora and its international agenda against Turkey, including its lobbying of the U.S. Congress and the Administration.
Bringing about change in the attitudes of the Armenian Diaspora needs to focus on:
* Stopping hate: It is clear to everyone who follows the Armenian Diaspora that the pursuit of genocide recognition has turned into a campaign of hate against Turkey and modern day Turks. This hatred has been manifested in worldwide terrorism and the murder of 40 Turkish diplomats; the continuing adoration of these killers, as well as ongoing harassment and intimidation of Turkish Americans. More troubling, is the fact that hate against Turkey seems to grow among many young Armenian adults who hold more severely hateful perceptions of Turks.
* Defending academic freedom and stopping intimidation and harassment of scholars: The Armenian Diaspora has successfully created an aura of intimidation in academia through their consistent vilification of scholars, who do not agree with the Armenian narrative of history. By slandering any scholar who deviates from the Armenian narrative as a “genocide denier” and attempting to deny such scholars access to academic and public platforms, the Armenian lobby is effectively stifling more research and debate on this history.
* Exposing Armenian “buy-out” of scholars: Armenian foundations and wealthy Armenian Americans are pouring money into American universities to support scholars, including Turkish ones, whose positions corroborate the Armenian narrative. The existence of “Armenian Genocide” study centers at leading U.S. universities rests on the largesse of such Armenian donations. Research in this area has effectively been turned into an Armenian funded cottage industry.
* Advocating the opening of Armenian Archives: Opening all Armenian archives to independent scholarly review will unearth the complete narrative of Ottoman-Armenian history, including the Armenian independence movement and revolt.
* Stopping foul play: Armenian Diaspora groups must be held accountable to stick to the same rules that apply to all advocacy groups. Many of them have not. The best example of such foul play is the Armenian National Committee of America, which is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for possible violations of its legal status and other U.S. laws governing lobbying.
* Exposing the futility of political lobbying: The Armenian Diaspora lobbyists have invested much stock and capital in lobbying efforts to legislate history. Turkey must unequivocally state that it is an Armenian Diaspora illusion that such third country political pressures can force Turkey to accept their narrative and issue an “apology,” opening the way for other demands by the Armenian Diaspora such as reparations or territorial claims.
* Looking forward: The Armenian community can gain tremendously by looking forward and reaching out to Turkey as their heritage country. Turkey and Turkish civil society should extend a hand of friendship toward the Armenian Diaspora. Turks, by and large, hold no animosity toward Armenians and will embrace Diaspora Armenians warmly. The rich Armenian culture continues to be part of Turkey’s culture, its music, art, architecture, folklore and cuisine. These common bonds can be revived and the Armenian Diaspora, not Armenia, can herald this revival.
* Ending Armenia’s isolation: The Armenian Diaspora has played a significant role for Armenia. However, the Armenian Diaspora’s efforts cannot replace the economic and political benefits of normalizing Armenia’s relations with its neighbors, particularly Azerbaijan, and integrating the country into the economic and strategic regional framework. The Armenian Diaspora in the United States, in particular, should be the advocate of moving Armenia away from Russia and Iran and closer to Turkey and the U.S.
* Believing in dialogue: The current Turkish government has long extended a hand of friendship and reconciliation toward the Armenian Diaspora and Armenia in its invitation to form an international historical commission. Turkey’s invitation and willingness to support such a comprehensive effort and to accept its findings may not remain valid forever. The Armenian Diaspora should unclench its fist and take this hand, as it is the only way for peace and reconciliation.
This is one of the article that very openly shows all the mistakes so far Armenians Diaspora has been doing. As I alwasy say too, most of the diaspora even have no clue where is Armenia in the map. How do Armenians live in Armenia??. How is the human right, economic conditions, how do elderly try to survive... etc.
The Armenian Diaspora is just thinking (actually dreaming rather thinking at all) by just pouring money everywhere, they can get whatever they want regardless if it is lie or has nothing to do with reality as long as it fits what they think; which is a common thinking when people are thinking very far, extreme far, basically driven with extreme ideology.
It is really sad. Both Armenian and Turks need better to focus in improving life conditions, human right, education and economic conditions in their country. Particularly Armenians who live in Armenia suffer tremendously. And it is not secret that, Armenian diaspora wasting money in USA to achive all fake based claims, the real Armenian who live in Armenia and controlled by Russian federations suffer from bad life conditions overthere. And actually, I think this is the main problem for Diaspora. They blind themselves not to realize that Armenia is under Russia's control. How the Diaspora can cheer USA and try to help Armenia with this condition????. Wake up people!!.
First three references show that allegations of an "Armenian genocide" is political propaganda, not historical truth, and why Armenian genocide-mongers always run away from civilized historical debate. See last two to decide who committed Genocide:
1. Langer, William L., _The Diplomacy of Imperialism, 1890-1902_ (1935) (Chapter 5), page 147.
Harvard historian Langer puts the Ottoman-Armenian population at the turn of the 20th century at between 1-1.5 million.
2. Barton, James L., _Story of Near East Relief (1915-1930)_, (1930), pages 46, 112.
Missionary Barton gives the number of refugees in Near East Relief camps (a) in Aleppo, Damascus, Dier-ez-Zor[sic] at 500,000; and (b) in Armenia at 500,000, totaling 1milion.
