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Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

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  • This is interesting. And after all this talk from the Turkish side that Armenians were brainwashing their children to hate Turks.


    source: http://blogian.hayastan.com/

    NJ: Turkish Center Teaches 6-Year-Olds Genocide Denial

    Blogian on 28 Apr 2008

    New Jersey’s Turkish and Islam Cultural Center, according to its website http://www.njturkish.org/ , offers courses on Armenian Genocide denial to children as young as six.

    The list of activities offered at 203 Fountain Avenue, Burlington Twp, New Jersey 08016, are English as a second language for adults, Friday prayers, weekend school for children and discussion groups.

    The only class in the list not written in English is “Ermeni Iddialari hakkinda Cocuklarimiz Ne biliyor?.” That translates as “What do our children know about the Armenian allegations?”

    According to the website, that class is offered for two age groups: 6-15 and 16-25.
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

    Comment


    • Mystery of a killer elite fuels unrest in Turkey
      Arrest of 47 people over alleged coup plot sparks fears of hidden
      ultra-right network

      Jason Burke in Istanbul

      The Observer, Sunday/UK
      May 4 2008

      It has the elements of a thriller: a shadowy group of right-wing former
      soldiers, a mafia don, extremist lawyers and politicians; hand-grenades
      in a rucksack; plots to kill the Prime Minister and a Nobel-prize
      winning writer; allegedly planted evidence and falsified wire taps.

      Even the name of the villains - the Ergenekon network - has an airport
      paperback flavour, and the stakes involved are high: the stability of
      one of the world's most strategically important countries. This highly
      charged political reality is splitting Turkey.

      In the coming days the Ergenekon investigation will reach its climax.
      According to newspaper reports, a long-awaited indictment will be
      issued by the state prosecutor. After successive waves of arrests, 47
      people are in custody. They include senior figures in the
      ultra-right-wing Workers' Party, a dozen retired senior army officers,
      journalists and a lawyer accused of launching legal attacks that drove
      Nobel award-winning writer Orhan Pamuk from his homeland.

      Crimes being blamed on Ergenekon include a series of murderous bomb
      blasts, a grenade attack on a newspaper, the murder of an Italian
      bishop and the killing last year of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant
      Dink - all aimed, investigators believe, at creating a climate of
      terror and chaos propitious to a military coup that would depose
      Turkey's moderate Islamist government.

      The coup attempt has revealed deep divisions in Turkey's 73
      million-strong population over the country's identity: pro-European or
      anti-European, fiercely nationalist, ethnically homogeneous and
      militaristic, or globalised and pro-Western, more or less Islamic, more
      or less sunk in historical bitterness and dark conspiracy theories.

      'The cleavage is deep: every institution, every social class, everybody
      is divided,' said Professor Murat Belge of Bigli University, Istanbul,
      an analyst. 'I am deeply apprehensive about what is going on now and
      what might happen.'

      But for Mehmet Demirlek, a lawyer defending a colleague accused of
      being a key member of Ergenekon, the allegations are 'imaginary'.
      'There is not a shred of truth in them,' he said. 'This is 100 per cent
      political. It has all been cooked up by the government and by the
      imperialist powers, the CIA, Mossad and the Jewish lobby and the
      European Union to eliminate Turkish nationalism. There is no such thing
      as Ergenekon.' His imprisoned client, Kemal Kerincsiz, told The
      Observer in an interview prior to his arrest he was a 'patriot fighting
      the disintegration of the nation'.

      For Fethiye Cetin, a lawyer representing Hrant Dink's family, Ergenekon
      has 'existed for years'. 'A small part of what has been previously
      hidden is being exposed. Call it the "deep state".'

      An investigation was launched by state prosecutors after 27
      hand-grenades, said to be the make used by the military, were found in
      a home in a rundown part of Istanbul last June. Investigators claim
      that they later uncovered an underground network dedicated to extremist
      nationalist agitation.

