The Second Move in the 2011 Genocide Obfuscation Gambit?

At about this time every year the Turkish government engages in political antics, the purpose of which is to counter any incremental success Armenians have achieved in their quest for recognition of the Turkish genocide of 1.5 million Armenians.

During April 1915, under the guise of World War I, the Turkish government condemned the entire Armenian citizenry under its jurisdiction, and some of the neighboring lands, to extermination. The crime and denial of genocide isn’t a game, but international relations is a contest.

In past years, major U.S. defense contractors have pressured members of Congress not to undertake any vote for genocide recognition, so as not to “offend” their Turkish customers. Also, past U.S. secretaries of state have either individually or collectively pleaded a similar story to members of Congress, recommending that any recognition of genocide would anger the Turks.

The U.S. Congress regularly reaffirms or otherwise memorializes historical events, including the near-destruction of Native Americas and the Nazi Holocaust of European Jews. Official U.S. recognition, and to a similar extent an Israeli recognition, of the genocide of the Armenians would ease the way for Armenian reparations. Turkey is becoming more confident of its role globally and in the region. It endeavors to assert influence by representing itself as a big brother to regional Muslim states. Turkey finds itself in a position from which it can simultaneously divert the attention of the Armenian Diaspora while providing face-saving excuses vis-a-vis engagement with Armenia for major powers to ignore Armenian demands for genocide recognition.

Since around 2003, Armenia and Turkey have been in deliberations with the goal of establishing diplomatic relations and opening their common border. This border was unilaterally shut by Turkey in 1993 as Armenian forces were succeeding in securing the region of Nagorno-Karabagh from Azerbaijani rule. “The Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey” was officially signed and simultaneously announced in Berne, Yerevan, and Ankara on Aug. 31, 2009. On the heals of this announcement, Turkey attached preconditions to any Turkish ratification. As a result, this document is all but dead, even though the signed protocol passed legal approval by Armenia’s Constitutional Court. It was rather presumptuous for Turkey to have set post-facto preconditions. This lack of Turkish resolve allowed the Armenian president, Serge Sarkisian, the latitude to take a tougher stance on the genocide issue. On March 24, 2010, at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in the Syrian desert at Der Zor, Sarkisian gave a hard-hitting speech against the policies of the Turkish government, calling it the last stop on the Armenian death marches. He called Der Zor the Armenian Auschwitz. As Sun Tzu said, “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

On Feb. 7, 2011 in an article published in the Turkish newspaper Sabah, author Duygu Guvenc wrote that the Turkish minister of state, Egemen Bagis, after attending the Jan. 27, 2011 Holocaust Remembrance Day (a first for a Turkish state minister) in Istanbul, was instructed to subsequently attend Armenian April 24th activities. Apparently only Sabah reported this, although it was picked up by many Armenian media outlets. Since Guvenc’s article is still on an active website and has not been retracted, it appears to be an official trial balloon looking for any Armenian reaction. Alternatively, it could be Turkey’s first move in the 2011 genocide obfuscation gambit.

It is a challenge to suggest or predict Armenia’s reaction to this Turkish ploy because moves like these are not zero-sum, nor made in isolation. There is also a lack of information from ongoing diplomatic efforts, if they even exist, in whatever form. There are costs in making foreign policy decisions, and similarly,  in not making them. Given the limited information available to us, what might an Armenian response be?

Turkish general elections are scheduled for this year. According to polls, the AK Party has been steadily gaining popularity. Currently, it enjoys a substantial lead over its nationalist contender, the CHP. AKP leaders may feel they can take a chance with bolder genocide obfuscation tactics considering such moves are coming at a time of transforming events in the region, placing such risky foreign policy moves out of media limelight in Turkey. This is not the case with citizens of Armenia or its diaspora, who view Turkish moves differently than official Yerevan. Turkey knows this and modulates its foreign policy moves associated with genocide denial, highlighting such nuances.

Foreign policy moves are based on extracting the maximum benefit from prevailing conditions. They are not based on right or wrong, good or bad, but rather on interests. We know the overarching Turkish interest is deferring accepting responsibility for the crime of genocide.

Armenia should immediately invite the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to attend the April 24th genocide commemoration at Armenia’s Genocide Memorial at Dzidzernagapert. Turkey should be given a specific time limit to respond or the invitation is pulled. The Turkish delegation can join the hundreds of thousands of Armenians who gather to commemorate the victims of the 1915 genocide. The Turkish delegation would be accorded the customary VIP protocol at the Dzidzernagapert Memorial and attend lectures by prominent scholars. If Turkey was bluffing, Armenia will not. Armenia thus forces Turkey not to attend a genocide commemoration in some obscure Armenian community out of shear embarrassment by refusing this invitation.

There are many scenarios that can be played out. As an exercise below, a simplistic flow of events that could characterize the 2011 genocide obfuscation season is suggested.

