Amberin Zaman: Will Armenia Revoke Its Signature from the Protocols?

By Amberin Zaman

The Armenian Weekly
January 2010 Magazine

Turkey’s continued insistence on linking the establishment of diplomatic ties and the re-opening of its mutual borders with Armenia to the latter’s withdrawal from at least some of the seven regions it occupies around Nagorno-Karabagh has brought Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian to this very point.

Amberin Zaman: In the eyes of his own people, Sarkisian was essentially hoodwinked.

Should Turkey’s parliament fail to ratify the protocols that were signed on Oct. 30 by March 2010, then in all likelihood Armenia will unilaterally revoke its signatures and the process of normalization will grind to a halt.

The reason is simple. In the eyes of his own people, Sarkisian was essentially hoodwinked. Having signed the protocols in the face of stiff opposition at home and from hardliners among members of the Armenian Diaspora worldwide, Sarkisian has come away empty handed. Diplomatic relations with Turkey have not been established. The border remains shut. This is because Turkey has reneged on its word. Although the texts of the protocols make no reference to Nagorno-Karabagh, our prime minister continues to insist that unless the conflict is resolved the protocols cannot be approved by the parliament.

This smacks of hypocrisy. Demanding that Armenia unilaterally cede territory in and around Nagorno-Karabagh in exchange for a border opening and diplomatic ties is not so different from the European Union telling Turkey to unilaterally open its air and sea ports to Greek Cypriot planes and ships in order to appease the Greek Cypriots and to move forward with Turkey’s EU membership. Armenia needs to settle its problems directly with Azerbaijan, just as the Greek and Turkish islanders need to sort out their differences amongst themselves. It has been 16 years since Turkey sealed its border with Armenia. How has this helped to promote peace with Azerbaijan? On the contrary, it has encouraged Azeri intransigence and robbed Turkey of a potential mediating role. Worse, it has crippled the Armenian economy, stunted democratization, and allowed corrupt oligarchs to prevail.

Parallels with March 1
Some Turkish columnists have drawn parallels between the ratification of the Turkish Armenian protocols by the Turkish Parliament and the agreement struck between Turkey and the United States that would have allowed U.S. troops to cross through Turkish territory to open a second “northern front” against Saddam Hussein in 2003. They fear that the Turkish-Armenian protocols will be struck down by the parliament in the same way the U.S.-Turkish accord was thrown out, albeit by the narrowest of margins, on March 1, 2003. It is true that there are parallels. But these have less to do with the risk of their not being approved. Rather, it has to do with the fact that Turkey has once again made pledges that it seems either unwilling or unable to see through.

From the start, this columnist has argued that it was wrong to submit the protocols for parliamentary approval. When Turkey recognized Kosovo’s independence and decided to establish diplomatic relations with the new Balkan state, did it seek parliamentary approval for this? It did not. There is no precedent in Turkey for rendering the establishment of diplomatic relations with a given country contingent on the parliament’s approval.

And what of Azerbaijan’s cries of treason? Did the government not foresee these? It is hard to imagine not. Viewed from Armenia’s perspective, the entire normalization process is nothing more than a ploy calculated to prevent President Barack Obama from using the “G-word” and from the American Senate and the House of Representatives from approving a bill labeling the events of 1915 as genocide.

So did the Americans sell out Armenia as well?

Again from Armenia’s vantage point, this may well be the case. When the Obama administration piled pressure on the Armenians to initial the protocols before April 24 this year, assuring them that they would “take care of the rest,” they were in fact seeking to avert another crisis with Turkey over the genocide issue. To be sure, as a matter of regional policy America does want Turkey and Armenia to make peace. But its foremost concern seems to be using friendship between the estranged neighbors as a weapon to ward off genocide legislation in both Houses. Judging from Obama’s vague statements on Armenia following his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington this month, it would seem that by signing the protocols Turkey has let itself off the hook at least for this year. Besides, America has enough trouble with the likes of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan without alienating its closest Muslim ally, Turkey. Should Armenia back away from the protocols, this would allow Turkey to claim the moral high ground. (Meanwhile, Congress has slashed aid to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh by a whopping 40 percent compared with last year.) In short, Sarkisian has come away with hech (nothing).

So can Turkey claim a big diplomatic victory? In the short term, perhaps. But for how long? Yes, Armenia is a small country. Yes, it doesn’t have oil or precious minerals. And yes, Azerbaijan is more important in certain ways. But to approach Armenian-Turkish relations from a purely geo-strategic perspective is to miss the real issue. The real issue is vicdan (conscience, in Turkish). Around 60 percent of Armenia’s population is originally from Anatolia. Some crossed the border with the retreating Tsarist army. But many more are people whose forebears were brutally massacred from the late 19th century on. They are, in fact, our people. They are proud and they are endlessly resilient. One of the most effective means of helping to mitigate the mass destruction of the Armenians in their native lands would be to extend a hand of unconditional friendship to the young Republic of Armenia. “Rhythmic Diplomacy,” the term coined by Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, to describe his pro-active policies has a catchy ring to it. But would it not behoove the minister to go down in history for “Ethical Diplomacy”? Armenia presents him with that chance.

