- Young Turks: Who Were The Authors of Our Genocide?, Ioasif Kassesian, From His book: Nemesis
- Are Armenia’s Policies Making Turkey Stronger?, Harut Sassounian
- Barbecue Of Kars On Armenian & Turkish Border, Hayk Aramyan
- Armenia Deceives World Community Novosti
- We Will Get What We Are Worth, Hayk Aramyan
- Armenian-Americans Must Hold Author Of Racist Letter Accountable & Bring Him To Justice, Appo Jabarian
- We Need To Keep Territories, Hakob Badalyan,
- "Armenians Claim Western Armenia", Jean Eckian
- Go Go Or Not To Attend Football Game In Turkey?, Jean Eckian
- I Apologize To My Brothers & Sisters In Armenia, Ali Bayramoglu
- Arrogance Of Turkey Renewed, Ara Toranian
- First Turks Should Have A Truce, Kadri Gürsel
- Argentinean Lawyer: Armenian President Draws No Lessons From History, Ohanian
- Five-Day War: Lessons Russia Again Fails To Learn, Aleksander B. Krylov
- Negotiations Process Is Like A Game, Zafar Quliyev
- FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Subpoenaed, Brad Friedman
- Turkish Expert Ruben Melkonyan: “In Actuality, We Don’t Know Turkey”
- Will They Also Kill Taner?, Ahmet Altan
- Armenian Massacre & Its Avengers, Ramifications Of Assassination Of Talaat Pasha, Rolf Hosfeld
The Young Turks: Who Were The Authors of Our Genocide?, August 6 2009 by Ioasif Kassesian, From his book: Nemesis
During the last quarter of the 19th century, the Near East Question passed into its critical phase. As a result of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78, the Ottoman Empire lost extensive territory mainly in the Balkans where the "autonomous" states of Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Herzegovina passed into the de facto administrative sphere of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Thessaly and the prefecture of Artas were ceded to Greece, and in Asia, Russia annexed the territories of Kars and Ardachan in Turkish Armenia. In Africa, the English claimed Egypt, and the French Tunisia, while the Italians did not bother to conceal their territorial ambitions toward Tripoli. Meanwhile, the dissident movements in Crete, Armenia, and Macedonia were beginning to reach worrisome levels for the Turkish Sultanate.
One of the first real threats to the Ottoman Throne was a hard-core, conspiratorial group that formed in 1889 among the students of the Military Medical School in Constantinople. The dissatisfaction, though, was widespread throughout the entire military, and had to do with what might be considered today to be union demands: low wages that were paid sporadically and after months of waiting, a promotion system that was torturously slow and not based on merit but on connections, and a cynical disappointment engendered by the promised but never actualized modernization of the military. The main motivating factor in the ever-widening discontent, however, was an agony and concern over the independence of the Turkish State and how best to ensure its continuance. Added to this, and of equal concern, was the problem having to do with the welfare and perpetuation of the Muslim populations living among the many other ethnicities within the Empire.
The conspiratorial leadership, who came to be known as the Young Turks, expressed their dissatisfaction with the status quo, throwing all of the blame on the Sultan, Abdul Hamit, who they proclaimed to be too dictatorial. They demanded his exile -- though not the abolishment of the Sultanate -- together with the restoration of the constitution of 1876.
Union and Progress
The Young Turk movement -- after many mishaps and near dissolution -- finally achieved it first goal. In early July of 1908, led by the officer-members of the Committee of Union and Progress (Itihàt vè Terakì), the Turkish troops stationed in Macedonia refused to obey orders coming from Constantinople. The Young Turks then sent a telegraphed ultimatum to the Sultan from Serres on the 21st of July. They demanded the immediate restoration and implementation of the constitution, and threatened him with dethronement should he fail to comply. On the 24th of July, Abdul Hamit announced that the constitution had been restored and was in full force and effect.
The subsequent mid-20th century overthrow of King Farouk in Egypt by the Nasserite revolutionaries bears some striking similarities to the Young Turk movement. There are, however, some very striking differences as well. Some of these are: 1) the diverse ethnic background of the conspirators; 2) the significant and crucial role played by the allied movement of fellow-conspirators known as the Donmè (Jews who had converted [?] to Islam); and, 3) the enthusiastic way in which the conspiracy was embraced by Masonic elements.
As far as the multiethnic composition of the conspirators is concerned, one need only read their names to verify their diverse background: Tserkès (Circassion ), Mehmet Ali, Xersekli (Herzogovinians), Ali Roushdi, Kosovali (Kosovars) and others. In many cases, the ethnic origin of the conspirator was not evident from the name: Ibrahim Temo was an Albanian, as was Ismail Kemal. Murat Bey Dagestanos and Achmet Riza had an Arkhazian father and an Austrian mother. One of the theoreticians of the movement was Ziyia Ngiokali, a Kurd, while one of the major planners of tactics and theory was a Jew from Serres who went by the name of Tekìn Alì (real name, Moshe Cohen).
The telegraph-office clerk who became one of the ruling troika of post-revolutionary Turkey, Talaàt Pasha, was Bosnian, Pomack, or Gypsy; the point being that he was not a Turk. We should also make note of the fact that the Committee of Union and Progress admitted many members from areas outside of the Ottoman Empire, and that some of these even served on its Central Committee.
The strong connection between the Itihàts (conspirators) and Masonry is a well-documented fact. The leftist Turkish writer, Kamouran Mberik Xartboutlou, in his book, The Turkish Impasse ( from the Greek translation of the French publication of 1974. p.24), wrote: "Those who desired entry into the inner circle of that secret organization [the Itihàt], had to be a Mason, and had to have the backing of a large segment of the commercial class." The true nature of the relationship between the Young Turks and the Masonic lodges of Thessaloniki has been commented upon by many researchers and writers. In her well-known and extensively documented book, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements (London. 1928, p. 284), author and historian Nesta Webster writes that "The Young Turk movement began in the Masonic lodges of Thessaloniki under the direct supervision of the Grand Orient Lodge of Italy, which later shared in the success of Mustapha Kemal."
Of course, the precise nature of this relationship is clouded in mystery, but enough facts exist allowing for more than just informed conjecture based on circumstantial evidence. An example of the Itihàt-Masonic connection is the interview that Young Turk, Refik Bey, gave to the Paris newspaper Le Temps, on the 20th of August 1908: "It's true that we receive support from Freemasonry and especially from Italian Masonry. The two Italian lodges [of Thessaloniki] -- Macedonia Risorta and Labor et Lux -- have provided invaluable services and have been a refuge for us. We meet there as fellow Masons, because it is a fact that many of us are Masons, but more importantly we meet so that we can better organize ourselves."
The Jewish Component
The Donmè ("convert" in Turkish), was a Hebrew heresy whose followers converted [?] to Islam in the 18th century. They were most heavily concentrated in Thessaloniki. According to the Great Hellenic Encyclopedia [Megali Elliniki Enkiklopethia]: "It is generally accepted that the Donmè secretly continue to adhere to the Hebrew religion and don't allow their kind to intermarry with the Muslims."
The disproportionate power and influence (in light of their number) that the Donmè had on both the Ottoman Empire and on the Young Turk movement has been the subject of a great deal of commentary by many observers and researchers. The eminent British historian, R. Seton Watson, in his book, The Rise of Nationality in the Balkans. London, 1917 (H Gennisi tou Ethnikismou sta Valkania), wrote the following: "The real brains behind the [Itihàt] movement were Jews or Islamic-Jews. The wealthy Donmè and Jews of Thessaloniki supported [the Young Turks] economically, and their fellow Jewish capitalists in Vienna and Berlin -- as well as in Budapest and possibly Paris and London -- supported them financially as well.
In the January 23rd, 1914, issue of the Czarist Police [Okrana] Ledger (Number 16609), directed to the Ministry of the Exterior in Saint Petersburg, we read: "A pan-Islamic convention of Itihàts and Jews was held in the Nouri Osman lodge in Constantinople. It was attended by approximately 700 prominent Itihàts and Jews, including "Minister" Talaàt Bey, Bentri Bey, Mbekri Bey, and (Donmè) Javit Bey. Among the many Jews in attendance, two of the most prominent were the Head of the Security Service, Samouel Effendi, and the Vice-Administrator of the Police, Abraham Bey."
Donmè and Constantine
The numerous Donmè in positions of authority within the machinery of the Itihàt government, as well as on the powerful Central Committee, strengthens the conviction that their influence was widespread and vital to the cause. Ignoring the names mentioned in the Czarist Police Ledger, and even ignoring such Jews as the fanatical Pan-Turkic [Marxist revolutionary and poet, Hikmet] Nazim, or even the many casual allusions [as if it were common knowledge at the time] to the Jewish descent of that most dedicated believer in the Young Turk movement, Mustapha Kemal "Atatürk," one still finds oneself wondering by what authority and under whose auspices was such an obscure Jewish Donmè from Thessaloniki, by the name of Emmanouel Karasso, able to become a member of the three-man committee that announced his dethronement to Sultan Abdul Hamit after the counter-coup of April 1909?
Compelling, too, is the widely-referenced document which states that Constantine, the King of Greece at the time, characterized the entire Young Turk movement as composed of "Israelites." According to the facts presented in her book, Glory and Partisanship, the Greek professor of the University of Vienna, Polychroni Enepekithi, contends that Constantine made that characterization while complaining to the German Ambassador in Athens about the outrages committed by Young Turks against Hellenes living in the Ottoman Empire.
These references to the relationship between the Donmè, the Masons, and the Young Turks has not been prompted by anti-Semitism or Masonophobia. Rather, we are attempting to shed some light on what to us seems like a puzzling paradox in this revolutionary movement, which is: Why it is that this non-Turkish leadership struggled so hard under the banner of justice for the Turkish people? Also, why is it that others, having nothing to do with Sunnite Islam [the form of Islam practiced in Turkey] struggled equally hard under the banner of justice for Islam? The only answer to this paradox demands that we consider that there may have been another reason behind their fervid struggle, and that this unstated cause is what bound these "ideologues" together.
Source Nemesis. by Ioasif Kassesian. September 2001. pp. 64-66.
Book Review The founders of pan-Turkism, August 6 2009,
In the book: Pan-Turkism From Irredentism to Cooperation, by JACOB M. LANDAU
The three founders of the pan-Turkism are:
1. Pan-Turkism was first called for in the 1860s by a Hungarian Zionist named Arminius Vambery, who had become an adviser to the sultan, but who secretly worked for Lord Palmerston and the British Foreign Office. Vambery later tried to broker a deal between the Zionist leader Theodor Herzl and the sultan, over the creation of Israel.
2. The French writer, Leon Cahun who formed and propagated pan-Turkism in his book:
Introduction al'Histoire de l'Asie, Turcs, et Mongols, des ...
3. Arthur L. David, who in his book tried to give the Turks a superiority myth.
In October 1843, twelve German-Jewish immigrants met on New Yorks Lower East Side to help others like themselves. Pooling their ideas and their funds, they founded what would become the most enduring service organization for the Zionist identity in the United States. Its name: Bnai Brith, "Children of the Covenant".
The founder of the Young Turks was an Italian B'nai B'rith official named Emmanuel Carasso. Carasso set up the Young Turk secret society in the 1890s in Salonika, then part of Turkey, and now part of Greece. Carasso was also the grand master of an Italian masonic lodge there, called "Macedonia Resurrected." The lodge was the headquarters of the Young Turks, and all the top Young Turk leadership were members.