Turkey’s Move Armenia’s Move Comment
Turkish Minister Bagis attending Armenian genocide commemoration printed in Sabah. Any Armenian unconditional approval will be viewed as weakness.
Armenia waits for an official request while asking Turks for immediate clarification of intent. This must take place by early March. An Armenian rejection will be an advantage to Turks. Armenia knows this.
Turkey delays response to Armenian request for clarification. Turkey will delay a response in an attempt to maximize condemnation of the Armenian government from its diaspora.
Armenia waits no later than late March for a Turkish response. Armenia lays plans for an enhanced genocide commemoration at Armenian Genocide Memorial and makes it a publicly announced intention.
Turkey responds that it is interested in attending a genocide commemoration. Turkey is still using delay tactics and announces it is talking with Armenia.
Early April 2011: Armenia formally invites highest level Turkish representatives to Genocide Memorial commemoration. Turkey is somewhat taken off guard, thanks Armenia for the invitation.
Turkey responds it cannot arrange for such an entourage to visit Armenia given so little time, but is willing to send lower-level representatives to an alternate event in some diaspora communities. Turks have no intention of attending any genocide commemorations.
Armenia announces it called Turkey’s bluff on their false intention. Turks can claim they never made an official request.

 

If the chain of events unfold close to the above, Armenia could use the outcome, internationally, as yet another example of Turkish disingenuousness. Armenia does its best to comply with the wishes of the international community, but as with the 2009 protocols, Turkey added preconditions after nearly five years of deliberations, eventually killing the agreement.

“Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance,” wrote Sun Tzu.

avatar

David Davidian

David Davidian is a Sr System Architect at a major IT firm, engaged in technical intelligence analysis. He manages the U.S. office of RegionalKinetics.com

34 Comments

  1. The first parts of this article are quite good, but not the last parts.  If Turkey attends an April 24th event in Hayastan, this will be viewed as one more reason by the US and others to not push Turkey to acknowledge the genocide or open the border, since they will say that Turkey and Armenia are making peace on their own.  I don’t see how that benefits Armenia and it will just anger a lot of us,

    The other scenario is Turkey does not attend April 24.  Tha author thinks this will shame Turkey and make it look bad.   Maybe a bit, but not much.  Turkey denies all wrongdoing versus Armenians, Greeks and just about any group you can name such as Kurds and Alevis, and it gets away with it, and people forget about it, with some minor criticisms here and there. 

    So Turkey does not show up for April 24.  So what?  It will suffer very little.  It is not even clear that Turkey ever announced it would attend any April 24 event.   I read a report somewhere that it was only just a rumor that was blown up into a true report.  

  2. I disagree with Taline.  I think the last part is a great idea.  I’ve written a long comment about this in the other article explaining why I think a tactic like this is great and even necessary.  Like I said before, as genocide deniers, Turkish officials cannot attend the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan.  It doesn’t matter what their intentions are.  If they show up at the Genocide Memorial, it would look like the Turks are finally coming to terms with their past and are offering condolences.  This would be EVEN MORE of a reason for the US government to reaffirm their acknowledgement of the Genocide.
    I’m going to paste the last paragraph of my other comment here (and make an addition):
    “The Turkish population would be staunchly opposed to this sort of thing because this would look like an admission of guilt, whether-or-not this is the intention of the Turkish officials.  If someone lays a wreath in front of a statue that specifically says “This is dedicated to the victims of the ARMENIAN GENOCIDE,” it means that individual recognizes the GENOCIDE committed on the ARMENIANS and is offering condolences.  If headlines say ‘Turkish Officials Commemorate Armenian Genocide,’ what would that look like?  The AKP is playing with fire with this ‘friendly relations’ tactic.  It can easily back-fire on them.  I say, we make it.  Then watch them lose their next elections.
    In my humble opinion, we can turn the tides if we play our cards right.”

  3. Well, as long as dashnak Armenians remain in total denial, and the editorial board obliges this by practicing archaic censorships and deletions, then no “tide will be turned”!

  4. If Turkeys can appear to the civilized world that as if they have resurrected (generously)  the ancient Christian Armenian churches and cathedrals for the Armenians – but then say to the Armenians that these sites are now turk museums and ONLY available to the Armenians for religious services ONCE yearly… Such actions, as so many others which have been ongoing/unending PLOYs of a turkey in perpetuity… are lies, as are all their denials of the Turkish Genocide of Armenians.  The Ottoman strain of the hordes from the Asian mountains – still exists.
    Manooshag

  5. I think we should welcome all Turks that wish to attend the Memorial (the more the better) and give them a copy of my CALL, rolled and tied with a red ribbon (depicting blood), just like they do in graduation ceremonies; welcome them one by one and present them a rolled CALL. Here is my CALL.

    CALL
    Looking for My Long Lost ‘Cousin’
    Hello, my Turkish “friend.” Are you sure your great-grandmother was not Armenian?
    Between 1896 and 1915, continued to 1923, the Armenian population of current eastern Turkey was systematically annihilated. They were simply dislodged from their hometowns, able-bodied men were separated from the family and killed, and the old folks, women and children were forcibly marched from village to village until they all perished.
    During these marches, whenever the group passed through a village, the Turkish village-boys, and men, helped themselves to Armenian females and young girls for sex. They also helped themselves to young boys for the same purpose. It was a big free-for-all. They would abduct them, take them home, and the whole clan would use them as sex-slaves, for years. Thousands of them.
    Some of these girls eventually became pregnant and bore children. Turks being historically nomadic and familial invariably accepted these babies into the family, and they grew up as another child of the family. The boys, in turn, upon reaching manhood became love objects of the Turkish wife, the “khanoom,” who, also, eventually became pregnant, and their children, likewise, became part of the family.
    These half-Armenian children grew up as Turkish speaking men and women who married and made families and carried on their normal lives thinking they are Turks.
    My long lost ‘cousin’ may be one of these half-Armenians.
    Hello, my Turkish “friend.” Are you sure you are not my ‘cousin’? Are you sure your great-grandmother, or great-grandfather, was not Armenian? … ARE YOU SURE?
    We may be ‘cousins,’ after all. 
    Why don’t you go find out.
    And yes, “One percent Armenian equals hundred percent Armenian.”
     

