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Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.

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  • #71
    Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.

    Israel and Ukraine new bother for Turkey?
    From: Mihran Keheyian <[email protected]>
    Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 21:32:14 PDT


    Israel and Ukraine new bother for Turkey?
    Repentance of even hundreds of people has nothing to do with the
    remaining 70 million for whom Armenia and the Armenians are enemy
    number one.

    No matter how eagerly Turkey hopes that after April 24 it'll be
    possible to forget about the Armenian Genocide for at least a year, it
    never happens. This time the troublemakers were Israel and Ukraine.
    But for one nuisance, it would have been reasonable: both of these
    countries seem to be allies and partners of Turkey and Azerbaijan.

    May 1, 2010
    PanARMENIAN.Net -

    With regard to the Knesset, the probability of discussing a resolution
    on the Armenian Genocide is almost vanishing. And it's not so much the
    desire to do a bad turn to Turkey, but the fact that for the xxxs
    there exists only the Holocaust. All other genocides are simply
    `tragic events'. There are several reasons for such racism, but the
    most important is that Israel is reluctant to give the `burden of
    unhappy people' to anyone, since it gives certain preferences in the
    form of compensations. Compensations, by the way, are quite
    significant - Germany paid the Holocaust survivors about 1 billion
    Euros. According to some Armenian experts, Turkey owes Armenia $ 41
    billion, so apart from the moral aspect there is also the purely
    financial side which under the current crisis is becoming more and
    more pressing. The reality is that the Knesset will not recognize the
    Armenian Genocide, and it is unquestionable. The issue will not even
    go so far as establishment of a relevant commission, but even if it
    does, the issue will be carried away. So the Turks and Azerbaijanis
    can sleep peacefully. However, the proverb `Never say never' is
    applicable in politics. Conscience may suddenly arise in the Israeli
    MPs and they may unexpectedly decide that other peoples have been
    treated no less brutally than the xxxs. However, recognition by Israel
    is not even a matter of tomorrow. If the Armenian community were
    bigger and stronger in Israel, there could be more hope on that. But
    here another question arises: should we be hoping for recognition of
    the Armenian Genocide by the xxxs, if the Armenian parliament has not
    recognized the Holocaust? Somehow it seems that had we done it,
    Jerusalem would take some more radical steps. But what can't be cured
    must be endured.

    Things are different with Ukraine, especially since Kiev has a new
    president who will pursue a policy diametrically opposed to the
    Yushchenko Administration. Stripping of Stepan Bandera of his title,
    extension of the lease for Russia's Black Sea Fleet, new agreement on
    gas prices show that Viktor Yanukovych is determined to pursue a
    pro-Moscow policy, at the same time not overlooking the interests of
    Ukraine. Ukraine has quite a big and strong Armenian community which
    does its best for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. In this
    case, chances for the Armenians are much greater. And if Kiev also
    decides on leaving the GUAM (which seems quite realistic), then she
    will no longer have to look back at her pretty unreliable partners,
    Mikhail Saakashvili and Ilham Aliyev.

    As for the Turkish side, it will continue to bang that the issue of
    the Armenian Genocide is the business of historians and not that of
    parliaments. But Ankara's position is understandable: if the decision
    has force of law, you can go to arbitration with it. And this is what
    Turkey fears most, keeping in mind the tribunal of 1919, when Talaat
    and his associates were sentenced to death. In this regard, one-time
    actions of some of the Turkish intellectuals on April 24 cannot cause
    anything but sympathy from the Armenian side. Repentance of even
    hundreds of people has nothing to do with the remaining 70 million for
    whom Armenia and the Armenians are enemy number one. And until then
    the mantra `Genocide is the business of historians' will be voiced by
    a variety of people.

    Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News
    Hayastan or Bust.


    • #72
      Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.


      Azg Daily
      May 4 2010

      On April 24, as genocide commemoration events were being held one
      after another in different locations in Istanbul, a groundbreaking
      two-day conference on the Armenian Genocide began at the Princess
      Hotel in Ankara.

