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Robert Fisk Article

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  • Robert Fisk Article

    You're talking nonsense, Mr Ambassador

    All the while, new diplomatic archives are opening to reveal the smell of death - Armenian death

    By Robert Fisk - 20 May 2006

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...icle548977.ece
    http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle13121.htm
    A letter from the Turkish Ambassador to the Court of Saint James arrived for me a few days ago, one of those missives that send a shudder through the human soul. "You allege that an 'Armenian genocide' took place in Eastern Anatolia in 1915," His Excellency Mr Akin Alptuna told me. "I believe you have some misconceptions about those events ..."

    Oh indeedy doody, I have. I am under the totally mistaken conception that one and a half million Armenians were cruelly and deliberately done to death by their Turkish Ottoman masters in 1915, that the men were shot and knifed while their womenfolk were raped and eviscerated and cremated and starved on death marches and their children butchered. I have met a few of the survivors - liars to a man and woman, if the Turkish ambassador to Britain is to be believed - and I have seen the photographs taken of the victims by a brave German photographer called Armen Wegner whose pictures must now, I suppose, be consigned to the waste bins. So must the archives of all those diplomats who courageously catalogued the mass murders inflicted upon Turkey's Christian population on the orders of the gang of nationalists who ran the Ottoman government in 1915. What would have been our reaction if the ambassador of Germany had written a note to the same effect? "You allege that a 'Jewish genocide' took place in Eastern Europe between 1939 and 1945 ... I believe you have some misconceptions about those events..." Of course, the moment such a letter became public, the ambassador of Germany would be condemned by the Foreign Office, our man in Berlin would - even the pusillanimous Blair might rise to the occasion - be withdrawn for consultations and the European Union would debate whether sanctions should be placed upon Germany.

    But Mr Alptuna need have no such worries. His country is not a member of the European Union - it merely wishes to be - and it was Mr Blair's craven administration that for many months tried to prevent Armenian participation in Britain's Holocaust Day.

    Amid this chicanery, there are a few shining bright lights and I should say at once that Mr Alp-tuna's letter is a grotesque rep-resentation of the views of a growing number of Turkish citizens, a few of whom I have the honour to know, who are convinced that the story of the great evil visited upon the Armenians must be told in their country. So why, oh why, I ask myself, are Mr Alptuna and his colleagues in Paris and Beirut and other cities still peddling this nonsense?

    In Lebanon, for example, the Turkish embassy has sent a "communiquZ" to the local French-language L'OrientLeJour newspaper, referring to the "soi-disant (so-called) Armenian genocide" and asking why the modern state of Armenia will not respond to the Turkish call for a joint historical study to "examine the events" of 1915.

    In fact, the Armenian president, Robert Kotcharian, will not respond to such an invitation for the same reason that the world's Jewish community would not respond to the call for a similar examination of the Jewish Holocaust from the Iranian president - because an unprecedented international crime was committed, the mere questioning of which would be an insult to the millions of victims who perished.

    But the Turkish appeals are artfully concocted. In Beirut, they recall the Allied catastrophe at Gallipoli in 1915 when British, French, Australian and New Zealand troops suffered massive casualties at the hands of the Turkish army. In all - including Turkish soldiers - up to a quarter of a million men perished in the Dardanelles. The Turkish embassy in Beirut rightly states that the belligerent nations of Gallipoli have transformed these hostilities into gestures of reconciliation, friendship and mutual respect. A good try. But the bloodbath of Gallipoli did not involve the planned murder of hundreds of thousands of British, French, Australian, New Zealand - and Turkish - women and children.

    But now for the bright lights. A group of "righteous Turks" are challenging their government's dishonest account of the 1915 genocide: Ahmet Insel, Baskin Oran, Halil Berktay, Hrant Dink, Ragip Zarakolu and others claim that the "democratic process" in Turkey wil "chip away at the darkness" and they seek help from Armenians in doing so. Yet even they will refer only to the 1915 "disaster", the "tragedy", and the "agony" of the Armenians. Dr Fatma Gocek of the University of Michigan is among the bravest of those Turkish-born academics who are fighting to confront the Ottoman Empire's terror against the Armenians. Yet she, too, objects to the use of the word genocide - though she acknowledges its accuracy - on the grounds that it has become "politicised" and thus hinders research.

    I have some sympathy with this argument. Why make the job of honest Turks more difficult when these good men and women are taking on the might of Turkish nationalism? The problem is that other, more disreputable folk are demanding the same deletion. Mr Alputuna writes to me - with awesome disingenuousness - that Ar-menians "have failed to submit any irrefutable evidence to support their allegations of genocide". And he goes on to say that "genocide, as you are well aware, has a quite specific legal definition" in the UN's 1948 Convention. But Mr Alputuna is himself well aware - though he does not say so, of course - that the definition of geno-cide was set out by Raphael

    Lemkin, a Jew, in specific reference to the wholesale mass slaughter of the Armenians.