Amberin Zaman has been the Turkey correspondent for the Economist since 1999. She also writes a weekly column for the Turkish daily newspaper Taraf. Zaman has been a regular contributor to the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Daily Telegraph of London. This article is an expanded version of a column that appeared on Dec. 18 in the Turkish daily newspaper Taraf.

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Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. Thank you, Amberin Zaman, for this article! I read the Economist columns on Turkey regularly. I am happy to know you are their author.

  2. Mr Kevork ,are we reading the same article? I am against the protocols myself, but I do not understand the anger. many Armenians supporting the protocols, as well as most Turkish leftists and progressives whose articles appear here, have not been saying much different.

  3. I love Ms. Zaman’s article.  Her wisdom transcends her youth.  If the majority of Turks were to adopt her views, reconciliation between the two nations would become reality.

  4. Is the following pro-Armenian, pro-truth and justice to you???
    “Turkey’s continued insistence on linking the establishment of diplomatic ties and the re-opening of its mutual borders with Armenia to the latter’s withdrawal from at least some of the seven regions it OCCUPIES around Nagorno-Karabagh…ROBBED TURKEY of a potential mediating role…And what of AZERBAIJAN’S CRIES OF TREASON? Did the government not foresee these?…It is hard to imagine not. Viewed from Armenia’s perspective, the entire normalization process is nothing more than a ploy calculated to prevent President Barack Obama from using the “G-word” and from the American Senate and the House of Representatives from approving a bill labeling THE EVENTS OF 1915 as genocide…Should Armenia back away from the protocols, this would ALLOW TURKEY TO CLAIM THE MORAL HIGH GROUND…So CAN TURKEY CLAIM A BIG DIPLOMATIC VICTORY? In the short term, PERHAPS. But for how long? YES, ARMENIA IS A SMALL COUNTRY. Yes, it doesn’t have oil or precious minerals. And YES, AZERBAIJAN IS MORE IMPORTANT IN CERTAIN WAYS…”
    I think not!
    Amberin engages in genocide denial (the terms “people whose forebears were brutally massacred…the mass destruction of the Armenians” are certainly not synonymous with the terms “the genocide…the Armenian genocide”!), encourages a pro-Azeri solution to the Karabakh conflict and lobbies the Turkish Parliament to ratify the one-sided protocols (aka “Ethical Diplomacy”).

  5. Kevork, have you given any thought to the possibility that she is not writing this article to make you perfectly happy, she is writing it to convince turkish policy makers. i do not think she can do both successfully. i do not see any genocide denial here either.

  6. Ms Zaman blames Armenians for Turkish intransigence on Protocol ratification. What a convenient formula for anti-establishment Armenians to adopt; simply blame Sargsyan for being tricked. Rather, it was Turkey who insisted on post factum gating ratification with Protocol-exclusive issues, not Armenia. This was a failing of Turkish diplomacy for it assumed automatic Armenian capitulation on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey has paid further for unilaterally engaging Armenia assuming Azerbaijan has no short-term memory loss, no matter what Armenia does now.
    It is interesting how Turkey used the Protocols to delay further genocide recognition — an anti-ethical diplomatic move — yet it is suggested Davutoglu engage in mythical“Ethical Diplomacy”. It is Armenia who has and can continue to intensify the rhetoric with no loss in prestige.
    A lot can happen between now and April 2010. Regional dynamics and the confluence of intention between the US, Russia, and EU will not simply disappear because it is ignored by analysts. These three guarantors can easily intensify the pressure that originally resulted in these Protocols.
    David Davidian

  7. It escaped  many…she wwrites  “in FACT THEY ARE  OUR PEOPLE…”
    She must remember that similar  to Ottoman Turks the Nort African moorish Khaliphates  had also conquered  what  is No called Spain and occupied  it for 600  and more years…
    Does  that  mean  that the spaniards  “ARE  THEIR PEOPLE”…?
    Armenians ,like any other freedom loving people  have  the God Given Right to be iNDEPENDENT  OF  conquerers, occupiers.She repeats  like all other  turkish intellectuals , the word “Anatolia”,not even  mentioning  ex-Western Armenia!!!!
    Hard-liner(s) me?  no  I point  out  what  was  is  and will be forever Armenian !!
    Witness  Aghtamar Vank(Monastery) on Lake VAN, 11 centuries  old,built  by King Gagik of Armenia . Professor Richard G.Hovanissian couple  yrs ago toured Western ARmenia in company(actually invited  )of a turkish intellectual based  in the U.S. and gathred relics  of Armenian churches,monasteries etc., and showed  them on large screen while delivering discourses  of  recent ARmenian history.He was silently pointing to the turkish public(also present<)  that Armenians  HAD LIVED  THERE  NOT TOO LONG  AGO   for centuries. AS  to NK   Artsakh, (Nagornyi Karabagh)our  quest  for liberating  further Shahumian( a district  of North NK) failed.Why even Gandzak nowadays called  “Ganja” by Azerbaijan  is also 100% Armenian,So  if  Azerbaijan wishes to receive back some  of the 7 regions,it has to trade  in said TWO Provinces.
    So please  have above  in mind when speculating diplomatic give  and take ,argument-exchange.

