08 August 2009
2923) Book Review: Cumhuriyet Yıllarında Türkiye Yahudileri, Devlet’in Örnek Yurttaşları 1950-2003, Rifat N. Bali
BOOK REVIEW (Cumhuriyet Yıllarında Türkiye Yahudileri, Devlet’in Örnek Yurttaşları 1950-2003), Rifat N. Bali ISBN 978-605-4208-12-0 Kitabevi, - 393 – İstanbul
# 2906 –p.4,
# 2916 –p.10 + 20
(also # 2921 -
# 2922 and annex)
I was surprised to note four commentaries by Armenian writers or press, about a Turkish book written by a reputed Turkish Jew! Why did this book found praise outside of Turkey by Armenian diaspora, whilst it is rather unnoticed inside Turkey?
The writer is a prominent person, with at least six books mainly on Turkish Jewry and/or their connections and is respected as “an intellectual.”. Last year, I was asked by him to provide two of my English “The Genocide of Truth” on request of two American Universities, which I gladly furnished, with a third book for himself. . .
View Full Content of the All External Links : 69 Pages Pdf
I purchased his subject book and scanned it attentively, to learn “what was the message and why all of the sudden the Armenian diaspora” put this book in circulation, to support the well-known genocide fanfare.
This 672 page book, in my evaluation, is a chronological run down for the period it covers, with short or long observations for the events of the time, supported by newspaper clips, or meetings, speeches evidencing that all these happened and the Turkish Jews were related in some of the incidents or given news. Frankly, it is a rather long movie film by connecting short documentaries or advertisements. It is not boring but since there are many events happening at the same time, it is not easy to tie them up, especially “if you have not lived all that” is masterly explained. Since I am old enough to have lived and remember most of the incidents, for me it was like looking through a life album! In particular, it was nice to remember my old or short friendship, with some of the figures that have become history, to name but a few my “very best all time totally loved” class mate Arman Manukyan, Ivan Schick, or Uzeir Garih with whom I had a remarkable commercial delegation trip to Italy, or Stanford Shaw with whom I had lunch at Profilo, when he had moved his house from USA to Turkey!
My impression is that the writer preferred to pincer-pick some of the subjects reflecting “victimization or discrimination of Turkish Jews” for which his examples are sometimes exaggerations, distortions or “gossip style narrow bragging” or hasty observations. However, what is noteworthy is that for the first time, a parallelism is displayed introducing the “Armenian Genocide” as a supporting evidence, or vice versa! This frequent employment of “genocide sauce” on irrelevant matters seems to be enough to confuse the thoughts of the reader and become an evidence of Jewish + Armenian victimization, in the hands of the brutal Turk! A frequent connection is established with the Jewry of Israel, but more important is the employment of the Jewish Organizations (ADL, AJC, AIPAC etc) and interconnection with some Armenian organizations and mainly ANCA. and repetitive usage of the “Armenian relocation/deportation” which I have counted to be in 27 pages! As an outside reader of the Jewish related Turkish or World events, I am asking why it was the “Armenian Card” inserted in the deck, and not the Greek or Cyprus or Iron Curtain or Kurdish or Bulgarian card. Why a duality with a “Vague Armenianism” has been wedged? Have the Turkish Jews resolved all their differences with Turks as several World organizations? Is it their chivalry to save and bring justice to Armenians? Which Armenians? The diaspora which keeps fomenting, their marginal pipe blowers in Turkey or the Gregorian Armenian majority of Turkey, who are extremely disturbed by the outsiders speaking in their place and enlarging problems!
The writer supplies list of references (short of most reputed and must sources) and also an index, which for the “little knowing reader” is enough to prove that this book is not a “neutral presentation” but may be tailored to give some messages, viz:
a- Turks in general are anti-Semitic, they frequently victimized Jews as a race! (Do you really mean such a slander?)
b- Turkish government have pressed Turkish Jew business community to mobilize Jewish lobby in USA to support Turkey, against the Armenian genocide claims. (Even if it were true, don’t Turkish Jews have the same nationality like the rest?)
c- Jewish community leaders in Turkey who do not resist but are helping governments are acting unethically! (Is it their business or ethical obligation to bring justice to the World for anyone? Are they United Nation or some Peace Corps or arbiters?)
d- Jews of Turkey should not interfere in Israel or USA lobbies on the Armenian issue! (But help Armenians, after all?)