      Wire taps led to further finds of explosives, weapons and documents
      listing security arrangements of senior political and military figures
      and death lists. The papers supposedly proving Ergenekon - the name of
      a mythic mountain in Asia where the ancestors of the Turkic peoples
      escaped the Mongols - was set up in 1999 as a clandestine and violent
      organisation aimed of maintaining a reactionary, purist vision of a
      strong, militaristic Turkey, the heritage, the extremists believed, of
      the founder of the nation, Kemal Ataturk.

      The plotters tap 'into a psyche that is based on a new and extreme
      nationalism', said Cengiz Candar, one of Turkey's most prominent
      journalists. 'The idea is that to preserve Turkey it is necessary and
      legitimate to resist in any way. And anyone who is pro-European,
      liberal, who argues for increased rights for minorities and so on is a
      traitor.'

      According to Candar, this new nationalism is the result of a
      coincidence of factors: the difficulties of Turkey's accession to the
      European Union, soul-searching over nation identity generated by the
      debate on Europe, the emergence of a strong, semi-autonomous Kurdish
      state in post-Saddam Iraq with all the potential implications that has
      for Turkey's large Kurdish population, and, perhaps most importantly,
      the continuing electoral success of the AKP, the Justice and
      Development party, the moderate Islamist party led by Recep Tayyip
      Erdogan to power in 2002. 'With no way of ousting them through
      democratic means, other means become attractive to the extremist
      nationalists. This country has a long tradition of such actions,' said
      Candar.

      Turkey's political history has been marked by interventions by the
      army, each preceded by a period of violent instability and each
      justified by the need to preserve the constitution and the nation. The
      repeated electoral success of the AKP, its social and economic
      policies, its pro-European, pro-free market stance, the growth of newly
      wealthy, religiously conservative middle classes who vote for Erdogan
      and his colleagues and the party's break with Turkey's fiercely secular
      ideology - all threaten the nation's powerful military and bureaucratic
      establishment.

      A legal bid to ban the party - on the grounds that it wants to impose
      Sharia law on Turkey and thus overturn the constitution - is one
      tactic, AKP party loyalists say. Violence and the activities of
      Ergenekon is another. 'How long are these people going to keep their
      power when it is incompatible with a European, fully democratic
      Turkey?' asked Belge. 'And how big is Ergenekon? Who are they? How high
      does it go?'

      No official military spokesman would comment but General Haldu
      Somazturk, who retired three years ago, told The Observer 'the
      Ergenekon group is trivial, barely worthy of attention', saying that
      though 'it was possible' a few military officers might have become
      involved in the group, the vast majority of Turkish soldiers were
      'committed to maintaining democracy'.

      Somazturk, who said that his own views 'reflected those of most senior
      soldiers', insisted 'there are far more grave problems facing Turkey
      than a handful of right-wing crazies'. Instead, he said, it was the
      government that worried him. 'The AKP are a concern. There is no such
      thing as moderate Islam. Either a government is influenced by religion
      or it isn't. And if it is, then it is not secular and not democratic,'
      he said. 'We want to move democracy forward, they want to move it back
      and we are approaching a point of no return.'

      In a rundown working-class suburb of Istanbul, far from the tourist
      sights of the historic centre, the deputy chairman of the Nationalist
      Action Party in the city, Nazmi Celenk, made an effort to show his
      party's moderate side. 'In Turkey we are on the front line of the clash
      of civilisations,' he said. 'We are the natural allies of America and
      Britain in this region. Our future is in Europe - but not necessarily
      in the European Union.'

      Yet Celenk was critical of last week's reform of Turkey's strict rules
      on 'insulting Turkishness', pushed through parliament in the face of
      fierce resistance from the 70 deputies from his own party. If he was in
      power, Celenk said, the tight laws on freedom of expression would be
      maintained. And, if he had the power, he would invade Syria and split
      the state between Turkey and Iraq. The violent Kurdish activism in the
      south-east of his country would be solved 'in 24 hours'.

      A street away, a group of mechanics and local shopkeepers played
      backgammon. They said they were worried by rising crime, drug use and
      low wages, but would not vote for the nationalists. 'They try and cause
      fights between us to get votes,' Hikmet, a bus owner, said.

