Theriault: The ‘Neutrality’ of Genocide Denial: A Response to Pam Steiner

For Steiner to refuse to characterize the historical facts correctly, according to the UN definition of genocide, is for her to give de facto support to deniers.

It was with hope that turned to concern that I read Harut Sassounian’s crisp and clear account of the March 31 UCLA event featuring Hasan Cemal, the grandson of Cemal Pasha, with commentators Pam Steiner, the great granddaughter of Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, and Richard Hovannisian, renowned UCLA historian of modern Armenian history. Hasan Cemal’s willingness to use the term “genocide” accurately in reference to “the events of 1915” was at once a meaningful step forward for him, compared to somewhat less direct statements of his in the past, and supports genuine progress for Turkey and Turks on this issue. Indeed, as I witnessed first-hand as a participant in the April 2010 Ankara conference on the Armenian Genocide, more and more Turks are willing to confront their history vis-à-vis Armenians forthrightly and honestly. At least for Turks willing to take a principled stand on this issue, the word “genocide” is no longer taboo in Turkey.

Pam Steiner at UCLA

My optimism, however, was all too fleeting. If Hasan Cemal’s ideas were evolving forward, Pam Steiner’s seemed to be regressing. For she made a conscious point, which she has since defended in a response to Sassounian in the California Courier, to avoid under all circumstances use of the term “genocide” to characterize the fate of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. As I read this, I felt as if I had been transported back a decade in time to the ill-conceived muddle of political manipulations known as the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC), and even further back, to a time when denial of the Armenian Genocide was actually credible and those committed to truth faced an uphill battle. With a few words—or omission of one word—Steiner seemed to want to throw us all back there again, and to erase decades of progress on this issue, progress that has in the past five years begun to bear quite a bit of fruit in Turkey itself.

Steiner rationalized her avoidance of the term “genocide” by stating that she is now functioning as a “facilitator” of a “dispute” between Armenians and Turks. Because of this, she must remain neutral and avoid any statements that would suggest she is partial to one side. There are a number of problems with this self-analysis. First, it is impossible to be “neutral” in the sense of not picking a side when facing a disagreement between one group that maintains a true view of the world and one group that maintains a false one. As others and I have long pointed out, the goal of genocide denial is simply to prevent a final recognition of the historical truth of a genocide, to introduce doubt. This is what Bradley Smith, an infamous Holocaust denier, tried to do with such things as his Duke University student newspaper advertisement denying the Holocaust. Once denial is taken as seriously as the true facts, deniers have won, because recognition will be perpetually prevented. Denial wins merely by being an equal party to discourse on a genocide, while truth wins only with the defeat of denial. Thus the relationship between deniers and those committed to historical truth is not symmetrical, and a symmetrical neutrality as adopted by Steiner does not fit it correctly. For her to refuse to characterize the historical facts correctly, according to the UN definition of genocide, is for her to give de facto support to the deniers. In this way, she will not facilitate better relations, but will instead facilitate (make easier) denial of the Armenian Genocide. I am sure that is not her intent, but that is the effect of her approach.

This lack of true neutrality is perhaps evident in Steiner’s call, as reported by Sassounian, for “Armenians to acknowledge that ‘the Turkish people [who] suffered horrendously during World War I…need and deserve acknowledgment for that’” and that Armenians need to “consider acknowledging Turkish suffering before they receive an acknowledgment for theirs.” It is difficult to understand how someone who is truly neutral in a situation of one-sided historical violence would understand neutrality to consist of minimizing the suffering of one group and aggrandizing the suffering of the other. This is especially true when the suffering of the former group was caused by the latter but not vice-versa. How can Turkish suffering due to completely distinct issues that did not result from Armenian agency at all be seen to balance Armenian suffering due directly to Turkish violence? With logic like this, there is no end to what each group must appreciate of the other’s suffering, to the point of absurdity. The issue that stands between Armenians and Turks is the Armenian Genocide and its denial. Other issues should not be used as a shield to hide this fact and prevent it from being the focus. Whatever other suffering Armenians and Turks have done is not what is causing difficulties in Armenian-Turkish relations. When Steiner suggests that Armenians should pretend it is, she not only loses her neutrality but erects a significant obstacle to progress in Armenian-Turkish relations.

Second, Steiner’s approach shows great disrespect for and is potentially harming the growing number of Turkish people who recognize the Armenian Genocide as historical fact. There is no general “Armenian-Turkish dispute.” On the contrary, many Armenians and Turks see the facts the same way. There is a disagreement between many Armenians, some Turks, and many members of third-party groups and those Turks who refuse to recognize the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide. This is not an ethnic conflict, but a conflict over basic ethical principle. The sides are not determined by ethnicity, but by orientation to historical fact.

Third, this begs the question: Why does Steiner believe that the key to improved Armenian-Turkish relations depends on Turks who are committed to the denial of the Armenian Genocide? Why does she not work with the growing number of Turks who recognize the historical truth and have an ethical commitment to improving their society and its relations with Armenians, inside and outside Turkish borders? Why not work with them as the basis for better Armenian-Turkish relations overall—some of us are certainly doing that. It is the progressive Turks currently facing their history who might be the real key to the future of Turkey and Armenian-Turkish relations.

Fourth, if Steiner is right that there is some potential for improved relations in working with Turks who deny the Armenian Genocide, rather than (or in addition to) Turks who recognize it, then two points still follow: On the one hand, it would seem crucial to include Turks who recognize the Armenian Genocide as part of any group of Turks involved in any conciliation project. Not only will that relieve the unfair burden that would be placed on Armenians to advocate for basic historical truth, but it will also offer resistant Turks a model for behavior and thought that will be positive for them and will show them that it is possible to maintain Turkish identity and dignity while recognizing the Armenian Genocide. On the other hand, if Steiner supports the status quo of denial and “dispute,” in effect progress will become impossible unless Armenians sacrifice historical truth to appease Turks who deny the genocide. This might result in tamer relations between the groups, but at the cost of the dignity and well-being of Armenians. Have Armenians not lost enough through the genocide? Do they now have to accept this final burden to allow many Turkish individuals who are behaving in a psychologically and ethically irresponsible way to feel good about themselves without actually doing what is right? Such an approach constitutes harm and insult to Armenians, and brings home to them once more that the Turkish state and society have gotten away with genocide so completely that the only thing left to do for Armenians is smile and stop complaining.

But this suggests that, in the end, such a process will be good for these deniers of genocide. Thus, the fifth problem: Steiner’s approach actually harms the very Turks who remain denialists and agree to work with her. In effect, this approach is what is sometimes termed “enabling.” By allowing genocide denial to stand as legitimate in the process of dialogue, what Steiner is doing is enabling genocide denial among Turks who for various reasons cannot or will not face the historical truth. A far better approach would be to use the process to help those Turks overcome their issues. Perhaps they deny the genocide out of a fragile sense of national identity that maintains itself in the face of a world in which Turkey has slipped from a major power to a secondary one; to a power inferior to the United States, Russia, China, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and many others; a power that has lost ground for more than a century. The process of dialogue and conciliation, especially if it involves Turks who recognize the Armenian Genocide, could help these deniers overcome their psychological blocks to recognizing the genocide, to teach them how to be proud of their identity while still recognizing its negatives–indeed, to build that identity in positive ways precisely by recognizing and dealing with its negatives, so that its goodness no longer would depend on denial and so be a false delusion, but would be a true goodness that these people themselves have attained. Otherwise, these deniers will leave any process just as they entered it, living in a fragile, tenuous world of denial and fear of the truth. Whatever they might think about the way Steiner will help them maintain their denialist front, they will not truly benefit from such a process.

There is an ethical dimension to this issue. One of the great ethicists in the Western philosophical tradition, Immanuel Kant, maintained that all rational beings have a responsibility to treat all other rational beings as ends in themselves, not merely means to our own ends. This is one of the important bases of modern human rights: All persons have inherent dignity and worth. Kant held that it was always wrong to lie to others, even when we would do so to spare their feelings, make them more comfortable, etc. People have the capacity to deal with the truth responsibly and fully, and to shield them from it is actually an assault on their dignity, it is to lower them to sub-person status, to assert that they are not able to live like persons. We can apply this principle to genocide deniers: We have a responsibility to speak the truth to them. When Steiner suppresses her own recognition of the Armenian Genocide because it will offend or alienate Turks who are deniers, what she is really doing is treating them as lesser beings not capable of acting and thinking like people. This is no basis for improved Armenian-Turkish relations or the future of genocide deniers as human beings. Genocide deniers are not children, they are people, and deserve to be treated as people. Meaningful facilitation and conciliation must start with acknowledgment of the facts as they exist, out of respect for all parties involved.

This is, of course, not just true of Turks. I was raised a U.S. citizen and inculcated into a simplistic American nationalist chauvinism as a young person. I had no interest in recognizing the negatives of U.S. identity or history—Native American genocides, racism, wars of aggression, imperial conquests, etc. There is much in American society that enabled me to continue with this attitude, but thankfully as an undergraduate and graduate student I came across people, books, and experiences that pushed me to confront reality as it actually was, the good and bad of the United States, with an unflinching eye. The process was not easy, but it has been, ultimately, very productive and has helped me become a person whom I hope helps improve the United States rather than perpetuating its flaws.

I conclude with a final reflection for Armenians. There is no doubt that Ambassador Morgenthau deserves praise for what he did and tried to do for Armenians during the genocide. There is also no doubt that members of his family have continued to support Armenians in positive ways since the time of the genocide. But that does not mean that Armenians have an obligation to accept unconditionally anything and everything a member of the Morgenthau family does. We have the right to challenge and dissent from Steiner’s approach if we choose to, and her family ties should have no bearing on our evaluation of her views and actions. In reality, of course, Steiner and others like her are members of the power elite of the United States and have access to resources, legitimacy, and connections that most Armenians—especially Armenian scholars and activists like me—do not have. We are never invited to run projects at Harvard, we cannot make our voices heard in high-level policy-making and decision-making circles. We must be aware of this and be vigilant about it. Position is not a substitute for ethical rightness, and we must resist the tendency beaten into us by centuries of violence, vulnerability, murder, rape, and destruction to embrace unconditionally any power that offers us some slight hope of rescue, support, a future. However desperate the situation of the Armenian Republic today is vis-à-vis Turkey, however much Armenians around the globe still struggle with the legacy of the genocide, we must face historical reality as well and not deny it: When we have trusted the power elites of the United States, the Ottoman Empire, and other states and societies, we have almost inevitably set ourselves up for harm and even destruction. If Steiner modifies her approach to facilitation to avoid the kinds of damage and danger to Armenians I have outlined above, then we have every reason to work with her. But if she maintains the problematic aspects, we must recognize the likely negative outcome of dialogue on those terms.

Henry Theriault

Henry Theriault

Henry C. Theriault, Ph.D. is currently associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University in the US, after teaching in its philosophy department from 1998 to 2017. From 1999 to 2007, he coordinated the University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights. Theriault’s research focuses on genocide denial, genocide prevention, post-genocide victim-perpetrator relations, reparations and mass violence against women and girls. He has lectured and appeared on panels around the world. Since 2007, he has chaired the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group and is lead author of its March 2015 final report, Resolution with Justice. He has published numerous journal articles and chapters, and his work has appeared in English, Spanish, Armenian, Turkish, Russian, French and Polish. With Samuel Totten, he co-authored The United Nations Genocide Convention: An Introduction (University of Toronto Press, 2019). Theriault served two terms as president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), 2017-2019 and 2019-2021. He is founding co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Genocide Studies International. From 2007 to 2012 he served as co-editor of the International Association of Genocide Scholars’ peer-reviewed Genocide Studies and Prevention.


  1. Here is Pam Steiner’s commentary on the UCLA event and Harut Sassounian’s column. Theriault refers to this commentary in his response above.

    Pamela Steiner’s Reply to Harut Sassounian’s Commentary On Her Talk Given at the Hasan Cemal Event
    Mr. Sassounian’s article focused on my failure, as he sees it, to use the term at the core of the Armenian-Turkish dispute – “genocide.” He is obviously not alone. It appears that many others in the audience heard my remarks through the prism of this crucial word. This focus is not surprising, given the term’s meaning and prominence in public debate, intergovernmental dialogue, legislation, and in the public positions taken by other states’ executive or legislative branches. For many Armenians the fight over the use of the word “genocide” symbolizes the entire dispute and failure to use the word amounts to a denial of what my great grandfather called “the murder of a nation” – and of the deepest suffering and losses.
    It was, I now understand, for this reason that, when I referred to “1915” and “the terrible events of 1915,” it appeared to many that I was taking the official Turkish position. I understand the very negative, even shocked, reaction to that impression.
    So I do understand Mr. Sassounian’s focus on this aspect of my talk. And yet I regret that this focus meant that no reader of his article will learn what my talk was actually about, what facilitation is and notably why the role of facilitator precludes taking public positions about issues in dispute between the parties.
    For some years I have become intellectually and emotionally involved in this ongoing, intense, and consequential dispute between Armenians and Turks. Partly I have done so because my own family includes Amb. Henry Morgenthau, who advocated such important values and took such important stances. Partly I have done so because, in addition to my work as a psychotherapist, I have spent years participating in efforts to advance and improve relationships between two peoples caught up in struggle and enmity against a background of the most profound history. That professional experience and that effort underlie the perspective that my talk meant to convey.
    As I explained in my remarks, my participation occurs as a member of a facilitation team in so-called Track 2 (unofficial diplomacy) off the record, meetings, most recently under the auspices of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health. The team invites the participants, usually influential or pre-influential members of civil society from both communities. They do not participate as official representatives of any group. Our structured process aims to encourage discussion in which participants carefully listen as well as explain their own deepest needs, fears, concerns, and hopes as members of their respective communities. In heightening understanding of the other’s, and of their own, such needs, we aim to open possible paths toward resolution and conciliation.
    The limits of such work are well known to its practitioners. We facilitators don’t take positions on fact or characterization that is disputed among the kinds of participants we invite. We are not advocates. We are not historians. We do not propose concrete steps for progress to be made, unlike mediators or advocates, for one or another position.
    Of course, ours is not the only path toward possible conciliation. Advocacy, scholarly and other testimony, political interventions, mediation, and other strategies – all are approaches which this particular dispute has witnessed. I’m a facilitator, that’s my possible contribution. My role and perspective today cannot be compared with my great-grandfather’s exercise of his ambassadorial role.
    This AGBU Asbeds event at UCLA is not the first time that I acted or spoke out of the role of a facilitator. I have facilitated meetings between Holocaust survivors and Germans, among Germans, between Jews and Arabs, between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel, and others. In none of these experiences have I publicly taken a position on some fact or characterization in dispute.
    Each of these situations had important distinctive characteristics. For example, the Holocaust, both its facts and the use of the term itself, was not in dispute between Germans and Jews. That changes the conversation and our role. In our facilitated workshop meetings, the individuals from the two communities have accepted our facilitative role as I have described it, as has been the case with the Armenian and Turkish participants. We are always open to criticism about how we are performing the role of facilitator. But we cannot operate both in that role and take a public position on a point critical to the dispute and thus at the core of the discussion between members of the two communities.
    I am not claiming to remain neutral or unmoved or detached as I learn more from reading and from the exchange of views.  I have reactions, feelings, understandings, and sometimes my own views of what could or should be done to move forward. But it would destroy my role to be of use as a facilitator and carry the trust of individuals from both groups if I were to make all that known, for then I take a position linked to the positions of the groups instead of doing my best to facilitate the mutual explorations between the members of those groups.
    Facilitators cannot take such a position else their efforts at encouraging dialogue would be seen as a strategy or ruse to advance specific views. Much of the work of conciliation, in our view, must be done by the parties if it is to have consequence, aided (I can only hope) by a facilitated dialogue process. Hence, I do advocate for an excellent process to help things get “unstuck,” as the Armenian-Turkish dispute now seems stuck. It is unfortunate that Mr. Sassounian’s discussion ignored my role and purpose. His article thus may have removed from his readers a window into the facilitation process, the purpose of my remarks.
    However, I hope that his remarks and mine will stimulate some people to read what I actually did say rather than simply the word I did not use, and to consider the possibilities of my approach, among others.

  2. Dear Dr. Henry Theriault,

    One phrase…I like to add
    To your clear page…
    That Mrs.Pam Steiner
    Insulted her genes 
    Her great grandfather’s 
    Ignoring his dedication …his pen 
    And never Us
    Hence…we should NOT feel distressed…
    Let she put her head down… 
    One day she will regret 
    And that…will be too late…


    June 4, 2011

  3. I believe Pamela Steiner is mistaken if she consistently refuses to use the word genocide as a label of the massacres and ethnic cleansing of the Armenians in 1915. But the word should be used with an explanation of what is meant by the term and how the elements of the defimnition is operationalized in concrete cases from which analogies can be made. The mere wording of the definition of the convention is not sufficient here for several reasons. If it is taken as a juridical definition its use in concrete cases must be done with existing practice in mind. Existing interpretation determines the scope of its applicability, or at least should be taken as a statring point. And here the verdicts and legal analyses are confusing to my mind. –  If the approach of ICTJ from 2002 is taken as a yardstick, obviously all the Ottoman wars were genocidal with all “racial,ethnic, national, religious” groups suffering genocide. If the verdict in the Bosnia-Serbia case is taken as a yardstick  there was no genocide in 1915 since the judges apparently (see the criticism launched by Antonio Cassese) wanted explicit orders for genocide from obove as proof, something we probably will never have, and did not have in the case of 1915 and not even in the case of the Holocaust (the debate on Fuerherbefehl).
    So I sympathise with Steiner. Thierault raise many interesting points that should be adressed, but in the end he appears to me as a fundamentalist. 

  4. Yes, her great grandfather had the intelligence to call what he witnessed “the murder of a nation.” But, this woman is not a clone of her great grandfather. We have to stop expecting her to display the same virtues and capabilities, or to voice the same analysis, just because there was a great man in her genetic history. There could also have been a couple of butterflies . Genetics are often modified.  It is no wonder that “Sassounian’s discussion ignored her [my] role and purpose,” as she states. Her role and purpose are still unclear. She has made it clear what she, as “facilitator,” is not required to do, but she has not made clear exactly what she can, or will do, other than to sit quietly like a good girl and not squirm, or gasp, or squeal if someone says something she privately doesn’t agree with. What exactly has she done? What has she accomplished? What greater purpose has she served? What has come about because of her? I mean other than to increase bitterness and lack of trust  towards the  so-called  upper classes who always primarily serve the protection and maintenance of their own positions of power and influence within their own tight priveledged circle. Have her words, or lack of them, made one iota of difference to any one person or issue on this planet? Let’s get back to the real world. The sun is shining today. I’ve got tomatoes to plant in my garden. I’ve actually found a source for heritage Armenian tomato seeds, as well as seeds from melons that grew along the Tigres River hundreds of years ago. I have seeds from parsley that grew in Cilicia in the 1600s. And Armenian cucumber seeds. These seeds are all open pollinated. They have not been genetically modified, so you can save and replant them every year with reasonable expectation of what will emerge. I am expecting a good crop, all true to original form. Armenian seeds will always survive and grow no matter how much bull s*** you throw at them. In fact, the more you pile around them, the stronger they will grown. I know that if I am patient and keep tilling the soil and getting rid of the bugs and weeds, I will eventually harvest a bumper crop. Gardening is really all about getting good seeds and then being a patient, pro-active facilitator. Gardening is a natural process that reflects life itself.

  5. There is no way on earth she would maintain the same policy with Holocaust deniers/Neo-Nazis.  No way, and for good reason…  it is an evil policy, as Henry has so clearly explained.  We remain second-class genocide victims.  It’s hard to imagine she could take such a stand after such dedicated work by her grandfather to bring the genocide to light and alleviate the brunt of it, but her it is.  The work of the Turkish government turning fact into “controversy” and “sides”.  These insults must be added to the final bill of reparations when the time comes.

  6. Pam Steiner is a minor self proclaimed celebrity who walks in lock step with the dim bulbs at the US State Department.  Suggest reserve your attention to important and courageous people like Orhan Pamuk.

  7.  The problem with many of these reconcilation processes for Armenians and Turks they start with the premise that where each group is starting from is valid without establishing an end point. We have a fundamental disagreement becasue the Turkish government does not accept the historic facts. They have engaged in decades of cover up, deceit and distortion of the truth to avoid responsibility. This has, of course, becomme institutionized in their educational system and society. As Turks become awre of the facts, there becomes a basis for dialogue. There is no basis for dialogue with deniers…perhaps only to negotiate
                What would the basis for dialogue between holocast deniers and Jews? None. Denial in itself must be resolved before reconciliation can any basis. The difference is that these “processes” accept the denial as a starting point…thereby, perhaps inadvertantly, giving it respect. There are many Turks wothy of dialogue because they see genocide recognition not only as the truth , but it will help cleansen and advance Turkish society. That’s the starting point as we have seen over the last few years

  8. Mr. Naess:
    re: So I sympathise with Steiner. Thierault raise many interesting points that should be adressed, but in the end he appears to me as a fundamentalist. “
    Of course you do: both you and Ms. Steiner are fundamentalist Anti-Armenian  Deniers of the Armenian Genocide.
    For you to disagree with Ms. Steiner and agree with Mr. Theriault would be as unlikely as for David Duke to agree with Elie Wiesel.
    There is no attached explanation expected when using the expression  ‘Jewish Holocaust’: only in the addled mind and  make-believe world of Holocaust Deniers there is.
    There is no attached explanation expected  when using the expression  ‘Armenian Genocide’: only in the addled mind and make-believe world of Genocide Deniers there is.
    Your subtle and sophisticated efforts to deny the Armenian Genocide by attempting to engage us in useless pseudo-intellectual  debates  are quite well known in the Armenian community.
    Your frequent appearances with the infamous Turkophile Anti-Armenian Denalist McCarthy at every  Denial-Fest is proof enough of your extreme bias and intellectual dishonesty.

  9. Henry Theriault says “Armenian indignation in the face of Turkish denials of the Armenian is not the problem”. But from Ms. Steiner’s point of view that is exactly the problem, a problem that she as a professional facilitator feels she has a good chance of relieving them of. Armenian righteous indignation at Turkey’s denial of the truth is degraded into a personal character flaw or neurosis, something to be treated as a crippling disorder. This is very much in keeping with the haughty disdain for Armenians that informs the thinking and policy of the Turkish state.

  10. The statement in question in my previous comment should have read: “Armenian indignation in the face of Turkish denials of the Armenian Genocide is not the problem”.

  11. Dear Sylva.
    Mrs. Pam Steiner genes have been changed after she was brainwashed by the billions of dollars of investments in Turkish military sectors…

  12. I’d be astonished if Ragnar Naess didn’t pop up in this thread. Genocidal intent denial: his cup of tea. 2 million innocent human beings belonging to a particular racial, ethnic, national, and religious group just evaporated in 1915-1923 in a state that has no idea whatsoever as to what wide-spread barbarity was going on in several of its provinces and major cities. Oh yes, and the state apparatchiks forgot to stick notes on the municipalities and village administrations that mass forced deportations, murders, mutilations, rapes, and religious conversions were carried out by the direct orders of the Ittihadist government. Otherwise, why wouldn’t the government interfere to stop these genocidal atrocities? Thank Lord, the prevailing majority of sober-minded people and scholars, in contrast to Ragnar Naess and his bought and paid-for buddy Justin McCarthy, understand that to state the opposite is idiotic, to say the least.

  13. She has been instructed to protect Israel. She sees herself as a soldier not a humanitarian as her grandfather.  

    Soon, the problems with Israel, Palestine, Armenia, Turkey/Azerbadeljan, Artsagh and the former republic of Yugoslavia will be solved perhaps in Armenia.

  14. Even from a psycho-facilitator point of view, Mrs. Steiner misses the mark.  Following her reasoning, we could expect that she would encourage a molested child to express empathy to their attacker for their own childhood trauma before expecting acknowledgment and an apology from the predator. Or perhaps ahe would ask the victim to apologize for enticing the molester. Who would seriously advocate such a thing?  She is misguided.  I agree with Theriault that not only is this not a helpful approach, it is harmful to both parties.  Turkey is refusing to face the ugly truth and has created a false history and identity which not only denies the truth but denigrates and further injures the Armenians.  I don’t know how she can justify helping the Turks avoid coming to terms with the truth and expect Armenians to collude in this to their own detriment.  She should go back to school and review her lessons on victim/victimizer reconciliation.  If I was her boss, I would fire her.  But that’s probably at the root of this.  Just who is her boss?

  15. Further, Ms. Steiner mistakenly describes the Turkish-Armenian situation as stuck.  Not so.  It has been purposely derailed by denialists and by interested third parties who are serving geopolitical goals that willingly compromise the truth and sell out morality for corrupt gains.  Armenians are not stuck.  We are steadfast in our resolve.  There is a big difference.  Those Turks who have bravely opened their hearts and minds to the truth are to be commended and should be supported in their endeavors by peace and truth seekers everywhere.

