2527) Letter Of Complaint To Ms Geraldine Doogue's "Smyrna" ABC Radio (AU) Program

 © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.comABC Radio Saturday Extra program that was aired on 21 June and 28 June 2008 on ABC Radio National. Author Giles Milton was the guest of these programs and he spoke about . . his recent book “Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of Islam’s City of Tolerance”.

Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922: The destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance
Author: Giles Milton
Publisher: Sceptre
Story Researcher and Producer : Julie Browning
Listen Now or Download Audio  © This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com
The Turkish city of Izmir on the Mediterranean seaboard was once called Smyrna, one of the wealthiest cities in the Ottoman Empire.

In September 1922 the victorious Turkish cavalry rode in to the city after three years of occupation by Greek forces.

Two weeks later, Smyrna became, according to Giles Milton, 'hell on earth'.

To: broadcasting@acma.gov.au

Dear Geraldine Doogue & ACMA,
a- I live in Turkey, had a high esteem about the friendliness of the Australian people, I had experienced some 20 years ago, during a trip of over 3 weeks covering all of the eastern half of Australia.

b- Based on Armenian plus Greek propaganda against Turkey, I compiled a book, which took me about 4 years. My book "The Genocide of Truth" (ISBN 9789756516249) is available for free reading in the E-library

c- In relation to the "anti-Turkish propaganda" which apparently escalated in the recent years, I excerpt pages 325 and 326 which are self explanatory, as regards "prejudices"!

I think that so many examples of Christian bigotry, demagoguery, crude fabrications were all aimed to give credence to Britain’s Holy War, and force the U.S. to join this crusade to save Christianity! Never mind the biblical rules about lying etc… The end justified the means this time using name of God… Can you see much difference today or have such disasters caused by fanaticism, taught mankind any lessons of intelligence and compassion?

However, in 1994 (June 9th) the following letter was penned by Australia's former ambassador to Ankara, Mr. P. F. Peters, as a response to an anti-Turkish letter published in the daily The Australian. Should we believe the old papers or the Ambassador’s letter?

“Mr. George Karagiannakis's letter (2/6), making all sorts of incredible allegations against Turkey in regard to its domestic and foreign policies, should not be allowed to go unanswered…It is not possible in the space of a few lines to answer all of his allegations. However, in fairness to the truth, the following points must be made:

The 'facts beyond credible dispute' to which he alludes, are in fact based largely on fictions to justify unrealistic ambitions or failures in the past to achieve totally unrealistic goals… While it is true and sad that many Armenians lost their lives in their own bid for territory, what is not recognized is that the Armenians themselves inflicted as much damage as others in the hostilities of that time, goaded on by some Western powers for their own selfish and geopolitical objectives.

The Turks had no deliberate policy of genocide at any stage, only the removal of Armenians from the front line with Russia, where they were collaborating with the Ottoman Empire's enemies and were thus a threat to its security.”

d- I regret to learn that your neutral channel engaged in publicizing "TRUTH" has committed a serious "MURDER OF TRUTH" in your above program, when commenting on the above new book, which is based on illogical scenarios to show Turks, barbarous, stupid etc.

e- "The Izmir Fire" is elaborated in pages 325 and 326, which are excerpted verbatim below. I cordially invite your program maker, the author of the book, and all other persons endorsing your totally wrong and diverted interpretation, to either prove that ANY of the TEN references I gave is wrong, OR ELSE ANNOUNCE A CORRECTION, based on the strong evidences, I give hereunder! Persons can be misinformed and endorse the wrong information they have, because the contrary is not known.

Sirs, you now have the TRUTH, please show the humility of correcting your own error, if it was not intentional.

Gentlemen, I am born in 1930 and although I am no scholar, my research and provided over 200 excerpted references, proves the naivete of too many of them! Please honor irrefutable documentation and avoid being misguided!

Yours Cordially
Sukru Server Aya - Istanbul

Re: The IZMIR Fire (Sept.13-15th, 1922)

Often, this last minute sabotage of Greeks and Armenians in Izmir, is slandered and distorted in a totally illogical story that “Turks were crazy enough to burn the city they just conquered”! Since, the whole episode is “Lies, Lies and More Lies” (book by M.A. Shaikh), just a few leads are shortly excerpted to prove how ridiculous this charge can be.