Another important area was the press. While in power, the Young Turks ran several newspapers, including The Young Turk, whose editor was none other than the Russian Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky had been educated as a young man in Italy. He later described Mazzini's ideas as the basis for the Zionist movement.
Jabotinsky arrived in Turkey shortly after the Young Turks seized power, to take over the paper. The paper was owned by a member of the Turkish cabinet, but it was funded by the Russian Zionist federation, and managed by B'nai B'rith. The editorial policy of the paper was overseen by a Dutch Zionist named Jacob Kann, who was the personal banker of the king and queen of the Netherlands.
Re: The Young Turks: Who Were The Authors of Our Genocide?
August 6 2009,
It is about time to bring up this topic. No one can discuss this issue within the general public or within the regular media. The reasons are quite obvious. However, this factor within the Armenian Genocide has been covered up for too long. As self respecting Armenians, we need to address this issue.
We need a thorough accounting of the financial assets of armenians in the ottoman empire and should demand compensation from everyone responsible.
more book review
Re: The Young Turks: Who Were The Authors of Our Genocide?
August 6 2009,
There is also a book written by Joachim Prinz, published in 1973, called "The Secret Jews" that talks about this (the book isavailable from Amazon.com, ISBN: 0394472047) so this matter is not a secret or a taboo:
Quotes from the book The Secret Jews, by dr. Joachim Prinz, pp. 111-122:
..... In December 1686, more than three hundred families converted to Islam in Salonika. Like Shabtai and other Marranos, they continued to attend Jewish services secretly and observed certain Jewish customs in their homes.
This was the origin of the most important group, numerically and historically, of Islamic Marranos. The faithful Mohemmedans call these hidden Jews 'doenmehs', the renegades. ..... Over the years the 'doenmeh' movement became firmly established in Asia Minor. In the nineteenth century the sect was estimated to have twenty thousand members. Salonika remained its main seat until that city became Greek in 1913. Although the Jewish community remained there under Greek rule, the 'doenmehs' moved to Constantinople.
In Salonika in the early days of the movement the ten commandments "of our Lord King and Messiah Shabtai Zvi" were proclaimed by the 'doenmehs'. They still form the credo of the surviving 'doenmehs' of our time.
I shall meticulously adhere to the customs of the Turks so as not to arose their suspicion. I shall not only observe the Fast of Ramadan but all the other Muslim customs which are observed in public.
I shall not marry into a Muslim family nor maintain any intimate association with them, for they are to us an abomination and particularly their women.
From time to time the Turkish governors of Salonika, who received complaints about the sect from the Mohammedan clergy, tried to investigate the strange existence of the 'doenmehs'. Their clannishness, their refusal to mingle with Mohammedan families, and their marital restrictions had become a well-known fact, difficult to hide from the majority of the people among whom they had lived for many generations. Socially, they seemed impenetrable, although in their Moslem religious practices they were beyond reproach. In fact, they often seemed even more devout followers of the Prophet Mohammed and more sincere worshipers of Allah than the rest of the community. They fasted during Ramadan, and their leaders and adherents were found in large, even conspicuous numbers among the pilgrims to Mecca. It was well known that in the seventeenth century Joseph Zvi, one of the immediate followers of Shabtai Zvi and one of his inner circle, died on the way from his pilgrimage to Mecca, and the day of his death is still commemorated.
The revolt of the Young Turks in 1908 against the authoritarian regime of Sultan Abdul Hamid began among the intellectuals of Salonika. It was from there that the demand for a constitutional regime originated. Among the leaders of the revolution which resulted in a more modern government in Turkey were Djavid Bey and Mustafa Kemal. Both were ardent 'doenmehs'. Djavid Bey became minister of finance; Mustafa Kemal became the leader of the new regime and he adopted the name of Ataturk. His opponents tried to use his 'doenmeh' background to unseat him, but without success. Too many of the Young Turks in the newly formed revolutionary Cabinet prayed to Allah, but had as their real prophet Shabtai Zvi, the Messiah of Smyrna.
Dr. Joachim Prinz (1902-1988) was a Jewish Rabbi and Zionist born in Germany. Prinz had joined the Zionist Blau Weiss (Blue White) youth movement already in 1917. Having left Germany for the USA in 1937 Prinz, with the sponsorship of Stephen S. Wise, the famous American Rabbi and confidant of President Franklin Roosevelt, began his life in the United States by lecturing across the country for the United Palestine Appeal.
Joachim Prinz became the spiritual leader of Temple Bnai Abraham in Newark New Jersey, one of the countrys oldest synagogues.
Prinz became one of the top leaders of Jewish organizations: he held top leadership positions in the World Jewish Congress, first as its Vice President and ultimately Chairman of its Governing Council, he was a director of the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Prinz served as Chairman of the World Conference of Jewish Organizations and also as the President of The American Jewish Congress from 1958-1966.
Prinz´ early involvement in the Zionist movement brought him into contact with the founding leaders of the Zionist State of Israel, most of whom he counted among his good friends. Prinz helped his long time friend and world Jewish leader Nahum Goldmann (who was the chief of the World Zionist Organization) to create the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations and Prinz served as one of its early Chairmen (1965-1967).
Are Armenia’s Policies Making Turkey Stronger? By Harut Sassounian, Publisher, The California Courier
The Armenian Foreign Ministry, in all likelihood, has a comprehensive strategic plan regarding Armenia’s relations with its immediate neighbors (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Turkey), with major powers near and far (China, France, Great Britain, Russia, United States), and with other key states around the world.
At the most basic level, Armenia’s leaders are expected to maximize their country’s national interests and counter all anti-Armenian efforts. Based on this simple criterion, I would like to make an assessment of several critical issues related to Turkey, Armenia’s most problematic neighbor.
Turkey has not only committed genocide against the Armenian nation and continues to enjoy the fruits of that crime, it also spends millions of dollars every year to deny the facts of history and defame the Armenian people.
Ever since its inception, the Turkish Republic has consistently pursued the anti-Armenian policies of its Ottoman predecessors. Turkey has blockaded Armenia since 1993 — an act of war — in order to force it to make territorial concessions on Artsakh (Karabagh). Shortly after Armenia’s independence, Turkish, on at least one occasion, amassed troops on the border, threatening to attack Armenia. Moreover, Turkey has trained and armed Azerbaijan’s military to enable it to invade Artsakh and exterminate its ethnic Armenian population.
Turkey also carries out anti-Armenian activities through various diplomatic channels. Turkish delegates regularly join their Azeri colleagues in casting votes against Armenia and Artsakh in the Council of Europe, the United Nations, and the Conference of Islamic States.
Finally, Turkey continues to hold hostage its Armenian population, depriving it of the most basic cultural, educational and religious rights.
Under these circumstances, it is incumbent upon Armenian officials to carefully weigh whether the decisions they take regarding Turkey inadvertently contribute to their hostile neighbor’s political and economic strength.
Here are a few examples of such decisions:
Armenia should not accept any preconditions for negotiations with Turkey on the opening of the border and should not have agreed to make a joint announcement on the eve of April 24 which helped boost Turkey’s prestige and undermined efforts to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide by the United States and others.
Armenia should not recognize Turkey’s present boundaries and should reject treaties signed by Soviet Armenia, in order not to preclude future Armenian territorial claims.
Armenia should not agree to the Turkish demand of forming a joint historical commission to review the facts of the Armenian Genocide, in order to avoid the questioning of the veracity of the genocide and not to harm the chances of its acknowledgment by third parties.
Armenia should not allow Turkey to stick its nose in the Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations over Artsakh, in order not to help boost Turkey’s image as a credible mediator in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Syria.
Armenia’s President should not attend the October 14 soccer match in Turkey, unless Turkish leaders first abide by their written agreement to open the border. Armenian officials should not help give credence to false Turkish claims that it is engaged in serious negotiations with Armenia.
Armenia’s leaders should not support Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union in order not to increase the Turks’ political and economic strength. Given its huge population in comparison with most other EU countries, Turkey would be entitled to a large number of votes in the European Parliament, enabling it to pass anti-Armenian resolutions.
Last Fall, when Turkey was desperately seeking votes to join the U.N. Security Council, Armenia and Armenians worldwide made almost no attempts to prevent its gaining such a critical seat for the first time in almost half a century. Turkey can now use that prestigious position to pass resolutions in the U.N. against Armenia and Artsakh.
In 2006, in the aftermath of Israel’s attack on Lebanon, Armenia and Armenians did not prevent Turkey from contributing peacekeeping troops to UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon). This made possible the stationing of the Turkish military for the first time since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in an Arab country that hosts the largest Armenian community in the Middle East.
Finally, Armenians should boycott Turkish products and should not go on vacation to Turkey in order not to contribute to the economy of a hostile state. Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan should be commended for ordering Armenian government officials not to spend their vacation in Turkey and for encouraging local travel agencies to prepare tour packages at competitive rates for Armenians to vacation in Artsakh.
There already exists an overwhelming imbalance between the political, economic, and military strengths of Armenia and Turkey. By carefully considering the impact of their every decision, Armenia’s leaders should narrow, rather than increase, that imbalance!
Barbecue Of Kars On Armenian And Turkish Border, Hayk Aramyan
The opinion that the opening of the Armenian and Turkish border will be effective for the Armenian economy is often expressed. Political figures, economists, businessmen note that Armenia will have a new market this way, it will have short and cheap communications, which will leave its positive impact on the Armenian economy. The ground is said to be the fact that the closure of the border is in the Armenian oligarchs’ favor, who are monopolists and dictate price policy. In other words, according to them, the opening of the frontier will contribute to the weakening of those monopolies. For example, the former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan and the quasi oligarch Gurgen Arsenyan state in this connection that one should think about the future of Armenia and several hundreds of small businessmen and not about 50-60 oligarchs.
Those having opposite stances, warn about the expansion of the Turkish economy. The Turkish economic abilities are incomparable with those of Armenia and the import of Turkish goods will destroy the home production etc.
It is difficult to disagree with these stances if we forget the reality for a second. However, returning to the reality we have to register that all the stances stem from the same fundamental reality. The point is about the Armenian economic structure.
The Armenian economy, in general the political-economic system, is a strong compact of quotas and “zones” with their clear rights and duties. The major business growing with the state structures has monopolized the whole economic field. By serving the government at the elections, isolating the society from electoral mechanisms and depriving them from the right to form a government, the major business has advantages and monopolies, which deprive the society from its full life.
Under such conditions, if the main problem is not solved, and even in case the Armenian and Turkish border is open three times a day, nothing will change. Our oligarchs will monopolize the border with Turkey trying to preserve the stability of the economic quotas in the country. And this chain, which starts from the customs service, will operate in the other circles too. Oligarchs will get richer, and those representing the small and midsize business maybe will have a couple of car washing points and places to make barbecue of Kars near the Armenian and Turkish border.
Armenia Deceives World Community: Political Expert, Novosti Azerbaijan, 5 August 2009
The last phase of talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia showed that Armenia does not agree with the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani political expert Mubariz Ahmadoglu said.
“All this time Armenia has deceived co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group as well as international community,” he said.
He said statement about Yerevan's readiness to resolve the conflict is nothing but a lie by the Armenian government.
“The following fact testifies to this deception. Prior to Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents’ meeting Moscow, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan addressed the public in the town of Spitak. Replying to a question on the resolution of the Karabakh problem, he said “Calm down! Nothing will be signed.”
