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Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

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  • Turkish Government Ridiculed over Armenian City


    Blogian on 26 Nov 2008

    A liberal Turkish newspaper is making fun of their government. According to Radical, Turkey’s government has opened a website titled There is No Armenian Ani.

    The sarcastic news is actually confronting the Turkish government for launching a website about the historic Armenian city of Ani – now on Turkish territory. The website features information about Ani’s churches and archaeology.

    But the word “Armenian” is absent from the entire content of http://www.ani.gov.tr/, except for some bibliography sources.


    Link

    Comment


    • Well, its not in English so I doubt that the people who believe in genocide denial/denial of history will be able to read it.

      There is No Armenian Ani = Epic Fail!

      Comment


      • This goes in line with changing names of animals, plants and such to remove any trace of Armenian influence. Hey, whatever makes Turks happy right?
        Hipeter924, welcome to this website, I am new myself.
        I love your country mate, can’t wait to go back for a visit. I used to live in Australia.

        Hey BTW, does anybody in Turkey even pay attention to these liberal News sources?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Edoman View Post
          This goes in line with changing names of animals, plants and such to remove any trace of Armenian influence. Hey, whatever makes Turks happy right?
          Hipeter924, welcome to this website, I am new myself.
          I love your country mate, can’t wait to go back for a visit. I used to live in Australia.

          Hey BTW, does anybody in Turkey even pay attention to these liberal News sources?
          I have lived in Australia and NZ, in Australia I liked Melbourne, but for NZ I like where I am now.

          Comment


          • hipeter924. Hey I lived in Melbourne, the suburbs of Bundoora. Melbournians are superior to Sydneysiders.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Edoman View Post
              hipeter924. Hey I lived in Melbourne, the suburbs of Bundoora. Melbournians are superior to Sydneysiders.
              I think Sydney is a bit ugly looking, and the people there not so great. Then I never visited Sydney,lol.

              Comment


              • hipeter924. No Sydney is very beautiful especially Darling Harbor, the opera house, and Sydney Bridge. I would say it is gorgeous. The people there are however not as likable as the Aussies in Melbourne.
                Melbournians are more laid back. I don’t know if you know the story but long time ago Australia was undecided as to where to put their capitol. Sydneysiders would claim that it should in Sydney (the state of New South Wales) because the city itself is an icon of Australia and a historical port. Melbournians argued that no, it should be Melbourne (In the state of Victoria) because it is the symbol of Australian industrial complex. These arguments got very hot with rivalry between the two states that has lasted to even today.
                The Government finally decided to tell them both and put the capitol in Canberra, between the two states.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Edoman View Post
                  hipeter924. No Sydney is very beautiful especially Darling Harbor, the opera house, and Sydney Bridge. I would say it is gorgeous. The people there are however not as likable as the Aussies in Melbourne.
                  Melbournians are more laid back. I don’t know if you know the story but long time ago Australia was undecided as to where to put their capitol. Sydneysiders would claim that it should in Sydney (the state of New South Wales) because the city itself is an icon of Australia and a historical port. Melbournians argued that no, it should be Melbourne (In the state of Victoria) because it is the symbol of Australian industrial complex. These arguments got very hot with rivalry between the two states that has lasted to even today.
                  The Government finally decided to tell them both and put the capitol in Canberra, between the two states.
                  lol

                  Comment


                  • TURKISH "NATION STATE" PRECONDITIONS
                    Ruben Melkonyan

                    http://www.noravank.am/en/?page=analitics&nid=1498
                    04 December 2008

                    In the beginning of November of the current year the Turkish Defense
                    Minister Vecdi Gonul paid an official visit to Brussels to take part
                    in the meeting of the European Union Defense Ministers. The latter
                    one made a speech in the ceremony in commemoration of Ataturk held
                    on November 10 in the Turkish embassy in Brussels and expressed a
                    very noteworthy and, at the same time, scandalous idea connected with
                    Turkish "nation state."

                    According to him, for the homogeneous form of up-to-date Turkey they
                    are obliged to a number of circumstances - the exchange of population
                    between Turkey and Greece in 1923, according to which the Greeks
                    inhabited in Turkey were exiled to Greece, and the Muslim Turks in
                    there - to Turkey. During that exchange, according to different
                    sources, for about 1.5 - 2.5 million Greeks moved to Greece and
                    350-500 thousand Turks moved from Greece to Turkey. By the way,
                    the Turkish Defense Minister said, "Today if Greeks went on living
                    in the Aegean Sea basin and Armenians - in many places in Turkey,
                    would we be able to be the same nation state. I don't know how to
                    explain how important the exchange of Greeks was."

