Armenian Patriarchate sues Turkey for land

March 20, 2012

Most people think the Armenian Genocide was purely about Turks killing Armenians. However, a prime motivator for the killing of 1.5 million Armenians living in Turkey was greed and the redistribution of wealth. The Ottoman Turkish rulers wanted to take possession of the property belonging to  its wealthy Armenian minority. They succeeded.

Throughout the deportation, eyewitness testimonies repeat stories of Turkish officials seeking bribes in the form of gold coins, rugs, jewelry, and so on.

Talaat Pasha (one of the architects of the Armenian Genocide) had the audacity to ask the American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau for the life insurance policies of his victims, because he reasoned the Turkish Government had become the beneficiary of the policies since his victims left no heirs. 

Contrary to common belief, not all killings were perpetrated by chetes (criminal gangs) and Turkish soldiers. Townsfolk throughout Anatolia were promised the homes and belongings of their Armenian neighbors. After they were taught to hate the Armenians for being giavurs or gavoors, which means ‘infidels’ or ‘non-believers’, it was frighteningly easy to whip the people into frenzied kitchen-knife welding mobs capable of murdering their neighbors.

The Turkish government enabled and encouraged the mass looting that took place everywhere the Armenians had once lived. In many instances, Turkey’s governing leaders relocated Kurds and Muslim peoples from the Balkans and other areas to depopulated Armenian communities (immediately following their mass killing and deportation). The Ottoman Turks’ destruction of its Armenian Christian minority created an ‘instant’ Muslim middle class.

Ottoman government archives containing records of land deeds are not accessible to descendants of the Armenian Turkish citizens who were either killed or expelled from their land. One of the obstacles to Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide is its fear of reparations.

Many of the Armenian churches not destroyed by the Turks were converted to Mosques. Some Armenian churches (including the sacred Aktamar site) are profitable enterprises employed by Turkey as part of its thriving tourism industry.

Even Mount Ararat, the ancestral homeland and pride of the Armenian people, now lies within Turkey’s borders. A few weeks ago, I saw a Turkish tourism advertisement prominently featuring Mount Ararat with a depiction of Noah’s Ark. Of course, there was no mention of the Armenians, believed to be the descendants of Noah’s son, Japheth.

Related News:

Armenian Patriarchate files suit in Turkey for return of property
March 20, 2012 | Public Radio of Armenia (

Ervin Staub to deliver lecture at Armenian Genocide Commemoration
March 20, 2012 |

Mr. Staub is the author of “Overcoming Evil”, a book which describes the origins or influences leading to genocide, violent conflict and terrorism. It identifies principles and practices of prevention, and of reconciliation between groups after violence, or before violence thereby to prevent violence. 


Judge Michael Boyajian reflects on peace between Armenians and Turks

May 27, 2010

Bravo to Judge Boyajian–as I read his words, I could picture the little girl he writes about. What an uncomplicated solution to a complex and painful issue. If only…

Read Judge Michael Boyajian’s blog post here:

Letter Writing the Road to Peace
Huffington Post | May 27, 2010

From The Economist: Armenian-Turkish relations

March 14, 2010

The cost of reconstruction
The Economist | March 11, 2010

A table of Turks, a Greek and an Armenian, and a reference to the genocide

March 10, 2010

This afternoon, while waiting for a friend, I stopped into a pizzeria in Queens (outside New York City). The men sitting at the table behind me were talking in a familiar language, which I soon realized was Turkish.

After finishing their lunch, the men headed out of the restaurant. But, one of the men stopped at the counter to ask the owner for something.

The owner replied, “Hey, your grandfather didn’t give my grandfather water!”

Both men smiled and laughed.

Then, the Turk, still smiling, shook his finger and said, “Shame on you!”

(The brief exchange was quite friendly and the men clearly had good feelings towards one another.)

As I was leaving, I asked the owner if he was Armenian.

He replied, “No, I’m Greek.”

I said, “I am Armenian and I heard what you said to your customer.”

He smiled and said, “Oh, they’re Turkish.”

On an individual level, many Armenians and Turks share warm friendships. We are also friendly to one another when we are nothing more than strangers.

I recall an incident that occurred a few years ago when I stopped into a New York City bodega. The clerk (a Turk) actually apologized to me for what happened in Turkey, when he learned that I was Armenian.

So, what happens when the leaders of our governments do the talking and make the decisions for us? Where is the disconnect?

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