      The conference, organized by the Ankara Freedom of Thought Initiative,
      was held under tight security measures. The hall where the conference
      was held was thoroughly searched in the mornings by policemen and
      security dogs, metal detectors were installed at the entrance of
      the hotel, and all members of the audience had to be cleared by
      the organizers before entering. Unlike the commemoration events
      in Istanbul, however, no counter-demonstrations were allowed to

      The conference attracted around 200 attendees, mostly activists and
      intellectuals who support genocide recognition. Among the prominent
      names from Turkey at the conference were Ismail Besikci, Baskin Oran,
      Sevan Nishanian, Ragip Zarakolu, Temel Demirer and Sait Cetinoglu.

      Besikci is the first in Turkey to write books about the Kurds "at
      a time when others did not even dare to use the 'K' word," as one
      Turkish scholar put it. Besikci has spend years in Turkish prison
      for his writings. Oran is a professor of political science. He
      was one of the initiators of the apology campaign launched by
      Turkish intellectuals. Nishanian is a Turkish Armenian scholar who
      has authored several books and also writes for Agos. Zarakolu is a
      publisher who has been at the forefront of the struggle for Armenian
      Genocide recognition in Turkey with the books he has published over
      the years. Demirer is an author who has been prosecuted for his daring
      writings and speeches. Cetinoglu is a scholar and activist and one
      of the key organizers of the conference.

      The foreign scholars and activists who were scheduled to speak were
      David Gaunt (genocide scholar, author of Massacres, Resistance,
      Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia During
      World War I), Henry Theriault (professor of philosophy, Worcester
      State University), Khatchig Mouradian (doctoral student in Holocaust
      and genocide studies, Clark University; editor, the Armenian Weekly),
      Harry Parsekian (President of Friends of Hrant Dink in Boston), and
      Eilian Williams (writer and activist from Wales). They all (except
      for Gaunt) spoke on the panel dealing with "The Armenian Issue:
      What is to be done and how?" That panel, which proved to be the most
      controversial, also featured Nishanian, Zarakolu, and Demirer.

      Reparations: Unjust or Indispensable?

      The panel on what is to be done turned out into a debate on reparations
      for the Armenian Genocide with panelists Mouradian, Theriault,
      Nishanian, Demirer and Williams, as well as Oran and others from the
      audience pitching in.

      Mouradian spoke about the importance of reframing the discourse in
      Turkey and dealing with the Armenian Genocide issue not only from
      the perspective of democracy and freedom of speech, but also that of
      justice. He dealt with the concepts of apology and restitution.

      Theriault, in turn, said, "Turkey must return or compensate for
      all expropriated property. It should return land and other wealth,
      including Armenian Church properties, when that wealth has been
      preserved." He noted that Turkey should also compensate for (1) all
      destroyed property and wealth that is otherwise no longer accessible,
      (2) the interest that can be calculated on the original material
      losses, (3) slave labor, (4) the pain and suffering of those who died
      and all who survived, (5) the loss of 1.5 million people in general
      and as specific family and community members, and (6) the loss of
      cultural, religious, and educational institutions and opportunities.

      Nishanian categorically dismissed Theriault's demands for reparations,
      considering them a dead-end, and noting that such an approach is
      unjust, unacceptable, and would open the door for further conflict.

      Demirer, in a brilliant intervention, provided a scathing response
      to Nishanian, arguing powerfully for reparations. Williams too spoke
      in support of reparations.

      Armenian Property and historical context

      The panel on Armenian "abandoned" properties also generated a lot of
      interest. It featured scholars and writers Asli Comu, Nevzat Onaran,
      Mehmet Palatel (whose MA dissertation is on the confiscation of
      Armenian property), and Cemil Ertem.