  6. Manooshag,

    Please explain how 518K Turks were killed, and an eventual total of 2.5M Moslem and non-Moslem lives were lost (including non-dashnak Armenians) due to ARF Armenian dashnak rebellious actions? Since you obviously know everything and are never in denial, this simple question should be no problem for you.


  7. Serious international relations is more like a continuum, rather a series of one-offs. It is not zero-sum, where my gain is your loss. It a game of taking advantage when it is in your interest (assuming you know them) and keeping quite when it is not. Turkey is rather good at this game. Frankly, I am surprised Turkey miscalculated by adding pre-conditions post-facto to the 2009 Protocols. However, one could conclude that the Protocols were simply not important to them, even though the US, EU, and Russia invested heavily in the agreement. But further, reneging on the Protocol is just another indication that Turkey endeavors to blaze its own foreign policy in the region.
     
    As in before, during, and after WWII, Turkey had to make certain decisions. By not making the best ones, it could have lost heavily. It wavered enough in the late 1930s until France basically gave the Alexandretta Sanjak to Turkey as a bribe not to enter the impending war on the side of Germany. Turkey stayed “neutral” but positioned itself to take advantage regardless of who won the war. It simultaneously engaged in forcing a Capital tax on Armenians, Jews and Greeks, took in some Jews escaping Hitler while rejecting others. It claimed neutrality but the Turkish Generals Staff visited Berlin to make an assessment of the war’s outcome. When its eastern border was threatened by Stalin in the late 1940s, Turkey jumped on the NATO bandwagon.
     
    Today, Turkey is engaged in tactics it views as advantageous. It is trying to play a middleman between Iran and the west over the Iranian nuclear issue, yet Iran and Turkey appear to be regional rivals. Turkey is confronting Israel as a way to gain advantage in the “Arab street”. Yet Turkey cares as much for the Palestinians as does Iran for that matter. Both are using the Israeli-Palestinian issue for their own ends. If Iran falters in its nuclear program, it can be in Turkey’s benefit. If Iran demonstrates nuclear weapons capability, Turkey will be its number one ally, all the while accelerating its own nuclear program.
     
    Currently, Armenia appears to be playing this game as best it can, given the western isolation it was handed after the successful defense of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia was forced into a Russian orbit with only a north-south economic axis remaining. Armenia has to be as shrewd as possible even to the point of what appears to be gambling.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  8. “Robert” is a fantasist whose military experience is likely limited to dressing his GI Joe, and whose knowledge of military history is based upon the propaganda the Turkish state distributes.

    As Halil Berktay has pointed out to anyone capable of reading, the Armenians could not have killed Turkish civilians within the order of magnitude Robert parrots for some simple reasons nobody can deny. They could not assemble the civilians, could not escort them to killing areas, did not control the roads, and lacked the logistical resources to carry out such things which, by the way, the Turkish forces did do to Armenians, Greeks, Pontians and Assyrians in huge numbers.

    The “logic” behind Robert’s numbers works like this: Ottoman forces declare war against the Russians, and the western powers. The Russians and their allies attack the OE, as those against whom war is declared tend to do, and Turkish as well as Greek and Armenian subjects  die  as a result. Some of the Russian, French and American soldiers were ethnic Armenians. Therefore, all “Moslem” deaths are the fault of Armenians.

    Overlooked by Robert are the deaths in the scores of thousands of Arab Moslems  inflicted by OE forces, as are tHe 200k Armenian men who perished in the OE Army, some in battle, and some after being disarmed and worked to death or killed outright.

    Robert writes Nazi-style obscenity. He should be banned. The First Amendment nowhere requires any private publication to publish anything.

  9. Robert:
     
    Your pathetic and futile efforts – on these posts – to drive some kind of an imaginary wedge between the rest of Armenians and the ARF/Dashnaktsutiun is comical. (i.e. re “…Moslem and non-Moslem lives were lost (including non-dashnak Armenians)…”)
     
    There is no daylight between worldwide Armenian community and our various political parties, new and old, including ARF.
    We have our internal squabbles, like everybody else, but those are our family squabbles – foreigners, Stay Out.
     
    I belong to no political party, but have many close (blood) relatives who are either members of ARF or sympathetic to their philosophy.
    I also have Ramgavar and Hunchak relatives and friends.
     
    I know of the many tactical and strategic mistakes ARF has made: don’t know of any political movement that has made no mistakes.
    When you are in the vanguard, you are guaranteed to tumble on occasion.
    But I also know of ARF’s deep and undying love for the nation, and their willingness to risk and give their lives for their nation.
     
    One example: During Artsakh’s War of Survival and Liberation, the Dashnak battalion took on the Chechen battalion that had come to Artsakh to assist the Azeri Tatar invaders: the  Dashnak battalion decisively defeated the Chechens.
     