  16. Dr. Steiner’s recommendation that Armenians acknowledge the suffering of WWI Turks before asking for recognition of their own suffering is a well known and well funded current rhethoric that unethical and bought out self proclaimed professionals have been promoting; one of whom could not pass up the opportunity to endorse Dr. Steiner’s suggestion by popping up among the above commentators.
    My concern is our penchant to continuously give credence and authority to individuals who represent the blatantly proTurkish and proAzeri American foreign policy, and expect a different outcome each time. Our expectation that Turkey’s number one ally will exercise impartiality and eventually do the honorable thing needs a reality check and invites serious debate.
    American policy is reaking with double standard and disregard to justice. Human Rights, Law and Order only belong to America and its close allies; the rest of the world comes second to American interests. The Jewish Holocaust was always called by its name and it would have been unthinkable to ask the jews to acknowledge the suffering of the Germans in WWII before getting recognition of their Holocaust! How absurd! When the 9/11 tragedy happened, the perpertrators were called criminals and terrorists and two countries were attacked in retribution to the 3,000 lives lost: one in the pretext that it hid weapons of mass destruction which by incomprehensable logic had something to do with the twin tower attacks, and one for harboring the AlQaida leader Osama Bin Ladin. No one suggested “facilitating” talks and acknowledging the suffering of the highjackers! Saddam Hussein’s sons were killed, thousands of regular Iraqi citizens were killed, and just recently Osama Bin Ladin was killed, no judge, no trial, no jury involved. And yet when it comes to the horrendous crime of wiping out 1.5 million, not 3,000, indigenous Armenians and the illegal take over of their country, Americans revert to respectful philosophers and communication “facilitators” and can’t call a crime by its name?
    Any “facilitator” who is not recognizing the truth, is diluting the truth, is distracting from the truth, has an agenda that will profit from covering the truth and should not be consulted or qualify as an objective broker. Dr. Steiner’s rebuttle that “facilitating” discussions have helped quarelling parties is a scientifically baseless comment when it pertains to an international crime. In scientific studies all factors have to be similar in order to make valid comparisons. Did her other “facilitations” involve Genocide? Ambassador Morgenthau put his life in danger in order to put out the “truth” about the Armenian Genocide. He must be turning in his grave now istening to his corrupted descendant.

  17. Turks suffered during WW 1 because they stupidly started WW 1 in the Middle East.

    Their deaths were their own fault.

    Honestly, 99% of Turks don’t know anything about Turkish war deaths in WW 1, nor do they care.
    They only bring up their WW 1 “suffering” as a counterpoint to the Armenian genocide.

    99% of Turks don’t care how many Turks died during WW 1.  99% of Turks could not even name the
    years WW 1 occurred or where it occurred.

    Why aren’t we also talking about the genocide of the 1890’s?

    Why are we not also talking about the many massacres carried out by Turks against Greeks, Bulgarians, Assyrians are others?

    And Dr. Theirault makes an excellent point when he says that it is strange that Steiner does not want to bring Turks who acknowledge the Armenian Genocide into her discussions. 

    Folks, Steiner needs deniers.  Academicians like her need to fill out their resumes to make it look like they serve some purpose in the world.

    I will say it again: Turks do not know about nor care about Turkish deaths in WW 1.  It’s nonsense.

  18. Boyajian has hit the nail on the head -“Just who is her boss?”  What has she actually ever achieved?

  19. Regardless of her accidental familial associations, Pam Steiner has proven herself to be a paid hack who speaks on behalf of those who despise Armenians. She seeks to diminish anything Armenian and clearly puts alot of energy into this activity. It’s all very simple, before Dr. Steiner plays on her grandfather’s laurels and steps on the validity of Armenian memories, she needs to publicly negotiate a truce between her own people and those who deny the veracity of the Holocaust. Let’s see that test case first…until then, no one should give her a platform for her arrogant lecturing. Her premise and her starting point are a fallacy…but she clearly doesn’t understand that….and doesn’t want to…she has an agenda, and unsavory as it is, she clearly has no shame in being a mouthpiece that denies historical truth. Amazing…truly amazing that she can get away with this under the smokescreen of conflict resolution.  This is scholarship? I think not. What an embarrassment to her profession and her people.  

  20. Who gave this denialist a microphone? Chasing the rabbit. The ENERGIZER RABBIT as Astarjian, MD, mentioned, is killing our energy. I appreciate the efforts, though.

  21. Mr. Naess is an elderly Turkophile with no expertise or training in the Armenian Genocide.
    His typical rhetorical stance is to tell Armenians that they are right for the wrong reasons. He always knows a bit more and a bit better. He loves to name drop and fact drop to imply he is learned.

    For his latest misapprehension about the Genocide, I refer him and his trifocals to Geoffrey Robertson QC’s now famous article:

  22. Perouz,
    Few days ago Mr. Temuri Yakobashvili, Georgia’s Ambassador to the US, who had almost similar anti Armenian propaganda for his faithfuls, just like Dr. Steiner, gave away almost similar new  experimental medical prescription, especially for US Armenians!!


    Lets assume that we can completely understand your position as a facilitator.  Then WHY should we, ARmenians, consider acknowledging Turkish suffering before we receive an acknowledgment for ours??????????????????????????????????? Why us first??
     Unless you prove to us that you do the same to Turks by telling Turks that they should recognize the ARmenian Genocide before ARmenians recognize their sufferings of WW1, then you are not a facilitator according to your deffinition of what a facilitator is.  You clearly have chosen a side.  But who’s side???  Only non-ARmenian enemies of Turks would help Turks to not recognize the Genocide, because the longer it takes the more devastating for Turkey it will be.  And recognition is inevitable.  So, again, who’s side are you on? 
    Time for facilitating has passed.  The best time for facilitating was before the Turks in Turkey started to talk about the Genocide outloud.  It is time for calling a “murder of a nation” by its name.  

  24. Ragnar,

    re.  I believe Pamela Steiner is mistaken if she consistently refuses to use the word genocide as a label of the massacres and ethnic cleansing of the Armenians in 1915

    O ok! I see! So you mean she should call it a Genocide only once in a while but not at all times.  You are right!  At least she should whe she is drunk.

  25.  What third party groups like what Mrs. Steiner represent do not understand is that there is no basis for dialogue when one party continues to operate with deceit. A 3000 year presence is eliminated ceating a dispersed nation and the descendants of the survivors of this unpunished crime suffer unspeakable humiliation of denial.
          Her response is for Armenians to understand the suffering of the Turks? She compares the suffering of people caused by the result of their government’s decision to engage in war(thank you George T) to a premeditated act of murder by that same government.
                Mrs. Steiner, do you think that Armenians enjoy our constant focus on the dark cloud of the genocide? This vile act not only destroyed 2/3 of our people, resulted in the loss of western Armenia and created the diaspora, but has created a public image that this is all we are about. It limits the advancement of our culture because it drains resources to assure that crime is even acknowledged with justice.
               Turkish denial has not afforded us the opportunity to simply remember with dignity this sad time. We must carry on to ensure that justice is done. We owe this to our ancestors….. our children….. to human kind.
                 If you truly understand this, then your work can only start with the truth…. not a debate of the truth.
                When I hear Turks who have accepted the truth of their history and have compassion, I feel a basis exists for dialogue. It’s that clear.

  26. Let’s all face some other uncomfortable facts and dirty little secrets…Pam Steiner’s methodologies not only attempt to negate truth and history, and to equate the Armenian experience during WWI with that of Turks, but are also clearly in line with other major denialists in our midst, most notably the ADL, and the state of Israel.  We may not want to acknowledge this, but the record is clear….over and over again, we see in black and white their allegiance to the denialist position. Although there are some cracks in their revisionist facade and in their ties to Turkey, these are mostly on the surface. Will the truth bring down their house of cards or not?

  27. The really useful element in this encounter between Hasan Cemal and Pam Steiner is that it has proved, once again, that neither crime nor virtue are inherited, and that each individual is responsible for their own ethical choices – as H Theriault said about his own choices concerning US reality. This also means that everyone must be given a chance, including the son or daughter of a nazi criminal, and that no one should be trusted due to their family tree.  It is a shame this simple fact hasn’t been totally absorbed by everyone yet, for it would help us have a clearer view of otherwise puzzling situations. Henry Theriault has done a great job explaining this, but normally we shouldn’t need it, and we shouldn’t be influenced by expectations that someone is “his dad’s son”. Seen from elsewhere, the job of “facilitator” is a very funny, strange and incomprehensible one. In the case of a mass crime which is a political and a legal affair, who needs psychologists? Armenians who need professional help will choose their psychologist themselves and start a therapy if they decide so. Why not bring in  Spanish priests,  Buddhist monks and Rabbis as well as philosophers  to solve the Turkish -Armenian conflict, then?  What is remarkable, by the way, is that increasingly, in conferences involving Turkish personalities and Western (non-Armenian) personalities, the most powerful, most straight-forward and least questionable statements come from the Turkish speakers while the “third-parties” who risk nothing tend to be a lot less critical of the Turkish state and society,  and to take the genocide and minorities issues a lot more lightly, probably to please the Turkish embassy’s representative who always attends such events. I feel very sorry for those Turkish citizens who do not find the support they should expect from European an American intellectuals supposed to have learnt human rights from the cradle.

  28. jda
    I have not read Sassounian’s article against Steiner in the California Courier. Does anybody have the link. I have read the most central parts of Geoffrey Robertson’s article, but like the article of de Zayas which Msheci or Carl referred to in our debate on Akcam’s article on Davutoglu I am afraid this is not what is needed if one approach the juridical aspects of the Armenian Genocide. It is not good enough. I have reread Robertson today and have produced a two page commentary, but I will not bother you with it since you earlier have asked me to leave these debates.
    (I do not know your age, jda, nor your credentials. Does your comment on me bolster your commitment?)

  29. Maybe the real flaw here is that Steiner and others like her, are seen to be ‘third party’ observers…when they might actually have alot more involvement in this entire issue than we realize. There is nothing neutral about her or her position on the genocide…kind of odd, don’t you think?

  30. jda:

    In another thread Anahit gave me some valuable advice a couple of weeks ago regarding our Honored Guest  Mr. Naess (thank you Anahit).
    So I’ll pass it on to you.
    As you can see Mr. Naess immediately latched on to you, because you offered a link to a document, trying to convince him of something.
    It won’t work: the idea is to engage you in an endless chain of discussion and word games. Purpose ? To use an Armenian forum to spread his Anti-Armenian AG Denialist views through the blogosphere: it a win-win for him.

  31. In my opinion it is wrong by itself to know the truth and not speaking it or hiding it, the truth has been spoken by ambassador Morgenthau long time ago, if she can’t support that no matter into what kind of position she is in, she should get out, and do not get involved .

  32. JDA – in relation to “Geoffrey Robertson QC’s now famous article” what are your thoughts about Paragraph 29?: “The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties sets up a presumption that treaties are not retrospective…..I find nothing nothing to rebut this presumption in the language of the Genocide Convention. But plainly the term ‘genocide’ may be applied massacres before the passage of the Convention…”
    Do you think most Armenians (or Turks for that matter) have reconciled their expectations with this reality? i.e. recognition without legal responsibility.

  33. Who gives more money to the Harvard community (her employer) Turks or Armenians should help with some insight for her comments.

  34. Avery
    are you sure you are not on the wrong track? What Anahit is describing, I mean what she says I am doing, is what in ordinary parlance is called dialogue. Of course I answer the inputs of jda, if I find something of interest there. And robertson is definitely interesting.
    As far as I can see Murat and other divergent participators have left the forum of AW. Are you happy for this? What effect does the dialogues in the AW have if you are not willing to argue with those who disagree, but rather chase them away with insults  ? But then of course this may essentially be an internal Armenian forum, (at least for SOME Armenians), but with some outsiders who occasionally appear to say in solidariy “There was an Armenian Genocide”, adding some value laden words, but then disappear. There was another Norwegian last year in these columns who received praise for saying what you expected to hear, then he disappeared and as far as I know has never raised the issue in Norway. Nobody raises the issue in norway (but there is a Norwegian whom you know a little and whom you apparently dont like who has some ideas up his sleeve for new things, I mean more than showing the youths singing in Akhtamar to 150 Norwegian students of political science and exhorting them to DO something abpout this cruel injustice to the Armenians. The complacency of the Turks really irks me. After their sucessful proposal of a historical commission they feel they have done enough and can put the blame on the Armenians again. Prior to april 2005 there really was some consternation among Turkish intellectuals and government offcials. Now they have happily gone to sleep again)
    I see serious symptoms of intellectual inbreeding in an otherwise very important forum.
    This is sad, and maybe I should leave you alone to your inbreeding activities.

  35. “For Steiner to refuse to characterize the historical facts correctly, according to the UN definition of genocide, is for her to give de facto support to the deniers.”

    This first line to the article above is the bottomline!


  36. “What effect do the dialogues in the AW have if you are not willing to argue with those who disagree, but rather chase them away with insults?”

    Dear Avery, and what effect do the dialogues in the AW have if you did argue with a person extensively in several other threads and not chased him away with insults and now he arises again repeating the same mantra about the absence of genocidal intent in forced deportations and massacres of some 2 mln innocent human beings? A person who, I bet, even now—after being respectfully acknowledged as a party to a dialogue in other threads—would call the Armenian calamity “a crime.” If you attempt to invite him to give the name of the crime (because every crime has its name), he’d most probably shirk away. After this, can we say the dialogue had any effect? The gravest insult for the descendants of victims of genocide is when some outsider with dubious academic credentials tells me, a granddaughter of an Armenian woman who was mutilated to the extent that my mother could only find her finger when she returned to the massacre site, which she recognized by a ring miraculously not stolen by the Turkish gendarmes, that the whole nation and the ancient civilization happened to just vanish into the thin air. Not as a result of premeditated forced deportations and death marches that Talaat himself designed, not as a result of wide-spread mass murders, tortures, mutilations, and rapes in which governmental local administrations, troops, the gendarmes, and the chettes released from governmental prisons were involved, but by some “coincidence”, some “situational factors”, so to speak, that occurred as a result of actions by some informal rural gangs whom the mighty Ottoman police and army machine and poor, unaware Ottoman government could not stop… This is the greatest insult to me, to my first-hand knowledge that was passed to me by my mother, and to my intellect.

  37. Ragnar: I am on the right track.

    Anahit answered you eloquently above in her post.

    Fortunately for me, I am not eloquent.
    As to insults: I have no compunction, no shame, no second thoughts, no regrets, no indigestion –  none of that – when it comes to people like you, Murat, Robert, or whoever else posts here denying the Armenian Genocide, whether it’s done blatantly, like Robert,  or subtly like you.
    When you and others do that, you insult me, you insult Anahit, you insult the souls of our 2,000,000 ancestors murdered by Turks, and you insult every living Armenian. By doing so, you give me license to insult you and the rest who think like you. I don’t believe any of my posts in this thread contained an insult, but if they did – I cheerfully and proudly reaffirm the insult.
    I regard people like you the same as those who ‘scientifically prove’ that the Jewish Holocaust could not have happened by allegedly using radar and ash analysis to ‘prove’ that crematoriums could not possibly have existed or if they did exist, could not have  burnt that many people.
    I regard people like you no different than Ernst Zundel: only difference is, he’s in jail and you’re not.
    I regard people like you as foot-soldiers for the Genocidal Fascist State of Turkey, and enablers in their continuation of the Armenian Genocide: Suffocation and elimination of RoA; Military support to their ‘Azeri’ Tatar cousins in their failed attempt at a 2nd Genocide of Armenians in Artsakh; and on, and on, and on.
    And finally, revisiting insults:  calling us Armenians inbred is a term of endearment in Norway, I assume ?

  38. I really don’t understand Ragnar’s last comment.  What are you trying to say?

    If some Turks are bravely able to come to terms with the truth of the ‘genocidal consequences’ (as Ragnar puts it) without Armenians first appeasing them with acknowledgments of Turkish suffering during WWI, than I have every reason to believe that it is only a matter of time before more Turks join them.   This doesn’t mean that I don’t acknowledge Turkish suffering.  It means that I don’t agree that Armenians need to dilute or relinquish their case for justice in order to make it easier for the more resistant Turks to come on board.  

    I feel sorry for Dr. Steiner that she is unable to see that her position is misguided and harmful to progress in the Armenian-Turkish dilemma because it enables deniers.  Let’s instead support those Turks who have determined how to be proud and dignified Turks despite acknowledging the truth of the Armenian Genocide.  Let third parties like Dr. Steiner stand behind those Armenians and Turks who are willing to demonstrate the ability to face the truth with mutual respect.  That is the only authentic, healing ‘conciliation.’

  39. Ragnar, Ragnar, Ragnar… Again?
    We do not want you on these commentary threads not because you are a Genocide denier, but because you are a terrible debater. We welcome intelligent debate. Your debate has been throughout the different AW articles, utterly Nonsensical. We have no respect for your input, because it is unintelligent, does not provide facts and documentation, it is built on prejudice for Armenians and it reaks of condescending and downgrading tone. “Inbreeding”? Do you consider this kind of vocabulary appropriate in objective professional debate? You treat this site as a passtime… The Genocide happened to our families, not yours. We don’t expect you to understand. We do not need you to understand. You are inconsequential when we consider how many Turks are coming forth and acknowledging what their ancestors have done to ours. The whole world knows about the Armenian Genocide. I am sorry that you are still catching on… It would have been nice to introduce you to my grandmother’s Turkish neighbors who claimed her to be their own as the gendarmes dragged her parents away in front of her eyes. Those Turks kept my grandmother until she married my grandfather and had no problem speaking about the Genocide openly. Your input and contribution has not only been nonsensical, it has been downright dumb and annoying. An unintelligent debate is a waste of everyone’s time.

  40. If the Turks want others to acknowledge their alleged “suffering” during WW I (in actuality, Turks really don’t care), they ought to apologize for all the suffering they brought about by joining with Germany and starting WW 1.  This would include all the British, French, and Russian soldiers and civilians who were killed not just in the in the Middle East at that time, but also in Europe (including American soldiers killed by Turkey’s German ally). 

    Does not Steiner care about American soldiers? 

    Also, Turks should apologize to Greeks and Assyrians, against whom Turkey also committed genocide at that time.  

    What Steiner and her band of denialist Turks need is group therapy. Anyone care to start a collection?

  41. It should be clear to all that with an anti-Armenian academic establishment such as Harvard lending her a front of credibility, Steiner deliberately, conveniently (and quietly, we should add) invited denialist Turks and conciliatory Armenians to her ‘discussion group.’ Creating such a cherry-picked ‘control group’ could re-traumatize survivors, not to mention those who carry inter-generationally-transmitted genocide trauma. What ever license Steiner has been granted from the mental health profession should be REVOKED.

  42. Paid to Feel

    I feel that some
    Cannot feel with sufferers

    They are paid to feel
    With the criminals

    Because the criminals are illiterate
    Unable to read…write…comment

    But they have wealth to give
    For someone who can do the job

    Like someone wants to kill
    But wants others to kill
    Pays the killer to do the dirty job
    To stand innocent…!

    Feelings can’t be bought by pennies
    They are like failed singers
    No one can improve their voice
    How ever they try hard
    As they aren’t born singers

    The players will stay confused
    Swinging right and left
    They pretend to be injured…

    Who is not injured
    Can never bleed
    Thus…can never feel…!

    June 6, 2011


  43.   Avery, what do you mean you are not eloquent? Read what you wrote. I did. You are tribute to our ancestors. We are a nightmare for the governement of Turkey…..descendants of the genocide who are passionate and knowledgable… and will not rest until justice is done. The problematic disaspora…. they should have considered that before they created the diaspora. Right on brother!!

  44. I Wonder Why, I should Soundlessly Cry!

    I wonder why
    I should consciously cry…!

    I have every thing
    Any one wished to have

    But I still Rage…Cry

    I cry for my ancestors
    Who were slayed
    Being innocents
    Never committed any crimes
    They gave before they gained
    Any thing from this life…

    They left with out hugging
    Their dears …their beloved

    They left without tears
    Suddenly…without warning…

    They bleed without understanding
    Why they were slayed…

    I cry…I can’t stop my tears
    My tears will never dry
    My anger firing my cardiac cells
    I don’t want my dendrites to get atrophied…

    My soul will never die
    And will ignite always
    Till reaching Truth…

    And ‘Truth’ seems too far
    Like a haze in the sky…

    Thus I should work hard
    Till I awake lost senses in others
    Who don’t want to see
    Humans’ faces at grace…

    Till I reach…
    What I have eternally wished
    inhale… release…exhale
    And…finally…I’ll happily sigh…!


    June 7, 2011


  45. Thank you for the kind words Stepan.
    ‘not eloquent’ was false self-deprecation – one of the techniques I use to mess with their minds.
    Lots more tricks and techniques in my anti-Denialist bag of literary tools.

  46. Katia, you laid it out perfectly.  Also, Avery, Stepan, Lazarus, Sylva, Anahit, David Boyajian, Mardehros, Armen, and others who carry the scar, I thank you for carrying on against genocide denial.  Steiner of all people should understand the consequences and the danger to humanity caused by playing games with the truth.

  47. Anahit, I understand that this disagreement means something very different for you than for me. This is something that has been handed down to you from the generation of your parents and grand parents. It is party of a collective pain that naturally influences you. Still I feel that you should be able to discuss eith someone who agrees in many things but not in all. Yes, there are people who think that there was no plan of extermination, but that the gruesome process developed as a consequence of many factors working together, even different at different times in the time span after the autumn if 1914. Now I see it as a crime because the perpetrators were hardly brought to justice at all. If you do not want to discuss with me its OK. If you want, I would like to make two points: 1) we have Talaat’s word that they chose not to bring the perpetrators to justice, even if his words can be interpreted in different ways. So nobody who has read the literature in an honest way will simply hold that the perpetrators were ” that occurred as a result of actions by some informal rural gangs whom the mighty Ottoman police and army machine and poor, unaware Ottoman government could not stop”. According to Talat, they chose not to bring them to justice, but they had no pre-made plan. This is a version that should be investigated. 2) to give the name of the crime. As a non-jurist I might of course say “it was genocide”, but if this is meant as an assertion on the level of specialty of Reobertson rather than as a simple “I disagree with you”-signal, I’d better shut up. See my earlier comments on how “intent” is handled by the courts. To my mind it suffices to say that a colossal crime was perpetrated against the Armenians, that Turkey must go honestly into this, that reparations must be made. If you – after I have said this – still consider me just a typical denier and refuse to debate with me for this reason, then – excuse me – I belive you really are on the wrong track. 

  48. Boyajian
    are you trying to tell me how to find Sassounian’s article where he comments on Steiner? 
    I have looked in Thierault’s article in AW and in the answer that Steiner provided, but I can not find any link to  Sassounian’s article. I try to google the California Courier, but did not find it.  

  49. Ragnar,

    On the AW site where I read Theriault’s article, there is a link to Sassounian’s piece when you click on the word ‘account’ in the first sentence of the article.

  50. Thank you Boyajian. You have always been an elegant commentator. Thank you to all who take the time to write on these sites. The Internet is the only outlet, so far uncensored by the corrupt powers of the world, that we can effectively use to spread the truth about our Genocide. It is of course also available to haters who will spread their message.
    Anyone who has ended up on this site by chance and is wondering about what is being discussed can further research the subject by visiting the Genocide Education Project site at
    It is strictly an educational site and it provides a myriad of historical and testimonial resources.
    Whomever desires to negate our ancestors experience needs to realize that our Genocide was so overwhelmingly encompassing that almost every Armenian who exists today, exists because their ancestor managed to escape from or survive horrendous treatment during the Genocide. So telling the Armenians that the Genocide is questionable is a moot point. The likes of Ragnar should try to debate the truth of the crime that befell our ancestors with groups who are ignorant of the facts. Telling the victim of the crime, who experienced the crime first hand, who had no doubt of the intent of the criminal who inflicted these losses and wounds upon him is a waste of time, and an insult to the victim’s intelligence. In an obvious crime, there is a culprit and a victim, and there is no room for philosophizing when the victims, 1.5 million unarmed civilians of a specific race, have been statistically, factually and unequivocally killed. Any kind of philosophizing and distracting from the facts stem from unethical personal agendas. The Armenian Genocide was an almost fully successful attempt at annhialating the Armenian race, by not only massacring an entire population, but also completely destroying its traces by demolishing all cultural, historical, archeological and worship places. What Ragnar and others are attempting is interference with historical facts and obstruction of justice. Things that should be considered punishable in by themselves. Genocide is a crime. It is not a social or cultural inquisition that might open the door to debate or philosophizing. You either accept the facts of a crime or you turn a blind eye to it. Anything in between does not constitute an intelligent stance worthy of people’s attention.