      The panel on "Official ideological denial and extirpation from the
      Committee of Union and Progress to Kemalism" featured scholars Osman
      Ozarslan, Tuma Celik, as well as Cetinoglu and Besikci.

      The panel on the Armenian genocide from a historical perspective
      featured Adil Okay, Nahir Sayin, and Oran. Gaunt was scheduled to
      speak on this panel but could not attend.

      The representatives of the organizations supporting the conference
      spoke at the last session.

      Significance of the Conference

      It was the first time that a conference on the Armenian Genocide that
      did not host any genocide deniers was held in Ankara. Moreover, the
      conference did not simply deal with the historical aspect of 1915. For
      the first time in Turkey, a substantial part of the proceedings of
      a conference was dedicated to topics such as confiscated Armenian
      property, reparations, and the challenges of moving forward and
      confronting the past in Turkey.
      Hayastan or Bust.


      • #73
        Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.

        Holocaust Denial is a Crime, Genocide Denial is Kosher

        May 05, 2010

        By Contributor

        Alex Papadapulos
        Contributing columnist

        Every year the Armenians scattered across the earth commemorate the event that lead to their being scattered across the earth, the Armenian Genocide. What resistance this term still provokes comes from two sources, logically from two sources that will be damaged directly by its recognition. The apparent source is the present Turkish Republic, which does not want to be known as a state built on genocide, and therefore avoids the odium of being known as a genocidal state. The other, and the more troubling, is the zealous opposition of Israel and xxxish organizations.

        For years all the top xxxish organizations, the Anti-Defamation League, (which in ‘07 under Abe Foxman fired the head of its New England chapter, Andrew Tarsy, for accepting the Armenian Genocide) AIPAC, (which trains Turkish diplomats in ways to obfuscate the issue of the Genocide) the B’nai Brith, and the mother of all xxxish organizations, the ‘xxxish state’, Israel, have not merely refused to recognize the Armenian Genocide, which would be understandable and well within their rights as an uninvolved party,–no honest man demands tears of sorrow from strangers for his own loss, he is too begrieved to look for an audience– but is actively at the forefront of suppressing the first genocide of the 20th century.

        They have created lovely euphemisms for their dishonesty, calling xxxish genocide deniers, like Bernard Lewis, Richard Pearle, and others, ’The xxxish Exclusivist School’; that is, xxxs who want to keep the Holocaust ‘unique’ event. They certainly are unique, we’ll give ‘em that, if their leaders cast themselves as the defenders of the memory of genocide and the sufferers of ‘the most unspeakable crime in history’ while at the same time working hard to make people forget, denying the genocide that preceded and influenced their own. Their most often stated excuse, these xxxish leaders, is that the passage of an official statement either in the U.N. or especially in the legislature of the U.S., will adversely effect the relationship between Israel and Turkey, Israel’s only Muslim ally. “Oh,” we are to say, “they are not evil, merely political opportunists.”

        There are men in prison today, like David Irving in Britain, for doubting the Holocaust; yet for the conscious act of suppressing the recognition of the Genocide, xxxish groups and Israel are kosher because in so doing they’re pursuing selfish political interests. (To be sure, there’s a good bit of denial too: a xxxish attorney named Bruce Fein working for the Turkish Coalition of America can safely write an article titled “Lies, Damn Lies and Armenian Deaths” (Hufington Post, June 4, 2009) Which, I ask, is worse: To doubt sincerely, or to cynically suppress and to say “We believe it” and to suppress it nonetheless? The former is merely foolhardy, the latter is evil.

        Even if a bill recognizing the Genocide passes this or in the coming years, it will be because of xxxish groups withdrawing their hand and allowing it to pass to hurt a Turkey that no longer cooperates with Israel, as recently Turkey refused to admit Israel into a joint NATO military excercise; or when the President of Turkey scolded Shimon Peres on Palestinian deaths, the next day in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz a columnist mused: “Perhaps the next time the Armenian genocide bill comes up in the U.S. congress, the Palestinians will help them block it.”