      Fethiye Cetin, the Dink family lawyer, is still optimistic despite the
      tensions. She discovered her own minority roots - an Armenian
      grandmother - at the age of 25. 'This period is the peak of aggressive
      nationalism in Turkey, but there is still peace,' she said in her small
      office on a hill above the blue waters of the Sea of Marmara. 'But
      everyone always focuses on the negative side and never on the tens of
      millions who live together without any trouble at all.'

      Victim of the plot?
      Hrant Dink was a 52-year-old journalist, assassinated in January 2007.
      As co-founder of Agos, a newspaper published in both Turkish and
      Armenian, he became a prominent member of the Armenian minority in
      Turkey and pushed for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and human rights.

      Dink was shot in Istanbul by Ogün Samast, a 17-year old Turkish
      nationalist. 100,000 mourners turned out to Dink's funeral to chant:
      'We are all Armenians'.
      General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

      Comment


      • Turk-Armenian Business Council not permitted to open branch in Istanbul
        08.05.2008 17:57 GMT+04:00
        /PanARMENIAN.Net/ A Turkish-Armenian business organization is not permitted to open a branch in Istanbul, in total contrast to the government’s willingness to restart political dialogue with Armenia.

        While political leaders of both Turkey and Armenia debate ways to "open dialogue," an effort by a Brussels-based association of Turkish and Armenian businessmen has been told that even an Istanbul office for the nongovernmental organization is off the table.

        The request began with Brussels-based Turkish-Armenian Business Development Council’s request last year to establish an office in Istanbul. But the request was quietly rejected by the Interior Ministry in February, the Turkish Daily News reports.

        Kaan Soyak, co-chairman of the Council, confirmed that four Turkish members of the organization including himself applied last May to open the office supposed to connect the Turkey-EU network in order to foster business opportunities.

        "We have received no response for nine months and in February, the Istanbul Governor’s Office sent a letter rejecting our request without any justification," Soyak said.

        Until February, he continued, Turkish and Armenian members of the Council had the impression that the Interior Ministry would allow the opening of the office because at round-table discussions in the United States last November, Turkish diplomats heralded the government’s plans to allow the office. However, the letter from the Istanbul Governor’s Office was in total contrast to expectations.

        The government’s rejection comes right after calls for dialogue with Armenia in the wake of the elections, a development that raised hopes for the opening of a new chapter in troubled relations.

        The Turkish-Armenian Business Development Council is a nongovernmental network of Turkish and Armenian business leaders working since 1997 for the restoration of normal relations between Turkey and Armenia and for the reopening of their common border.

        The two neighbors have had no diplomatic links after Turkey took Azerbaijan’s side in the Karabakh war and closed the border with Armenia. Ankara also opposes demands for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
        General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

        Comment


        • AZG Armenian Daily #088, 09/05/2008

          Turks-Armenians-Jews

          TURKISH-JEWISH BUSINESSMAN: "TURKEY LOST WHEN JEWISH,
          ARMENIAN BUSINESSMEN WERE CHASED AWAY AND MADE TO
          LEAVE THE COUNTRY"

          In a letter to the chief editor of Turkish daily
          Referans, owner of Alarko Holding Izak Alaton reacted
          to a recent high court decision in Turkey that banned
          the sale of real estate to foreigners. Alaton wrote
          about how in 1940s Armenian and Jewish businessmen
          were chased and compelled to leave the country - at
          Turkey's loss - and more recently how willing
          investors for big development projects in Turkey were
          rejected just because they were Jewish - as in the
          case of the Israeli businessman Sammy Ofer who would
          invest one billion dollars to develop a port in
          Istanbul. Alaton said that the bureaucracy and the
          media had joined forces to stop the project.

          In his letter that is published at Referans, Alaton
          wrote, "As long as this paranoia, this xenophobic,
          anti non-Muslim, antisemitic sentiments will continue
          to exist in Turkey, we will all be obliged to live in
          mediocrity, stuck in the sidelines of life."
          General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

          Comment


          • IN OPINION OF TURK HISTORIAN, "IF ARMENIANS WERE NOT EXILED, TURKEY WOULD FACE MORE SERIOUS PROBLEMS TODAY"

            http://www.nt.am/news.php?shownews=113307
            Noyan Tapan
            May 13, 2008

            ANKARA, MAY 14, ARMENIANS TODAY - NOYAN TAPAN. The Turkish "Kanal-1"
            TV channel broadcast the speech of historian Murad Bardakce, who had
            recently published one of the diaries of Taleat pasha. In his April
            26 speech Murad Bardakce read extracts from an interview with the
            widow of Taleat pasha and declared that Armenians did not fulfil the
            orders of Taleat and revolted and that there was not a genocide but
            a war between two peoples at the beginning of the century.