  51. Dear Ragnar,
    It seems to me beside the love of art and history you have become a great psychotherapist and I don’t know if Anahit needs that or not…Armenians are not enemy of Turks ..all we want Turkey officially recognize the genocide where many scholars such as Mr. Raphael lemkin worked on it and found word of “genocide” based in his research and observation from Armenian massacres of Turkey… few individuals like Dr. Steiner are trying to cover up the genocide crimes into lesser charges, where legally can open the door for some adventurer attorneys as a new revenue ..genocide is not like US supreme court for murderers:

    People like Dr. Pam Steiner likes to put Armenian genocide into category #3 like “US Midwest storms” for their own selfish political interest, of course some court cases and law suits will follow with arguments of famous attorneys such as Mr. Fein, who will claim, that the time of Armenian genocide have been expired after 96 years, so Turks are free of guilt!!
    Please, remember during Jewish Holocaust 90% of Germans did not know the genocide of Jews in Poland and Germany actually was part of State secret patriotic German marshals never knew Hitler’s intention and his secret SS units..genocides in the world always been an act of secret, and only few officials knew what was really happening!!this is your words, where I strongly disagree with your personal comments…
    1) we have Talaat’s word that they chose not to bring the perpetrators to justice, even if his words can be interpreted in different ways. So nobody who has read the literature in an honest way will simply hold that the perpetrators were “ that occurred as a result of actions by some informal rural gangs whom the mighty Ottoman police and army machine and poor, unaware Ottoman government could not stop”
    I do believe there will be some self proclaimed scholars in the next 96 years, who interpret that evil Hitler’s words, to something better, or even completely deny the word of Holocaust (it is happening today) ..and I wonder what would be the reaction of great grand daughter of Dr. Steiner!! Is this world going to stop the term of Genocides permanently?? or will continue as some scholars believe “history always will repeat again” just like forgotten genocides of the past!!why we should forget Armenian Genocide??we will remember our Martyrs in our hearts for ever, including Anahit, where her pain is our pain!!

  52. Thank you, Boyajian, I overlooked that one!

    About intellectual inbreeding, it is of course a harsh expression. My point is that it just is a surprise for me that many of you are so unwilling to discuss more in detail the reasons and documentation for the case for the existence of an Armenian Genocide (in some of the several senses of this expression).  To pick adversaries is of course your right, there may be little reason to argue with some of them. However, I believe my objections and ideas are in line with those of honest Turks who are concerned with the accusations levelled at Turkey, but simply diagree and are not informed. The mutual standard recriminations between Armenians and Turks will just serve to keep them in ignorance. To try to win these over is certainly a task for me as someone who has Turkish friends and who for 20-30 years has been concerned with human rights in Turkey. And an important basis for human rights is the will to go honestly into dark aspects of not only the present but also the past.

    I am not psychoanalysing Anahit, but I experience what she says as rhetorical. Of course nobody will hold that the Ottoman Armenians vanished in thin air.
    To return to Robertson, the most important thing for me is that he shows – as far as I can see – that the British refusal to acknowledge the Armenian mortality of 1915-16 as genocide is not built on any throughgoing appraisal. It seems that the simply repeat their version without reconsidering anything. For me this is an opening to ask them to be more serious. Anyhow they should try to answer the weight of argumentation from Armenian survivors, historians and the majority of relevant non-Armenian historians. This is a criticism of the same type that I have of the Norwegian government. Some years ago the foreign ministry simply said that laws cannot have retributive force, and that’s it. No more comments. This obviously is inadequate and not addressing an important issue. But then the Norwegian politician proposing a resolution for parliament of course put the whole emphasis on “recognition of genocide”, which in a way made it easier for the government to refuse on grounds of retroactivity.

  53. It appears we have a Scandinavian here who is struggling with the concept of whether or not there was “juridical” intent on the part of the Ottoman authorities during the time of the “colossal crime” about which so much ink has been spilled throughout the last 95 years.  As a “jurist” I would like to remind said Scandinavian that intent is almost always proven through circumstantial evidence and rarely ever through the discovery of a smoking gun.  Deniers of Genocide tend to require the smoking gun; a letter, a diary, a video-taped confession, or some such other piece of evidence that leaves no doubt.  If evidence like that were an absolute requirement to convict a criminal, then the vast majority of criminals would still be out on the streets commiting more crimes.  However, the law, developed over centuries of input from wise legal minds, leaves ample room for proving intent without such absolute evidence.  The reason for that is that the criminal, often diabolical, will usually destroy or otherwise eliminate such damning evidence.  This, of course, is true with any crime, including the crime of Genocide.  The Turkish government has had over 90 years to cleanse its archives.  Yet, it can never cleanse the body of circumstantial evidence that clearly proves that what happened to the Armenians from 1915 to 1918 was Genocide and that the intent of the Ottoman authorities to eliminate the Armenians from Anatolia existed.  That a 10 year old can easily understand this by learning simply the undisputed facts leaves one with the obvious conclusion that learned individuals, like our distinguished Scandinavian commenter, are deniers in sheeps clothing.  And we all know what the undispted facts are (those that even the Turkish authorities today do not and cannot dispute).

  54. Below is what one of many serious academics think about denialism and comparative victimology that are employed by some denialists on these pages and beyond.  An excerpt from The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus by Charles King (Ion Ratiu professor of Romanian Studies at Georgetown University):

    “In the chaotic period from 1914 to the establishment of the Turkish republic in 1923, Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Christians emerged as the primary targets of a state-led policy of relocation and extermination. It is a standard trope of genocide deniers to demand that claims about genocide be substantiated by a document explicitly ordering mass murder. [This] view seeks to explain how genocide could not possibly have happened. However, […] in nearly all instances of large-scale violence, state manipulation and local circumstances come together in a contingent, complicated, and ultimately deadly mix. The Armenian genocide […] was the result of communal fear, ethnic reprisals, government paranoia, and fitful experimentation with targeted killing as a tool of modern statecraft. […] The focus of the violence was readily apparent to scores of on-the-ground observers [who] recorded what their own eyes could not fail to remark: the systematic ethnic cleansing of Christian villages and neighborhoods; the persecution of communal leaders by the Ottoman army and gendarmerie; and the forced deportation, on foot and under deplorable conditions, of entire communities. Eyewitness testimonies are legion, and they are unequivocal in their assessment of the organized nature of the expulsions and massacres. […] Throughout the empire and its borderlands Muslims, too, suffered at the hands of both the Ottoman state and its wartime enemies. […] Muslims were attacked, moved about, and killed by Christian states and empires in both the Balkans and the north […] Caucasus. […] However, engaging in comparative victimology obscures the central fact about the Armenians genocide, namely, that it set in motion the wholesale cultural and demographic transformation of eastern Anatolia.”

  55. Katia, Anahit, Phantom, Grish, excellent contributions, yet sure to fall short of convincing those who wish to help Turkey avoid facing responsibility for the Armenian Genocide.  But don’t let their thickheadedness dissuade you.  The truth is clear; clear enough that everyday more Turks recognize the truth and are willing to talk openly about it.  Let’s keep the pressure up, but let’s not get bogged down in circular, nonsensical, and nonproductive discussions with insincere and close-minded debaters.

    Lemkin knew what he was talking about when he referred to the Armenian massacres as an example of the term genocide which he coined.

  56. Every ones’ contribution on this site is great…
    I can say a simple statistics…which proves without doubt that all of us are the children and grandchildren of orphans of the genocide in diaspora…from Anatolia
    So counting will be easy…even a 12 year child who knows maths can count…how many lives were lost…Some families vanished completely…still we are lucky
    Now i am very interested to count how many Bedouins in Middle East their great grandmothers were Armenian orphans…They use to call them Turkish orphans now they know very well they were Armenians…the numbers are unexpected…and shocking…
    The highest numbers are among
    Al-Anzi tribe…
    and next to it Al-Shammari
    and Al-Dufairi
    also the Saudi royal family…
    Most of them they were picked from Der-Zor and reached to Iraq…Kuwait and Saudi Arabia…to Syria and Lebanon obvious
    Al-Anzi tribe they live south of Iraq 
    Al-Shammari north of Iraq 
    and Al-Dufairi in Gulf states

    I am trying to collect the photos of their grandmothers and their stories…most have tattoos on their faces and hands…Most of them say that their grandmothers saw how their parents were killed in front of them…!



    In appreciation of Phantom’s points let me say the following: If one carefully scrutinizes the discussion of the meaning of “genocidal intent” on the part of specialists in the field, one soon sees that it is not a matter of capturing a thought out of the perpetrator’s head and presenting it on a silver platter but rather a matter of finding the intent through the nature of a carefully fashioned project which, with systematic, coordinated and universal application, targets the existence of the protected group. This is why Raphael Lemikin referred to the Armenian Genocide as the definitive example of the crime he gave his life to put on the books. Anyone who dares to question his authority in this matter or tries to spawn confusion about it is beneath contempt. That includes the government of Turkey and its pawns.


  58. Phantom,
    yes of course intent is, juridically speaking, very often, but not exclusively, inferred from actions rather than from direct evidence. And Anahit, to cite some authors who have this or that opinion is not the same as providing documentation. For this reason I believe that Robertson has done an insufficient job in his paper because he does not adress Guenter Lewy who has offered the most recent and  throughoing rejection of the genocide thesis. I disagree with Lewy on several points. He is obviously working to protect the thesis of the uniqueness of the Holocaust.
    What Robertson as a British jurist writes about the Parliament’s treatment of proposed resolutions to have Turkey acknowledge the Genocide is however important. It seems that this case was not treated seriously at all. I will find the proposal for acknowledgement and the answers. But of course if the proposal contain no arguments the rejection will also easily contain any. But to simply repeat the old formulas used by the British also implies a lack of respelct for the victims and the justified attempts on the part of Armenians and other to make Turkey go seriously into the matter. They have the  burden of proof that there was no genocidal intent in 1915,

  59. Of course, we all know the reasons behind Turkey’s refusal to come clean on it pre-1923 past – and that all has to do with reparations. Hypothetically, the admission of guilt on behalf of those who committed the crimes might make Turkey liable for all the property and assets stolen from expelled and murdered Armenians.  So, how does Turkey avoid this fate? It hires advocates to work on its behalf and to defend Turkey at every turn, particularly in the US. It ceremoniously restores a few ancient Armenian landmarks to use as tourist bait, and it hands back a few parcels to the Armenian community. The goal is to placate, not to acknowledge. For this, Turkey and Turks cannot seem to understand why Armenians are never satisfied. Yet, if Turkey issued a blanket apology in one fell swoop…it would work wonders for the relations between the two countries. As they say, better late than never.  Armenians just expect that Turkey will, at some point, act like a responsible sibling and do the right thing for history, humanity and for those it injured along the way. The refusal to do so doesn’t reinforce a sense of innocence, especially when the rest of the world watched, at close range, what happened. It does just the opposite.  So, all of this behaviour is just posturing and evasiveness that, in the face of the unbiased truth, will have to be put aside eventually. Swallowing your (Ottoman?)  pride may be a tough pill, but once you’ve come clean and get to the other side, it will really feel much better. 

  60. I agree completely with Boyajian’s comment – “let’s not get bogged down in circular, nonsensical, and nonproductive discussions with insincere and close-minded debaters.”

    These are simple-minded people. There is no use in attempting to present factual evidence to them. Sadly, they seem intellectually unable to engage in discourse on that level. They rush from site to site, attempting to anger Armenians. It is another ploy in prolonging the genocide. Let’s not aid and assist the enemy. They have no ammunition.  If you totally ignore them  long enough they will eventually slink away.
    As for Steiner, her comments carry absolutely no weight with me until someone tells me what she has “facilitated” that has actually made a difference to anyone.  Who paid her to attend the UCLA event? I suspect their intent was to raise the ire of Armenians, thereby reiterating the ongoing support of the Diaspora for genocide recognition.

  61. I do hate philosophical letters 
    Who writes on the sufferers’ behalf 
    Without feeling with thems
    Those…Who saw wails
    (endless sufferings…as the Arab says…)

    Please don’t enter our site
    And don’t show us
    Your new swards
    Hiding Turkish scimitars
    Instead of honest pens

    We can no longer see your name
    You are worse than Ottoman’s
    You are continuing to hurt innocent race

    And till when…!
    I wonder and cry
    Why such people are born
    To hurt others…

    At the end
    All men must die
    Why to injure humans
    Who lost every grace 
    As Al-Mar’rie said….

    We had enough of your pens
    We don’t need your help
    Because you have many faces
    And we don’t want to see

    More of your twisted e-mails…
    Protecting slayers
    Who every one knows
    Who are they…! 

    written instantly

  62. I shared what one of many credible scholars thinks about denialism and comparative victimology in that it is a standard trope of genocide deniers to demand that claims about genocide be substantiated by a document explicitly ordering mass murder. In view of many such academics, such a trope obscures the central fact about the Armenian genocide the focus of which, i.e. the systematic and organized nature of the expulsions and massacres of the Armenians, was apparent to scores of on-the-ground observers. I was not citing “some” authors who have this or that opinion vs. providing documentation on the intent to destroy the race, which Tallat, Enver, and Cemal forgot to publish in their The Young Turk or The Turkish Homeland newspapers. Above all I was sharing information with fellow Armenians, not with some Turk-flattered Scandinavians.

  63. Anahit, I hope your last comment doesn’t mean you felt criticized by me, because I certainly didn’t intend criticism and I certainly appreciate you sharing the piece on how some deniers operate.  Very important for all of us to be aware of.

  64. Ragnar Naess —  I’m sure that great and honorable Norwegians like Bodil Katharine Biørn, Thora von Wedel-Jarlsberg, and Fridtjof Nansen, who left with the mankind the important witness accounts of Turkish barbarity and detailed descriptions of their experiences during the Armenian genocide in the central and eastern regions of the Ottoman Empire, would be ashamed to have you as their co-national.

  65. Anahit: good friend, you are being gradually  snared in (again) into the spider’s web…. as you advised previously: (paraphrasing) the more you try to explain anything to this Denialist cohort, the deeper you get sucked into their muck.

    Boyajian: re: “…but let’s not get bogged down in circular, nonsensical..” : bullseye (!)
    Perouz: well said, except:
    re: These are simple-minded people”
    Some of them are: most are highly intelligent, well read, well informed – yet devious, evil people engaged in Anti-Armenian disinformation dissemination warfare.
    Do not underestimate the enemy.
    re:  you totally ignore them  long enough they will eventually slink away.”
    Disagree: They will not slink away on their own; they have to be driven back under the rocks form whence they crawled.
    You don’t engage them in an intellectual debate –  you attack and shout them down the minute there is a whiff of Denial or attempt of shading.
    There are no shades of gray when it comes to the AG: it’s all black and white.
    (‘you’ is generic you. ALL references to ‘attack’, ‘war’ and similar hyperbole are in the literary sense – of course)
    We can’t ignore them: even if they don’t appear here @ ArmenianWeekly, they obviously exist out there in the real world and elsewhere in the blogosphere.
    We have to confront them everywhere they appear and expose their lies: if we have to shout them down – I have no compunction doing so at all.
    Otherwise, their lies take a life of their own (… and have)  –  with serious consequences for Armenia, Artsakh, and Armenians.
    Jews would NEVER debate a Holocaust Denier: they shout them down, attack them, marginalize them, drive them back into the woodwork  – and hopefully send them to jail (e.g. Ernst Zündel). We owe  our Genocide victims no less.


  66. Ragnar, since first encountering you on this site, I have become familiar with your tendency to try to engage in a “scholarly debate” with commentators here and to criticize them when they fall short of your ‘rigorous standards.’  This has always annoyed me because A) this is not such a forum, B) your credentials are suspect, C) your motive is suspect and D) you treat the subject of the Armenian Genocide with a cold detachment that is insulting to the vast majority of the readers of Armenian Weekly who’s ancestors passed down the accounts of misery, theft, expulsion and murder that constituted the Armenian Genocide; and who still carry the burden of a nation forgotten by the halls of justice.  

    When will you realize that your petty focus on juridical intent is seen as a distraction from the more important goal of justice and will never convince Armenians that they don’t have a just case against the Republic of Turkey?  You offer only noise and confusion and add nothing that might lead Turks to come to terms with the truth.  In fact, to me, you and Dr. Steiner represent a hinderance to this goal.   The fact of the Armenian Genocide is not a debatable subject, the guilt of the Turkish nation is not debatable and the need for reparations is not debatable.

  67. Let’s not get bogged down with Ragnar. Ignore him. Let him afflict the Turks for a while, and lecture them about why in his imaginary Academy they have failed to meet his exacting standards.

    His effort to take refuge in the paladin Lewy is silly. Only Lewy and his Turkish pals assert that the evidence of Genocide is limited to three things.  At best. Lewy is out of date, and he is not aware of the proof that is out there. He or Ragnar can start with Umit Ungor’s subsequent profile of genocide at Diyarbekir, or de Nogales’ celebrated quotation that the Governor, Mehmed Reshed confided in him Talaat’s oral order to kill all the Armenians, task he treated with gusto. 

    I too am legally trained.  We should first remark that Genocide does not need to be proven in the “juridical sense” – meaning beyond reasonable doubt.  Talaat is not in the dock. Historians instead deal with making reasonable deductions from evidence, more akin to a probability standard.

    Another legal concept much in use, and which applies to historical analysis is that of a presumption.  A presumption works like this: if the proponent of a conclusion proves certain facts, the mandated conclusion is assumed, unless the other side shows contrary facts. Thus, if I rear end your car, it is presumed I am at fault, because the rear driver must leave space and time within which to stop.

    In the case of the Armenian Genocide we know certain facts, including the disarming of Armenian conscripts and their murder at the hands of their officers, who wore government uniforms and worked under orders; of the release by the government of convicts for the killing of civilians; of materially differential treatment by the government of Muslim and Christian deportees, of a pattern all over Anatolia and European Turkey by which uniformed men killed Christian men near the points of embarcation, and the complete failure, even once, of the governement to ameliorate the conditions of the deportation after knowing of the staggering deaths. For example, the great murderer Talaat could have shown humanity by ordering Turkish and Kurdish civilians to feed the deportees en route, which he did demand they do here and there for a few Kurdish caravans.

    All of this and far more tells us that state actors intentionaly caused the deaths of Armenians because they were Armenian before we get to the eyewitness accounts, the admissions of Turks themselves, the tribunals. the diplomatic observations and admissions by Talaat to Morgenthau and others.   If state actors killed, we should presume they did so on orders.

    These facts would make any rational person presume Genocide, and place the burden on the opponents to prove it was all, as Talaat lamely explained, the product of a few lousy subordinates.

  68. No, Avery, I don’t think I’m being gradually snared in into the spider’s web.  I don’t debate with the known denialist.  I try to support Armenian commentators by sharing academic knowledge pertinent to the subject of discussion.  For example, I thought King’s view on denialism and comparative victimology might have been useful.  Of course, there are many other non-Armenian academics, and, like I said, I’ll be “popping up” here and there with relevant excerpts and, occasionally, some comments of my own.  Cheers.

  69. Amen Avery!
    You are my kind of a guy (or girl)!
    We should go after all Genocide deniers for defamation, discrimination and obstruction of Justice. Jews have zero tolerance for this kind of abuse! They enforce their antisemetic laws wherever they are. Where is our dignity as a 3,000 plus year old people!
    This is the 21st Century! We managed to survive a Genocide! And guess what, the Ottoman empire and the Soviet Union are the ones who crumbled!! Evil always loses at the end. That does not mean that we should wait meekly for people to decide to accord us the justice that is due to us. Our destiny has always been unstable because we have always left it in other peoples’ hands! We somehow always had faith in other people even though they kept on letting us down. We thought the Europeans and Americans will come to our rescue during the Genocide, we thought the world was going to respect the Sevres Treaty that returned to us our homeland, we thought the Russians will do the right thing and tell the world that Karabagh was always part of Armenia and was given to Azerbaijan by Stalin!…. We need to catch up with the world! The world is a harsh and unjust place. We need to take charge of our destiny and start going on the offensive. The first thing that needs to be done is suing the American government for discriminating against us by refusing to recognize our Genocide because it does not suit its foreign policies. You cannot claim to be a human rights leader and pick and chose which Genocide you will recognize! We need to sue the likes of Steiner for taking part in obstructing justice by assisting Turkey in all of its denial and cover up geared endeavors because that suits Israel and the U.S. We should sue the likes of Ragnar for harrassing the descendants of the Genocide victims by constantly placing online comments saying that the Armenians will never be able to prove the Genocidal Intent of the Ittihadists who ended up killing 1.5 million Armenian girls, boys, children, moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, relatives, neighbors, politicians, doctors, nurses, clergy, composers, writers, musicians, builders, and my great grandparents Bedros and Elmas, their youngest son whose name noone can recall now, and my great uncles from my father’s side. When is Armenia going to file our case with the International Courts and claim reparations for the loss and demographic and economic potential of the three quarters of our population that Turkey wiped out from 1915 to 1923, reparations for all the private residences and businesses it confiscated and settled Turks in, and the priceless cultural and historical trasures it ransacked. When are we going to have the courage, dignity and commitment to take our case where it belongs and to the level of exposure that it deserves? The longer we stahl by reacting to deniers, the more time and opportunity we afford them to dilute, distract from, diminish and cover up the sacred blood of our martyrs. Let’s not get distracted by deniers, that is what they are after… Lawsuits, articles, books, billboard announcements, Internet sites, documentaries about the Genocide and the truth with Karabagh are what we should focus on.

  70. ” We should first remark that Genocide does not need to be proven in the “juridical sense” – meaning beyond reasonable doubt. ”


    Of course it does need.

    Every one is innocent until opposite is proven with evidences by neutral court of justice.

  71. 1- Turks still educate via their schools that the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians never occurred… voa Turk behavior at Washington DC – April 24th, last year/this year outside the Turkish embassy building.
    2 – Lemkin’s word: GENOCIDE, via Latin, does not describe, explain, reveal the
    horrors of the slaughters, rapes, kidnappings, tortures and worse – it is clinical,not clear

  72. Necati Genis,
    You look at the evidence of the systemic slaughter of 1.5 million people from the same race, and you want to prove beyond doubt if it was Genocide? It was proven already, by the bodies of 1.5 million unarmed innocent civilians.
    Did you prove beyond any doubt that the Holocaust happened? If yes where is the written order from Hitler that says to kill and burn every Jew? If there was one it would occupy a focal place in the Jewish Holocaust Museum. Instead the quote from Hitler that tells his officers to kill without hesitation “after all who today remembers the annihilation of the Armenians” is placed in a prominent place in the Jewish Holocaust museum.

  73. Necati Genis, your comment infuriates me because it shows just how effective a campaign of denial is in turning a once widely known fact into a debatable question.  It also infuriates me because it shows the danger of people like Ragnar and Steiner giving support to deniers rather than standing firmly on moral ground with Armenians who merely seek their rightful justice. Turks will lose if this was to go to the International Court for as JDA and Phantom have shown, the preponderance of evidence is clearly in support of an orchestrated campaign of ethnic elimination.

    I am with Katia.  Let’s go to court already.  Let’s call the case.  And Avery has the right attitude. Let’s not play polite, self-deprecating hosts to those who wish to deny us justice.  Let’s vigorously set them straight with all the passion and moral certitude we can muster.  It is an indisputable crime that Turkey continues to evade its responsibility to our grandparents.  Enough already.  If we must stand alone, so be it, but we should do it with dignity and complete commitment to our worthy cause.

  74. Boyajian – lose what exactly?
    The way I see it, about the only thing that could be won is a declarative judgment by a Court acting outside the scope of it’s jurisdiction. And that’s predicated on Turkey even accepting to be the respondent in the matter, which it could reject as a matter of technicality anyway. Your problem is not the preponderance of facts or proving beyond reasonable doubt, it is RETROSPECTIVITY. As Geoffrey Robinson QC so eloquently stated:
    “The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties sets up a presumption that treaties are not retrospective…..I find nothing nothing to rebut this presumption in the language of the Genocide Convention…”
    So someone please correct me if I’m wrong, how do you take legal action against the Republic of Turkey exactly? An entity that was only officially proclaimed on October 29, 1923 following an international treaty.
    You may just need to contend yourself with picking off old insurance companies and banks but you are then are faced with the difficulties of submitting hard evidence where little exists or has been destroyed and where “preponderances” just don’t cut it. So I would like to know if Armenians have reconciled their expectations with this reality? i.e. for most part it will be recognition without legal responsibility.

  75. Bpoyajian,
    I am sorry that you feel this way. I have certainly failed in my attempt to convince you that I am sincere in my solidarity with the Armenian cause. In many comparable issues you see people who do not agree on everything, but agree on the central issues. Do exclusivist campaigns often lead to victory?
    you write: When will you realize that your petty focus on juridical intent is seen as a distraction from the more important goal of justice and will never convince Armenians that they don’t have a just case against the Republic of Turkey?