        You know what? Maybe it will pass sometime soon, but for all the wrong reasons.


        • #74
          Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.

          "You know what? Maybe it will pass sometime soon, but for all the wrong reasons."
          That is what i have been saying in these forums for a long time. The ANCA will no dought gloat about it should this happen even when it is obvious they had nothing to do with it. As appetizing as such a recognition may appear, it is still unlikely to happen. Isreal uses the nuke option when they know it will kill the one they use it on. This can be considered such an act should it take place and it will be followed by many others which will be lead to the demise of the turckish state. I do not think Isreal feels strong enough yet (as witnessed in its battles vs hezbalah) to get rid of turckey as its ally thus i do not see the rosy scenerio developing for us. The opposit may actually happen where turcks cut a deal with the xxxs to kill armenians once again. This is the more likely scenerio and obviously a very dangerous one for us. It will be like ill back you while you get rid of the pain in your ass (armenians) while you back me while i get rid of the pain in mine (palastinians). If you think this is impossible to do in todays world then you are thinking like the dashnaks did in the 1900s.
          Hayastan or Bust.


          • #75
            Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.

            I doubt that they'll accept the genocide in Israel either, nor will they support recognition in the US. The 2011 Turkish elections are looming so they'll simply wait to see how the next Turkish leader will be like by hoping that his policies will be more pro-Israeli...


            • #76
              Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.

              Hayastan or Bust.


              • #77
                Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.

                Original Article
                Published on July 02, 2010

                The "100th Anniversary of Meds Yeghern - : the Finish Line for Rendering Justice" one-day conference, which is organized by the World Armenian Congress, RA Diaspora Ministry and RA National Academy of Sciences, will be held July 2.

                A number of issues on the 100th completion of the , as well as the necessity of having an All-Armenian conceptual program of joint activities will be discussed during the conference, Armenpress reports.

                According to the source, the conference will discuss the possibilities of applying to international courts for the condemnation of the Genocide and overcoming of its consequences.

                The necessity of establishing committees, foundations and expert teams for the drafting, coordination and implementation of the All-Armenian conceptual program, as well as for the preparation of the package of documents for applying to international courts will be discussed as well.
                Wait, does this mean it's legal to apply to an international court for an event that occurred 100 years ago for which the victims and perpetrators are 98% dead? If that's the case, I hope we go all out and end this once and for all.
                Last edited by SevSpitak; 07-03-2010, 01:26 AM.


                • #78
                  Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.


                  Prof. Akcam Reveals Turkish Plan to Pay Scholars to Deny the Armenian Genocide

                  BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN

                  Prof. Taner Akcam dropped a bombshell during a lecture at the Glendale Public Library last month, when he revealed that a confidential source in Istanbul had informed him about the Turkish government’s scheme to bribe American scholars to deny the Armenian Genocide.

                  Dr. Akcam, holder of the Kaloosdian/Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., stated that “the Turkish government is following a very systematic and aggressive policy in the US,” by attempting to cast doubt on the veracity of the Armenian Genocide. Ankara’s grand scheme is to make Turkish denialist claims as widely acceptable as the belief that the events of 1915 constituted genocide. Moreover, through a series of lawsuits in US courts, Turkey and its proxies are trying to present any criticism of denialist scholars and exclusion of revisionist materials from university programs as suppression of “academic freedom.”

                  Prof. Akcam, one of the first Turkish scholars to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, related to his audience that during his visit to Istanbul last December, he had a private conversation with a person who had “inside information” regarding the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s activities in the United States on subject of the Armenian Genocide. Dr. Akcam’s confidential source told him that sometime in 2004-2005, an American university professor had met with “authorities connected with the Turkish Foreign Ministry.” At that meeting, the professor told his Turkish hosts that “Turkey didn’t have a systematic program on the academic level with which to counter the claims of an Armenian Genocide,” and that “the genocide claim is well established at this point,” telling them that “there’s very little” they can do “by trying to confront it head on.”