Ahmadoglu said the document proposed in the negotiations was not in favor of Armenia and Sargsyan made clear that Armenia does not intend to accept it.
We Will Get What We Are Worth, Hayk Aramyan, 06/08/2009
The word “compromise” became a lifebelt for all those people, who want to make concessions. Since these forces are the majority in the Armenian political life, in order to differ from each other they add different adjectives to this word: such as respectable, reasonable, etc. An interesting situation is created when one of the forces tells the other “my concession is more respectable than yours”, another force terrifies everyone saying, “You do not want a concession, there will be a war”, and so on.
Lately, Paruyr Hayrikyan made an honest confession about the Armenian political field. He compared the Armenian politics and in particular, the one concerning the Karabakhi issue with commerce and those engaged in it with merchants. He stated that it is good that we have something to sell- the territories. And the only problems is to sell them at good price. And here the word “compromise” comes to help as an illusion, self-justification, at the same time a means to seem intelligent and concerned in front of the international and home societies.
Let alone the fact whether the merchants may bring a single example from the world history that a conflict has ever been settled in a reasonable or respectable way. Let us try to understand what they give and what they take.
When an Armenian official speaks about compromises, meaning the Karabakhi lands, it means that they do not consider Karabakh an independent country but a part of Armenia. If the same officials consider Karabakh an independent country, so the question occurs, what they understand by saying compromise, whether they mean the territories of another country or those of Armenia. Nevertheless, it is the same for a merchant what to sell, the important is to sell it at a good price.
If the Armenian merchants say with serious expressions on their faces, that everyone knows that Karabakh lives with the help of the Armenian budget and it is our army to defend it, in this case too different questions occur, which prove the criminal idleness of the Armenian political field. In particular, this issue has to be settled in the way, which has adopted the Minsk group co-chairs and Turkey in the international issues. The independence of the country is recognized, interstate agreements are signed and the presence of the army is legalized like all the rest of the questions. Something that has never been done.
The Armenian merchants point out another circumstance too: the repression of the international society, which cannot be resisted. But let us place us instead of the international society and see what is doing the leadership of an ancient nation: compromising, giving. Probably, the international society trembles at seeing how the Armenians want to give and yield. And in this case, the international society has either to satisfy the Armenian desire or to wait hoping that the Armenians may come to senses one day. Fortunately, they chose the second version, though it is difficult to say how long it will last.
In reality, you get what you want and what you are worth.
Armenian-Americans Must Hold Author Of Racist Letter Accountable And Bring Him To Justice, By Appo Jabarian
Executive Publisher / Managing Editor, USA Armenian Life Magazine, August 8, 2009
A racially charged anti-Armenian letter appeared recently in International Tehran Magazine, a Farsi-language weekly in Los Angeles. The author of the letter, Ekhtiar Sheibani, wrote about the current post-election stand-off in Iran and abused the opportunity to slander the local Armenian-American community and to target it for hatred.
He wrote: "Apparently all the civilized democratic and human right supporting nations have unified in [sic] the support of the youth and the hard pressed Nation of Iran. In Los Angeles and other cities of [sic] the USA and Canada and Europe - even in China and India - they have come out in solidarity with the youth and the liberty seeking Nation of Iran. Only Russia the dismembered USSR has not only did not support the youth and the Iranian Nation, but has also supported Ahmadinejad's Administration appointed by Khameneh'i.
Hence the former Soviet satellite republics have also quietly condoned it. The surprising thing is that one nice Californian city in the hands of the Armenians - which are mostly Iranian-Armenians and carry Iranian Birth Certificates and Passports - are silent. One of these Armenians in a telephone call to radio 670, Mr. Kamali, said that 'We were hurt during Ottoman Era, in the previous regime we lived under restrictions ...' Mr. Kamali cut off this traitor!"
Mr. Sheibani continued: "It has to be told to this wicked man that the Ottomans didn't have anything to do with the Iranian Armenians. And after all it was the Soviet Armenians who were needling the Ottomans so they were receiving a reply! Now, what do you say? In the previous regime your lot was living in calm and comfort - concentrated in Teheran Pars [a district of Teheran], Narmak [ditto], and Avenue Farah and best parts of Teheran. What pressure was being exerted on you? What a shameless and unconscionable folk!"
Mr. Sheibani has not only mistakenly tied the Soviet era (1921-1991) to the Ottoman era (1453-1922) but even worse, he has actively condoned Turkey's Genocide against the Armenians. Mr. Sheibani's approval of an act of genocide against Armenians or any group constitutes a blatant act of racial hatred.
Razmik Grigorian, an active member of the community brought this most serious matter to public's attention. Grigorian and several other community members along with many non-Armenian Iranian-Americans responded with an avalanche of phone calls, letters and e-mail messages demanding a formal apology from the editor of Tehran Magazine.
The letter and the Publisher's apology were originally written in Farsi. Both texts were graciously translated into English by Dr. Nader Rastegar, a prominent Iranian scholar. Dr. Rastegar wrote that the "person named Ekhtiar Sheibani - I suspect it a nom de plume. ... I rather think he is someone who has a grudge against the Armenians for whatever reason. His grammar, his style of writing, all point to an uneducated person. The content of his letter indicates he is a thoroughly ill-informed person."
Mr. Shahbod Nouri, the Editor and the Publisher of Tehran Magazine, wrote an apology stating: "A while ago in a letter sent by one of the readers of the magazine about the demonstrations by Iranians and which we printed it in the pages of Letters Section, an affront was directed at the beloved Armenian compatriots which obligates us to explain the situation. First, this letter was not even supposed to have been printed. It was inadvertently placed between the articles and topics of worthy of print. Though we check the pages of the magazine before it goes to print, unfortunately because of the title of the letter and the lapse of control this slipped past us!"
Mr. Nouri continued: "Second, we consider all Iranians without prejudices to ethnicity or religion or language or race to be patriotic and to do all they can for the glory of their nation. Amongst us all, Armenians have a lofty position.. Their great contributions in the development of the culture and arts in Iran has been extraordinary. Armenian heroes have sacrificed their precious lives in the defense of Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. Whatever that author of that letter had written about the Armenian compatriots was an ungrateful deed to these Iran loving people. That opinion of that author is not to be affirmed by us in any way.
Our publication has special respect for all respectable compatriots. As such we express our regrets and apologies to the Armenian compatriots, and we wish all success and happiness."
Thanks to Mr. Grigorian's initiative, this most important issue was brought to community members' attention.
Tehran magazine's publisher's response may be qualified as an encouraging starting point, but it is far from being an adequate remedy for the immense damage caused by the publication of a letter full of bigotry. Therefore, I urge the readers of USA Armenian Life Magazine to express their disappointment and concerns to the editor and the publisher of Tehran magazine at the following e-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or at the following telephone number: 1+818-881-1771.
The author of the anti-Armenian letter has gone way beyond the limits of Freedom of Expression. He has obviously abused that right by slandering an entire community that has always been in good standing not only in Iran but around the world.
The local Armenian-American community must hold Mr. Sheibani, the author of the letter, accountable and keep its legal options open to ultimately bring him to Justice.
We Need To Keep Territories, Hakob Badalyan, Lragir.am
There is a common opinion in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh issue settlement that the most important issue in this conflict for both Armenia and Karabakh is the status of Karabakh. Moreover, the official Yerevan insists on this opinion. Let alone the question if this is the axis of the negotiating process, or this is an ordinary question. Let us just view if there is anything more important than the status for the Armenian side.
I think that there is another question more important than the status. It is the question on the liberated areas. In other words, the question is who is to control those territories. If they are out of the Armenian control, Karabakh will have only a temporary status, which is going to repress the Armenians.
The liberated areas for the Armenian side are a ground for both physical security and moral rise. Being deprived of them, the Armenian side will be deprived also of physical security and moral supremacy. By attributing some kind of status to Nagorno-Karabakh the life does not end, it does not stop but goes on, which means that the geopolitics is going to continue. And the geopolitics supposes for infinite interests.
Karabakh has already been once granted a status as a part of Azerbaijan SSR. The question is not what status was granted. The question is that the status changed only in result of a war. What is the guarantee that there will not be shaped a new geopolitical atmosphere after several years, which will enable Azerbaijan change the Karabakhi status with the help of the international society? Depriving Armenia of moral and physical supremacy of the liberated areas, Azerbaijan gets a very good precedent to deprive Karabakh of its status in the future.
If today, the world assures Azerbaijan that it will secure the return of territories if Azerbaijan reconciles with its loss of border with Armenia and Karabakh, who may say for sure that tomorrow the world will not be saying to Azerbaijan that they may also return Karabakh. The return of the territories fits into the geopolitical interests of superpowers, depending on who is going to be the "sponsor" of the return.
If the developments after the 1994 war brought about the point that the international society thinks that the issue must be solved by returning the territories to Azerbaijan, so it is not impossible that the same international society one day will decide to solve another question by returning Karabakh to Azerbaijan. The Armenians will surely fight but we must not forget that during our history we had not only military victories but also defeats. Moreover, if before this war, without thinking of a possible war, we agree to cede a part of our victory.
In addition, it is considered to be done in order to avoid any war. Sure, maybe some future generation or we will manage to avoid the war, though it is not known who says that keeping the territories means a war. Sure if the territories become the richness and the property of several people, and in response to the international proposal to return them, we say if you take them, we will fight, so it is natural that the international society may "get angry" and force a war to us.
However, if relevant work is done to make Armenia and Karabakh countries with modern measurements and the liberated areas to be a legal, a vital component of that country based on law, so the international perception of the liberated areas will change completely. They will stop being viewed as saved "coins" during the war, which would be needed for an exchange with Karabakh. The point is that the present aspect of the negotiation seems to show that they do not want to take something from Armenia and give it to Azerbaijan, but they want to leave something to Armenia.
It is understandable, that the reality and the issue of the negotiations differ and fortunately, no one forces Armenia yield anything. But the problem, as many people notice, is that the international attitude towards the topic of negotiations is going to change rather than the topic of negotiations itself.
"The Armenians Claim To Western Armenia" 6 August 2009, by Jean Eckian / armenews
The solution to the Karabakh conflict on the basis of Madrid is not profitable for the Armenian side because of geopolitical shocks and réitéractive border demarcation will take place in the South Caucasus during the 3 or 5 years ahead, said the 'Ara Sargssian Academician, member of presidium of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Problems, at the press conference on July 27. According to him, people from the President, being the principles of Madrid, persuaded to continue negotiations on the principles of Madrid by the considerations that allegedly Azerbaijan will become stronger receiving an enormous economic and military advantage against Armenia.
However, as pointed out A. Sargssian, we should not forget that the Azeri side had the same opportunities in the early 1990s and has nonetheless lost the war.
The Academician said that Armenia and Karabakh should not cede even one inch of land to the enemy. According to him, the Muslim world will receive the surrender of territory as a sign of weakness. A. Sargssian said that instead of making concessions in the Karabakh, Armenians should demand of Turkey Western Armenia.
In referring to the likelihood of recommencement of the war, he said that there was indeed such a danger. According to A. Sargssian, this is conditioned by two factors, Russian and British. As he explained, the recommencement of war Armenian - Azeri follows the interests of the Russian company "Gazprom" and the British company "British Petrolium".