  8.       I did not find this article offensive. For years, those of us who are descendants of the victims of the genocide have referred to ourselves as “Turkish Armenians” . We denounce the Ottoman Turks for murdering their own citizens. Given that, why is it so difficult to accept that the author would view
    descendants in current Armenia as “our people”….that is people from Anatolia. I thought it was a supportive gesture outlining the historical relationship.
                Look, if we as Armenians are going to be publically serious about engaging the world in our cause, then we need to learn how to dialogue with those who have acquired a different perspective(some of Turkish society). We have spent so many years debating and arguing with ourselves that we don’t realize that the curtain has gone up and we are on the world stage. Listening and learning from
    others will help our cause.

  9. Armenia cannot remain in the Azerbaijani territories it still occupies by shreer  military force. Such an aggression is against human rights, democracy, international law and ethcis.  Armenia must vacate the invaded Azeri soil and enable the Turkish parliament to ratify the protocols.  Otherwise, protocols will fail, Armenia will go bankrupt, Russia will take over and Turkey and Russia will have to solve the problems of Karabakgh and the million Azeri refugees.  Armenia, land-locekd, poverty-stricken, corrupt and violent, is in no position to bargain.  Genocidse claims should be left up to the committee of historians after the protocols.  This is the only way Armenia can survive as an independen nation.    Otherwise we will be dealing with an irrelevant, distant province od Russia in an insignificant manner.  These are the hard facts.  The rest is wishful thinking.

  10. One has to be totally disconnected from reality if one thought the protocols can move forward without even a symbolic movement on the Karabag issue. 

    It may have never been written down, but surely these people have brains.  Turkish Government needs a cover, otherwise Karabag issue is for Azeris and Armenians to solve.  It is inconceivable though that Turkey will fail to ignore and ackonwledge the wrong done to a close ally while holding a hand out to a sworn enemy. 

    A UN member’s recognized borders were violated, ethnic cleansing was implemented against all known norms and treaties.  Why Armenia is allowed to carry this outrage when the whole World was galvanized to kick Saddam out of Kuwait is beyond me.

    Just imagine all nations trying to re-write and re-enact history to correct all the wrongs done to them throughout history!  Where would it end, who draws the line?

  11. Armenia has been living in conditions worse than what it is today — it has managed to survive.
    It is the fastest growing economy, oil-rich, and no economic blockades, with a military three times the size of Armenia that seems to have 20% of its land be “occupied” by a…what did you say?…’irrelevant, distant province of Russia.”
    Imagine what we’re going to do to do to you after your oil runs out.

  12. The most interesting thing to me is that Ms. Zaman has long been The Economist magazine’s  Turkish correspondent, and I can’t help but recall that the magazine has been downright unfriendly to Armenians for well over two decades, if not for its (The Economist’s) entire existence.   By the way, why the sudden interest around the world in Turkish – Armenian “reconciliation”?  The answer lies primarily in what Russia and the West believe they are going to get out of it.  Too bad that no government leader in Armenia has never pointed this out publicly so that the populace would be better informed and intellectually armed.

  13. “This smacks of hypocrisy.” Speaking of hypocrisy. Ms Zaman has long argued for Turkey to unilaterally open its air and sea ports to Greek Cypriot planes and ships in order to appease the Greek Cypriots. Why not advise the same to Armenia?

  14. Murat,
    I understand we come from countries and peoples that have had a great deal of historic animosity toward each other.  But in order for us to solve our problems, we must first understand the position of the other.  Not accept it, but ‘understand’ it — so that we can respond to it.
    Armenia did not ‘invade’ Kharabagh or Azerbaijian to conquer it.  The Nagorno-Karabagh Supreme Soviet Council voted to reunify with Armenia, Moscow rejected the legislation, and in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the vast majority of the people of Kharabagh (85% being Armenian), decded they want to leave Azerbaijian, in the same way Azerbaijian decided they wanted to leave the Soviet Union.
    In turn, the Azeri army began marching towards Kharabagh — and considering our past experience with the Turks and Azeris (Sumgait might ring a bell), I think a certain amount of panic was due.  The people of Kharabagh called for help from their ‘mother country’ — and the mother country responded.  Not only because they felt a certain bond with the Kharabagh Armenians, but also because they felt that if the Azeri army was victorious in Kharabagh, they would march on the Yerevan (as many Azeri generals were claiming they would within a weeks time).
    In the same way that Turkey views Azerbaijian as a friend and since “…it is inconceivable though that Turkey will fail to ignore and ackonwledge the wrong done to a close ally while holding a hand out to a sworn enemy…” Armenia views Nagorno-Kharabagh.  Just because it doesn’t have an internationally recognized status doesn’t mean we can’t treat the people there as if they matter.
    The issue of us sending our army into Azerbaijian — which, I admit, we did — is directly tied to the above.  Failure to understand it only means the end of conversation.

  15. Turks argue that they have every right to “link” their relations with Armenia to a solution of the Artsakh issue since that issue affects the Turks’ “brethren” in Azerbaijan.

    Armenia could just as well argue that it has every right to “link” its relations with Turkey to a solution of the Cyprus issue since that issue affects Armenia’s Greek and Armenian Christian “brethren” in Cyprus.

    My point is, even among some Armenians, and certainly among non-Armenians, there is a tendency to simply accept the arguments that Turkey makes – such as the one about Artsakh – without asking whether the argument has a valid basis.  Armenia’s Foreign Ministry really does a miserable job  of waging a war of information against Armenian adversaries.   It did a miserable job when Oskanian was FM and nothing has changed. 