                  Dr. Akcam was privately informed that the American professor made the following recommendation to Turkish officials: “The thing you need to do is to dig a ditch in front of all the genocide claims; you need to create doubt by writing scholarly works which will awaken that doubt.” Dr. Akcam interpreted these words to mean that “by producing and encouraging new academic works,” American scholars could “normalize the idea that 1915 was not genocide, just as the belief that it was genocide has become accepted.”

                  While it is commonly assumed that the Turkish government provides financial incentives to scholars worldwide to publish articles and books denying the Armenian Genocide, this is the first time that a knowledgeable Turkish insider has confirmed these assumptions. The confidential source told Dr. Akcam that the Turkish Foreign Ministry accepted the American scholar’s proposal and “transferred large sums of money to the US.” The informant revealed to Dr. Akcam the names of American academics who received funds to write books denying the Armenian Genocide, and disclosed that “there are documents signed by their own hand and that these receipts are now in the files of the Foreign Ministry’s records.”

                  In his lecture, Dr. Akcam stated that he did not want “to put any academic under a cloud of suspicion.” However, when he connected the information received from his Istanbul source to some recent publications, “a disturbing picture emerges as far as Armenian Genocide research is concerned.”

                  Dr. Akcam then referred to Michael Gunter’s recent book, “Armenian History and the Question of Genocide,” as a possible “example of this approach.” The website of the book’s publisher, Palgrave Macmillan, stated: “Although as many as 600,000 of them [Armenians] died during World War I, it was neither a premeditated policy perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government nor an event unilaterally implemented without cause. Of course, in no way does this excuse the horrible excesses that were committed.”

                  Prof. Akcam further observed that the four academics — Hakan Yavuz of University of Utah, Guenter Lewy of University of Massachusetts, Jeremy Salt of Bilkent University, Ankara, and Edward J. Ericson of Marine Corps Command & Staff College, Virginia — who praised Gunter’s book, “are well known for their denialist position and works regarding the genocide of 1915.” Although Prof. Akcam did not wish to make “an accusation against the book’s writer,” he stated: “the strange similarities between what I was told in confidence in Istanbul and what appears on the jacket cover of that book gave me pause, that’s all.”

                  While no one should accuse academics of receiving funds from the Turkish government or its proxies without solid evidence, it would be enlightening if any of them would voluntarily come forward and disclose whether they have been funded by Turkish sources!
                  Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                  Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                  Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests


                  • #79
                    Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.


                    Lawsuit Seeks Return of Seized Lands: Incirlik Airbase Sits on Disputed Territory


                    By Aram Arkun
                    Mirror-Spectator Staff

                    LOS ANGELES — The struggle for justice concerning the Armenian Genocide has taken many forms. Armenians have tried to use academia, the media, legislation and diplomacy, protests and even, briefly, violence in this struggle. Until recently international political and scholarly recognition of the Armenian Genocide’s very existence was the primary goal, but with this seemingly largely accomplished, despite some important exceptions, Armenian efforts have turned to the issue of compensation and land. American and international courts have furnished new arenas to pursue these efforts. The California-based lawyer Vartkes Yeghiayan has been the most active single individual in initiating lawsuits for compensation to Genocide victims and their descendants. Most recently, after a series of suits against insurance companies withholding payments to the heirs of Armenian victims, he filed suit directly against the Republic of Turkey and two Turkish banks con! cerning Armenian-owned land now either near or part of an airbase used by the United States in Incirlik, Turkey.

                    This airbase, seven miles east of the city of Adana in southeastern Turkey, has played an important role in supporting the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its construction began in 1951 and was completed in 1954 as part of US Cold War efforts. Its strategic location turned it into a primary host for U2 spy missions into the Soviet Union and for the 1958 US intervention in Lebanon. It also has served as a hub for US humanitarian aid to Turkey. The US operates there as part of NATO. Nuclear bombs are stored at the base. More mundanely, but pertinent for the lawsuit, large American corporations like Baskin- Robbins, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut operate on the territory of the base. The properties on which the base lies were entrusted to Ziraat Bank from 1915 to 1923, and to the Central Bank of Turkey thereafter.

