Astarjian: ‘Tamamiyle Yalandir’

Without batting a lash and without being ashamed, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan answered thusly to Charlie Rose, in visibly defiant facial and body language: “Tamamiyle yalandir!”

Charlie had asked him about the Armenian Genocide on his show, which was televised a week or so ago. “Tamamiyle yalandir!” The translator relayed verbatim: “It is completely a lie,” he said, “the genocide never happened.” Charlie Rose’s face became mummified instantaneously with disbelief. His eyebrows rose as if questioning, and skillfully introduced another topic to discuss in order to save the embarrassing moment.

That is what the prime minister of Turkey had to say, after his government affixed its signature on the ill-fated Armenian-Turkish protocols, agreeing to look into the matter with a fact-finding committee—a concept which all Armenians, except a corrupt Armenian clique, oppose. But that is not the issue now; the issue is the Turk’s dishonorable tradition of not respecting their signature.

Deception on the spot! The man didn’t have to think for a moment to distort the undisputed historic fact, in which his ancestors’ hands were awash with Armenian blood. Turks and Kurds committed the genocide—period! It is a fact. My father said so, my grandmother said so, Arnold Toynbee said so, Ambassador Morgenthau said so, the front pages of the New York Times said so, and State Department documents said so. They all said that there was a premeditated, preplanned, meticulously executed genocide to free Turkey of its Armenian citizenry. The Turks cannot get away with it! All the motives to this crime were there. The Genocide, which started in 1915, did not materialize overnight; it was breeding for decades. It was the product of 1) the Turk’s fanatic Islamism, xenophobia, feeling of Uber Alles, and chauvinism, and 2) the Kurd’s tribal order of looting and killing in order to survive.

The pogroms of Adana are a solid testimony to this fact: In April 1909 civilian Turks, not the Ottoman government, massacred some 30,000 Armenians for no reason other than hatred, jealousy, and religious fanaticism. Armenians were the well to do, civilized infidels. Children’s flesh was brutally macerated using cotton-picking tools, making them die a slow painful death. The Armenian civilian population was torched en masse while the English, French, Italian, Russian, Austrian, German, and the United States navy, moored at Adana’s Mersin harbor watched without interfering and rescuing the drowning. The same happened in Izmir (Smyrna) when Ataturk’s forces tightened the noose around the city from the north, the south, and the east, then set fire to the city forcing the Greek and Armenian population to jump into the Mediterranean, while the English naval officers were sipping four o’clock tea and eating crumpets and “samwiches” in deference to the tragedy taking place, right before their eyes. His Majesty’s Navy
did not raise a finger to rescue the drowning men, women, and children. To add insult to injury, the navy violinists played a musical score to that horrendous screen play, which four decades later was repeated in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

In 1956, Ataturk’s “modern, secular, and democratic” government killed and deported thousands of Greeks from Istanbul and set fire to their shops in the famous Kapali Charshi Bazaar. I met two Turkish Greeks, separately, in Athens: one a sea food restaurateur, and the other a barber. They both told me identical stories about the brutality of the individual Istanbulli, and the manner with which they were forced, at gun point, to close shop and get out of town. They had started a new life in exile, thanking God that their lives had been spared.

The crimes that the Turks perpetrated in the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th against innocent people in Hijaz, Allepo, Cairo, Iraq, and North Africa could not be told in a few words. They killed and raped and robbed the wealth from individual Arabs and their countries. Reading about the Turks’ personal and public conduct in lands that did not belong to them reminds me of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves of One Thousand and One Nights.

Many Turks have not changed since their occupation of Asia Minor in the 15th century. Ataturk, who tried to Europeanize them, could do so only superficially. Turkey today is as European as Kenya. Ataturk himself was a chauvinist; he felt that he was Ubermensch and the Turk Uber Alles. His logo was “Ne mutlu Turkum diyene” (How happy is he who calls himself a Turk).

It is accurate to say that Kemalism led to a negative reaction amongst the Turkish population. Today, like yesterday, it is countered, even rejected by many Turks who have maintained their religious fanaticism. They have shrouded themselves with a thin veil of modernity functioning under Necmettin Erbakan and his protege Erdogan’s Islamic party (AK). They have already dominated the political scene much to the opposition of the military, which considers itself the protector of Kemalism. In reality these generals are holding a vigil to a dying regime that is hell bent on joining Europe, even as a cadaver.