                    In reality these words hide a whole ideology of the present day
                    Turkish state, the roots of which are long enough to reach the Ottoman
                    Empire. According to that ideology, Turks cannot peacefully coexist
                    with Armenians, Greeks or other non-Muslims in the same state and,
                    as they say, be a "nation state."

                    In perhaps inconsiderate words of the Defense Minister is also hidden
                    the traditional approach of the Turkish ruling elite, that's to
                    say, Armenians, Greeks and other non-Muslims are to be annihilated,
                    assimilated or exiled from the country. At the same time this honest
                    confession about ethnic discriminations made us reconsider the issue
                    of peaceful coexistence with Turks, because, as a matter of fact,
                    the Turkish officials themselves directly or indirectly prove that
                    these propagandas are either false or have no value for them.

                    The Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul has also emphasized the importance of
                    the principles the Turkish Republic applied in its formation period
                    - "nation building" and economy: "I used to work in the Chamber of
                    Commerce in Izmir, and there wasn't even one Muslim among the chamber
                    founders, they all were Europeans. Before the Republic was established
                    in Ankara there were four districts in Ankara, which belonged to
                    Armenians, Greeks, Jews and Muslims. The fertile lands of Aegean
                    Sea were in the hands of minority." Criticizing the "sad" past the
                    Turkish Defense Minister must be very happy with the present condition,
                    as the picture today is quite different from the past. The Minister
                    Gonul spoke positively about expulsion of non-Muslims from economy.

                    The ides of the Minister Gonul found a wide respond both in
                    Turkey and above its boarders. For example, a well-known Turkish
                    political scientist Professor Baskin Oran estimates the population
                    exchange of 1923 as ethnic and religious cleansing and considers
                    that this exchange and "1915 exile of Armenians destroyed Turkey's
                    multiformity." According to the Professor, all these did a lot of harm
                    to Turkey, at that, in different spheres. Oran has also considered that
                    the expression of these ideas, especially in abroad, is wrong: "These
                    words have been told in abroad. I first think what the foreigners must
                    have said at this. It is right, the exchange of Greeks by the Turkish
                    Republic was not bloody, like in case of the Ottoman Empire, however,
                    how expedient it is to say it in the presence of foreigners. These
                    words are culturally, economically and politically wrong."

                    A number of Armenians from Constantinople wrote an open letter
                    concerning to the Minister's words to the Turkish Prime-Minister
                    and were supported for about 20 intellectual-scientists. According to
                    them, the Minister was proud and was boasting of ethnic discriminations
                    practiced in their country, as a result of which millions of people had
                    been exiled from places they were inhabited for thousands of years. The
                    official Athens=2 0also responded to the Minister's words: the Press
                    Speaker of Greece's Foreign Ministry Yorgus Kumuchakos estimated it in
                    the following way. "One can notice dangerous and unacceptable logic in
                    the Minister's announcement." In the Turkish "Zaman" newspaper Ihsan
                    Daghin asks a truthful question - Is the Minister Gonul the member of
                    the ruling Justice and Development Party or the Committee for Union
                    and Progress of Young Turks? And he thinks that the confession of
                    Enver Pasha's our day successor may become an important trump card in
                    the issue of the "Armenian exile," certainly, not in favor of Turkey.

                    Many people blame the Minister that he had made a serious mistake to
                    say these words, which will be used by Turkey's enemies, and first of
                    all by the Armenian Diaspora. The Turkish "Solidarity for Human Rights
                    and Persecutions" organization brought an action against the words
                    of the Minister, saying that there were clearly expressed elements
                    of ethnic discrimination in his words.

                    After the clamor resulted by the words of Gonul, the Defense Minister
                    made a few unsuccessful efforts to proofread his words, saying that
                    he didn't mean our days, but the events which happened 80 years
                    ago. However, isn't the picture today the depiction of what had
                    happened at the beginning of the century?

                    Just like it was fairly mentioned by the Turkish sci entist Cengiz
                    Aktar, "It was God who made Gonul speak" and these words have been
                    defined to be confession. And really, it may be considered to be
                    a confessing announcement about the state adopted policy, as, as a
                    result of the Armenian Genocide, massacres of Greeks and Assyrians,
                    the successor of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish Republic, has
                    inherited incomparably less number of communities of national-religion
                    minorities, however, the state policy and attitude adopted to them has
                    remained the same - the minorities are dangerous, enemy and strange.

                    One can state as a fact that from the very first day the Turkish
                    republic was establish, national minorities has been subject to
                    different persecutions and pressures, although their rights were
                    theoretically protected by the Lausanne Treaty. A whole complex
                    of pressures was exerted in the Turkish Republic to non-Muslims -
                    exile, assimilation, religious, political, economic persecutions,
                    and all these directed to form a homogenous, "national" Turkey. A
                    number of components of the persecution policy adopted by Turkey,
                    such as tax of Property1, military draft of 20 classes2, the events3
                    of September 6-7, 1955, actions of "compatriot, speak Turkish4" etc.,
                    were serving this objective.