            Murad Bardakce mentioned that exile was not a good thing and at the
            same time considered it to be a right solution as, according to him,
            if Armenians were not exiled, Turkey would face much more serious
            problems today.
            General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

            Comment


            • http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008...ey.thefarright


              Jason Burke in Istanbul
              The Observer, Sunday May 4 2008 Article history

              Supporters wave flags for Devlet Bahceli in Istanbul, Turkey. Photograph: Carsten Koall/AFP/Getty Images

              It has the elements of a thriller: a shadowy group of right-wing former soldiers, a mafia don, extremist lawyers and politicians; hand-grenades in a rucksack; plots to kill the Prime Minister and a Nobel-prize winning writer; allegedly planted evidence and falsified wire taps.

              Even the name of the villains - the Ergenekon network - has an airport paperback flavour, and the stakes involved are high: the stability of one of the world's most strategically important countries. This highly charged political reality is splitting Turkey.

              In the coming days the Ergenekon investigation will reach its climax. According to newspaper reports, a long-awaited indictment will be issued by the state prosecutor. After successive waves of arrests, 47 people are in custody. They include senior figures in the ultra-right-wing Workers' Party, a dozen retired senior army officers, journalists and a lawyer accused of launching legal attacks that drove Nobel award-winning writer Orhan Pamuk from his homeland.

              Crimes being blamed on Ergenekon include a series of murderous bomb blasts, a grenade attack on a newspaper, the murder of an Italian bishop and the killing last year of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink - all aimed, investigators believe, at creating a climate of terror and chaos propitious to a military coup that would depose Turkey's moderate Islamist government.

              The coup attempt has revealed deep divisions in Turkey's 73 million-strong population over the country's identity: pro-European or anti-European, fiercely nationalist, ethnically homogeneous and militaristic, or globalised and pro-Western, more or less Islamic, more or less sunk in historical bitterness and dark conspiracy theories.

              'The cleavage is deep: every institution, every social class, everybody is divided,' said Professor Murat Belge of Bigli University, Istanbul, an analyst. 'I am deeply apprehensive about what is going on now and what might happen.'

              But for Mehmet Demirlek, a lawyer defending a colleague accused of being a key member of Ergenekon, the allegations are 'imaginary'. 'There is not a shred of truth in them,' he said. 'This is 100 per cent political. It has all been cooked up by the government and by the imperialist powers, the CIA, Mossad and the Jewish lobby and the European Union to eliminate Turkish nationalism. There is no such thing as Ergenekon.' His imprisoned client, Kemal Kerincsiz, told The Observer in an interview prior to his arrest he was a 'patriot fighting the disintegration of the nation'.

              For Fethiye Cetin, a lawyer representing Hrant Dink's family, Ergenekon has 'existed for years'. 'A small part of what has been previously hidden is being exposed. Call it the "deep state".'

              An investigation was launched by state prosecutors after 27 hand-grenades, said to be the make used by the military, were found in a home in a rundown part of Istanbul last June. Investigators claim that they later uncovered an underground network dedicated to extremist nationalist agitation.

              Wire taps led to further finds of explosives, weapons and documents listing security arrangements of senior political and military figures and death lists. The papers supposedly proving Ergenekon - the name of a mythic mountain in Asia where the ancestors of the Turkic peoples escaped the Mongols - was set up in 1999 as a clandestine and violent organisation aimed of maintaining a reactionary, purist vision of a strong, militaristic Turkey, the heritage, the extremists believed, of the founder of the nation, Kemal Ataturk.

              The plotters tap 'into a psyche that is based on a new and extreme nationalism', said Cengiz Candar, one of Turkey's most prominent journalists. 'The idea is that to preserve Turkey it is necessary and legitimate to resist in any way. And anyone who is pro-European, liberal, who argues for increased rights for minorities and so on is a traitor.'