    Putting aside any political considerations, on neutral military terms, Chechens are highly – and rightfully –  regarded and renowned for their battlefield prowess. The Chechen battalion was commanded by Shamil Basayev, an outstanding field commander, a military genius almost  – who later in his career  descended into pure terrorism against innocent civilians, even children (e.g. Beslan school  massacre).
     
    Basayev later admitted that  he and his Chechen battalion  had lost a battle only once –  against the Armenian Dashnak battalion in Artsakh.
     

  10. David,

    Welcome. This is the first time, I believe, that we’ve communicated. I’d like to say first how refreshing it is to commnuicate with someone who isn’t insultive, vulgar, grossly misinformed or defaming (as are certain posters here on this site).

    Let me first say that it’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of Erdogan nor his AKP party. being a Kemalist, he and his party stand for things that are ruinous to Turkey and pose an open threat to her secularism. Though I don’t necessarily agree with everything that the CHP party does, it’s a much better alternative than the AKP.

    You appear to be a wise and seasoned (experienced in the ways of the world) man. You understand that regardless of what you, I or anyone else says, nations will continue to play their politics (you pointed this out well in your post).

    Now. in your second paragraph, you state that “Turkey took in some Jews”. With all due respect David, Turkey took in a bit more than just “some Jews”. When NO other nation cared about them and left them to die at the hands of the Nazis, Turkey took many of them in! That’s a fact!! Just as she took in many of the Jews during the Spanish Inquisition and provided them wih a new home, again when no Christian nation cared about them! Please do not try to minimize their efforts and accomplishments, but rather acknowledge their achievements in this regard. To do otherwise does not bode well for you (your intent or even hidden agenda). Turkey is nowhere near being perfect. She has many problems to be sure. But she is trying to solve them (even with the AKP in power). I’m sure that You’re aware of the news of the prisoner swap between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Though small, it is a significant step in the right direction. It give hope for a true and lasting settlement and a harmonious peace between the two nations. I’ve never given up hope on anyone nor with any nation. Yes, there are times when I get upset/frustrated when I post in response to certain uncouth and hateful posters. Consequently, those posts may be more sarcastic than I would normally write. But this doesn’t mean that I’ve ever given up hope with a nation or its people. Despite our differences, many who have come to know me, can at least say that I never use vulgarities or personal insults in my posts. Though we may not always agree, I do my best to be cordial.   

    JDA,

    And yet, they keep publishing you, don’t they!

    Avery,

    I’ve no doubt that the ARF cares for their nation. And I agree that outside interference should not be allowed…by any nation or group unto that nation and her people. The second point is the interference by the ARF in Armenia right after the signing of the protocols. They put tremendous amounts of pressure on President Sarkissian (with massive street protests). I believe that these ARF agitators (mostly from the US and Europe) didn’t have the insight and forward vision that Sarkissian had. Rather, they acted impulsively and emotionally. This caused an alteration of the tone of the agreements. Sarkissian had to react, albiet in a newer, more forceful tone. This may very well have been interpreted by Turkey as “aggressive”, thus have them ask for new conditions. I truly believe that had the ARF not stuck its nose into Armenia’s internal affairs, placing undue pressure on Sarkissian, the protocols would have long since been ratified, and a new era begun! I welcome your views on this. 

    Thank you.

    Robert T.  

  11. Robert… WHY DO YOU EXIST ON THESE PAGES?  you are a joke.. LOL i swear.. i get my doze of laughter from your laughter.. you know that right? they are soo stupid, and absurd that I laugh my head off.. THANK YOU FOR THAT.. we need some comedy in our daily life and your comments provide that to me.. cause naturally they have no validity, no grounds and obviously have no common sense.. LOL wow…

    G

  12. Correction to my last post:  i get my doze of laughter from your “posts

    In addition, Robert you don’t have to use vulgar words to insult a person.. You insult everyone here with your comments…vulgar or not… You insult almost 2 million people who died under your barbarious forefathers’ hands by stating such obsurd comments like

    Please explain how 518K Turks were killed, and an eventual total of 2.5M Moslem and non-Moslem lives were lost (including non-dashnak Armenians) due to ARF Armenian dashnak rebellious actions?

    and many others… so please spare me your i am polite BS…. we know you very well..

    Apologies for being direct…

    G

  13. Robert:

    You are not interested in my  views: you and I both know  what your motives are. Please re-read the first paragraph of my previous post.

    I am frankly surprised: Turks are usually more subtle and sophisticated. Your methods are just too crude to be an intellectual challenge.

    I make a habit of countering your posts of disinformation and propaganda so that 3rd parties reading ArmenianWeekly get the real story, not Turkish distortions.

    ‘See you’ at the next thread.

  14. Sticking to basic truth and facts should not be this tortous.  I will just pick on a few sentences:

    “It wavered enough in the late 1930s until France basically gave the Alexandretta Sanjak to Turkey as a bribe not to enter the impending war on the side of Germany. “

    There was never any desire on the part of Turkey, still severely suffering from the total devestation of WWI and Independence War, to take part in any war or conflict.  French did not need to bribe Inonu at all, and they never did.  In fact, it is considered one of Inonu’s most imprtant accomplishments.  He resisted incredible pressure from Churchill and Russians to open up on Germans to relieve them.  There was not even a remote possibility of Turks going to war at the time, and there never was such an internal argument as far as I know. 