    Are you sure you are not turning the whole thing around?  I am the one who argue the general moral case, and I am not the one who has introduced the juridical theme. It has been introduced by genocide researchers and Armenian historians. In the book “Looking backwards, Moving forward” edited by Richard G. Hovannesian there is one whole chapter dedicated to the Genocide Convention and it is referred to in more than 30 pages throughout the book. Regarding my participation in AW – in the first discussion on Davutoglu’s speech –  I will also remind you that I started out mentioning the “ambivalence” of the ittihadists towards Armenian claims to the six vilayets, an area in which for several hundred years there had been a considerable Muslim population, maybe a majority. From there the debate to a large extent dealt with you, Msheci, Katia, Anahit, later jda and others crossexamining me on my views. And then of course I voiced my doubts about how the Armenian case would fare in an imagined court of justice with the charge of genocide.

    I wish you luck in pursuing your just cause, and hope that my participation has not only been a nuisance but a spur to rethink your position in the light of arguments that certainly are likely to appear if the Turks care to answer. At the moment they seem to feel they are in a position just to ignore you, and bolster their case by restoring a church or two. But how to strengthen an alliance with liberal minded Turks? That is the question.

  76. Act 1: Several hundred prominent Armenians (mostly doctors, lawyers, journalists, poets, musicians, clergy, and politicians) are arrested and carried off and killed without a trial, without any charges, and with no explanation.  Later the explanation that they were conspiring against the Ottoman govt. is concocted.
    Act 2: The Armenian men in the Turkish military are disarmed, put into labor battalions to work to death and then taken off and shot if they didn’t die from the work.
    Act 3: The Armenian men who are still in their homes in villages throughout Anatolia are rounded up, marched outside of town and shot.
    Act 4: The remaining Armenian women and children from towns all across Anatolia (not just the towns near the Russian front0 are rounded up, and marched on foot for hundreds of miles without food, water or shelter to a destination in the desert where there exists nothing to sustain life and no preparations have been made to sustain human life.  Many die along the way, as one would expect, and many of those that survive to reach the destination die at the destination, as one would expect, because there is nothing there to sustain life.
    In the end, within 3 years almost no Armenians are left in Anatolia, which is where they had lived for almost 3 millenia until then.
    The above facts are not in dispute, not even by the Turkish government.  Those facts are all you need to know to conclude without any reasonable doubt that the extermination of the Armenian people was intended, organized, and carried out by the govt. running the country at the time, which was the Young Turks.  Otherwise you have to conclude that the Young Turks were so stupid (they would literally have to be morons) that they could not reasonably foresee that these acts would lead to mass death and the extermination of the Armenian people.  And those who accept these facts (as even the Turkish govt. has not disputed them) and still questions whether or not there was “juridical intent” would also have to be a moron.
    I hope that clears up your thoughts on innocent until proven guilty Necati.  BTW, were the 250 Armenians of Bolis proven guilty before they were executed?  What about the women and children that were driven from their homes and raped and killed or left to rot in the sun?  What were they proven guilty of?  You can seek justice for murderers but you have no desire to seek justice for the murdered?  I don’t understand that sort of logic; actually there seems to be no logic involved in it anyway.

  77. Necati,

    if the hypothetical court concludes Genocide will your countrymen sign over the property and make land and money reparations?

    No. They will not. Here’s what they will do:

    1. Your intelligence services will bribe and threaten the Judges

    2. Your diplomats will threaten the governments whose jurists hear the case

    3. After the verdict Turks will kill the Judges families

    4. Turks will tell each other the judges were Armenian enemies of Turks

  78. Zeki….you may be right, this could end up being recognition without legal responsibility, if so, I think we can take our chances and accept genocide recognition as step one. Let’s get that over and done with – so, just do it.  It’s easy – Turkey acknowledges the historical record which includes Ottoman tribunals sentencing CUP officials to death for their guilt in destroying the Armenians of Turkey, and the genocidal intent (as stated and recorded) of Talat, Cemal and Enver and other CUP members. I think Armenians are open to this as a start for clearing the air and beginning a new chapter. Time to move on…let’s stop rehashing the same old issue and move things to a new phase.  Turkey is large, powerful and secure…what is it afraid of?  Is the truth really so frightening ?  Little children are afraid of ghosts…but not countries of 70 million people, who have tanks, bombs and a huge army. 

  79. …how do you take legal action against the Republic of Turkey exactly? An entity that was only officially proclaimed on October 29, 1923 following an international treaty.”


    I’m not an international lawyer, my expertise is in anthropology, but the way I understand how Armenians can take a legal action against the denialist Republic of Turkey is the following:

    The Republic of Turkey is the successor state of the Ottoman Empire. The international treaty you are referring to (the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, I presume) led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey as the successor state of the defunct Ottoman Empire. Succession, as far as I know, refers to the transfer of rights, obligations, and/or property from a previously well-established predecessor state to the new one, i.e. the successor state. Transfer of rights, obligations, and property include overseas assets, participation in former treaties (such as the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres), membership in international organizations, debts, etc.

    Your Geoffrey Robinson view-based argument that “The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties sets up a presumption that treaties are not retrospective” doesn’t hold ground, because (1)The same Convention implies legal links of a successor state on continuing former treaty obligations, (2)the Republic of Armenia was not a signatory to the Treaty of Lausanne, therefore the only treaty obligation that the Republic of Turkey—as the successor state of the defunct Ottoman Empire—has is the Treaty of Sèvres in which there are official signatures of both Ottoman Turkey and the Republic of Armenia.

    Read more what international legal experts say on the issue here:

  80. A relevant excerpt form Conference titled “Genocide and Then What? The Law, Ethics, and Politics of Making Amends”, hosted by the International Human Rights Law Association:


    “Some will object that the Chorzow Factory Case Judgment, the Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property, the Genocide Convention, and the International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility are all subsequent to the Armenian Genocide and that therefore they cannot be applied retroactively. This is wrong. Not only is it a fallacy in international law, but also a red herring intended to distract attention from the core issues and to undermine the Armenian entitlements. The fact is that the Armenian claims did not arise with these instruments and judgments, but were already in existence in 1915 and were recognized internationally in Article 144 of the Treaty of Sevres of 1920, which was signed by the representatives of the Sultan but not ratified after the Kemalist revolution. The non-enforcement of Article 144 does not mean that the entitlements did not exist, but rather that the use of force by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk prevented the implementation of applicable norms of international law.”

    Alfred de Zayas, Professor of international law in the Geneva School of Diplomacy in Switzerland, Senior lawyer in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Secretary of the Human Rights Committee.

  81. Karekin —

    Turkey is large, but not secure. The country has serious internal problems as well as external problems with almost all of its neighbors due to the legacy of Seljuk invasions and Ottoman colonization of the neighboring indigenous nations. It is of course not Armenia or the recognition of genocide that Turkey is afraid of. It is afraid of setting a precedent that will surely dismember their artificial state. Already the numbers of Kurds and Zazas are as many as 20 million. Add the numbers of Alewis and hidden and frightened Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Slavs, and Jews and we will see how this murderer- and unrepentant state will split if not into a third, then into a half for sure. I don’t know about the international law, but I believe that a nation that positioned itself in Asia Minor by sword and fire and by physically eliminating millions of other peoples will sooner or later face the wrath of God.

  82. Dear Karekin
    Yours suggestion would be a sensible option if you were dealing with a rational entity. Unfortunately your not. Instead Turkey is (like ALL other nation states with the US the greatest of them all) driven purely by self interest. Basically, recognition will only follow if there’s self interest or coercion. At present there appears to be only weak pull factors in that direction and there’s no international framework to force the latter.
    The state of play is that Turkey will never recognize where it detects any legal responsibility. It simply isn’t interested in any emotional soul searching. Nation states don’t operate in that manner. I know that’s not a message most Armenians want to hear but that’s the reality and there is not point pretending otherwise.

  83. Anahit,
    Lausanne was the axe that severed Turkey from it’s Ottoman past. Parts of it specifically relinquished all former territories, debts, obligations so it was a successor in passing only.
    According to Alfred de Zayas, Armenian claims and judgments did exist between 1915-1920, but what he misses is that they were repudiated by the acts of the prevailing powers themselves.

  84. “Everyone is innocent until opposite is proven with evidence by neutral court of justice.” — Necati Genis, is Turkish court of justice neutral in your view? If it is, explain the fact that three main masterminds of the Armenian genocide: Talaat, Enver, and Cemal (for all of whom, in their capacity as mass murderers, your nation has erected monuments) and hundreds of other executioners were pleaded guilty at the Turkish Court martial proceedings in 1919-1920. If the Turkish court of justice is neutral and has issued death sentences to the perpetrators of the Armenian genocide based on proven evidences, then explain why the consequent Turkish governments refrain from admitting the truth based on their own Courts Martial’s verdicts? Don’t you see hypocrisy in the behavior and mindset of your nation?

  85. Nope. Incorrect, Zeki.

    The Treaty of Lausanne severed Turkey from its Ottoman past in the sense that it desired “to bring to a final close the state of war which has existed in the East since 1914 [read: in the Ottoman Empire].” This means the Treaty recognized the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey as the successor state of the defunct Ottoman Empire. In fact, the preamble above and many of its articles referring to territories, debts, and obligations specifically mention “Ottoman” territories, “Ottoman” debts, and “Ottoman” obligations. Therefore, a thinking person would understand that they had dealt with issues of succession from the predecessor state unto the new republic. But you’d love to think that your nation could commit heinous crimes and then, by “severing Turkey from its Ottoman past”, get away with mass murders, responsibility, and punishment, huh? In a “We’re not Ottomans, we’re Republicans” way. We, Armenians, deduce these cheap Turkish tricks momentarily, because hardly is there a nation on the face of the Earth who’d know Turks better than us.

    As for de Zayas, he doesn’t miss anything. Armenian claims and judgments that existed between 1915 and 1920 were not “repudiated” by the acts of the prevailing powers. They were repudiated by the fact that there was no single Armenian man, woman, child or an elder left in the hands of bloodthirsty Turks by the time the Lausanne Treaty was signed in 1923 and the fact that the remnant of once greater Armenia was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union.

    Whether you like it or not, the only Treaty that bears the signatures of legitimate (repeat: legitimate) governments of Turkey and Armenia is the Treaty of Sèvres, according to which the territory of Armenia should have been much larger that the modern-day land-locked remnant of what was left as a result of Turkish mass slaughters.

  86. So, Zeki,  hypothetically speaking and following your inimitable rationale, if tomorrow Armenians, driven by self-interest of restoring justice for them, mass murder, forcibly deport, burn and bury alive, rape, mutilate, religiously convert large masses of Turks, and occupy their lands (again, as a hyperbole, because we’re not barbarians) and Turks will demand justice for the loss of life and territory afterwards, it’ll be accepted as “rational thinking” by you if I tell you that Armenians, like all other nations, are driven purely by self-interest and that recognition of our crime will only follow if there’s self interest or coercion? Is this what you’re implying? In other words, you reinstate that Turks are a nation, as many in the world know you, that lack remorse, repentance, and audacity to admit guilt? Consequently, you reinstate that even in the 21st century you’ve remained the same underdeveloped Seljuk nomads and bloodthirsty, colonizing Ottomans. Germans were able to prove that they were civilized nation by admitting the guilt. Americans admitted the guilt of mistreatment of Indians. Russians were able to do the same for the Stalin’s purges. Serbs were able to find courage and apologize to the Bosnians. There are things that go beyond self-interest if you truly wish to prove to yourselves that you inched just a bit from being nomadic invaders to being civilized people. Isn’t this self-interest too? Or your nation’s self-interest is only counted in territories and legal responsibilities? If you’re not interested in any emotional soul searching, how would you react if tomorrow your sister is raped in front of you and her family members? Wouldn’t this provoke any emotions in you? And if not, what kind of human beings are you as a nation? Have you ever given this a thought?

  87. Ragnar, if so, than do something to help bring our case to justice and stop playing house with the deniers.  This is not an academic debate to us, but the fight for the life of a nation.  This is not meant to be an interesting legal question or stimulating endeavor to pursue in the golden years of a career in community service, nor a free ticket to vacations in Antalya.  I have said it before, you have eaten too much Turkish delight to fancy yourself an unbiased defender of our cause. You are in a smoky hookah haze that obscures your view.  What you believe to be merely an effort to explore weaknesses in the Armenian case is not ‘helpful,’ as it is simply used by Turks to bolster their distorted version of history.  You help misinformed Turks remain in their misguided, unenlightened, and prejudicial understanding of our mutual history.  Just read Zeki and Necati Genis or Murat and company and you will see what I mean.  My question to you has always been why?  Why the focus on the ‘speck’ in the Armenian eye, when there is a much bigger, more dangerous ‘beam’ in the Turkish eye?

    Just to be clear, I am not driven by hatred, but by a righteous anger at the injustice done and the cold realization that the world, like you, is willing to turn a blind eye to the urgency of our case, and instead, tacitly give comfort to murderers, past, present and future.  I don’t blame the ‘Turkish people’ but I call on the Turkish nation to meet its obligations to humanity. 

    The ‘genocidal results’ are beyond question, the crime and perpetrator-nation known.  Time for an admission of guilt and an apology to all of humanity for acts of extreme inhumanity.  Stop wasting your time AND MAKE A REAL CONTRIBUTION TO HUMAN JUSTICE.  

  88. Zeki …  If Turkey “simply isn’t interested in any emotional soul searching” might you know why you’re still whining about scores of deaths during the ill-conceived Sarıkamış attack on Russians, or expulsion and murders of Muslim occupiers from the Balkans and North Caucasus before and during the WWI?  Also, if Turks are “simply not interested in any emotional soul searching” might you know as to why your co-citizens whined when some Turks died during the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident? Because in all these instances they were Turks and in all others, like the genocide of indigenous peoples of Asia Minor: Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians, they were non-Turks?
    Is this the human ceiling of Turkish intellectual abilities?

  89. Gor –
    I suppose over 800,000 refugees created in Karabagh has nothing to do with Armenian self interest. Where’s the compassion in dealing with that human catastrophe? Your appeal to emotion might be relevant on individual level but it has very little relevance at a State level.
    Of those countries that you mentioned:
    Germany – post war. Did they have a choice? coercion.
    Serbs – post war. Mixture of self interest and coercion (carrot and stick from EU, Nato).
    US, Russia – recognition and apology had minimal legal implications. Self interest.

  90. Zeki –-

    I suppose you are able to differentiate cases of post-Soviet ethno-political conflicts from a deliberate and systematic annihilation of a particular racial, national, ethnic, and religious group? Are you? First, answer this question for yourself. If it turns out that you are, let’s proceed to the details re: 800,000 refugees created in Karabakh and what it has to do with Armenian self-interest. The fundamental difference in the cases of the genocide of Armenians and IDPs in the Artsakh conflict is that Armenians were forcibly deported from their historic lands in Eastern Asia Minor, whereas Azeris fled the war unleashed by their own government against the Armenians. Chronologically, it was Azerbaijan who, in similarity with the behavior of their Turkish brethren, started mass killings on innocent people in Sumgaint, Baku, and Maraga. It was Azerbaijan that, supported by Russian troops, started deportation of Armenians from villages surrounding Artsakh, in Kirovabad etc. It was Azerbaijan that for months was incessantly shelling Stepanakert and villages closer to the mainland Azerbaijan from the GRAD missile launchers that are considered a weapon of mass destruction. And you now are complaining that 800,000 Azeri refugees fled when the Artsakh Armenian forces started counter-offensives in order to defend their population? Secondly, as you may know, Artsakh and Nakhichevan, historically Armenian territories, were transferred to a never before the 20th century existing nation of Azerbaijan in the early 1920s not as a result of public vote and not even as a result of a decision by a legislative organ, but by a unilateral decision of Joseph Stalin and the regional bureau of the Communist (Bolshevik) party. Is this a fair turn-out for you?

    I can have compassion towards ordinary Azeris who were made to flee, but this was done as a consequence of aggressive actions undertaken by their government. Don’t forget that hundreds of thousands of Armenians living in Baku, Kirovabad, Ganzak (Gyanja), around and inside Artsakh fled as well. However, this human catastrophe of both sides was the sad result of a conflict. In the Turkish case, it was your government that ordered forced deportaions and mass slaughters of almost 2 mln of its own citizens of Armenian descent. Not as a result of a war between the Turks and Armenians. Not as a result of an ethno-political conflict between them. But as a result of a pan-Turkic agenda that aimed at Turkification of the Turkish mainland by genocidal elimination of all non-Turkic, Christian indigenous peoples inhabiting Asia Minor from the times immemorial. Do you appreciate the difference? Are you at all capable of doing this? Or all you Turks can is to appreciate the difference between all Turkic (which is all right) and non-Turkic (which is all wrong)?

    Emotions are relevant on any level, whether individual or state, because states are the reflection of human nature and human relationship.

    If you think that Germans, Russians, Serbs, or Americans admitted guilt only because of coercion and self-interest, you are gravely mistaken. I believe these great nations were first and foremost capable and civilizationally mature enough of admitting guilt. Otherwise, they would be Turks who, based on what you’re saying, would need to be made compelled to admit guilt either because of self-interest or coercion. There are certain things in human nature that cannot be explained by self-interest or coercion only. Conscience and civilizational maturity are not measured by self-interest or coercion. Ability to admit guilt is characteristic to great and courageous nations/ Turks, unfortunately, still need time to outgrow from Seljuk and Ottoman mentality in order to be able to understand such trivial things.

  91. I agree with Gor.  I think he gave a spot on response.  I hope Zeki will openly consider his words.

  92. Boyajian
    I am sorry, but your last post is simply a case of empty rhetorics. In our earlier debates you at least answered arguments.

  93. I don’t think Steiner read her grandfather’s book…

    This is a conversation between Henry Morgenthau and Talaat pasha Al-saffah as Arab says:

    “Some day,” he once said, “I will come and discuss the whole Armenian subject with you,” and then he added, in a low tone in Turkish: “But that day will never come!”
    “Why are you so interested in the Armenians, anyway?” he said, on another occasion. “You are a Jew; these people are Christians. The Mohammedans and the Jews always get on harmoniously. We are treating the Jews here all right. What have you to complain of? Why can’t you let us do with these Christians as we please?”
    I had frequently remarked that the Turks look upon practically every question as a personal matter, yet this point of view rather stunned me. However, it was a complete revelation of Turkish mentality; the fact that, above all considerations of race and religion, there are such things as humanity and civilization, never for a moment enters their mind. They can understand a Christian fighting for a Christian and a Jew fighting for a Jew, but such abstractions as justice and decency form no part of their conception of things.
    “You don’t seem to realize,” I replied, “that I am not here as a Jew but as American Ambassador. My country contains something more than 97,000,000 Christians and something less than 3,000,000 Jews. So, at least in my ambassadorial capacity, I am 97 per cent. Christian. But after all, that is not the point. I do not appeal to you in the name of any race or any religion, but merely as a human being. You have told me many times that you want to make Turkey a part of the modern progressive world. The way you are treating the Armenians will not help you to realize that ambition; it puts you in the class of backward, reactionary peoples.”
    “We treat the Americans all right, too,” said Talaat. “I don’t see why you should complain.”
    “But Americans are outraged by your persecutions of the Armenians,” I replied. “You must base your principles on humanitarianism, not racial discrimination, or the United States will not regard you as a friend and an equal. And you should understand the great changes that are taking place among Christians all over the world. They are forgetting their differences and all sects are coming together as one. You look down on American missionaries, but don’t forget that it is the best element in America that supports their religious work, as well as their educational institutions. Americans are not mere materialists, always chasing money—they are broadly humanitarian, and interested in the spread of justice and civilization throughout the world. After this war is over you will face a new situation.

  94. Zeki,

    If you think modern-day Republic of Turkey is not a successor state of the Ottoman Empire, might you know why all successive Turkish republican governments beginning 1923 onward have not admitted the crimes of the predecessor state with which they claim they have nothing in common? After all, you claim the Lausanne Treaty “was the axe that severed Turkey from its Ottoman past,” don’t you? What, then, based on your “logic” prevents the republican governments to face the truth about the deliberate annihilation of the Armenians and acknowledge the verdicts of their own Courts Martial—all of which happened in the Ottoman past?



  95. I don’t know how you do it Boyajian.

    You must have ice water running through your veins.
    Such a crushing disapproval from the Prof would be too much for me – and I am a pretty desensitized guy (….I took a Level 3 desensitization training course: highest available). If I were you, I’d be having thoughts of suicide just about now: all these years of unrequited devotion to the Prof, and this is how he says ‘Thanks’  to  you ? Such an ingrate (!)
    One time, just one time, you refuse to play his Denialist word-game – and he discards you like a used rug.
    I tell you – you are one tough cookie to take it so well: an inspiration to us all.

  96. Very well said indeed Gor,


    Your arguments are very juvenile. “The Turkish Republic has been cut off from the Ottoman Empire  by the Lausanne Treaty”… What do you mean by that?  The Turkish Republic inherited the debts of the Ottoman Empire by keeping to itself the Armenian real estate, land, business, personal assets, and agricultural properties that the Empire had confiscated from the Armenians.  The Republic did not cleanse itself from the Armenian blood by acknowledging and paying for the Armenian Genocide.  Kemal Ataturk found the cheapest way out by describing the Genocide as his nation’s “Shameful Act”.  The Tribunals and all the repercussions that should have followed were swept under the rug.  The Republic has a mountain of its own genocidal crimes to answer to.  In the 1930’s, the Kemalist regime came out with the “Surname” Law that required Armenians to shed the “ian” from their last names and adopt the name of their profession as their last name, in an effort to advance a nationalist “Turkey for Turks” plan.  Under the cover of the WWII, Turkey imposed an outrageously high “unpayable” Capitol Tax on its Armenian, Greek and Jewish citizens.  The unreasonable taxes were a ruse to arrest “delinquent” tax payers and send them in the thousands of men between the ages of 18-45 to labor camps in the interior of Anatolia from where most did not come back from.  There were of course many laws that helped erase the use of the Armenian language in many areas of Turkey with intimidation or the intentional denial by the government of repair permits for Armenian schools until they deteriorated into occupiable building structures.  Armenian churches were regularly detonated and bombed to destroy them.   
    You are right about one thing, the entire existence of Turkey is built on lies and coercion, Turkey’s relationship with the U.S. being the prime example.  Turkey, the U.S. and Israel have an understanding that Turkey will help the U.S. and Israel with all their geopolitical  needs, including making a fool of its Arab Muslim brethren, in exchange of the U.S. and Israel making sure that Turkey keeps all the Armenian lands, the Armenian Genocide is not legally persecuted and the Sevres Treaty is shoved under the rug.  Yes, it is a lovely friendship built on coercion.  Of course, the whole world knows that Turkey would have long been slapped with demands of reparations for its crimes had it not have as the ruler of the world as its number one ally.

    When the rulers of the world abuse their powers, and manipulate international laws and obstruct justice,… what happens to that world??  How long can anyone live a lie, and live under coercion, always looking behind their backs, not trusting anyone, and keeping spinning more lies after lies… It was only a few months ago, when Erdogan was visiting his Arab neighbors and speaking up for the Palestinians, and insulting the Jews… Today, the southern Turkish borders are being used by the Americans and their friends to rush weapons to the opposition in Syria…  Yes, yes,… let’s divide and conquer,.. divide and conquer… conquer what a lie?  For how long?  The Cameleon of Turkey is going to run out of colors pretty soon….

  97. Zeki
    of course we are here in a very technical juridical debate, and I do not have the competence to judge Anahit’s apparently very knowledgeable contribution, but to take one fact which to my mind shows that the Turkish Republic is a “successor state” which accepted responsibilities incurred by the Ottoman Empire: Atatürk acknowledged the Ottoman debt and in 1929 (according to Wikipedia) by an international agreement the Republic was to pay 67% of the debt. Isnt this an indication of a more general responsibility of the republic regarding the acts of the Empire?
    since the discussion forum is open to everybody, it would maybe be better to organise another discussion forum with restricted membership in order to discuss Armenian strategies internally. But I believe experience shows that the presentce of different opinions is an asset for everybody, irrespective of different opinions, not a problem in the long run.
    Yes, I admit I am disappointed. I am not good at puns and repartees and try to stick to my somewhat pedantic style. My daughter who is 42 sometimes lectures me on the deficits of my style. On the other hand I have obviously not pleased you. Is there no way I can be more acceptable to you except by buying your point of view, part and parcel? If you do a family therapy, will you advice the clients to use ultimatums? Or to continue the cumbersome path of arguing and attempts to understand?

  98. Dear Katia K – Your outstanding and accurate summing up is appreciated. I would add one comment to your last sentence in which you write “The Cameleon of Turkey is going to run out of colors pretty soon….
    By backing perpetrators and deniers of genocide, the USA  will also run out of credibility everywhere in the world. History books will write of the USA’s own Shameful Act.