  16. There are just too many snippets in this piece by Zaman that demonstrate her anti-Armenian slant.  This confirms what I have seen of her when her work runs in the LATimes.
    She does seem to have a more enlightened approach than most of Turkish society, and certainly Turkey’s establishment and government.
    That being said, as has often been pointed out in recent years, the fact that some Turk– intellectual, writer, activist, whatever– makes interesting comments/noises DOES NOT mean he/she is pro-Armenian.  Simply, that person is contributing to the maturation of Turkish society, serving (quite naturally) Turkish interests.  Armenian issues are understandably incidental to that person.
    This process is barely at a toddler stage.  It had come along further in the 1890s and 1900s, but the 1909 counterrevolution, the Armenian Genocide, WWI, and Kemal’s republic created such a rupture for Turks with their own history and development that they’ve effectively had to start anew.
    All this is critical for us to know and understand so we can engage our Turkish counterparts.  In this respect, the recent role taken on by The Armenian Weekly, of providing a forum for non-lunatic, non-Pan-Turkic (Turanic), Turkish voices, is truly commendable and beneficial to our incomplete liberation struggle.

  17. David, you should know better.

    This is as much about starategic calculus as about brotherhood etc.  Cyprus issue does not have the  fraction of a fraction of importance strategically for Armenia as the  Karabag issue has for Turkey.  This issue has been seriously damaging Turkey’s relationship with two neighbors, costing economically and politically and has implications for Turkey’s relationship with another even more important neighbor, Russia!  Turks and Azeris actually share a culture, religion and language!  Just imagine the internal pressure on any Turkish government which tried to ignore this.  How can you possibly compare the two?

    This is about cost benefit.  This is about making a compromise.  This is about wrong done to a large number of Azeris and making even a small meaningful gesture in their direction.  

    After all, is that not what so many of you preach here? 

    If you really think this is just a matter of Christian vs barbarian, one propaganda machine vs another, then you have completely failed to understand the dynamics here.

  18. To “fair observer.”

    I am with you 100%. But you left out Turkish mighty military occupying Northern part of Cyprus and almost 100% of Kurdish, Greek and Armenian territories.
    So, your false blanket as a “fair observer,” did not make sense at all. In all honesty, you are a Turk, and don’t try to compare a handful of Armenian freedom fighters (about 900 according to British intelligence) , who successfully repelled and beat 23,000 Azeri soldiers, 2,300 Turkish volunteers and 3,989 Afghan terrorists, plus you asked the greatest terrorist the world has ever known, Shamil baseyev, who saidly proclaimed that his “only” defeat was at the hands of the Artsakh Armenians.  Now you proclaimed to the world tht you are a fair observer. Are you serious?  Your “mighty” army is killing Kurdish civilians right at this moment, what is your answer to them? And be thankful to the generous Armenian people, they allowed you to post a anti-Armenian post on an Armenian website. I have tried repeatedly to post one single post on a turkish website, but was never allowed. You tell me who is fair, the turks or the Armenians.
    Your foolhearted attempt to show us that you are a “fair observer” made you look like a comlete fool.
    If you really are a fair observer, why don’t you ask your Islamic friends (erdogan) to vacate my Kurdistan and the rest of the Greek and Armenian occupied lands?
    Listen, the territories which is reclaimed by the Armenians belonged to the Armenians, your uncle Stalin presented it to the turks.
    I will wait for your answer.
    Ferhat, a proud Kurd
    Arm Weekly, be kind and allow this post to appear so that mr “fair observer” reveals his turkic stupidity.

  19. Simply Put,  Zaman is in Fallacy that Tirkish politics can be based on Vicdan. What Vicdan? when they have ever had Vicdan towards anyone?
    This paragraph from Sassounian’s  November 17th article explains it all.
    “We now have solid evidence that these Turkish officials were not making an idle boast when they indicated that signing an agreement means nothing to them. In the Oct. 25 issue of Today’s Zaman, commentator Ercan Yavuz cited dozens of examples of agreements signed—but not ratified—by Turkey after the passage of many years! At present, there are 146 agreements with 95 countries, including Argentina, Azerbaijan, Libya, Slovenia, Sweden, and Syria, awaiting the approval of the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission. The oldest—an agreement signed 26 years ago between Iraq and Turkey—is still pending ratification by the Turkish Parliament. Many other important agreements have been signed since 2004, but still not ratified!”

  20.     It is true that compromiseis a requirement for the peaceful settlement of conflict. The Turks continue to press that a linkage to the Karabagh conflict is valid. Armenia(publically)) continues to respond that no pre-conditions to the protocols is the deal. In compromise,each party negotiates for an asset that is high enough value to them for what they are going togive up.What are the Turks giving up? To honor us with an open border, which they closed? To end a blockade that is intended to injure Armenia? If the Turks are serious about changing the rules, then they need to put something on the table that is of equal value to Armenia. The openingof the border and diplomatic relations are a given. This is what civilized nations do. If they are asking Armenia to compromise on the only leverage point it has, then Turkey needs to offer something of equal value…..something that will pain
    them as much as Armenia giving up buffer territory. There is one thing they can do and that is to publically tell truth on the Genocide to the world, but more importantly to their own people and to the Armenians.  If they are going to hit at the heart of Armenia and Karabagh’s security and expect us to trust them(with third party guarantees) , then they need to deal with the truth and prepare for the implaications of denial. We all know that the Turks have more fear of reparitins and restitutions than of recognition. Their fear will be eased as they begin to deal with the truth.

