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Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

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  • The title of the article should read: "Uneducated nationalist hooligans flock to support third rate arabesque singer and threaten people with literacy and intelligence in the name of racism". Sure the title is long, but it pretty much covers what has been happening.


    http://www.bianet.org/english/katego...ten-journalist

    Türüt's "Fans" Threaten Journalist
    Türüt and Sirin's lawyer warned: "Know your limits". Body guards threatened a journalist.
    B?a news centre
    21-09-2007

    Erol Önderoglu

    Singer Ismail Türüt and composer Arif Sirin( also known as Ozan Arif) arrived at the Sultanahmet Law Court yesterday (19 September) in order to make statements to Press Prosecutor Nurten Altinok.

    An investigation has been started into the song "Plan, Don't make a plan", composed by Sirin and sung by Türüt. It is said to include references to and praise of the suspected murderers of journalist Hrant Dink. In addition, the song was put on the Internet website YouTube with a video clip about the murder.

    Journalist threatened

    Türüt and Sirin arrived in a Hammer jeep and a 20-strong body guard. When they left the building again, Radikal reporter Serkan Ocak asked, "Are these people your body guard?" Ocak was pointed at and threatened by a guard, who said, "Be careful!"

    Türüt said, "Oh no, this is not a body guard. These are my friends, my fans." He added, "Those who made the [You Tube] clip are despicable. I am suing."

    Lawyer Yesilyurt threatens

    Journalist Ali Bayramoglu, who had written about the clip, has been threatened, and yesterday Türüt and Sirin's lawyer Ömer Yesilyurt chose the same tone in front of the law court:

    "The ink on Elif Safak's novel has not dried. I call on all columnists who are burying their heads in the sand when people say "Armenians were murdered". We will continue to say what we know. Everyone should know their limits."

    CHD has filed criminal complaint against Erdemir

    The president of the Izmir Bar Association, Nevzat Erdemir, had spoken of the song as "patriotic and behaviour that needs to be congratulated".

    The Modern Lawyers' Association (CHD) has filed a criminal complaint against Erdemir for "praising a crime and criminals" (Article 215 of the Turkish Penal Code) and "inciting the people to disobey laws" (Article 217) and "attempting to influence an impartial trial" (Article 288).

    The CHD said, "During his three years as president of the Bar Association Nevzat Erdemir has never made a positive, modern or democratic statement in the name of law or justice and never shown such a reflex. It is shameful that he talks about the freedom of expression for the first time when he wants to protect and glorify those who legitimise and praise a murder."

    "Not the first shameful act"

    In their statement, the CHD also said, "This is not the first shameful act of the Izmir Bar Association and its president, who refused to openly condemn the murders of Hrant Dink, of the priest Santoro and the Malatya massacre."

    The CHD accuses Erdemir of

    "Closing the Group for Prevention of Torture as soon as he came to office and starting a slandering campaign against his colleagues who had worked in that group, together with [nationalist lawyer] Kerincsiz arranging the protest to "dip the Patriarch in the water", and allowing the administrator of the racist "Turkic Socialist People's Association" to join the bar as an administrator,"

    "Organising the Talat Pasa march in Lausanne together with Dogu Perincek and his group,"

    "Giving space to the racist texts of suspects in a gang trial on the bar website,"

    "Protecting a lawyer who pointed a gun at colleagues at a plenary assembly"

    "Ignoring the attitude of lawyer Fuat Turgur, who insulted and threatened Rakel Dink, her family and third-party lawyers at the first hearing of the Dink trial." (EÖ/NZ)
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

    Comment


    • Originally posted by 1.5 million View Post
      I imagine that Dink would have opposed his own murder as well. Do you blame Armenians for that as well? I don't think you understand either Dink or Armenians very well. We might not always agree with one another...but we are still Armenian. Dink would (did) understand that.
      I understand you too well (decide for yourself if that is meant to be a collective "you" or not). Dink was murdered because what he said and wrote was both reasonable and realisable within Turkey, and was directed at a Turkish audience (NOT just an Armenian one) - that made him important in Turkey and dangerous to certain elements there.
      Plenipotentiary meow!

      Comment


      • More insanity, this time in Erzeroum

        http://english.sabah.com.tr/7A9EDD80...CAB4059AB.html

        The second disaster in the name of law

        After the chairman of ?zmir bar council, the chairman of Erzurum bar council also praised crime: "There will always be Ogüns and Yasins in this country."

        The chairman of Erzurum bar council Naci Turan supported the song of ?smail Türüt which idolizes the suspects in murder of Hrant Dink and praises the murder saying "the song does not praise the crime and criminal."



        Surprising statement of Erzurum bar council chairman

        Erzurum bar council chairman Turan supported the song by ?smail Türüt and Ozan Arif which caused an investigation to be opened for praising the murder of Dink.

        After the chairman of ?zmir bar council Nevzat Erdemir, Erzurum bar council chairman Naci Turan defended that the song by ?smail Türüt called "do not make plans" does not praise the crime or the criminal. Turan said: "the investigation has been opened due to the provocations by the media fostered by Armenian Diaspora."

        Turan said he examined the song by ?smail Türüt but he did not find any statements praising the crime or the criminal. Turan said it does not make any sense that the song was passed on to jurisdiction. Turan said: "our country is going through a dark period. In his song Ozan Arif says do not play games in the Black Sea, I believe that these games work in our country."
        General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

        Comment


        • Originally posted by bell-the-cat View Post
          I understand you too well (decide for yourself if that is meant to be a collective "you" or not). Dink was murdered because what he said and wrote was both reasonable and realisable within Turkey, and was directed at a Turkish audience (NOT just an Armenian one) - that made him important in Turkey and dangerous to certain elements there.
          Perhaps it is yourself that you truly don't understand...in addition to not understanding (any) others. It is laughable to me that you think that you do.

