Turks killed 30,000 Armenians in Adana before the Armenian Genocide

September 15, 2011

Robert Fisk: New light on an old horror – and still there is no justice
Independent | September 10, 2011

Related Commentary:

Use Google News to search Erdogan and follow what is unfolding in Turkey and the Middle East today. The Islamist leader of Turkey is pursuing a neo-Ottoman path to quench his thirsty ego. 

Although Turkey is currently a democracy, much of Erdogan’s behavior and policies are reminescent of Turkey’s Ottoman rulers, as well as those seen from up-and-coming dictators. Here are just a few red flags which have gone up since Erdogan’s reelection:

  • Turkey’s senior military resigned en masse
  • Turkey is imposing stricter censoring of the press and the Internet
  • The Turkish military has killed large numbers of Kurds in Iraq

Now, Erdogan is using the pretext of the Palestinian cause and the Arab Spring as a platform to stir up anti-Israel/anti-Semitic sentiments, to position himself as a democratic visionary for the Middle East. Since Turkey’s poor human rights record within its borders remains an obstacle to its acceptance into the European Union, the Turkish Prime Minister’s credibility as a benevolent leader is more than questionable.

Also, consider the hypocrisy and manipulation of the Erdogan flotilla circus. It is a fact that Turkey has sustained an illegal and crippling blockade of Armenia for nearly two decades. For Erdogan, it is okay for Turkey to blockade the Republic of Armenia (which is not threatening Turkey’s safety), but it is not okay for Israel to blockade Gaza (to prevent trafficking of arms used for terror attacks against Israel).

Furthermore, recent news reports tell of the Turkish government’s plan to return the properties it appropriated from its country’s religious minorities. Yet, despite appeals to the government to return these properties (since these news reports), all ill-begotten lands remain in the hands of the Turkish government.

For Erdogan’s record and Turkey’s responses regarding the Turkish government’s shameful denial of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, search Google. This blog also offers extensive information about the Armenian Genocide and Turkey. (A word of caution: beware of sites hosted by genocide denial groups purporting to provide facts—you can spot one wherever you read the words ‘so-called genocide’).

Erdogan is a genocide denier with an Ottoman-inspired world view. He is exacerbating and exploiting the Middle East’s instability for his own gain. The citizens of the world and our leaders must be vigilant if we are dedicated to peace and a better life for all peoples in the Middle East. It is the responsibility of each and every individual to know our collective history. If we fail to understand the lessons of the past, we will no doubt repeat the pain and suffering of the generations who came before us. Education is empowerment. And, with knowledge we can speak truth to power.


Does it matter whether Turkey admits it was genocide?

May 6, 2011

Yesterday, I attended a talk by a well-known reporter who has covered the Armenian community and the United Nations throughout her career. At the end of the talk, the question of whether it matters if Turkey admits to the Armenian Genocide came up. I chose to listen to the opinions shared, not offering mine despite being among Armenians in the familiar surroundings of the Eastern Dioceses of the Armenian Church complex. It is interesting to note that Armenians do not share one mind when it comes to the topic of the Armenian Genocide.

Dr. Richard Hovannisian at 2011 Times Square Commemoration of Armenian Genocide

Dr. Richard Hovannisian at 2011 Times Square Commemoration of Armenian Genocide

While there is no doubt in any Armenian’s mind about the veracity of the facts concerning the Armenian Genocide, we do not all agree on what to do with this knowledge.

Many Armenians (like a significant percentage of those attending the commemoration of the 96th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Times Square) want reparations and land. Many only want an official acknowledgment and apology from the government of Turkey.

Opinions also tend to be colored by whether or not an Armenian individual’s family was a victim of the Genocide or not. Present-day Armenians living in Turkey frequently disparage Armenians in the diaspora for our politics, which is something not altogether surprising, because the Turkish government considers the vocal diaspora (especially in the United States) to be a thorn in its side. 

As I’ve come to learn, Armenians from the former Soviet Republic of Armenia and the Middle East have varying degrees of knowledge about the Armenian Genocide. Generally speaking, Armenians living in Europe and the United States have historically had far greater access to the wealth of knowledge about the history of the Armenian Genocide. This, too, informs the opinions Armenians have about the Turkish question.