For explicit details, readers may refer to this article, answering Prof. Marjorie Housepian and others.

a. “The view of Turk’s in Barton’s message to Harding and Hughes was inappropriate, as remarked by Pres. MacLahlan of International College. The Turks did not massacre Greeks, as Greeks had done to Turks in May 1919! Turkish army protected International College during the disruption of the occupation; a Turkish cavalryman rescued MacLahlan from irregulars who nearly beat the missionary to death, while trying to loot the agricultural buildings of the college. A three-day Smyrna fire, which Turks made every effort to control, destroyed nearly a square mile in Greek and Armenian areas, made 200.000 people homeless. Included in this loss was the American Board’s Collegiate Institute for Girls.

b. “Mr. H.Lamb, the British Consul General at Izmir reported that ‘he had reason to believe that Greeks in concert with Armenians had burned Smyrna’. This was confirmed by the Sept.22nd,dispatch of correspondent of the Petit Parisien.

c. “Mr.L.R. Whittall, banister-at-law, who has been in Smyrna for some years said that there was no evidence as to who set fire to the town, but it was the consensus of opinion that it was Greek and Armenian incendiaries.

d. From Lord Kinross:… ”had been deliberately planned by an Armenian incendiary organization, and that before the arrival of the Turks speeches had been made in churches, calling for the burning of the city as a sacred duty.”

e. From Stanford Shaw: “On September 13, a fire broke out in the Armenian quarter of the city. It spread rapidly through gasoline soaked buildings while the Turkish army’s effort to extinguish were stymied by the discovery that all the city’s fire hoses had been cut and the fire cisterns emptied. In a single day as many as 25.000 buildings were burnt and half of the city destroyed.” (History of the Ottoman Empire, p.363)

f. (Admiral Mark L. Bristol, in US Library of Congress, Naval Records Collection Group # 45) Letter dated Jan.11.1923 received Feb.6,1923 from Near East Relief for Armenian Refugees signed by Mark O. Prentiss, attaching a long report on Izmir Fire, covering his conversation in English with Smyrna Fire Division Chief, (Austrian Engineer) Paul Grescovitch and his testimony, confirming that the fire was started by Armenians and Greeks using Turkish soldier uniforms! (Bundles of discarded clothing and rags covered with petroleum was found. Most firemen were Greeks, but that they abandoned their posts before Turkish soldiers came). The report leaves no doubt! Prentiss was sent by Admiral Bristol to assist the refugees as head of the delegation, and arrived in Izmir on Sept.8th, one day before occupation.

g. “The Bridgeport Telegram”, Jan22, 1923: Prentiss Blames Armenians for Firing City of Smyrna

h. “The New York Times”, Sept.27, 1922: French Exonerate Turks – Foreign Office Denies Kemalists Set Fire Smyrna.

* * * Update * * * Ref: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

From: "*** ADMIN" <***@abc.net.au>
To: <***@gmail.com>
Sent: July 15, 2008 4:45 AM
Subject: Thank you for contacting the ABC

Thanks for your email to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. This automatic response is to acknowledge that your mail has been received and has been allocated the reference number C**70-**. Where requested, a detailed response will follow. The ABC endeavours to respond to such complaints within four weeks of receipt. However, please be aware that due to the large volume of correspondence we receive, and the complex nature of some enquiries, responses may at times take longer than this.

Your email will be addressed by ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs. If your complaint is about a matter of personal taste or preference, Audience & Consumer Affairs will ask the manager responsible for the program to provide you with a response. If your complaint raises a serious editorial issue - such as factual inaccuracy, lack of balance, or inappropriate content - your complaint will be investigated by Audience & Consumer Affairs. Audience & Consumer Affairs is a separate unit within the ABC, independent of program areas, and assesses complaints against the requirements set out in the ABC's Charter, Code of Practice and Editorial Policies.

Thank you for giving the ABC the opportunity to respond to your concerns. A fact sheet about the ABC's complaint handling procedures can be viewed as a PDF on this web page: http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/documents/audience_complaint.pdf.

Yours sincerely,
ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs.

Following Comments are from ABC SaturdayExtra Blog

Ever since when they put Janet on the ABC board, it is the Right wing flapping and the answer is blowing in the wind.

The Right in Australia has a deep psychological grudge against the Turks.
This is evident in Australian media, business, politics and history. Pure Bias.
One day it is “Armenian Genocide”, another day it is “Cyprus and Greeks”
and some other day it is “Kurds and PKK”, etc..etc.

“If Turkey can not be invaded again let’s break it up by other means” must be a secret desire in the West.
Iraq is invaded and in pieces today. And Iran?

By following ABC for years, I know you well for a long time.
You are a good and intelligent person. Even though your quests or colleagues do not always search the facts on both sides of the coin, at least you try.

Yours Sincerely
by: Vedat Arkun | 07/17/2008

I am gobsmacked at these allegations to be honest!
Surely any logical person will come to the conclusion that no army that is protecting its own land from occupation would burn/rape its own people. I mean that makes no sense!
Efe Yaman | 07/15/2008

Dear Geraldine,
Giles Milton's book seems to be suggesting that the Turks are responsible for the atrocities of Stalin of USSR. Though he might be onto something; Turks actually might be responsible for Inspiring not only Russians but British in South Africa, French in North Africa, Spanish in South America and Japanese in South east Asia finally Australian British in Tasmania. I can’t believe what those people of Asia Minor are capable of other than saving their own skins. Bloody Turks.