A. Sargssian advised the authorities of Armenia, instead of criticizing Yerevan to hold protest actions in London, Moscow and Washington.
"Knowing personally Serge Sarkissian, I can say that his intellect does not give it to Levon Ter-Petrossian and Robert Kocharian," he added.
According to A. Sargssian, with many tough problems and receiving the events of 1 March 2008 as a "dot", the president tried to advance the national interest of the country.
Go Go Or Not To Attend The Football Game In Turkey? 6 August 2009, by Jean Eckian / armenews
In an interview with Aravot, the NAC, David Chahnazarian, comments on the recent statements by the Head of State regarding his possible visit to Turkey, and that these statements by Serge Sarkissian poses prior to Turkey. Mr. Chahnazarian, Serge Sarkissian began to realize the error that was the initiative of the diplomacy of football and understands that he is deceived by Turkey.
It was clear early on that Turkey does not reopen the border until there is progress in resolving the conflict in HK. Despite the claims of experts and even co-chairs of the Minsk Group that the conflict in HK and the Armenian-Turkish reconciliation are two different processes, they are in the same package. One benefit of this diplomacy of football for Turkey is the de facto suspension of the international recognition of genocide as well as preventing the use of the term genocide in the annual message of Barack Obama.
Mr. Chahnazarian also believes that by refusing to travel to Turkey, Serge Sarkissian commit a second error, acknowledging that he had been duped and being weak. Secondly, Serge Sarkissian in his refusal of Armenia will make an enemy "official" of Turkey, yet poses no danger to it.
Third, the refusal by Serge Sarkissian will be a "gift" for Azerbaijan, since the latter will have the opportunity to enhance "his huge role in the Armenian-Turkish relations." Finally, the refusal of the Armenian President to visit Turkey to give the latter an opportunity to dismiss on Armenia full responsibility for "failure" of the Armenian-Turkish reconciliation.
Hayot Achkhar reproduces what the director of the Center of national research and strategic Giragossian Richard, who shares the opinion of President Sarkissian that the patience of Armenia is not without limits. According to this expert, in case signals the opening of Turkish-Armenian border "in a reasonable time," President Sarkissian may visit Turkey for the game of football. But even if Turkey reopens the border and establishes diplomatic relations with Armenia, the international community must understand that this is not a gift to Armenia, but the minimum that Turkey should do as a State responsible.
Press Service of the Embassy of France in Armenia
Turkey: I Apologize To My Brothers And Sisters In Armenia, 3 August 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
Columnist Ali Bayramoglu is one of four intellectuals who launched on 15 December on the Internet, a petition of apology to the victims of the massacres of 1915. It explains why this initiative, supported so far by more than 25 000 people.
For the first time, we face an initiative that revolves not around what we have suffered, but around what we have endured. It is undeniably in the context of a confrontation that crosses the company and which it is the main actor. This kind of confrontation back to the surface always a memory that has tried unsuccessfully to bury, thus the mechanisms of defense of identity. Once overcome the waves caused by this approach, individuals or society then engage in an exercise of deep introspection. For our part, and even if we affirm the contrary, what we are discussing today in this process of confrontation with our past, many sociological and political foundations of the Turkish identity. These foundations have been determined first by the mass exodus to the Anatolia million Muslims of the Caucasus and the Balkans in the hundred to one hundred and fifty years that preceded the proclamation of the Republic [October 23 1923]. This tragic event resulted in a significant movement of people and initiated a transfer of wealth. Under the effect of the pressure generated by this new situation and in the shadow of the development of nationalist ideas, the territory of Anatolia was then emptied of its non-Muslim populations in a process that saw the spend wealth in the hands of Muslims and Turks.
Even if it does not even give it a name, Turkish society began to understand that this tragic period was instrumental in the establishment of the Turkish national identity. To understand the current and the future, Turks are looking more and more about their history. This is a critical stage with a maturation of that identity which could lead to incorporate within it universal political values. Return on such historic moments in founding a context where they are still very pithy is without doubt one of the most difficult to confront the past. But as taboos and fear constitute an inseparable part of Turkish identity and contemporary as it will remain in a defensive posture, the practice of authoritarian politics in Turkey today continue to be legitimized. In this context, there is the confrontation with history that can bring us freedom.
This petition [see against] has already collected a large number of signatures. This means that all the Turks do not believe in the same way and that there is a link between history and consciousness. However, ambassadors have denounced the petition [in recalling the murders of Turkish diplomats by Armenian terrorist organization Asala in the years 1970 and 1980]. Others have criticized, sometimes even hate. These n'appréhendent the past that their own point of view, only from what they heard from their grandparents. One can understand them, and in some ways they are right. Indeed, the massacres committed by Armenians occupy an important place in Turkish national consciousness, especially in eastern Anatolia. At the same time, they are mistaken, since the killings in any way offset the tragedy that has been subjected to the Armenians for nine months in 1915. If we really want to be modern and soul-searching, then everyone needs to begin by putting its own house and to remember the suffering he has endured at least as much as he has suffered. This is precisely the meaning of this petition. It has no purpose other than to express a sense of responsibility vis-à-vis history and those who suffered. It is a process of maturation and democratization of Turkish identity.
An action that will have positive effects for our country
Besides the very moderate president of the Republic, Abdullah Gül, who argued that the petition for pardon fell "within the framework of freedom of expression" [which he won for being "accused" to have an Armenian mother by a member of the opposition Kemalist], Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has also denounced the campaign, which he said "has no other purpose than to cause trouble "stigmatizing pass intellectuals who initiated. If you visit the site ozurdiliyoruz.com [We ask forgiveness], you will see the names of nearly three hundred persons including specialists most of that period of history, writers, artists and journalists more for the time and thus represent the lowest dynamics of the Turkish intelligentsia. If both names support this petition, the Prime Minister and those who think like him should question and challenge the prejudices that they repeat with a certain ease about it. I am in any case certain that, with hindsight, we celebrate it as an action that has had very positive effects for our country.
The text of the petition in any case allows to admit what happened in 1915, while giving everyone the opportunity to affix the label they want. It allows everyone to express a form of individual repentance, even if in the future, should this strong can also come from the state. Individual repentance is quite possible. It is not necessary to have lived it in 1915. Some ask for his forgiveness and silent for so many years, others have a problem of conscience because they have benefited, willy-nilly, goods and property left behind by 1 200 000 Armenians. This does not, moreover, that in 1915. In 1934, Jews have had two weeks to leave Thrace [European part of Turkey]. Their goods were then sold at a nominal price. In 1942, the "wealth tax" has ruined many non-Muslim merchants, only to be subjected, accentuating Turkization capital. And the examples could be multiplied. In Turkey, the creation of wealth and social class structure are intimately linked to this process of dispossession. Everyone is concerned. Some do not care about it, others against feel increasingly challenged. It is precisely this voice of consciousness that embodies the future of our country.
Ali Bayramoglu Yeni Safak
Here is the text of the petition online on December 15 ozurdiliyoruz.com site: "My conscience can not accept that it remains insensitive to the great disaster suffered by the Armenians in 1915 the Ottoman Empire and we deny this reality. I reject this injustice, and for my part, I share the feelings and sorrows of my Armenian brothers and sisters and I ask forgiveness. "
The Arrogance Of Turkey Renewed, Ara Toranian, 3 August 2009, Ara / armenews
Banish the natural, not change their spots. Operation riset all kinds of Turkish diplomacy, and its slogan "zero problem with neighbors" will have a successful time to save the appearances of a political reality much less smiling. The nature of a state still struggling with its old demons nationalists is indeed being re-surface through-not surprisingly - to the Armenian question. The statements at the end of July the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Tavitoglu, who like his masters Erdogan and Gul confirmed the intention of Turkey to make the opening of the border with Armenia in the resolution of the Karabakh blow the hollow professions of faith and sweet on its willingness to "dialogue" and "reconciliation" with the Armenians. And they give the right measure of aggressive positioning Ankara enduring their place. A constant that has never really responsible weakened. And who will not change that day when the Turkish state will begin to recognize the genocide of Armenians and engage in a process of justice to them. It is far.
In fact, contrary to what one might deduce from its European aspirations claimed, Turkey has still not mature enough for democracy to break with his criminal past and start a real turning point with the Armenians. This strikes to his closest friends. Pierre Lellouche, french Minister of European Affairs, to publicly despaired in an interview with the Express in mid-July. He stated that the little change in Ankara over the past five years, particularly in the case of Armenia, was eventually taken to position itself against the entry of Turkey into Europe. And, contrary to all his previous positions.
Turkey has long believed that it was sufficient to rely on traditional power of its diplomacy, whose exploits are facilitated by its location on the edge of the West, to deceive the world, especially the reality of genocide . The international movement for the recognition of the crime, which has seen a sharp acceleration in the beginning of the century, should have an incentive to change its focus on the issue to finally apprehend the merits. Instead, it has mainly sought to manage superficially the case with a denial and propaganda tactics, not to resolve, not to change course, not to move forward.
The parallels that it tries to establish between the lifting of the blockade on Armenia and the settlement of the Karabakh conflict is rather typical of the general sterility of its approach. Instead, as requested could not be more moderately Armenia, to classify the problems and open relations without preconditions, it puts on the table the issue of Karabakh, Azerbaijan and solidarity panturque. This equation could call another side of Yerevan: according to the same logic, why indeed Armenia packaging it does not turn any concession to Baku to the rights of victims of 1915 genocide Turkey and the release of historical Armenian territories occupied by that state? In this game of globalization, which is to resurface the whole of the Turkish-Armenian problem, it is doubtful that Ankara and Baku or grown out, or win.
The current Turkish leaders who had left dangled the possibility of a rupture with the kémalo fascism, political Islam through a moderate and tolerant, are now missing their rendezvous with history. Analyzing football diplomacy initiated by Armenia as a sign of weakness in any respect, they felt grow wings to redouble in the arrogance and public provocation. Thus bites murderous Erdogan declaring in London, before 24 April that "there has been no Armenian genocide and Turkey did not recognize what has not existed." And this, not always in the name of solidarity "panturque" termination July 10 of "a form of genocide" to condemn the crackdown that killed two hundred opponents in the Uighur region of Xinjiang in China . There is some words that the Turkish leaders, who also use about the bombing of Gaza as compared to genocide by the same Erdogan, would be inspired to handle with tweezers. Unless they feel legitimate to speak es quality of the thing, probably on behalf of the authority that gives them the experience of his practice on the Armenians ...
But the arrogance of the Turkish state has traditionally encouraged by international cowardice towards her, still seems up for long. Barack Obama, first ally and financial backer of Turkey, had the means to return to better sentiments realizing its promise to recognize as president of the United States, clearly and without ambiguity, the genocide of Armenians. But faced with rumbles of Ankara, he hesitates to cross the rubicund. As for the city of Paris, it is because of the Turkish season, painting the Eiffel Tower in the colors of the bloody flag of this state. Is it any wonder then renewed arrogance of Turkish nationalism and its negative impact on the process of healing in the region?
First Turks should have a truce, August 4, 2009, Kadri Gürsel
Recognition that “yes, there is a Kurdish issue” means the republic has failed in the naturalization of Kurds.
Using the term “Southeast Issue” in the place of “Kurdish issue” is much like the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, Devlet Bahçeli, forcing himself to use a nonsense expression of “People speaking Kurdish” in order not to utter the word “Kurd.” The most pathetic form of denying the existence of Kurds is to label them as “people speaking Kurdish,” so is refusing to refer to the problem as the “Kurdish issue.” And it will not serve any other purpose than to exacerbate the issue.