The writer has given a long list of the “sources” he used, which heavily are Jewish in USA and other countries, as well as daily Turkish periodicals, news clips etc. However, it is very striking that whilst the names of several books or writers have been listed, there are practically no excerpts from such books “used as verbatim evidence”. What more, the writer in some cases gave only the name of the book, but overlooked any content, that does not serve his argument. To my opinion, “scholars do not have the freedom of being selective in their sources or the contents”, because otherwise “half or untold truths” become “lies”!
To give just a few examples, literature of the Quincentennial Foundation is mentioned among sources without any quotation or description of its rich contents or Jewish dignitaries, pashas, ministers in the service of the Ottoman or Turkish State! In particular it omits (p. 76), a beautiful letter of İzak Sarfati (1454-1459) written to fellow Jews in Germany, as well as many interesting evidences stored in the Istanbul Jewish Museum presented in the booklet. to visitors.
The name of Turkkaya Ataov is mentioned on p.253 shortly, in connection with the Armenian Battalion in the Nazi Germany;. names of his three books are given. also! Ataov has written over 160 books and more than 30 of them are on the Armenian issue. His book “Siyonizm ve Irkcılık” (Racism and Sionism) İleri Yayınları 103. should have been known by the author! Moreover it is interesting to note that in the book “Approaches to Anti-Semitism” Michael Brown, AJC New York 1994, among various anti-Semitic countries listed, there is USA, Canada, Britain, Argentina, Germany, Arab World, Japan, Poland, South Africa but the name of Turkey is not mentioned !
Also, the name of Stanford Shaw is mentioned in six places in the book! One is reference to his house being bombed! Another is for his services to the foundation and his efforts to restore the Wealth Tax etc, but no mention has been made of his monumental four books on the Armenian subject, nor his article External Link: TURKEY AND THE JEWS OF EUROPE DURING WORLD WAR II ! This important omission creates some doubts! ,
The writer probably has never seen or read the followings articles, which could balance his blind pro-Armenian prejudice.
External Link: TURKEY AND THE JEWS OF EUROPE DURING WORLD WAR II By Stanford J. Shaw,
External Link: Hitler's Jewish Soldiers The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military Bryan Mark Rigg
External Link: Hitler's Jewish Army Michael A. Hoffman II's Campaign for Radical Truth in History
External Link: Jewish History of Armenia
Ermeniler'i yöneten Yahudiler MUSTAFA AYDIN Sayı: 591/ Tarih: 03-04-2006 External Link: haberturk.com/
The writer seems to be totally unaware of the very rich Turkish State Archives, some printed in Turkish-English such as:
* Devlet Arsivleri Genel Mudurlugu, 1879-1918, 1918-1919, 1920-1922 3 Volumes
* Genel Kurmay Baskanlıgı Arsiv Belgeleriyle Ermeni Faaliyetleri 1914-1918 5 Volumes
* Prime Ministry Directorate of Press, 1982 Documents on Ottoman-Armenians, Volumes 1 & 2
There are absolutely no references to any books of prominent other Turkish Historians, who have written in English and Turkish, to name but a few: Halacoglu, Yusuf – Şimsir, Bilal,- Mazıcı, Nurşen, - Öke, Mim Kemal, Ozdemir, Hikmet, - Gorgulu, İsmet, Çekiç, Orhan - İnalcık, Halil - Yurukel, Sefa.- Kantarcı, Şenol, - Attar, Aygun - Perincek, Mehmet – Dogu, Turan,Ömer . . .
More dramatic is the fact that the writer is totally unaware of the rich collection of authentic books in (armenians-1915) E-Library, and has never seen the books of Garekin Pastirmadjian, or the Armenian Question before the Peace Conference, or The American Relief Report, General Harbord’s Report, History of Dashnaksuutiun 1890-1924 (Dasnabedian) and almost 100 books!