There is a tiny group of intellectuals like Orhan Pamuk, Hrant Dink, Taner Akcam, even Hasan Cemal, who are void of prejudice and deception, but their survival in Turkey as a group, a movement, an entity, is next to impossible.

Imposing restrictive laws that punish anyone who remotely criticizes the regime as “insulting Turkishness” is proof positive of Turkey’s chauvinism. Men like this, and dozens like them, stand persecuted. Hrant Dink gave his life!

Article 13 of the Turkish Penal Code prescribes punishment to all those who praise Islamic values and lifestyle; hence the animosity between the chauvinist Islamist Turk and the chauvinist followers of Ataturk.

This is the truth, and to all this, Erdogan cannot look into my eyes, like he did to Charlie Rose, and say “Tamamiyle Yalandir.”

Dr. Henry Astarjian

Dr. Henry Astarjian

Dr. Henry Astarjian was born in Kirkuk, Iraq. In 1958, he graduated from the Royal College of Medicine and went on to serve as an army medical officer in Iraqi Kurdistan. He continued his medical education in Scotland and England. In 1966, he emigrated to the U.S. In 1992, he served as a New Hampshire delegate to the Republication National Convention in Houston, Texas. For three years Astarjian addressed the Kurdish Parliament in Exile in Brussels, defending Armenian rights to Western Armenia. For three consecutive years, he addressed the American Kurds in California and Maryland. He is the author of The Struggle for Kirkuk, published by Preager and Preager International Securities.
Dr. Henry Astarjian

Latest posts by Dr. Henry Astarjian (see all)


  1. Evet, dogru.

    Tamamiyle Yalandir!

    You are bad loosers of a war, that your grandparents have started. Nobody has told you to give it to the Russians. But you did… You betrayed yourself, just as you betray your grandchildren nowadays.

    “Do not mess with Türkiye.” This is what the british, french, greece and russians has learned…

  2. Dear mindless fascist Esh Oghlu Esheg, keep on blabbing as you do, by all means. 

    Sincerely yours, as you certainly are sincerely mine,


  3. @Turkoglu

    Some war – starving grandmothers and infants on one side and armed soldiers on the other – but I guess Turkey had to claim ‘victories’ where it could after losing 90% of its empire and 99% of the oil wealth in the region (and world). 

    I am not sure a 2 year old dying of thirst during the ‘war’ he was ‘waging’ grasped that he was a 2 year old ‘security risk’ and dangerous rebel, and neither did that infant’s mother or grandmother.

    I am interested in one fact that may be gleaned from the Turkish military archives – which are sealed shut of course, because even a routine requisition, say for lime, would be incrimination. 

    How many Turkish soldiers were killed by these Armenian grandmothers who were in ‘open revolt’ and had to be peacefully deported.  It is entirely justifiable to kill off the women and children, who historically have led many rebel movements. 

    This position of denial borders on insanity because a denialist has to argue that infants and grandmothers were a threat to the Turkish army – and for your information, the answer to the question is ZERO, so you win: 1.5 Million vs. Zero.

    The Armenian Genocide is the willful destruction of innocent children, women, and grandmothers (i.e. civilians) who posed NO security risk, were definately NOT combatants, and were destroyed because they were Armenian, and if you think it was an ‘internal relocation’ – try walking across the Mojave desert – your reaction would be ‘do you want to see me die’ because people don’t survive 250 mile treks through the desert without water according to my version of science.

    It is interesting that the Armenian ‘question’ has become the Kurdish ‘question’ but no WWI to bail you out this time; even more interesting is the secret plans found by the ‘deep’ (i.e. majority) state in which they were planning on planting weapons on Kurdish leaders and accusing them of false rebellions – hmmm, where have I heard that before?  I guess someone in Turkey knows what really happenedand still has the playbook – the Turkish army.