3. Cardashian, Vahan, "The Turks", in _The Lausanne Treaty - Turkey and Armenia_, (1926), pages 105-109.
In this racist and misleading article, Mr. Cardashian, an Armenian, gives number of Armenians in Turkey at time of the writing as 320,000.
4. Pope ,Stephen & Wheal, Elizabeth-Anne, _Dictionary of the First World War_ (1995), pg. 34.
The authors write that Armenian extreme nationalists, in December, 1914, "slaughtered an estimated 120,000 non-Armenians while the Turkish Army was preoccupied with mobilization".
5. Arfa, Hassan, _The Kurds - An Historical and Political Study_, Oxford University Press, (1966). pg. 26.
The Iranian general and diplomat mentions that Armenians killed 600,000 Kurds[sic] in areas of the Ottoman Empire they occupied during WWI.
Only Armenians will impose on you to believe what they say without question.
"facsveritas" you make the Armenian point when you indicate in #3 of your comment that at the time of his writing (1926) there were 320,000 Armenians in Turkey. Well, the Genocide went on during the years of 1915-1918. It stopped when Turkey which had entered WWI on the German side surrendered.
What happened to the 2 million plus Armenian who were in Turkey before the war?
You can find out by reading what an Honorable Turk has written.
Taner Akcam, "A Shameful Act"
"facsveritas" you make the Armenian point when you indicate that #3 at the time of his writing (1926) there were 320,000 Armenians in Turkey. Well, the Genocide went on during the years of 1915-1918. It stopped when Turkey which had entered WWI on the German side surrendered.
What happened to the 2 million plus Armenian who were in Turkey before the war?
You can find out by reading what an Honorable Turk has written.
Taner Akcam, "A Shameful act"
"... references show that allegations of an "Armenian genocide" is political propaganda ... Armenian genocide-mongers always run away from civilized historical debate. .. .Only Armenians will impose on you to believe what they say without question".
Now factsveritas I'm familiar with your references and much more - in fact Cumuran Gurun's "masterpiece" has the whole compendium - and frankly none of them really say what you claim they say. Turkish distortion of history (invented or official kindergarten history) was able to fool some people in the 80 and 90s but now is fully bankrupt. PERIOD.
As to your claim about "civilised historical debate...only Armenians will IMPOSE ...": I think civilised free debate of Turkish history in general and the Armenian Genocide in particular would be a very good idea in and for Turkey. So why not abolish your draconian and repressive laws (301, etc.) as well as pillorying, terrorising and prosecution of your best minds (independent academics, journalists and intellectuals in general, even Nobel Prize winning novelists like Pamuk!)?! Let people have the freedom to research and write what they want like the rest of the civilised world instead of thinking and writing according to the terrorist state's wishes and orders. Until then the best you can do is to have some sense/dignity and shut up instead of lecturing us on "civilised debate", as for example you practiced on Hrant Dink or continue on thousands of others. Have you no sense or at least some shame?
EU and others. It has to be remembered that during the early part of the 19th century the Jenissarys, the most powerful military organisation in the country had to be completely wiped out because they were persistently interfering adversely with the state affairs. 7.Turkey's external aspects; perpetual jingoistic outlook; the hysterical anti Armenian outlook well known throughout the world consequently no need to elaborate further. Just to note that large quantities of arms have been shipped to Azerbaijan in order to facilitate "the younger brother's" proxy war against Armenia, thus attempting to permanently usurp Armenian territories which is Nagorno Karabagh/Artsakh, and Nakhichevan. It is now to the thorough interest of the EU, Russia and the US to reconstruct Armenia upon its plateau so that the great danger emanating from Turkism is eliminated. Georgia has lost significant territories to Turkey and shortly after WWII claimed them. Georgia has also lost significant terrorism to Azerbaijan; Iraqi Kurdistan: constant bombardment and incursions by Turkish forces during the last 20 years; Syria: Occupation of Alexandretta shortly before the WWII; Cyprus still under Turkish occupation. The EU remains pathetically ineffective in defending its territory; Greece: Constant harassment of its territorial waters and a number of its islands - another example of EU supine mentality. Turkey has ZERO CHANCE of joining the EU in the foreseeable future as European democratic and liberal values remain alien to its mentality. Even when progressive legislation is passed under EU pressure, they are often implemented.
Hrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk, Ragip Zarakolou ... and lesser known thousands more. Judicial murder must end. 6. Turkey's State Terrorism; this dangerous aspect has two tentacles: 1. Official; 2. Deep State. Official terrorism is best demonstrated by the destruction of thousands of Kurdish villages in the East of the country and in the process murder of tens of thousands. This Nato member has destroyed far greater number swathes of Kurdish lands than Sadam Hussein's Iraq. This is just one example. In this type of terrorism the elected government is part of the combination. Deep State terrorism; a very well publicised development especially within the country it is predominantly organised by the military, gendarmerie, the secret services and the sections of the police force; within these organisations the ideology of Turkism dominates. The elected government invariably have no control open the Deep State terrorism and it remains the true power behind the parliamentary façade. When official terrorism is in action Deep State terrorism automatically compliments in the destructions. The only way to eliminate State Terrorism in Anatolia is for the US, Russia and the EU to act jointly if necessary militarily to restructure the Turkism based regime in Ankara otherwise all Turkey's neighbours will suffer significantly greater losses, and eventually this danger which may ABS development weapons in the country that can be aggressively used against the EU and others.