          Armenians don't need to be preached to by some outsider. If you understood (and respected) Armenians you wouldn't need anyone to tell you that. That you know some things (details) is not in question. And we have always been an open audience for your (constructive and current/relevant) input. But when it comes to (continually) taking shots at Armenians and being condesending - well I think we've about had enough. Do you really think that we don't understand who Dink was, how he thought and why, who he spoke as and to whom - and why he irrated some/many both Turks and Armenians (of certain circles/inclinations)? Do you really view Armenians as such a monolithic and unaware block that you can think many of us failed to understand the man or his messages? Really now. That being said no one (honestly) can claim that we all agree with one another on all things. About some things I believe Dink was wrong - or at least was only representing a certain perspective (and doing so quite well and eloquently). But not all of us are Turkish (citizens) now are we...and neither will we accept being held hostage as a people.
          Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
          Adolf Hitler (22 August 1939)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Joseph View Post
            After the chairman of ?zmir bar council, the chairman of Erzurum bar council also praised crime: "There will always be Ogüns and Yasins in this country."
            How sad.

            Comment


            • Assyrian International News Agency
              The Armenian Genocide As a Case Study in Today's Middle East Relations
              Posted GMT 10-10-2007 17:43:10
              A sensitive bill is about to go before the US Congress, and it won't be the first time that this initiative has been struck down by careful congressmen- only this time for the wrong reasons. The word "genocide" is not taken lightly in international arenas, and this means that governments have to be especially careful of which atrocities they recognize as genocide and which they give credence to as horrible human tragedies- but no more. If the United States recognizes the deaths of between 300,000 (Turkish estimates) and 1.5 million (Armenian estimates) Armenians as genocide, it may cause new lines to be drawn in the sands of the Middle East, but it would also be a courageous gesture in an era when moral certitude is lacking in foreign policy. Here are some considerations to think about in recognizing this event as genocide.

              The main agitator against the bill's passage is of course the modern state of Turkey which- if it tried- could better disassociate itself from the triumvirate of bad Pashas during World War I who ordered the systematic annihilation of Armenians in Turkey. The initial waves of Armenian slaughter must be understood as the attempts of the Young Turks in the weak Ottoman government to establish a modern, though powerful state that would be exclusively Turkish and Muslim. They were assisted by the Ottoman Pasha's ill-conceived decision to side with the Germans and Austrians, which pre-destined the country to partition along ethnic and religious lines if the Axis should ever lose the war. With that concern foremost in his mind, the Pasha allowed for the legal expulsion of Christians from the territory of Turkey. Because of its geographic dispersion throughout Turkey, it was the Armenian community which would suffer the brunt of this measure, since the Turkish forces who were fighting against the Russians in 1915 were severely defeated by an army that was comprised of- understandably- Armenians. Sensing a Christian conspiracy, the Turkish government in Istanbul began conducting a purge of those territories where Armenians resided and allowed for revenge to be taken out against them. Interestingly enough, the conceptual genocide may have been ordered by angry Young Turks, but it was physically carried out by another ethnic minority within Turkey- the Kurds.

              This presents an interesting paradigm in current Turkish-Kurdish relations which can be relegated to "very bad" when one considers Iraqi Kurdistan today. The Turks of 1915 were not powerful enough to secure their eastern frontier and relied on the Kurds for the nefarious job of driving the Armenians out. To be specific, there were two large groups of Sunni Kurds in the region, and the Ottoman government was successful in turning them against each other while giving the Ascheti Kurds a dominant position in return for carrying out the atrocities. As a result, Kurdish tribes at that time became estranged from one another because of their poisoned relations with the Turks, and this animosity continues in Kurdish politics to this day. The irony here is that if the Kurds can be blamed for the Armenian executions, then the present Turkish government has a useful propaganda tool at its service.

              Turkish tradition dictates that any tarnishing of family honor be punished severely, and for this reason it is illegal to speak "against Turkishness" in public forums. The dishonor enters when one considers that the country's beloved founder- Mustafa Kemal Attaturk- was one of the army officers who carried out the genocide in both 1915 and 1920. To criticize Attaturk is paramount to disrespecting one's father, and for this reason Turkey will not accept the label of genocide for what happened in the eastern regions of the country. The Turkish-Armenian War was fought in 1920 and won thanks to Attaturk's leadership, which further exonerates the Turks from guilt, since the Armenians were the ones who had declared war. As the Turks advanced on one side into Armenia in 1920, the Bolsheviks advanced on Armenia from the other, and by the end of the war the tiny republic had been reduced in size by one-half.

              The implications for today's Turkey are considerable, since many in the international community have already recognized the event as genocide. Firstly, the United States stands to lose two allies- the Turks in Ankara and the Kurds in upstart Iraqi Kurdistan. There will be social backlash against America in Turkey, and it will benefit the Islamists and their cause for returning to religious traditions if the US admonishes them for this historic crime. The Kurds, however, will feel a national victory in that their nation will be able to claim a moral distance from the Turks, despite their participation in the crime, and further their efforts for statehood.

              Last to consider is Israel; relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara in the post 9/11 Middle East have been exceptionally good, but there is the historic equivalent in the Armenian holocaust which many in the International community are pushing Israel to recognize. Turkish-Israeli cooperation will suffer if the Americans recognize Genocide in the Armenian massacre, since Israel is known for standing behind US policy as long as it doesn't outwardly jeopardize Israeli security. In the end, no one will benefit from a strong American stand on this issue.