  21. Ratification means a majority of the members of the Turkish parliament will raise their hands and ok it.  Why will they do it?  What vital interest will be served? 

    The reason the border was closed was the brutal invasion and ethnic cleansing of Karabag. Now that is something civilized countries do not do!  So, what will have changed that the Turkish parliament will now take that decision back?  Just to be nice to a people who think of them as barbarians, murderers, occupiers of Greater Armenia, a ramnent of the Ottomans who will surely disappear into history as Sevres intended?  What exactly is the incentive?   Why would they do this to a hostile country which is pointing Russian guns in our direction and has taken every opportunity in every forum to hurt Turkish interests? 

    Fact is, Armenia has so much more to gain from normalization and clearly does not have the leverage to dictate the terms.  Opening the borders and resuming normal ties will make a huge difference for the well being of average Armenian but will have little impact in the  life of an average Turk,  maybe except in a small re3ion.  

    If the members of the parliament are to push for these protocols in the face of tremendous pressure from nationalists and many others who wonder why extend a hand to a country so hateful of us and tries so hard at every turn to harm us, not tomention has occupiedlands of  a friendly country with help of  Red Army, then Armenia needs to produce that incentive.  It does not mean a total capitulation on Karabag issue, but something will have to give there with or without protocols, that much is given.

  22. What needs to be seered into the Mongolian/Turk/Azeri mind is that NKR or the liberated Armenian territories will never be given back. The perpetration and failure to come to grips with the Armenian genocide will linger  for centuries.

    The only hope for them is a good amount of education from their intillectuals abroad as they have realized that Turkic sultans have no clothes.

  23. BTW, the transportation routes are now open through Georgia. We don’t need the border opened with Turkey. We are doing just fine.

  24. I find Ms. Amberin Zaman’s article apart from some inaccuracies very objective. The analysis and the issues are mostly accurate and the positive far outweighs the shortcomings.
     In the past on several occasions I have said this and now I repeat. The reason Turkey has been/is so emboldened is not because Turkey is strong, but it is because our government is weak and didn’t have the moral fiber/chutzpah as the Jews say to properly respond. The first time Turkey “demanded the return of all the liberated (occupied as per Turkey and Azerbaijan) territories,” The Armenian government should have responded. “First return 9/10 of our country and make Genocide reparation, and then we will talk about other issues.” (I understand that this might be impractical, but it would have been a beginning.) We lost another golden opportunity like the many others in our several millennia history.
    In conclusion: I commend Ms. Zaman for a job well done and look forward to read more relevant articles. It is only through dialogue that we may achieve something.
    Bedros H. Kojian, M.D.
     PS: Both my parents were survivors of the Armenian Genocide. In a couple of occasion my father survived because of his Turkish friends.

  25. Ms. Zaman’s article/analysis was objective and our government truly does not have the manliness to respond to both our enemies (Turkey and Azerbaijan) when the opportunity is on their doorstep.  Where was our government when in Julfa, Nakhichevan our 3,000 cemeteries were demolished on broad daylight?  I remember seeing the video right on this website.  Why did our authorities kept their mouth shut?  That was the right opportunity for the Armenian army to interfere and wage war against Azerbaijan to claim our OWN lands back.  Nakhichevan for thousands and years has been Armenian lands until the killer/devil Stalin gave our lands to the Azeris to appease Mustapha Kemal.  Then it was our opportunity and we lost it to the loser Azeris.

    To Dr. Kojian: I agree, Armenia should have given that golden answer to the Turks as well as ask them to give back to the poor Greek Cyprians their lands back and get out of Cypria!

  26.    Armenia should never be the initiator of canceling the protocols. As flawed as they are, they have been signed and to withdraw would put Armenia in further defensive position. Aside from issuing the required political rhetoric in response to Turkey’s outrageous comments, Armenia needs to maintain
    a reserved position and let Turkey’s  inevitable duplicity play out. If we have the politicial patience, Turkey is in an irreconcilable place. Their left seeks reconciliation to placate the EU, their right is in
    seemingly endless denial, Azerbaijan awaits support for what they could not do on their own and Erdogan plays to all. Even the tolerance of the U.S.has a limit(i.e when U.S. interests are challenged
    …such as increased Russian influence in the region). All is not lost.