  4. You err tremendously.No, we did  not betray neither to ourselves  nor  to your ancestors.We were the obedient ,albeit forcibly so,your “raya”s  the Ermenis…Your governments  ,even after Mustafa Kemal, did  not learn that  Justice  always prevails..
    It  is time  to come to grips with reality.Your denying continually, even to  this day that your ancestors committed Genocide to us Ermenis,will not bear fruit!!!!
    Much stronger Empires  have collapsed  than  your Ottoman  one!Yet  you have  not learnt…
    Our children , grandchildren will  , if need be, will pursue our Cause/Case ,untill  Justice  prevails  and our homes, churches, monasteries in Western Armenia  are returned  to  the rightfull owners.
    Also brace  yourselves, for we  shall  claim  BLOOD  MONEY.BLOOD  OF  OUR ANCESTORS  THAT  was spilt  by  your precedent  governments…
    There are precedents  to  that.
    Ermeni  Oglusu-

  5. This is a great article!  Thanks for putting the Genocide into greater historical perspective.  Your point is right: this genocide was premeditated for many years.  It didn’t just happen, and it certainly didn’t just happen because, as Armen said, Armenian children, women, and grandmothers suddently took up arms against the Ottoman empire.  They  didn’t.  They were innocent victims.  The Genocide was planned for many years and hatred of Armenians was clearly ingrained in the Turkish psyche and obviously still is!  Genocides are never spontaneous.  They have a long gestation period.

    Turkoglu’s comments are a sign of his ignorance about his country’s own history.  But don’t blame him.  This is what he has been taught.  It’s so easy to be blindly nationalistic, to go with the flow, and to just accept the line that Turkish governments since 1923 have put forward as the “truth”.  The archives of the world are full of clearcut evidence that the Armenian genocide occured and that it was no different from any other ethnic cleansing we have seen since 1915 except it was on a collosal scale with all the hallmarks of genocide as defined by Raphael Lemkin.  Turkoglu is on the wrong side of history as are millions of Turks who still refuse to look at the past and who would rather be blissfully nationalistic than honest and righteous. 

    Still, as we have seen, honest and righteous Turks who recognize the Genocide are out there and they have become more vocal in recent years.  My wife and I met one of them recently.  She happens to be a clerk at a shop in one of our local malls.  As soon as she saw our name on our credit card she said she is a Turk and she believes the Genocide happened.  We were shocked, but why should we be?   Many silent Turks do recognize this genocide and are not willing to defend the corruption and barbarism of Ottoman governments or the Young Turk regime, or the dishonesty of the current regime in Ankara.  Kudos to them for their honesty and bravery!   

    As for Turkoglu’s bravado  “do not mess with Turkiye”, don’t worry, no one needs to mess with Turkiye.  The Turks themselves have already messed with Turkey sufficiently.  The economic miracle that Turkey is supposed to be can’t muster more than a  $900 billion economy with 70 million people, compared to Switzerland, for example, which is a more than $1 trillion economy with a fraction of the population.  The Turkish army is always a silent threat to the civilian government.  The Kurds are increasingly a problem that the Turks can’t handle.  The Kurds are being alientated politically.  There is a high rate of functional illiteracy in rural areas which disadvantages the Turkish economy for many more years.  Azerbaijan is increasingly dictating foreign policy to Ankara.  Many in the European Union don’t want Turkey to join the union.  Cyprus is a thorn in Turkey’s side.  And Erdogan has alienated the Israelis.  Etc. etc.  So yes, do not mess with Turkiye.  They can ruin their country just fine without outside help. 

    As for Erdogan’s comments to Charlie Rose, that’s to be expected.  They are but a sample of the lies and ignorance that so many in Turkey have embraced for years.   Turkey has been in decline for 300 years and apparently still has the Ottoman mentality that’s necessary to continue to decline.  Do not mess with Turkiye!


  6. Sadly, today’s Turkish public has been brainwashed by the lies instituted by the leaders of the CUP 95 years ago to justify their greed and theft of the Armenians of Anatolia. The other reality is that the CUP leaders had nothing to do with religion or with the Turkish invaders of the 12th C….(not the 15th), except to use them as propaganda.  Armenians lived in and supported the Seljuk and Ottoman Empires that rose on their land, for almost a thousand years. 1915 began an era of classic ethnic cleansing, put into motion by a group of people who knew very well that Armenians had something they wanted very badly.  Most of the CUP leaders were tried and murdered for their crimes against humanity.