  99. I appreciate the extensive commentary on this important issue following my article.  While of course there are always those with dubious agendas who espouse problematic positions on such issues, the overall tenor of the comments has shown a strong and ethical understanding of what is stake.

    At this point, however, I would like to direct commentators’ attention to an opinion piece just posted in the Weekly online by Samual Totten, an eminent genocide studies scholar.  Based on direct evidence from this region, Totten reports that what could be genocide is beginning right now in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan.  It is no surprise that Omar al-Bashir, the lead perpetrator of the Darfur Genocide who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, crimes against humanity, and murder, is the lead perpetrator in the Nuba Mountains.  Please read Totten’s piece and take any action you can — contacting elected representatives, the UN, etc. — to try to stop this before it is a full-scale genocide.  The situation is desperate and people are dying and being driven into wastelands to die right now.

    As an aside, there is an interesting link between Sudan and Armenian Genocide denial.  Many readers will be familiar with Bruce Fein, who has publically denied the Armenian Genocide and in fact belittled Armenians who claim genocide (see, for an example, Bruce Fein, “Lies, Damn Lies, and Armenian Deaths,” Huffington Post, June 4, 2009, [accessed June 12, 2011]).  What is less known about Fein is that he also has lobbied for the Sudan government of al-Bashir.  Ken Silverstein includes telling comments about and by Fein in his investigative report “Persecution Complex” (Mother Jones, 23:4 [July-August 1998]:  26-31 at 31, [accessed June 12, 2011]):  “Bruce Fein . . . justifies his paid work for the Sudan by saying that there’s ‘a vast amount of misperception’ in the United States about his client.  ‘It is not that the Republic of the Sudan does not have warts; it does,’ Fein says.  ‘But I am convinced that they are serious about making improvements.'”  Presumably such a statement needs no comment.  While it is impossible to determine with any certainty the effect of the efforts of those such as Fein who supported the Sudan government before the Darfur Genocide, it is possible that their support prevented human rights concerns about Sudan from having the impact that they could have or lessened that impact, and in fact paved the way for the Darfur Genocide a half decade later.

  100. Katia K:

    re: “….by keeping to itself the Armenian real estate, land, business, personal assets, and agricultural properties that the Empire had confiscated from the Armenians.”

    Outstanding retort: reductio ad absurdum – a logical dead-end for the Denialists; “…we’re not responsible for the theft, but we’ll keep the stolen loot”.  In Law & Order societies receiving stolen goods is a crime.

  101. Dear prof. Theriault,
    It is nice to have the author of an article that we debate appear in this kind of discussion.The terror in Sudan is also a worthy cause to fight for. It would also have been good to have Steiner herself explain her views here and answer questions. I agree with you that to decide never to use the word “genocide” in a facilitation process between Turks and Armenians sounds strange. On the other hand I wonder if it is right of you to focus on the term “neutrality”. I cannot see that Steiner claims to be neutral. It does not seem to be part of her vocabulary in her answer. But it would be interesting to hear her reasons. Other people who do facilitation processes between Armenian and Turks go directly into the genocide question. Chiara Meghigian Zenati told me that in her sessions the participants play both the roles of of the genocidal perpetrator and the victim in order to increase the  understanding of the participants. But then Steiner probably works according to another rationale.

  102. Féin also represents a group called “Tamils against Genocide,” and in the course of his representation, he asserted that the majority Sinhalese culture is “genocidal.”

    Genocide, to Fein, is a matter of who is paying him.

  103. In another effort to make it seem as if he is in the midst of all things Genocide, Ragnar mentions a “facilitation” process.

    Great idea. Let’s also make sure each victim group gets a chance to appreciate the perpetrator’s viewpoint. Jews might start their facilitation process by attending a Nuremberg rally.

    The problem Armenians have, apparently, is insufficient understanding that Turks suffered in a war their criminal leaders initiated. Jews, too, lack sufficient understanding of how much Germans suffered in a war their leaders unleashed.

    This “just memory” gambit is just another form of denialism and anti-Armenian racism.

  104. JDA,
    “Facilitation” means means Turkish government is not very much happy with Fein, and Steiner work…they are looking much better personality who is psychotherapist and facilitator…after all it was him Mr. Davutoglu, who told in the news a year ago “we will deal with Armenian Diaspora differently”…Turkish air lines now facilitating pro Turks facilitators such as  famous basketball players, ex professional boxers, ex Harvard doctors or retired art and history facilitators … Turkish hospitality in Antalya offering villas with free Turkish bath at home services, especially for Scandinavians, where the sun is not that warm, all for free…WOW Turkish corrupted government creating many conciliators and therapists, for Armenian Genocide “complexity”
    Anyway, During a video interview with Raphael Lemkin, the interviewer asked him about how he came to be interested in this genocide. He replied; “I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times. First to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action.”
    Genocide by Raphael Lemkin
    CNN Scream Bloody Murder Documentary

  105. I called my congressman and urged him to take immediate action to prevent genocide in Sudan. As Armenians we should all feel compelled to take action.  God help these poor people.

    Thanks Avery, I think.  I assure you, my blood runs as hot as yours.  However, to be fair, I have to admit that I took a couple cheap shots at Ragnar and he took a stab at getting even.  I’m a big girl; I can take it.  Also in fairness, I don’t really know him.  I openly admit that I am suspicious of his motives and find him difficult to decipher at times.  I am yet to be convinced that he is in ‘solidarity’ with Armenians, as he claims.  

    Alas, he has now disappointed me with his last remark, by glossing over the real tragedy in Sudan only to self-interestedly refocus on the minutia of the debate.  A familiar and disturbing pattern.  Let’s not do the same.  Let’s take action to prevent another genocide today.

  106. I apologize for the mistakes in my last post.  I wrote it in the wee hours of the morning, inspired by you all, but apparently my brain cells had already started dozing off.
    I meant to say that the Republic of Turkey cannot claim innocence in the Armenian Genocide because not only did it keep all the properties, lands and assets of the killed victims, refused to turn them over to their rightful heirs or make reparations for them, but it continued the Genocide by adopting outrageously unfair but clandestine legal manipulations that were designed to make life unbearable for the remaining Armenians; such as simply turning down repair permits for Armenian schools until they became “unoccupiable”.  I had written “occupiable” instead, but I see that you got the gist of it… Thank you Avery and Perouz.  Ordering the changing of surnames (1930s) is also a Genocide of identity… Turkey might have changed from Empire to Republic but it has not changed policies… the Genocide continues to this day with Denial.  Denial of justice for 1.5 million fallen innocent citizens, denial of history, denial of freedom of speach and journalism, denial of justice for the descendants of the survivors… All constitute the continuation of the Genocide, now at the level of the mind and soul.  It’s like killing a child’s parents in front of their eyes, and then telling that child that he imagined what he had seen… This is psychological Genocide.  But I guess you can get away with it in a world where justice is left in the hands of criminals and their so called friends.

    Bottom line, in today’s world it is not what you have done, but who your friends are…  American Indians, Armenians and Palestinians…. you have to have things in common to become friends…  But where is the glory in living a lie?  Why do Amenicans, Turks and Jews undermine their many good willed citizens, their Morgenthaus, Pamuks and Lemkins,  and follow a road that is etched out of desperation for power?  Is that road going to lead the world to peace and harmony?  Aren’t they also living in the same world?  Don’t they know that subjugation of peoples and the idea of Empires have been well tried and have always ultimately failed?

    The world knows the truth about the Armenian Genocide.  It is currently being treated as an “inconvenient truth”, or as a bargaining chip among nations who think are “chosen by God” to rule no matter what.  We as a people, have to become strong enough, wise enough, viable enough to turn that truth into a “convenient truth” so that the powers of the world will have some gain in according us justice.   That is unfortunately the truth about the times we are living in… it is a corrupt, unjust and down right crazy world.   What is the world without rules? It is a jungle where only the rule of the “survival of the fittest” rules… no emotions, no brains involved.  Yes we are essentially choosing to be like animals.  You hunt, you steel, you eat, you sleep,…you hunt some more….  Turkey can chosoe a different road that has proven to lead to Glory.  It can chose to follow the example of Germany.  Then again, that might involve some brains… and some emotion… and some looking in the mirror.  Turkey at this point, does not have the courage to look in the mirror.  It choses to continue living in the fires of denial.

    God help the Sudanese… and God help Civilization… because it is going down the tubes.

  107. I can clearly see that the word “neutrality” is put in quotes in the title. Is Rangnar Naess the only one who doesn’t?  Also, the semantic gymnastics with the terms “facilitation process”, “reconciliation process”, “rapprochement”, etc. are essentially detractive when used in connection to the Armenian genocide recognition.  Armenians were not a party to a war with the Turks so there can now be a “facilitation process.”  The correct term is “recognition process” because there was a perpetrator on one side and a victim on the other. Any usage of an intermediate term such as “facilitation” is nothing less than sheer distraction.

    “ I assure you, my blood runs as hot as yours.I know Boyajian.

    I was poking fun at the Prof….segueing from  “… I have failed to please the professor.”
    I hate to do it to him….No, not really.
    Our friend Anahit has gone several rounds with him over the months: she has reached the conclusion that the Prof is a highly sophisticated, subtle Denialist that masks his real agenda by occasional gestures of ‘goodwill’ and ‘understanding’ towards Armenians.
    I don’t know him that well. However, his word-games regarding the AG are enough for me to provisionally  tag him as a Denialist.
    There are no shades of gray when it comes to the AG: it’s absolute black and absolute white.
    However, I’ll review the previous exchanges, plus Prof’s appearance with Justin McCarthy (video link previously provided by Anahit).
    See what more I can learn. If I was wrong about him, I’ll say so publicly.

  109. I was poking fun at the Prof….segueing from  “… I have failed to please the professor.”

    Understood, Avery.  

    I have decided to drop his introductory course!

  110. Katia…unless totally blinded by nationalist, racist propaganda most educated Turks realize that their country – at least since 1923 – is built of a foundation of lies, murder and deception. That sums up the ‘brilliance’ of Ataturk and his other Salonikan conspirators & contemporaries….he convinced a country that had been destroyed to worship his every move with respect and devotion, no matter how destructive it was to their souls. His closest, inner circle of advisors and collaborators had little knowledge of and no connection to the heartland of the empire, which was Anatolia/Asia Minor & Armenia. They thought of it as a backward breadbasket that needed to submit to the ‘superiority’ of those w/ European background. So, this is the source of their racism and anti-Armenian mindset, even as the remaining Armenians worked on his behalf.  His tradition of governance and power was dramatically different from that of the sultans, and that was his choice, because unlike the old ruling families, who had blood ties to all the minorities, Ataturk and his republican cronies lived in a world apart…everyone not part of that world was seen with contempt and as a threat…and this translated into a set of laws that little by little, destroyed the minority presence in Turkey. There is new evidence that this is changing in Turkey…very slowly…but it can give us some hope – though no one should let their guard down completely, since we’ve learned very well that very little can be counted on in Turkey.

  111. Zeki,

    What happened? Did you leave this thread? You were asked a couple of questions. Do you care to answer? Especially this one: if you think modern-day Turkey has nothing to do with the Ottoman past (legally, financially, politically, etc.), then why wouldn’t modern-day Turkey acknowledge the verdicts for crimes of unrelated Ottomans in regard to annihilation of Armenians? I may not make a very knowledgeable contribution into a discussion on succession matters, but I’m good at making targeted statements when it comes to anthropology/history or asking targeted questions when it comes to my attempts at understanding Turkish logic, so to speak.

  112. Zeki
    yes, where are you? If you are still there, I strongly suggest that you continue the debate. Of course this is an internal Armenian forum. The majority of the participants  are Armenian, and the Armenian collective loyalty is also present, for instance in their constant praise of each others’ posts. But then this is a collectivity which indeed is deeply traumatized, and there is also a greatness in them in their pursuing justice. In this sense I support them. It is true that the world and Turkey has let them down.
    If we are accustomed to a more mundane style of debate, we are of course dismayed at Anahit who says that ““But you’d love to think that your nation could commit heinous crimes and then, by “severing Turkey from its Ottoman past” could get away with it. Zeki, I believe you are a person who is moved by the catastrophy that befell the Armenians (if not why are you here?) but maybe you are not ready for the kind of comments you get. You may feel insulted because Anahit in an otherwise intelligent debate just snipes at you and says that you probably are happy to get away with murder.
    In debating situations like this, what counts is whether you really believe in dialogue or not, in words going back and forth between people who disagree or agree. Even when one seems not to get anywhere. I believe dialogue, even the very difficult one, has an effect in the long term, not necessesarily in the sense that we will convince others, but also that participants may hold their views intact but hold them with a considerably deeper understanding than before. But for my sake I see a lot of things differently after my debates in these pages. 
    Well, now I have done something that I dislike the Armenians to do to me: comment on other people in an exchange of words while the same people are there and listening….in civilized debates we talk to each other and not about each others when the objects of our talks are present. But still…..
    But again, the whole thing boils down to whether you strongly believe in dialogue or not!
    So please dont give up and try to answer!

  113. Yes Zeki,
    Don’t give up. Don’t listen to Ragnar. Armenians are the most open people. They have been extending thousands of their hands to the Turks, asking them to do the right thing, even suggesting to help them come in terms with what their ancestors have done. Dialogue is always open with us, if the dialogue is true, pure, full of humanity and devoid of prejudice, influence and hidden agendas. Extended hands however retreat when no hands are emerging from the other side. You must agree that everyone has the right to defend himself, his dignity and his history when the truth about his existence and his history is being ridiculed and marginalized. God never said Turks are more important than Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians. God creates everyone equal. It is Satan, greed, ignorance and arrogance that make humans who they are. Every commentator here has the right to make whatever comment they please, but they should also be ready and accepting of the right of others to defend themselves and defend their truth. That’s a God given right. We might disagree with what you are saying, but you are free to write and comment. That’s also a God given right. We are of course yearning to hear from Turks who accept the Genocide and will be courageous enough to extend their hand and open up about how it feels for a Turk to live under the black clouds of his people’s history, and what he thinks his government needs to do to take away those clouds and make the sun shine on both Turks and Armenians. We are ready to hold the Turkish hands whenever they are ready to share our mutual truth. We don’t need Steiners or Ragnars to have a dialogue with Turks. We are here waiting, … We have been waiting for 95 years…

  114. The essential Naess, September 25, 2009:
    “Personally I do not see the necessity to have any opinion on whether the central ittihadists initiated an extermination program against Armenians or not. . . .”  found in comments appended to the linked opinion piece by Semih Idiz at

    This statement indeed leaves a lot of daylight between Mr. Naess (who characterizes himself in the same comment as an “amateur historian” for those of you who have promoted him to “Professor”) and most commenters on this page. He never lays his cards on the table, is unable to make one clear, direct statement and defend it to the end with either logic or evidence but instead injects a steady stream of confusion into a forum which he blames for lack of true dialogue.

  115. Ragnar,

    The state murder of 2.5M innocent and unarmed Armenian civilians, and as many Greeks and Assyrians, is not primarily a matter of  loyalty or trauma, as your post states.  It is instead a matter of simple truth. That truth is not some idiosyncratic issue confined to victims and perpetrators. The Armenians and the Turks are no more assigned to establish what the Genocide was than the Germans and the Jews have the exclusive right on behalf of history to say what the Holocaust was  and was not. 

    The Christians’ murder, the destruction of their physical culture, the seizure of their Lands and wealth, the steady effort by the successor to erase every Armenian, Greek, Pontian and Assyrian place, name and memory are matters on the agenda of all mankind.  Minimizing the murder of these nations as being simply a dispute between the victims and a few Fascist politiicians and Generals  is a deeply evil way to see Genocide.  It is just the way the ROT and its propagandists here and there frame the issue.

      And you help them with this ridiculous reference to mediation. Let the Turks educate themselves and mediate the worst elements in their society.  Armenians have enough to worry about without having to teach the murderers’ grandchildren the truth of what they did, and the wealth they proclaim to the world.

  116. Part1
    “Of course this is an internal Armenian forum.
    FALSE: this is a Public forum, accessible to all.
    Since the online magazine is called ArmenianWeekly, management
    would be reasonably expected NOT  to give an unrestricted platform to uniformly  Anti-Armenian disinformation dissemination.
    Which apparently quite a few Denialists quite unreasonably  expect, and complain about constantly.
    The majority of the participants  are Armenian,
    TRUE: we’re shocked, shocked I tell you. And which part of ArmenianWeekly is a surprise  ?
    And presumably the  majority of posters to Hürriyet, Today’s Zaman, etc are not Turks ?
    And presumably the majority of posters to Haaretz are not Israeli Jews ?
    And presumably….(fill in the blanks)
    “and the Armenian collective loyalty is also present,”
    TRUE: And certainly not enough of it. Of course the Denialists and our other enemies  would like us to fight each other, so they can easily exterminate some more that managed to survive.
    And of course  Turks are completely, collectively disloyal to each other – that’s why ‘Robert’, ‘Murat’, and others in their group  always disagree with each other  on these threads, right ?

    “, for instance in their constant praise of each others’ posts”
    FALSE: we unite against Denialists, and praise well-done posts that elegantly expose Denialists and their sycophants.
    However, there are plenty of disagreements between us  on majority of other  subjects.
    Sometimes way too much disagreement (examples will be provided upon request.)
    “, for instance in their constant praise of each others’ posts” [an alternate retort – I prefer this]
    How dare you inbred Armenian low-life gyavurs praise each other ? Don’t you know you are lower forms of life ? Loyalty is reserved for humans.
    Don’t you know you are supposed to bow and scrape in the presence of  your Master the Turk and their Minions  ?
    Second-class subjects  have no right to praise each other: you are only allowed to praise your Masters – “Yes, Effendi”


  117. Part2.
    OK now that the Prof  explained the juvenile behaviour of these inbred  Armenian children to our distinguished highly sophisticated  non-Armenian guests,…. “…I’ll  throw some candy so that the children can munch on them and not get too upset: after all,  if they figure out what we are trying to do, they might not participate in their own brainwashing, you understand…”
    So here:
    “But then this is a collectivity which indeed is deeply traumatized, and there is also a greatness in them in their pursuing justice. In this sense I support them. It is true that the world and Turkey has let them down”
    I tell ya,….after reading that…..I am so choked with emotion, feel like  crying like a child….ya’ll have to excuse me now…
    OK I am back.
    “If we are accustomed to a more mundane style of debate, we are of course dismayed at Anahit….”
    Indeed, we Norsemen and Turks are so advanced compared to these savages: they are so emotional, aren’t they ? such primitive, unacceptable behaviour.
    We of course are far too advanced for that kind of  emotional outburst.
    For example, when our women and daughters are gang-raped in our presence, we of course take the high road, light a pipe, relax and calmly deliberate  and debate:  was the sexual intercourse really not consensual  after all ? how do we know it wasn’t ?; did the women do anything to encourage the normal, natural instincts of these men ?…and we will of course allow each side to present their case for us to review and reach an impartial verdict.
    “I believe you are a person who is moved by the catastrophy that befell the Armenians (if not why are you here?)”
    Most Turks and their allies are here for the purpose of using an Armenian forum to spread Denialist Disinformation.
    On occasion, a Turk will appear that seems  to have genuine remorse and understanding , but then they demand that we, Armenians, also acknowledge their suffering – a fare trade, you see.
    “….in civilized debates we talk to each other and not about each others when the objects of our talks are present. But still…..”
    Too bad these inbred low-life  primitive Armenians have no appreciation for our sophisticated ways: they certainly are even more backwards then our Turk friends said they are. Why don’t they want to engage in  endless, circular debates ? how stupid can they be ?
    {Diran: his bio says he has a Magistrate of Arts Degree  in Social Sciences from University of Oslo, which is considered equivalent to US PhD (according to Wiki).}
    {I guess that partially explains the deep psychoanalysis we have bee subjected to – totally  free of charge}


  118. Avery! You are surely talented in many ways!…I can see you doing stand-up comedy with this material.
    Honestly… This is ridiculous… Having friends in high places may give you the right to look down on people and get away with stupid comments, but for God’s sake do not involve yourself in a debate that involves the Genocide of 1.5 million people unless you have something valuable and intelligent to offer, besides assuming that commentators on a public forum should follow rules reserved to closed door professional debators.

  119. Part3

    I use ‘The Prof’ with derision.

    I will also appreciate it greatly if you inbred Armenians show a modicum of sophistication and viciously attack this unsophisticated, inbred Armenian for a change….instead of constantly praising each other. 


  120. Start with one article about Genocide Denial + Ragnar Ness = 80 per cent more comments.
    We are feeding his ego.
    Shall we take a sacred vow to ignore him and save the Internet?

  121. about the ittihadists their responsibility for the massacres and huge Armenian mortality is evident. This to my mind is the solid basis for the just Armenian cause.  I support you. The question of a premeditated plan is very tangled, and we now see that Naimark, Suny and Gocek reflect this in their title.
    Maybe my characterizations of the Armenians in my post was a cheap shot. It reflects an irritation accumulating for a long time. But cant you see how you try to combine discussion with people with ways of talking about people present – feeling free to make all kinds of characterizations of a type that are ordinarily censored in discussion fora in which there is a moderator?
    Thank you for your post, Boyajian! Yes, you are a big girl and on occasions considerably bigger than me…..

  122. Please JDA 
    And my all dear Talented Respectful Honest Friends
    From A-Z (including Katia K. the Intelligent Female)

    You are very correct for what you said…
    Let us communicate with humans
    Others are our worse enemies…

    Is not enough what we suffered 
    They want still to hurt us more and
    Slay us my their satanic phrases

    Because they know few English words
    It doesn’t mean they know a humanitarian language
    Their language is what they earn 
    How much they enjoy till they sigh…

    No one will take any thing in his grave
    At the end…What is left 
    What honestly you documented…
    And dedicated to save humanity
    To Love and Live…

    Please let us not waste our time 
    Our time is precious
    To help our artful nation…
    Who never been hated by any one…

    Ignoring such people is the best
    Because they don’t have god
    They don’t know what is shame…

    They need psychotherapy
    They are born with
    Dissociated Identity Syndromes
    Difficult to be treated 
    It is in their DNA…s

    God is created by them
    To confuse innocents 
    If they know who is God 
    They will never deny any genocide…!


    Written instantly

  123. “On occasion, a Turk will appear that seem to have genuine remorse and understanding, but then they demand that we, Armenians, also acknowledge their suffering – a fare trade, you see.”

    And not only Turks, but some known Norsemen, too, advance this parity model, this unsubstantiated—from historical, geographical, and substantial perspectives—archetype. Historically, the Turkish suffering was brought upon themselves as a result of Seljuk intrusions into Asia Minor, Middle East, and Europe in the 11th-12th centuries AD; the consequent Ottoman colonization of indigenous peoples in the 15th-16th centuries AD; and Empire’s entering the WWI on the side of the Central Powers. In the late 19th-early 20th centuries regional peoples embarked on national-liberation struggles to throw off Turkish shackles. Geographically, these struggles took place nowhere near the historic Armenian homeland in Western Armenia (now Eastern parts of Turkey). Expulsions and ethnic cleansing of Turks took place mostly in the Balkans, as well as in Syria and Palestine. Substantially, whereas expulsions and ethnic cleansing of Turks were done on the part of the oppressed against the colonizers, in Armenia’s case the genocide was done on the part of the government against its own citizens. To attempt to juxtapose the two cases is the most incongruous and dim-witted thing to do.

  124. The reality is that all of these negative comments about Turkey’s historical record cannot diminish the fact that the country is thriving and thousands of Armenians are moving there for a – dare we say – better life.  Do you realize that Turkey’s economy is one of the best in the world at this point?   Yes, I know…no one wants to hear about reality on this forum, esp. if it says anything positive about Turkey, but as an Armenian, I’m tired – no, I’m completely exhausted by all the hand wringing and endless reliance on the genocide as a crutch.  I don’t mean to come off harshly, but come on…aren’t we better than that?  We can’t rely on ancient history and a mega-trauma forever.  It’s depressing. It doesn’t help. Even more sadly, today’s Armenia is in dire shape. I would seriously recommend that the bigger picture – about the survival of an azad Haiastan – is much more pressing and vivid. While all of you are spending so much energy on the genocide, please realize that Armenia is emptying out…day by day…and if you don’t see that as an act of genocide being perpetrated by the great powers of the world, something is wrong.  Please – wake up!  Open your eyes…look forward, not backward!  Or, it will truly be too late….

  125. Come on, Anahit, you misrepresent me. I never spoke about any parity. Please wake up to what I am actually saying…..

  126. Karekin:     I saw your comments here and there and while they are generally well-meaning, you have this unparalleled ability to spoil the debate by plunging into your world of self-deprecation. The article is about the genocide denial and we’re debating it and related issues. The ancient history and a mega-trauma are parts of us, our national identity, our collective and genetic memory, if you will. Until this mega-trauma is healed it’ll always be there. If Turks deny the truth forever, then the trauma will be there forever. You ask: “aren’t we better than that?” Yes, we are better and can handle both the genocide issue and the issue of Armenia/Artsakh at the same time, as we actually do.

