- "Turkish Prof Calls Me Geberyan" by Jabarian
- Why Would Armenians Go to Akhtamar, And Become Tools of Turkish Propaganda?
1) "Turkish Prof Calls Me Geberyan" by JabarianMy column of August 5 (Appo Jabarian), titled “Unlike Democracies, Turkey's Constitution Defends the State against its own Citizens,” apparently has made a number of denialist Turks uncomfortable -- if not annoyed. One such individual is Prof. Gurbuz Celebi of Ege University in Smyrna (now Izmir).
In an August 6 letter to the editor, Prof. Celebi has shamelessly distorted my last name “Jabarian” into “Geberyan.” In Turkish “geber” means “die.” . .
In case a distortion is geared to ridiculing a person, then the targeted individual would seek appropriate remedy from the hurler of the insult. However in this case, the situation is much more serious than that. The Turkish word “geber” -- used by the “good” professor, carries a threat and for that I hold him personally responsible.
Instead of dealing fairly and squarely with the truth in my article, Mr. Celebi delivered a threat by declaring me “dead” in his opening paragraph: “Appo Geberyan! You are menace to humanity.”
In my article, I had reported that in a July 23 article in Turkish Hurriyet Daily Newspaper, Mustafa Akyol had written: “When we, the Turkish majority, speak of a homogeneous ‘Turkish nation’ which includes all citizens of Turkey, we are wishful rather than factual.”
I had also pointed out: “Akyol further dealt a serious blow to ‘Turkishness’ by declaring ‘Kemalism,’ the infamous movement created by its founder Mustafa Kemal, an utter failure. He stated: ‘Atatürk had actually used a transitional term in the early 20’s, a ‘nation of Turkey,’ but he quickly moved on to ‘Turkish nation,’ and, alas, even the ‘Turkish race.’ His belief was that with enough ‘education,’ and propaganda, the state would be able to transform the society into whatever it wills. Well, that dream obviously failed. The Kemalists often put the blame on the ‘treason’ of internal forces.”
Visibly disturbed by Mr. Akyol’s statement and my remarks, Mr. Celebi threw on a temper-tantrum: “It is your and Mustafa Akyol's own wishful thinking that ‘the last vestige of the Ottoman Turkish Empire finally started showing cracks in its internal firewall.’ … How dare you and your likes pronounce the word ‘Atatürk!’”
Then he carried out his propaganda -- jam-packed with academic lies, that he is used to delivering to his unwitting students at the university where he “teaches.”: “Turkishness is not an imaginary and elusive concept, anyone who says ‘I am a Turk’ is one! This is one thing Turks can teach Westerners (and of course bigots like yourself). A contemporary state should of course be blind to ethnicity, religious belief, sex, gender or whatever other primitive descriptions of humanity there is.”
Ironically people who exercise their right to better understanding and religious tolerance are despised by Mr. Celebi who is all too eager to insult Turks who have integrity: “But people with under-developed brains will commit themselves to religion (Mustafa Akyol for example is perhaps one who has surrendered his brain to the 1400 year-old ideas and practices of Mohammed. I know for sure his father has done so. Hence their hatred for Mustafa Kemal. But this plays good in Turkey. Mustafa Akyol his father and their likes are making fortunes in the state owned media (Radio and TV) for cursing at contemporary republican values in this country. They deny Darwin, they are living in the dark ages. But what is so funny is that they frequently use the word ‘democracy.’ For them even cannibalism would be OK if it is somebody's belief . And this is just what they are doing: In many islamic countries they are eating WOMEN. So I suggest you find other allies in Turkey (if of course in addition to being a bigot - you are not also a man of the dark ages yourself.)”
One can not help but see a link between Anti-Defamation League’s National Director Abraham Foxman’s bigotry towards Muslims in USA and Christians in Turkey, and Prof. Celebi’s intolerance towards Muslims and Christians of Turkey.
I wonder what Mr. Celebi has to say in defense of his “tolerant” Turkey which he claims to be “blind to ethnicity, religious belief, sex, gender or whatever other primitive descriptions of humanity there is,” when in fact secular-controlled Turkish army regularly gases its Kurdish minorities with deadly chemical weapons.
According to an August 13 report on bioprepwatch.com, German experts have confirmed the authenticity of photographs that show Kurdistan Workers' Party fighters killed in Turkey by chemical weapons. In that report IsraelNationalNews.com informed that the photographs “were published in the German magazine Der Spiegel earlier this week … given to a German human rights delegation by activists in March … depicted scorched and maimed body parts that were barely recognizable as human. Hans Bauman, a German photo forgery expert, confirmed the authenticity of the photos. … The eight dead PKK fighters are believed to have been killed in September of 2009. A forensics report released by the Hamburg University Hospital concluded that the eight Kurds were likely killed due to the use of chemical weapons.”