              The irony lies in the fact that while the Congress of the United States may well pass the bill- as it has done more than once in the past- the Senate will have a hard time mustering up the votes necessary. In the end, short-term political gains will be sacrificed for the moral courage to stand with the international community and call a spade a spade. In this way, the foreign policy maxim of the Bush administration will be upheld- "you are either with us, or against us"- and in this case Turkey and Israel will rest easy with America's moral vacillation where national security is concerned.

              By Tracy Dove
              www.uspolitics.einnews.com
              General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

              Comment


              • Part 1

                WHY DOES A CLOSE U.S. ALLY DENY ITS GENOCIDE?
                By Adrian Morgan

                Family Security Matters, NJ
                http://www.familysecuritymatters.org...php?id=1384987
                Oct 16 2007

                (Part One of Three)

                The Current Political Conflict

                On Wednesday, October 10, the House of Congress' House Foreign Affairs
                Committee voted by 27 votes to 21 to pass a non-binding resolution to
                classify actions which took place in Turkey in 1915 as "genocide". The
                full text of the resolution includes the statements: "The House of
                Representatives finds the following: (1) The Armenian Genocide was
                conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923,
                resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom
                1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were
                expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of
                the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.

                (2) On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers, England, France, and Russia,
                jointly issued a statement explicitly charging for the first time
                ever another government of committing `a crime against humanity'.

                (3) This joint statement stated `the Allied Governments announce
                publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold personally
                responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government,
                as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres'.

                (4) The post-World War I Turkish Government indicted the top leaders
                involved in the 'organization and execution' of the Armenian Genocide
                and in the `massacre and destruction of the Armenians'. "

                The day before the resolution was put to a vote, President George W.

                Bush warned against the passing of the resolution, saying:
                "This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass
                killings." Turkey, whose current government is led by Islamists of the
                AKP (Justice & Development Party), reacted angrily to the initial vote,
                which is expected to be presented before the entire House of Congress.

                Abdullah Gul, who recently became the first Islamist President since
                modern Turkey was officially established in 1923, said the vote was
                "unacceptable". He claimed that some US politicians had "sought to
                sacrifice big problems for small domestic political games". Turkey
                withdrew Nabi Sensoy, its ambassador from Washington, as soon as
                the vote was passed. The president of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan,
                supported the committee's vote and said he hoped it would lead to
                full US recognition of the genocide.

                The House Foreign Affairs Committee's decision on the vote had split
                mostly along party lines, with democrats supporting it and Republicans
                opposing it. On the floor of Congress, the bill had the sponsorship
                of 226 representatives, mostly democrats. One of the co-sponsors of
                the bill, Luis Fortuno of Puerto Rico, changed his committee vote
                following direct lobbying by the US president. It will now be the
                decision of Nancy Pelosi to introduce the resolution to the vote of
                the Full House of Congress (where Fortuno will not be able to vote).

                Democrat Tom Lantos, the only US politician to have survived the
                Holocaust, is chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He opened
                discussions by saying: "We have to weigh the desire to express our
                solidarity with the Armenian people... against the risk that it
                could cause young men and women in the uniform of the United States
                armed services to pay an even heavier price than they are currently
                paying." Lantos, told AFP news agency that he would introduce a
                resolution praising US-Turkish friendship this week.

                The United States, along with the efficiency of its military operations
                in Iraq, certainly stands to lose from deteriorating relations with
                Turkey. The US military employs Incirlik Air Base near Adana in
                southeastern Turkey to fly most of its supplies to its troops in Iraq.

                A senior legislator in Turkey's ruling AKP, Egemen Bagis, visited
                Capitol Hill on Tuesday to warn that the bill would threaten military
                cooperation. He told Reuters: "This resolution will put your troops
                in harm's way. We will not be able to extend the current cooperation
                we are providing to you. If our allies are insulting us with crimes
                we have not committed, we will start questioning the merits of that
                endeavor."

                President Abdullah Gul sent a letter to George W. Bush before the vote
                was taken, to thank him for his personal attempts to urge members
                to vote down the resolution. The US administration is now trying to
                limit damage. On Friday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke
                to Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and also foreign
                minister Ali Babacan. She said: "They were dismayed."

                Two US officials went to Turkey on Saturday to bolster relations
                between the two nations and prevent possible restrictions on US
                military operations in Turkey. Eric Edelman, a former US ambassador
                to Turkey, and Dan Fried arrived in Ankara, the capital, and met
                Ertugrul Apakan, a Turkish minister in the foreign ministry.

                The Armenian prime minister, Serge Sarkisian will be arriving in
                Washington on Wednesday October 17, a move guaranteed to add to
                US/Turkish tensions. His visit had been planned months previously.

                While US and Turkish politicians were fretting about the outcome
                of the resolution, another development was taking place. Turkey was
                planning to mount its own independent military incursion into Kurdish
                Northern Iraq, the least unstable region within Iraq. There are fears
                that such an invasion could destabilize all Iraqi regions. Concerns
                about this invasion force led crude oil to reach a record high of
                $84 per barrel on Friday. Most Iraqi oil production is in the south,
                but a key crude oil pipeline runs from Baku in Azerbaijan through
                Georgia to the port of Ceyhan in southeastern Turkey, where it is
                then placed on tankers. The political fallout from an invasion could
                lead to problems with distribution at the Turkish end.

                The US has tried to urge Turkey not to mount its independent incursion
                into northern Iraq, but the mood in Turkey is not compromising. Already
                prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed on Saturday that he
                did not need permission to enter northern Iraq. The reason for the
                proposed incursion is that members of the Kurdish separatist party, PKK
                (Workers Party of Kurdistan), have recently mounted a series of attacks
                in southeastern Turkey. Thirty people have been killed over the past
                month. The PKK fighters have fled across the border into northern Iraq.

