- Turkey Shows Its Discomfiting Side ... Again, Seto Boyajian
- Lebanese-Armenian Vote May Alter MiddleEast U.S. Policy, Appo Jabarian
- What Is Azerbaijan To Turkey? M.Turkone
- Status Of ANCA's Love To Obama: Yesterday's DEAR, Today's CLEAR, Concludes So LOUD And QUEER! Sukru Aya
- Confusion Reigns Over Turkish-Armenian Process Semih Idiz
- After Prague, David Petrosyan
- Turkey Falsifies Greek History, Jean Eckian
- Civic News In ASBAREZ And Of Course "Good Time To Send Some More Cash" Sukru Aya
- Jules Boyadjian Speech On Behalf Of FRA Dashnaktsoutioun
- Switzerland: Speech Of 24 April Chiara Simoneschi-Cortesi, President Of Federal Assembly
- Chirac Looks To Negationism ... But Not To Anyone Who Knocks Armenians ... Jean Eckian
- Sargsyan's "Other" Foreign Policy: Trend News Commentator
- Mr. Fein’s Turkish Adventure, Seto Boyajian
- Germany and Turkey: Similar in Crime; Different in Penance, Harut Sassounian
- All Words Uttered By Erdogan In Baku, Are Simply... Words Karine Ter-Sahakyan
- Why? Why? Why?, Viken L. Attarian
- Poverty And Access To Health Care In Armenia, Onnik Krikorian
Turkey Shows Its Discomfiting Side ... Again, Seto Boyajian www.asbarez.com May 22, 2009
Turks used to loath Arabs enough that they preferred to forego delicious Arab pastries so as to avoid meeting an Arab. Turks even coined a boastful saying to this effect - "Ne Shamin shekeri, ne Arapin yuzu" (Neither the sweets of Damascus, nor the face of the Arab). Armenians by tradition do not nurture such vulgar prejudicial practices toward other people and nations, epecially towards Arabs, who have been generous hosts by welcoming into their lands and by caring for thousands of Armenians fleeing the state-organized Ottoman Turkish massacres from 1915 to 1923.
Armenians, however, dealing for so many centuries with the Turks, have developed a keen understanding of the Turkish state of mind in matters of safety, security and trade. This experience has taught Armenians that words of the Turkish leadership do not translate into their true meaning when they are put into action. For this reason, it would be most appropriate to adapt the above Turkish saying with a corrective twist - "Ne Turkin sozi, nede onun ishi" (Neither the Turk's word, nor his action).
Recent pronouncements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan come once again to prove, unfortunately, that the disparity between Turkish word and action is real. It appears that this discomfiting Turkish attitude towards Armenia and Armenians has become engrained in Turkish body politic.
Last week, during his visit to Azerbaijan, Erdogan reiterated that Turkey will neither reopen the border and nor establish diplomatic relations with Armenia so long as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains unresolved. Despite the ongoing bilateral negotiations between Armenia and Turkey, he explicitly reaffirmed the position that there was a linkage between those negotiations and the Karabakh problem.
At the joint press conference with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Erdogan made this position crystal clear. He stated, "Occupation of Karabakh is the cause here and closing of the border is the effect. It is impossible for us to open the border unless that occupation ends."
While in Russia, Erdogan sought Russia's support for his country's bid for a role in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. At a joint news meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, he claimed that "Turkey and Russia have responsibilities in the region." He said, "We have to take steps for the peace and wellbeing of the region. This includes the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Middle East dispute, and the Cyprus issue."
In diplomatic parlance, Erdogan's claims can only serve the dual purpose of undermining the Karabakh peace process supervised by the OSCE Minsk Group (co-chaired by France, Russia, and the U.S.) and trivializing the ongoing talks with Armenia. Erdogan's linkage of the two processes is now beginning to be viewed as an exercise harboring danger to the peace and stability in the region. So much so that, at the beginning of this week, the OSCE Minsk Group delegated one of its co-chairs, Ambassador Bernard Fassier, to Turkey to warn the Turkish government on its recent linkage policy.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet, the French co-chair attempted to impress upon Turkey that the Karabakh peace process cannot be linked to the normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations, and warned Ankara that any attempt to link the two can harm both processes. Ambassador Fassier asserted, "The normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations should not be confused with the Karabakh conflict. These are different and parallel processes." He further stressed that for the Minsk Group, as well as the U.S., Turkey-Armenia negotiations and Karabakh peace talks are separate processes.
All this adds up to one fact. Namely, words and action are not correlated in Turkish diplomacy. The tragic aspect of this reality is that the Obama administration - despite its predecessors' vast experience in Turkish unreliability unless supported by billions of dollars of American money and/or diplomatic/political concessions at the expense of American values and principles - has yet to learn not to trust Turkey without verification.
With regards to the promisingly budding "friendly" relations between Turkey and Armenia, the Obama administration was duped into accepting Turkey's word as opposed to its real intents and action. As soon as the April 24 Presidential Statement was issued, the April 22nd Armenian-Turkish foreign ministerial joint statement with its fanciful "roadmap" wore out its utility. Now, the National Security Advisor, the White House Chief of Staff, and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations have to explain to the President Turkey's linkage policy that is endangering the parallel yet separate processes of Turkey-Armenia negotiations and the Karabakh conflict resolution.
The trio advisors pressingly urged the President - and they carried the day - to avoid the word Genocide without serious consideration of the Turkish intent. They failed to grasp that Turkey was playing for time - at least until April 24, because Turkey would never seriously entertain the possibility of opening its borders and establish normal diplomatic relation with Armenia, unless the following three conditions are met by Armenia:
a. Cessation of the pursuit of the Armenian Genocide recognition internationally;
b. Acceptance of the voided October 1923 Kars Treaty; and,
c. Return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani jurisdiction.
With all the Turkish hoopla and hype, the President's said top advisors did not get and still do not get that Armenia will always be a hindrance to Turkish strategic designs beyond the Caucasus, that Turkey cherishes regional interests in conflict to U.S. interests, and that Turkey seeks to boost its regional role to the detriment of the U.S.
These geopolitical factors should raise serious concern with our President and his advisers. Hopefully, the next time around, they too will begin to appreciate the Armenian experience and acquire the expertise to detect the distinction between Turkish word and action.
Lebanese-Armenian Vote May Alter U.S. Policy in the Middle East, Appo Jabarian Executive Publisher / Managing Editor USA Armenian Life Magazine, May 22, 2009
Along with Russia, the European Union and China, the United States anxiously follows developments in the June 7 Lebanese parliamentary elections. The elections will decide who will run the country for the next four years. Will it be the pro-western ruling coalition or the tri-partite opposition alliance formed mainly by Lebanese Shiites, Christian Maronites, and Lebanese Armenians?
In a May 11 article in the Lebanese Daily Star, titled "Rival Lebanese Christian factions now hold political cards in Levant," Anthony Elghossain, a J.D. candidate at The George Washington University Law School, wrote: "Unfolding in a playground open to the ambitions of regional and international powers alike, the Lebanese election is likely to impact American policy with respect to Syria and Iran."
Elghossain added: "On the one hand stands former Lebanese President Amin Gemayel's Phalange party and former militia leader Samir Geagea's Lebanese Forces (LF). Both parties are hostile to Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs, and are currently part of a coalition supported by the United States and the West. On the other hand stands a camp that revolves around former General Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement (FPM). At a crossroads, the FPM advocates for Lebanese sovereignty and a Christian voice in the political system."
He underlined that the election outcome "in the pivotal Metn region," the district which will produce the Christian leader to be reckoned with, will be decided by "the crucial Armenian swing vote."
In the evening of June 7, that Christian leader may be Mr. Aoun. And that can happen thanks to his alliance with the most popular Armenian Lebanese political party ARF Tashnagtsutiun. The March 8 opposition leader Michel Aoun, the head of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), and his allies won six of the district's eight seats in 2005 with the backing of the Armenian Lebanese voters.
In a related May 13 news story, Osama Safa, the director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, said that the Metn district has not only electoral significance and political weight, but also cultural importance.
Safa clarified: "With the polls less than a month away the several lingering questions in the Metn district will only be answered on election day. Two of the remaining wild cards are how the inclusion of independents, loyal to President Michel Suleiman, on the March 14 list will affect the contests and how voters in the Armenian community, numbering around 8,000, will swing. … The powerful Armenian Tashnag party has thrown its support behind Aoun and the FPM list. … The influence of the Armenian party is already clear. Tashnag candidate Hagop Pakradounian, on the opposition list, is running uncontested."