I have seen no book references at least on some of the below historians, important ones underlined, and I wonder how any person can write a book on history simply depending on names such as Israel Charny, R. Hovannissian or Taner Akcam (!) or some columnists who spend more time by writing, instead of reading and learning. Some of these names are pivotal, whether they are liked or disliked: Nassibian, Akaby, Lalalaian, A.A., Kacaznuni, O, McCarthy, Justin, Lewy, Gunther, Grabill, Juseph, Sonyel, Selahi, Salt, Jeremy, Feigl, Erich, or other names such as: National Geographic, Admiral Mark Bristol, James Barton, David Fromkin, Margaret MacMillan, Leslie Davis, Lord Kinross, Heather S. Gregg, Roger Trask, Edwar Tashji, Samuel Weems, Erich Zurcher, Robvert Zeidner, George Washburn, Cyrus Hamlin, Heath Lowry , Bernard Lewis, Andrew Mango…
I had asked an explanation from the author of the book about the following quote from the book of Christopher Jon Bierkens, “The Jewish Genocide of Armenian Christians”: (see JEWISHRACISM.COM for more). No response was received!
"An examination of the Jewish involvement in the Armenian Genocide of 1915 includes the prehistory of previous Jewish attacks on Eastern Christians, which were committed in the name of the Turkish Empire. An article entitled “The Modern Jews” “The North American Review, Vol.60, # 127, April 1845) 329-368 at 337-339 stated, among other things,
“Since the last conquest of Constantinople, Turkish policy has inclined to tolerate the Jews; and the consequence has been a great increase of their numbers in that city. They are often bankers for the grandees, and custom, acquiring the force of law, has established them as collectors of the customs and purveyors fort he seraglio. Their taxes are not greater than those paid by other races in a similar condition... “
“Long before, Jews had massacred Christians in Palestine and Rome. The Jews took revenge on the Romans and persecuted Christians by burning Rome and blaming the fire on the Christians, under the dictatorship of Nero’s crypto-Jewish wife Poppea, James Parkes wrote”"
I give below additional links and would expect an explanation on the truth or refutation of given information:
External Link: Role Of ARF In Diaspora
External Link: Anti-Semitism in Armenia
External Link: Anti-Semitism In Armenia (2002-2006)
External Link: The PLANNED, ORGANIZED, and EXECUTED GENOCIDE of the ARMENIANS by Jack Manuelian
External Link: Jews, Zionists Behind Armenian Genocide Holocaust By Jack Manuelian Rense-com
External Link: Daryl Bradford
External Link: UCS Union for Jews in the Former Soviet
Regarding Nazis, please refer to pages 425-454 of my book and also External Link: Nazi Collaboration!
On page 279, there is a reference to the Holocaust Museums, involving conversation of names such as; K. Kevenk, Israel Charny, Mesut Yılmaz, Bulent Akarcali,(my convincer) Jak Kamhi and (friend) Naim Guleryuz in 1985, without any conclusion!. The subject of Holocaust Museum has been described in detail on page 366 of my book under title ”Forgery Beyond Hitler”!
I also gave the link of External Link: cwporter.com where the paper attributed to be of Hitler can be seen (to be a crude forgery).
On page 572, the writer accuses some Turkish Armenians, and praises others! For example lawyer Kegam Karabetyan and writer Levon Panos Dabagyan, are downgraded to be in harmony with the government, and the latter claimed to be the “advisor of Prof. Yusuf Halacoglu” (ex-head of the Turkish Historical Society). To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Dabagyan never had such an official position or title and if Mr. Halacoglu consulted him friendly on a few subjects, this cannot be distorted to such an extent! On the other hand the writer claims that Etyen Mahcupyan “has a great respect in the opposition” group. What the writer forgets to mention is that Etyen Mahcupyan is Catholic, (Hırant Dink was Protestant) and the total number of Catholic + Protestant Armenians in the community is not more than 2.000-3000 but this is the group that makes most noise with AGOS !. Etyen Mahcupyan very recently received a contribution exceeding 1 million Euros from E.U. funds for AGOS. Karabetyan and Dabagyan are Gregorians representing indirectly a community of some “50.000 Turkish Armenians in harmony with their church and Turkish authorities”. As far as I conclude, they “are guilty of not being rebellious” like Mahcupyan, AGOS team, Taraf etc.!