                PKK terrorists warned on Friday that they would be returning to
                Turkey from their enclaves in northern Iraq, to mount terror strikes
                on police. This is unlikely to stop Turkey's administration from
                requesting its parliament this week for approval for its venture. On
                Wednesday last week, prime minister Erdogan claimed that his party
                wanted a year-long authorization for mounting possible attacks against
                PKK bases in northern Iraq. He suggested such incursions would not
                necessarily start immediately.

                Kartet, a private company in Turkey, supplies electricity to Iraq. On
                Thursday, the Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet announced that a senior
                official from the Energy Ministry said that Kartet would no longer
                be supplying power to Iraq, due to Turkey's own power needs.

                He did not state whether this action was part of a sanctions package
                against Iraq, connected with logistical support and refuge to PKK
                terrorists being provided in northern Iraq.

                Condoleezza Rice has said that she would want to stop the submission
                of the resolution on Armenian genocide to the full House of Congress,
                but admitted that it would be "tough". Such a resolution could hardly
                come at a worse time for the current US administration, but there is
                no "right time" to discuss the issue, when it involves a matter of
                historical truth. The fault ultimately lies with Turkey, for being
                so intransigent in its denial of documented fact. If Turkey can
                blackmail and threaten the safety of US troops as a direct result
                of the recent resolution, then the US should seriously question the
                worth of maintaining deep trust in such an "ally".

                Turkey's Denial of the Armenian Genocide

                The UN Convention on Genocide took place in December 1948. Article
                Two of its declaration describes genocide as the implementation of
                acts designed "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic,
                racial or religious group."

                Turkey admits that large numbers of Armenians died in 1915, but says
                that they died as a by-product of forced deportation and because some
                Armenians took up arms against the ailing Ottoman Empire. It refuses
                to acknowledge that there was a "genocide". Turkey claims that during
                World War I, no more than 300,000 Armenians died, though overwhelming
                evidence suggests that between 1915 and 1917, 1.5 million Armenians
                died. If Turkey had been more mature about its history, as Germany
                has been concerning the Nazi genocide of 6.5 million Jews, the issue
                would have been laid to rest long ago.

                As the situation now stands, Turkey has no diplomatic relations with
                its small neighbor Armenia, as a result of its obstinate denial of
                the truth. In 1993, the border with Armenia was closed by the Turks.

                There were tentative moves towards a thawing of the diplomatic
                frostiness in April 2005, but these came to nothing. The stumbling
                blocks again concerned issues of the Armenian genocide.

                In May 2005, Turkey's justice minister Cemil Cicek blocked a conference
                of Turkish academics who wanted to discuss critically the historical
                facts of the deaths of Armenians. In September 2005, just 10 days
                before Turkey was to begin talks about its possible accession to the
                European Union, a second attempt to hold this conference was banned
                by a court order. The legal move had been instigated by a group of
                nationalist lawyers.

                The denials of what took place particularly in 1915 are upheld by
                the Islamists in Turkey, and also the secularists. The AKP party
                is the first Islamist party to rule Turkey. Previous attempts to
                form an Islamist government were suppressed with coups mounted by
                the pro-secular military. The last elected Islamist government was
                dissolved by the military in 1996.

                Within Turkey, anyone who denies the official version of "history"
                runs the risk of falling foul of Article 301 of the penal code. This
                outlaws any "insult against Turkey or Turkishness". The maximum
                penalty for breaching Article 301 is a three-year jail term. Article
                301 had been rewritten in June 2005 in a package of amendments to the
                existing penal code. The penal code had been altered to make Turkey
                eligible to join talks on membership of the European Union. No one
                in the EU appeared to notice that Article 301, in both its original
                and revised state, contravened Article 19 of the 1948 International
                Declaration of Human Rights - the right to freedom of speech.
                General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                Comment


                • Part 2

                  Orhan Pamuk is Turkey's most famous novelist, whose novel "Snow"
                  has been has been acclaimed as a modern "classic". In 2006, Pamuk
                  was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In February 2005, Pamuk
                  had given an interview to a Swiss newspaper. In this interview,
                  he referred to the killings of Armenians, but he did not mention
                  the term "genocide". He said that in the 20th century "a million
                  Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in these lands [Turkey],"but
                  few spoke of this. His statement contradicted the "official version"
                  of the truth, and on December 16, 2005, Pamuk appeared in court,
                  charged with breaching Article 301.

                  Pamuk's impending trial had drawn international criticism of Turkey,
                  but prime minister Erdogan claimed that foreign critics were putting
                  pressure on Turkey's judiciary. He said: "I find that a little
                  controversial to the principle of respecting the rule of law... I
                  don't think the way they act is very proper in this case."

                  On the first day of Pamuk's trial at Sisli district criminal court in
                  Istanbul, Judge Metin Aydin adjourned the case to February. He was
                  unsure if the case was to be brought under the original penal code,
                  instituted by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, or under the revised penal code.

                  If the trial was made under the old conditions of the penal code,
                  the justice minister (then Cemil Cicek) would have to issue a ruling.

                  Pamuk's appearance at the court was greeted by angry crowds. Most of
                  these were militant nationalists, sometimes called "Kemalists". As
                  he entered the courtroom, a woman hit him with a folder. As he was
                  driven away, his car was pelted with eggs.

                  On January 23, 2006, it was announced that Turkey had dropped its
                  case against Pamuk. The novelist was luckier than Turkish Armenian
                  Hrant Dink.