Speaking in Beirut in late April, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her visit to Lebanon aims to send a "strong signal" for "fair and transparent" elections in the country. She added that "Lebanon is facing a new challenge in the upcoming elections," and the Lebanese should choose their representatives "away from foreign meddling, violence and fear,"
On May 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged the international community to accept the result, regardless of who wins. He clarified that the mistake that was committed when Hamas won the Palestinian elections a few years ago should not be repeated, a reference to the international isolation of the Hamas government that many saw as prolonging and intensifying the Middle East conflict. In a statement to the Russian Interfax information services, he said "If the international community had acknowledged the victory of Hamas, the actions of Hamas would be different today," reported The Daily Star.
On May 16 Robert Fisk wrote in London’s The Independent: "I went to take a look at Madeleine Albright [former U.S. Secretary of State- Ed.] the other day. She turned up in Beirut as part leader of the National Democratic Institute, one of those Washington gigs that checks up on the freedom of elections in dodgy countries. …The Americans are hoping that the ‘democrats’ who currently hold a majority – Saad Hariri's Future movement, jolly old Jumblatt's Druze and a clutch of Maronites – will win the day."
Fisk added: "Most of my Lebanese colleagues, listening to Mrs. Albright, came away with a deep suspicion: that if the Lebanese elections bring the friendly ‘democrats’ back to power, the National Democratic Institute and its other poll-sniffers will announce a fair and free election. But if the Hezbollah and their allies move into power, it will suddenly be discovered that the Lebanese poll was ‘deeply flawed.’ And then, I suppose, we would all be ‘threatened with fresh elections’."
The Hezbollah-led "opposition will win the elections, all statistics show it," said the head of Hezbollah parliamentary block MP Mohammad Raad pledging to guard the "position, role and identity of Lebanon," stressing that the opposition is committed to "preserve Lebanon and its strong position in the region. … [The] Lebanese are facing two choices, either reconciliation with the enemy [Israel], or preserving a strong Lebanon," referring to the Lebanese pro-western ruling coalition's rejection of the "armed resistance against Israel," wrote the Chinese Xinhua news agency.
The anticipated outcome in Metn has already produced a pre-election development that might cause cracks in the Hariri-led Future Movement. On May 15, Lebanon's Premier Fouad Siniora highlighted the need for strong ties with Syria. During a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the Medayrej-Taanayel highway, he stated: "We are laying the cornerstone for the Beirut-Damascus road which we always wanted to be free from obstacles."
A win by the tri-partite opposition alliance mainly between the Lebanese Shiites, Christian Maronites, and the Armenian Lebanese could shake Pres. Obama’s Mideast policy, and the deciding votes lay in the pockets of thousands of Lebanese-Armenian citizens.
The overwhelming majority in the Lebanese-Armenian municipality of Bourj Hammoud and the entire Metn region always votes in favor of Tashnagtsutiun. And one can clearly tell how the Lebanese-Armenian vote may ultimately contribute to altering the U.S. Policy in the Middle East.
What Is Azerbaijan To Turkey? M.Turkone Todayszaman.Com
This question is like asking Mecnun about Leyla. Love for Azerbaijan is so natural and so deep in Turkey that any person will be taken aback when such a question is asked. Like the air you breathe, one cannot explain the reasons for his or her love.
This love cannot be questioned. This love cannot be put to any test. This love cannot be doubted. For Turkey, this is the reason it portrays Turkey and Azerbaijan as "a single nation with two states." An Azerbaijani Turk living in Baku or Mingecevir and a Turkish Turk living in İstanbul or Trabzon are members of the same nation.
Thus, there cannot be different interests for the members of this single nation. Indeed, this single nation will draw the divergent policies of these two states in the same direction. Those who take the helm of the state apparatus will come and go, but the people will travel to eternity together.
Has Turkey’s Armenian policy changed?
Can Turkey's policy concerning Armenia, which stands like a knife between Turkey and Azerbaijan, change? Can Turkey come closer to Armenia by turning a blind eye to Azerbaijan's interests? Let us focus on some specific issues. Can the border crossing between Turkey and Armenia, which was closed down in response to Armenia's occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, be reopened?
All of these questions can be answered as follows: Turkey's Armenian policy may change, but Turkey's policy regarding Azerbaijan will not change in the least. Turkey shapes its Armenian policy based on the Karabakh issue in the first place, as well as on Azerbaijan's interests. If it introduces any change to its policy, then it is also intended to produce benefits for Azerbaijan.
Recent debates should be assessed from this perspective. Turkey has launched new initiatives in order to normalize relations with Armenia. These initiatives are conducted with a very important assumption in mind: Turkey assumes that the existing status quo in the Caucasus is detrimental to all three countries --Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia. To maintain this status quo does not serve the interests of any of these countries. It is not reasonable to maintain this situation that brings losses to all three sides.
Today there is not a single issue that can be resolved by fighting between Turkey and Armenia or between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Yet all three countries are harmed by the existing form of relations. It should be acknowledged that the biggest harm is being done to Armenians. Having turned into a toy for the Armenian diaspora cannot promise good days for the people of Armenia. Armenians have been living with fear, poverty and desperation and they are in dire need of change. On the other hand, Azerbaijan cannot save Nagorno-Karabakh from occupation and cannot ensure the return of refugees to their homeland. Hopes for the return for those who fled the massacre and are now living in exile and hopes for abolishing this occupation for are diminishing further every day. As for Turkey, it is struggling against the Armenian genocide claims that hinder its progress in the EU and the US. But the passing of Armenian genocide laws does not bring any good to Armenia. Armenians who maintain the occupation in Karabakh are crushed under a heavy burden. This issue creates a vacuum into which Russia is moving.
So something must be done in order to change the status quo. This is what Abdullah Gül did when he arranged a meeting between Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan and Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev in Prague.
Turks’ public diplomacy
Nuri Pasha, who drew the current borders of Azerbaijan back in 1918, was applying what he had learned from Hüseyinzade Ali and Mehmet Emin Resulzade. Not only Hüseyinzade Ali and Mehmet Emin Resulzade, but also Anatolian Turks had largely learned how to become a nation from Azerbaijani intellectuals. The national awakening of Azerbaijani Turks, who were under Russian rule at that time, removed the hesitation in Turkey resulting from its imperial heritage. In their quest to ensure the survival of an empire, İstanbul's intellectuals were trying to conceal their national peculiarities due to concerns about disintegration, but Azerbaijani intellectuals provided them with the sort of inspiration they needed to create a nation out of an empire in decline.
There are two different traditions this single nation. Behind these traditions are the different experiences of the two societies. Azerbaijanis' experience of nationhood is far richer and sounder than that of Anatolian people. On the other hand, Anatolian Turks have much older and established state experiences. If these two experiences could be combined, the result would be miraculous.
Unlike our brothers and sisters in Azerbaijan, we were newcomers in the land that we today call our homeland. After we arrived, we established the longest-lived and strongest states. This is because we did not come to these lands as wandering migrants with no purpose, but as an organized society led by Alperens and veteran dervishes. In Anatolia, all of the religious organizations are, in essence, social organizations. This has not changed since the arrival of the first Turks in these lands. Accordingly, a religious leader takes the initiative and sees to the organization of the society, setting rules and principles, and he does this to ensure that society can move toward the same destination as the state. For this reason, religious communities are uniquely organized and assertive civilian forces for Anatolian Turks. Those who lend support to these communities are actually serving social purposes rather than religious ones. The religious leader of the community has the duty of securing confidence in this joint target. The fact that rapprochement with Azerbaijan has been facilitated by these communities is the result of this historical experience. Azerbaijanis should realize that the communities that settled in Azerbaijan coming from Turkey cannot be treated as mere religious organizations. These communities are like locomotives. They not only determine the direction and lay down the track, but also pull the national forces with them toward the target.
When the world was no longer bipolar, a new form of diplomacy, called "public diplomacy," was introduced. Invented by the Americans, this form of diplomacy implies that the weight and support of the public should be integrated with foreign policy. Diplomacy is no longer shaped behind closed doors or around tables where the diplomats of two countries bargain. The peoples of these countries are added to the formula. They make diplomatic demands. They influence the decisions of their states. Turkey's public diplomacy has evolved considerably over time. Turkey's increased weight in the Middle East is largely a result of this policy. Also, in the Balkans Turkey made great progress thanks to its public diplomacy. The force of the public giving support to the diplomacy currently developed regarding Armenia should be taken into consideration.