    Also if I am not mistaken, Hatay joined Turkey as a result of a plebicit, overseen by independent observers.  There was no violence, and not a single shot fired by anyone.  No major protests, and no civil war.  Syria used to grumble occasionally, but not anymore.  Does that look like a bribe? It is the home of I think the only Armenian village outside of Armenia. 

    Turkey stayed “neutral” but positioned itself to take advantage regardless of who won the war.

    Wow, shame on them!

    “It simultaneously engaged in forcing a Capital tax on Armenians, Jews and Greeks, took in some Jews escaping Hitler while rejecting others. “

    Yes, there were truly some very shameful policies against some minorities in 40s, I do not think anyone would argue this today.  Still, Turkey became a refuge for countless people who escaped gas chambers.  Brave Turkish ambassador in Paris personally went in and pulled Jews from trains heading to concentration camps. 

    It claimed neutrality but the Turkish Generals Staff visited Berlin to make an assessment of the war’s outcome. When its eastern border was threatened by Stalin in the late 1940s, Turkey jumped on the NATO bandwagon.”

    So generals of a neutral country visit Germany to assess the war, and that means what?  Probably you are unaware of the general practice at the time (probably still common) to invite other friendly or neutral military professioanls as observers to battlefields and for briefings.

    Jumped on NATO bandwagon?  You make it sound like a fad.  Molotof’s threats were very real and Turkey did not imagine to be in the middle of the cold war battlefield, it was forced upon us.  NATO membership was also greased by the quick response to the UN call for intervention in Korea where the Turkish Brigade had one of the highest casualty rates and left a legacy that folks still talk about today.

  15. Good question David… lets see how Robert responds… I kind of know how he will respond but lets just wait and see…

    Gayane

  16. Robert – if 518K Turks were killed – it was , in all probability, in fighting over the loot and stolen property. The rest died of ignorance and bad karma.

  17. Gayane > This article appeared yesterday, and may shed more light on WHAT robert is so desperately trying to ‘smother’ with his misguided aggression>

    Why is Turkey
    Arresting Journalists?

    By Pelin Turgut / Istanbul
     

     

    As
    the Arab world smolders, the world has pointed to nearby Turkey — secular,
    democratic, stable, prosperous — as a beacon by which an embattled region might
    readjust its confused geopolitical compass. So it is no small irony that,
    booming economy aside, Turkey is looking less like a futuristic role model and
    increasingly more enamored of the authoritarianism others are so passionately
    trying to shrug off.

    Two
    of my friends were among seven journalists arrested in an early morning police
    roundup in Istanbul and Ankara this week. Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik are
    well-respected investigative reporters, who have worked for the country’s
    leading publications and received international acclaim for their work
    documenting human rights abuses. They were originally charged with “belonging
    to a terrorist organization and inciting the public to hatred,” according
    to their lawyers, though the incitement charge was later dropped. Both men deny
    the allegations against them. Both are still under detention.

    They
    were arrested as part of a long-running investigation into a shadowy network of
    military and ex-security men who allegedly planned to topple the Islamic-rooted
    government in the early 2000s. The investigation began in 2007 and was widely
    hailed at the time as a bold step forward for Turkish democracy, which has long
    wrestled with the specter of military involvement in politics. It was the first
    time former generals were called to task for their behavior and set a new
    standard for the supremacy of civilian rule. Ironically, Sik was part of the
    journalistic team that first published the diaries of a former navy general
    which led to the investigation in the first place.

    Yet
    nearly four years on, there have been no convictions and the ongoing
    investigation appears to have turned into a campaign to silence critical media
    and the opposition. “In the absence of evidence that the police have
    credible reason to think Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener are responsible for
    wrongdoing, their arrests are a disturbing development,” says Emma
    Sinclair-Webb, Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It raises
    concerns that what is now under investigation is critical reporting rather than
    coup plots.”

    Both
    Sener and Sik had been critical not just of the government, but also of a key
    government backer — the powerful Islamic brotherhood led by a reclusive
    Pennsylvania-based imam called Fethullah Gulen who some critics allege now
    controls Turkish security forces. Before his arrest this week, Sener was
    already on trial on charges of, among others, revealing classified information
    in a book in which he alleged the complicity of security forces in the murder
    of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007; Sik was about to publish his
    own book on the Gulen network, provisionally titled The Imam’s Army.
    “Whoever gets near this [issue], burns,” Sik said as he was arrested.

    This
    week’s detentions follow last month’s raid on the offices of Odatv, an internet
    news website that was critical of the government; four Odatv journalists were
    arrested. “Journalists are being detained on the one hand while addresses
    about freedom of the speech are given on the other. We do not understand
    this,” the U.S. ambassador to Ankara, Francis Ricciardone, said following
    the raid. He was harshly criticized by the Turkish government, with Prime
    Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling him an “amateurish ambassador.”
    Erdogan has refused comment on the wave of media arrests, saying it is a legal
    matter.