  7.  “It is a fact. My father said so, my grandmother said so, Arnold Toynbee said so, Ambassador Morgenthau said so, the front pages of the New York Times said so, and State Department documents said so.”

    Is it not precious!?  Not a single proof of a policy of exterminations but just stories and fabrications.  Morgenthau has never set foot outside of Istanbul, did not speak Turkish and all his information came from his Armenian handlers who were eager to get USA involved militarily.  Was it not America who funded most of the pro-Armenian missionries and schools?  Toynbee, well, did he not later in life admit to fabrications for the purpose of propaganda?  After all, they were at war with Sick Man of Europe at the time, and it was not going that well.  Was he not employed by the British propaganda agency?  Did he not write his book in 1916, almost before the events happened?

    Well, my grandfather told how Armenians raped and pillaged the Eastern provinces and joined invading Russians with their weapons their country gave them to defend it with.  He told how they even more brutally murdered any dissenters among them.  He was there and witnessed it forst hand.  No one ever receieved any orders to kill cibilians.  His own family tree was cut down in Bitlis though, where Armenians committed large scale atrocities.  All this must also be true, since I have no relatives from his side and after all “grandpa told me”!

  8. Henry, my father told his children and had made an audio of his escape from Turkey. Hiding, after running away from his physically abusive Kurdish boss, he hid outside the village locateded in Kigi and witnessed the Turkiish military in the Kurdish Armenian village looking for Armenians. After the the troops left the village my father went back. His grandmother, he did not find nor his eldest sister. He was told by the Kurds of the village his mother and very young brother went to Kharpert with the help of village Kurds. He traveled day and night thru the dangerous forest arriving at his mothers stepmothers house. With the help of the Kurdish friends they were able to escape. I was recently told by a Kurd that all the Kurds in my father’s village were killed for helping Armenians. Also, in case you didn’t know there are Armenians now living as Kurds.  Please tell the whole story.
    MURAT, how can a country so militarily successful be so weak when it came to Armenians? The paranoid Sultan Hamid  hated Armenians so much that he put many to death during the late 1800’s which included babies and children. You and your grandfather are guilty of insulting Turkishness by insinuating Turkey and Turks are weak compared to Armenians. Where is your outside proof. Give us examples of the news articles from other country archives to prove your point. Armenians can and have prooved it. Non Armenian books and newspaper articles from the world prove it for the Armenians. I will be waiting for your answer Murat.

  9. Murat

    turks have killed, and mind you the Genocide was premeditated,   2-3 millions of Armenians, about 700,00 Greeks, 128,000 Assyrians, about 500,000 Albanians and now about 40,000 innocent Kurdish people.
    turks were and still are known to be the most barbaric people on planet earth. Stalin killed 30 million, Hitler 6-7 million and your people about 50 million after they arrived here from the central asian deserts.
    Armenian Weekly keeps removing my posts, because they are nice people and don’t want to antagonize backstabbing turks like you. 
    Your ancesters killed between 2-3 million Armenians..period. Accept it like a man, be a man and bring honor to your people.

  10. Turkoglu
    Don’t be so sure and so arrogant. We are just waking up.
    “there is a word hidden inside another word..” Willian Shakespeare
    Greetings from Kurdistan

  11. Murat,

    You should provide independent proof from non-Turkish and non-Armenian sources to back up your statements about the Armenians.  Otherwise you are contradicting yourself by relying only on the testimony of your grandfather with no other proof.  If, as you imply, the first hand testimony of Armenian parents and grandparents is invalid and insufficient to make genocide claims against Turks, then the first hand testimony of your grandfather should be equally invalid and insufficient in making claims against Armenians.  There can be no double standard.  Provide independent proof that we can all look at.

  12. Erdogan is a former Islamist terrorist symphatizer.
    So, what do you expect from a terrorist?
    I wonder who he betrayed in the Afghan Taliban to recieve immunity from the world secret agencies.
    Lies, lies and more lies coming from the mouth of non other than a TERRORIST.
    PS: If the CIA or Interpol are reading any messages here, it is high time to arrest this Islamist terrorist immediately.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.