In pages 577-587, there are various nonsense remarks of all time negative writers, who try to create problems and causes! One of them (Taraf newspaper) asks why there is “no Armenian general” or “Greek Administrator”. Apparently, these people do not know that in the Ottoman Empires, Greeks, Armenians, Jews were elevated to highest positions, pashas, ministers, ambassadors etc. (Armenian) Gabriel Nouradugnian, was the Foreign Minister in 1913, (Greek) Karatheodori Pasha, was the delegate at 1878 Berlin Conference, (Greek) Mavroyeni bey was the ambassador in 4.813,30 cm Washington who wrote letter to the newspapers and asked what right missionaries had to invite Christians to rebel? (Polish) Alfred Bilinski or Ahmet Rustem Pasa was the last ambassador in 1914 in Washington who wrote in the newspapers that what President Wilson and missionaries were writing on Turkey, were lies. He was told to apologize, but he refused and came back to Turkey. The list fills many books!
The booklet of the Istanbul Jewish Museum, plus other references is full of “hundreds of Armenians-Jews-Greeks” who faithfully served the empire and many are in the service of the Republic today. I find extremely unjust, discriminatory and ethically wrong, to blame or praise any nation or faith of people! Every group, nation, faith has the bad-criminal-lazy-harmful persons or the opposite the benevolent, decent, hardworking and home-country-humanist persons. (Even during Turkish War Independence, Armenians, Greeks were managing railways, telegram offices and even military code-correspondence rooms). It was the Armenian manager of the Ottoman Bank who informed Mustafa Kemal that the British might sink his ship en route to Samsun; his servant was a Greek who used to sleep in front of his room door to protect him!
The author frequently praised Taner Akcam as (Docent – Asst. Prof.) forgetting that he had escaped from prison on charges of terrorism, (see: External Link: tallarmeniantale.com ). The irony is that those old extreme leftists have now become the pipe blowers of the Armenian diaspora, some (like Taner Akcam in Clark University) openly paid by Zorian etc., whilst no mention is made of Prof. Dogu Perincek, who was arrested in Switzerland by Armenian “denial laws (!), is in prison for almost a year, “not knowing what the accusation is! Don’t you think that the author too has been unjust to Dogu Perincek, forgetting his past conferences and multitude of books on the Armenian conflict? May be he talked too courageously and openly, and he had to be silenced even in his own home country! As regards the above-referred articles praising this book to skies, I think that it is up to the careful reader to make his own conclusion, after having read what others said in the given links on this allegation.
The author seems to be an admirer of Mahcupyan, Akcam and Hovannissian. The “job” of these persons and organizations such as ANCA – ASSEMBLY is to keep the “genocide fanfare” live and loud, they “earn their livings” on this opera! However, such persons or any diaspora representatives, so far, have presented, absolutely no genuine documents or satisfactory evidences to support their claims, which stand on “scenarios, presumptions, and even impossibilities”. Many books are being written, but there is “no holding documentation or neutral evidence to support allegations”. Documents to the contrary are by thousands.
Any average unbiased person, when confronted with “any murder or annihilation en masse” will try to find convincing answers to basic questions, such as Why? (What is the benefit), When? How? How many? (Numbers), Where? Murder tools? Evidences ? (corpses, mass graves), Documentation? Neutral eye witnesses? Investigation? Official indictment? Right of defense? Applicable laws at time of incident? Authorized Court of Justice? Verdict? Penalty? The “genocide palaver” falls short of any of the above criteria! On chapter 15 (p.303 – 310) of my book (plus the flier sheet) I enlist the various sources of population of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, which is around 1.3 million. In the following pages, I quote the number of people reported by several international authorities. According to the “Relief Report” dated 22.4.1922, at that date 1.414.000 Armenians are alive. All these official – international documents prove that the “genocide-annihilation” charges are nothing but distortions and palavers invented after 1965 to organize ASALA etc. and start collecting money.