                    The three Armenian-American plaintiffs — Rita Mahdessian, Alex Bakalian and Anais Haroutunian — are represented by the Yeghiayan Law Firm, together with Los Angeles attorneys Kathryn Lee Boyd and David Schwarcz of Todd, Ferentz, Schwarcz & Rimberg. Michael Bazyler from the Chapman University School of Law, a specialist on genocide law and restitution, is serving as a consultant. The three plaintiffs, acting on behalf of their respective relatives and families, have deeds and documents proving that their grandparents owned part of the land of the base. The lawsuit, filed on December 15, 2010, asks for “fair market rents and other relief” for roughly 122.5 acres of property estimated to be worth $63.9 million based on data from the US Department of Defense. Roughly $100 million is sought as compensation.

                    One of the plaintiffs in particular, Mahdessian, is Yeghiayan’s wife, adding no doubt an additional personal element to the suit, though Yeghiayan did not initiate it for this reason. Yeghiayan said in a recent interview, “Many survivors from Incirlik found me. We had about 14 property deeds and we have another 16 deeds of other people who want to join the lawsuit but are still negotiating conditions. In almost every property deed they mention the names of neighbors, three out of four of which are Armenians. So there are a lot more Armenians for whom we are looking. I put ads in papers to find them but am still awaiting further contacts.”

                    Yeghiayan provided additional information about the background of the plaintiffs. In his words, “plaintiff Alex Bakalian is a resident of Washington, DC, and lawful heir of three relatives, each of whom owned property in Turkey. Bakalian’s first relative is his paternal grandfather, Dikran Bakalian, who was born in 1868 in Adana and died June 1950 in Beirut, Lebanon. Dikran Bakalian and his family were forced to flee in 1921, leaving behind all their possessions and properties. Bakalian’s second relative is his paternal grandmother, Kalina Hatun (Gulenia) Shamassian. Born in 1892 in Adana, she married Dikran Bakalian in 1903. She died in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1978. Kalina Hatun (Gulenia) Shamassian’s only surviving son, Guiragos Bakalian, currently lives in Beirut, Lebanon, and Bakalian is his nephew. Bakalian’s third relative is Ahsapet Shamassian (born Bouldoukian), the sister-in-law of his paternal grandmother. She was born in A! dana, married Hovsep Shamassian (the brother of Kalina Hatun (Gulenia) Shamassian), and eventually settled in Damascus, Syria.”

                    The second plaintiff, Anais Haroutunian, “is a United States citizen and resident of Pasadena, Calif. Anais Haroutunian is the granddaughter and lawful heir of Apraham Geovderelian. Apraham Geovderelian owned four pieces of property in Incirlik. In 1915, when the Armenian Genocide began, he was murdered together with his wife and three of his children. The four remaining children all relocated to Beirut, Lebanon, and are now deceased.”

                    The third plaintiff, Mahdessian, representing the Boyadjian family, including maternal cousin Mihran Boyadjian, is “related to Mihran Boyadjian Sr., who owned two properties in Adana. Mihran Boyadjian Sr., fled Adana in 1915 at the outset of the Armenian Genocide. When the province of Adana was given to France as a mandate at the end of World War I, Mihran Boyadjian Sr., returned to Adana to reclaim his properties. However, when the French mandate was removed in 1922 and the region returned to Turkey, Mihran Boyadjian Sr., had to escape from the province of Adana/Incirlik again, with his family, and relocate to Hama-Homs, Syria. The family then moved to Cyprus.”