3. Opening of the borders (between Eastern and Western Armenia). It is high time thousands of years of realities were recognised. If Turkey behaves, which is most unlikely, the Genocidal and occupation roles it has played in the past can be corrected and the situation can be brought into the European Cultural Frontiers. However in order to step into such a reality effectively it will be necessary for the European Union, Russia and the US to act jointly. 4. Azerbaijan; the current surreptitious Turanian pan-Turk policy emanating from Ankara and Baku is one nation two states, a childishly unrealistic concoction as the two nations have thoroughly different backgrounds. Azerbaijan's Aliev dynasty remains amazingly autocratic and anachronistic. As the situation stands there is no chance of respite. It's extremist ideology based on Turkism remains a danger to its neighbours. Its infantile tantrums on a number of issues has placed its oil and gas installations, on land as well as on the Caspian, at significant risk. 5.Turkey's Internal Affairs; Instead of proposing disingenuous joint historical commissions with Armenia to examine 100% proved facts regarding the Armenian Genocide it is high time it abolished its state sponsored manufacture of kindergarten official history and permitted all its population freedom of expression and thought, especially by abolishing the existing draconian repressive laws thus prompting its intellectuals/academics/students... and journalists to debate its entire history freely and without fear of getting persecuted, prosecuted or murdered, such as Hrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk, Ragip
Recommendations for Mr. Fein and the government of Turkey:
The resolution of the Armenian Genocide issue is simple: First, the Turkish government must officially admit the truth of the Armenian Genocide. There is a mountain of evidence documenting the extent and nature of this monumental crime. Second, the Turkish government must apologize to the Armenian nation for this crime against humanity. And third, the Turkish government must offer restitution and compensation to the Armenian nation. These steps must be taken not only for the sake of the Armenian nation but also for the Turks themselves.
This process would be facilitated if (a) the Turks stopped prosecuting their citizens who speak the truth on this subject; and (b) the Turks stopped brainwashing their citizens with falsehoods about history. The democratization of Turkish society will contribute in the resolution of this issue.
The Armenian Cause is a movement for truth and justice. It is noble. All of humanity should join in it. Do not degrade it by mischaracterizing it as tainted by "hate." I have never come across hatred among Armenians towards the Turkish people, only for the genocidal policies of the Ottoman government and the denialist policies of successive Turkish governments.
Peace. Nazareth J
It is appropriate to examine Turkey's internal and international policies constructively. 1. Armenian Genocide, a well established fact throughout the world except where racist nationalist ideologies dominate, especially Republics of Turkey and Azerbaijan and a number of their apologists. Denying the Armenian Genocide is as insensate as denying that WWI did take place or insisting that the earth is flat! The massive denialist and distortive efforts of Turkey involving multi-million expenditure annually often with borrowed money from Europe and US has failed utterly. Additionally Turkey's attitude has dented the credibility of the Americans and its other pathetic apologists. 2. Western Armenia; The Great Tragedy: Dual Crimes of Genocide and Occupation against Armenia. The primary reason why the Genocide was committed was due to Pan-Turanic expansionist policies, an ideology very similar to the racist-nationalist Nazi ideology of later years and one that continues in Turkey (and Azerbaijan) today, especially in the form of Deep State terrorism. Genocide was specifically committed for the occupation of Western Armenia. Turkism's attempt to destroy Eastern Armenia however failed because of Russian intervention, consequently Russians are disliked. The Armenian Diaspora remains possibly the most advanced Diaspora in the world. Its friends are practically countless; its strength and resources grow constantly. It remains an integral part of united Armenia and its outlook remains deeply democratic and patriotic as far as its country of origin is concerned.
Recommendations for Bruce Fein
The article suffers from logical fallacies and oversimplifications.
The only paragraph that analyzes the Armenian Diaspora, starts with this sentence, "The "Armenian Genocide" narrative is an existential narrative for the Armenian Diaspora."
Mr Fein is totally begging the question in his argument without providing substantial proof that the Genocide narrative is the "existential narrative" for the Armenian Diaspora. That paragraph clearly shows Mr Fein's lack of knowledge and marginal understanding of the very people he tries to suggest recommendations for. Interesting to note that in the next sentence he tries to point out the deficiencies of the Turkish analysis of the Diaspora.
The life span of the Armenian Diaspora extends far in the pages of history and oversimplification attempts the Armenian Diaspora is, at best, an intellectual fallacy of ignorantiam.
My recommendation to Mr Fein is that first he needs to try to understand the complex nature of the Armenian Diaspora before trying to come up with recommendations for them.
Mr. Fein advice to the Armenian Diaspora to believe in dialog would have meant something anything had it not come from a paid mouth-piece of the denialist Turkish government. Nevertheless, there is hope. One only has to read the work of Turkish historian Taner Akcam and witness the 30,000 or more of the Turkish intellectuals apologizing for the Genocide though their web site (www.ozurdiliyoruz.com) . There is hope for the two nations to live next to each other in piece and cooperation, but it should not be built on lies and cover up. Mr. Fein and his masters only delay that day of hope. It is too bad the hoffington report gives space to such hate mongers and paid mouthpieces for denailism.