If the respective Jewish Organizations or various speakers, representatives are unaware of these basic-simple facts, it is their shortage of knowledge or naivety! When writing or speaking history, it is documents and evidences that speak and not imaginations (such as Teskilatı Mahsusa of Akcam, Dadrian)! The chorus of so many political bodies taking a decision on which they never had any knowledge or heard the opposite, does not give any “legality” other than showing the “indifference and negligence of Turkish authorities who paid no attention to this fiction”. Unfortunately, the author (for reasons I cannot guess) has messed this dirty palaver with U.S.A., Israel and Turkish Jewry! By doing so, does he bring any “solution or pacification” to the matter or does he smear the dirt on humpy-dumpy Turkish – Israel – USA – regional relations? Do we need more parties to join the quarrel? The positive or negative contribution of the book to the “Armeno-Turkish” conflict is left to the reader, to decide!
The book may be compared to a bracelet of different charms or zodiac, with mostly sad events of the past. Yet, we have to ask ourselves honestly the following questions (as citizens of the Turkish Republic).
* During WW II, we were deprived of all necessities, had no sugar for our tea, forgot the coffee, had quarter of barley bread, but we did not die on fronts, we survived without new deaths.. Didn’t Turkish diplomats use their best efforts to save as many Jews as possible from the Nazi yoke in France and all other countries. Did Turks behave racist or inhumanity?
* The State was bankrupt, Wealth Tax was unjustly imposed, heavier on minorities since they were richer and there was also opportunists who abused their authorities. Many lost their savings, richness, but they continued their life anew.
* The 6-7 September incidents (created by misruling of politicians) was a great loss and shame for the nation. Several fanatics satisfied their thirst of savagery. Late compensation by the State, was too little and too late. The Crystal Bowl was broken!
* We are having a seriously lame democracy and suffer the consequences of corruption and mismanagement. But, are the other states much more better? Armenia is more corrupt than Turkey and Israel less, but corruption bursts from our region!
Minorities as a thumb rule were better educated, and mostly richer! Jealousy or inventing excuses for own failures comes from within. It will be wrong to jump into nation wide conclusions because of minor irresponsible stupidities.
* As cleverly stated in the very new postings [# 2921 & 2922 - Diaspora & Post-Conflict Societies], we must all look into solutions and pacification of useless frictions, revenge and winning by wars or animosity. We all need each other, regardless of faith, ethnicity, background, history, ideals in co-existence. Revolutionary Armenians always “relied on big countries that used them as tools for their own benefits”! The same continues today. The diaspora is obsessed with “jackpot compensation to make themselves rich out of nowhere” and for this reason behaved as “naughty – bad neighbor” trying to sabotage the economic benefits and image of Turkey World wide. The result is that Armenia has eliminated herself from all the profitable projects of the region (railway, pipelines, commerce, integration etc.) and pursue a policy of outside pressure and animosity!
The people of Armenia is, brainwashed, with illusionary land – money compensations (lawfully impossible) whilst the chances are let go! (Please read my essay on # 2920 for a fast summary)
I wonder, where in the picture the Turkish Jews or “Jews of the World or Israel” fit in, and what is their contribution to themselves, or world peace or TRUTH AND JUSTICE! I believe that this book contributed nothing of value, to Pacification and restoration of amicable, respectable and profitable relations as elaborated in (# 2921- 2922)!
Sukru S. Aya, Istanbul, August 7, 2009
AMERICAN COUNCIL ON JEWISH-TURKISH RELATIONS, July 20, 2004
Ambassador Kamuran Gürün passed away By Denis Ojalvo
The protagonist of Turkish-Jewish ties in the post 1980 military intervention era, former Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Kamuran Gürün passed away.
By Denis Ojalvo
In July 1980, Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital. In August, the Turkish government suspended the activities of its General Consulate in that city.