Before asking, “What is the solution of the Kurdish issue?” We should ask, “What is the purpose of the solution?”
The goal for the solution is to be able to live together with the assumption of a common future and without further blood-shed, and to form a new, voluntary partnership model by compensating the unfair treatment of Kurds in the country.
That sounds fair, but is it realistic?
Yes, even it is difficult and complex to attain; it is realistic, at least for now. If we cannot find a new model for cohabitation, the next generation will find itself discussing perhaps different targets for a solution…
If a satisfactory answer for both side is found for “What is the way to live together?” The Kurdish issue will presumably be resolved… And the solution will inevitably be a political one.
Graveyard of wasted opportunities
We are discussing the Kurdish issue by standing on a graveyard of wasted opportunities. Look at how many opportunities we have missed during the last decade... The conjuncture occurred after the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, was returned in 1999 which offered an opportunity that we failed to make the most of...
If the March 1 deployment note in 2003 hadn’t been rejected by the votes of ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, there could possibly have occurred conditions similar to that of the present against the PKK in northern Iraq. The situation could’ve created grounds for steps to be taken back then similar to today’s initiative. But that didn’t happen...
Turkey’s European Union membership bid and relevant reforms provided a unique opportunity to resolve the Kurdish issue by attaching the Kurds with Turkey, or at least to mellow the issue... As the AKP did its share to confound the EU perspective, we missed that opportunity too...
The AKP has a loaded track record when it comes to wasted chances... And the poor outcome of the “Armenian initiative” is its latest example.
To overcome polarization…
And there is no reason for us to trust them with regard to national issues, because they may push the public interests back.
In the Kurdish problem, the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP, is supposed to be natural addressee of the state, but it is, on the other hand, the natural rival of the AKP in the southeast.
If the AKP malevolently applies policies in any solution process to weaken the DTP, it would be a mistake and simply create polarization.
If the AKP wants to sincerely settle the Kurdish issue, it should also raise confidence to end polarization in the country.
We are not seeking “trust” in Brussels.
Today, the EU bid, either for Kurds or for Turks, is not the solid, visible center of attraction that it was in the past.
It might have been possible in recent times to resolve the Kurdish conflict in a limited frame of cultural rights along with the country’s EU accession process, but today recognition of cultural rights alone will not be enough to settle the issue...
Nationalist Turkish voters will see giving rights to Kurds as nothing more than making concessions to the PKK for the sake of the EU entry.
Solution in a narrow slot
Turkey’s solution angle to the Kurdish issue is stuck between “more than cultural rights” and “protection of the state’s unitary structure.”
The only way to clear this up is to convince the Turkish people that a political solution to the issue will not divide the country; to the contrary, it will strengthen Turkey more... But this cannot be achievable without first eliminating the polarization. A polarized Turkey cannot turn itself into an attraction center.
But for that to happen, the AKP needs to undergo a sincerity test. For Turks, solution to the issue encompasses the rule of law, pluralism, freedom and respect for the lifestyles of others.
Argentinean Lawyer: Armenian President Draws No Lessons From History, Information-Analytic Agency NEWS.am Aug 7 2009 Armenia
Armenian President draws no lessons from Armenian history, Armenian lawyer Pascual Ohanian told the Argentinean Diario Armenia daily. Ohanian, 77, historian, is the author of "Turkey: A country of Genocide".
It took him nearly 10 years to collect the necessary documents for the book, each volume taking 5 years, but Ohanian described the most tragic pages of Armenian history in great detail.
Ohanian considers Armenians lacked the statehood experience as they had to struggle, defend themselves and take care of their own security.
"On the one hand Armenians dramatically suffered from Turkey and West, on the other - they were confused on way to opt for changing things for better," Ohanian supposes, "Introspection and self-criticism is a must. For example, Armenian Presidents do not draw lessons from history. Relying on U.S., France and GB means not to act circumspectly. I do not mean to trust Russia implicitly, as it pursues its own interests using Armenia as a tool. GB and France have simply sold Armenia out. As to Serzh Sargsyan's visit to Turkey, it does not matter at all to them. Their position on Genocide negation was clearly voiced. OSCE MG should not be confided in either."
Ohanian outlined that Armenia's geographic location is disadvantageous, but he knows the way out: good relations with Iran will enable to communicate with the globe through Persian Gulf.
Five-Day War: The Lessons That Russia Again Fails To Learn Aleksander B. Krylov en.fondsk.ru 07.08.2009 Eurasia
Following the break-up of the USSR and the armed conflicts of the early 1990s the situation in the South Caucasus followed the path that proved unfavourable to Russia. The United States and its allies started gaining a footing in the region and pursued a policy of gradually ousting Russia from the South and, in the future, also from the North Caucasus. Moscow pursued a laissez-faire policy, one that bore the imprint of defeatism and unjustified illusions about prospects for future cooperation with the West. The scale of the Russian Federation's political, military and economic presence in the South Caucasus was steadily shrinking as a result.
The situation began changing in the first decade of the 21st century. The recent years seemed to suggest a radical revaluation of Russia's policy on the Caucasus, as well as a quality-new character of that policy. Evidence of that was the Five-day war in August 2008, followed by a refusal to recognize as legitimate Georgia's post-Soviet borders (that is the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic), by the official recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the 26th of August 2008, by concluding treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance, on setting up two permanent Russian military bases in the two republics, on the joint protection of their borders etc.
But even after the Five-day war Russia failed to learn the lesson and do away with the basic drawback of its Caucasus policy, that of leading developments. One gets the impression that once the war was over, Moscow thought it sufficient to set up military bases and frontier posts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and concentrate on economic aid to the two republics (the aid that unfortunately far too often fails to reach the rank and file there).
Following the Five-day war diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia were severed on Tbilisi's initiative. The Russ l-term moves to secure Saakashvili's trial. The information campaign in the West to expose the Georgian Army's crimes against South Ossetia's peaceful population stood no comparison (in terms of scale and commitment) with the round-the-clock propaganda of the idea that a "small democratic Georgia" should be defended from being bullied by the "imperial" Russia.
In the wake of the Five-day war Moscow proclaimed a policy of non-interference in Georgia's internal affairs, said it recognized Georgia's territorial integrity and began waiting for the Georgian people themselves to condemn and overthrow Saakashvili for the crimes perpetrated. As a result the Georgian dictator got a chance to recover from the military disaster, have more armaments delivered and restore his armed forces' fighting efficiency.
It was not before Georgia began almost daily shelling of South Ossetia that the Russian leaders said that as of the third of August the force of the Russian military base would make security-related moves on a daily basis in view of the upcoming first anniversary of Georgia's aggression, including military exercise on South Ossetian soil. President of the Republic of South Ossetia E. Kokoity welcomed the statement in question by the Russian Defence Ministry and "Russia's very tough mood as regards the situation". However, it would have proved far more reasonable to preserve that kind of tough mood all along since the winning of the Five-day war, which would have helped cut short the very possibility of Saakashvili's returning to his previous practice of all sorts of anti-Russian provocations to use them in his propaganda warfare against the Russian Federation. Russian diplomacy has actually lost the opportunity for using the problem of cargo shipments to Afghanistan to bring pressure to bear on the United States and NATO in the Caucasus direction (and in the post-Soviet area in general). Tying Russia's position on the issue with obtaining a guaranteed embargo on arms deliveries to the aggressor-state Georgia, as well as tying that position with NATO's enlargement eastwards and other issues that are sensitive to Russia's national interests couldn't have been more opportune under the circumstances (even with due account for Russia's interest in the NATO troops' further presence in Afghanistan). But rather than bargaining about the transit shipment problem, Russia grew so fascinated by the Obama-announced "resetting" that actually gave the US and NATO the green light to ship their cargoes to Afghanistan across Russian soil.
In response Russia got Obama's broad smile and his verbal promise to improve relations with Moscow. This is certainly suggestive of a story of twenty years ago and involving the very same kind of verbal promises not to expand NATO eastwards following the break-up of the Warsaw Pact and the reunification of Germany. One would hate to see the current Russian leaders to inherit Mikhail Gorbachev's amazing gullibility with regard to our western partners.
Russia continues to remain the world's only nation that boasts a nuclear capacity that's comparable with that of the United States, which determines the character of the policy that the United States and NATO pursue on this country. The US and NATO will naturally seek to comprehensively weaken Russia, which is graphically illustrated in the Caucasus region, the one that's so sensitive to Russia's national security.
The new US Administration's officials continue making contradictory statements on Washington's Caucasus policy. Most State Department officials that have retained their posts since the George Bush years insist that the previous policy has been preserved and point out that change will prove cosmetic in character.
However, the Barack Obama-an ing" of US-Russian relations instils certain hope that the new Administration may give up at least the toughest forms of confrontation with Russia in the Caucasus. Obama's Caucasus policy will most likely proceed from the expediency of reducing the scale of the US direct involvement in regional affairs and from the striving for shifting the greater share of worries about the defence of the US interests on the NATO allies and on other countries and international organizations (by analogy with Iraq and Somalia).
Under the new Administration the United States has actually forgone its former policy of granting Georgia and Ukraine NATO membership in the shortest possible time. The US Senate Commission on studying the US policy on Russia advised the new Administration against encouraging Georgia's and Ukraine's joining NATO. The Commission has drawn up a document that suggests "resigning to the fact that neither Ukraine, nor Georgia is prepared for NATO membership" and using other opportunities for developing partnership relations with these countries.
The Senators offered, by way of an alternative to NATO membership, "a special form of cooperation" of Georgia and Ukraine with the military alliance. The NATO Command shares the view. Before stepping down as NATO's Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said that Ukraine and Georgia were unprepared for joining NATO and that the situation would hardly change in the foreseeable future. He emphasized that some country's leader's desire for joining does not necessarily imply that their country will be granted NATO membership.
But nor is this evidence that NATO has given up its policy of enlargement. Hardly had the alliance's new Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen settled himself in his new armchair when he demanded that Moscow should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbours and emphasized that he would go ahead with "practical cooperation" for supporting Ukraine's and Georgia's armed forces' reforms. Rasmu hat Ukraine and Georgia could gain NATO membership provided they met the alliance's required criteria and, unlike his predecessor, made no comment on the deadline the two countries should meet (with Ukrainian "orange" and Georgian "rosy" democrats cheering this). This did not prevent him from recognizing Russia as NATO's second priority after Afghanistan and claiming that he sought to normalize relations with Russia, which was hardly convincing what with his previous statements about the intention to continue pursuing the policy of NATO's enlargement eastwards.
It was only recently that the American Administration was revelling, amid the unipolar world situation, in its seemingly unlimited power, treating its NATO allies disparagingly and taking little care of their interests in the South Caucasus or elsewhere. This kind of patronizing tone caused obvious annoyance in many European politicians. Now that Washington's "Pax Americana" is falling to decay, the US has stopped harping on the subject of Europe-and-the-entire-humanity-made-happy-by-the-United-States and is clearly seeking to disburden its cares on its NATO allies. The "Eastern Partnership" project, which has been drawn up to replace the now bankrupt GUAM alliance has come in handy as a supplement to NATO's plans to expand eastwards.