Mr. Fein is wrong when he states that Armenian organizations are opposed to the Armenian Government"s engagement with Turkey. Armenians in general are opposed to making this dialog contingent on the Armenian side accepting Turkish denialism through attempts of building some sort of fogginess about historical facts.
If Turkey and the Turks in general have uncertainties about their history, they are more than welcome to have impartial historians examine their history. The rest of the world has no uncertainties about the fact of the Genocide.
Hate may be a currency of choice for Mr. Fein, but it is not mine nor is it any ordinary Armenian"s choice. I also like to believe it is not the choice of the ordinary Turk either. Armenians and Turks frequently work together without a problem. The ordinary Turks that I have encountered and worked with have given me hope. Without failing, one of the first things they tell me, once they find out that I have an Armenian last name, is that they are sorry for what was done to the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire.
Ahhh Seto, good try.
"As a lawyer he should be able to differentiate an investigation from indictment. "
As well he is and can. Exactly where does the word "indictment" appear in Fein's piece? The only one who makes reference to an "indictiment" is you. Fein's article talks of an investigation.
Perhaps you, Seto, should work on improving your reading comprehension or your old and tired propaganda technique of setting up a straw man to knock it down.
"Armenian Americans are doing what Indian Americans, Jewish Americans or other Americans are doing " nothing more, nothing less."
Please tell us how many Jewish Americans, Indian Americans and other Americans have formed terrorist groups to murder Turkish diplomats and bomb Turkish businesses/economic interests in the U.S.?
And those are just a few tidbits to expose how greatly altered your view of reality is.
"Please tell us how many Jewish Americans, Indian Americans and other Americans have formed terrorist groups to murder Turkish diplomats and bomb Turkish businesses/economic interests in the U.S.?"
Why don't you wake up from your slumber my friend? Germany was de-Nazified thoroughly and had to apologise to the Jews and pay compensation. Jews have no reason to resort to anything against Germany which has made denial of the Holocaust in Germany a criminal offence and is teaching about Nazi crimes in all its schools (even so many Jews have understandable difficulty liking Germans or Germany). What a contrast to Turkey where manufacture of kindergarten official state history in general and denial of the Armenian Genocide has always been a big industry and one of the biggest Turkish exports - it is even protected by draconian repressive laws ignoring which may well lead to death and persecution (Hrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk and thousands of others...).
As for the IndiansAmericans as far as I know there are thousands of publications in the US admitting the great injustice done to the native Indians. NO ONE gets persecuted in the US for debating and discussing the subject although proper compensation and reparation to them is still pending.
Your disinformation campaign is rather amusing.
First, the Republic of Turkey was one of the first nations to recognize the newly independent Armenia, but closed the border to protest Armenia's invasion and occupation of the sovereign nation of Azerbaycan, as well as the Armenian military's vicious slaughter of innocent unarmed civilian Azeris (ethnic Turks) who were trying to flee in the advancing Armenian army. The border closure has devastated Armenia's economy, not Turkey's. Turkey and Turks have virtually nothing to gain from opening the border. However, US and western European interests will be greatly served by an open border.
The US interest in opening the border between Armenia and Turkey is motivated by the US's desire to wrest Armenia away from "Mother Russia" so that vital pipelines conveying natural gas and oil from the central Asian plateau (former Soviet block countries with Turkic populations) can pass more cheaply and easily through Armenia and Turkey to shipping ports in the Mediterranean. Currently, planned pipelines all snake around Armenia through Georgia towards Turkey. This costs the US and western European nations who buy that gas and oil, more money.
If Armenia is pulled away from Mother Russia and the border opened, the "hope" is not only to make it cheaper and easier to transport those natural resources west, but also to diminish Russia's influence and power over Armenia (did you know that Russian military personnel in Armenia currently outnumber Armenia's own military? how interesting is that?).
Mr Fein is attempting to explore a rational dialogue between the Turkish and Armenian communities. What he gets in return is the same shop-worn comments and attitudes from the Armenian side. I believe Diaspora has so much invested in their side of the issue that any attempt by Turkish side will be viewed as weakness. Despite what we always hear, this isn't simply Turkey apologizing for the events of 1915. Armenians (at least a large percentage) are making claims to a large section of Eastern Anatolia as theirs as well as other implied cash payments. Of course, societies have moved and no one today automatically has claims to a piece of land because their ancestors had it. Armenians are making a big mistake if they think they can take this to its limit (We need to immediately return this country to Native Americans). I congratulate Mr Fein for making an attempt to reach out with a well rounded argument.
He nearly did as he called it "a shameful act", however he couldn't "recognise" it of course because his nationalist movement was based on the criminal Ittihadist elements who in order to escape prosecution by the post war Istanbul government and the 1919 Military Tribunals, not to mention to keep the enormous stolen wealth of the Armenian nation they had murdered, joined Ataturk and his nationalist movement and government in Ankara.
If you're genuine about your question and are seeking answers to them there are literally hundreds of good books on the subject. But you couldn't do better than reading just Taner Akcam's two books; The Armenian Genocide: A Shameful Act; and the even more brilliant FROM EMPIRE TO REPUBLIC: Turkish Nationalism & The Armenian Genocide.