    There
    is more than just the arrests. The government’s ‘you’re either with us or
    against us’ attitude has created a palpable sense of repression in the press,
    particularly since media and business interests are closely linked. The main
    government-critical news group Dogan was slapped with 4.8 billion lira ($3.05
    billion) in tax fines in 2009 after a row with the government over corruption
    allegations involving members of Erdogan’s party. “Young reporters are now
    intimidated to ask certain questions of the Prime Minister and some
    ministers,” wrote Murat Yetkin, veteran Ankara commentator for the Radikal
    newspaper. Reporters worry that they might lose their press card or be banned
    from further meetings. Erdogan has personally sued dozens of cartoonists and
    journalists for defamation. Under his administration, thousands of websites
    have been shut down at times, including YouTube, Vimeo and Blogger.

    My respects to Mr. Turgut, for having the honor and courage to find a moral compass, and for being an honorable Turk.


  18. Murat,
     
    First, I was not disparaging Turkey for staying “neutral” during WWII. Please look at my comments for its context. I was saying,rather, that Turkey played its cards to a point where whoever won the war, Turkey would benefit. Is this bad? No, not in an absolute sense, but I was describing Turkey’s previous abilities.
     
    Second, regarding Hatay: The history regarding Turkey’s annexation of this region can be viewed as you described, but it is not accurate. It would be like saying there were free elections in the Soviet Union. If you read what was written by the Soviet Union, sure there were free elections, just like there was free health care – but if you wanted real care, you paid a bribe. Sure there was a vote in Hatay, no civil war, etc. but this is not a sufficient enough description of events and intention to be accurate.
     
    The plebiscite was not civilian-driven. The population breakdown alone in 1938 was:
     
    Arab: 105,000 47.5%
    Turkish: 85,000 38.3%
    Armenian: 25,000 11.3%
    Kurdish : 5,000 2.2%
    Circassian: 1,500 0.7 %
     
    In Alexandretta (Hatay) the only foreign sponsor involved was Turkey with France playing the broker. Turks were a minority in Hatay. While this topic has little to do with my original post, let me provide the following observation:
     
    “Finally, the French government dropped all facade of legitimacy in the summer of 1938 when it overtly disregarded the results of local elections that produced a 53 per cent majority for the proponents of the Sanjak’s former ‘special administrative regime’. … This was the last time local residents went to the polls without the looming presence of Turkish bayonets. In July, 2500 Turkish troops crossed the border and patrolled the Sanjak in tandem with 2500 French troops. The preliminary results if the earlier election were discarded and and voter registration resumed under the watchful eye of Kemalist election observers. Thousands of Armenians and traditional Sunni Turks fled to Damascus and Beirut, and when the balloting was completed, pro-Kemalists claimed a 63 per cent majority. … On 23 June 1939, France and Turkey agreed on the legal cession of Alexandretta. That same day, the two governments signed a treaty of mutual assistance, placing Turkey in the anti-fascist camp in the brewing European conflict.” See: _Prelude to Conflict: Communal Interdependence in the Sanjak of Alexandretta 1920-1936_, Robert Satloff, Middle East Studies, Vol. 22, no. 2, pages 175-176.
     
    On the first page in this study we read:




    “For 15 years, from 1921 to 1936 ‘traditional rivals’ like Turks and Armenians fashioned a thriving and workable relationship within an artificial administrative framework thrust upon them by foreign powers.”
     
    Third, and again having little to do with my original post, both you and Robert made claims regarding Turks  or Turkey saving Jews during WWII. You noted,
     
    “Brave Turkish ambassador in Paris personally went in and pulled Jews from trains heading to concentration camps.”
     
    and Robert claimed:


    “When NO other nation cared about them and left them to die at the hands of the Nazis, Turkey took many of them in!”



    The Israelis have an award known as Righteous among the Nations (sometimes known as Righteous Gentiles). Below is the list of nations and the number awards given to non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis, as of January 1, 2010. I don’t intend in claiming that tiny Armenia has 13 times the awards that Turkey has (normalized for 1940 population ratio it is 180 times), nor do I suggest that other engage in a foolish comparison. When I wrote in my comment, “Turkey took in some Jews”, I was not being flippant.




    Poland 6195
    Netherlands 5009
    France 3158
    Ukraine 2272
    Belgium 1537
    Lithuania 772
    Hungary 743
    Belarus 608
    Slovakia 498
    Italy 484
    Germany 476
    Greece 306
    Russia 164
    Serbia 131
    Latvia 123
    Czech Rep 108
    Croatia 102
    Austria 87
    Moldova 79
    Albania 69
    Romania 60
    Norway 45
    Switzerland 45
    Bos/Herz 40
    Denmark 22
    Bulgaria 19
    UK 14
    Armenia 13
    Sweden 10
    Slovenia 6
    Spain 4
    Estonia 3
    USA 3
    Rep China 2
    Brazil 2
    Chile 1
    El Salvador 1
    Japan 1
    Georgia 1
    Luxemb 1
    Montenegro 1
    Portugal 1
    Turkey 1
    Vietnam 1



    I also suggest you google “Struma” and I suspect you might be surprised.
     
    I don’t know about other Armenians, but in forums such as this, but I cannot afford to make baseless claims. The Kemalists would who participate in this forum should also not make inaccurate claims, as discussions will deteriorate.



    Regards



    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com
     

  19. Hye, jda, Avery, Gayane, Rebecca, and David… I realize now that some “posters” are just inane distractions… unworthy of time/responses.   Manooshag

  20. David EXCELLENT Rebuttal… these individuals are nothing but distractions like Manooshag said… they get off by making the commentators upset with their stupid comments… however, i am glad that we have people like jda, yourself, Karo, Boyajian, Avery, Manooshag, Rebecca, and others to shut these people up with providing detail information, facts and accurate information….