The "Eastern Partnership's" officially proclaimed objective is to "undertake integration initiatives" with regard to the six post-Soviet republics that are not part of the European Union or NATO, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Specifically, in terms of boosting political interaction, providing for concluding new-generation association agreements, achieving closer integration of the "eastern partners'" economies into the economy of the European Union, easing visa formalities and taking joint measures in the field of energy security in the interests of all parties to the partnership, as well as in extending the scope of financial aid.
Russia's involvement in the "Eastern Partnership" project is not really foreseen, which is evidence of the West's striving for this country's political and economic isolation. The project's actual objective is to block integration trends in the post-Soviet area through disorganizing the performance of the CIS, EurAsEc, CSTO and SCO.
Most investment projects of the "Eastern Partnership" are about such strategically important areas as power production, transport, the protection of external borders, the law enf project also provides for setting up a "Forum of nongovernmental organizations" that would enable the European Union to energetically influence the internal political situation in the post-Soviet countries, specifically through funding opposition organizations.
Although EU leaders keep making statements that "Eastern Partnership" is not aimed against Russia, it is obvious that the project seeks to bring back to life and expand the GUAM bloc, which has gone bankrupt and which the United States set up in olden times as an anti-Russian alternative to the CIS. The Five-day war in the South Caucasus has proved that the bloc in question is absolutely untenable. Therefore it is only natural that practical implementation of the "Eastern Partnership" project began right after the Five-day war amid the US and NATO's obvious inability to oust Russia from the South Caucasus and establish full Euro-Atlantic control over the region.
Shortly after the fighting was over, an EU emergency summit was called in France to adopt a resolution on the need "to provide support for regional cooperation and cement relations with the eastern neighbours through implementing the "Eastern Partnership" and "Black Sea Synergy" projects. Azerbaijan and Georgia (along with Moldavia and Ukraine) were included in the list with no strings attached.
Armenia and Belarus were told that their access to "Eastern Partnership's" promised economic and other advantages was conditional on the "democratization" of state mechanism and public life. The demand is perfectly formal in character since it would be absurd to consider the authoritarian (as the West puts it) Azerbaijan or absolutely disorganized Ukraine and Georgia as examples of democratic development in the post-Soviet area. It is obvious that "Eastern Partnership's" advantages have been promised to bring pressure to bear on Armenia and Belarus to ensure their foreign policies' eventual re-orientation and, in the long term, their rejection of a union with Rus EU to have a pronounced effect on Belarusian leaders. Minsk has, as a result, recanted its earlier made promises and is dallying with recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A propaganda campaign has been launched in Armenia to negatively affect the current public sentiment on Russia through libelling Russian-Armenian strategic partnership (which allegedly fails to guarantee Armenia's security, is unequal and disadvantageous in character). There is little, if any, doubt that the presidential election that's due in Abkhazia in December 2009 will also be used to destabilize the situation and slander Russia's Caucasus policy in every way possible.
The Caucasus is so important to Russia that any self-complacence or reposing on the Five-day war laurels is absolutely inadmissible. Russia's policy on the Caucasus is still non-systemic and incomprehensive in character; pre-emptive moves are either too late or not made at all. The opportunities that offered themselves as a result of the victory in the Five-day war were not taken advantage of in full measure. This has prompted another aggravation of the situation and anti-Russian trend growth both in the North and South Caucasus.
The Negotiations Process Is Like A Game, Zafar Quliyev, Azadliq July 29 2009 Azerbaijan
Given this, it would not be right to expect anything new for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict in the near future
Zafar Quliyev: `Let us wait to see which leading force wins and so it will step up its influence to impact the resolution of the conflict'
[translated from Azeri}
Frederick Starr, the director of the John Hopkins University Central Asia and Caucasus Institute, has come up with noteworthy remarks on the Karabakh conflict. According to a Turan news agency report, he said that the process of the Karabakh settlement within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group is inefficient and ignominious, stressing the importance of rejecting it to replace with a new format.
Starr said that a lot of moves had recently taken place around the Karabakh conflict, nevertheless, there is much smoke than flame. Commenting on the current state of affairs, he said: "There have been many statements and meetings. We, of course, welcome substantial statements, but it would be very good if they were backed by deeds."
The expert also recalled the Russian incursion into Georgia a year ago: "It is unclear what Russia wants: to resolve the conflict or preserve everything as they are. Apparently, Russia simply wants to create an illusion that it allegedly is active in the negotiations, that it takes certain steps but actually they are all tricks."
Russia wants the conflict to continue. Europe and the USA have to realize once and for all that in the Nagornyy Karabakh problem, Russia like a year ago in Georgia, "is a direct player in the conflict".
Commenting on these remarks, political expert Zafar Quliyev stressed that it contained nothing new: "His remarks almost contain nothing new. Similar opinions have been voiced repeatedly.
Our domestic experts have repeatedly expressed their discontent with the activities of the [OSCE] Minsk Group, demanding that its format be altered. The Minsk Group has fully turned into a non-constructive organization. That is to say, it is idle. At the same time, similar opinions were aired with regard to Russia. From time to time, international experts also commented on the issue.
The political expert believes that it is interesting that the remarks are being aired now. Now on the one hand, in the negotiations process we are observing intensification. Over the last half a year, the presidents have met five times. The OSCE Minsk Group often holds meetings to preserve optimism. They also express an opinion that serious progress is possible in the negotiations process by the end of the year. The Madrid principles have actually been made public. They stress similarity in positions and new steps made by the presidents.
Nevertheless, at this point when the negotiations are intensive, US Vice-President Joe Biden's severe criticism of Russia, as well as the criticism of the OSCE Minsk Group by the US expert and at the same time, airing discontent with Russia's position cause interest.
This manifests that actually, the leading states at the geopolitical level, first of all, the USA and Russia, are in a confrontation over several issues as well as on the settlement of the Karabakh issue. Although, several days ago, in the run-up to the summit of the G8, the leaders of mediating countries issued a joint statement on Karabakh.
This statement led to an illusion that these countries allegedly share common views and they have reached an agreement.. By issuing the joint statement, they actually tried to speed up the negotiations process. This statement seemed strengthening optimism. However, the unsuccessful Moscow talks at the next stage and opinions being aired at present show those positions of Russia and the USA are still clashing. They are not allies but rivals in the South Caucasus.
This rivalry still manifests itself with regard to the resolution of the Karabakh issue and it is possible that it would be the case from now on. Moscow views the resolution of the Karabakh issue differently, it wants first of all retain its initiative and act as an initiator both in the region and in the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. At the same time, after the Georgian events, the USA has been doing its utmost to lessen Russia's influence in the South Caucasus and step up its role in the existing conflict.
Given this condition, the format of the Minsk Group could not be successful since interests and positions of the mediating countries are clashing.
As a result of this, no serious progress is being made in the negotiations process. The negotiations process resembles a game. Given this situation, it would be wrong to expect anything in the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Either radical changes should be made to the format and the activities of the Minsk Group or we have to wait for the end of the geopolitical struggle in the South Caucasus. We should wait and see which leading force will win and consequently, step up its influence in the resolution of the conflict."
Fbi Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Subpoenaed, Set To 'Break' Gag Order Unless Doj Intercedes By Brad Friedman, Brad Blog Aug 5 2009
Former agency translator called to testify in Ohio election case this Saturday on Turkish infiltration of U.S. government...
Unless the Dept. of Justice re-invokes their twice-invoked "state secrets privilege" claim in order to once again gag former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, her attorneys have notified the department by hand-delivered, sworn letter of declaration [PDF] this week, that she intends to give a deposition, open to the media [Updated: see bottom of article for details], in response to a subpoena this Saturday in Washington D.C..
Edmonds has confirmed her intentions to answer any questions asked of her during the sworn proceedings, fully and publicly, during conversations with The BRAD BLOG this week. She notes that her agreement with her former employer, the FBI --- who fired her illegally after she filed whistleblower allegations about corruption and foreign infiltration in the linguistics department --- includes certain non-disclosure requirements. However, those requirements do not preclude her answering to a legally issued court subpoena.
The subpoena and request for sworn deposition is part of a case now pending before the Ohio Elections Commission in which Ohio's Republican U.S. Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-2nd District) has filed a complaint against her 2008 independent challenger, David Krikorian who Schmidt has charged distributed false statements about her during last year's campaign.
The resulting testimony, if it indeed occurs this weekend, could be far more explosive than either Schmidt or Krikorian might have ever guessed...
Schmidt has alleged that Krikorian --- who has announced plans to run against Schmidt again, as a Democrat, in 2010 --- libeled her when he alleged in campaign materials that she had taken "blood money" as campaign donations from Turkish interest groups. Schmidt is co-chairwoman of the Congressional Turkish Caucus, according to Politico's coverage of the case, and has received more than $10,000 from the Turkish Coalition USA PAC, "making it one of her top campaign contributors", since taking office in 2005. She recently took a trip to Turkey sponsored by the Turkish Coalition of America, valued at more than $10,000.
At immediate issue in the initial Schmidt v. Krikorian tussle, is the century-long debate over whether the extermination of some 1.5 million ethnic Armenians during WWI will be declared a "genocide" by the American government. The issue is a highly contentious one that has cut across party lines in Congress, and has ensnared dozens of U.S. Congressmembers and highly-ranked officials in a lobbyist-funded, politically-charged battle.
The same Turkish lobby has also, according to information gleaned from Edmonds and others, based on her first-hand knowledge as an FBI case translator, helped to ensnare many of those same officials in a broad infiltration scheme of the U.S. Government and sensitive military facilities, by operatives from the U.S., Turkey, Pakistan and elsewhere, including alleged bribery of then Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Some of the charges against Hastert were detailed in a remarkable 2005 Vanity Fair expose. Additional allegations, concerning the the proliferation of nuclear secrets to the black-market in Turkey, Israel, Pakistan, Libya, Iran and beyond, as detailed in an explosive front-page series by London's Sunday Times last year.
These are among the issues which Edmonds --- whose classified allegations were found to have been "credible", "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI," according to their Inspector General in 2002 --- will be asked about on Saturday if the deposition moves forward without being quashed by the DoJ.
Krikorian's campaign has released a statement [PDF], detailing several of the potentially explosive points about which they intend to ask Edmonds to testify in an "open to the media deposition"...
Ms. Edmonds is prepared to testify this Saturday in an open to the media deposition in Washington DC that during the time she was employed by the FBI she obtained evidence that:
1. The Government of Turkey had illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government institutions and officials, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense and individual members of the United States Congress
2. The Government of Turkey had engaged in practices and policies that were inimical to American interests and had in fact resulted in both the direct and indirect loss of American lives
3. Turkish American cultural and business groups conduct operations with direct and indirect support from the Government of Turkey
"Jean Schmidt and the Turkish Legal Defense Fund have been attempting to squash my right to political free speech by abusing the OEC (Ohio Election Commission) process by filing frivolous complaints against me for their own political gain," Krikorian alleges in his statement.
He also notes that "Schmidt has previously been convicted by the OEC for having a reckless disregard for truth." During her run for Congress, the OEC found, in a 7 to 0 vote, that Schmidt had lied about having a received an undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati and she was issued a letter of reprimand for the "false statements".
Edmonds agreement, via affidavit, to give testimony on the points mentioned by Krikorian above, under oath, and in public, would be a first. Much of her previous sworn testimony, to Congress and to the 9/11 Commission, has been entirely classified, leaving those of us in the media with an interest in her case to piece together the puzzle of what has made her, in the words of the ACLU, "the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America".