                  On August 28, 2005, a court in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa
                  initiated proceedings against Hrant Dink, on charges of breaching
                  Article 301. Mr Dink was the owner and editor of a bilingual magazine
                  called Agos. The Sanliurfa trial had concerned comments that Dink had
                  made at a 2002 conference, where he had referred to a verse that must
                  be memorized by all students. This verse starts with the words: "I am
                  a Turk, I am honest and hardworking." Dink had told the conference
                  that he was honest and hardworking, but he was not a Turk. He was
                  an Armenian. That trial was never completed, for reasons I will
                  explain below.

                  On October 7, 2005, Dink was sentenced by the Sisli Court of Second
                  Instance at Istanbul at the culmination of another trial where he
                  had been accused of breaching Article 301 by "insulting Turkish
                  identity". All Dink had done to "insult Turkish identity" was to
                  publish a series of articles extolling the virtues of "Armenian
                  identity" and to write of the way that the Armenian genocide still
                  impacted on modern Turkish life. Dink was given a suspended six
                  month jail term. He appealed against this conviction in 2006, but
                  the decision against him was upheld.

                  Dink's trials and subsequent tribulations, as well as the international
                  brouhaha stirred up by US politicians mentioning a genuine historical
                  event, point to an affliction in the heart of Turkey's national
                  identity. Quasi-fascistic Turkish nationalism is the infectious and
                  suppurating byproduct of the unhealed wounds of Turkish history. And
                  in the background, not acknowledged by predominantly Muslim Turkey,
                  and never mentioned in the Western media, is another dimension to
                  the case of the Armenian genocide. The Armenians are Christian.

                  The deportations of Armenians in 1915 is acknowledged by Turkey.

                  What is not acknowledged is that they were deported precisely
                  because they were Christian, and had their own cultural identity and
                  language. Ethnic cleansing is the handmaiden of genocide, and Turkey
                  in 1915 was openly practicing ethnic cleansing, a practice that had
                  started at the end of the 19th century. In the 21st century, only
                  scoundrels can make political capital from defending the indefensible.

                  Because of Turkey's obstinate denials, other countries have made
                  official rulings attesting that the Armenian genocide took place. In
                  1982, Cyprus' House of Representatives passed a resolution. The
                  European Parliament passed a resolution in 1987. This move did stop
                  Turkey attempting to join the European Union, a factor which should
                  hearten US Republicans and administrative officials who fear a House of
                  Congress vote. After all, there are 1.5 million US citizens of Armenian
                  descent, many of whom had ancestors directly affected by the Armenian
                  genocide. Their opinions should count far more than the hurt pride
                  of a temperamental NATO ally that is currently threatening to throw
                  its toys out of the baby carriage because it doesn't like the truth.

                  Greece made a resolution in 1996 and even established an Armenian
                  Genocide Day. Switzerland's National Council passed a resolution in
                  2003 and Canada's House of Commons passed a resolution in 2004.

                  Slovakia's National Assembly made a resolution in 2004. Argentina
                  passed a law in 2006, and Chile's Senate passed a resolution in 2007.

                  In France, where 500,000 Armenians live, a resolution was passed in
                  2001, but on October 12, 2006 a bill was passed which made denial of
                  the Armenian genocide a crime, potentially punishable by a one-year
                  prison sentence and a $60,000 fine. The move was carried in the
                  French National Assembly by 106 votes to 19. Before the French vote
                  took place, Islamist prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called it
                  a "systematic lie machine" but claimed Turkey would not engage in
                  "tit-for-tat" reprisals.

                  The day before the French vote, a judicial committee had debated two
                  moves to introduce laws to parliament which would have described
                  France's actions in its war with its former colony of Algeria
                  as "genocide". A third draft bill was discussed by the justice
                  commission, which would have made anyone who claimed that there was
                  an Armenian genocide would be jailed. Article 301 already allows for
                  such punishment. All three draft bills were rejected. However, Ankara
                  warned that French companies would be banned from major economic
                  projects in Turkey should the French bill become law, an obvious
                  "tit-for-tat" reprisal.

                  Hrant Dink opposed the punitive aspects of the French law. He said to
                  a newspaper: "This is idiocy. It only shows that those who restrict
                  freedom of expression in Turkey and those who try to restrict it in
                  France are of the same mentality." On TV, he said: "I am standing
                  trial in Turkey for saying it was genocide. If this bill is adopted,
                  I will go to France and, in spite of my conviction, I will say it was
                  not genocide. The two countries can then compete to see who throws
                  me in jail first."

                  Hrant Dink was born on September 15, 1954 in Malatya, the town in
                  central Turkey where three Christians were tortured and killed on
                  April 18 this year. He founded the magazine Agos on April 5, 1996.

                  The intention of this publication was to foster understandings between
                  the Turkish and Armenian communities in Turkey. Dink believed that
                  the Armenian community lived in too much isolation. The attention
                  drawn to him by his high-profile trials brought his life under threat.

                  Agos had its offices in central Istanbul. On January 19, 2007 Hrant
                  Dink was leaving his offices when a teenager wearing a white Muslim
                  skullcap approached him. The youth fired three shots into the 53-year
                  old editor's head and neck. Dink slumped down dead on the spot. His
                  teenaged killer shouted out "I shot the infidel" before running off.

                  Hrant Dink was aware of death threats which had been made against him
                  for daring to speak of the Armenian genocide. One threat he received
                  by email seemed so serious he turned it over to the Sisli prosecutor's
                  office, but his complaint was ignored. In his last article for Agos,
                  Dink wrote: "How real or unreal are these threats?

                  To be honest, it is of course impossible for me to know for sure.

                  What is truly threatening and unbearable for me is the psychological
                  torture I personally place myself in. "Now what are these people
                  thinking about me?" is the question that really bugs me. It is
                  unfortunate that I am now better known than I once was and I feel
                  much more the people throwing me that glance of "Oh, look, isn't he
                  that Armenian guy?"