The driving forces behind Turkey's public diplomacy are communities. This is the same force that sends Turkish entrepreneurs everywhere around the world. Today Turkey owes its place in the Middle East arena to its economic power and social mobility, rather than its military power. This applies to the Caucasus as well.
When the Caucasus is viewed from the perspective of public diplomacy, there is one sole alternative in sight. Turkey's economic and social power is ready to penetrate there through any opening that can be found. Shouldn't Azerbaijanis treat Turkey's new power as their own based on the single-nation principle?
In harmony with its state and people, Turkey ventured to change a status quo that is of no use to the parties in the Caucasus. Soon it was found that Armenia was ready to backtrack with respect to the Karabakh issue. Thus, it can be concluded that President Abdullah Gül is taking the right steps. Turkey's civil society force in Azerbaijan -- its religious communities -- understands Azerbaijan very well. It is these communities that are on the alert in order to rectify any wrong move by the Turkish state.
Being a single nation is the direct result of this rapprochement between two peoples and the will to protect common national interests, isn't it?
22 May 2009
Status of ANCA's love to Obama: Yesterday's DEAR, today's CLEAR, concludes so LOUD and QUEER!
Sukru Server Aya
Hachikian Letter To President Obama, May 19, 2009
Hachikian to Obama: "You failed to honor your commitment to lift our nation's response to genocide to the level of our shared American values, choosing, instead, to allow America's willingness to respond forcefully to this horrific crime to remain hostage to Turkish threats and intimidation."
WASHINGTON, DC - Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian shared with President Barack Obama today the Armenian American community's disappointment with his Administration's failure to honor his campaign pledges to recognize the Armenian Genocide and to foster the growth and development of Armenia.
In a May 18th letter to the White House, Hachikian addressed both the President's decision not to honor his repeated promises to recognize the Armenian Genocide, as well as his recent proposal to cut aid to Armenia by 38% even as he increases overall foreign aid spending and the level of assistance he seeks to the regions of Europe, Eurasia, and South/Central Asia.
Armenian National Committee of America - anca.org, May 18, 2009
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing on behalf of the Armenian National Committee of America to voice the Armenian American community’s profound disappointment with your decision not to honor your pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide. In breaking your clearly stated and unambiguous commitment, you bitterly disappointed all those who believed in your solemn word to change a flawed U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide, a policy that you yourself, in a letter you sent to your constituents last year, sharply criticized as “inexcusable.” More broadly, you failed to honor your commitment to lift our nation’s response to genocide to the level of our shared American values, choosing, instead, to allow America’s willingness to respond forcefully to this horrific crime to remain hostage to Turkish threats and intimidation. This failure continues the morally flawed policy of allowing Turkey to veto our stand on human rights by effectively imposing a “gag” rule on U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Your broken pledge represents both a grave offense to Armenian Americans and a disservice to all Americans who understand that our nation’s leadership in confronting genocide should never be reduced to a political issue that can be traded away, retreated from under pressure, or used to advance a political agenda, of any kind. The ongoing dialogue between Armenia and Turkey should have no bearing on your willingness to speak the truth about the Armenian Genocide; our stand against all instances of genocide should be unconditional.
What is so particularly disturbing about your reversal is that, in the course of your service in the United States Senate and your candidacy for the Presidency, you articulated a thorough knowledge of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, a firm grasp of the practical geo-political implications of proper American recognition of this atrocity, a comprehensive view of the value of Turkey’s relationship to the United States, and a clear understanding of the profound moral issues at stake in the condemnation and commemoration of this crime against humanity. Nothing has changed since you gave your word except your failure to uphold it.
I respectfully call upon you to act quickly to correct your stand on the Armenian Genocide by properly and immediately condemning and commemorating this crime, and by working publicly toward the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution before the U.S. Congress.
The Armenian American community is also troubled that, despite your pledge to maintain aid to Armenia and to foster her growth and development, you have called for a 38% cut in economic aid to Armenia. This represents the sharpest cut, by a significant margin, among all the recipient nations of Europe, Eurasia, and South and Central Asia, and takes place with the context of substantial proposed increases to each of these three regions and a roughly 9% overall escalation in international affairs spending.
The singling out of Armenia, which has sent troops to Iraq and Kosovo, appears set to contribute to our operations in Afghanistan, and hosted the first NATO exercise in the region following the Russia-Georgia war, for such a dramatic cut, even as it endures dual Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades and an acute economic crisis, is profoundly troubling to our community. Compounding this disappointment was your decision to breach the Armenia-Azerbaijan military aid parity agreement in favor of Baku, a move that tilts the regional military balance and sends a dangerous signal to Azerbaijani leaders who have made no secret of their intent to use force of arms to settle the Nagorno Karabagh issue.
I appreciate your attention to the concerns of the Armenian American community and remain hopeful that you will, consistent with your campaign commitments, revise the course your Administration has chosen on issues of special concern to Armenia Americans. We would, of course, welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these matters personally and in greater detail.
Kenneth V. Hachikian
Confusion Reigns Over Turkish-Armenian Process Semih Idiz
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent address to the parliament in Azerbaijan seems to have set the record straight as far as the Azeri side is concerned. The dark clouds that were gathering over Turkish-Azerbaijani ties have disappeared for now.
Baku is apparently satisfied after Erdoğan’s remarks that Ankara will not take any steps to normalize ties with Yerevan until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been resolved (to Azerbaijan’s advantage, one assumes).
This, however, raises a couple of serious questions. What then is to become of the so-called "road map" announced by Turkey and Armenia, which was ostensibly designed to lead both countries to normalized relations? Especially now that there is a "Karabakh condition" attached by Turkey? Also, why did the Erdoğan government bother to get involved in this matter of trying to normalize ties with Armenia in the first place, if it was not going to see it through to the end?
The first answer that comes to mind to the latter question is that Ankara either underestimated the reaction that would come from Azerbaijan, or it overestimated its own capacity to keep Baku in line with a "big brother" approach. The bottom line, however, is that it has now been revealed for all to see that Azerbaijan has more of a hold over Turkey than was assumed in some quarters.
Put another way, Baku holds in its hands a great ability to play the "Turkish nationalist card" within Turkey, against Armenia and against those trying to achieve a rapprochement between the two countries.
One only has to note the way the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, jumped instantly on this bandwagon, using the opening Baku provided to hit at the government.
Put even more bluntly, Turkey is not as independent in determining its policies for the southern Caucasus as it may have assumed it was in the past.
Azerbaijan, however, has shown that it has a freer hand with respect to pursuing its own national interests, as exemplified by the fact that it has refused so far to establish official relations with northern Cyprus, despite its kinship ties with Turkish Cypriots.
This situation is bound to have consequences as far as Ankara’s foreign-policy administration is concerned, not just in terms of the region, but also in terms of Turkey’s ties with the West, where there is a great desire to see a Turkish-Armenian rapprochement. Western diplomats are already saying that while they may be parallel processes, there is no link between the Turkey-Armenia negotiations and the efforts to solve the Karabakh conflict.
The link with the ’g’ word
The cynical view is that Ankara announced the road map with Armenia to ensure that U.S. President Barack Obama did not use the "g" word (genocide) in his April 24 message commemorating the tragedy that befell the Armenians in Anatolia in 1915.
What reinforces this view is the fact that Prime Minister Erdoğan had already said, prior to the announcement of the road map Ğ and in response to the anger from Baku, that there would be no normalization with Armenia before the Karabakh problem was resolved.
But it seemed at the time that he said that simply to appease the Azerbaijanis, while really eyeing Washington and Obama’s statement. This is the way it was also apparently interpreted in Baku, where Erdoğan’s words were not sufficient to quiet the unrest, requiring him to visit in person.
President Obama did not, of course, utter the "g" word, but went on to describe the historical events as no U.S. president had done before, angering Ankara and providing opponents of rapprochement with Armenia the ammunition they needed.
The road map, according to the cynical interpretation, in this way turned out to be a kind of one-off shot in the dark, which under these circumstances will not be followed through Ğ not, that is, unless there is a breakthrough on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
No such breakthrough appears to be in the making, as the sides are firmly entrenched in their positions. Neither is the secret rivalry between Russia and the U.S. vis-?-vis the region helping much, especially given Moscow’s proven ability Ğ demonstrated by the events in Georgia last summer Ğ to use such problems to divide and conquer. This, then, indicates that there will be no early rapprochement between Ankara and Yerevan given the Karabakh condition placed by Prime Minister Erdoğan.