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL.. Robert and Murat? I don’t know if you are even going to be saved if you continue with such lies, distorted information and trying to insult the descendents of the Genocide Survivors…. I just pray to God that HE will watch over you.. I was taught as a Christian to Love thy enemies and pray for their well being.. and I will do that no matter how disgusting you and your other comrades come off on these pages..

  21. A little-known fact that only Turks and Robert know:

    Over 962 Billion Turks were murdered by Armenian 10 year-old girls in 1915, armed only with baseball bats.  Armenians were aided in this heinous crime by Martians.

    Turkey now has the greatest per capita income on earth.   Edogan has an IQ of over 250.  Turkey will soon overtake the US as the greatest military power on earth, or any other planet. Brad Pitt is a Turk.  So is Al Sharpton and Natalie Portman.

    Turks invented rock and roll and electricity.

    All Turks know these elementary facts.   You Armenians are not smart people.  We Turks are the smartest people on earth and the most civilized.

  22. gayane wrote:
    “David EXCELLENT Rebuttal”
    Actually, this was not meant to be in rebuttal. It was posted to address misconceptions. The original post was on the topic of genocide obfuscation and the impact of the Turkish Minister of State, Egemen Bağış attending an Armenian genocide commemoration. It would be nice to return to that topic, if possible.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com
     

  23. yes, gayane, kudos to David for a calm, detailed rebuttal.

    re: “…making the commentators upset with their stupid comments..”
    On another post I commented why it is beneficial for us to debate the ‘Roberts’, the ‘Murats’, the ‘Ahmets’, etc.

    These same types of Turks are out there in the real world: we might as well get used to it and get good at debating them; some day in some public forum they will make the same sorts of infuriating statements. If we can’t calmly rebut them, we’ll lose the PR battle.

    Having the truth on our side is not enough: we have to present it well to the neutral audience.

    Another very important benefit is that I always learn something new from fellow Armenian posters, who respond to Turks. For example, I did not know about the Israeli  Righteous among the Nations Award nor SS Struma. Another time, one of the Armenian posters  provided a link to an article in a Turkish  online-paper, of all places (possibly Zaman), about  Mustafa Kemal and his group conducting ‘tests’ – similar to Nazis – as to who is a ‘pure’ Turk in 1930s. Up to that point I had never heard of that: it was a ‘WOW’ moment.

    So, in my opinion, overall, our side benefits from the presence of posters like Murat, and Ahmet.
    I am not sure what to make of Robert though: it’s like there are several personalities: some of the posts, though infuriating, are semi-normal; yet many others are  from Seinfeld’s  Bizzaro World.
    And finally, I recommend Armenian posters read about the SS Struma tragedy (as sited in David’s post): a heart-wrenching story that Armenians will identify with, and which sheds an interesting light about Turkish assertions of having saved Jews during WW2.
    Key sentence: “Turkey refused to allow the passengers to disembark.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Struma

  24. Then you did a great job at it David.. Because people like Murat and Robert love to spread wrong information and continue to throw absurd comments at us..

    By the way, did Robert ever reply to your question? I believe he did not.. i would not be surprised if you don’t hear from him on your question.. that is how he is…

  25. Davidian Bey,

    Thank you for your civilized response and for not sending me back to the deserts of Central Asia! 

    Though I must disagree when you say:

    “Actually, this was not meant to be in rebuttal. It was posted to address misconceptions”

    In reality, I was addressing the misconceptions and misleading innuendos.  We set Hatay plebicit straight (your Soviet analogy was not only wrong and inappropriate, but also revealing.  A better analogy would have been how UK and France and USA ended up with or retaining various small holdings around the globe), we revealed how Turkey in reality bribed France to remove their resistance to Hatay joining Turkey (though the voters were mostly non-Turkish as you point out), and saved them from the embaressement of going home empty handed.  Then we set the record straight about how Turkey managed to stay out of WWII (but still managed to wreck its economy!) playing a dangerous game and cold war realities etc.  Yes, you certainly put Robert in his place when he claimed “No one” had helped Jews trying to escape Nazis but Turks.

    On the original post:

    I really do not think any government official will visit any monument in Armenia that has label “genocide” attached to it.  Not sure if the Armenian word actually means the same.  I can see private citizens, but not anyone in an official capacity.

    You are under the impression that Armenians have a naturally static position that can not phycsially move but Turks will in time adjust their views and attitudes.  What makes you think Armenians in general are less immune to nationalistic mythology, or less blinded by their versions of how they want to see their hisotry?  As we can all see Turks have been taking their skeletons out of their closets and facing their deamons for a while.  Where is the Armenian Akcam?  What truths have you faced lately about your nations history?

    Armenians have not even started the process.  Some of the commentary and statements made here should give you a clue. 

    My wish is for Turkish governments to stop their embaressing and damaging annual campaign against a resolution in Congress.  They should just let it be, do not make a peep and prove that world will not come to an end.

    Secondly, I can see a proper monument, maybe near Van (not Bitlis, where my grandfather’s family was butchered by Armenians!) dedicated to the victims of Tehcir.  I do not think one should be forced to go to Ex-Soviet Armenia to pay respects and remember the victims and take in the lessons.