It seems Prof. Celebi is the by-product of a Kemalist Turkey which “has always denied facts and never apologized for what it did,” as underlined Orhan Kemal Cengiz in an August 17 Today’s Zaman Turkish daily article titled “Hrant Dink, the Nazis and a state that never apologizes.”
“Turkey’s position before the ECtHR has always been quite an extraordinary one. An exceptional procedure, fact-finding hearings, became the rule for Turkey. Applicants claimed their villages were burnt down, Turkey claimed this was done by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK); an applicant claimed that she was raped in custody, Turkey said this person had never been taken into custody; the applicants claimed that their relative was killed while in custody, Turkey said this person had just escaped and joined the ranks of the PKK, and so on and so forth,” concluded Cengiz.
A genocidal Turk remains genocidal. Anytime a citizen of what is now Turkey, be it a righteous Turk, an autonomy-seeking Kurd, or a right-of-return seeking exiled grand child of a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, the Greek Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide raises a legitimate demand for justice, that individual is met with the word “geber” (“death”).
Prof. Celebi’s unhindered occupation of his academic post at the Ege University continues to cloud “his” Turkish student’s future. If Erdogan government is genuine in its efforts to portray itself as a developing democracy, so that it succeeds in joining the EU, it must first free the coming Turkish generations from the yoke of Turkey’s genocidal dark past by retiring individuals like Celebi, and by paving the way for courageous and honest individuals in the Turkish society to further the internal debate on spiritual and moral atonement of Turkey through the selfless efforts of lucid individuals like Mustafa Akyol; Ahmet Altan, editor of the independent newspaper Taraf; Publisher Ragip Zarakolu; Writer Mehmet Guler; Orhan Pamuk; Ertugrul Kurkcu; Muharrem Erbey; Elif Shafak and many others.
Executive Publisher / Managing Editor
August 19, 2010
Several years ago when I first called you "Geberyan" you took it properly as a joke and in your reply you addressed me: “Mr. Sen Geberyan”. After this we had maybe a few more correspondences. Then I asked you “please” not to send me any more Armenian news messages and your hateful remarks on Turkey. I erased your e-mail address from my computer and was happy not to receive any more messages from you for a long time. Then, just recently you started sending me messages again. I asked you again to stop it. All the same you kept doing it. Finally, I sent you my last message which you quoted frequently in your article. How is calling you “Geberyan” a threat to you thousands of miles away from me in the US. You are not only an enemy of Turks but also a very immature (childish) and a notorious slanderer. You are such a slanderer that you put words in my mouth that I never said. Did I ever write you a word about Kurds or what the Turkish army did or did not do to them? Was not our discussion only about your claims of an Armenian Genocide and how we in Turkey perceive these tragic events. On this issue it would be better for you to correspond with “lucid individuals” you praised so much in your article and leave me alone.
What do I have to do with Abraham Foxman (whoever he is) and “Kurdistan Workers' Party fighters being killed in Turkey by chemical weapons”? What do I have to do with “bioprepwatch.com”, “IsraelNationalNews.com”, “the German magazine Der Spiegel” and all the rest you tried to associate my name with? Are you trying to recruit allies to destroy or defame me?
Don’t you agree that “A contemporary state should of course be blind to ethnicity, religious belief, sex, gender or whatever other primitive descriptions of humanity there is.” Ataturk had done just that he tried to build a contemporary state and gained the admiration of millions of people throughout the world. Did you expect that statements like “‘Kemalism,’ the infamous movement created by its founder Mustafa Kemal, (is) an utter failure” would go unnoticed with no reaction?
You are right, I am a product not a “by-product of a Kemalist Turkey” but what do you know about what I think of Hrant Dink? I happen to think that he was a congenial and loyal citizen of this country and a good man. I wish you too had a similar personality. I felt terribly sorry when he was mysteriously assassinated.
How is it that what you wrote in your article is “the truth”. It is your truth. How is it that my calling you “Geberyan” is to declare you “dead” while I know you are alive and well and delivering insults to me in statements like “A genocidal Turk remains genocidal” and accusing a whole nation for having committed a genocide. What are you expecting to gain from this demagogy?
Would my agreeing with you on your distorted ideas solve anything? Where in my reply to you did I “insult Turks who have integrity”? I was just stating my observations on the set of mind of those people.
How do you know that my “.. unhindered occupation of (my) academic post at the Ege University continues to cloud (my) Turkish student’s future? Have you ever attended one of my classes? To begin with, I am a professor not of political or social sciences but of natural sciences and I never ever had the intention nor the opportunity to speak on political and social issue in my classes. The subject matter of my teaching were way too mind boggling to allow me leisurely speculate on politics (and for you to understand). My students never knew what my political or social views are.
You suggested Mr. Erdogan’s government to retire individuals like me. Is this what they do in the US of which you are a citizen. Do you think this is what academic freedom is? Do presidents or politicians in the US retire academicians if they don’t like their ideas or at the request of certain fanatics? But I have good news for you: “I am already retired”.