    And all the while, new diplomatic archives are opening in the West which reveal the smell of death - Armenian death - in their pages. I quote here, for example, from the newly discovered account of Denmark's minister in Turkey during the First World War. "The Turks are vigorously carrying through their cruel intention, to exterminate the Armenian people," Carl Wandel wrote on 3 July 1915. The Bishop of Karput was ordered to leave Aleppo within 48 hours "and it has later been learned that this Bishop and all the clergy that accompanied him have be e n. killed between Diyarbekir and Urfa at a place where approximately 1,700 Armenian families have suffered the same fate... In Angora ... approximately 6,000 men ... have been shot on the road.e v en here in Constantinople (Istanbul), Armenians are being abducted and sent to Asia..."

    There is much, much more. Yet now here is Mr Alptuna in his letter to me: "In fact, the Armenians living outside Eastern Armenia including Istanbul... were excluded from deportation." Somebody here is not telling the truth. The late Mr Wandel of Copenhagen? Or the Turkish Ambassador to the Court of St James?

    Al the while, new diplomatic archives are opening to reveal the smell of death - Armenian death

    www.independent.co.uk
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

  • #2
    http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=23160

    Politicians who promise to recognize Armenian Genocide, are acting purely for their own interests
    03.08.2007 14:41 GMT+04:00


    /PanARMENIAN.Net/ “Armenians themselves must tell the world about the Genocide, nobody else will do it instead of them. In this issue there is no one that Armenia may rely on. Those politicians who promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide, are acting proceeding purely from their own interests, and we do not have to look for examples very long –the latest three US presidents,” The Independent’s journalist Robert Fisk stated in his lecture at the American University in Yerevan. He reminded the auditorium that first Winston Churchill called massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire ‘genocide’ in 1930ies of the 20th century. “True, he was not prime minister then and even a politician, he was a journalist in the Middle East,” Fisk underlined.

    Speaking on Great Britain’s stance in the recognition process of the Armenian Genocide, Fisk stated that the best example of it is the fact that former Premier Tony Blair proclaimed January 27 as the Remembrance Day for Holocaust, completely “forgetting” the Armenian Genocide. “The British government thinks it does not have enough information on the events of 1915, instead it has enough information that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction,” The Independence’s correspondent said.

    At the same time he underlined recognition of the Armenian Genocide must become a compulsory precondition for Turkey in his EU bid.

    Robert Fisk is a well-known journalist and writer, author of a book on the Middle East and correspondent at The Independent. He has received severel prestigious awards in journalism, lives and works in Beirut.
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Joseph View Post
      http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=23160

      Politicians who promise to recognize Armenian Genocide, are acting purely for their own interests
      03.08.2007 14:41 GMT+04:00


      /PanARMENIAN.Net/ “Armenians themselves must tell the world about the Genocide, nobody else will do it instead of them. In this issue there is no one that Armenia may rely on. Those politicians who promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide, are acting proceeding purely from their own interests, and we do not have to look for examples very long –the latest three US presidents,” The Independent’s journalist Robert Fisk stated in his lecture at the American University in Yerevan. He reminded the auditorium that first Winston Churchill called massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire ‘genocide’ in 1930ies of the 20th century. “True, he was not prime minister then and even a politician, he was a journalist in the Middle East,” Fisk underlined.

      Speaking on Great Britain’s stance in the recognition process of the Armenian Genocide, Fisk stated that the best example of it is the fact that former Premier Tony Blair proclaimed January 27 as the Remembrance Day for Holocaust, completely “forgetting” the Armenian Genocide. “The British government thinks it does not have enough information on the events of 1915, instead it has enough information that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction,” The Independence’s correspondent said.

      At the same time he underlined recognition of the Armenian Genocide must become a compulsory precondition for Turkey in his EU bid.

      Robert Fisk is a well-known journalist and writer, author of a book on the Middle East and correspondent at The Independent. He has received severel prestigious awards in journalism, lives and works in Beirut.
      Turkey managed to thrust his viewpoint concerning events of 1915 on world community
      03.08.2007 14:19 GMT+04:00
      /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Western journalists are not ready to tell the truth about the Armenian Genocide of 1915 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, The Independent’s journalist Robert Fisk stated in his lecture at the American University in Yerevan. He said Turkey managed to thrust his viewpoint on the world community saying that during Ward War I Armenians were deported, since they could launch a civil war in the Ottoman Empire. “After the assassination of Hrant Dink I was reading world press. Reuters had prepared a material from Trabzon, which included everything besides the true motivations of that murder. It read about social causes, that the youth has guns at hand and so forth. Moreover, The New York Times constantly tells about “good relations between Armenian and Turks in the Ottoman Empire”. Everybody is well aware that this is not the truth. But nevertheless, what is written it becomes a viewpoint,” Fisk said.