Cynically yours
Erol Akalin | 07/07/2008

Dear Geraldine,
I am a fan of yours and listen to your programs when ever i hear or see. I am disappointed though of your readily agreeing with Giles Milton on Radio National. To sound like clearly point scoring, and attempt for rewriting the history of Izmir and WW1. We all know that war kills and destroys. It is socking to hear that Turks are portrayed as predators and they are to blame for the horror of WW1 and even later atrocities of Stalin for setting the scene. Did you know There where 25 Million Turks also were subjected to tremendous atrocities in USSR. Armenian question is also mentioned however nobody mentions anything about Russian French and British Armenian armed gangs killing raping unarmed children women elderly civilians to stir up the population so that Imperialist powers can justify invading Turkey. When you instigate something, who is to blame for the outcome? Please remember that Turks are the first victim of those days politicks. Mud slinging and portraying proditors as victims in this case will not change anything. Ottoman Empire was a multicultural, multinational, Multireligion country that thrived with all of its subjects. Only the Turks were treated as second class citizens and had no one to protect them. You would still find Turkey a very tolerant society, even so not less then Australia. I suggest a book to read to see how the Empire was built and who and how Turks are. (Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire by Jason Goodwin.) Ataturk was a true hero and a great man. He deserves no such blame or mud tossed at him. I get Goosebumps every time I hear what Ataturk said about the Anzacs. Please do not let somewhat one-sided sore tailed writer change your opinion on Ataturk.

Thank you
by: Erol Babalik | 07/06/2008

I am writing to you in relation to the Saturday Breakfast program that was aired on 21 June and 28 June 2008 on ABC Radio National. Author Giles Milton was the guest of these programs and he spoke about his recent book “Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of Islam’s City of Tolerance”. During the program, he uttered groundless and biased allegations about the march of Turkish army to Izmir in 1922 to rightfully save the city from enemy occupation.

I would like to point out that fabricating such blackening and one-sided stories about a nation’s history does not conform to scientific objectivity which seems to be totally lacking in the author’s book. Furthermore, airing such biased views on a national broadcasting service does not comply with the spirit of harmonious relations among different societies successfully established by the multicultural character of Australia.

I therefore underline my deep disappointment and strongly protest the ABC Radio National for airing one week after another, such a biased interviews full of fabricated and slanderous propaganda. By the way, it was the Greek occupation army which had destroyed and burnt the beautiful Turkish city of Izmir and committed heinous crimes as they fled.

My grandmother is from Izmir. Giles Milton, a journalist not a historian, should consider listening to her stories in addition to the rich Christians of 'Smyrna'. You may also want to do the same thing; invite one of us and we will enlighten you!

But of course neither my granny nor I would probably meet your criteria; after all we are the Turkish women!
I sincerely hope to listen to programs reflecting not only fabrications but also the objective truths of a story. The Turkish community is sick and tired of being unfairly targeted by the media. Do not forget, we too pay tax!

by: Senem Shamsili | 07/05/2008

Dear Geraldine,
I was surprised when you tacked on to your brief "dot point history" of mans inhumanity to man; "Dresden".

It was a dreadful event in dreadful war, around which a legend has been built of this being a totally unwarranted attack on an innocent people. This legend has been put about by books on Dresden by such people as David Irwin (Holocaust denier) and Alexander McKee.

They appear to have successfully persuaded this generation to see the event that the allies undertook as an attack that we should consider with total shame.

A more recent and more scholarly work by Frederick Taylor (Dresden Bloomsbury publishing 2004) Carefully and systematically demonstrates that this city was, by the standards of its time (which were instigated by the Axis powers), was a legitimate military target.
This does not mean that Dresden deserved to be destroyed, no more than did many cities of the UK in which I grew up during WW2.
My biggest personal problem is that the modern world has failed to learn very much, if anything, from the horrors and moral degradation of WW2 and from, your Smyrna item, from more distant history.

Brian Lemin.

I must add to the many plaudits your programme has had. It is the one radio programme in the week which I consider mandatory listening
by: Brian Lemin | 06/21/2008

I first read about the horrors at Smyrna in the novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (winner of the Pulitzer prize for fiction 2003). Basically everything your guest spoke about is covered in 30 pages in a very entertaining book.

Scott Alexander | 06/21/2008

Related Posts
Response from ABC Radio: Ms Geraldine Doogue's Izmir (Smyrna)1922" Program
Letter to Foreign Correspondent - Australian Broadcasting Corporation


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