The Karabakh condition
Even Bernard Fassier, France’s envoy to the Minsk Group, which is trying to solve the Karabakh problem, had to admit while talking to journalists in Ankara this week that while there is light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel nevertheless appears to be a long one.
Diplomatic sources on the Turkish side are now trying to save the day by highlighting various nuances of the "Karabakh condition" set by Prime Minister Erdoğan. They say that when Armenian forces start evacuating some of the seven occupied regions outside of Karabakh, and inside Azerbaijan proper, the road map will be viable again.
They also suggest that such an evacuation plan is currently being worked on within the Minsk Group.
But this appears to be speculative, to say the least, judging by the statements from Armenia and Azerbaijan.
It is also not clear whether this is what Prime Minister Erdoğan meant when he established the Karabakh condition. Many in Azerbaijan, for example, have interpreted his words as meaning a full evacuation by the Armenians of the Karabakh enclave itself. It is clear that the public in Turkey also believes this to be the case.
Given this overall picture, it looks more and more as if this attempt at normalization with Armenia is fated to be stillborn.
© Copyright 2008 Hürriyet
After Prague By David Petrosyan, May 18, 2009
The long-awaited meeting between Armenian and Azeri Presidents in Prague is over. Representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group mediator countries had long been "leading" Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev to these negotiations. A meeting between Serzh Sargsyan and President of Turkey Abdullah Gul also took place in Prague.
And what are the real results of Armenian and Azeri Presidents' meeting?
The interpretation of the meeting results is equivocal. Some media characterized the first estimations as "cautious optimism." Suffice it to read attentively American Co-chair Matthew Bryza's statement on the meeting results and then the joint statement of all three Co-chairs from the U.S., Russia, and France.
However, later statements and actions of interested figures and sides are evidence that in fact there are quite many problems in the negotiations process. In particular, evidence of it is the statement of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, in which he calls the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan for "not losing heart." Thus, we can make a supposition that indeed the term "cautious optimism" has been put into use too early.
Then American and Russian Co-chairs Matthew Bryza and Yuri Merzliakov gave an interview to the Ekho Moskvi Russian radio station.
At that, Bryza made a statement that not only all territories currently under control of Armenia beyond the boundaries of the former Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region, but Nagorno Karabakh proper will be returned to Baku's jurisdiction. If true, then Bryza did what he usually does in such cases: he made corrections to his theses and made understand that some status will be given to Nagorno Karabakh, maybe a temporary one (Bryza used the term "situation" / "interesting situation.")
The Russian Co-chair was much more reserved in his estimations. He believes that the negotiations are conducted by a principle that all points without exception need to be coordinated, that is, "in a package" and not taken separately. Thus, one can suppose that there is no consent on all points or sides' position has been brought closer not on all points.
An indirect confirmation of this situation is the statement of RA Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tigran Balayan that withdrawal of troops was not discussed, but Nagorno Karabakh status was spoken about in Prague.
RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian's speech at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on May 12 in Madrid was unexpectedly harsh. He, in particular, emphasized the following important moments having a direct relation to the Nagorno Karabakh settlement and to the proper conflict.
- i) Nagorno Karabakh Armenians' right of security and the threat by Baku that planned to carry out ethnic cleansings. He also mentioned aggression by Azerbaijan against Nagorno Karabakh "...with use of mercenares and terrorist groups,"
-ii) in fact, the RA Foreign Minister mentioned the low level of Azerbaijan's ability to support an agreement (some Russian and Western experts often draw attention to that circumstance in secret talks). To illustrate his words E. Nalbandian reminded that in 2001 the sides were close to problem's settlement, but Azerbaijan's destructive position and its renouncing the reached agreements hindered it. The results of negotiations in Key West were meant here, when the sides even signed a working version of a final agreement on settlement. However, afterwards President of that time Heydar Aliyev renounced the reached agreement,
-iii) he mentioned that for a long time Baku had been rejecting "Madrid principles" presented by the Co-chairs in 2007,
- iv) he drew attention to the fact that the declarations and statements signed in Moscow and Helsinki in 2008 created preconditions for a peaceful settlement, but Baku never gave up destructive methods and never stopped anti-Armenian propaganda. In E. Nalbandian's opinion, conflict settlement within the framework of Minsk Group is only possible if Azerbaijan takes more constructive position.
Perhaps, we can state that it was the strictest statement of the Armenian Foreign Minister since he assumed his office a year ago.
Opponents' response was not late.
The thesis "one nation - two states" was again voiced at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Baku. Ilham Aliyev did not object. By that logic the Armenians also have the right of two states: Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
In Baku, Turkish Prime Minister clearly made understand that Ankara was not going to open the Armenian-Turkish border until the causes of its closure are liquidated: "...Azerbaijan's sensitiveness in the Nagorno Karabakh issue is our sensitiveness. Speculating in this issue is inadmissible for us. The connection between the cause and effect is meant here. The cause is the occupation of Nagorno Karabakh, the effect is our closing the borders with Armenia. We closed the doors, because Azerbaijan's territories were occupied... the doors cannot be opened until the occupation is stopped."
Certainly, one can dispute about the cause and effect connection that the Turkish Prime Minister mentioned intentionally forgetting who indeed had launched the war in Nagorno Karabakh. It is a different matter that the war ended in a way absolutely different from one Baku had planned.
However, we will not argue with the Turkish Prime Minister, as it is an unproductive business. We had better draw attention to the fact that the above mentioned processes taking place after Armenian and Azeri Presidents' meeting in Prague, for the present, do not confirm the fact that the sides have brought closer their approaches on the Nagorno Karabakh settlement. Rather on the contrary, for the present, apparently the Co-chairs should speak about problems that need to be overcome.
We suppose that in such a situation it would be right to give up even "cautious optimism" for press and not to say that the conflict will be settled in some concrete time constraints (in a few months, by the end of the year, etc.)
"The Noyan Tapan Highlights" N19, 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.
Turkey Falsifies Greek History, 2009 May 19, Jean Eckian / armenews
The Turks can not represent the old Phocéens! At the Cultural Year of Turkey in France.
Indeed, the Turkish historic Turkish "360 degrees" carried out a replica of the ship that led, in 2600 BC, the Greeks until Phocaea Lacydon where they founded the town of Marseilles.
This boat will leave from the Old Phocaea Turkey and follow the same route as the old Greek ship to Marseilles, Turkish-flagged.
It should dock wharf where the Brotherhood is the plaque commemorating the founding of the Greeks Massalia by next July and, as the newspaper "La Provence" of 16 April 2009, will repeat itself, 2600 years after the encounter between Gyptis and Protis!
The year 2009 is the Cultural Capital of Turkey in France, a country that does not accept the accession of this country in the European Union.
The Turks have been cunning and artistic spirit by using the Greek civilization to get their passport to join the European Union ...
After their stop in Marseilles, the ship will be sent to Paris where they will celebrate the 320 years of the French Revolution
THE MASK OF SHIP CONVICTED
The Turks can in no way represent the Greeks Phocaea, the executioners of Phocaea of many Greeks from Asia Minor, the Pont-Euxin and Armenians and many others, can in no way represent the civilization European!
NO PORT SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THIS SHIP!
According to the newspaper "La Provence", it will be 18 stops in Greek ports starting with the Piraeus. It will by Italy, will be received in France Aléria (Corsica), Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, Toulon and Cassis. We expect a mobilization of everyone:
Greece, Italy, France, Greek Embassies and Consulates, associations and Greek communities; Philhellenes and Greeks, Armenians, Cypriots and especially of MARSEILLAIS!
Information Greek Diaspora
UNION OF GREECE - GREEK COMMUNITY
Letter addressed by both communities to elected politicians in Marseille, on the arrival of a boat in the Turkish city Marseille
Marseille, the "Massalia" Greeks, founded by the phocéens in 600 BC, was born from the desire of Greeks to promote trading in order to compete with the Carthaginians and the Etruscans to the domination of the Western Mediterranean .
The founding of the city itself is mythological. When the young Phocéens, Protis, head of a dispatch addressed in a cove, he was received by Nannos, King of Segobriges and married his daughter Gyptis. Greek was a dot as cove around the Lacydon, natural harbor on the site of the Old Port today. Marseille is not a creation Celtic or Gallic and belongs to the Greek world.