    P.S. If you’re “completely exhausted by the hand wringing and endless reliance on the genocide as a crutch”, consider posting comments in the Huffington Post.

  127. Karekin,
    I wonder why millions of Turks living in Europe or even in North America!!
    Remember, even if Turks recognize the Genocide , it does not mean the border will be opened next day, and there will be Turkish wedding dance on the side of Armenia’s border. Armenia losing population it’s just because inability of Government to control economy and social system of Armenia, and that has nothing to do with Armenian Genocide..I look forward and see Georgia, and I don’t see people living there better than Armenians, even they have “turkify” relationship with Turks and Tatars!!all I can see that Turks are building more mosques in Georgia and they are very close to Islamized “Christian Georgia”..  and I don’t see that happening in Armenia!!and I wonder sometimes about your comments, like Gore said, if you really mean, for Armenians, or you just like to put your Turkish friends input in the AW..

  128. Actually, I was responding to Avery’s comment, but since Mr Naess intervened, here are some excerpts from his posts in the “Akcam: What Davutoglu Fails to Understand” with regard to the need for Armenians to acknowledge the Turks’ suffering that he advances (not speak) as a parity model, as an unsubstantiated archetype.

    “Armenians should acknowledge the fate of the Balkan Turks as part of the context of the whole situation…”

    “…so much of what happened to the Armenians in 1915-1918 also happened to the Turks, but… the catastrophe of the Armenians is far greater.”

    “many Turks will not listen to the Armenian pain because they feel nobody listens to theirs… What do you lose by acknowledging it? Afterwards you can raise your issue again.”

    “…the fate of the Turks in the same years belong to the context of the situation”

    “I believe the ethnic cleansing of Turks in 1877-78 might qualify as genocide, but I do not feel I need this term. The crime was horrendous as it was.”

  129. Just when I was starting to feel solidarity with you, Karekin, you resort to your old habit of calling Armenians whiners. Are you the same Karekin who has posted about this article earlier? Suddenly you sound again like a Turkophile who wants to protect the Turks from ‘angry Armenians.’ I don’t get it.

    You say: “Please – wake up! Open your eyes…look forward,”

    Okay. Wake up to what? Open eyes to what? Look forward to what? Say something concrete.

    So what if Turkey has one of the best economies in the world? Does this absolve them of their moral obligations? On the contrary, all the more reason for them to be able to face the truth like a leader in the world. And more power to those Armenians who can ‘bleed the beast’ for their own benefit.

    Turkey has one of the worst records on human rights in the world. Should we overlook their repressive policies because they have managed to capitalize on all that was stolen from their murdered Christian minorities to re-create their republic from the ashes of the CUP genocidal policies?

    What exactly do you think we don’t get? The genocide is not just an event in the past. It is ongoing today in the form of denial and distortion of the truth and if we don’t keep the pressure up, we will see it completed in Artsakh. Armenians leaving Armenia is serious, but it is part and parcel of the struggle for survival our nation has endured since the Seljuks first invaded the highlands and their Ottoman and CUP descendants ravaged our people. We have a right and responsibility to fight for justice from all arenas necessary. Stop criticizing Armenians and pick-up your portion of this burden and get to work and encourage others to do the same. The last thing we need is fellow Armenians sniping at each other.

  130.   Yes, we must not stop demanding justice even if it is left with only a  few us existing. Justice must prevail. Though  some politicians, ‘big game players’ and people of great influence try to cover up the truth, the truth will always be what it is – a genocide was commited almost a century ago and that cannot be changed. We ascertain these truths from our grand-parentswho went through it. How can we cover up these issue of great importance?  

  131. “About the ittihadists their responsibility for the massacres and huge Armenian mortality is evident. This to my mind is the solid basis for the just Armenian cause.  I support you. The question of a premeditated plan is very tangled . . . ”
    Ragnar, your above quote suggests that although you have an aversion on the one hand to the word GENOCIDE, you state that you support the “just Armenian cause” which is acknowledgment that what happened to the Armenians was Genocide.  Given the depth of knowledge you have in the subject coupled with your words above, I assume you yourself acknowledge that what happened to the Armenians from 1915 on constitutes Genocide.  Please confirm.
    Now one thing I noticed is that you use two words interchangeably even though they have different meanings and, moreover, one of them is not found in the UN’s definition of Genocide.  Those terms are “intent” and “premeditated”.  Genocide requires intent, not premeditation.  And according to Black Law Dictionary, Intent is a “mental attitude which can seldom by proved by direct evidence, but must ordinarily be proved by circumstances from which it may be inferred.”  The word ‘intent’ is used throughout the Restatement of Torts, 2nd, to denote that the actor desires to cause consequences of his act, or that he believes that the consequences are substantially certain to result form it.”
    Of course, proving intent is always “tangled” as it is almost always a matter of examining the circumstantial evidence.  However, in the case of the Armenian Genocide the matter becomes quite untangled once the UNDISPUTED facts are examined in light of the definition of intent.  The Ittihadists were certainly not morans, correct?  If you concede that they were not, then one has to conclude that they knew that the consequences of “deporting all Armenians” was their destruction in whole or in part.  After all, what would a reasonable person expect would happen as a result of rounding up all Armenians from everywhere in Anatolia (not just the “Russian Front”) and marching them on foot for hundreds of miles with no food, water, or shelter to a place where no preparations had been made to sustain human life?  Is it still tangled Ragnar?  Do you honestly have any question that these people knew or should have known that what they were doing would destroy, in whole or in part, their Armenian citizens?  And what, in fact, was the result?  And did they stop with just removing the people?  What did they do with their schools, churches, monastaries, city names, street names, surnames, and how did they describe these in the textbooks they taught to the generations of their people afterward?  Anyone who has an aversion to the word Genocide under these circumstances either has no understanding of the undisputed facts or is somehow politically motivated or complicit in refusing to use the term.
    So let’s set the record straight.  There is no dispute among historians who have no political motivation to shy away from that magic word.
    So go ahead Ragnar, say it, say that what happened to the Armenians from 1915 on constitutes GENOCIDE!  You know it did, and you know your conscience wants you to do so.

  132. Karekin, why are you blaming the emptying out of Armenia on the “great powers of the world” when the emptying out of Armenia should be blamed entirely on Armenians ourselves.  Whose fault is it that we enrich foreign nations?  Whose fault is it that we build iconic museums in Portugal and provide the largest endowments ever established in the history of the UC system?  Whose fault is it that we can create oases out of desert (who built the San Joaquin valley after all and who owns half of the hotel rooms in Las Vegas today) and build industries and start companies and invent machines that save lives all around the world, except not in Armenia!  Why is that?  How is it that we are known as the most entrepreneurial people on Earth, yet the tiny piece of land that is ours in name, we can’t manage to get it to flourish.  Please let’s put blame where it deserves to be placed, with ourselves.  If we can’t turn Armenia into a modern liberal market-driven democracy that rivals the wealthiest small nations on Earth, it’s our own fault, not those of the superpowers.  Armenia is what it is because we in the diaspora have not managed to inculcate the leadership of Armenia with the values we’ve developed over several generations in the western diaspora, and instead the leadership of Armenia is being trained by former Soviet oligarchs to form a style of govt. and society that leads to what we see today, a nation that is stagnating, has no foreign investment, no plans at reducing corruption, and no plans for creating a vibrant innovation-driven exporting economy.
    Here’s an example: Armenians are disproportionately in the life sciences industry throughout the world; we have no shortage of PhDs in the life sciences both in Armenian and in the diaspora.  Why is there virtually no life science industry in Armenia?  Why aren’t we either (i) manufacturing generic forms of well-known pharmaceuticals and biologics or (ii) innovating new therapies, and exporting them.  Iran alone would be a big enough market to support a biopharma industry in Armenia, yet we have virtually no such industry.
    Another example, with all of the wealth that Armenians have around the world, why aren’t there at least a handful of VCs in Armenia who fund only Armenian start-ups?  There should be at least 5 or 6 VCs in Armenia today each with at least $250 million in capital evaluating Armenian businesses in various industries: defense, biotech, medical devices, software, Internet/Apps/Social media, and electronics.  Today even Azerbaijan is developing a defense industry of its own, while Armenia’s corrupt leaders deter even die-hard Hai-Tad waiving diaspora Armenians from putting a dime into the Armenian economy.  Armenia as it is today is broken by Armenians and needs to be fixed by Armenians.

  133. Karekin’s sentiments are probably an accurate reflection of many Armenians in the diaspora. Many just prance around one issue like a one trick pony. I don’t mean to be disparaging but there really appears to be a large disconnect between abstract and reality in Armenian minds.

    Abstract – force Turkish government to recognize, Turkey genuflects in humble remorse, voluntarily compensates with billons of dollars and vast territorial concessions, enter into a new era of Armenian wealth and power.  

    Reality – waste countless hours and tens of millions of dollars on both sides on arguing about a historical tragedy the rest of the world only feigns interest in. Like two bald men arguing over a comb. Most probably, a recognition (not worth the paper it’s written on) to follow at an indeterminate time in the future.  

    We could argue about the righteousness and the morality of recognition forever but the reality is that it will most likely be of a symbolic nature. Legally, Turkey could recognize the act of a third party or if it were sneaky, take no position (neither recognize or deny). In either case, it would be recognition without serious consequences. As stated before, there is no international framework or body with jurisdiction or authority to enforce any obligation for a nearly 100 year historical event. 

    If recognition were expedited that would be good thing. I’d rather see the tangible benefits of reconciliation, regional peace and wealth creation. Just don’t ask me how.


  134. Zeki, are you saying its unrealistic to expect justice from Turkey, because why?  Because Turks are happy being the descendants of unrepentant murderers with no intention of facing the truth?  Turks have no capability at reflection, remorse and sympathy?  Turks have no ability to look at this history truthfully and empathize with the descendants of the original inhabitants of Anatolia?  Once Anatolia was full of Armenian life, traditions, symbols, literature, songs, and fables having permeated the land for almost 3 MILLENIA; all eliminated in just 3 years.  Today more and more of your citizens are coming out and learning that their grandparents were in fact Armenian.  You think that little of your people that you would never expect them to see this tragedy for what it was and to someday extend a hand of honest sympathy to the descendants spread around the world?  Peace for Armenia requires this much, because an unrepentant society of 80 million people with real weapons of mass destruction will always be a threat to Armenia.  A paranoid Turkish society that views a tiny country with 3 million people as its biggest enemy is always a threat to Armenia and to peace in the region.  Turkey has to come to grips with the Genocide and to pay for stolen wealth and properties before Armenians can rest.

  135. I realize that this again may be an extensive debate, so please have me excused for answering one at a time and using some time.
    Karekin, I understand your frustration, and I have myself been frustrated quite often, but for me this a frustration about the STYLE of debate of some Armenian and Turkish participants and the lack of ordinary moderator function in AW. I have no objections to the CONTENT of the debate. Of course it is perfectly legitimate to work politically for the recognition of the Genocide (in one of the many possible meanings of this word, and functions of its use. i.e. the semantic issue I will revert to). I agree with Boyajian that your last post is not constructive. I would never, I hope, use the expression of  “reliance on the geocide as a crutch” because I feel it would be an insult. But I would try to explain why it is not as easy as “Phantom” indicates (“go ahead and use the word genocide!”). Of course the word “genocide” may become a kind of crutch in certain circumstances. But I would not use the word “crutch”. I would try to explain circumstances in which one relies too much on the use of a certain term – the “slogan” use of words –  and too little on explanations of its meaning. I will enlarge on this in my answer to “Phantom”.

  136. Phantom –
    Your question is predicated on the present population of Turkey being the correct entity to provide, in your words “justice”. This assumes that a causal link exists between the current state and the acts of the actual perpetrators. Furthermore by continuing the denial Turkey has become a party to the original act requiring repentance. Arguable but also debatable.
    Secondly, you ask if there is any capability of reflection, remorse and sympathy. I think there is but doubt if the present environment is conducive to this. Instead there’s a mix of ignorance, indifference, self-righteousness added with a dose of mutual fear and loathing. I can’t see that changing unless there’s significant interaction. For that reason I still hope an accord with Armenia is possible, if for no other reason than to facilitate communication, education, trade and commerce. Perhaps then a stable platform to discuss more meaningful things will exist.

  137. No, Zeki.  Karekin’s sentiments are not an accurate reflection of many Armenians both in the Diaspora and in the Republic, because as you could see, many of us, and even a Norwegian poster, rebuffed his views. Just like any other nation, Armenians don’t have a monolithic voice on issues of national concern. There is nothing outstanding in this.

    Although you chose not to answer questions that I and others posed for you (is this how Turks normally behave as a civilized nation?), let me take you through the issue of “large disconnect” between abstract and reality in Armenian minds.

    The realm of Abstract:

    (1)”Force Turkish government to recognize.”  Do some reality check, if you will: this is already happening. And the major enforcers are not even Armenians, but the world community.

    (2)”Turkey genuflects in humble remorse.” Is this stated only to reinforce the widely-held historical evidence-based opinion that Turks—Seljuks, Ottomans, or Republicans—are generally unremorseful, unempathetic nation and all they can do is to mass murder, torture, mutilate, burn and bury alive, rape, and steal? Is this what you’re reinstating? I personally don’t think all Turks are as such. But consider this: if the leader of the great German nation could genuflect, why your leader can’t if you now consider your nation civilized and progressed from your nomadic Seljuk origin and repressive colonist Ottoman past?

    (3)”Voluntarily compensates with billions of dollars and vast territorial concessions.” I doubt it that Armenians generally think that Turks are capable of voluntarily compensating with billions of dollars and vast territorial concessions. But we rightfully think that international recognition of the genocide which, as I said, is happening in reality can serve as  the basis for legal suits for reparations and the return of the stolen properties. Already there were several cases with foreign insurance companies which were won by Armenians. I mean, in reality there were such cases.

    (4)”Enter into a new era of Armenian wealth and power.” History repeats itself, as you may know. What I know for sure is that throughout their 4000-year long existence on Earth Armenians always worked and created, didn’t murder others and stole their wealth as some. Therefore, based on our historical record you can say with considerable degree of certainty that Armenians will never cease to work and thus acquire wealth and power.

    The Realm of Reality:

    (1)”Waste countless hours and tens of millions of dollars on both sides on arguing about a historical tragedy the rest of the world only feigns interest in.” We’re not wasting our time and money: we have a have national Cause that we’re advancing to have Turkey and the world recognize our tragedy which the increasing number of foreign parliaments, federal and local, international organizations, scholars, historians, lawyers, Nobel Prize laureates, human rights and advocacy groups, and professional associations recognize as genocide. This is not a waste because we can see the results of our work. Parliaments representing nation-states by definition cannot “feign” when they adopt resolutions. Even if some of them are non-binding they express strong moral and political disposition towards the Turkish denial. If you know the world only feigns, can you answer—and not buzz off—as to why the Turkish government is spending millions of dollars to stop their adoption world-wide?

    (2)”Like two bald men arguing over a comb.” Again, we’re not arguing; we’re advancing the Cause. I have nothing to argue with a Turk whose grandfather might have burnt my grandmother’s relatives alive. I know this firsthand: when, where, and that the crime was done by gendarmes, that is: representatives of the central Turkish authority. That is why I know and the world knows that it was a deliberated and centrally-planned annihilation of the race. Do a reality check: there was never an arguing stage in the process of recognition of genocide and the world has already passed the stage of determining that it was, in fact, a genocide. It’s now in the stage of recognizing it and demanding reparations.

    (3)”Most probably, a recognition to follow at an indeterminate time in the future. The reality is that it will most likely be of a symbolic nature.” You enter the realm of probabilities. Chancellor Brandt’s genuflecting before the Warsaw Ghetto monument was clearly not a Bundestag resolution. As such, it could be considered symbolic, but nonetheless, the gesture was generally perceived as act of remorse and plea for forgiveness given the official capacity of the Chancellor.

    (4)”In either case, it would be recognition without serious consequences. There is no international framework or body with jurisdiction or authority to enforce any obligation for a nearly 100 year historical event.” How do you know? In the German case the government adopted a program of state reparations to the victims. Why do you think Turks are different? And there is international framework or body with jurisdiction or authority to enforce any obligation for a nearly 100 year crime. The 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide declares genocide a crime under international law and clearly states that the prescribed punishment is not subject to the limitations of time and place. In addition, the Turkish crime (that was called a “crime against humanity” since the word ‘genocide’ was only coined in 1943) and the Armenian claims were recognized internationally in Article 144 of the Treaty of Sevres of 1920, which was signed by the representatives of the Sultan but not ratified after the Kemalist overturn. The non-enforcement of Article 144 does not mean that the entitlements do not exist. The International Court of Justice, which settles legal disputes submitted to it by states, and the International Criminal Court, which has global jurisdiction, are the bodies with jurisdiction or authority that you think do not exist to enforce obligation.

    (5)”I’d rather see the tangible benefits of reconciliation, regional peace and wealth creation. Just don’t ask me how.” Reconciliation happens between two or more parties to a war or a conflict, not between the murderer and the victim. What happens between the murderer and the victim is recognition on the part of the murderer and subsequent forgiveness on the part of the victim. Regional peace and wealth creation normally happen when recognition of crime happens; when a state that keeps its borders closed with another state opens them up; and when a state that imposed an economic blockade of another state lifts it up. All three necessary conditions are fully applicable to modern-day Turkey. Give them a thought, if you can.

  138. “I still hope an accord with Armenia is possible, if for no other reason than to facilitate communication, education, trade and commerce. Perhaps then a stable platform to discuss more meaningful things will exist.”

    Zeki, accords are being achieved between the warring or conflicting or scuffling sides, not between the genocide perpetrator-nation and the victim-nation. For the victim-nation, the admittance of guilt by the perpetrator is the most meaningful thing, only after which communication, education, trade and commerce could be facilitated. Otherwise, how can the victim-nation engage in any interaction with the perpetrator-nation that never apologized for the crime? No apology presupposes possible repetition of the crime. If you’re truly concerned with facilitating communication, education, trade and commerce with Armenia, what, in your view, prevents Turkey to open borders, lift its illegal blockade of Armenia, and discontinue anti-Armenian threats (such as the known one by Ozal in the past and Erdogan recently) to facilitate such contacts from the Turkish end?

  139. Zeki
    You say to karekin
    Quote:Yours suggestion would be a sensible option if you were dealing with a rational entity. Unfortunately your not. Instead Turkey is (like ALL other nation states with the US the greatest of them all) driven purely by self interest. Basically, recognition will only follow if there’s self interest or coercion. Unquote.
    What is self interest?  I miss an explanation of that phenomenon. The book “The Guilt of nations” by Elazar Barkan describes a number of instances in which various victimized groups achieve redress in various ways. Some of the last are the Australian aboriginees. We also saw that women forced into prostitution in WW2, demonstrating before the Japanese embassy in China,  I believe, were able to force some statements from China. Now these women had no voting power, no economic power, and certainly no military power. Still they achieved something. If the superpower addressed, hardly a democratic one,  admitted something it is a moot question whether this was done out of “self Interest” or not. It is in our self interest to have a reasonably good reputation?  Of course this interest may be overridden in situations where other important self interests are there, but it you were right China would never have answered these women, or the  Australian the aborigines who also had no voting power, economic power or  military power would never have achieved anything.  So it is to my mind unrealistic to hold that countries that should be brought to admit guilt must be vanquished in war, like nazi-Germany.  As far as I can see Turkey is worried about the accusations coming from Armenians ,the majority of relevant historians, and a number – albeit small of – nationalist  parliaments. Otherwise it would make no sense to build political coalitions to influence Turkey.   Do you agree or not? If you don’t, what sense does it make to participate in a discussion forum like this?

  140. Boyajian…yes, I will repeat…Armenians need to look forward, not backward. I’m not saying that anyone should abandon history, but to the best of my knowledge, we cannot reverse what has happened, horrible as it was.  And, repeating the genocide mantra, over and over again, while it may sound pleasing and self-satisfying in a religious sort of way, does not accomplish any of the goals many on this forum espouse.  

    We all know the details, we’ve heard about them, read about them and told others about them for years and years.  Unfortunately, many Armenians live, think and exist within an Armenian bubble and seem unconnected to the larger mindset of the world, which may recognize the genocide, but is unprepared to actively do anything about it. At the same time, many Armenians (and I have been one of them along the way), also spend alot of their time trying to convince other human beings that the world is round, i.e, that the genocide took place.  We know it’s true and feel others should and that they should care, but in reality, they don’t and won’t. And, even if they do care…then what?  What will they do in response?  How does an American see the relevance of the genocide, when atrocities are being committed right now by their own government all over the world?  What good does it actually do for Armenia, which is on the edge of a cliff right now?  

    Of course, Armenians do not need to be educated or convinced that the genocide is/was an historical truth.  However, if Armenians want to press the issue, their intended audience should be those in Turkey who either deny or are unaware of this horrible event in their country’s recent history. Yes, I get all of that…it is not a mystery to me or to many others.  My point is that if the annihilation of Turkey’s Armenians is still such a big issue, where is the outrage at what is happening to Armenia today?  The reason for putting an onus the big powers is because they’ve all had many years to actively help Armenia with investment, either from a business or scientific angle, but they haven’t. In fact, they’ve done just the opposite and have (primarily the US) punished Armenia for being close to Iran, without offering anything in return. Many have worked hard to support Azerbaijan, because it exports oil to Turkey and to Israel. At the same time, there are Russian enticements all over Armenia, designed to lure hardworking men away with the offer of jobs, apartments, and expense paid travel tickets. Today, Russia owns the basic infrastructure of Armenia and Armenia is in debt up to its eyeballs to Russia as a result.

    So, what is worse?  A genocide that happened a hundred years ago, or the active destruction of Armenia today?  This is being done by stealth – strangling Armenia and forcing its people to leave. My point is that no one can do much about what happened in 1915, but everyone can, at least try, to do something to help Armenia now. It’s all we have on the planet, so it will pay to care for and protect it. 

  141. Karekin –

    Why can’t both avenues—genocide recognition and support of Armenia—be pursued? Both are doable. One doesn’t exclude the other, one only reinforces the other. And both represent two sides of our national identity. I support many projects in Armenia on bi-monthly basis. I support my distant relatives there, too. But I cannot direct my whole attention only to Armenia when a part of me pushes me for the fight for justice for my slaughtered relatives.

    I think what you’re suggesting is detached from reality or you must have ice water running through your veins.

  142. Karekin,

    There is a well known quote from the Ittihadists that says that the Genocide was meant as a blow that “will throw back the Armenian nation by a 100 years”. It did succeed to do just that. We lost not only land and cultural treasure, but we also lost our most famous intellects, writers, composers and entrepreneurs from an era that was dubbed as the Armenian Renaissance. You are right to say that present day Turkey has advanced trade and economy. But it will be naïve of us to overlook the fact that a good part of Turkey’s economic wealth was built upon confiscated Armenian businesses and assets, its thriving industries and especially produce farms sit on our lands and are the products of our old farms. Recently, a Turkish diplomat was quoted saying that his Turkish ancestors “made the right decision by refusing to give back the Armenian lands, because look at how much goods and wealth is being generated from them”. In addition to this, you have of course the U.S. which is assisting Turkey in the billions. All this is happening under the watchful eyes of Armenia and its Diaspora. Do not discount the fact that Turkey is in many ways responsible for today’s economic conditions in Armenia. The Karabagh issue was a pretext to close the borders and blockade our fledgeling nation, because Turkey has not veered an inch from its goal of crushing Armenia. The Turkish blockade is not only illegal, but it is completely unsubstantiated because Karabagh was always our land, we fought because the Azeris started progroms with the intention of ethnically cleansing our Armenian population in Azerbaijan, to get rid of the issue of Karabagh’s ownership once and for all. It did not occur to anyone that a few thousand indigenous Karabaghzis could liberate their historic land. Turkey’s solidarity with Azerbaijan does not stop with the blockade. Turkey and its best friends bestow Azerbaijan with robust military help. Another “illegal” move. You cannot claim to be an objective broker and promoter of peace by openly arming one of the disputing sides. You see Karekin, you cannot extract our cause from Armenia’s present economic reality because they are interconnected. Turkey’s present day policies vis a vis Armenia are perfectly alligned with its long engraved goal of kicking the Armenians out of the Caucasus by making their lives very difficult. Yes, it is succeeding in doing that in many ways…. Unless we fight back. We cannot fight back by being oblivious of the factors and reasons involved and by putting the hirculean efforts of our brave people down.