Good reading and good luck.
I can't understand why, after Ataturk set out to divorce Turkey from its Ottoman past, he didn't recognize the Armenian Genocide. That would have done more than anything to move Turkey forward.
Thankd BadgerinNJ for this valuable biography of theis Turksih mouthpiece. Not having heard of him I thought this "Bruce Fein" must be an imaginary or ghost writer, or the pen name of a high ranking MIT (Turkish Intelligence) operative in Ankara, simply from the hot vomit and poison that he was spewing out. However thanks to your post now I can see I wasn't far off the mark! In fact, I think, to be a fully paid up mouthpiece of a discredited and bankrupt denialist propaganda campaign, especially in free democracies like the USA, if anything, is even less dignified and honourable (in fact positively despicable and disgusting!) than if one was a fully fledged officer in the heart of the Deep State's manufacture of kindergarten official history.
Shouldn't Mr. Fein identify himself: Bruce Fein is the Resident Scholar for the Turkish Coalition of America. Prior to this position, Mr. Fein was also resident scholar at the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and a columnist for the Turkish Times. He has served as a consultant to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, evaluated the terms of the Annan Plan, and has appeared regularly on VOA and Turkish television to discuss current political events and their implications for Turkish-American relations.
This is because in the former case with a reasonable level of intelligence, which Mr Fein appears to have, one has the freedom to speak the truth but CHOOSES not to, SIMPLY FOR LOLLY (that's lovely lots and lots of money in exchange for straight forward lying!), which is the case with Mr Fein: HE CHOOSES TO LIE FOR MONEY. However in the latter case (MIT or any other Turkish state employed "academic") there is no freedom - literally - because if you speak the truth you will either a) at the very minimum lose your job and privileges; b) get prosecuted under 301; c) get a public and state sponsored persecution and pilloried so will have to leave the country and GO INTO EXILE -e.g. Orhan Pamuk and others; d) get bankrupted through repeated court prosecutions under 301 "Insult to Turkishness" (!!!!) or get your offices and publication offices fire- bombed repeatedly, e.g. Ragip Zarakolou; and finally e) some or all of the above and get a bullet in your head and get murdered as in the case of the late Hrant Dink. Mr Fein obviously has no conscience or shame and the money ("30 pieces of silver") he's getting from his masters (Turkish state lie factory) must be really good. However it does put what he says in perspective. As the saying goes: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!
Fourth, Mr. Fein comes forth with the misrepresentation that Armenian Diaspora groups are engaged in foul play in violation of U.S. laws and regulations. His lone substantiation in this respect is his claim that the Armenian National Committee of America is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Now, Mr. Fein is a lawyer. As a lawyer he should be able to differentiate an investigation from indictment. The deliberate lack of knowledge is the source of his misrepresentation in the instant case. He is well advised to check the status of said investigation.
Mr. Fein"s so-called "recommendations" boil down to a single directive to the Armenian Diaspora. He is effectively telling the Armenians to stop exercising their rights as citizens of their respective countries. This directive is more alarming in case of the Armenian Americans. He is telling American citizens of Armenian descent to halt exercising their rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Mr. Fein should learn to accept that Armenian Americans are doing what Indian Americans, Jewish Americans or other Americans are doing " nothing more, nothing less.
Third, Mr. Fein develops an artistic penchant to spread falsehood. He blatantly claims that the Armenian Diaspora intimidates and harasses the academia, and vilifies the scholars who do not agree with the fact of Genocide. What"s worse, he claims that the Armenian Diaspora engages in the "buy-out" of scholars to corroborate the fact of Genocide. These claims against the Armenian Diaspora are immersed in utter falsehood. Yet the same claims verily apply to the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish "associations" operating in the U.S., who have become experts in the claimed business and notoriously earned the reputation of doing their regular harassments of the academia, vilification of the scholars and "buying-out" of professors and department chairs to distort history and deny the Armenian Genocide.
[Part 5 to be followed]
Next, Mr. Fein lodges false accusations against the Armenian Diaspora claiming that it has turned the Genocide recognition into a campaign of hate against Turkey and Turks. This gentleman in the service of Turkish "associations" should familiarize himself with Armenian traditions and culture that inspire and teach the Armenian individual " whether in Armenia or Diaspora " love, friendship, brotherhood and peace. Not a single Armenian person sees an enemy in a Turkish person. As for Genocide recognition, it is only anchored on one principle, objective and feeling " Justice. When in 1944 jurist Raphael Lemkin, in an effort to bring justice for the Jewish holocaust by the Nazis, coined the word "Genocide" based on the precedent of Armenian massacres, he was not motivated by hate against the Germans " Lemkin sought justice and defined the annihilation of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans and of European Jews at the hands of Nazis as Genocide.