Through its largest city, the colony grew and early medical Wars (494-479 BC) received the support of people from its metropolis with people fleeing the Persian danger. The Greeks who perfectly mastered the rules of the sea and taste implantèrent trade counters or colonies on the west coast of the Mediterranean Emporium (Aumpurias) at Nikaia (Nice), via Agathe (Agde), Olbia (Hyères) and Antipolis (Antibes), including that of Alailia (Aleria, Corsica), founded in 565 BC
Civic news in ASBAREZ and of course "good time to send some more cash" Sukru Aya
"ANCA Endowment Telethon 2009"
Matching our civic voice to our economic muscle
We have, as a community of Americans of Armenian heritage, done great things.
We have survived genocide, crossed the ocean, and settled here on America's shores.
With the blessings of American liberty and opportunity, first, second, third, fourth, and now even fifth generation Armenians have prospered and contributed to nearly every sphere of American life: business, medicine, education, and the arts.
Our level of achievement is matched only by our ambition to accomplish, strive, and succeed at all we set our minds to. Few can match us.
We have also made our voice heard loud and clear in the civic arena, but not yet, we must admit, at a level truly commensurate with our community's social and financial success.
It's true that we have, through decades of hard work, earned a reputation as the powerful "Armenian lobby," tackling some of the toughest interests in Washington. We have organized ourselves effectively in Washington, DC and as a far-reaching public policy network.
Each November, we are courted for our votes and campaign support.
But, as we saw in April, even after all we have accomplished, we are still a community that can be crossed. A constituency that can be sacrificed to foreign and financial pressures.
Why? . . .
In the Stands, or on the Field?
By Aram Suren Hamparian
I wanted to share with you a thought about a tendency I’ve seen in corners of the Armenian American community and to invite you to share your comments.
There is, you may have noticed, resistance among some Armenian Americans to organizing with others toward shared goals. This likely exists for a variety of reasons, some cultural, others personal. It could be that this tendency has roots in our long experience as subjects of foreign rule, not as citizens free to shape our own destinies.
This resistance takes on its most virulent form in the habit of some folks –particularly in online settings– to drive discussions down to the level of the lowest common denominator, which is a particularly fatalist brand of world-weary cynicism.
These are typically bright folks. People who have the intellectual capacity to grasp basic even complex realities. They could, if they wanted, very likely get involved themselves by, in Teddy Roosevelt’s words, entering the arena:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
But, for whatever reason, they lack the will, vision, or energy. Perhaps they don’t have faith that they can make any impact. So, rather than actually trying to contribute something, they end up fostering an atmosphere of hopelessness, essentially trying to drag everyone down to their level of fatalism.
To be fair, it is rather easy and even fun at times to be cynical. To call everyone a crook, a liar, or a fool. To sit in the stands and describe the weaknesses of the players on the field. It’s also serves as a sort of permission-slip to sit on the sidelines and complain, rather than summoning the courage to go to the front lines (where everyone takes their share of punches). . . .
Jules Boyadjian Speech On Behalf Of The Fra Dashnaktsoutioun During The Commemoration Of 24 April 2009
20 May 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
Mr Mayor of Meyzieu,
Madam Regional Advisor,
Mr. General Counsel,
Ladies, ladies and gentlemen,
I appreciate the honor given to me before I make you this April 26, day of remembrance in this city of Décines to pay tribute to the 1 and a half million Armenian victims of what was the first genocide of the 20th century.
But in the year 2009, supporting the 94th commemorations of what was still not recognized, I can not hide the feeling of anger, deep anger, which m'anime and which can only intensify in charge of these places History a few meters from the memorial reminds us that our responsibility is to all of us to do justice to 1 and a half million memories scorned by nearly a century of political denial. A deep anger, I say, who can not bear children circumvolutions or false pretenses. Anger control, which requires a discourse of truth, confidence and responsibility.
My friends you know, in recent years, a generation I say, we have accumulated successes. We were able to demonstrate that the democracies of the world did not fear the blackmail of the Turkish state, it draws in their allegiance to human rights forces of resistance and that it was the sense of History to honor the truth in 1915, calling for the only suitable word: genocide.
In the wake of the recognition of Armenian genocide won in France, many European countries have recognized the genocide. A wave of recognition that has gripped the United States so that on April 7, Hawaii was the 42nd state of the United States to admit the reality of 1915, as the countdown to the recognition was triggered and that any to believe that Barack Obama would recognize the genocide of 1915. You know what has finally happened, the disappointment of two days ago and the circumvention of this politico-legal concept to a symbolic turn of Great Catastrophe, in Armenian in the text please, not having to crease. Wrinkled, crumpled, but who? Or rather sell to what pressure? Coming from where?
For my friends it is worse, worse than the hesitation waltz of President Obama, worse than the renunciation of one who was as President of Humanism and truth and as such the President of the recognition of the Armenian genocide. On 22 April in Bern, two heads of state, one Turkish and one Armenian met and thought they could secretly decide the future of the Armenian Cause. They could exclude all those who fight for so many years for recognition of 1915. Worse, they could violate the memory of 1 and a half million victims in 1915 by questioning the reality of genocide. They signed the Berne Diktat, a sort of understanding of another time, a time when agreements are signed secret, dark, dark in their own image, its obscure clauses in the Karabakh conflict on the territory of Armenia Western - the Anatolian plateau and Cilicia - and mostly in obscure that drape a veil of denial of the reality of 1915. And those of you still doubts and misunderstanding in the reversal of Barack Obama, they must see the Diktat Berne answers to their questions. To intervene two days before the earthquake policy would have been the recognition by the United States of the Armenian Genocide can not be regarded as a coincidence. The game dupe not fooling anyone, not even us, and if the terms of Diktat remained secret, the reversal of Barack Obama already appears as a direct or indirect result of what happened in Bern.
My dear friends, this is a real serious blow to our struggle, one of the hardest past ten years, will we tolerate? My dear friends, let us resign ourselves to seeing so many efforts over many years? Shall we submit Décinoises and Décinois at Diktat Berne, scrap of paper? This I do not think so.
So I can see those who rant, more or less well intentioned, we say: "But an approach to reconciliation is always positive ... or ... they are extremists - in pointing the finger at us - they do not want reconciliation, they do not want peace. "
You will see by the way that it is always the biggest opponents to the recognition of the Armenian genocide or the fight against Holocaust denial that put forward the progress of the Armenian-Turkish relations. However my dear friends, we gave the opportunity for the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, we doubt is true, but we have given every chance to warming, despite a few fears in us the qu'occasionne President Sarkissian and some of his speeches more than doubtful.
Now it is no longer possible, the procedure has failed. Are we provided the opponents of peace? We are opposed to peace, when we believe that reconciliation is worthy of the name will not be on the back of 1 and a half million victims of 1915? Are we extremists when we say that there can be no peace without justice, and the only justice that can reside within the boundaries of law, through the recognition and repair of the Armenian genocide? Vow allegiance to the principles of law will never make us extremists or whatever. True, it is a posture that may seem difficult to hold, but we will because there is nothing more unbearable, more unbearable for us down in 1915, forgetting that the genocide and the shameful injustice of 94 years of denial.
In this battle, we will have to be mobilized, highly mobilized. We must denounce complacent denial, order the effects of Diktat Berne and convince them that nothing and no one should question our march towards justice. I know we have a great chance to Décines this unique opportunity to present a more united than ever. This unit will be our strength, a strength that you transmit to the new generation of leaders mobilized décinois more than ever to defend those values that you cherish. A force that we will overthrow the walls of lies and fight the last denial ploy set up by Turkey, prepared with the consent of the President of Armenia for some 22 April in the capital of Switzerland.
My friends the world of the Armenian cause has evolved, it has changed and we must take note, but our fight is not finished, a new battle promises to us, that makes us high and typing of all our forces to destroy the foundations of Turkish denial, this battle, the Diktat Berne, against the dictates of Berne has just begun, and together we win.
Together for justice.
Together against Holocaust denial.
Set against the dictates of Berne.
On 26 April 2009, Decines
Switzerland: Speech Of 24 April Mrs Chiara Simoneschi-Cortesi, President Of The Federal Assembly 18 May 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
Enclosed is the text of the speech given by President of the Federal Assembly Simoneschi-Cortesi Chiara at the commemoration of 24 April in Geneva.
Ginevra 24 aprile 2009 (giornata della memoria)
Representatives of the Armenian community of Switzerland,
Madam Representative of the Republic of Armenia, Dear representatives of Troinex and Geneva,
Your counselors states of the Republic and Canton of Geneva,
Ladies and Gentlemen MPs to parliament, Dear Friends,
It is with great emotion that I attend this commemoration and I thank you for having me involved. By the break of a plaque in honor of Jean-Claude Vaudroz, your memory becomes a little ours, that of the Swiss and Geneva in particular. The genocide of Armenians in 1915 and prior to the massacres perpetrated between 1894 and 1896 have generated solidarity movements in Geneva and throughout Switzerland.