On Tuesday, Congressional Quarterly's intelligence reporter Jeff Stein filed a report on Edmonds' upcoming "test" of the Department of Justice in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case. However, it's fallen largely to the independent media in the U.S. and the foreign mainstream media to dig into the details of Edmonds' allegations, described by one former CIA analyst early last year as "treason at the highest levels of the United State government."
In October of 2007 --- after she had exhausted all other options, having been shut down by both Congress and the Supreme Court due to the Bush Administration's twice-imposed gag order --- The BRAD BLOG broke the exclusive news of her promise to break the gag in order to relate the entire story to any U.S. mainstream broadcast media outlet willing to allow her to do so. Despite that story itself having made news in papers across the globe, nobody in the U.S. mainstream broadcast media took her up on her offer.
In November that year, legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg guest blogged at The BRAD BLOG, describing Edmonds' case as "far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers". Still, the U.S. media ignored her.
Even CBS' 60 Minutes --- who ran a story on her in 2002 (which re-ran twice therafter), when she couldn't speak at all about her case --- chose not to tell her story once she had promised to tell all. That, even though Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), when asked about her credibility in their original piece said, "Absolutely, she's credible...And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story."
2005's detailed expose in Vanity Fair by investigative British investigative journalist David Rose, detailed extraordinary allegations that then Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations and bribes from Turkish interests tied into the drug-trade. Edmonds was said to have been the translator for FBI wiretaps in that case. Few in the media bothered to advance the story at all, even years later when, as Edmonds had years earlier predicted, the retired Hastert became a highly-paid lobbyist for Turkey.
And, as recently as last month, during our own recent interview with Edmonds while we were guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show (audio here, partial transcript here), she dropped details described as a "bombshell", about the U.S. having retained "intimate relations" with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda through Turkish proxies right up until September 11, 2001. That interview has made news across the globe over the last several days (e.g. the Times of India coverage is here), yet it made nary a peep in the U.S. corporate mainstream.
Many other top U.S. officials are indicated to have been involved in the dark and sordid influence peddling, infiltration and treason as highlighted by a "Rogues Gallery" of photographs posted by Edmonds in 2007 without comment. Among the photos posted, in addition to Hastert's: current and former Congressmembers Roy Blunt (R-MO), Dan Burton (R-IN), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Bob Livingston (R-LA) and Stephen Solarz (D-NY); current and former State and Defense Dept. officials including Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Eric Edelman, Marc Grossman (specifically targeted by the landmark Sunday Times expose), Brent Scowcroft and Larry Franklin; and photographs of a host of registered and non-registered Turkish lobbyists and agents.
Edmonds told The BRAD BLOG this afternoon that, though the DoJ has yet to timely answer her hand-delivered request for the revocation of the prior-issued "states secrets" privilege orders, she expects they may still intercede to quash her testimony before Saturday morning, when she's currently scheduled to give her deposition at 10:30am in Washington D.C..
More details are available from Edmonds herself, on her planned deposition in Schmidt v. Krikorian at her blog, 123 Real Change...
UPDATE 8/6/09: Just heard from Edmonds who, in turn, has just heard from attorneys working on the case that they have been informed that Ohio Election Commission (OEC) regulations disallow media from attending depositions. So, despite Krikorian's press release yesterday stating that her testimony would be "open to the media" (presuming it's not blocked by the DoJ) it will not in fact be open to them now.
However, Edmonds tells us that Krikorian's team will have their own videographer there to record it, and that tape is allowed to be released immediately after the proceeding. As well, court transcript should be available within 24 to 48 hours after the deposition.
Moreover, immediately following the deposition, attorneys from both sides will be able to speak to the media and answer any questions about it outside of the deposition room. If any media bother to cover it, that is.
(National Whistleblower Center's update on this matter is now posted here.)
Edmonds still believes it's likely that a last minute intervention by the DoJ, to block all or part of her testimony, will occur. As founder of the National Security Whistleblower's Coalition (NSWBC) she relates that she's seen a number of cases in which official whistleblower testimony is blocked at the last minute by DoJ attorneys who arrive with court orders just minutes beforehand, leaving no time for the opposition to challenge the ruling.
Though we'd planned to be on the road this Saturday, we'll do our best to stay in touch as things move forward if at all possible.
Turkish Expert Ruben Melkonyan: “In actuality, we don’t know Turkey” [ 2009/08/07 Natasha Harutyunyan
Turkish specialist Ruben Melkonyan today stated that when it comes to Turkish-Armenian relations community-based encounters are pivotal and provide the opportunity for common folk on both sides to meet and develop a better understanding of their neighbors.
He noted that Turkish society must has an awareness of the historical past in order to deal with segments of Armenian society, adding that this level of familiarity with the past is lacking on the part of the Turkish public, which leads to a denialist outlook on many issues.
“Turkish society is segmented when it comes to relations with Armenians. First, there is the extremist, nationalist segment. Second is that segment which is disinterested and without a strong orientation either way. Finally, there is the segment that is positively inclined towards improving relations with Armenia and Armenians. These however comprise a tiny minority, stated Mr. Melkonyan.
He went on to say that for the Turkish public, the opening of the border and establishment of relations could have positive as well as unforeseen consequences.
‘Particularly, there is the ethnic identity crisis. Erdogan himself spoke of this. Turkish society is mostly dominated by an extremist approach. Our society, as well, is governed by a superficial approach. In reality we aren’t familiar with Turkey and do not understand them. The history of Turkey after the genocide isn’t covered all that well in our schools and even our experts don’t have a good grasp of what the consequences were for Turkey in terms of its formation,” Mr. Melkonyan said.
He continued by saying that the Turkish media, contrary to that in Armenia, is quite active when it comes to the issue of Turkish-Armenian relations and that the Turkish media, whether pro-government or opposition-based, is quite similar in its stance.
“This has a positive influence on Turkish society and results in a much more steadfast public opinion regarding Turkish-Armenian relations.
He said that there are two main opinions regarding whether or not President Sargsyan should visit Turkey this fall – some say he should go and some say he shouldn’t. Both have merit according to the expert.
“However, when we approach the issue from another perspective then the speech given by President Sargsyan during his meeting with the Serbian president had a series of ‘messages” to the government of Turkey; that an understanding was reached during prior talks. President Sargsyan directly reminded Turkey about them and called on Ankara to fulfill its promises. Turkish analysts are now arguing that Gul cam to Armenia without preconditions and that Sargsyan was the one who raised preconditions. However, Gul made to statement regarding his visit to Armenia until the last day and came in the context of the Russian-Georgian war.”
Will they also kill Taner? by Ahmet Altan , 8 August 2009, by Stéphane / armenews
Taner Akçam I met in a U.S. university town with long and harsh winters. I had often heard of him. He was a leader of an ancient and legendary leftist organization. The "title, or class "of anyone, starting with him, not interested. Only had the "acts." There was a man by his actions. He was happy, full of humor, and do not complain, even in difficult times. At university, he taught history and me literature. During the long winter nights, sometimes we meet and I was telling episodes of his life with a sense of humor that belonged to him. He had tried to "democratize" its organization left of illegal and ultimately make them the enemy. He had criticized the anti-democratic positions of the PKK, was on the "death list" of that organization, and during an attack, one of its friends had been killed by mistake. Whenever he spoke about the grief invaded. He was a meticulous unusual.
When he told me how he had loaded his luggage legally with bottles of detergent, before traveling illegally in a camp in the Bekaa Valley, it did not before the difficulties he had met, but the "fun constraints of life." He was a leader who wore detergents cleaning, not weapons. At that time, he led research on the deportations of Armenians organized by the Union and Progress Committee and stressed how much this amounted to "genocide." What he said so openly and clearly was difficult to go to a Turk. But he believed in what he said, and he said what he thought. Of course, he knew what he was talking about would cause trouble, and it does not specifically looking for these problems but it was not in his nature to stay quiet to avoid trouble, nor to be silent about things in which he believed. One after another, he listed the actions of the Ittihad. He earned our respect by his courage and honesty. Then I came back home. He went to another university in the United States. He wrote new books, and made new enemies.
Recently I received an email from Taner. One line in particular scared me: "First there was Hrant and I think they put me second on their list." I remembered the last editorial of Hrant before his death, where he says: "They will kill me." We had knowledge of conspiracy to murder - known almost all the state apparatus and supported by numerous reports of the secret services - only after his murder. Nobody could help Hrant. No one was in or had the opportunity to shout that "a murder is committed." And our "ignorance" cost him his life. Now Taner says: "I think after they put me. "The assassination of Hrant has shown us that it is able to close your eyes to new murders, so it will cover the abominations of Ittihad. Therefore a bell of alarm even more disturbing has echoed in my head when I read the email Taner. It is clear that this voice, this instinct which warned before Hrant's murder, warns Taner now. And he has this feeling revolver pointed at him. Are they going to kill Taner, because he says that "the Armenians were subjected to genocide?" The members of our society they have no right to say what they believe on our own history? Everyone is obliged to speak with one voice that the state? The death is a price worth paying, when we do not share the views of the State in our history?
The historic debates can be punished by death? Will you kill all those who say that "Armenians were subjected to genocide" and if you commit these murders, this massacre will prove there that "it 'there was not genocide? "This same spirit of Ittihad spreading in the country. They continue to kill Armenians, Sunni, Protestant, Kurds, indiscriminately. How long it will it continue? How long will people be killed? This state and this society could not protect Hrant. Protégeons at least Taner. It is a brave and honest man. He said out loud what was most difficult to say in his country. He stated that he had convictions. I believe that everyone who speaks, knowing that it would cause trouble, deserves our respect regardless of their opinions. The death knocks on his door now . All of our newspapers, our journalists, our intellectuals no raise there voice to protect Taner? never forget. It is our silence that will kill Taner. If something happens tomorrow, we will be all accomplices. Protecting a human being. Do it, if you want to say: "I too am a human being." Otherwise ... you will bear the silence of death your life.
Source / Link: Gazetem, net (George Festa translation) 9 July 2007 http://www.armenews.com
The Armenian Massacre And Its Avengers The Ramifications Of The Assassination Of Talaat Pasha In Berlin By Rolf Hosfeld
IP • Fall • 2005 / Armenian Massacre ESSAY
The 1921 trial in Berlin of Mehmet Talaat’s Armenian assassin, Soghomon Tehlirian, sent reverberations around the world. Two young law students at the time would go on, respectively, to become the assistant prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal and to give a name to the wholesale Nazi murders–“genocide.” The trigger to Raphael Lemkin’s development of the legal concept of genocide was the Armenian massacre.
On the ides of March in 1921 the last Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire was assassinated in the center of Berlin by an Armenian revolutionary. Mehmet Talaat had fled to the German capital before the World War I Allies occupied Constantinople in 1918 and was living there under a pseudonym. He had had a meteoric rise after the revolution against Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1908, and especially after the coup of the Young Turks in 1913, to become the most influential man in the Committee of Union and Progress that ruled dictatorially in Constantinople. At the time of his death, Talaat Pasha was already well-known in Germany as the mastermind of the persecution of the Ottoman Armenians, which claimed more than a million lives from 1915 to 1917.
In the Berlin trial of Talaat’s assassin, Soghomon Tehlirian, defense lawyers portrayed their client as a modern-day William Tell. Tehlirian was acquitted, on grounds of temporary insanity. Later it became clear that he had acted as an agent of the Armenian “Nemesis” revenge network.