[Part 4 to be followed]
First, Mr. Fein threatens that the "boisterous" Diaspora will cause the eventual failure of Turkey"s efforts to normalize relations with Armenia. According to Mr. Fein, Turkey, at the cost of damaging its strategic interests, is doing Armenia a favor by opening its borders that would save Armenia economically. Should Diaspora resume its untamed conduct, the borders will remain sealed and Armenia will be the loser. Mr. Fein, of course, unabashedly overlooks the geopolitical fact that Turkey is the one that is in dire need of Armenia in order to have access to the Southern Caucasus and beyond. This is the old Pan-Turanic strategic thinking once employed by the Ottoman Young Turks that led to the extermination of the Armenians. Now this strategic thinking is employed by the current government of Turkey under the guidance of Ahmet Davutoglu, the former foreign policy adviser and current foreign minister of Turkey.
[Part 3 to be followed]
There is a better idea - why don't US, and all the other countries, states, legislatures, etc., that have recognized the Armenian suffering as genocide, do the same about the Turko-Muslim suffering in the same area at the same time? They should recognize the Turkic and Muslim Genocide of well over 1 million people in the same area from the Armenian invasions and massacres. Then probably the Turkish side will not object to a one-sided pro-Armenian bias by US Congress or any state legislature.
All genocide should be recognized and the guilty countries should stop trying to sweep it under the rug. The U.S. should recognize the Armenian genocide, and Turkey should recognize the Native American genocide. Maybe if both countries do this, their relations will not suffer.
The U.S. Strategic Base Incirlik In Turkey, Appo Jabarian Executive Editor / Editorial Director USA Armenian Life Magazine
5 May 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
Not a fighter, a single transfer of troops for months. Incirlik, the massive Turkish military base used in part for more than half a century by the U.S. Air Force, appears calm, attached to Adana, populous metropolis in the south.
Barely a half-dozen cargo planes of the U.S. Air Force are waiting, the open mouth, they are loaded. Even the swimming pool, golf course and the area of baseball left in the sun seem triumphant. In the shelter of high fences, among the aisles pavillonnaires maintained only a Starbucks coffee freshly installed and the building of command return the image of a certain activity.
"For some time my phone rings more," said Philip McDaniel, fifty strong and relaxed. Colonel in charge of U.S. operations of the base, he hastens to add in a smile that says it all: "But I know that talk of Incirlik in high places." One way to refer to the way the assumption of a return to the forefront of this highly strategic site for the United States and used repeatedly as formidable means of diplomatic pressure by the strong men of Ankara.
The visit, beginning in March, the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in the Turkish capital, and the recent tour of two days of President Barack Obama, considered a success by all reviewers have highlighted the central role that Ankara can play in the new American regional policy. Good offices with Iran, Israel and Syria, Georgia; tripartite meetings with the heads of state of Afghanistan and Pakistan: the Turks, after years of tensions associated with the Bush administration, argue on the international scene with a green light from the Americans. Above all, an ally of NATO could be called upon to play a larger partition in Iraq and Afghanistan. "The issues for which we share common goals," says there at the U.S. embassy in Ankara.
The planned withdrawal of troops from Iraq has been unanimously welcomed by the Turkish leaders. And the strengthening of American units in Afghanistan could soon be an increase in the number of experts and Turkish military in the region. Two theaters where "Incirlik will continue to play an important role," adds an elliptical form, the U.S. source, before release: "Just for Iraq, the base remains vital to our operations."
Built by the United States in the early hours of the Cold War because of its location to its bomber - a clear weather throughout the year, a radius of action covering the entire Middle East and putting Moscow at only 1 600 km - Incirlik has continually expanded its scope of intervention. It is here that air support came to the U.S. military deployment in Lebanon during the crisis of summer 1958. Here that the famous spy plane U-2 has long been hidden. Again that the U.S. military stores, according to various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), nuclear warheads - 90 B 61 bombs, according to the latest estimates. "Topics on which I will not" cut short, with its unchanging smile, Colonel McDaniel.
But it is from the first Gulf War (1990-1991) that the base earns its reputation in the region. Transformed into the headquarters of the U.S. Army, Incirlik has become the launching pad for major military offensives and bombing missions. Able to manage both operations simultaneously, the site also serves as a point of rotation for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Iraqi Kurds.
After the ban to fly over northern Iraq imposed in 1991 in Baghdad regime, over 50% of U.S. missions revolve around the world, according to the Air Force Times, by Turkey. A key role that Osama bin Laden moves to place the base among the targets of his organization, Al Qaeda.
The invasion of Iraq, launched by the Bush administration, lasting tarnish relations between Washington and Ankara. In March 2003 the Turkish Parliament denied U.S. troops to tread the soil of the country. Six months of tough negotiations are needed for the government bypasses the Parliament's vote and allow the United States "as allies" to use Incirlik to facilitate the supply of troops.
However, the base becomes, in the words of Frank Hyland, a former CIA agent and now an expert at the Jamestown Foundation, the "hostage" of Ankara.
Red tape, permits to fly over territory granted in dribs and drabs ... In 2007, the Turks are threatening to withdraw their support if the U.S. Congress adopted a text calling for the genocide perpetrated massacres of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century. Robert Gates, the current secretary of state for defense, which held this position during this period, then opposes the resolution, citing the "implications" for U.S. military operations in case of reprisals.
The vote was postponed. The same year, after further pressure, President George Bush agreed to provide real-time information on the location of rebel Kurdish Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK) obtained through the surveillance flights in northern Iraq .