The names of Pastor Antony Krafft-Bonnard, Professor Edouard Naville, the orientalist Léopold Favre remain linked to the mobilization of our country in favor of Armenians in danger. Person has not forgotten what commitment with the Presidents of the Confederation Gustave Ador and Giuseppe Motta - Ticino who was like me - defended the Armenian cause to the League of Nations in the early 1920s. These signs of support have marked relations between Switzerland and the Armenians.
You wanted to pay tribute to the courage and tenacity of Jean-Claude Vaudroz, with whom I had the honor to serve on the National Council a few years ago. This great man called for justice for your people and it has advanced the cause of Armenia. Jean-Claude will remain forever in our minds and in our hearts. We remember him and we express our friendship to his family.
For you, this April 24 is not just a birthday. What you feel is beyond the duty of memory. A million and half of your brothers and sisters were destroyed during the last days of the Ottoman Empire because they were Armenian. The tragedy has traumatized Medzi Yeghérn your people. These wounds will not heal if Turkey, aided by the international community recognizes that genocide was committed.
The Swiss National Council has done on 16 December 2003, the City of Geneva in January 2005 and the Grand Council of the canton of Vaud in July of that year. The Geneva Council of State had acted in the same direction on 10 December 2001. I remember that the first signature at the bottom of this resolution was the President of the Council of State at the time, Mrs. Micheline Calmy-Rey, now head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Jean-Claude Vaudroz was fiercely fought, supported by many of his colleagues in other cantons, so that the Swiss Parliament makes justice to the suffering of the Armenian people. This famous 16 December, the Parliament, the catch words for the recognition of the genocide were innumerable and political debate of a very high level. In a historic vote, an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha approved the assumption Vaudroz by 107 votes!
It is an honor for me to inaugurate this plaque in memory of someone who has fought for both your community and for law enforcement. Jean-Claude Vaudroz has concrete words such as "justice" or "human rights". He was able to give them the dignity they deserve.
I am also proud of our Parliament who helped Switzerland to become aware of the reality of the Armenian genocide, even if the Federal Council would prefer not to pronounce that word. And yet it is the genocide of Armenians in 1948 has inspired the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. And Switzerland has approved this agreement.
Our country is making to Armenia and Turkey to resume dialogue and overcome their ancestral conflict. In approving its establishment in 1848, the Swiss Confederation had also decided to live in peace with its neighbors and it had resolved its disputes bilaterally. But you can not choose its neighbors, and I am aware that some wounds are deeper than others. That Switzerland does not help to forget past conflicts but to mediate between two peoples who are now divided after having lived so long together.
You have suffered greatly, as the Pontic Greek, Assyrian-Chaldeans and Kurds. For this suffering to an end one day, all these people need to talk with the Turkish people and understand each other. But this dialogue can not take place if the heirs officials acknowledge the crimes committed then. This dialogue will not happen without forgiveness of the victims. Justice must be done but it is crucial that you can look to the future without obscuring your past or your identity.
Today I am here to tell you my belief that a peace based on the historical truth is possible and necessary. I came to testify, as chairman of parliament, and express my personal sympathy, my solidarity and my support.
Thank you for your attention.
Chirac Looks To Negationism ... But Not To Anyone Who Knocks The Armenians ... 19 May 2009, by Jean Eckian / armenews
Former President Jacques Chirac launched with representatives from 30 countries gathered at UNESCO project Aladin, educational program to fight against Holocaust denial in the Arab-Muslim world (1).
This project at the initiative of the Foundation for the Memory of the Holocaust is to make available in Arabic, Persian and Turkish objective information on the genocide of Jews during the Second World War, the Muslim-Jewish relations and Jewish culture . It is based on an Internet site that presents www.projetaladin.org in five languages (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, English and french) the history of the Shoah, the Jewish people and relations between Muslims and Jews over the centuries .
Www.aladdinlibrary.org a digital library makes available in Arabic and Persian testimonies about the Holocaust, including "If This Is a Man" by Primo Levi and "The Diary of Anne Frank", translated for the first time in these languages .
At the launch conference, Jacques Chirac has lent its support and its Foundation (2) for the dialogue of cultures in this "fight to restore the memory of the Holocaust where it is denied, erased, distorted," the " knowledge (...) do not want Muslim countries to carry a guilt that is not theirs ".
The former president expressed his concern at the rise of a new hatred of Jews "in the Middle East because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also in Europe.
While Jean-Marie Le Pen has reiterated his condemnation by the court on the Shoah, "in detail" in his view of the history of the Second World War, Chirac denounced "apartheid unbearable memory" from those who claim that the Holocaust was "the problem of the Jews." "It's not too late. There is no inevitability to hatred", a man who had launched in 1995 recognized the role of the Vichy regime in deporting Jews from France.
The Minister of Justice Rachida Dati a message of support from President Nicolas Sarkozy. Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the former Mauritanian President Ely Ould Mohamed Vall and Simone Veil, former president of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah, were also present, as well as representatives of Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey, Indonesia or Bosnia.
They all signed the "Call to Consciousness" (3), symbolic statement advocating the fight against Holocaust denial and the deepening of a dialogue based on knowledge and mutual respect. "
It is quite extraordinary, if not incongruous, that a State, whose ancestors are responsible for the first genocide of the twentieth century, has signed the "Call". But it is true that the ridiculous does not kill ... Meanwhile, good Samaritans, Chirac in the lead, do not seem moved negationism more virulent against the Armenian people.
After all, the Act of 2001 does not cite the Ottoman government, and the Senate still has not decided on the bill criminalizing denial of Armenian genocide. In short the logic is saved ...
And then, what is the Armenian organizations in this direction? No such project is in their cartons, so?
This means that the "call of conscience" is not the denial of the Armenian Genocide because we have generated no such thing. Now that we could argue in a format to oversimplify. Is not gentlemen the censors? But you may ask, would this not the beginning of the solution? While at work!
In all this where is the morality? It's like the solitude: "It does not exist."
(1) A survey by the University of Haifa, whose results were published May 17, show that 40.5% of Israeli-Arabs believe that the Holocaust never happened.
President Sargsyan's "Other" Foreign Policy: Trend News Commentator, May 19 2009, Azerbaijan
Observers and mediators do not get tired to speak, if not about break, then about significant advances in the resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh problem. Indeed, over the last year of Serzh Sargsyan's presidency, the negotiation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan has intensified and even acquired a systematic nature - the two Presidents met four times for one year.
Moreover, silence between Turkey and Armenia over the last seventeen years was broken this year. There even was a possibility of opening the border between these countries, even through following preconditions.
Armenia's foreign policy can be divided into three periods: the policy of Levon Ter-Petrossian, Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsyan. Sargsyan began very actively to solve foreign policy issues, which was not made by previous presidents, immediately after coming to power.
Yerevan qualitatively and significantly changed its foreign policy, but is the Armenian political elite and establishment pleased? Alas, no.
Serzh Sargsyan is in a very precarious position within his own country and in his relations with the powerful global Armenian Diaspora. The Dashnaktsutsun party left the ruling coalition because of the disagreement with the policy of establishing diplomatic relations with Turkey. Dashnaktsutsun turned to opposition forces.
Given party's national focus and its close relationship with the international Armenian lobby, Dashnaktsutsun is a potentially serious opponent for the current government.
This party could be the last hope for the Armenian lobby to bring Armenia to desired line after the next presidential elections.
Dashnaktsutsun focused primarily on domestic political effect of this step, giving the party the revolutionary color of opposition forces, and rid it of responsibility for coalition's inconvenient consequences. The failure of Sargsyan's policy has been repeatedly linked with the Nagorno-Karabakh and Turkish processes by party representatives.
Armenians' dream to occupy others' territories has been run the risk during Sargsyan's presidency. The idea on a possible agreement seems blasphemy for the population. Major negotiators to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs - do not use the disposition of Armenian press. President's activity, as well as the activity of negotiators and representatives of Turkish political system has been criticized on the political scene in Armenia.
A dangerous situation occurred round the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, head of the Dashnaktsutsun Revolution Federation Parliamentary Group Vaan Ovannisyan said, the Mediamax reported.
"This situation has arisen because of our unreasonable policy towards Turkey. It is not a secret that one of the main preconditions for the restoration of Turkey's relations with Armenia is the subordination of Armenian interests to Azerbaijan's in Karabakh and forced Armenia to make assignments," Ovannisyan said.