  27. Hmmmm, “Murat”, I dare say, “doth protest too much, methinks,” regarding Turks being thought of as barbarians.  No one has made that claim here, except he…

  28. Realistically, the protocols that were signed between Armenia and Turkey, are nothing but…NOTHING.  The US government and the Armenian government knew that Turkey uses this phony protocol photo shoots for propaganda purposes only.  I myself won’t pay the “protocols”  one Turkish lira. Turkey has tons of agreements with dozens of foreign countries, but none of these agreements are ratified by Turkey.   Some Turks arrogantly believe that “Turkey gains nothing by opening the borders with Armenia.” Well, I see Armenia gaining nothing but more Turkish intelligence officers, who mind you have already infiltrated Armenia in large numbers. I recently heard that currently about 2,000 Turkish agents are at work in Armenia spying, and some are Armenians.  Their easiest targets of course, are Armenian women. Well, some of you will be surprised to know that most of the Armenians from Armenia in Turkey are women, and believe me when I tell you that your women here in Turkey are easy targets of the Turkish intelligence for espionage purposes. They are “sitting ducks,” as the saying goes. I hope and pray that Armenia is not betrayed by these returning Armenians. I know that Armenia is going through hardships, and the almighty dollar paid to them by the Turkish intelligence, might morph these ladies into obedient tools for espionage.  Armenians returning from Turkey must and should be watched closely.
    Some of you might say, “Oh Ferhat, don’t be paranoid,” well, I live in Turkey, I know my city Diyarbekir is practically jammed by Turkish agents and their Kurdish slave dogs, we know it, it is not a secret, and I know that they are doing the same in Armenia.
    Turkey will benefit enormously when the borders are opened:
    1. Dump cheap substandard Turkish products
    2. Dump hundreds more intelligence officers.
    3. Officially turn  Armenia into a satellite vasal state of Turkey.
    So, to conclude, every Turkish move should be watched closely, analyzed and scrutinized before opening the borders, in the end, if the borders are opened, Turkey will become the master of the Caucasus.

    • Ferhat,

      I have always said and will say number one enemy of Armenia has always been and always will be Turkey. No, it is not Azerbaijan, it is Turkey not Turks. No reconciliation is possible between Armenia and Turkey. It is all myth. Turks are already filling Georgia. You will sea what Georgia’s demography will be in 50 years. I pray day and night that the boarder between Armenia and Turkey remain closed for another 100 years or more. After opening the border Armenians should seriously consider a law to not grand citizenship anyone who is not Armenian. Otherwise the greedy Armenians will build expensive apartment complexes in Yerevan and Turks will buy. Unfortunately, we Armenians are very short-sighted. That is the one of the reasons that we have suffered in the hands of Turks for centuries. Ferhat, stay strong, I support Kurds! Armenians, Kurds and Greeks have to unite against Turkey there is no way out.

  29. You know what I think Ferhat?  I think you yourself should go to Armenia and teach both our government and some of our youth, who don’t know from their repeated history who the Turks are.  I know I am a bit jesting and more wishful thinking; but seriously I know from my history that you absolutely CANNOT trust the Turkish government and their moves; but my people seems to me they continue to make the same mistakes over and over again,  (They are very gullible).  My people are a bunch of extremely intelligent people; but they are hard-headed and very proud people, and they seem to be deceaved by the enemy time and time again.  When the enemy gives them a smile; they believe them.  I wish people like yourselves who live in Dikranagerd  – today’s Diyarbekir – who know the heart and sole of the Turkish mindset would teach and preach my people in Armenia.  BTW; someone in here said that perhaps the Kurds, the Greeks and the Armenians should join forces against the Turks and reclaim their stolen lands from Turkey.  I wish sometime that would materialize.  It seems to me that we can deal much better with the majority of the Kurds then with the Turks, (especially the Turkish government) who are a deceitful fascist mindset who’s only dreams are pan-turanism as well as global control. 

  30. Hey, here is an idea, how about a Holy Crusade? 

    If this is a smapling of modern Armenian thinking, even if it is a minority, I only shudder when I think of what Ottomans faced 100 years ago.

  31. Hey Murat, Your anscestors from Mongolia when they came to our highlands on or about 12th-14th centuries, my anscestors not to get killed they had to migrate from Nakhichevan and went south in the 15th century.  Why did the Ottomans came to the cradle of civilization, that is Armenian Highlands?  Why didn’t they stayed in Mongolia rather than migrating.  If they did we would have been at least 50 million by now rather than 8 million.

  32. Turks alone butchered 50 million innocent people, which mind you included Muslim Kurds, Arabs and Iranians,  ever since their mongol ancestors arrived here from central asia.
    Crusaders caused the deaths of about 78,000 Muslim Arab /Kurdish inhabitants. And remember Murat, if it wasn’t for Salladin, (a Kurd like myself, a Kurdish universal humanist who treated captured Christian soldiers with dignity and respect, and was respected for his chivalry). You cannot say the same of your Ataturk or Abdul Hamid and tons of murderous Turkish  heads of stateShow meone chivalrous Turk, Ataturk? He killed 80,000 innocent Greeks. Hamid? He outdid Ataturk by millions. Suleyman the magnificent? He reportedly caused the death of 4 million Europeans.  Next time I need to butcher innocent Armenians and Greeks, I’ll call Murat and his Turkish hordes to do the killings for me.
    Now I am going to assume that Murat my Turkish friend, is a mathematician…and I will leave for Murat to calculate the difference of the number of peoples murdered by the Crusaders and the Turks.