                    In a May 17, 2011 article in the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet by Vercihan Ziflioglu, Yeghiayan stated the rationale behind his lawsuit, “In this case our clients are able to sue the government of the Republic of Turkey, the Central Bank of Turkey and the Ziraat Bankası because of the following reasons: Turkey committed a violation of international laws and proceeded to illegally confiscate properties from their rightful owners; in the process, Turkey also proceeded to violate its own constitution and the Lausanne Treaty. But more importantly, they have used these ill-obtained properties to run commercial operations.”

                    Turkey refused to accept service of the lawsuit, so the plaintiffs had recourse to US diplomatic channels. Turkey was given sixty days (by August 19, 2011) to answer but did not, while the two banks, the Central Bank of Turkey and T. C. Ziraat Bank, received an extension allowing them to respond by September 19. They proceeded to hire several US attorneys, including David Saltzman from the firm of Saltzman and Evinch. Saltzman has served as counsel for the Turkish embassy in Washington in the past, and counsel for the Turkish Coalition of America. He has been involved in a number of other lawsuits on behalf of Turks or Turkey against various Armenian parties, and has promoted denial of the Armenian Genocide. The bank’s newly hired attorneys filed replies on September 19 asking for dismissal of the case on a number of grounds. They argued that though banks, the two institutions qualify as “foreign states” with sovereign immunity from the juri! sdiction of the California court; furthermore, they claimed that the Act of State doctrine, according to which the courts of one country may not judge the domestic acts of another government, bars the suit, while the 1934 claims agreement between Turkey and the US, and the 1980 agreement for cooperation on defense and economy between the same two countries also conflict with this suit. The court and the state of California would be impermissibly interfering with US foreign affairs. The convenience of the parties involved and the interests of justice require a different forum for this action.

                    The defendant banks argued that all applicable statutes of limitations bar the suit, and finally, they asserted that there is no relevant claim given for which relief can be granted. Now it is the turn of the plaintiffs represented by Yeghiayan to give their counterarguments to the court against the banks.

                    The Republic of Turkey, unlike the banks, has continued to take a different approach. Consequently, on August 29, the plaintiffs asked the US District Court for the Central District of California to declare the Republic of Turkey to be in default, which could eventually result in a variety of penalties and a decision in favor of the plaintiffs. As Yeghiayan said in the May 17 Hürriyet article, “Choosing to ignore the lawsuit won’t make it go away.” The court agreed that Turkey was in default on September 1.

                    In addition to the newspaper Hürriyet, the lawsuit has received further coverage in other Turkish media outlets like Vatan (September 2, 2011), Today’s Zaman (September 9) and In the latter’s September 7 issue, an article entitled “Incirlik Ermeni degil, vakıf malı çıktı!” argues that the Incirlik property actually belonged to the Ramazanoglu Foundation. Journalist and researcher Fatih Bayhan claims that his evidence concerning the Incirlik properties goes back to the 1500s, and wonders how the Armenians would have obtained these properties. The Ramazanoglu Foundation has opened thousands of lawsuits, according to Bayhan, to get back its properties in the Adana area and elsewhere, and has already won some of them. A writer in Today’s Zaman Mobile Edition (September 15) summarizes an interview of Yeghiayan in the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, wonders about the statute of limitati! ons, and promises to follow the case as it develops.

                    In the Republic of Armenia, Naira Hayrumian in a December 23, 2010 article speculated that the United States was somehow behind this lawsuit, and other actions against Turkey concerning the Genocide, as a way to threaten and pressure Turkey to carry out various US policies. In this particular case, she wrote that it was connected to talks Turkey was holding with Iran concerning a new NATO anti-rocket defense system. However, Hayrumian has not presented any evidence to back up this theory, while Yeghiayan’s dedication to the issue of compensation and justice for the Genocide seems enough to ensure that similar lawsuits will continue to be filed. Yeghiayan commented on the claim of US manipulation behind the scenes: “Absolutely not true. We represent the clients who have justifiable claims as will be proven in court and we have no connection to the US Government nor are we trying to put pressure on the US Government.”

