2644) Free Consolation Versus Frail Compensation !

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December 16th, 2010 Update At The End Of This Post ( Ninth Circuit Rules No Federal Policy Regarding Armenian Genocide by Roger Alford)

Please Click On Image To Enlarge

Every time I read the Armenian Diaspora publications, newsletters, articles, bragging and self-praising, I remember “Odyssey” and the story of nymphs or sirens dragging boats to go on rocks for final destruction.

Those who have read a little about the Armenian Revolutionaries activities, would know that those coming from Russia (where they were oppressed) to save the Armenians of Turkey (who were relatively in better standards) and their songs of “liberty and . .
independence” was like the tunes of the sirens! They will also wonder why and how an innocent nation who lived in harmony with Turks for over six centuries, were dragged onto the rocks and suffered severe calamities, because of the tunes they heard and liked.

In the third (after 1970s) or final stage of revolutionary activities by propaganda and political pressure, the diaspora Armenians living in USA (and also France), are continuously asked to pay – contribute to the cause with the solemn goal to force Turkey to pay Compensations or Restitution which is read loudly, at the end of each article as a rightful demand. The diaspora Armenians believe in this “jackpot” prize so seriously, that in California, even a law has been passed to exempt Armenians from taxes, when they get these compensations paid. At universities, student bodies hold symposiums to decide where and how these “sure compensations should be spent”. In short, the feasting table is all set for the “prize fish, big enough to feed all hungry”!

A recent study (see TallArmenianTale.com or Armenians-1915.blogspot.com revealed an article by Roger Alford from Opinio Juris weblog, stipulating that all “Armenian Genocide Claims are Dismissed” because Turkey paid $ 1.3 millions in 1934, in settlement of all claims by USA for her citizens.

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Thanks to the help our friend Gokalp, I excerpt above the Original “Adjustment of Payments due to the United States” no.168, Washington, Sept.8, 1937, and the final letter of agreement No.93, dated Sept.23, 1937 which in short reconfirm that the actual amount paid by Turkey was not even $ 1.3 millions, but $ 899.338.09! All of the valid claims had amounted to $ 539.844.13; the difference constituted the interest added on the main amount. This agreement was applied and all amounts were paid by June 1944. This agreement fully discharged Turkey from all claims of USA or her citizens and hence cannot be brought up by international law, at least for all (Armenian) U.S. citizens!

S.S.Aya Istanbul, Nov. 5th 2008


The Secretary of State to the Charge in Turkey {Washington)

No. 168 WASHINGTON, September 8, 1987.

SIR: The Department is transmitting under separate cover, for the use and information of the Embassy exclusively, three copies of the Opinions and Report prepared by Mr. Fred K. Nielsen in connection with the American-Turkish claims settlement under the Agreement of December 24, 1923,20 and supplemental agreements21 between the United States and Turkey. For convenience of reference there is quoted below the penultimate paragraph of Mr. Nielsen's "General Report", appearing on pages 3-41 of the above-mentioned volume:

"Toward the close of negotiations the Turkish Delegates proposed a settlement in the sum of $1,200,000. This was considered by the Department of State to be inadequate. The sum originally proposed by the Government of the United States, $5,000,000, is considerably more than the sum agreed upon in settlement of all claims, $1,300,000, and much more than the total of the principal sums ascertained by the determination of each of the cases on its merits, $539.844.13, and, further, much more than that sum and interest which total $899.338.09. However, it may be confidently stated, without any apprehension of error, that, after a scrupulously careful examination of each case, the total of principal amounts ascertained represents everything that could possibly be awarded as compensation in the light of evidence and by application of controlling rules and principles of substantive law. It may be added that, in accordance with customary procedure in the treatment of evidence in international claims, application has been given to a liberal practice, which inures to the benefit of claimants."

It will be observed that the total amount of the awards made to claimants, plus interest, is $899,338.09, whereas the Turkish Govern-ment, under the terms of the Agreement of October 25, 1934, agreed ...


The American Charge in Turkey (Washington) to the Turkish Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs (Menemencioglu) 23

No. 93 ISTANBUL, September 23, 1937.

SIR: Your Excellency will recall that under the provisions of the American-Turkish Agreement of October 25,1934, the Turkish Gov-ernment undertook to pay to the Government of the United States the sum of $1,300,000 in full settlement of the claims of American citizens which were embraced by the Agreement of December 24, 1923. The former Agreement further provided that payment was to be in thirteen annual installments of $100,000, the first installment to be made on June 1,1936.

A Commission which has had the claims of American citizens under consideration, after careful and impartial inquiry, has made awards which amount to $899,338.09. I take pleasure in informing Your Excellency that my Government will consider the obligation of the Turkish Government, under the Agreement of October 25,1934, fully discharged when the annual payments of $100,000 shall have reached the total amount of the awards, that is, $899,338.09. Inasmuch as the Turkish Government has already made payment of $200,000, my Government will expect to receive only the additional sum of $699,-338.09, to be paid in six equal installments of $100,000 on the agreed upon date in June of the years 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942 and 1943, and a final installment of $99,338.09, payable in June, 1944.

Accept [etc.] 8. WALTER WASHINGTON

United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa
Volume II (1937), Turkey, pp. 941-958

Updated December 16th, 2010

Ninth Circuit Rules No Federal Policy Regarding Armenian Genocide

Roger Alford

The Ninth Circuit this week ruled that there was no federal policy with respect to the Armenian Genocide, thereby allowing insurance claims brought by Armenian nationals under a California statute to go forward. In Movsesian v. Victoria Versicherung AG, the Ninth Circuit distinguished Garamendi, concluding that there was no federal policy against recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Indeed, “[c]onsidering the number of expressions of federal executive and legislative support for recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and federal inaction in the face of explicit state support for such recognition, we cannot conclude that a clear, express federal policy forbids the state of California from using the term ‘Armenian Genocide’” in the statute.

The interesting wrinkle in the case is that in August 2009 the same panel came out precisely the opposite. As Michael Ramsey discusses at length here, that panel bizarrely ruled that the failure to recognize the genocide in formal legislation was a federal pronouncement sufficient to preempt state law. On petition for rehearing, that opinion was withdrawn, and now Judge Nelson has reversed herself, siding with Judge Pregerson.

I consulted on the case on behalf of Movsesian, and I have no doubt that the Ninth Circuit got this one right. In light of Medellin‘s limitation on Garamendi, it was truly astonishing to hold that inchoate federal policies were enough to preempt state laws.

In related news, as reported here, “three descendants of Armenians who lost their property in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Turkish government and two Turkish banks for restitution of more than $63 million for acreage that includes the strategic Incirlik Air Base used by the U.S. military.” Lee Boyd and Michael Bazyler are working with Vartkes Yeghiayan on behalf of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs’ press release is here.

The timing of the complaint could not have been better. It comes just days after the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Movsesian and two weeks before the California Armenian genocide law extending the statute of limitations was set to expire.

December 16th, 2010


Anonymous said...

Sukru Server Aya's essay is not only factual but also poetic.

Thank you Mr. Aya, for opening the eyes of some greedy falsifiers.

Your contribution through research to Turkish-Armenian peace is immeasurably enormous.


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