    To Nairian: Thank you for the suggestion. But I need to stay in occupied Kurdistan. This is my land, and it does not belong to this murderous newcomer intruders. Kurds are well aware as to who our enemies are. We will liberate our lands and our people from the Turks. Imagine half of the Turkish army stationed on our occupied lands and watching and listening to us day and night…we are fighting an uphill battle, our freedom fighters, between 600-800) are fighting an Islamist regime which is closely, read my words, closely related to the Taliban of Afghanistan. The current leaders of Turkey were  all former Islamists.
    To conclude. Kurds all over the world know that our number one enemy and future antagonists are the Turks. Our battle, will be against the Turk.  They simply cannot rule on 20 million strong Kurds with iron fists, sooner or later things will backfire, and then all hell will break lose.
    FYI: Did you know that the world Genocide is anathema in Turkey. So much feared that this word has become, that the Turkish government has spend millions and millions of dollars to “electronically erase” this much feared word.  So, if you try to type the word Genocide on any Turkish government portal, you won’t succeed. Such great is their fear and shame that their ancestors have brought upon the new Turkish generation.

  33. Armenian activists seem so obsessed with their version of history that they cannot even see why others would like to respond the Armenian allegations.  The Armenians misrepresent to unsuspecting public the Turkish-Armenian conflict as settled history of genocide, whereas the truth is far from being settled, let alone called genocide.  When contra-genocide view holders ask for equal time, Armenians come back with a hateful “What is there to respond?  There is nothing to debate.”
    Everything is open to debate.  Only those who are not confident about their facts and figures are terrified by open debate, as they know their falsifications and fabrications will be exposed.  Only fanatics will argue that their case has only one side, their side, and only their stories are the truth, the whole truth.  We heard it all too many times in other controversies, too:  abortion, gun control, immigration, gay rights, Iraq War, Guantanamo, taxes, stimulus package, and many others. 
    It is up to decent people to stand up to the “opinion thugs” and demand the opening of the field to responsible opposing views so that both sides of any controversy may be heard.  After that, let the public come to its own decision.  Propaganda and political pressure are not meant to replace scholarship.
    If one cherishes values like fairness, objectivity, truth, and honesty, then one should really use the term  “Turkish-Armenian conflict”.  Asking one “Do you accept or deny Armenian Genocide” shows anti-Turkish bias.  The question should be re-phrased “What is your stand on the Turkish-Armenian conflict?”
     Turks believe it was an inter communal warfare mostly fought by Turkish and Armenian irregulars, a civil war which is engineered, provoked, and waged by the Armenian revolutionaries, with active support from Russia, England, France, and others, all eyeing the vast territories of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, against a backdrop of a raging world war.
     Armenians, on the other hand, totally  ignoring Armenian agitation, raids, rebellions, treason, territorial demands, and Turkish victims killed by Armenians, unfairly claim that it was a one way genocide. 

    Those who take the Armenian “allegations” of genocide at face value seem to also ignore the following:
    1- Genocide is a legal, technical term precisely defined by the U.N. 1948 convention (Like all proper laws, it is not retroactive to 1915.)
    2- Genocide verdict can only be given by a “competent court” after “due process” where both sides are properly represented and evidence mutually cross examined. 
    3-  For a genocide verdict, the accusers must prove “intent” at a competent court and after due process.  This could never be done by the Armenians whose evidence mostly fall into five major categories:  hearsay,  mis-representations, exaggerations, forgeries, and “other”. 
    4- Such a “competent court” was never convened in the case of Turkish-Armenian conflict and a genocide verdict does not exist  (save a Kangaroo court in occupied Istanbul in 1920 where partisanship, vendettas, and revenge motives left no room for due process.)
    5-  Genocide claim is political, not historical or factual.  It reflects bias against Turks. Therefore, the  term genocide must be used with the qualifier “alleged”, for scholarly objectivity and truth.
    History is not a matter of “conviction, consensus,  political resolutions, political correctness, or propaganda.” History is a matter of research, peer review, thoughtful debate, and honest scholarship. Even historians, by definition, cannot decide on a genocide verdict, which is reserved for a “competent court” with its legal expertise and due process.   Ability to explore heretofore unknown or ignored sources and freely debate in civilized discourse is what sets reasoned truth-seekers apart from the ethocidal behavior of bullies and fanaticswho insist there is nothing more to be learned.

  35. To Mr. “FairObserver”,

    Three questions and related commentary:
    – Are you a member of the Flat Earth Society (  If not, you should join.  The mode of endless argumentation under the guise of “fairness” is exactly the propaganda line espoused and implemented by the Turkish government, its lackies, and those (like you, at least seemingly) who chose of their own free will to engage in non-stop and pathetic denialism.  Heck, by joining and participating, you might even pick up a trick or two to utilize in your your hate-mongering efforts.

    – Do you own a watch and calendar, know how to use them, and understand the underlying concepts of chronology and sequence?  I have to ask this because of your lat paragraph’s contents and its underlying lack of understanding of cause and effect.  Or, to be folksy, “which came first- the chicken or the egg”.

    – Why do you hide behind a fatuous, and here totally misleading and inappropriate moniker?  Why not use your name?