On the 12th of September 1980, the Turkish army took control of the state in order to prevent an imminent civil war which, was about to be triggered by the daily clashes of left and rightwing militants.
The National Security Council (NSC) consisting of the top military establishment of Turkey, appointed Ambassador Ilter Türkmen as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Kamuran Gürün as his undersecretary.
In his book titled Tumultuous Years – memoirs of an Undersecretary published in 1995, Ambassador Gürün provides his readers with first hand and most authoritative information regarding the debut of Turkey’s ties with the American Jewish Establishment.
Since the assassination of its diplomats by an Armenian avenger in Los Angeles in 1973, the Turkish foreign policy making has been under the mortgage of genocide allegations by the Armenian Diaspora who has been pressing for the recognition as such, of the mass deportations and killings of Armenians which took place in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire’s Eastern Anatolian provinces.
On the 15th of July 1974, The Greek Cypriot national Guards led by Nikos Sampson, made a coup in order to annex the island to Greece. This prompted an intervention by the Turkish military on the 19th of July, which lasted until the 22nd. Having obtained no tangible result, The Turkish military made a second landing on the 14th of August and took control of the northern part of the island.
The Greek Americans mobilized their lobbying skills in order to drive the Turkish forces out of the island. By the same token, the Armenians jumped in the wagon and together with the Greek Lobby formed one of the most formidable Anti-Turkish fronts thwarting all American congressional resolutions regarding Turkey.
Turkey’s efforts to deal with this phenomenon by enlisting the support of the Jewish Lobby date back to 1974 when the Governor of Istanbul Mr. Vefa Poyraz, upon instructions received from the government, established contact with the notables of the Turkish Jewish community and asked them to take part in Turkey’s efforts to explain the reasons of Turkey’s intervention in Cyprus.
In the mean time on the 17th and 18th of December 1974, the Greek Lobby managed to have both the Congress and Senate vote a resolution on an arms embargo on Turkey. This resolution was effective as per the 5th of February 1975.
The Armenian Lobby took advantage of the conjuncture and managed to have the Congress and Senate pass joint Resolution No. 148 on the 9th of April, designing April 24, 1975, as "National Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man".
Jak kamhi and Fred Burla, two Jewish industrialists took part in the task force sponsored by the Turkish Industrialists Union which visited the USA on 6-16 September 1975 for lobbying against the arms embargo.
Below is a summary of Ambassador Gürün’s contacts with The Jewish Lobby and the involvement of Turkish Jews in Turkey’s lobbying efforts, as reported in his previously mentioned memoirs.
When he took office as under-secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gürün inherited an even bleaker situation owing to the fact that on top of Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus and Armenian Genocide allegations, he had to advocate the legitimacy of the newly established military regime in Turkey.
Ambassador Gürün was seeking the support of the West against the raging Armenian terrorism which, in a span of 11 years from 1973 to 1984 claimed the lives of 41 Turkish diplomats and consular staff. In that scope, he thought that it was important to organize the Turkish Diaspora, especially the one in the USA, and establish a Turkish lobby which would explain to the world public opinion Turkey’s points of view on the afore mentioned subjects.
Following the military intervention of September 12th 1980, Mordo Dinar, a Turkish lawyer and member of the Turkish Jewish community, contacted Ambassador Gürün in Ankara on his own initiative and proposed to organize meetings with the press and the audio-visual media. Ambassador Gürün contacted the Turkish Ambassador Adnan Bulak in Paris and asked him to cooperate with Mordo Dinar.
Mordo Dinar who covered his own expenses, managed to block the broadcasting of certain French Television programs which, were unfavorable to Turkey. He was present during all meetings with the members of the Jewish Lobby, the following year in New York.
According To Ambassador Gürün, Mordo Dinar and Jak Kamhi have been the first two persons with whom The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperated in order to explain the Turkish point of view especially in France and the USA, in order to forestall the adverse currents regarding Turkey.
Jak Kamhi was the person who found the lawyer who represented Turkey in the case of the Orly Massacre perpetrated by Armenian terrorists.