    Thirdly, I would simply open the borders unilaterally, no negotiations or bargaining.  I blame AKP for the stagnation.  They tried to bite more than they can chew and Armenians certainly did not help any, but that is their problem.  It probably offers a better chance of some progress on Karabag issue anyway.

  26. Murat,

    You wrote:

    [M] On the original post:
    [M]
    [M] I really do not think any government official will visit any monument in Armenia
    [M] that has label “genocide” attached to it.  Not sure if the Armenian word actually
    [M] means the same.  I can see private citizens, but not anyone in an official
    [M] capacity.

    Then, can you suggest any reason why Bağış attending a genocide event trail balloon was floated?

    [M] You are under the impression that Armenians have a naturally static position that
    [M] can not phycsially move but Turks will in time adjust their views and attitudes.

    Even if I were under such impression, which I am not, it has little to do with the original post.

    [M] What makes you think Armenians in general are less immune to nationalistic
    [M] mythology, or less blinded by their versions of how they want to see their
    [M] hisotry?

    Nothing.

    [M] As we can all see Turks have been taking their skeletons out of their closets and
    [M] facing their deamons for a while.  Where is the Armenian Akcam?  What truths have
    [M] you faced lately about your nations history?

    The topic is not an Anatolian Kumbaya

    [M] Armenians have not even started the process.  Some of the commentary and
    [M] statements made here should give you a clue. 

    I doubt if Armenia or Turkey would have initiated deliberations without heavy pressure from the US, EU, and Russia.

    [M] My wish is for Turkish governments to stop their embaressing and damaging
    [M] annual campaign against a resolution in Congress.  They should just let it be, do
    [M] not make a peep and prove that world will not come to an end.

    OK

    [M] Secondly, I can see a proper monument, maybe near Van (not Bitlis, where my
    [M] grandfather’s family was butchered by Armenians!) dedicated to the victims of
    [M] Tehcir. 

    This has nothing to do with the topic.

    [M] I do not think one should be forced to go to Ex-Soviet Armenia to pay
    [M] respects and remember the victims and take in the lessons.

    Then why was the idea floated in Sabah?

    [M] Thirdly, I would simply open the borders unilaterally, no negotiations or
    [M] bargaining.  I blame AKP for the stagnation.  They tried to bite more than they
    [M] can chew and Armenians certainly did not help any, but that is their problem.  It
    [M] probably offers a better chance of some progress on Karabag issue anyway.

    Again, this is off-topic but at a minimum: the AKP may not win the 2012 elections, Azerbaijan would never trust Turkey again, Turkey would lose prestige in the Muslim world, and Iran and Turkey would both try to fill the political vacuum created. With all these Turkey loses there is no guarantee Armenia would even care if the border were open.

    Davidian Bey
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  27. Murat you are hopefuless just like Robert.. actually i am tired of YOUR innuendos as you graciously flipped on us..

    you say
    As we can all see Turks have been taking their skeletons out of their closets and facing their deamons for a while.  Where is the Armenian Akcam?  What truths have you faced lately about your nations history?

    do you mind telling us what skeletons ARmenia should produce when your forefathers butchered an entire nation to bits and pieces? and what history should Armenia start facing? why don’t you enlighten us ..unless you think Armenians are the ones who murdered your people and are hiding in the closet..that we should come out to face the truth… seriously? do you even think before you speak? you and Robert seem to belong to a political group..do you? both of you speak like true hard core party members otherwise you would not press this issue so hard and soo strong.. i see that both of you are against AKP which drives most of your thoughts and comments but you both have the same mentality… you both do EVERYTHING but to confess that there was a Genocide and Armenians were the murdered nation..and stop giving us BS…such arrogance and ignorance on your part.. it is amazing.. guess you have to be like that to survive all these years being the denialist.. right?

    G

  28. a  turkey keeps using PLOYs, lies and distractions (which is/has been their policy) for ongoing/unending use of their misinformation which they disseminate in order to  pursue distractions of the real issue:   the issue of recognition of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation. Thus keeping the real issue in limbo with the efforts of the USA State Department and too, the White House via their insistence to continue to  discriminate against Armenian efforts for recognition of Genocide which began in 1890s – still continues now into 2011 – unmercifully/endlessly. In so doing thus does accommodate the perpetrators and their successive leaderships against the justice due and owing to the victims.
    Thus the cycle of Genocides continues ongoing/unending as civilized nations bandy about, therefore. misdirect efforts as civilized nations become party to and are guilty of aiding and perpetrating ALL  Genocides until today – from the 19th century to the 21st century despite Woodrow Wilson’s efforts.
    That Genocides continue – Genocides are ‘allowed’ – that the inhumanity of humans against humans still exists!! Why? Manooshag

  29.  
    Turkey only pretended to be neutral awaiting Soviet Army defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad.  If that happened Turkish army was ready to attack Armenia and go all the way to the Caspian Sea.
    In order to prevent this from happening Soviets had to keep hundreds of thousands of troops on the border with Turkey.  The troops that were terribly needed in Stalingrad, Moscow, Leningrad and other places.  So to me Turkey did participate in WWII on the side of the Nazis it just never had guts to admit it.
    And in the beginning of the war?  How did Nazi battle ships get to the Black Sea to attack Sevastopol – Oh, I know – Turkey let them in through its straits…
     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*