                  And I reflexively start torturing myself. One aspect of this torture
                  is curiosity, the other unease. One aspect is attention, the other
                  apprehension. I am just like a pigeon... Obsessed just as much what
                  goes on my left, right, front, back. My head is just as mobile... and
                  just as fast enough to turn right away.

                  After his death, his son Arat Dink took over the editing of Agos.

                  When Arat Dink decided to reproduce one of his father's 2006 articles
                  which mentioned the Armenian genocide, he too was hauled before the
                  courts, charged under Article 301 for "insulting Turkish identity".

                  Only last week, while Turkey officially fulminated at the US mention
                  of its genocide, Arat Dink was sentenced. On Thursday October 11,
                  2007, he and a colleague from the magazine were both given suspended
                  jail terms of one year.

                  Tomorrow, in Part Two, I will outline the cultural and historical
                  background of the first massacres against the Armenians in Turkey.

                  These would lead inevitably to the genocide which took place in
                  the First World War. Genocides never happen in a vacuum as isolated
                  events. Often, as in the case of Russian pogroms against peasants,
                  there are campaigns of deliberate starvation. In the case of the
                  Armenian genocide, starvation was used as a weapon (see picture at
                  top of page).

                  Without incidents such as the German attacks on Jewish shops that
                  took place on "Crystalnacht", there would not have been a climate
                  that later allowed the Nazis to conduct mass exterminations of Jews.

                  Similarly, in the case of the Armenian genocide, the events of 1915
                  to 1917 were preceded by deliberate and politically-motivated attacks
                  and killings at least from 1894 onwards.
                  General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                  Comment


                  • Part 3

                    WHY DOES A CLOSE U.S. ALLY DENY ITS GENOCIDE?
                    By Adrian Morgan

                    Family Security Matters, NJ
                    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org...php?id=1385001
                    Oct 16 2007

                    (Part Two of Three)

                    The Atrocities of August 1894

                    "A number of able-bodied young Armenians were captured, bound,
                    covered with brushwood and burned alive. A number of Armenians,
                    variously estimated, but less than a hundred, surrendered themselves
                    and pled for mercy. Many of them were shot down on the spot and the
                    remainder were dispatched with sword and bayonet."

                    "A lot of women, variously estimated from 60 to 160 in number, were
                    shut up in a church, and the soldiers were 'let loose' among them.

                    Many of them were outraged to death and the remainder dispatched with
                    sword and bayonet. A lot of young women were collected as spoils
                    of war, Two stories are told. 1. That they were carried off to the
                    harems of their Moslem captors. 2. That they were offered Islam and
                    the harems of their Moslem captors; refusing, they were slaughtered.

                    Children were placed in a row, one behind another, and a bullet fired
                    down the line, apparently to see how many could be dispatched with
                    one bullet. Infants and small children were piled one on the other
                    and their heads struck off. Houses were surrounded by soldiers, set
                    on fire, and the inmates forced back into the flames at the point of
                    the bayonet as they tried to escape."

                    "In another village fifty choice women were set aside and urged to
                    change their faith and become hanums in Turkish harems, but they
                    indignantly refused to deny Christ, preferring the fate of their
                    fathers and husbands. People were crowded into houses which were
                    then set on fire. In one instance a little boy ran out of the flames,
                    but was caught on a bayonet and thrown back"

                    The above are accounts of massacres of Armenian villagers. These took
                    place in the district of Sassoun (Sassun) in southeastern Anatolia near
                    Lake Van, in August 1894. They had taken place following false rumors
                    of an uprising which developed in the spring. The Sassoun massacres
                    were duplicated in the neighboring districts of Bitlis and Mush.

                    In March 1895 an inquiry committee was held in London, with details
                    reported in the Daily Telegraph newspaper. An Armenian priest and his
                    son were ordered to sign a document, claiming that the massacre at
                    Sassoun had been carried out only by Kurds, and clearing the Turkish
                    authorities of all blame. When they refused, heated iron triangles
                    were placed around their necks. The pair was too ill to testify before
                    the committee.

                    Kurds had been involved in the Sassoun massacre, but the strategy
                    was concocted and put into effect by Turkish soldiers. In adjacent
                    Mush district, "a witness hiding in the oak scrub saw soldiers gouge
                    out the eyes of two priests, who in horrible agony implored their
                    tormentors to kill them. But the soldiers compelled them to dance
                    while screaming in pain, and presently bayoneted them."

                    An account of the Bitlis massacre, published in 1895, stated (page 63):

                    "As soon as the Pasha of Bitlis sent word to Constantinople that
                    the Armenians were in revolt, without waiting for proof, the Turkish
                    troops were sent to the scene with orders to suppress the revolt -
                    orders which they knew they must interpret as meaning the extermination
                    of whole villages if they would please the Sultan.

                    After wholesale butchery, Zeki Pasha reported that, 'not finding any
                    rebellion, we cleared the country so that none should occur in the
                    future.' This stroke of policy was afterward praised in the Court as
                    an act of patriotism."

                    The massacres of 1894 would be repeated, becoming more ferocious and
                    claiming the lives of more people, over the next two years.

                    The Ottomans

                    The regions within Turkey's current borders have seen various cultures
                    and civilizations arise and become replaced by others. The "Turks"
                    are only the latest of a long line of invaders who moved into the
                    region. 9,000 years ago Neolithic farming peoples at Catal Huyuk
                    formed a complex community. Almost 3,000 years ago Assyrians entered
                    the region, and the Hittites developed a civilization in Anatolia
                    until around 900 BC. Later, Medes (probable ancestors of the Kurds),
                    Persians, Phrygians, Lydians, Armenians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines
                    flourished in the region.