                    1In the beginning of WWII (1942) the Turkish government headed by
                    the Prime Minister Sukru Saracoglu submitted the so called law on
                    "Property tax" for=2 0approval of the Great National Assembly, which
                    was adopted on November 11, 1942 by unanimous voting of 350 deputies of
                    the Parliament session. Even with the naked eye it is obvious that the
                    law is directed against national-religious minorities. "Property tax"
                    divides tax-payers into 4 groups - according to religious belonging
                    a)Muslims, b)non-Muslims, c) apostates d) foreign subjects. As a matter
                    of fact, by this was violated the regulation of the Constitution
                    according to which all the citizens, including non-Muslims, were
                    enjoying equal rights in Turkey, and it was more reminding the period
                    of the Ottoman state, when non-Muslims paid taxes quite different
                    from the ones of Muslims. Not including the apostates into the group
                    of Muslims, the Turkish state once more demonstrated that it didn't
                    trust that group and didn't perceive it as "true Muslims." There are
                    also facts that some Armenian, Greeks and Jews who adopted Islam paid
                    taxes not like Muslims or apostates, but like non-Muslims.

                    In the law it was envisaged that Muslims and foreign subjects had to
                    pay taxes at the rate of 12.5%, non-Muslims- 50%, apostates (i.e. the
                    ones Islamized) - 25% of the whole property. As in Turkey of that
                    period the biggest non-Muslim communities were Armenian, Greek and
                    Jewish ones, it is quite natural, that the tax was mainly directed
                    against them.

                    To determine the rate of the tax and its collectio n, was established a
                    special commission. Special attention was devoted to all the commission
                    members to be pure-blooded Turks. It is not to be given secondary
                    importance to the issue that there were many former Ittihads. One of
                    the illegal clauses of the law was the fact that the commission itself
                    determined the extent of the tax, i.e. there were no clear criteria.

                    However, illegal clauses were not limited by this: the other norm
                    roughly violating human rights was that the tax-payer had no right
                    to bear a complain against the extent of the tax, i.e. the tax rate
                    willfully fixed by the commission was final. While determining the tax
                    rates the commission did not take into consideration real incomes and
                    means of a tax-prayer and he was taxed approximately, at will and mood.

                    In the process of collecting taxes there was another important
                    detail, to which we would like to attract attention. The Turkish
                    authorities also made a difference among non-Muslims and Armenians,
                    who, in comparison with other non-Muslims, were taxed at the highest
                    percents. So, for example, a Turkish tradesman was to pay 4.7%,
                    Greek-156%, Jew - 232% and Armenian - 232% of his annual income, and,
                    as a matter of fact, the Greek tradesman, in comparison with the Turk,
                    paid 31, the Jew - 36 and the Armenian 47 times more. 15 days-long
                    term was fixed for the tax to be paid, which was later on prolonged to
                    30 days. If, during this period the tax-payer could not pay the tax,
                    his movables and immovables was alienated and sold by auction at low
                    prices: but before that the tax-payers themselves tried to pay their
                    belongings at low prices. Let's also mention that in case there were
                    short of money, the belongings of his relatives were also subject
                    to confiscation and selling. And, if this money was not enough too,
                    the taxpayers were condemned to penal servitude to work and pay their
                    "debt" to the state. The main place for servitude was Ashkale province
                    in Erzurum district famous for its cold climate, which was also called
                    "Turkish Siberia".

                    At the Turkish governmental session held on November 7, 1943 was
                    adopted a regulation of labor liability under19288 including the
                    following articles: according to I article, were classified tax-payers
                    condemned to forced labor. First of all labor camps were to be sent
                    those who hadn't paid taxes at all, than the ones who paid partially
                    and so on. It was envisage to pay the convict certain number of money
                    making 250 kurushes a day, 60 kurushes of which were to be kept for
                    nourishment, dwelling and other expenses and the other part was to
                    be kept for paying debts for "Property Tax." According to the 15th
                    article, the tax-payer was to work till all his debts for "Property
                    Tax" were paid. However, this article made an absurd situation for
                    many tax payers, and perhaps meant life-long penal servitude. Thus,
                    for example, the tax-payers who had 400-500 liras and more debts had
                    to work 1600 years to pay their debts with their salaries. In 1869
                    the tax-payers sent to camps were from Istanbul, 889 - from Izmir, 100
                    -from Baku. According to the official data 1400 non-Muslim tax-payers
                    were sent only to Ashkale, 1229 of which were from Istanbul. 21 out
                    of them (according to another data) died in Ashkale.