  143. I also wanted to add, that it is a known strategy for subordinating nations to make daily life difficult for the people they are trying to control, on purpose, so that their energy and resources are invested in securing their basic survival needs. This way theira “energy and resources” are diverted from pursuing nationalistic endeavors. Abandonning our cause will be a grave mistake. It is exactly what Turkey is working towards. We need to tackle both fronts, our legal demands and the prosperity of our nation, at the same time.

  144. Excellent Katia K: (‘Karekin,’ June 15 Post)

    “because Turkey has not veered an inch from its goal of crushing Armenia.”
    …..and actualizing their mythological dream of completing an unbroken Pan-Turanic chain stretching from the Bosphorus to the border of  China.
    Turkey’s present day policies vis a vis Armenia are perfectly alligned with its long engraved goal of kicking the Armenians out of the Caucasus
    …..and actualizing  their mythological dream of completing an unbroken Pan-Turanic chain stretching from the Bosphorus to the border of  China.
    (there you go again Avery with your ”….. constant praise of each others’ posts”)
    (‘the Prof’ is not gonna  be too happy)

  145. Thank you Avery,
    I know, here we go thanking and praising each other again,,, something no other ethnic group does on the face of the Earth… We are so unsophisticated.. People only prefer seeing us fighting… I guess that’s more entertaining for them..

  146. I have to thank, congratulate, express appreciation, jump up and down in agreement, and behave in accordance with my inbred tendencies:

    Katia, you have such a keen understanding of the continuum of events that connect the genocide to the events in Armenia and Artsakh today and you express yourself so well! It makes me so proud to know that Armenia has intelligent women like you who can calmly and forcefully lay out the facts in defense of our nation. Always a pleasure to witness the workings of your wonderful mind. Many thanks also to Phantom and Avery and Gor and Grish and etc, etc., etc., for excellent posts.

    Gor, we have tried so many times to make the case with Karekin that our struggle is many faceted and interconnected. He always eventually returns to his complaint against fellow Armenians. It is quite perplexing. Of course we all agree with him that Armenia needs our energy and financial input, but as Katia has laid out so clearly, it is all interrelated and the struggle for justice must be fought on many fronts. It’s a tough battle and the enemy is coming at us from many angles as well.

  147. Anahit
    regarding your citations of what I said in 2010. This is a tangled matter, and maybe I overdid the plight of the Turks then as a theme in our discussion in 2010. However, I cannot see in the citations you provide that I used  the word “par” or indicate “equalizing” of suffering.  On may 28, 2010 and on other occasions  I answered most comprehensively the question of  “relativization” of the Armenian suffering by pointing to the Turkish suffering in the Balkans and the Caucasus. I made it very clear that the crime against the Turks cannot remove the crime against the Armenians. But of course I am open to the charge that I was mistaken or onesided. Maybe I was.
    However, I will try to repeat my reasoning as I  see it today.
    The first point is the  principle of understanding context in human behavior. This is an accepted principle and as far as I know very prominent in social anthropology. So in order to understand what happened (understand,  not condone) to Armenians what happened to Turks is relevant  (the statements of some of the Armenians participants at that time “what possible connection could there be between the events in Balkan and the genocide?” is to my mind naïve)
    On may 28 2010 murat wrote
    Quote.You may or may not think all this (the Ottoman experiences of Russian imperialism, RN) justifies the extreme measures they took (against the Armenians), but as a group so interested in history, truth and facts (sarcasm here!), it is important that you understand the connection to the historic Russian threat and the ethnic cleansings that took place in the Balkans and Caucuses in recent memory at that time. Unquote
    This is a very usual Turkish reaction. Of course what he says this is more like condoning the genocide: “We were afraid Bulgaria would repeat itself in Eastern Anatolia, and we were justified in doing to the Armenians what the Bulgarians did to us”. I will never use such a rationale, it means denying human rights, but I acknowledge its force it a world where  raison d’etat reigns.
    Secondly:  IF you want to influence liberal minded – or potential liberal and anyhow truth seeking – Turks you must not simply brush aside their story of suffering. That is IF ACTUAL INFLUENCE  IS WHAT YOU WANT TO HAPPEN IN THE REAL WORD. If you for psychological reasons are unable to do it, I respect this, but psychological processes on the one hand and logical reasoning and strategy formation  on the other are two different things.
    Strategy has to do with how you organize a dialogue. I did this scores of  times with Turks: Step one: I say: The ittihadists let the Armenians be massacred in tens of thousands in 1915, and let them die I hundreds of thousands in 1915 and  the perpetrators were not prosecuted. What does this tell about the intent in the ittihadist government? Step two: If the The turks  say: but we were massacred too. Step three: I say 1) yes, I know and this was terrible, 2) BUT this is not an answer if your forefathers are accused of  a crime –  to say that the same thing happened to them. Stick to the theme! I say. And THEN I am not willing to go further, but I ask the Turks to stick to the theme. But if you say “shut up about your own suffering”, the liberal Turk will leave the dialogue and go home and curse the Armenians, or at least many turks will do it.
    Actually some Armenian participants in the Davutoglu debate went much further at that time –  more or less saying 1) that “bloodshed” is what happens in war (massacres of Bulgarian Turks and driving old people, women and children out into the winter to die), and 2) that the Turks anyhow did not belong there. Now the modern principles of domicile state that you have a right to citizenship where you are born and I support this. It is part of the human rights package which we should support. But the callousness of several Armenian participants towards the genocidal killing of hundreds of thousands of Turks in Bulgaria – to take one example, was very disappointing to me.
    But again, not to be misunderstood, it is the Armenians who are knocking on the doors all around the world and they should have a just answer from the turks. This is the bottom line, and where I will put my emphasis like in my outreach work for instance to the 150 students that saw the youths singing in Akhtamar and being chased out by the Turkish policeman. This is the bottom line TODAY, not the plight of the Turks. But ANALYTICALLY and STRATEGICALLY  speaking, the plight of the Turks has a place.
    To answer, as unfortunately many of you do, with a kind of “truth rhetoric”  – like “we do not compromise on truth” or “this is not a disagreement, it is about accepting the truth or not”  misses the point. Saying  “I will only discuss with Turks who agree that there was a genocide” is a recipe for impasse, as the recipe “I will only discuss with those who agree with me”  creates an impasse in ordinary human relations. Even if we are completely right in our assertions. I am repeating myself. Sorry for the long post.

  148. Gor, Katia, Boyajian….let me just say that I neither dispute nor want to argue your points…I agree w/ you. However, maybe you can help me w/ an aspect of this ‘fight’ that is a mystery to me, but seemingly not to you.

    When someone has something you want….whether it’s a car, a piece of land, or an object…usually, we can attempt to buy that particular thing. If or when we have the funds being asked, we enter into a transaction. OK, simple. But you say, the entity that has things we want (Turkey; genocide recognition, land, church property, etc) has them thru conquest or theft and will not return or pay for them, and worse, will issue no apology for such deeds (which also include mass murder).

    So, what are the options available to retrieve those items and what are the probabilities that any of them will come to pass?  When someone wants something in the possession of someone else and they don’t get it, sometimes it helps to carry a big stick. Unless Armenia can militarily overtake Turkey and impose its version of history on 74 million people, I don’t see much happening in that direction thru the use of force. The probability of nil.  We’ve seen lawsuits waged in various countries around the world and many have been decided in our favor, but they’ve not moved Turkey to do anything. NY Life is not the govt of Turkey, no matter how you slice it.  So again, the probabiility that these actions can produce a positive result is virtually nil.

    In the time I’ve had on this earth, I’ve seen and experienced an endless stream of Armenians talking to Armenians about our losses, our pain and our demands of Turkey.  What I’ve yet to see are either 1) a big stick or 2) an intelligent, realistic strategy for reaching our stated goals. I’ve listened to bombastic speeches and fantasy scenarios, none of which have any basis in reality.  Sadly, too many members of my family have gone to their graves clinging to this wish…but with no clear idea that any of it could come to pass. 

    Maybe a more realistic approach would be to put something on the table that Turkey wants?  If you want to move anyone or any animal towards a certain behavior, it has been proven thru years of research that providing incentives drastically improve the chance of success. Has anyone considered what can be offered to help us get what we want?  Before throwing this thought out the window, I think it deserves serious consideration, especially since ethical and moral considerations are rarely the kinds of things that motivate entire nations or governments to do anything. We need to put something on the table that they need or want, plain and simple, if we want to get something out of them.

    I would also suggest that if you held up a scale and put the genocide on one side and the life/security of Armenia on the other, the burden and weight of those living in today’s Armenia would be the heavier side and deserve priority treatment. Treating them both equally is not the answer, because only one can really bear fruit, in the form of a viable nationstate, and the other can, at best, only produce moral & ethical satisfaction, which will not keep a landlocked nation clothed, well fed or educated.  If the message bin of Hai Tahd is overstuffed w/ any issue we can think of, then nothing will be a priority and none will actually get attention it needs to succeed. 

  149. Ragnar, for the record, I understand when you suggest that the plight of the Balkan Turks was a contextual factor in what happened to the Armenians, but not as a causal link! I don’t think any Armenian wants to ‘brush aside’ Turkish suffering, but instead to say that the Balkan tragedy cannot be used as an excuse or defense for what happened to the Armenians AND that it is, at the very least, insensitive, to attempt to avoid responsibility for the Armenian tragedy by pointing to the Balkan events in an effort to say “We all suffered,” thus minimizing the loss of the Armenians.

    In general, in a disagreement between two parties, it is not an appropriate or constructive response when Party A, feeling wronged by the Party B, requests acknowledgment and compensation from Party B, for Party B then to say to Party A; “You self-centered whiner, can’t you see that we were first wronged by Party C.”   More simply put:  “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” 

    Further, Party B continues to benefit from what it took from Party A, all the while denying it ever belonged to Party A.  Meanwhile, Party A continues to suffer from its loss.  In an interrelated and complex world, should Party A not then turn to Parties D, E, F, etc., to press Party B to face its obligation to Party A?

    Turkey has a moral responsibility as a signatory to the Genocide convention to at least acknowledge the truth of the annihilation of the Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman/CUP Turks.  Turkey, as a nation, has an obligation to lead her citizens to the truth, as well as other nations have a responsibility to lead Turkey to the truth.  Otherwise, what is the point of the UN?
    But that is another discussion.  And shouldn’t you as a human rights advocate, recognize the tremendous pain that Armenians still carry today as a result of Turkey’s denial and distortion of our shared history?

  150. Well said Anahit, re ‘No, Zeki….’
    Excellent re Abstract(4).  I would add an   important caveat  to Reality(5) re ‘wealth creation’: As you said in Abstract(4), Armenians build and create wealth wherever they are, for as long as we’ve been around: however, the wealth stolen from us needs to be recovered – to set a firm precedent : too many times in our history we have  toiled for generations to create wealth, which was stolen after the creators were either murdered or chased away, leaving behind wealth created over decades or even centuries by Armenians for the criminals to take at will and enjoy the fruits of. Historically, factually,  it is a lot easier to create more wealth from a wealthy foundation, than to start from scratch (every time).
    There has to be some iron-clad guarantee (…’iron’ as in a cannon), that the wealth created by us will not be stolen again – ever.
    In law-and-order societies private property is protected (to a large degree) and  thieves are punished: that gives the wealth creators the security of mind
    to continue their wealth-creating activities – from which the whole nation benefits.
    I invite  Turks and their friends to read this (May 22, 2011):–and-kurdish-questions-should-be-taken-as-a-whole.html
    [Once the new regime did away with its Greeks and Armenians, transferring their assets to Turkish (Sunni) Muslim and Kurdish (Sunni) Muslim communities, ]
    [In fact, today, the source of the Turkish bourgeoisie’s wealth is Armenian and Greek property, although books on Turkish economic history never mention this,” he said.]
    Anahit, I think Phantom needs your standard  elucidation  re  ‘the Prof’: he is trying to make sense of   ‘the Prof’s illogic e.g. [“Ragnar, your above quote suggests that although you have an aversion on the one hand to the word GENOCIDE, you state that you support the “just Armenian cause”] – little does Phantom  know of  his subtle ways of ensnaring unsuspecting ‘students’. (no offense Phantom: Anahit has extensive experience with Mr. Naess – she saved me a lot of  (wasted) posting-time a little while ago): read her re-pastes from Davutoglu-thread; also read Diran’s post in this thread)

  151. Karekin —     You claim:  “When someone wants something in the possession of someone else and they don’t get it, sometimes it helps to carry a big stick.” But, my friend, what is in the possession of someone else does not belong to them. Besides, why do you think that what Armenians do worldwide is not fragments of the big stick? There are many other fragments that we still need to put in effect. I hope you don’t think that a mightier state can be called to justice only by projection of military force?   You ask:  “Maybe a more realistic approach would be to put something on the table that Turkey wants?” What is it that Armenians still owe to the Turks? They’ve physically destroyed my people, stolen our historic homeland, houses, pastures, properties, bank accounts, and insurance indemnities. Made us a Diaspora nation scattered throughout the world. What is it that we still have that we can put on the table? Turkey wants us to vanish from the face of the Earth or at least subjugate us to the extent that we never express our righteous indignation against the barbarity of the Ottoman predecessors. Are you a voiceless slave? I am not and will never be. Will fight Turkish denialists anyway I can, anywhere I can, and however I can till the day I die… for my innocent relatives of Kharpert: tortured, mutilated and killed by Turkish barbarians.

  152. Zeki,   I shall repeat for the third and the last time my questions, which you chose not to answer so far thus showing great national level of civilization maturity and exceptionally good behavioral idiosyncrasies. If you fail this time, too, then I will rightfully conclude that either: (a)you don’t know the answers to these questions while you profusely expatiate upon others; or (b)you avoid engaging in a dialogue with Armenians, which our professor from Norway criticizes Armenians for avoiding doing with Turks; or (c)you post on these pages only to disseminate cheap, unsubstantiated Turkish crap.

    Q. 1: You stated earlier that the 1923 Lausanne Treaty was “the axe that severed Turkey from its Ottoman past” thus implying that modern-day Turkey legally has nothing to do with its Ottoman past. If Turkey has nothing to do with its Ottoman past, why the Turkish state—bound with no obligations for crimes, as well as debts, treaties, and territories that unrelated aliens called “Ottoman Turks”, have committed—cannot acknowledge, with no legal consequences for itself, the crimes committed in a lonely planet called “Ottoman Empire” on orders of Martians called “Ittihadists”? After all, modern Turkey, according to you, is severed in every way from its Ottoman past, isn’t it?

    Q. 2: You stated earlier that Armenians “waste countless hours and tens of millions of dollars… on arguing about a historical tragedy the rest of the world only feigns interest in.” If the world only feigns interest in a historical tragedy that befell Armenians in the hands of bloodthirsty Turks, why the Turkish state and its lobbying groups world-wide fiercely oppose parliamentary resolutions, governmental or non-governmental statements, scholarly publications, academic conferences, and legal lawsuits knowing full well, according to you, that these institutions or individuals representing the world only feign interest in the Armenian genocide?

  153. Anahit- Modern day turkey does not want to sever itself from its
    Ottoman past. Not a chance. That’s where all the Armenian money and land and
    culture they enjoy today came from. They would have to give it all back if they
    severed themselves from their evil past. They would then be empty-handed. They
    are nothing and nobodies without the spoils they took from the Armenians,
    Greeks, and Assyrians. Turkey has no genuine culture of is own. It thrives on
    jihad. No nation has ever been revered by history for its ability to conquer,
    to murder, to pillage, to rape. Is there anything turkey is actually noted for besides murder?
    It is  so morally deficient that they charge Greeks $12 to go into the ruins
    of Hagia Sophia. It is so intellectually bankrupt that they charge Armenians
    $12 to go into the so-called “restored”ruins of Aghtamar. Turkey has no
    originality in literature, or art, or music, or architecture. It slithers and
    slides around on Christian culture it claims as their own. Watch this video.!

  154. Karekin,
    What can we offer the Turks? The idea of us offering something else to the Turks to get them to repent, will give the Turks more confirmation that “their way” always brings people to their knees offering them more and more with absolutely no guarantees or concessions needed in return. What can you offer a people, who has no respect to other peoples’ histories and culture? What is Turkey interested in but absolute power? This is a people who have adopted other people’s lands and cultural monuments as their own, openly and shamelessly! Throughout their history they have glorified conquests, looting and taking over other people’s possessions. That was their nomadic way of living as Tatars and Seljuk Turks who decended from Central Asia and who have now converted Constantinople and Agia Sophia into a muslim hub with a famous mosque. You think we can trust getting into negotiations with their government? Of course there are many decent Turks; some have Greek, Armenian and Syriac ancestors and they don’t even know it. However as a nation, their vision is alligned with their cultural and traditional principles which are based on the concept of “conquest”.
    I agree with you that we have an urgent need for more inspiring and visionary leaders that will put Armenia in the path of Democracy and robust economy. We should concentrate on long term plans of resettlement and law and justice that will make living and investing in Armenia more palatable. You are right, we are nothing without a strong Armenia. A strong Armenia should also have a strong identity. We have come a long way since the 80s. We have taken huge leaps in raising awareness for the Genocide. That needs to also continue. Noone respects a people that does not respect its identity, promote its history and foght for its rights.

  155. boyajian
    lets say that Peter mistreated  Paul and then Paul mistreated John  in a far worse way. But when John asked Paul for an excuse, Paul answered that he had been mistreated by Peter. John can legitimately say that what Peter has done is not relevant. But if Paul has some justifiable feeling that nobody listens to the wrongs done towards him, maybe John will do wise to acknowledge the mistreatment meted out to Paul, as one of the methods to make him listen and acknowledged the wrongs he did himself. This is the parable. – –
    John may of course refuse to do this, insisting that Paul should apologize. This is understandable but possibly less effective if he really wants  to bring Paul to the point where he apologizes. Is it more effective  to  try to influence third parties to condemn Paul and entertain an (unrealistic?) hope that this somehow will have an effect on Paul? . This was my point.- – –
    Now of course this is only part of what Turks usually say. Their  idea 1) of  Armenians as traitors  in 1914-15 and 2) Armenian atrocities against Turks and Kurds in 1916-17 loom  much larger in their consciousness. So this is another theme. But again Armenians might concede that what the avengers did to Turks and Kurds backed by the Russian army in 1916-17 –  or what ASALA did later, was bad,  but then return to the fact that what was done in 1915 was considerably worse, and that whatever  Armenians did later was an understandable reaction to this. – –
    But here I feel that some Armenian commentators adopt double standards  and get overtly apologetic regarding atrocities against Turks. On june 3 2010 in the Davutoglu debate msheci commented on the fate of Turkish civilians in the following way: “….national liberation of the colonies from the occupation of the metropolis is exemplified, almost inevitably, by bloodshed….”. By the same logic: if the occupier from their experiences expects wholesale killing of old people, children and women by the “liberation” army, they may feel justified to do the same to the country men of the rebels, and one might say – apologetically – that this is part of what “almost inevitably” will happen in conflicts.

  156. Gor – have you ever studied history?  Have you ever heard the phrase, to the victor go the spoils? This has been a truism for all of human history. I suspect this is what is working against us every step of the way.  

    Again, I don’t disagree w/ you on goals, but I differ on how we should get there. You ask, What is it that Armenians still owe to the Turks?  The answer is NOTHING, of course.  But, have you ever thought that this might be the wrong question?  No one is suggesting that Armenians owe Turks anything, because you’re right…they have all the tangible things that were built by our ancestors… they have the land, the monuments, etc. Let’s not forget, they have much of ancient Greece as well, under their belts.

    I suggest that the way to open the doors, at least to start, is for Armenia and perhaps even diaspora Armenians, to offer Turkey something else… something intangible but equally valuable. We know that Turkey yearns to be accepted by nations both near and far, as a respected member of the world community. Perhaps a show of sincere goodwill from our side, which let me remind you, costs nothing, could result in alot of goodwill being returned to us, perhaps in a big way. As Christians, we’re supposed to promote the concept of forgiveness. What if, on a hypothetical level, Armenians were able to say, we forgive them…they had a period of massive despotic craziness that resulted in the murder of an entire nation…but, in a Christ-like way, we forgive them?  

    Now, I’m not saying this should be done, has to be done or will be done, but – as a hypothetical gesture, it might deliver more positive results that we can imagine.  It also might make sense to think of the repercussions from such an act….I think this would carry alot of weight, both politically and spiritually, and who knows what the positive results might be?  Instead of issuing our typical demands and threats (which by the way, are rather empty) and anger, what if another approach was taken?  I would suggest that we don’t know the outcome….because we’ve never tried it….Such an act can be very disarming – even embarrassing for the receiver if it is not received gracefully and apologetically. There’s also a price to be paid for carrying a grudge decade after decade, that’s also intangible, but costly.  I know many Armenians who can’t put aside their anger enough to even think of visiting Turkey, where their ancestors lived for thousands of years, and this is a crying shame.  They are voluntarily cutting themselves and their families off from any connection they have to that soil…they have never visited those monuments – and it is only their anger that is in the way. My suggestion is to put the anger aside and work on a more positive approach to the problem, because that’s where we might find the real solution. 

  157. Perouz, thanks for the link. It is outrageous, especially, since it’s not just a random Armenian song. I saw another song on Youtube a few months ago, claimed to be “A Turkish song of Anatolian origin.” While it was not as famous as “Adana,” you would immediately recognize the Armenian theme. Do these singers realize that they humiliate themselves by stealing other people’s music? What a shame.

    Not surprisingly, despite stealing our music on top of everything else and being many more than us in numbers, they have been unable to produce a single musician who would hold a candle to our Komitas, Khachaturian, or Aznavour. 

  158. I personally overheard Steiner to use the word Genocide during a NAASR event, and few other times as well. So she did not not use Genocide during one talk. What is the bog deal? Why are we overreacting like this?

    Thank you

  159. [“I suggest that the way to open the doors, at least to start, is for Armenia and perhaps even diaspora Armenians, to offer Turkey something else… something intangible but equally valuable. We know that Turkey yearns to be accepted by nations both near and far, as a respected member of the world community. Perhaps a show of sincere goodwill from our side, which let me remind you, costs nothing, could result in alot of goodwill being returned to us, perhaps in a big way”]
    I have a better idea:
    Since Armenians are the aggrieved party, it is up to  those who did the wrongdoing to offer something as a goodwill gesture at the start of negotiations: that’s how it works in the real world, not in the Bizarro upside-down world where the victim is asked to offer  something of value to the aggressor to induce the latter to negotiate in good faith.
    Here is what Turkey can do to unequivocally show Armenia and Diaspora Armenians that they are “new, improved” Turks:
    [1] Recognize the Independence of Artsakh.
    [2] Officially declare that all liberated lands surrounding Artsakh are historic Armenian lands and that Azerbaijan has no legal claims to them.
    [3] Officially declare that Azerbaijan should vacate the rest of the historic Armenian lands now under its occupation around Arstsakh.
    [4] Officially request from Azerbaijan to vacate Nakhichevan and return it to the jurisdiction of RoA.
    [5] Officially declare that in the event  Azerbaijan attacks Artsakh/Armenia, they can expect no assistance whatsoever from Turkey.
    That should be enough for now.
    Note that none of the above – let me remind you – costs Turkey anything.
    How about it ?

  160. “But if Paul has some justifiable feeling that nobody listens to the wrongs done towards him,”…

    Ragnar, I get your point.  I just disagree with you.  On what basis can Turkey make such a claim or suggest that it deserves our empathy in order to move forward in dialogue with Armenians? Turkey behaves like a spoiled child who thinks he can step on other children’s toys and face no consequence; and you behave like the over-indulgent parent who suggests that the other children are unfair to their child if they complain.  It is only a matter of time before your toys or your neighbors toys get stepped on too.  Spoiled children rarely adjust their own behavior without external pressure being placed upon them.  That is my point.

    The Balkan Tragedy strategy is a specious argument.  Turks were mass-murdering Armenians long before the Balkan events.  What was the excuse then?

    Karekin, you want Armenians to give forgiveness to Turks acknowledging that ‘they had a period of massive despotic craziness that resulted in the murder of an entire nation.’   What about earlier periods of oppression and massacre?  Were they crazy then too?  Maybe they still are crazy.  By all means, let’s let the crazy guy set the standards for our relationship.  Let’s not tell the emperor that he wears no clothes!  Let’s give him the best-dressed award and hope that it inspires a period of goodwill toward us.  Maybe we will be invited to his next ball!

    Anahit, it was an oversight not to acknowledge you above.  Please disregard suggestions that you are writing only to other Armenians.  Your efforts at dialogue with Zeki really place our cause in its proper context and help all of us, Armenians and Turks, and third parties, be better informed.

  161. Turks were mass-murdering Armenians long before the Balkan events.  What was the excuse then?

    Exactly, Boyajian. What was the justification for the Hamidian massacres? There was no war, no Russians or anything else to provoke such an over-reaction. Ragnar, what is your “justification” for these events?  