              According to Candar, this new nationalism is the result of a coincidence of factors: the difficulties of Turkey's accession to the European Union, soul-searching over nation identity generated by the debate on Europe, the emergence of a strong, semi-autonomous Kurdish state in post-Saddam Iraq with all the potential implications that has for Turkey's large Kurdish population, and, perhaps most importantly, the continuing electoral success of the AKP, the Justice and Development party, the moderate Islamist party led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan to power in 2002. 'With no way of ousting them through democratic means, other means become attractive to the extremist nationalists. This country has a long tradition of such actions,' said Candar.

              Turkey's political history has been marked by interventions by the army, each preceded by a period of violent instability and each justified by the need to preserve the constitution and the nation. The repeated electoral success of the AKP, its social and economic policies, its pro-European, pro-free market stance, the growth of newly wealthy, religiously conservative middle classes who vote for Erdogan and his colleagues and the party's break with Turkey's fiercely secular ideology - all threaten the nation's powerful military and bureaucratic establishment.

              A legal bid to ban the party - on the grounds that it wants to impose Sharia law on Turkey and thus overturn the constitution - is one tactic, AKP party loyalists say. Violence and the activities of Ergenekon is another. 'How long are these people going to keep their power when it is incompatible with a European, fully democratic Turkey?' asked Belge. 'And how big is Ergenekon? Who are they? How high does it go?'

              No official military spokesman would comment but General Haldu Somazturk, who retired three years ago, told The Observer 'the Ergenekon group is trivial, barely worthy of attention', saying that though 'it was possible' a few military officers might have become involved in the group, the vast majority of Turkish soldiers were 'committed to maintaining democracy'.

              Somazturk, who said that his own views 'reflected those of most senior soldiers', insisted 'there are far more grave problems facing Turkey than a handful of right-wing crazies'. Instead, he said, it was the government that worried him. 'The AKP are a concern. There is no such thing as moderate Islam. Either a government is influenced by religion or it isn't. And if it is, then it is not secular and not democratic,' he said. 'We want to move democracy forward, they want to move it back and we are approaching a point of no return.'

              In a rundown working-class suburb of Istanbul, far from the tourist sights of the historic centre, the deputy chairman of the Nationalist Action Party in the city, Nazmi Celenk, made an effort to show his party's moderate side. 'In Turkey we are on the front line of the clash of civilisations,' he said. 'We are the natural allies of America and Britain in this region. Our future is in Europe - but not necessarily in the European Union.'

              Yet Celenk was critical of last week's reform of Turkey's strict rules on 'insulting Turkishness', pushed through parliament in the face of fierce resistance from the 70 deputies from his own party. If he was in power, Celenk said, the tight laws on freedom of expression would be maintained. And, if he had the power, he would invade Syria and split the state between Turkey and Iraq. The violent Kurdish activism in the south-east of his country would be solved 'in 24 hours'.

              A street away, a group of mechanics and local shopkeepers played backgammon. They said they were worried by rising crime, drug use and low wages, but would not vote for the nationalists. 'They try and cause fights between us to get votes,' Hikmet, a bus owner, said.

              Fethiye Cetin, the Dink family lawyer, is still optimistic despite the tensions. She discovered her own minority roots - an Armenian grandmother - at the age of 25. 'This period is the peak of aggressive nationalism in Turkey, but there is still peace,' she said in her small office on a hill above the blue waters of the Sea of Marmara. 'But everyone always focuses on the negative side and never on the tens of millions who live together without any trouble at all.'

              Victim of the plot?

              Hrant Dink was a 52-year-old journalist, assassinated in January 2007. As co-founder of Agos, a newspaper published in both Turkish and Armenian, he became a prominent member of the Armenian minority in Turkey and pushed for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and human rights.