"This game is now finished", ensure U.S. military experts met in Incirlik and Ankara. "The honeymoon between the United States and Turkey Incirlik could make a symbol of this renewal, continues in the same vein Lale Sariibrahimoglu, an expert on defense issues in the Taraf daily. Although the transport of weapons and American soldiers always as bad in the eyes of Turkish public opinion, which will load the aircraft outside of the Turkish military? "
For Selin Bolme, doctoral student in Incirlik at the University of Ankara, the importance of the base should also be confirmed from the wholesale withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in August 2010. "In the event of a deterioration of the situation or unforeseen circumstances in the region, it offers the fastest response and the least expensive, she says. The German bases are remote and expensive. The American sites as alternative those of Iraq or the Caucasus does not possess them, nor its potential nor its reliability. "
For the moment, 50% of military cargo planes destined for Iraq goes through Incirlik. Each day, six to eight large C-17 long tracks off of the base. Two of them are leaving for Afghanistan, according to figures given by Colonel McDaniel. "It's a little less for Iraq that there is some time slips there, and a little more for the land of Afghanistan." Like an echo of a trend ahead.
Nicolas Bourcier, THE WORLD, 05.05.09
One More "Road Map" Or Just Another Myth? Karine Ter-Sahakyan PanARMENIAN.Net 08.05.2009
No president of Armenia, if he values his life, will sign a murderous agreement with Baku, whose fruits will be first of all used by Turkey, and then by great powers.
The successive meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Prague once again was unproductive. Such was, at least, the impression of the statements, which as always, were filled with on-duty, non-committal phrases. In a word, no "breakthrough" occurred. Nevertheless, Mathew Bryza as always stayed true to himself and again said inopportunely that "an agreement on the Basic Principles was achieved", which immediately caused sharp reaction in Stepanakert.
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ In the opinion of a number of experts, an impression was created that Armenia signed a second "road map", this time on the Karabakh issue. A little cleared the air Minister of Foreign Affairs of France Bernard Kouchner, who stated that the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held difficult talks on Nagorno Karabakh. "There is a lot of misunderstanding between the sides. Each insists on going his own way. But we shouldn't lose heart. Presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan have still much to do," emphasized the French FM. As for the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia Elmar Mammadiarov and Edward Nalbandyan, they refused to comment on the results of the meeting. It is quite probable that Bryza in a pair of days will deny his own words, saying he was "improperly translated..." We are already accustomed to it.
It is here appropriate to note that before the meeting there were rumors, very reliable by the way, that the meeting might not take place. The reason was clear too - the USA was not able to duly press on both sides so that they would agree to sign just another "road map", this time on the Karabakh regulation issue. Let us remind that all these are surmises and observations, which, however, have had a recent tendency to come true if not completely, at least partially. Such was the case at the meeting in Prague, and before it at the BSEC summit in Yerevan. All these summits are interesting for the Armenian and Azerbaijani-Turkish societies from the point of view of one problem only: how far is it possible to push one's interests via diplomacy or other means, without resorting to force; or, to put it more simply, how much does a conflicting party yield to the pressure from the outside? By the way it is absolutely unimportant who presses: Russia or the USA. However strange it may sound, in the South Caucasus region the stances of Washington and Moscow in the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations have so far matched. The new US Administration has not yet gained confidence; for the last 20 years Russia has conducted no policy at all in the Caucasus, and she simply desires to preserve what remains. And remains only Armenia, which, by the way, is more and more frequently looking to the West. Under such circumstances no one will settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, especially since there is almost nothing to be settled. No president of Armenia, if he values his life, will ever sign a murderous agreement with Baku, whose fruits will be first of all used by Turkey, and then by great powers. Everybody knows it. As in the case of signing the Armenian-Turkish agreement, we can predict, draw conclusions, but it is always appropriate to remember that Armenia will sign no single document without the consent of the Nagorno-Karabakh people. At least it is what official Yerevan keeps saying.
But a strange thing happens: both of the alleged "road maps" are signed precisely on the eve of the days, which are significant for Armenia and the Armenian people both in the tragic and heroic sense of the word: April 24 and May 9. Coincidences, as is known, do not occur in the history, they are simply well prepared. The question is, how well Armenia and its leadership were aware of that "coincidence". The question is far from being empty, if we take into consideration the existing complex situation in the region. Just have a look: always unstable Georgia that was never able to become a state; a sultanate, indebted to natural reserves and therefore most dangerous and most vulnerable; Turkey, which is dangerous only by definition, and Iran, without which Armenia cannot actually survive, since, other conditions being equal, Teheran is more inclined to support "the unfaithful", than the Sunnis or the odd Georgians. Thus, it so happens that even a casually dropped word causes an ambiguous and sometimes also an inadequate reaction in Armenia and NKR. Unfortunately, once again we have to admit that Armenian diplomacy is not presently its best. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is very important indeed and it is necessary, but to make it one of the priorities of a country's foreign policy would be unreasonable. The priorities of a state must be based on physical realities of the region, and we shouldn't expect that with the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey anything can be changed in the region. Nothing will be changed; the situation may even worsen, although this must be the limit. In the absence of the national idea, which has been being discussed for two decades already, even a tiniest victory in the diplomatic field might be received as defeat, because it is aimless and amuses only one's pride.