                    The Turkish-speaking people (Western Turks) arrived in Anatolia
                    in large numbers in the 11th century AD, and their consolidation
                    of power would hasten the end of the Byzantine Empire based at
                    Constantinople. The language of the Western Turks gradually replaced
                    the indigenous Indo-European languages of the region. The nomadic
                    Turkic peoples originated in the Altai mountain regions in Central
                    Asia, but from the 5th century AD onwards they had engaged in mass
                    migrations. Turkic peoples are found in China (Uighirs) and and
                    Siberia (Yakut). The Western Turks founded the Ottoman dynasty at the
                    Western end of (modern) Turkey. From 1299 until its demise in 1924,
                    this dynasty was known as the Ottoman Empire.

                    In 301 AD, Armenia had been the first nation in the world to officially
                    adopt Christianity. As a distinct culture with an Indo-European
                    language, Armenia had thrived in the mountains of Asia Minor from the
                    6th century BC. In the 16th century, Armenia lost its independence
                    and was swallowed up by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman aims were
                    expansionist and warlike, and hostile to independent Christian
                    nations. Sultan Bayezid I, nicknamed Yilderim or "Lightning," who
                    ruled from 1389 to 1402, famously promised to feed his horse from
                    the altar of St. Peter's in Rome.

                    At its height in 1683, the Ottoman Empire controlled territories
                    stretching to the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea in the East, the land
                    surrounding the Red Sea (including Mecca and Medina and Yemen) in the
                    south, and the North African coast as far as Algeria in the West. In
                    the north, it controlled the Crimea and all the land westwards nearly
                    as far as Vienna. An attempt to invade Vienna itself was defeated
                    by John Sobieski, king of Poland, on September 12, 1683. With more
                    conflicts Hungary was freed from Ottoman rule, confirmed in the treaty
                    of Karlowitz in 1699.

                    In the latter half of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was
                    a diminished force. European imperialism had broken its hold on
                    territories in North Africa, and European regions had declared their
                    independence. Under Sultan Mahmud II (ruled 1808 - 1839), reforms and
                    attempts to socially and economically modernize the Empire had been
                    made, but these did not stem the decline. Greece successfully fought
                    for and achieved independence in 1829, with its territorial borders
                    formalized in a treaty in 1832. Several Balkan regions declared their
                    independence in 1875, and on April 24, 1877, Alexander II of Russia
                    declared war on Turkey.

                    Abdul-Hamid II and the Hamidian Massacres

                    In 1876, 34-year-old Abdul-Hamid II became the Sultan. Soon after
                    taking power, he issued the first Imperial constitution on December
                    23, 1876. This constitution had been originally drafted by the
                    grand vizier, Midhat Pasha. It allowed equal judicial rights for all
                    citizens, and initiated a two-house parliament. Abdul-Hamid preferred
                    to rule as a despot and when the Russo-Turkish war started he dismissed
                    Pasha in February 1877, and in 1878 he abolished the constitution.

                    The Russian conflict ended with Turkey acknowledging defeat. As a
                    result, on March 3, 1878 the Empire officially lost the territories
                    of Serbia, Montenegro and Romania in the Treaty of San Stefano.

                    Bosnia-Herzegovina was granted autonomy and Bulgaria was placed under
                    Russian protection under this treaty. The Treaty of Berlin, signed on
                    July 13, 1878 by the Turks, Russians and European powers, lessened
                    the Turks' financial debt to the victors and saw Bosnia-Herzegovina
                    given to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

                    Immediately before Abdul-Hamid's reign, the Armenians had lived
                    peaceably under Ottoman rule. As Christians, they were second-class
                    citizens and had to pay the "jizya" tax, but they were not regarded as
                    subject to persecutions. In 1856 an edict called the Hatti Humayoun,
                    issued by Sultan Abdul Medjid in 1856, guaranteed Christians rights
                    never seen before under the Ottomans. Armenians wanted to be granted
                    more freedoms under the Treaty of Berlin, which saw Batum (modern
                    Armenia and parts of Georgia) ceded to Russia.

                    Article 61 of the treaty guaranteed Armenians protection from attacks
                    by Kurds and Circassians (who lived in the south-east of Turkey).

                    Article 62 of the treaty demanded that people of all religions could
                    work and travel freely throughout Turkey.

                    With these conditions not fulfilled, a radical group known as the
                    Huntchagists emerged among the various Armenian populations, who lived
                    in scattered locations in Turkey, with its apparent headquarters
                    in Athens. In 1893 a U.S. missionary condemned this revolutionary
                    movement. Cyrus Hamlin quoted an Armenian who said of their motives
                    (p. 242): "These Huntchagist bands, organized all over the empire,
                    will watch their opportunities to kill Turks and Kurds, set fire to
                    their villages and then make their escape into the mountains. The
                    enraged Moslems will then rise and fall upon the defenseless Armenians
                    and slaughter them with such barbarities that Russia will enter in the
                    name of humanity and Christian civilization and take possession." The
                    Huntchagists aimed to attack U.S.

                    Protestant missionary centers in central Turkey.

                    The American missionaries were allowed in central Turkey since 1844,
                    and they were to prove reliable witnesses to the deteriorating
                    situation in Turkey, and also the first massacres of Armenians. The
                    Huntchagist movement disintegrated after 1896, but Hamlin's testimony
                    was cited in a letter to the New York Times of August 23, 1895. This
                    letter tried to discredit the genuine massacre which took place
                    at Sassoun, even though Hamlin had specifically blamed the Ottoman
                    government for carrying out the Sassoun atrocities.