If a real progress would be in the Karabakh conflict through signing of a basic document, then Armenia will face heated internal developments and perhaps even a political crisis that will focus to replace the leadership.
Not only the political elite, but also the establishment is not pleased with president's policy. Experts and observers are asking a timely question: What would happen if Turkey did decide to open the border with Armenia? The first thing that threatens to Armenia is that after opening of the notorious border with a fragile economic system, it will be subjected to instant and fully justified Turkish economic expansion
Using advanced oligarchic system in Armenia's economy, Turkey would be able to simply "buy" Armenian oligarchs that significantly undermine the national security of the country.
So whether President Sargsyan well to insist on improving the long-frozen relations between Armenia and a half of neighboring countries? The answer is not obvious, because strangely enough, and what would be beneficial for the country, alas, will not please the population.
Mr. Fein’s Turkish Adventure By Seto Boyajian May 15th, 2009
On May 8, Bruce Fein posted an article, titled “Recommendations for the Armenian Diaspora”, on the Huffington Post. Mr. Fein is concerned that unless the Armenian Diaspora heeds his “recommendations”, it will torpedo the ongoing talks between Turkey and Armenia.
To set the record straight, it should be noted that, according to his biographic information, Mr. Fein, a lawyer, is the Resident Scholar for the Turkish Coalition of America. Prior to this position, he 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, and has appeared regularly on VOA and Turkish television to discuss current political events and their implications for Turkish-American relations.
Therefore, it is irrefutable that he his acting as the spokesperson of the Turkish side. It would indeed be most appropriate to call this endeavor as Mr. Fein’s Turkish adventures.
His so called “recommendations” simply constitute unsubstantiated accusations and defamatory remarks against the Armenian Diaspora. As such, he deserves a response, which I did on Huffington Post along the following lines:
Bruce Fein, the mouthpiece of the Republic of Turkey, has spoken again. This time, he has the audacity of making “recommendations” to Armenia and U.S. citizens of Armenian extraction without making any reference to his continued gainful employment by the government of Turkey and by a garden variety of Turkish “associations”.
Mr. Fein is out to “get” the Armenian Diaspora in general and the U.S. Armenian Americans in particular. The reason for his attempt is obvious: Silence the Diaspora and especially the Armenian American community, and the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian people and usurpation of the Armenian homeland shall wither away. This seems to be not an easy task for Mr. Fein. Yet he seems to be an adamant fellow. He desperately needs to tame the Diaspora and the Armenian Americans.
To this end, he resorts to tactics of baseless accusations, falsehood, misrepresentation and even bombastic threats.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Editor’s Note: Seto Boyadjian is an attorney and member of the national board of the Armenian National Committee.
Germany and Turkey: Similar in Crime; Different in Penance, Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier
The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) traditionally invites as guests to its "Annual Meeting" (banquet) members of the local consular corps and leaders of various religious and ethnic groups. On April 22, when I attended AJC's annual gathering, I was surprised to see that the keynote speaker was Dr. Christian Stocks, the Consul General of Germany. Despite the fact that the German government has long acknowledged the Holocaust and paid substantial compensation to the victims' families, many Jews still feel uncomfortable dealing with Germans or visiting Germany. I soon discovered that the German Consul General was not only the honored guest, but also the recipient of AJC's prestigious "C.I. Neumann Lifetime Achievement Award."
I was not the only one to be taken by surprise. When the German Consul General took the podium, he admitted that he was so astonished by AJC's invitation that he was "speechless for a few seconds."
Dr. Stocks' 45 minute-long empathetic remarks amply demonstrated why the AJC was fully justified in honoring this distinguished diplomat. His words deeply touched those in attendance -- many of whom were Holocaust survivors and descendants.
As the only Armenian in the room, I could not help but make a mental comparison between the remorseful way the German Federal Republic has reacted to the Holocaust and the Turkish government's incessant denials, lies and distortions of the Armenian Genocide.
I wondered if the day would ever come when a righteous and enlightened Turkish leader would acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and make amends, paving Armenians to similarly honor a Turkish diplomat! Should that day come, Turkish leaders would be the recipients of many accolades, not just from Armenians, but people around the world.
Ironically, the current Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles was also at this banquet. I wondered what thoughts were going through his head, as he listened to his German counterpart's deeply apologetic speech, and whether he wished he could make similar remarks someday to an Armenian audience!
I have reprinted below brief excerpts from the German Consul General's lengthy speech. While reading these remarks, if you substitute Germany and Germans for Turkey and Turks; and Israel and Jews for Armenia and Armenians, you would get a sense of how I felt, on the eve of April 24, listening to the representative of one repentant government, while the representative of another unrepentant and denialist state was sitting just a few feet away: "Yesterday, on Yom Ha-Shoah or Holocaust Memorial Day, Jews all over the world commemorated the victims of the Holocaust. They remembered the attempt to eradicate an entire people; they remembered the murder of six million European Jews, murdered by Germans, at German hands, on German command. Millions of people were humiliated, defrauded of their rights, persecuted and murdered because they were born Jews.
"The Shoah's cruel effects continue to this day. There is almost no Jewish person anywhere in the world unaffected by it. And because it was Germans that committed or instigated these crimes, I simply cannot begin my speech without paying my profound respects to the Holocaust survivors and their families, and to those who have not survived, to those who have perished, and to those who have no graves where we can mourn them.
"And I join the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who said in her speech to the Knesset last year, celebrating the 60th birthday of the State of Israel, and I quote: 'The Shoah is a source of great shame for us Germans. I bow before the victims; I bow before the survivors and before all those who helped them to survive.'
"Former Israeli ambassador to Germany, Avi Primor, once asked: 'Where in the world has one ever seen a nation that erects memorials to immortalize its own shame? Only the Germans had the bravery and the humility.' Let me add on a personal note: The crime itself was so horrendous, that not a million memorials would be sufficient to constantly remind us of the past.
"Last year, in his message of greeting on the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of the State of Israel, Federal President Horst KÃ¶hler said: 'We accept this responsibility for the past and for the future. This means that the citizens, politicians and leaders of society must raise their voices against denial or trivialization of the Shoah and against intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism. It means we must not look away; rather we must see and act. And it means we preserve and pass on the memory so that future generations also will remain vigilant. Only those who take responsibility for the past can gain trust for the future.'
"Synagogues that had been gutted by fire during Kristallnacht have been restored or received extensive makeovers. New synagogues and cultural centers like those in Munich and Dresden are now centers of flourishing Jewish life. You again find Jewish schools and colleges."
All Words Uttered By Erdogan In Baku, Are Simply... Words Karine Ter-Sahakyan, /PanARMENIAN.Net/ 16.05.2009
Coming to power in 2002, the Justice and Development Party led by Erdogan promised "zero problems with neighbors".
And again everything resumes its normal course: Heads of States declare what their citizens seek to hear from them, curtseys are dropped, but in reality everything proves to be exactly the opposite. Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Baku, called as if to quiet the latter, was not an exception. However, all the words pronounced by Erdogan in Milli Majlis and at the press conference were nothing else but simply... words.
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ "Our stance on Nagorno-Karabakh is clear, and there has never been any deviation from this stance," stated Erdogan in the Azerbaijani parliament. "We want the problem to be resolved on the basis of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. We have never taken any steps that could harm the national interests of Azerbaijan and will never take such steps. There will be no normalization until the occupation of Azerbaijani territory is over." And straight off - "Our government's policy of reconciliation with Armenia is advisable. Lack of solution in the disputes in the South Caucasus region serves no one's interests." Erdogan also said Turkey`s efforts were aimed not only at normalization of ties with Armenia but also at contributing to the welfare and stability in the entire region.
Coming to power in 2002, the Justice and Development Party led by Erdogan promised "zero problems with neighbors". For this very reason the Head of Turkish MFA is now Ahmet Davutoglu, careful and experienced a diplomat. Actually, Ali Babacan carried out his unskilled labor, and now it's time for more delicate and accurate work. Especially because after April 22 Yerevan turned to be sharper in expressions. This was the price for the instantaneous reaction of the RA Foreign Ministry and the President to the attempt of Turkey to interfere in the regulation process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "The most useful thing Turkey can do to contribute to peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict, is to abstain from the interference into this process", declared RA President Sargsyan and FM Nalbandyan.
Meanwhile, on the one hand the USA and the European Union are allegedly looking forward to the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, but on the other they fear to lose Azerbaijan, which would weaken the energy dependence of Europe on Russia.