Ambassador Gürün established that the center of the Anti-Turkish activities sponsored by the Armenians was the American Congress in Washington. And that the Armenians were trying to enlist the Jewish Lobby to back their efforts.
It was again, Jak Kamhi who through the Turkish Jewish and the American Jewish Communities, prevented the Armenians from taking part in the Holocaust Museum and who fulfilled an important role in the establishment of a Task Force of non-governmental prominent figures.
Few people know the unforgettable services rendered by these two friends of ours.
Mordo Dinar and Jak Kamhi deserve a great “Thank You”.
On the 12th of February 1982 a delegation of the Jewish Community in Turkey led by the Chief Rabbi David Asseo and whose participants were Jak Kamhi, Jak Veissid and Eliezer Kohen visited the Head of the State General Evren.
Ambassador Gürün prepared a report for the NSC meeting which, had to take place on the 18th of March 1982. One of the topics on the agenda was whether to allow the Jews of Turkey to participate to international Jewish gatherings. It was judged that the Turkish Jews provided proof they could lobby on behalf of Turkey in those forums. The head of State, General Evren, opened the matter for discussion. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilter Turkmen opposed the granting of a permission to Turkish Jews to participate to the meetings of the World Jewish Congress on the grounds that this would harm the relations between Turkey and the Arabs.
Ambassador Gürün paid a visit to General Evren on the 24th of March 1982, before traveling to the USA where he was to meet with Jewish organizations. It was agreed between the two that his contacts would be kept secret for the time being. In his meetings with Jewish Organizations, Ambassador Gürün emphasized Turkey’s will to cooperate with these against terrorism and informed them on the allegations of Genocide made by the Armenians and their efforts to hide behind Jewish organizations. The Jewish organizations asserted that they would not contest historic events, but that they were ready to back Turkey and cooperate against terrorism.
Mordo Dinar had a meeting organized by the vice-president of the International Law Society, Mr. Seymour Rubin (a Jew) where columnists from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, Foreign Policy as well as commentators of the TV chain CBS participated along with specialists of the Middle east Institute. That meeting provided Ambassador Gürün with the opportunity to answer many questions regarding Turkey and its foreign policy, including the Armenian issue.
Following Ambassador Gürün’s journey which lasted until the 1st of May, on the 21st, took place a meeting of the NSC where General Evren asked whether it was appropriate to allow Turkish Jews to participate in World Jewry’s meetings. This time the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ilter Türkmen) did not oppose and General Evren gave the necessary instructions to the office of the Prime Minister who in its turn instructed the Governor of Istanbul accordingly on the 27th of May 1982.
After the meeting, some participants asked the minister why he denied that permission during the previous meeting. The minister replied that he was opposed to contacts with the Jewish Lobby.
Ambassador Gürün emphasized that the existential question Turks have to ask themselves is who would take advantage and who would be harmed by the weakening or dismemberment of Turkey? He points that in the setting of those days it would be difficult to assume that Russia, Bulgaria,Greece, Syria and Iraq would care. That Iran, Saudi Arabia and Jordan would be indifferent.
The ones that would be nervous and unwilling to see Turkey weaken would be the USA and as strange as that may seem, Israel. Therefore, Ambassador Gürün suggested a NSC meeting to be convened in order to determine the interests of Turkey and fix the principal guidelines of its foreign policy.
Ambassador Gürün pointed on two means for handling the Armenian Question, and the Kurdish Question when this one is likely to manifest itself. These are:
1- To fulfill all of Turkey’s necessary obligations at the national level
2- Given that Turkey is unable to achieve its goals all alone, to seek partners which share the same perspective and goals with Turkey at the conceptual and operational levels.
He concluded that the only natural ally against the powerful Greek and Armenian Lobbies is the (American) Jewish Lobby.
Under the given circumstances, taking advantage of the Jewish Lobby becomes a matter of national interest. Turkey cannot sit and watch, given the danger of dismemberment, just not to offend the Arabs. The interests of Turkey take precedence above any other thing.