  36. ‘Fair Observer’ is the latest name used by Ergun Kirlikovali.
    Readers should know something about Ergun Kirlikovali, the racist poster here, there and everywhere. He also appears under a host of names and handles, but the tired rhetoric is always the same.
    1. He wrote a number of posts on the website of the Pasadena Star News commencing October 2008. In one post he compared the deaths of Armenian victims 1915-1923 to a joke he knows about the death of a fly.  He has supplemented this imagery with statements that all Armenians are “rats”, “backstabbers”, “disloyal”, “traitors”, “murderers” pretty much the entire Nazi vocabulary which they used starting in the 1920’s to demonize Jews.  
    He went so far as to say that  Armenian Americans are so perpetually disloyal as to be suspected  of being unable to serve today in the United States armed forces, again a reprise of the “divided loyalty” slur used on Catholics before JFK and on Jews at all times.  These posts so upset a Marine, that he challenged Kirlikovali to box in a refereed match, which of course the overfed Kirlikovali declined to do.
    2. Kirlikovali has written that the Assyrian Genocide is something Armenians made up.
    3. When confronted with the 2000 conclusion of former Genocide agnostic Ottomanist Professor Donald Quataert that Genocide had indeed occurred, Kirlikovali immediately branded this well-regarded scholar as a ‘Turk hater.”
    4. Kirlikovali has widely posted that he has tried to hound Taner Akcam every where he has taught. 
    5.  On January 19, 2007, he wrote an article on Turkish Digest that the probable killer of Hrant Dink was an “anti-Turk”, which is code for an Armenian.
    6.  Kirlikovali last year threatened to sue anyone who used the term “Armenian Genocide”.  I suppose TALDF has reluctantly informed him that Section 301 does not yet operate here.
     7.  Kirlikovali says that he does not intend to diminish Armeinan suffering, but in reality he does.  He has posted that fewer than 4,000 Armenians died at the hands of Turks in the Genocide, and claims that the balance of 48,000 died from malnutrition, and some kind of civil war, in which, one supposes, babies, women and elderly were combatants.
    8. Kirlikovali does not limit his racism to Armenians.  In a series of exchanges last year on the OC Weekly website, he repeatedly demeaned Mexican American journalist Gustavo Arellano, calling him “Speedy Gonzalez” [the name of a campesino-clad Mexican cartoon rat], and in true idiot style told the native American born Arellano that he should not practice sloppy journalism, and do things as they are done in “Tijuana”. 
    9. Here’s the shock: Kirlikovali is President Elect of the ATAA, and we can expect more aggression and bombast from this jovial, upfront racist.  The question is: where are the moderate voices among the Turkish Americans?  Why have they elected a racist buffoon?  
    When we appear in front of school boards, library boards, or at other government hearings, and are opposed by the Turkish community, I suggest we come armed with copies of his writings, which are all over the net to copy.
    10.  Finally, for all of Kirlikovali’s “super-Turk” rhetoric, he has lived for decades not in beloved old Turkey, but in Orange County; his wife, according to his various posts, is Irish, about which he seems quite proud, and there is a legtiimate question as to whether his forbears are even Turks- he looks like an overfed, pear-shaped MittelEuropean accountant, replete with porcine features and a bad combover.  The misdirected Islamized Greek or Pomak trying to look good to the Gray Wolf crowd, perhaps.  

  37. Post 174 from the Pasadena Star News and the San Gabriel News on November 17, 2008, in which Mr. Kirlikovali likened the death of 1.5 Million human beings to a joke about a dead fly:

    “Armenian claims of genocide remind me of this joke I heard somewhere:

    Question: How do you kill a fly?

    Answer: Well, you tell the fly a great story and when it is not looking, you jump the fly. Quickly tie its hands and feet and turn it over belly up. Then you start tickling its stomach which causes the fly to laugh violently. Its stomach ruptues of laughters and it dies. Very very effective way to kill a fly, as you can see.

    So, the Turks want to kill all the ARmenians and they figure “Hey, if we send only the ones in the East on a journey, give them mule-carts to carry their loads and soldiers to protect them and allow Western help to save them, maybe they will somehow die all together. Here is fail-proof plan!

    When will you members of the AFATH [stands for “Armenain Falsifiers and Turk-Haters” in his little world of acronymns] community get real?”

    Nazi, exposed. There’s much more.

  38. jda, let Armenians annihilate out of your 70 million Turks 60 million of them, including all your relatives by beheading them and making several mountains out of it, then take all your young pretty girls at least 20 of them and nail them on crosses then have the vouchers roam around on top of their heads, then throw all the sweet little girls up on the sky and have Armenian soldiers’ swords waiting down there to land those poor bodies on the huge swords, then kill all the men in the country and shove them in ditches, then have the women, the children and the old men and women go down the Mesopotamian deserts into the death marches without food, without drinks, coming from all over the land thugs to steal their clothes and any belongings that they have, and ask them a few times after their riches have been stolen already kill them, pretending that the poor souls are lying, then in the interim, rape all the pretty girls and young women and some to take them away for their harems and half dead and half alive the remnants of the ones who went to the death marches to kill them alive and throw them in huge ditches of Shadaadi in Der El Zor desert and put them on fire to kill them that way.  And after 95 years, how would you like it if all these were denied and said to you, you are making it up, it never happened.


  39. Nairian,

    Please read my posts. I was quoting the head of a Turkish American organization Ergun Kirlikovali, not expressing my viewpoint.

  40. Fair Observer denialist vermin, I tell you, if the Nazis who annihilated 6 million Jews were instead the Turks; Jews until today would have been denied, no reparations made to them and had to hear your denialist spew right in their papers.  You have thus mastered the denialist Turkish government’s regime into perfection.

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