      Robert Fisk, a world-famous journalist and writer, author of a book on the Middle East and correspondent at The Independent, has written a book entitled “The Great War of Civilizations”, where he has devoted a separate chapter to the Armenian Genocide under “The First Holocaust” title. In his book Fisk brings historical documents, interviews with those who have survived massacres of Armenians and settled in Lebanon and Syria. The book has been already translated into Turkish but has not come into the market yet.
      General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

      Comment


      • #4
        [QUOTE=Joseph;25436]http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=23160

        “The British government thinks it does not have enough information on the events of 1915, instead it has enough information that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction,” The Independence’s correspondent said.

        QUOTE]

        I like that.
        "All truth passes through three stages:
        First, it is ridiculed;
        Second, it is violently opposed; and
        Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

        Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

        Comment


        • #5
          [QUOTE=Gavur;25455]
          Originally posted by Joseph View Post
          http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=23160

          “The British government thinks it does not have enough information on the events of 1915, instead it has enough information that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction,” The Independence’s correspondent said.

          QUOTE]

          I like that.
          Fisk always has a few well thought out zingers in his columns. Good man.
          General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

          Comment


          • #6
            http://news.independent.co.uk/fisk/article3052373.ece


            Robert Fisk: A reign of terror which history has chosen to neglect
            Published: 12 October 2007


            The story of the last century's first Holocaust – Winston Churchill used this very word about the Armenian genocide years before the Nazi murder of six million Jews – is well known, despite the refusal of modern-day Turkey to acknowledge the facts. Nor are the parallels with Nazi Germany's persecution of the Jews idle ones.

            Turkey's reign of terror against the Armenian people was an attempt to destroy the Armenian race. While the Turks spoke publicly of the need to "resettle" their Armenian population – as the Germans were to speak later of the Jews of Europe – the true intentions of Enver Pasha's Committee of Union and Progress in Constantinople were quite clear.

            On 15 September 1915, for example (and a carbon of this document exists), Talaat Pasha, the Turkish Interior minister, cabled an instruction to his prefect in Aleppo about what he should do with the tens of thousands of Armenians in his city. "You have already been informed that the government... has decided to destroy completely all the indicated persons living in Turkey... Their existence must be terminated, however tragic the measures taken may be, and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to any scruples of conscience."

            These words are almost identical to those used by Himmler to his SS killers in 1941.

            Taner Akcam, a prominent – and extremely brave – Turkish scholar who has visited the Yerevan museum, has used original Ottoman Turkish documents to authenticate the act of genocide. Now under fierce attack for doing so from his own government, he discovered in Turkish archives that individual Turkish officers often wrote "doubles" of their mass death-sentence orders, telegrams sent at precisely the same time that asked their subordinates to ensure there was sufficient protection and food for the Armenians during their "resettlement". This weirdly parallels the bureaucracy of Nazi Germany, where officials were dispatching hundreds of thousands of Jews to the gas chambers while assuring International Red Cross officials in Geneva that they were being well cared for and well fed.

            Ottoman Turkey's attempt to exterminate an entire Christian race in the Middle East – the Armenians, descended from the residents of ancient Urartu, became the first Christian nation when their king Drtad converted from paganism in AD301 – is a history of almost unrelieved horror at the hands of Turkish policemen and soldiers, and Kurdish tribesmen.

            In 1915, Turkey claimed that its Armenian population was supporting Turkey's Christian enemies in Britain, France and Russia. Several historians – including Churchill, who was responsible for the doomed venture at Gallipoli – have asked whether the Turkish victory there did not give them the excuse to turn against the Christian Armenians of Asia Minor, a people of mixed Persian, Roman and Byzantine blood, with what Churchill called "merciless fury".

            Armenian scholars have compiled a map of their people's persecution and deportation, a document that is as detailed as the maps of Europe that show the railway lines to Auschwitz and Treblinka; the Armenians of Erzerum, for example, were sent on their death march to Terjan and then to Erzinjan and on to Sivas province.

            The men would be executed by firing squad or hacked to death with axes outside villages, the women and children then driven on into the desert to die of thirst or disease or exhaustion or gang-rape. In one mass grave I myself discovered on a hillside at Hurgada in present-day Syria, there were thousands of skeletons, mostly of young people – their teeth were perfect. I even found a 100-year-old Armenian woman who had escaped the slaughter there and identified the hillside for me.

            There is debate in Yerevan today as to why the diaspora Armenians appear to care more about the genocide than the citizens of modern-day Armenia. Indeed, the Foreign minister of Armenia, Vardan Oskanian, actually told me that "days, weeks, even months go by" when he does not think of the genocide. One powerful argument put to me by an Armenian friend is that 70 years of Stalinism and official Soviet silence on the genocide deleted the historical memory in eastern Armenia – the present-day state of Armenia.

            Another argument suggests that the survivors of western Armenia – in what is now Turkey – lost their families and lands and still seek acknowledgement and maybe even restitution, while eastern Armenians did not lose their lands.
            General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

            Comment

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