Tell New York Times: Armenian Genocide committed by Ottoman Turks in Turkey not in Armenia

March 29, 2011

In the 21st Century, the United States and western allies are finally working to prevent genocide:

An Aide’s Clout Shows in Obama’s Address
New York Times | March 29, 2011

TAKE ACTION

Please call the New York Times to thank them for this article and thank reporter Sheryl Gay Stolsberg for including the reference to the Armenian Genocide. Be sure to ask them to correct an important mistake: The Armenian Genocide was carried out in Turkey, not in Armenia. Call the New York Times, toll-free: 1-888-698-6397. Or email reporter, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, by clicking her name at the top of the article.


WikiLeaks revelations about the Armenian Genocide

November 30, 2010

For hourly updates on released WikiLeaks documents, “Like” the Armenian Weekly’s Facebook group.


Armenian Genocide recognition a reality or fantasy in US, GB and Israel?

April 29, 2010

This past weekend, there were commemorations in cities around the world honoring the memories of the 1.5 million souls who did not survive the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Turks 95 years ago. There seems to be an unprecedented groundswell concerning the issue of recognizing the Armenian Genocide over the past year. I believe this is directly related to the attention brought to this history as the world’s powers tried in vain to bring Armenia and Turkey together to talk peace.

Simplifying the matter, the issue of opening the borders between the two countries is in the interests of government and business leaders because they wish to run a pipeline through a less costly route than is possible at this moment in time (with Turkey and Armenia in a stalemate). At the time of the Genocide, the US, France, and Great Britain sent aid and intervened only up to a point. But, since it wasn’t in the Great Powers’ interests to do more, they withdrew. Last week, Armenia withdrew from participating in the Protocols and will not return until the terms of the deal truly serve Armenia’s interests as much as every other interested party.

Ironically, Great Britain and the US have not recognized the Armenian Genocide, because that would insult Turkey, and apparently, they clearly believe that is not in our best interests. Nor has Israel.  [See the related article links below.] But, it important to state that to France’s credit, the Armenian Genocide is recognized by their country.

Perhaps if everyone could look inside their hearts and stop listening to Turkey’s politicians and paid lobbyists, they might see that honoring the past (by calling it what it is), would free everyone to move forward, allowing us all to look toward the future in good faith with the beginning of at least a sense of mutual trust. Recognizing genocide is in everyone’s best interests.

Turkish Diplomat: US May Recognize Armenian Genocide in October
Huliq | April 27, 2010

Armenian Genocide issue on Knesset agenda
Public Radio of Armenia www.armradio.am | April 29, 2010


Armenia breaks from Armenia-Turkey Protocols

April 22, 2010

Armenia Scraps a Border Deal With Turkey
U.S.-Backed Pact Falls Apart After Neither Side Moves to Ratify Treaty Aimed at Resolving Disputes
Wall Street Journal | April 22, 2010


Thoughts about Armenian Genocide denial

April 12, 2010

In his Slate article, Christopher Hitchens writes:

“April is the cruelest month for the people of Armenia, who every year at this season have to suffer a continuing tragedy and a humiliation. The tragedy is that of commemorating the huge number of their ancestors who were exterminated by the Ottoman Muslim caliphate in a campaign of state-planned mass murder that began in April 1915. The humiliation is of hearing, year after year, that the Turkish authorities simply deny that these appalling events ever occurred or that the killings constituted ‘genocide’.”

But, the more I read, the more I’m beginning to think that the Turkish government is humiliating its own countrymen and further damaging its country’s reputation in the eyes of the world. Armenians don’t need Turkey to validate our history. We know what happened, as does most of the world.

The problem is that denial of the Armenian Genocide is hurtful and harmful. It is my sincerest wish that the remaining Armenian Genocide survivors could hear Turkey’s apology in their lifetime. But, that is not realistic. Especially, as long as nations, including the United States, Great Britain and Israel continue to look the other way as Turkey continues its multi-million dollar annual campaign to spread disinformation. The leaders of the world must muster up their moral courage and stand up to Turkey (as President Obama had promised he would when he was Senator Obama).

Read Hitchen’s article:

Shut Up About Armenians or We’ll Hurt Them Again—Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s latest sinister threat
Slate | April 5, 2010



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