And here we come to the central aim of Erdogan's visit to Baku: the rate for the Azerbaijani gas. It was clear from the very beginning that Baku would press Ankara by raising prices for the gas. It was obvious the moment secret negotiations between Armenian and Turkish diplomats began in Switzerland. Not in vain did the newspaper Today's Zaman appear with the title "Gas price increase on the way."
Erdogan, who travelled to Baku accompanied by Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and other ministers, said officials from the two countries would discuss changing the price at which Ankara purchases the Azerbaijani natural gas. Price for the gas Turkey receives from "Shah Deniz" gas-condensate field will be reviewed in accordance with market prices for gas. According to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz, the price $120 per 1,000 cubic meters corresponded to the cost of gas in 2001, when the contract was concluded. The contract concluded between Azerbaijan and Turkey stipulates that the price for the gas from "Shah Deniz" be reviewed only one year after the commencement of the supply process, i.e. the new price can be used only since April 15, 2010. But Baku made a different decision. However, Erdogan doesn't seem to be one to obey Ilham Aliyev; he is eager to establish his country as a regional power. And in order to achieve his goal he had better sacrifice Azerbaijan, especially because the latter is simply being troublesome...
"The main idea of the Armenian-Turkish agreement on the road map is that normalization of relations should proceed simultaneously with the process of the Karabakh conflict settlement but at the same time be independent of it," stated Mustafa Aydin, Head of the International Relations Department at TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Ankara. He emphasized that opening of the Armenian-Turkish border is not linked to the Karabakh conflict resolution. "The border will certainly be opened and, possibly earlier than we expect," he noted.
As to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Azerbaijan, Prof. Aydin said it was "to the audience" just like Erdogan's statement made in Baku on normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. "Actually, Turkish PM visited Baku to negotiate some energy issues, specifically the Nabucco project and the Azerbaijani gas price," he said. We have all the grounds to more believe the Turkish professor than the Azeri media outlets.
Why? Why? Why? By Viken L. Attarian MSc, MBA, Montréal
Today, more than ever Toumanian's fairy tale of the "Brainless Man" comes to mind (Ankhelk Marte). Read it again and again. It is a masterpiece.
Either we as a people take our own destiny in our hands or we end up being a meal for the grey wolf. Pun intended of course !!!!!!
Let's ask ourselves a few basic questions (not in any order of importance):
1. Why is it that after over a century of betrayal by the great powers, we still look westwards, towards the great Anglo Saxon powers of the US and Great Britain, who are the greatest allies of the Turkish militaristic regime. Why is it that we collectively do not see beyond our noses and still even argue an anti-Russian position in public and private and even suggest that a rapprochement with NATO for example would be something
desirable, such as the adventure of sending our forces to Iraq?
2. Why is it that after over a hundred years of Armenian "political activity", the overall mentality and ability to produce policy making cadres that can shape our nation's long term future has stayed at best, at the level of tribal vengefulness and at worst at total adventurism particularly in the Diaspora, where the debate is really focused mostly on church fundraising and acrimonious divisions of religious loyalties?
3. How come that after being the ally of the CUP for so many years and achieving highly elected positions in the Empire, that the ARF was essentially duped?
4. Why is it that seventeen years into our independence the Diaspora does not have a self-generated collective Armenia centric policy with concrete stated objectives such as many of the ones suggested in this forum?
5. Why is it that seventeen years into our independence, Armenia does not have a concrete and official Diaspora centric policy, essentially recognizing it as an equal partner in nation building and seeing that it also has a duty towards the Diaspora in terms of helping sustain its dynamism and longevity?
6. Why is it that no one can name a single living Armenian intellectual under 50 or even under 60, whether in Armenia or the Diaspora whose writing shapes the imagination of our people? Can anyone say who is the new Barouyr Sevag? The new Tekeyan? The new Moushegh Ishkhan? The new Hagop Oshagan? The new Gostan Zarian? The new Shahnour? The new Yervant Odian (in Enger Panchoonie) or even Hagop Baronian (in Azkayin Tchotcher)? Or even who would replace Toumanian? Why is it that we can no longer produce them? Are they no longer needed? After all, there was a time where we could name dozens if not hundreds. People of original thought, ideas, stimulating us to collective thinking and of seeing ourselves as something more than a ragtag bunch of noise makers in this or that community.
7. Why is it that no one dares say the truth that Western Armenian is literally dying and it is our duty to collectively try and save it, not just the task of the Diaspora but of all Armenians whether they live in Russia, Armenia or France? Western Armenian is a treasure that belongs to them all, just as Geghart belongs to all Armenians and so does St. Lazar in Venice and we have a duty to guard them forever.
8. Why is it that no one asks the obvious question? If ever there is a new military confrontation with our neighbours, how can people who feel deprived and betrayed by their leaders heed their call and defend our territory? Wouldn't they desert under sinking morale?
9. Why do we still trust the same people who have not given us any of the answers to the above questions? Why do we insist on "buy"ing again and again their shoddy goods?
Why? Why? Why?????
At the end of the day, it is always easy to point the finger and say that it is the fault of the perpetrators of our Genocide. And perhaps some of the answers do lie there. But we must realize that that answer is insufficient, incomplete and will never lead to any positive action to save ourselves. In fact, that attitude would be a desecration of the memory of millions of our martyrs who would have died in vain.
The choice is really ours. It always has been. We can all sleep contentedly or can make the point of asking ourselves every night "What have I done today to ensure the survival of Armenia (Armenia as being understood to include the Diaspora)"?
If we do not lose sleep over it, then it does not matter any more.
From a purely evolutionary perspective, we shall only survive if we deserve to. The shocks that would cause our elimination were and will continue to be external. However, the reasons that we shall survive or disappear are and will be internal only to us.
I want to wake up and smell the coffee. Give me the red pill anytime (Matrix metaphor!!!!), because the truth might be ugly but it will always be liberating.
Poverty And Access To Health Care In Armenia, Onnik Krikorian in Armenia, May 22, 2009
Sometimes I really hate my job. Having first been inspired by the potential for photojournalism to effect change some 27 years ago, the situation in regions such as the South Caucasus can be depressing. While there have been some successes such as managing to get the Armenian government to finally admit there was a homeless problem in Yerevan and to open a shelter, by and large the media is pretty impotent in countries such as Armenia. So, when I had to today photograph 34-year old Naira Thomasian, a kidney dialysis patient living in poverty, for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, I was dreading the question she would of course end up asking.
That is, will this interview and photographs help to change her situation. Of course, I couldn't say that it would, only that I hoped so. A few years ago, statistics showed that only one in three Armenians sought medical care when they needed it thanks to a system of informal payments or a lack of resources at hospitals themselves and I doubt the situation has changed much since. Thankfully, Naira mostly has free treatment, but what about some of the other problems she faces? Problems, for example, such as living in poverty, being unable to work and a lack of money in the State budget for sufficient social assistance?
"I was first diagnosed 10 years ago and I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t working then as I was married and had my child to look after, but when I was diagnosed with this illness my husband left me. He didn’t understand or want to help. My son was just a baby and life has been hard ever since.
[...] by law they have to provide the medicines, but what happens if they don’t have them? It’s not their fault and they have the main medicines I need.
We don’t even have enough money for food so I don’t eat properly either, but what about the health of my mother and son?
He’s 11 and she’s 71 and they never go for treatment because we can’t afford it. Nobody is working and the 16,000 AMD (about $43) we receive in social benefits on top of my mother’s pension is not enough to cover much more than renting these rooms.
Of course, they say they’re healthy, but my mother has constant headaches. She says has to look after me so can’t find the time to even think about looking after herself. We have no money for food and so she spends a lot of her time going out to find herbs to bring back to cook."
A local NGO working with dialysis patients helps Naira out with advice and support, but despite a huge amount of money on show in the form of flash cars and expensive restaurants or boutiques in the center of Yerevan, her situation is not unique, with UNDP recently warning that poverty looks likely to increase this year as a result of the global economic crisis. The Diaspora could help, but generally doesnt. There are exceptions, of course, but by and large many ethnic Armenians from abroad either don't want to see the reality faced by individuals such as Naira or simply won't because they stay only in the vicinity of where the (usually) corrupt money is.
Not a good day for me at all. Quite depressing in fact, and made worse by Naira having had dialysis a few hours earlier. She was in pain and very weak, but still welcoming and accomodating to allow me to do my work. Humbled, here's hoping that increased attention from the international community will finally see issues such as poverty and access to medical care in Armenia finally resolved so there won't be as much need for entering into the life of people such as Naira and walking away into a far different world 30 minutes later.