Your article was a shame. Although much to my dissent the two of us corresponded in the past privately. But with your article you proved your ill intentions by making our discussions public to just defame me. You even tried to harm me recruiting enemies against me. To say the least this is inhuman.
I don’t have a journal to manage or in which I can freely publish my views. In this respect too, you are in an unfair struggle with me. If you have a bit of conscience you will publish my response and then forget about me. I can not help you!
Finally, we have a saying in Turkish for cases like you: “Sizi Allah islah etsin!”.You probably understand it, if not I am sure you can have someone translate it for you.
Gurbuz Celebi, Ph.D.
Professor of Biophysics (retired)
EGE University, Izmir
Why Would Armenians Go to Akhtamar, And Become Tools of Turkish Propaganda?
Ever since the Genocide, after nearly a century of banning Armenian church services, the Turkish government has finally decided to allow a one-time celebration of Mass to be held at the 10th Century Holy Cross Church on Akhtamar Island.
Questions have been raised about the prudence of attending the Sept. 19 church services to which the Turkish government has invited Armenians from around the world, members of the international media and foreign Ambassadors and dignitaries. Those calling for a boycott indicate that the true aim of the Turkish authorities is to score propaganda points with the European Union and the United States, by feigning tolerance towards Christians and other minorities. In reality, successive Turkish governments have carried out a systematic policy of eliminating all visible signs of Armenian presence throughout Western Armenia (Eastern Turkey) for over nine decades, during which more than 2,000 Armenian churches and monasteries have been destroyed or converted into non-religious use. The Holy Cross Church itself was targeted for demolition some years ago, but was saved by the intervention of a local Turkish official.
Critics of those traveling to Akhtamar also object to the Turkish government’s classification of the historic church as a “museum,” and holding services only once a year. After many requests and complaints, Turkish officials have finally promised to place a cross on the church’s dome.
There is no reason for Armenians to be grateful to a country that, after confiscating and destroying thousands of churches, is now allowing a religious ceremony in a single church, which it classifies as a museum. This church and thousands of others should belong to the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, and services should be held as needed, without governmental permission or interference.
Last week, tempers flared in Armenia when the Holy See of Etchmiadzin announced its intention to send two clergymen to the Sept. 19 ceremonies. His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II usually consults with Armenian officials before taking decisions on matters involving foreign countries. Since he was absent from Armenia while this announcement was made and possibly unaware of the objections raised, His Holiness now has the opportunity to make a final determination regarding the sending of representatives of the Holy See to Akhtamar. As Armenians in Turkey are not permitted to freely express their views, Church officials and lay leaders outside Turkey should take the initiative to condemn the Turkish exploitation of Armenian religious ceremonies.
The Foreign Ministry of Armenia announced that it has not received an official invitation from Ankara to send a delegation to the Holy Cross Church. It is hoped that if and when such an invitation is extended, the Armenian government would reject it. Yerevan handed the Turks a propaganda victory last year by signing the Armenia-Turkey Protocols. Participating in the Akhtamar church services would be tantamount to presenting the Turks an undeserved additional reward.
There are indications, however, that this time around the Armenian government may not be as accommodating. Eduard Sharmazanov, spokesman of Pres. Sargsyan’s ruling Republican Party and Member of Parliament, harshly criticized the planned church services, calling it a “publicity stunt” and a “provocation” to mislead the international community.
In addition, a subcommittee of the Public Council, an advisory body formed by Pres. Sargsyan, issued a statement, urging Armenians to boycott the Holy Cross church services. It called on all self-respecting Armenians to refrain from participating in “this cheap Turkish show.” Giro Manoyan, spokesman of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation in Yerevan, also advocated boycotting the church services and criticized the Holy See of Etchmiadzin for planning to send two clerics to Akhtamar.
A clear indication of Turkish disinterest in preserving Armenian churches is the interrogation by the secret police of several thousand families who have offered to host Armenian visitors in nearby city of Van on September 19, due to shortage of hotel rooms. Turkish officials are suspicious that host families may be forcefully Turkified or Kurdified remnants of Armenian Genocide victims. By this appalling action, reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s Gestapo tactics, the Turkish regime is showing its obsession to keep track of its citizens’ ethnic origin. In fact, after this racist investigation, a number of families have been officially banned from hosting Diaspora Armenians in Van.
Armenians who naively plan to attend religious ceremonies in “a museum” would inadvertently legitimize the confiscation of a historic Armenian Church and promote a political show staged by Turkish authorities.
It is perfectly understandable that Turkish leaders would want to create a positive image in order to facilitate their country’s entry into the European Union, and counter Armenian efforts for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. It is far less understandable, however, why Armenians would help advance the Turks’ anti-Armenian objectives.
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Comments By Sukru Server Aya as follows :