              Dink was shot in Istanbul by Ogün Samast, a 17-year old Turkish nationalist. 100,000 mourners turned out to Dink's funeral to chant: 'We are all Armenians'.
              General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

              Comment


              • http://www.bianet.org/english/katego...er-baskin-oran


                Turkish Revenge Brigade Threatens Minority Rights Defender Baskın Oran
                Following the police protection he was given, Prof. Dr. Baskın Oran, one of the leading figures in defense of the minority and cultural rights, has now received a death threat from the Turkish Revenge Brigade.
                Bia news servıce
                05-06-2008

                Erol ÖNDEROĞLU
                Despite the police protection and the trial these attacks receive, the intellectuals continue receiving death threats after the murder of Hrant Dink.

                After his acquittal by the court for the case about the “Minority Report and the Cultural Rights Work Group Report”, Prof. Dr. Baskın Oran, a former member of the Human Rights Advisory Board of the Prime Ministry (BIHDK), has been threatened by the Turkish Revenge Brigade (TİT)with an e-mail sent on May 30.

                There is swearing at Baskın Oran and Armenians in the message

                Baskın Oran, who filed complaints regarding similar threats previously, told Bianet that since the name of the organization in the e-mail was seen in connection with other incidents, he was planning to file a complaint through his lawyers today (June 4).

                The message, which was sent from [email protected], claims that he will be the new target. There is swearing at Oran and Armenians in the message as well.

                The name Turkish Revenge Brigade, which was responsible for the assassination of Akın Birdal, who was the president of the Human Rights Association (İHD) in 1998, have appeared on threat messages to İstanbul “Free Radio”, the artist Ferhat Tunç and the lawyer Eren Keskin.

                Since it was an “abstract claim”, he was not protected; now a police officer protects him

                Although Baskın Oran’s pervious complaints regarding the death threats were ignored as “abstract claims”, he was given police protection after the murder of Hrant Dink.

                A person who sent Oran similar messages will be on trial today (June 5) at the 4th Court of First Instance of Ankara. However, Oran thinks that he will be acquitted of the charge, since the internet coffeehouse, from where the message was sent, was not registered.

                Prof. Dr. İbrahim Kaboğlu, the publisher Necati Abay and the lawyer Eren Keskin are among those who were tried for their thoughts.

                It was announced by the Minister of Justice Mehmet Ali Şahin that Zeki Özhan, who had sent a threat message to Eren Keskin from his prison cell, was “reprimanded”. (EÖ/EZÖ/TB)
                General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                Comment


                • What a guy

                  http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/de...4616&bolum=101

                  Former priest turned Muslim turns out to be military man

                  A former Turkish priest who had been working with foreign missionaries and then converted to Islam was actually an intelligence officer with the Turkish Land Forces, a Turkish daily has reported, but he has denied acting as a "provocateur."



                  According to a headline story "Provocateur Specialist Sergeant" published in the daily Bugün on June 11, İlker Çınar, who became famous after publishing a book in 2005 titled "Ben Bir Misyonerdim, Şifre Çözüldü" (I was a Missionary, The Code is Broken), is registered as a "special sergeant" in the Pension Fund's (Emekli Sandığı) records.
                  "Records from the Emekli Sandığı Mersin regional office show that Çınar had been registered on Aug. 16, 1992 as a 'special sergeant' with the record number of 706661XX and his premiums have been paid regularly," stated the daily.

                  The story indicated that the Emekli Sandığı office confirmed that Çınar is a member of the Turkish Land Forces. The Emekli Sandığı is only for public personnel and individuals who cannot pay their own premiums.

                  Speaking to Hilal TV, Çınar denied that he was a "provocateur" and said he was only reporting on missionary activities in Turkey: "I am a Muslim, I have been revealing missionary activities in Turkey. I haven't done anything illegal."

                  Çınar had claimed in 2005 that international missionary institutions had allocated $73 billion for Turkey and that the missionaries in Turkey produced 15 million Bibles and distributed them for free. He also said there were 40,000 church-homes in Turkey, while claiming that foreigners were engaging in illegal missionary activities in Turkey, that they supported Kurdish and Alevi separatism and that they were involved in smuggling of some historical artifacts.

                  Çınar, who had been a priest in Tarsus and traveled around Turkey for missionary activities, had later devoted himself to anti-missionary work and had spoken extensively about his claims on live Turkish TV talk shows, receiving wide coverage in the media, especially in 2005 after his book came out. Çınar supported the idea that the missionary activities of foreigners in Turkey have been dividing the country and that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been contributing to the same goal by passing legislation to harmonize with the standards of the European Union.