Two young law students at the time immediately grasped the significance of the sensational trial. In Berlin Robert M. Kempner sat as an observer in court; a quarter century later he would become the assistant prosecutor in the Nuremberg war crimes trials of Nazis. In Lvov in eastern Poland Raphael Lemkin began formulating his ideas about how to exact legal accountability for atrocities of such enormity that he called them “genocide.” A quarter century later he would be the father of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.
After World War I there was a brief period in which some influential Turkish political circles held the taking of responsibility for the country’s past to be a necessary condition for political renewal. “Does not the nation have the right to receive a report about the atrocities?” asked Ahmet Djemal in 1920 in his few months as interior minister. “Only in this way will the bloody past be extinguished.” Indeed, in 1919 and 1920 a Turkish military tribunal under the leadership of Nazim Pasha began what was then a unique and exemplary process of legal accountability. “What can be expected of us is justice in the name of general human rights,” said public prosecutor Mustafa Nazim at the opening of the trial. “The innocent murder victims will rise from the dead again.” On the basis of compelling evidence and witness testimony, the court convicted Talaat and sixteen other principals for “crimes against humanity.” On July 5, 1919 Talaat was sentenced to death in absentia.
The 1921 trial in Berlin of Mehmet Talaat’s Armenian assassin, Soghomon Tehlirian, sent reverberations around the world. Two young law students at the time would go on, respectively, to become the assistant prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal and to give a name to the wholesale Nazi murders–“genocide.” The trigger to Raphael Lemkin’s development of the legal concept of genocide was the Armenian massacre.
This interlude of openness was soon over, however. When the Turkish nationalist leader Mustafa Kemal “Atatürk” recaptured Constantinople in 1922–even though he conceded to American General James G. Harbord that some 800,000 Armenians had died during the deportations–he dissolved the military courts and had their convictions overruled. Ever since then, successive Turkish governments have denied that any massacre occurred. This year, when the Bundestag put on its agenda the Armenian slaughter and the German Reich’s role in suppressing information about it, Turkish Ambassador to Germany Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik objected.
He called the debate a “gross slander on Turkish history” serving “fanatical Armenian nationalism,” one that insulted the many Turks living in Germany and impaired “the integration process.” Former Turkish diplomat Gündüz Aktan added that the Germans should be wary of trying to relativize the atrocities they themselves had conducted by trying to put the “Armenian incidents” in the same category. And a Turkish Member of Parliament from the Republican People’s Party put it to the Germans more acerbically, declaring, “In the Armenian question, we are the accusers.”
Frank Admission of Intent
At the time of its campaign against the Armenians, the Turkish government had far fewer compunctions about stating its intent frankly, at least to its German wartime allies. Talaat literally conceded to German Consul General Johann Heinrich Hermann Mordtmann that the deportations and massacres were intended to do nothing less than “to destroy the Armenians,” reported German Ambassador Baron Hans von Wangenheim to Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg on July 7, 1915. The ambassador further quoted Talaat as stating that the Turkish government wanted to use the world war “to get rid of its domestic enemies–native Christians–through and through, without being disturbed by foreign diplomatic intervention.” At the end of that year German Ambassador Count Paul Wolff-Metternich concluded in a telegram to the chancellor that Talaat himself was undoubtedly the cold-blooded “soul of the Armenian persecutions.”
The reporting of German diplomats recounted so much detail, in fact, that some entire days in the history of the campaign can be reconstructed from the horde of files in Berlin’s foreign ministry. There could have been no doubt in Berlin about what was going on.
The drive began with deportations and massacres in early 1915 in the provinces of eastern Anatolia. Within a few months the great deportations would empty all of Anatolia of Armenians. (The capital city of Constantinople and the port city of Smyrna, or Izmir, were not similarly purged.) By June more than 200,000 Armenians were already being driven out of the upper Euphrates valley and outlying areas.
“This large-scale resettlement resembles massacres,” the German consulate in eastern Anatolia reported at the beginning of June 1915. The manner in which the expulsion was carried out made it tantamount to “an absolute extermination.” At the end of June Consul Heinrich Bergfeld telegraphed from Trabzon: “I share the view of all of my colleagues that the transport of women and children under the...circumstances described is something that borders on mass murder.” In July, Consul Walter Rößler from Aleppo recorded that daily, for an entire month, bundles of corpses tied together were floating down the Euphrates. “The bodies had all been tied in the same way, two by two, back to back,” he reported, and concluded “that this was not a case of [spontaneous] slaughter, but of killing by officials.”
In the extensive German foreign ministry archives from this period there emerges a detailed record of the places where victims were selected, massacred, and assembled, including the time, scope, mechanism, and the political authorities responsible for the policy of annihilation and the murderous activities of the paramilitary “Special Organization” named Teskilati Mahsusa that was specifically set up for this purpose and was subject to the party discipline of the ruling Young Turks Committee.
Until July 7, 1915, one might have supposed that the measures undertaken had been confined to local reactions to the war. After July 7, however, it was clear, Ambassador Wangenheim in Constantinople reported to the German government, that the Turkish government’s deportation policy was “actually pursuing the aim of destroying the Armenian race in the Turkish empire.” The assessment that Turkey’s Armenian policy amounted to a centrally planned policy of annihilation was never subsequently questioned in Berlin’s governing circles, even if military censors and diplomatic offices abroad made an effort to let as little information as possible leak out to the world.
By now the existence of the Armenian genocide is well proven. It no longer requires fundamental documentation by historians, despite the assertions of the Turkish government and Ambassador Irtemcelik. Berlin, the patron and closest ally of Turkey in World War I, knew this better than anyone else. “After everything that has happened, the following can be safely assumed,” reported a First Lieutenant Stange–who was well acquainted with the local paramilitary executors and with the role of their allies among the political commissars of the Committee–to the German military mission in Turkey on August 23, 1915: “The expulsion and annihilation of the Armenians was decided on by the Young Turks Committee in Constantinople, was well-organized, and was implemented with the assistance of members of the army and volunteer associations”–i.e., “the Special Organization” Teskilati Mahsusa.
The government of the German Reich thus knew all too well what actual conditions were like. “Our sole aim is to keep Turkey on our side till the end of the war,” Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg declared in late 1915, “regardless of whether the Armenians perish or not.” Without the protection of the German Empire, the Turks could not have carried out the mass murder of the Armenians. Individual German officers were even directly involved in the business of deportation, according to information that author Christoph Dinkel published in the 1970s. Germany could have–as Ambassador Wolff-Metternich demanded in November 1915–impressed on a Turkey that was so dependent on Germany “fear of the consequences” and could have “expressed displeasure in our press about the Armenian persecutions.” Yet nobody was willing to do this. “To induce a break with Turkey on the Armenian question,” the foreign ministry said, was something we “neither regarded nor regard as correct.”
Official Turkish policy, however, continues to regard any mention of the genocide of the Armenians as a declaration of war on Turkey. In early 2003 the Turkish Education Minister issued a decree to all secondary schools, instructing them to carry out an essay contest on the subject of “the rebellion of the Armenians in the First World War and their crimes.”
It is true that between ten and twenty thousand Turks actually did fall victim to Armenian acts of revenge, mostly in the areas of eastern Anatolia temporarily occupied by Russia during the final years of the war. “Yet the question is not,” according to historian Halil Berktay, who teaches in Istanbul, “whether they killed relatively few and the Ottomans many. The issue is rather that the activities of Armenian guerilla bands generally took place on a local scale and represented isolated, small actions.” From a historian’s scholarly perspective, it is thus out of the question to speak of a general “rebellion of Armenians in the First World War” that threatened the existence of the Ottoman Empire, according to Berktay.
Further evidence against this claim is provided by the vehement denial in reports from the German consulate in what was then the eastern Anatolian border town of Erzurum that there was any plan for an Armenian rebellion in the early months of the war when the violence of large-scale depopulation actions began there in May and June of 1915. The fact that deportees in the tens of thousands let themselves be led away without resistance by just thirty guards certainly argued against any threat of an imminent “rebellion” in favor of the approaching Russian army. The consul had precise knowledge of those responsible for the deportation.
They were not preventing an insurrection; instead, they were following a “militarily unfounded order, in my view attributable only to racial hatred.”
As Ziya Gökalp, the chief ideologue of the Committee and a close friend of Talaat, put it: “In reality, there cannot be a common home and fatherland for different peoples....The new civilization will be created by the Turkish race.” And as Sükrü Bey–the head of the Aleppo deportation authority whose view of a life-and-death struggle for the Turkish nation was shaped by political Darwinism–told the German Consul Rößler at the end of 1915: “The weaker needs to disappear.” Unambiguously, he declared, “The final outcome must be the extermination of the Armenian race.”
The decision in favor of a radical solution to the Armenian question was probably reached in mid-March 1915 at a meeting of the Young Turks Central Committee, as an Allied armada gathered at the Dardanelles, threatening the Ottoman capital. On March 16 Governor Guloglu Sabit Bey told German Consul Paul Schwarz “that the Armenians have to be destroyed and will be destroyed,” because their wealth and their numbers had increased “so that they have become a threat to the ruling Turkish race.”
The systematic persecution began on April 24, as the Allies began their landing action on the Gallipoli peninsula. The decision that they must evacuate the imperiled capital and reorganize the fight from Anatolia made the ruling Young Turk cadres view the Armenians living there as dangerous enemies who had to be brought under control.
By late April such a self-induced paranoid psychosis of purging the “mass of damaging microbes” that “had attacked the body of the fatherland” (Diyarbakir governor Mehmed Reshid) led the radical nationalist faction of the ruling Young Turks Committee to recommend options ranging from punitive violence, political murder, and systematic deportation to annihilation.
Their thinking had long been governed by Turkish ideologies of purity and anti-Armenian stereotypes.
Their main problem was that in the process of nation-building that set in with the revolution of 1908, but especially with the disastrous Balkan wars of 1912/13, the Armenians too were insisting on their autonomy and could not be turned into Turks.
The Armenian genocide and the 1921 trial of Soghomon Tehlirian set precedents for the 20th century. “For the first time in legal history,” Kempner wrote in 1980 in retrospect, the Berlin court recognized the principle (if not de jure, then at least through the trial’s overall course and impact on the outside world) “that gross violations of human rights, and especially genocide that is committed by a government can be contested by foreign states, and that [such foreign intervention] does not constitute impermissible meddling in the internal affairs of another state.”
In retrospect, Raphael Lemkin worried that “Tehlirian had appointed himself as the executioner of the conscience of mankind.” In private notes he mused, “Yet can anybody appoint himself to carry out justice? Won’t this kind of justice tend to be ruled by emotions and degenerate into caricature?
At this moment the murder perpetrated upon an innocent people held a greater significance for me. To be sure, I still had no definitive answers, but I had the certain feeling that the world had to promulgate a law against this form of racially or religiously motivated murder....Sovereignty, I believed, cannot be misunderstood as the right to kill millions of innocent human beings.”
ROLF HOSFELD is a journalist in Berlin. His book, Operation Nemesis. Die Türkei, Deutschland und der Völkermord an den Armeniern [Operation Nemesis: Turkey, Germany, and the Armenian Genocide] was published this year by Kiepenheuer & Witsch in Cologne. The original German article, with footnotes to the German foreign ministry archives and other sources cited in it, can be read in the June 2005 issue of the German IP.