                    In 1896, Reverend Edwin Munsell Bliss published a book called
                    Turkey and the Armenian Atrocities. He acknowledged the destructive
                    elements of the Huntchagists, (page 336) and later noted that
                    some revolutionaries, whether Huntchagists or not, sought to draw
                    attention to their aims of a separate state. On January 5, 1893,
                    placards were erected in Marsovan and Yuzgat, and indiscriminate
                    arrests followed. Disturbances ensued in Yuzgat, Gemerek, Cesarea,
                    and elsewhere, and the Turkish authorities reacted punitively,
                    rounding up and torturing suspects. The polarization of communities
                    had begun in earnest.

                    Rumors of a Hutchagist presence led to the Sassoun massacre, the first
                    of the major atrocities against Armenian villagers. An investigative
                    report into these massacres claimed (page 14) that Armenian Christians
                    were being subjected to forcible conversions to Islam. In January,
                    1896 the local Ottoman authorities in Kharpout and Diarbekir told
                    "converted" villagers that they should not admit to being Muslim if
                    questioned. Conversions were happening in the provinces in Siras,
                    Kharpout, Diarbekir, Betlis and Van. Priests and pastors lived in
                    hiding, lest they be attacked for interfering with the forcible
                    conversion of villagers. In 28 villages in the district of Kharpout,
                    there had been no Christian worship since November of 1895.

                    "Another indirect method of destroying the Christian communities in the
                    provinces lay in the systematic debauching of Christian women as though
                    to destroy their self-respect and undermine their religious ethic. At
                    Tamzara in the district of Shaska Kara Hussar, in the province of
                    Livas, all the men were killed in the massacres early in November,
                    of a prosperous Armenian population of fifteen hundred only about
                    three hundred starving, half naked women and children remained.

                    Trustworthy information said that the most horrible feature of their
                    situation was that passing Mohammedan soldiery or civilian travelers
                    attacked them and outraged them in their homes without hesitation
                    or restraint."

                    On October 1, 1895 200 Armenians tried to make a protest in
                    Constantinople, and were ordered by police to disperse. Panic broke
                    out, and fearing an uprising, mosques encouraged reprisals. The
                    following night, at least 70 Armenians were killed in the capital. At
                    Trebizond (Trabzon) on the Black Sea coast in the east, a local Pasha
                    was attacked, and soldiers were sent on regular foot patrols around
                    the city. On October 8th, these soldiers began shooting Armenian men,
                    and shops were looted. On October 30, 1895 at Erzerum, soldiers and
                    Turkish civilians had started firing at Armenians. After attacks that
                    lasted two days, many of the bodies were mutilated and stripped. One
                    man's forearms had been cut off, his upper arms and chest skinned. A
                    British consul wrote that 1,200 people had been killed, and 512
                    wounded. The bodies were buried en masse in trenches (pictured above).

                    On November 11, 1895 the village of Husenik near the eastern city of
                    Harput was attacked by soldiers, some of whom dressed as Kurds. 200
                    Armenian villagers were killed. These marched on the city where
                    around 100 Armenians were killed. Shortly after, the city of Arabkir
                    was attacked, with 2,000 Armenians killed. Attacks also took place
                    on numerous small villages. In many of these villages the women were
                    carried off. At the town of Diarbekir, 2,000 were killed, at Chunkush
                    680 Armenians were slaughtered.

                    British missionary Helen B. Harris wrote on April 24, 1896 from
                    the American College in Aintab: "There were about 300 killed here,
                    November 16, 1895, and numbers mutilated, hands and right arms cut off,
                    and eyes gouged out, to render the poor people helpless. Dr. Fuller
                    says when they first got among these, the day after, the massacre, it
                    was awful hearing them crying for death to end their sufferings." On
                    November 18, 1895, a massacre of thousands took place at Marash. On
                    December 28th, another massacre of Armenians took place at Urfa with
                    at least 3,000 lives lost.

                    There were more massacres at that time, and in many cases Armenian
                    men were forced to convert or die. In Birejik in January 1896, about
                    96 men converted to Islam, and an equal number were killed. When one
                    elderly man refused to convert to Islam, live coals were placed on his
                    body. As he lay in pain, a Bible was held over him, and his tormentors
                    asked him to read the passages of salvation that he had trusted in.

                    In the summer of 1896 one event took place which would instigate a
                    catastrophic crackdown on the Armenian population of Turkey. The main
                    office of the Ottoman Bank in Constantinople was raided by a group of
                    26 Armenian revolutionaries on August 26th. Nine members of the group
                    were killed in the initial raid, including their leader Babgien Siuni,
                    and guards were shot. The remaining raiders, members of the Dashtun
                    party, took 140 bank workers hostage.

                    The raiders intended to draw international attention to the plight of
                    Armenians in Turkey, but before the situation came to a resolution,
                    recriminations against Armenians began, with 7,000 people killed
                    by angry Turkish citizenry in Constantinople. The Patriarch of
                    Constantinople, Maghakia Ormanian, excommunicated the bank raiders, but
                    this did not quell general Turkish anger at the Armenian communities.

                    The massacres at the end of the 19th century, which were carried
                    out with the connivance and approval of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II, are
                    collectively known as the Hamidian massacres. In 1896, Abdul-Hamid
                    was chastened by international condemnations, and his orders to
                    attack and forcibly convert Armenians stopped. The attacks lessened,
                    but only for a while. Soon, another campaign of massacres would take
                    place. This campaign was instigated not by Abdul-Hamid but by a new
                    breed of Turkish political activists, who would go on to commit the
                    genocide of 1915. These activists were known as the Young Turks.
                    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                    Comment


                    • Can Turkey Be Taught Tolerance?

                      The answer is still "NO".
                      General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                      Comment

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