                  Press consultant for the Association of the Turkish Protestant Churches İsa Karataş said they were not concerned about Çınar's statements as long as such statements do not put forward slanderous information about their community.

                  "If he is really an informant, this is not a big surprise to us. We know that our churches have been closely watched, we are not complaining about this. We want the state to know what we are really doing but we want such informants -- if there are any -- to report the truth to whatever organization they are working for," Karata? said in a written statement to Today's Zaman.

                  The Bugün article draws attention to the fact that murders of Christian priests followed Çınar's allegations.

                  Italian priest Andrea Santoro was killed by a teenager on Feb. 5, 2006, in his church in the northern Black Sea port city of Trabzon. The teenage perpetrator, O.A., said he was influenced by the debates on television concerning missionary activities in Turkey.

                  Records that came to light in February as part of another murder case have shown that the priest was under police surveillance when the murder occurred. The piece of information that the priest was actually being monitored by the police was revealed by records that went into the file of Yasin Hayal, whose trial is pending, with the latter being charged as the prime inciter of the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007. Dink was shot dead outside his office in January of 2007 by an ultra-nationalist teenager, who is also from Trabzon.
                  General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

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                  • "Social Engineer"...sure thing.

                    Originally posted by Joseph View Post
                    http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/de...4616&bolum=101

                    Former priest turned Muslim turns out to be military man

                    A former Turkish priest who had been working with foreign missionaries and then converted to Islam was actually an intelligence officer with the Turkish Land Forces, a Turkish daily has reported, but he has denied acting as a "provocateur."



                    According to a headline story "Provocateur Specialist Sergeant" published in the daily Bugün on June 11, İlker Çınar, who became famous after publishing a book in 2005 titled "Ben Bir Misyonerdim, Şifre Çözüldü" (I was a Missionary, The Code is Broken), is registered as a "special sergeant" in the Pension Fund's (Emekli Sandığı) records.
                    "Records from the Emekli Sandığı Mersin regional office show that Çınar had been registered on Aug. 16, 1992 as a 'special sergeant' with the record number of 706661XX and his premiums have been paid regularly," stated the daily.

                    The story indicated that the Emekli Sandığı office confirmed that Çınar is a member of the Turkish Land Forces. The Emekli Sandığı is only for public personnel and individuals who cannot pay their own premiums.

                    Speaking to Hilal TV, Çınar denied that he was a "provocateur" and said he was only reporting on missionary activities in Turkey: "I am a Muslim, I have been revealing missionary activities in Turkey. I haven't done anything illegal."

                    Çınar had claimed in 2005 that international missionary institutions had allocated $73 billion for Turkey and that the missionaries in Turkey produced 15 million Bibles and distributed them for free. He also said there were 40,000 church-homes in Turkey, while claiming that foreigners were engaging in illegal missionary activities in Turkey, that they supported Kurdish and Alevi separatism and that they were involved in smuggling of some historical artifacts.

                    Çınar, who had been a priest in Tarsus and traveled around Turkey for missionary activities, had later devoted himself to anti-missionary work and had spoken extensively about his claims on live Turkish TV talk shows, receiving wide coverage in the media, especially in 2005 after his book came out. Çınar supported the idea that the missionary activities of foreigners in Turkey have been dividing the country and that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been contributing to the same goal by passing legislation to harmonize with the standards of the European Union.

                    Press consultant for the Association of the Turkish Protestant Churches İsa Karataş said they were not concerned about Çınar's statements as long as such statements do not put forward slanderous information about their community.

                    "If he is really an informant, this is not a big surprise to us. We know that our churches have been closely watched, we are not complaining about this. We want the state to know what we are really doing but we want such informants -- if there are any -- to report the truth to whatever organization they are working for," Karata? said in a written statement to Today's Zaman.

                    The Bugün article draws attention to the fact that murders of Christian priests followed Çınar's allegations.