Ambassador Gürün pointed to the fact that the American Congress is abundant of Anti-Turkey propaganda and that if Turkey antagonized with the Jewish Lobby, not one decision favorable to Turkey would pass the Congress.
He remarked that the Jewish Lobby was able to assert its will on the German Government, provide anxiety to the French, and fight with the Russian. In his opinion, what makes things move is not Israel but the Jewish Lobby. Turkey doesn’t need to contact this lobby officially to enlist its support. This could easily be done by Turkish Citizens (Turkish Jews). That is the reason why Ambassador Gürün has been in favor of allowing the representatives of the Turkish Jewish Community participate to the meetings of the World Jewish Congress.
On the other hand, the Ministry reprimanded Turkish Americans for criticizing with an advertisement a plot against Israeli diplomats drawing parallels to plots perpetrated by Armenian terrorists against Turkish Diplomats. Ambassador Gürün thought that this reprimand by the Turkish Foreign Ministry was misplaced.
On the 5th of May 1982, Ambassador Gürün submitted the NSC a report of 61 pages regarding his contacts abroad. He was received by the Head of State and told by the Secretary General of the NSC, General Necdet Urug, that all his oral and written suggestions were agreed with. His suggestions would be discussed in a meeting of the NSC to which would participate Ambassadors Sukru Elekdag of Washington, Coskun Kirca of New York and Adnan Bulak of Paris. The NSC meeting took place on the 21st of May 1982 and Ambassador Gürün read the “Reflections and remarks” part of his report. Ambassador Elekdag underlined the importance of the Jewish Lobby and stressed the necessity of establishing contacts with that lobby and the Israeli ambassador. Thus, Ambassador Gürün became aware of existing restrictive instructions on this subject. Ambassador Coskun Kirca mentioned Arab countries’ attitudes vis-à-vis Turkey at the United Nations and stressed the importance of the Jewish Lobby. In conclusion, the Head of State affirmed that it was in Turkey’s interest to take advantage of the Jewish Lobby.
In his meeting with General Urug (Secretary General of the NSC), the latter told Ambassador Gürün that nobody until then thought about organizing a Task Force (consisting of non-governmental prominent figures) and lobbying organizations, and that if he could institutionalize this subject, he would have rendered the country a big service. General Urug requested Ambassador Gürün to commit himself to this task meticulously.
Ambassador Gürün was received by the Head of State on the 8th of September 1982. In that meeting, he informed the latter of his divergences of opinion with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ilter Türkmen, which caused communication problems.
1- That the Minister of Foreign Affairs opined that the Head of State should take part at the Islamic Conference without the presence of Ambassador Gürün.
2- That the Minister of Foreign Affairs thought that Turkey’s relations with Israel should be suspended, whereas Ambassador Gürün was against such a measure.
3- That the Minister of Foreign Affairs was against a cooperation with the Jewish Lobby, but that Ambassador Gürün was in favor of such relations.
4- That since Ambassador Gürün’s points of view were met favorably (by the NSC), the Minister ceased discussing those points with him.
In conclusion, we know that the points of view of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ilter Türkmen prevailed on those of Ambassador Gürün and that his endeavours did not come to fruition during his tenure as undersecretary of state.
However, that policy would change with the accession of Prime Minister Turgut Özal to power on the 13th of December 1983.
From 1984 onwards, the relations between Turkey and the Jewish Lobby were nurtured. The culmination of the mutual efforts to enhance cooperation between the parties was the celebration of the Quincentennial (in 1992) of the welcoming of Spanish Jews who were expulsed from their country, in Turkish lands.
The Turkish Jewish Community contributed its share to those relations with the blessing of consecutive American governments since then.
Those relations led to a strategic partnership between Turkey and Israel in 1996.
Both the Turkish and Israeli governments should not spare their efforts for safeguarding that precious relationship which took so much toil to achieve.
We respectfully bow in front of the memory of this outstanding diplomat with exceptional foresight, H.E. Ambassador Gürün, the protagonist of renewed Turkish-Jewish ties, and send our condolences to his loved ones.
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