                    It was also important the issue to whom the belongings taken from
                    nationalists and sold by auction passed on: as the facts have come
                    to prove all these belongings were at very low prices bought by
                    Turkish businessmen, organizations and banks. As a matter of fact,
                    "Property tax" carried out its mission - to hand all the economy of
                    the country over to Turks.

                    Only after material, moral, spiritual and physical devastation of
                    national minorities, the Turkish authorities, also yielding to foreign
                    pressure, canceled "property tax" as a manifestation of "good will."

                    2Among other persecutions registered in different periods of the
                    history of the Republic of Turkey little importance is devoted or is
                    completely ignored the so called conscription of 20 classes draft
                    in 1941 (according to some sources, from May 1-15) to non-Muslim
                    inhabitants by Turkish authorities. At the height of WWII Turkish
                    authorities hurriedly declared conscription : according to 20 classes
                    the adult men representatives of national minorities from 18-60,
                    Armenians, Greeks, Jews, were sent to "army."

                    Everybody was conscripted without any exceptions, even the ones
                    who had just returned from military service. The peculiarity of the
                    conscription was the fact that it was applied only to non-Muslims
                    citizens. Another important nuance was that the conscription was not
                    declared about beforehand: potential conscripts were gathered within
                    several hours, without prior notification.

                    Turkish sources accentuate that the decision about conscription was
                    thought over thoroughly: special efforts were made for no one to know
                    about this decision but corresponding authorities. This conscription
                    was notable as the male non-Muslims conscripts were not solders: they
                    did not get military education, they were not given arms and military
                    uniform. These unarmed "solders" did construction works. After the
                    conscription they did not obey the Ministry of Defense, but the
                    Ministry of Public Works in Turkey.

                    The non-Muslim conscripts were mainly inhabited in camps located in the
                    country's eastern regions, where because of extremely bad conditions
                    were spread diseases becoming the reason of death and disablement
                    of many people. In spite of the fact that there aren't nay official
                    figures left about the number of ones perished, according to eye
                    witnesses and many sources, there were many of them.

                    In one of=2 0the sources is mentioned an extremely important fact:
                    together with non-Muslims, Islamized Armenians were also taken to
                    "service." It has come to prove that the conscription of 20 classes had
                    a clearly defined ethnic shade, and even forcedly Islamized Armenians
                    were source of danger for Turkish authorities. This fact has also
                    came to prove that the state structures, from the very beginning of
                    Islamization, kept them under their rapt attention and controlled
                    everything happening in their surrounding.

                    After all there were not considered to be Muslims in reality.

                    While speaking about the reasons and aims of the conscription of 20
                    classes, it is to be mentioned that a little number of sources and the
                    stories of witnesses confirm that this, along with other derivative
                    goals, was directed at ethnic cleansing. An important reason of
                    conscription is considered that in those years, getting ready to
                    the possible war, the Turkish authorities in advance gathered and
                    neutralized national minorities called "The 5th Column." Different
                    sources mention that by this conscription the state also had an
                    objective of removing non-Muslims from the sphere of trade, where
                    they had serious positions.

                    3On September 6-7 of 1955 Greek and Armenian inhabitants of Istanbul
                    and Izmir became subject to hooligan assaults prepared on the state
                    level beforehand. The cause of it became news spread by the state
                    about firing the house of Ataturk who was in Salonika. After that
                    furious mobs assaulted Greek and Armenian blocks, robed and fired
                    houses, shops, and churches; tortured, raped and killed people. But to
                    this Turkish authorities reacted only a day later, when the work was
                    done. The facts unfolded later on in course of court investigation
                    proved that the assault was organized by the state, under direct
                    participation of high ranking state officials.

                    4In different periods of the history of the Turkish Republic (for
                    example ,in 1930, to 1960) were carried out so called actions
                    "Compatriot speak Turkish," the main targets of which were again
                    national minorities.

                    Groups of young people were mainly walking through blocks
                    mainly inhabited by national minorities and claiming them to
                    speak only Turkish: In case of disobedience the consequences
                    were unpredictable. In reality, it was the continuation of the
                    centuries-long policy of language assimilation.
                    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                    Comment


                    • Referring tu the article above:

                      Also Muslims are persecuted at the hands of state. More than 2000 historical mosques were collapsed or converted to bawdy house, bar, storehold. Many religious leader were hanged, imprisoned or exiled...

                      Because, according to state, Muslims are dangerous too. They demand a citizen type, most intellectuals call it LMST (Laik-Müslüman-Sünni-Türk) as WASP for USA.
                      [B]Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus[/B]

                      Comment

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