                    Italian priest Andrea Santoro was killed by a teenager on Feb. 5, 2006, in his church in the northern Black Sea port city of Trabzon. The teenage perpetrator, O.A., said he was influenced by the debates on television concerning missionary activities in Turkey.

                    Records that came to light in February as part of another murder case have shown that the priest was under police surveillance when the murder occurred. The piece of information that the priest was actually being monitored by the police was revealed by records that went into the file of Yasin Hayal, whose trial is pending, with the latter being charged as the prime inciter of the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007. Dink was shot dead outside his office in January of 2007 by an ultra-nationalist teenager, who is also from Trabzon.
                    http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/de...ay&link=144720

                    Controversial ex-priest claims to be social engineer

                    A former Christian priest who later converted to Islam and was allegedly paid by the Turkish military's intelligence unit to spread anti-Christian propaganda has described himself as a "social engineer."



                    İlker Çınar waged a war against Christian missionary activities in Turkey after his conversion to Islam. Records of state insurance agency the Retirement Fund published in newspapers on Wednesday reveal he was paid a salary by the military. Çınar has denied any truth to news stories establishing links with his anti-Christian mission and his army work.
                    Çınar's anti-missionary propaganda is blamed by some for the death of Italian priest Andrea Santoro, who was killed by a teenager on Feb. 5, 2006, in his church in the northern Black Sea port city of Trabzon. The murderer had he was alarmed by debates on television over missionary activities in Turkey.

                    The reports of Çınar's army affiliation have raised the question of whether the military did indeed pay a spy to encourage aggression against Christians in the mostly Muslim nation.

                    Speaking to the Cihan news agency, Çınar admitted that at one point he had worked for the Land Forces Command, but refused provide details on the nature of his duties.

                    Çınar said he would explain in detail everything and expose the names of Turks involved in Christian missionary activity "when the time comes." He said he never aimed to get people killed in his work for the army.

                    He said that instead, as a "social engineer" he had analyzed all kinds of people. "A person might want to decide on their own direction in life. I am not criticizing people for being Christians. They could be Christian, Jewish or Muslim. The important thing is being a human being," he told Cihan.

                    "I have always served my state," he said.


                    13 June 2008, Friday

                    ÜMİT PITIR, HASAN KÜÇÜK MERSİN
                    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                    Comment


                    • Turkish singer tried over dissent
                      One of Turkey's best known singers, Bulent Ersoy, has gone on trial charged with attempting to turn the public against military service.

                      The charges were brought after she suggested it was not worth sacrificing soldiers' lives in Turkey's conflict with the Kurdish separatist PKK group.

                      The transsexual singer made her comments on television last February.

                      The army was conducting a major operation against the PKK in northern Iraq at the time.

                      Some 40,000 people have died since the conflict with the PKK began in 1984.

                      Ms Ersoy did not show up in court, saying she had to attend a concert, so the trial has been postponed until September, when she will be obliged to attend.

                      Ms Ersoy has already said she will stand by her comments.

                      But she faces up to four-and-a-half years in prison if she is convicted.

                      Criticism risky

                      Hakkan Ozgur, one of those who submitted an official complaint against her, was in court for the start of the trial.

                      "The Turkish military is fighting a war on terror," he said.

                      Some suggest that behind closed doors, many Turks share Bulent Ersoy's exasperation

                      "I believe making propaganda against this is illegal. It creates doubts in people over whether to go to the military. It sows doubt in the minds of those whose children are already serving."

                      "The lives of our soldiers are at stake."

                      Ms Ersoy is Turkey's best known diva, adored across the country, says the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul.

                      She was already one of the country's most popular male singers, when in 1981 she underwent a sex-change operation.

                      But questioning the Turkish military can be a risky business, our correspondent says.

                      Article 318 of the penal code - dissuading people from military service - is frequently used by the military against its critics.

                      Meanwhile critics say a separate article, making it a crime to insult the Turkish nation and its institutions, is used to stifle free speech.

                      Ms Ersoy's trial may well scare many others into silence, our correspondent says.

                      Story from BBC NEWS:
                      http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...pe/7460649.stm

                      Published: 2008/06/18 11:59:53 GMT

                      © BBC MMVIII
                      General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

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