As far as the summit of "Eastern Partnership" is concerned, what can draw Armenia is only the absence of a postulate in the declaration, regarding "territorial integrity" of a country, participant in the program.
Turkey Reacts To Obama's "Meds Yeghern;" Turkish Media Echoes Usa Armenian Life, Appo Jabarian, Executive Publisher, Usa Armenian Life Magazine, May 8, 2009
On April 24, moments after Pres. Barack Obama issued a statement on the Armenian Genocide, this writer stated in the on-line special edition of USA Armenian Life that the U.S. President’s usage of the Armenian term "Meds Yeghern" as being the equivalent of the word genocide.
There were numerous responses from the readers. Some agreed with and others disagreed with the title and the content of the special edition.
One must note that before the creation of the legal term genocide by Rafael Lemkin in 1943, Armenians employed the term "Meds Yeghern" in reference to the Genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey (1915-1923) in Western Armenia and Cilica.
The purpose of this week’s article is not to argue as to who is right and who is wrong. The intention here is to shed light on some of the aspects of the response by Turkey to Pres. Obama's; and the Turkish media's response to the April 24 USA Armenian Life article.
On April 25, Turkish Pres. Abdullah Gul criticized Obama. Turkish Foreign Ministry said some parts of the statement are "unacceptable. We consider some expressions in that statement and the perception of history it contains regarding the events of 1915, as unacceptable," the ministry said.
On April 29, Robert Ellis of The Guardian reported in an article titled "Tackling the Turkish taboo" that Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also called Obama's remarks "an unacceptable interpretation of history." (www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/29/armenian-genocide-turkey)
Apparently what must have troubled Turkey's President and Prime Minister is President Obama's usage of the words: "Those who tried to destroy them (the Armenians)."
As David Boyajian, a Boston-based freelance writer points out: "Obama's April 24 statement broke his many promises. But I did notice one thing, he said ‘... Armenian people, and as the ultimate rebuke to those who tried to destroy them. ... ‘Destroy’ is part of the Genocide Convention's very definition of genocide." Boyajian still thinks that the overall April 24 declaration by Pres. Obama was a travesty, adding "I don't want anyone to ever think that I somehow find the lack of the word Genocide acceptable or that I would ever approve of Obama's duplicity."
The Turkish www.YeniCagGazetesi.com.tr s Savas SÜZAL wrote an article on April 28 titled "Armenians now pursue lands and reparations." (Click on the following link to the article in Turkish: www.yenicaggazetesi.com.tr/a_haberdetay.php?hityaz=8210).
He elaborated: "Appo Jabarian, the publisher and the managing editor of USA Armenian Life Magazine wrote about the necessity of embarking on recovering the ancestral lands (meaning Anatolia) that were confiscated from their forefathers and reparations for their lost properties." Mr. SÜZAL's commentary also appeared on www.HaberGazete.com.
Another Turkish daily HaberGazete.com’s contributing writer Muammer Kaylan wrote on April 27 that "Appo Jabarian is saying in his commentary that several Armenian political observers agree with leading Armenian American activists such as Harut Sassounian that Armenians need to move on and pursue their quest for Justice. Sassounian wrote on several occasions that the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide has already been achieved through the collective hard work by notable Armenian organizations during the past several decades."
Mr. Kaylan continued "According to Jabarian, in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in April 2008, Sassounian has stated that 'Now the genocide is an established fact. So we're not clamoring anymore about the world ignoring us. With these remarks Sassounian said that the Armenian people are in pursuit of justice. During those days whatever has been taken away from the Armenians resitutions must be made."
Mr. Kaylan added: "Armenia and the Armenian American Diaspora are not letting up on the Genocide issue. Their objectives are obvious and their intention to march toward this goal is now very clear. But the Armenians' insistence on Turkey's genocide recognition and their demands for lands and reparations has brought upon Turkey difficult situation."
Not all Turks were as courteous as the ones mentioned above. Soon after the article by this writer titled "U.S. Pres. Obama Twice Uses Meds Yeghern The Armenian Equivalent Of Genocide in His Presidential Statement" appeared on the TurkishForum.com.tr numerous denialist Turkish blogers expressed frustrations at a few Armenians' resolve to find victory in Pres. Obama's April 24 statement. As a result, they attacked this writer hurling at him all kinds of insults.
Joining their denialist peers at The Turkish Forum, other denilialist Turks also attacked Jabarian on YouTube.
In response to the venomous denialists insult against Jabarian, Agho, a fellow activist wrote: "To all those Turks that attack Appo Jabarian: Appo never used any foul language against you, but you guys have bombarded him and other Armenians with all kinds of garbage spilled out of your...blessed... mouths. This is the difference between civilized Armenians like Appo and nomads like ... well, it's obvious. ... One more thing: Why is the most stupid bird in animal kingdom called turkey????"
As worldwide Armenian activism for justice continues to grow, denialist Turks increasingly feel the heat. Having lost their homeland in Western Armenia and Cilicia, Armenians in both Armenia and the Diaspora have no choice but to continue their drive for further consolidating their political and economic power for the specific purpose of recovering their forcibly Turkish-occupied lands. Any letting up on that purpose spells trouble not only for the Armenians living in dispersion but also for the fledgling republics of Armenia and Artsakh.