                    Yeghiayan continues his work on other Armenian Genocide-related legal issues while pursuing the Incirlik case. In 2007, a US district court judge ruled that Armenian Genocide survivors’ heirs could use a law passed by the California legislature in 2000 extending the statute of limitations to sue German insurance companies, but this was reversed in a 2009 ruling by a three-judge panel of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This reversal was overruled in December 2010. This case, Movsesian v. Victoria Versicherung, still is unresolved as the defendants now have requested a panel of judges to rehear the case. There are a number of other Armenian Genocide-related lawsuits that Yeghiayan is involved in at the present.

                    There is also an outstanding dispute between Yeghiayan and his former partners, Mark Geragos and Brian Kabateck, concerning the disposition of money jointly won from the French insurance company AXA for Armenian Genocide victims’ heirs, which hopefully will be settled quickly, justly and openly, thus restoring confidence in the judicial route for compensation for Armenian Genocide victims. According to Roman M. Silberfeld, the lawyer representing Yeghiayan on this particular matter, Yeghiayan has already provided through a voluntary and cooperative process documents which Silberfeld expects will satisfy Geragos and Kabateck that in fact nothing improper has taken place. As far as AXA is concerned, there will be a hearing before Judge Christina A. Snyder in Los Angeles on September 26. The three parties (Yeghiayan as represented by Silberfeld, Geragos and Kabateck) and their law firms are intensively conducting an investigation. They intend to file a joi! nt report for the court outlining what they discover about the settlement administration, which was not conducted directly by any of the three lawyers. There are some half a dozen problems to be sorted out involving a significant sum of money. Some 75 people who were issued multiple checks say that they did not receive all the checks to which they were entitled.
                    Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                    Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                    Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests


                    • #80
                      Re: Armenian Genocide in the news. Recent and noteworthy articles and news.

                      ARMENIA'S BURDEN, BY ROBERT FISK

                      TUESDAY 25 DECEMBER 2012

                      How I watched the world turn: The Independent's foreign correspondents
                      look back at the major events of 2012

                      >From Syria to Sandy, 2012 has been a momentous year for our
                      award-winning foreign correspondents. In the first of a two-part
                      series, they pick the stories that affected them the most

                      Between wars, I lecture on the Middle East. But rarely have I seen an
                      audience so moved, so trapped by history, so tearful as one night in
                      Sharjah last spring. Nothing I said upset them. But the pictures I
                      showed them were terrifying. In front of me, young and middle-aged
                      Armenians - well-off for the most part, businessmen and women,
                      well-educated - sat in an almost religious silence as they watched
                      a succession of four photographs. Each showed the progress of an
                      Armenian death march from Erzerum, old people, carts, young men with
                      hidden faces, the doomed on their way to death 97 years ago.

                      The four pictures were taken by Victor Pitchman, an Austrian soldier
                      in the Turkish army, who could not have known that these men and women
                      were about to die. Nor could they have known. They are heading in a
                      straight line, down a straight road, women with scarves, over-burdened
                      donkeys, past the same bunch of trees which feature in each photograph,
                      a pale line of hills on the far horizon. All the Armenians of Erzerum
                      were to die at the hands of the Turks in the 1915 genocide.

                      There are many photographs of Armenian survivors. And there are
                      pictures of their corpses. But few show the living just before they
                      were slaughtered. These people, in the pictures I had been trawling
                      through from the Armenian genocide museum in Yerevan, were the living
                      dead. Shellfire, wounds, death. Each year, we report this miserable
                      saga. But old wars and other genocides lean heavily upon us, as
                      they did upon my Armenian audience in the Gulf. These were their
                      grandparents and great-grandparents, plodding along, possessions
                      piled on horse-carts, a pleasant enough, sunny day, clouds high in
                      the sky. Only the grave awaits them.
                      Hayastan or Bust.