  162. Karekin, if we forgive them, you will still not see any tangible results from Turkey.  Instead what you will hear in return is, “We have done nothing for which to be forgiven.”
    Ragnar, you are among Armenians, it’s ok to use the word Genocide here.  If you stubbornly refuse, it means that you are no better a human being than a neo-Nazi Holocaust denier.
    Avery and Anahit, have you ever read the interview of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) where he talks about what should be done with the Armenians.  If not I’ll give you a chilling little flavor:
    The Armenians,“ he said, „must not have Armenia, not the back lands. They would not work them themselves, not even for themselves. They would not even do the work of organizing the work or development. They would let them out as concessions to others to manage. They want to live on the coast, in cities, on rent, interest, dividends and the profits of trading in the shares and the actual money earned by capital and labor.”

    “There are lots of people like that,“ I said. „The Armenians aren’t the only ones.“

    “I see you still do not grasp my point,“ he said. „There are indeed others who would like to do that. The French bourgeoisie is moving in that direction, and our own English are coming to it, especially our Little Englanders of the so-called upper-class. They have that as their ideal. They would like to do noth­ing, but they can’t. They are harmless. They are willing to do nothing but spend. But they do spend, you see. Even your Jews are spenders, great spenders. But your Armenians will do nothing and they won’t spend. They get and they save; they sell but only to buy again and so get more and more. It takes evolution to develop such perfection of the true commercial spirit, and is a matter of degree. And the Armenians are the nth degree. I tell you that if ever the Armenians are given a fair start in the world, if they get a free hold of any corner of the earth, they will own the whole planet and work all the rest of mankind. That’s what the Turks know and dread and the Greeks and—all of us who know them. And so—“
    Perhaps this is why we create and accumulate only to be robbed and set back over and over again.  Have you ever read “History of the Armenians in India?”  If you do you’ll see that they were there accumulating wealth, as always, before the Brits and Dutch came.  But by the early 1800s the Brits and the Dutch East India Company had wrestled away what the Armenians had established over 3 millenia.  How?  Shear force and military power.  This has always been our achilles heal.  We build and accumulate, but we don’t create defense systems and build a war machine to defend ourselves from theft.  The Jews were the same.  They, however unlike us, have managed to figure out that might is right, and that it takes physical force and power to protect one’s assets and today Israel is able to do that even though it is a small nation with few people.  Armenia needs to stop investing in Churches and Chess and start investing in a defense industry powerful enough to cause serious pain to any nation who wants to steal its wealth or subjugate its people.

  163. I meant centuries not millenia when discussing the history of the Armenians in India in my last post.

  164. So, please explain what you are all suggesting here….are you saying that we Armenians are supposed to be angry with Turkey from birth to death?  Is this supposed to be one endless hatefest?  Is this what you are advocating?   And, how far back does the anger go? Is it supposed to be just to 1915?  to 1894?  or to 1071?  But then, why stop there? The Mongols devastated Armenia, let’s include them on our list, and maybe the Arabs, and the Greeks and the Romans?  At some point we need to accept that living on a patch of land that was a super highway from east to west was going to have consequences….everybody wants it…and those with the most force will get to keep it. If many of us are angry about past history, which to some degree is justifiable (but not on an endless basis), because there are always winners and losers, then we should be working to make the best of the future and to insure that there is one for Armenia. You know, I often wonder how a place like Vietnam could ever forgive the US for what it did there, or Japan or India w/ the British. Very often, I get the sense that for some people, unless a new, pristine, untouched Armenia is delivered on a silver platter with every last inch of historic territory attached, they won’t rest. Let me remind you, that today’s Armenia, barely 1/5th of our historic territory, is not a crown jewel by any stretch of the imagination. We have several million people there who live in the most dire poverty (with no chance of improvement), have no heat, no food, no electricity, no education, no shoes, no clothes, no medicine, no clean bed to sleep in, etc, etc, etc. All of those living in the ivory towers outside Armenia need to get a reality check. No, don’t forget the genocide, but don’t forget that today’s Armenia is living under the sword of Damocles…very precariously. Once again, this should be the priority of all of us – above all. Working out political solutions both within and outside of Armenia’s borders is paramount if Armenia is going to survive in the long term.  Armenia needs trade, it needs to develop a cost effective system to export its products, it needs to produce products and it needs markets for those products.  Without these things, the level of poverty and hopelessness will only spread like a cancer. A viable nation can only come about by overcoming the existential hurts that might linger in its past.  But if you don’t want that to happen, you condemn Armenia and Armenians to servitude. Is that what you want? I sure as hell hope not.  

  165. Phantom…
    I like your letters…
    Nice information about India…till Arizona
    This is why Princes Diana’s great great grandmother
    Was an Armenian from India…I think her name was Eliza Kevork 

    We are careful with our wealth
    Because we don’t like to ask others
    To pay our depths…

    But we are generous
    To give others
    What we hardly earned

    We give the poor
    We give orphans

    We don’t cheat 
    To have more wealth 

    God is our faith 
    Even if we don’t pray
    But we stay faithful 
    To every place 
    We immigrated through genocide

    We are careful with cents 
    Because our parents
    Were orphans…

    They tasted dry deserts
    No water…no bread
    Died…calling saints 

    We give our time for others 
    Without counting minutes

    We’re generous with our love…
    Is there more precious thing…than Love

    The wealth will go 
    But our love will breed 
    In humanity we care

    We are respected we are loved
    On every ground we work  

    Phantom… you are correct 
    We should know…
    How to keep our wealth 
    For our cohorts 

    My inventing new kind of fortresses
    To protect us from endless enemies…


  166. “We have several million people [in Armenia] who live in the most dire poverty (with no chance of improvement), have no heat, no food, no electricity, no education, no shoes, no clothes, no medicine, no clean bed to sleep in, etc, etc, etc.”

    Karekin, when have you been to Armenia last time? Yes, many (perhaps the majority) live in dire poverty, but many others don’t. As for “no heat, no food, no electricity, no education, no shoes, no clothes, no medicine, no clean bed to sleep in, etc,” are you describing Armenia in primordial times? Armenians in the republic would laugh when they hear this nonsense of yours.

  167. Yes, Karekin, apparently you’re not the only one who had a luxury of studying history. Others might have, as well. Although I never came across the phrase “to the victor go the spoils” during my history studies, but rather during my general enlightment, I understand that the phrase would be applicable to a winning party to a war, a military or ethnic conflict, or a mere scuffle. I don’t understand your logic of bringing up the phrase to the case of sheer unilateral destruction of a race. Can Turks be considered “victors” in a situation when there was no opponent, no enemy, no wrongdoer to them? Is this a “victory”?! It’s a disgrace to mass murder, burn alive, rape, and mutilate innocent human beings en masse. And to this “victor” in the Bloody Bacchanalia unleashed not against a warring party or a threatening external force, but against co-citizens who just happenned to be non-Turks, you think the spoils must go? You’re unbelievable, Karekin. Where does this self-deprecation come from in you? Did you have a turbulent childhood?

  168. Instead of issuing our typical demands and threats (which by the way, are rather empty)… —  To the poster by the name ‘Karekin’:  These “empty” demands and threats have resulted in general acceptance by the world of the righteousness of Armenian demands for justice and recognition. These “empty” demands and threats have resulted in 26 countries of the world, many regional governments, 44 US state legislatures, scores of professional associations and human rights groups, and the prevailing majority of genocide scholars, historians, and international lawyers to recognize the Armenian genocide. Now go and solve this conundrum as to how “empty” demands and threats could have resulted in such a multitude of supportive events.

  169. Lawrence of Arabia,
    The Son of a B*****d Said,
    “Armenians are Impossible”

    Armenians are impossible
    Because they have dignity
    More than anyone could sense…

    Armenians are impossible
    Because they search for truth…
    And they know they will slay
    Them selves before reaching there…

    Armenians are impossible
    Because they gift their life
    Having born with principles
    In their home and family life…

    Armenians are impossible
    Because they earn their bread
    By carving stones
    As the Khatchkars*…

    At the end to say,
    “Lawrence of Arabia
    Was a man without principles
    For that reason he said
    Armenians are impossible…!”


    May 2011


  170. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16 August 1888– 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The extraordinary breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title popularised by the 1962 film based on his First World War activities.
    Lawrence was born illegitimately in Tremadog, Wales in August 1888 to Sir Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner, a governess, who was herself illegitimate. Chapman left his wife to live with Sarah Junner, and they called themselves Mr and Mrs Lawrence. In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to Oxford, where from 1907 to 1910 young Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, graduating with First Class Honours. He became a practising archaeologist in the Middle East, working with David George Hogarth and Leonard Woolley on various excavations. In January 1914, following the outbreak of the First World War, Lawrence was co-opted by the British military to undertake a military survey of the Negev Desert while doing archaeological research.
    Lawrence’s public image was due in part to American journalist Lowell Thomas‘ sensationalised reportage of the revolt as well as to Lawrence’s autobiographical account Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922).
    In both Seven Pillars and a 1919 letter to a military colleague,[41] Lawrence describes an episode in November 1917 in which, while reconnoitring Dera’a in disguise, he was captured by the Turkish military, heavily beaten, and sexually abused by the local Bey and his guardsmen. The precise nature of the sexual contact is not specified. Although there is no independent evidence, the multiple consistent reports, and the absence of evidence for outright invention in Lawrence’s works, make the account believable to his biographers.[42] At least three of Lawrence’s biographers (Malcolm Brown, John Mack, and Jeremy Wilson) have argued this episode had strong psychological effects on Lawrence which may explain some of his unconventional behaviour in later life (wikipedia).


  171. John- what is the context in which you heard Steiner use the big G word? Turkey also uses it – what they say is ” Genocide did not happen.”

  172. Karekin, you make good points, but you miss the main point.  It is not about anger or hate.  It is about justice. There are universal goods worth fighting for and justice is one of them.  St Nercess Shnorhali, in “I Confess With Faith” said….”Strengthen me to hate sin and to love Thee alone.” The scriptures speak of a holy anger when they say “Be angry, but sin not!”  It is possible to have a righteous anger at a sin without sinning in return.  Also, I could hypothetically forgive Turkey for the sin of genocide, a crime from the past, and one that few Turks living today had a part in, but what of the sin of denial and distortion of the truth.  I think that this ongoing sin is what Armenians are most “angry” about. 


    Have you personally forgiven Turkey

  173. Avery —   I think I have even better idea. Since Turks and a few commentators here insist that Armenians—in no way participant or supportive or guilty in the expulsions and massacres of Balkan Turks or the Turkish defeat in WWI—show “goodwill” as the way to open the doors”, why won’t we have Turks acknowledge the following mass crimes before we acknowledge their sufferings at the hands of whomever but Armenians?   Here’s the list to chose from:

    [1] The Rape of Nanking

    [2] The Srebrenica Massacre

    [3] The Katyn Forest Massacre

    [4] The Massacre of Soviet Jews at Babi Yar

    [5] The Bombing of Chongqing

    [6] The Tlatelolco Massacre

    [7] The Hama Massacre

    [8] Russian White and Red Terrors

    [9] Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution killings

    [10] The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

    [11] Pol Pot’s Killing Fields

    [12] The Mass Killing of Communists by Suharto’s New Order

  174. Phantom: (June 17, 2011 post)

    thanks for the info: I had heard that T.E. Lawrence had said something negative about Armenians, but didn’t know what: I need to look into it more.
    Also didn’t know the history of Armenians in India: I’ll work on that to.


  175. Phantom —   Thanks for sharing this (chilling, indeed) interview of T E Lawrence re: Armenians. I knew he was a means by which the British played Arabs for a patsy on the matter of their independence. I knew also of his peculiar sexual orientation and that but thanks to you I learnt he was an Armenophobe, too.

  176. Gor….take a trip to some kyugh outside of Yerevan, and you’ll quickly see that the luxury life afforded by many in the city is not available to those in rural areas. You don’t have to go that far – even basic, clean bathroom facilities are impossible to find in most homes. And in Yerevan, some hi-rise buidings are fairly primitive, by many standards. But, that’s all a diversion. 

    My point is that the angry sentiments people have towards Turkey, no matter how ‘justified’, are not serving to help Armenia to survive and thrive. In fact, they are impeding progress that is very important to Armenia diplomatically, economically and strategically.  I am not suggesting that anyone throw in the towel or to give up anything in regard to the genocide, but to just think about letting it sit in the back seat, not in the driver’s seat of our relations with Turkey. While it might feel good for us to hear that parliaments say they acknowledge the genocide, in practical terms, what does that mean?  Does it mean that they invest in Armenia?  Does it mean that they support Armenia on Karabagh?  Does it mean that they will defend Armenia’s current national interests?  Does it mean that they will help erase Armenia’s mounting debt load?  We have to be practical about these things. It’s one thing to say they support genocide acknowledgement, it’s quite another for them to put money where their mouths are.

    As to Boyajian’s question about whether or not I’ve personally forgiven Turkey, I guess the honest answer is no. But, that has not stopped me from visiting Turkey and enjoying those visits, whether that means interacting with Armenians there, or Turks, Greeks, Jews or Kurds.  I truly believe that if handled properly, Turkey could be an important business partner for Armenia. Yes, there are obstacles, but any obstacle can be overcome if one truly wants to or needs to. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all. So, let’s be inventive and try to turn this situation around to our advantage. It can be done, if we don’t let psychological factors inhibit us or get in the way. As you well know, there are plenty of Armenians from Armenia already doing business in Turkey, and Turks doing business with Armenia, despite the lack of diplomatic relations. Would it not benefit Armenia to expand those ties as much as possible, as quickly as possible?  We can’t bring back the dead, but we can honor their memories by keeping today’s Armenia well financed, well protected and thriving. To me, that’s much more important than a once a year memorial service. 

  177. Boyajian —   Thanks for being considerate. A couple of supporting facts for your debate with the Professor, if I may. First of all, what Turks “usually say” in support of their near-annihilation of Armenians should be perceived as their attempt to justify the massive evil deed perpetrated by their predecessors, not an attempt at inviting Armenians to mutually acknowledge two incongruous—in essence, objective, and scope—events. One being the colonization and centuries-long oppression of Ottoman Armenians as a result of which inter-ethnic, inter-communal clashes ensued as a result of which aspirations for national liberation by a few Armenian revolutionaries emerged. Second being the premeditated, centrally-planned mass extermination of Armenians as particular racial, national, ethnic, and religious minority group. I see what Turks “usually say” also in the contest of government propaganda brainwashing and educational flaws, as well as in as a consequence of a subconscious complex of guilt, but not as an honest attempt to repent even if Armenians admit the wrongdoings of the Balkan nations, Arabs, Greeks, Australians or South Africans against Turks in which Armenians in no way—geographically, politically, morally, or militarily—have partaken or committed.

    This brings us to:

    Accusation A: “Armenians were traitors in 1914-15.” Turks and their henchmen conveniently forget that Armenians existed in Asia Minor long before the intrusions of nomadic Seljuk Turk hordes from Mongolian steppes. They forget that Armenians were colonized by Ottomans in the 16th century that made these indigenous inhabitants an oppressed millet. Turks and their sycophants conveniently forget that first instance of mass murder in which up to 300,000 Armenians were brutally massacred, occurred before 1914-15, when there was no expulsions of Turks form the Balkans, no disgraceful defeat at Sarıkamış led by untalented Enver, no World War One that Turks voluntarily entered by bombarding Russian naval installations in Black Sea, no frontlines, and no Armenian revolutionaries or nationalists dreaming of liberating Armenia from bloodthirsty Turks. None of those. Then there was the Adana massacre of Armenians that occurred in April 1909. Turks and their sycophants, please note: 1909 comes before 1914-15, from the chronological point of view. Massacre resulted in 30,000 deaths. And again, there was no expulsion of the Balkan Turks, no defeat at Sarıkamış, no World War One, and no frontlines. But there was already a few Armenian revolutionaries and nationalists who emerged as a consequence of Hamidian massacres. But guess what?  These Armenian revolutionary groups had worked together with the CUP to secure the restoration of constitutional rule, the same CUP which, as official government in 1915, will order mass annihilation of the same Armenians. That much about Turkish national character and who, in reality, the traitors were. Earlier, beginning with the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, the European nations by their own will became involved with the plight of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire. The term “Armenian Question” became common place among diplomatic circles and in the popular press after the Congress of Berlin of 1878 (i.e. before 1914-15) and the Treaty of San Stefano of 1877-78 (i.e. before 1914-15), both of which raised concern over the deplorable situation of native Christians in Ottoman Turkey, including the Armenians. When the Turkish nationalism awakened after these signs of Europe’s involvement in the Armenian subjects, Turks started to perceive Armenians as a separatist, European-controlled entity that contributed to the large-scale violence. And then in 1910 (i.e. before 1914-15), at a meeting held in Salonika, Talaat and other CUP leaders already spoke about crushing the non-Muslim communities “by force and by arms.” (see: Christopher Walker, World War I and the Armenian Genocide). These instances of mass murders of Armenian notwithstanding, in the years before the outbreak of WWI, the Armenians gave considerable support to the Turks. They also fought bravely in the Ottoman armies during the Balkan Wars. The British Ambassador at the time wrote that “the several thousands of Armenian troops have fought better than any of the other non-Turkish elements.” (see: Great Britain, Public Record Office, F0424/235. P. 349, November 23, 1912). In other words, most Armenians loyally believed in Ottomanism at the time.

    Accusation B: “Armenians committed atrocities against Turks and Kurds in 1916-17.” An unbashful and totally outlandish accusation. If one takes into account what mass murders were committed by Turks in 1894-96, 1909, and especially in 1915, I’d say whatever Armenians did in retaliation to the loathed Turks in 1916-17 was justifiable. Whatever they did—although incomparable in scope and the level of barbarity—was an understandable reaction to what Turks did in much earlier instances. I’m often puzzled at the mentality of the Turks and their lickspittles. Do they really think they can invade, loot, colonize, convert, steal, and mass murder other peoples while expecting no retaliation from the oppressed? What kind of mentality is this?

    Accusation C: “If the occupier expects wholesale killing of old people, children and women by the ‘liberation’ army, they may feel justified to do the same to the country men of the rebels.” Note ‘liberation’ in quotes, as if recorded human historiography knows any case of emergence of Turks in their native lands in the Balkans. As if the mainstream history doesn’t know that Turks appeared in the Balkans as a result of earlier invasions of the Seljuks and colonization of the Ottomans. For some reason aspirations for liberation from the occupiers’ yoke by native inhabitants are put in quotes. In jurisprudence, not only the actual killing is punishable by law, but also the intent to kill even if for various reasons it were not carried out. Therefore, to say that Turks may have expected killings and felt justified to do the same to the country men of the rebels, sounds hideous in the words of a human rights defender-turned junior historian. Meaning anyone can kill because he or she might expect the same from anyone else. How lovely! The hell with the Roman to modern-day laws! An important addition here: there is no single historical evidence that Ottoman Armenians intended wholesale killing of Turks. Not one. Already by the beginning of the WWI Armenians were disarmed by the CUP government. They were barred from carrying weapons. They were barred from serving in the army and those who served were transferred to the labor battalions where they worked to death. They were largely disorganized and living in rural areas detached from frontlines. No single evidence suggests that Armenians ever could or wished to organize wholesale killings of the Turks. They mostly hoped that foreign forces would advance into the Turkish territory and bring long-awaited relief to this ancient Christian people.

    I’d also like to bring to the Armenian commentators’ attention a phrase uttered by the Professor in the same Davutoglu thread: “[Armenian leaders] chose to attack(?!) a desperate nation [read: Turks] standing with its back to the wall, and the Turks responded with a desperate crime.” I believe this is the true understanding of the whole complex historical situation by our Professor. As always, with heavy pro-Turkish tilt…

  178. Karekin -–

    Genocide has little-to-nothing to do with the reluctance of Turks to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia that Turks refuse, open borders that Turks closed, or lift the economic blockade that Turks imposed. Your argument is understood, but I have serious concerns that there has been any change in the Turkish mentality towards the Armenians. The genocide recognition has almost nothing to do with the modern-day obstacles that Turks continue to create for us. Don’t you see the pattern?

  179. Karekin,
    I see Georgia Turkey’s close partner, I don’t see what ever you see in your beloved Turkish towns, except mosque buildings!! if Armenia border opened up, very first thing Turks will invest their money, will be  in casinos, brothel houses, praying carpet industry, for faithfuls, make the largest mosque of the world in the center of Yerevan, import Armenians apricots and brandy with cheap bargain prices, export them to Europe as Turkish delights and beverage!!
    You are living in your own dreams and world and trying to convince Armenians about Turks!! Border can be opened up without any precondition …Genocide is not in Turkish agenda, in order to open the border, they want us to give up Artsakh to Tatars!! Is this what are you asking ??  On top of that go to Turkish “Kyughs” and rural towns, and you will surprise about poverty level of Turks!!the reason we all see in Armenian side, because we are way, way smaller country and we can’t hide them the way Turks do!!Go Eastern Turkey and see Kurdish condition, then leave your brilliant comments in AW…

  180. Oh no (!), I have to praise Anahit – again.
    Feel really bad doing so, but I gots to do it (sorry Prof: “gots to do it” is LA slang).
    Anahit your detailed chronology of events will fall on deaf Turk and Turkophile ears.
    In their make-believe universe  either Time moves backwards, or Time and History began at the precise moment their suffering began.
    Apparently they appeared in, quote,  ‘Anatolia’ magically, which was completely barren when they appeared out of nowhere.
    They built magnificent structures, rich civilizations, and started living there peacefully, minding their own business….and then out of the blue, these bloodthirsty foreign invaders – Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Zazas, Kurds, Syriacs  – started attacking and killing them: for absolutely no reason at all.
    No wander they hate and despise Armenians, Greeks,….

  181. Anahit, thank you for the concise chronology of events which I appreciate and can only hope will have some impact on Turks and their strangely misguided non-Turkish defenders who frequent this site.   From previous exchanges with Ragnar, I believe he is fully aware of these facts but still manages to buy into the Turkish excuse that the Genocide was an act of extreme desperation brought on by the trauma of events in the Balkans and in reaction to Armenian desire to be free from the Ottoman yoke.  Somehow centuries of subjugation, forced conversion, mass killings, etc., is not seen as sufficient provocation for aspiration of independence.

  182. Bravo Anahit!
    Thank you for listing the chronological buildup of the events.  Thank you for shedding light on the truth, not the fiction imagined and fabricated by the Turks, and promoted by their friends, such as our “professor”.

    I was one of the steady commentators in the “Davutoglu” thread, and the professor’s now famous quote : “[Armenian leaders] chose to attack(?!) a desperate nation [read: Turks] standing with its back to the wall, and the Turks responded with a desperate crime”, was in sharp contrast with another one of his quotes where he claimed that the Ittihadists were puzzled as to why the Armenians wanted to liberate their lands when those lands were mostly occupied by Turks and the Armenians constituted but a minority.

    Those two conflicting and contradictory statements convinced me of his dishonest intentions and his bias.  Both of those statements were based on emotional and subjective assessments which were neither substantiated by historical documents or demographic facts.  The person who was passing himself for a human rights activist and academic was basing his analysis on “hearsay”.  And the most damning proof was the outrageously conflicting and incongruous logic behind his analysis.  How could have the Ittihadists ridiculed the liberating attempts of a meaningless minority and at the same time had the same meaningless minority push it with its back to the wall and drive it to desperation?  In the professor’s argument, the Armenian population was so small that it was ridiculed by the Ittihadists but at the same time the Armenian community was so horrifically powerful that its pushed the Ittihadists to the wall and drove them to a desperate act, ie the Genocide.  Something in this kind of a rebuttle smells of dishonesty and lack of integrity.  The one thing that has been admirable about the professor, is his full loyalty and deep love for his Turkish friends, that drive him to sacrifice his credibility by making such illogical statements on their behalf.

    I would have respected him if he had the courage to express his thoughts in the following way:
    The Ittihadists Turks  thrived on their cultural tradition of conquest.  They viewed themselves as conquerors of nations and empire builders.  The Turks outnumbered the Armenians.  The Turks could overpower the Armenians easily.  The Armenians were less in number and did not have an army, however they possessed a most crushing and powerful weapon.  Their lands were occupied by an empire that was crumbling.  Their right to their land was more powerful and crushing than any army, because they were the rightful owners of that land, and the Europeans and Rushians were pushing for their liberation.  The remote nations that the empire was ruling were breaking away.  Armenia wanted to break away too.  The Ittihadists were backed to the wall now, because their nation lived on the Armenian Plateau.  Where would the Turks go if they gave away Armenia?  Without the Armenian Plateau, how would they live with the shame of having their huge empire reduced to a patch of a land that belonged previously to the Greeks?  No, they would not abandon the land they were living in.  They decided to make Armenia their own in a final and deliberate way, by “massacring the Armenians”.  A desperate act, but a very criminal and vile one.  I have no respect for anyone who tries to come up with excuses for what the Turks did. It was a crime against humanity, against civilization, against civic rights, against law and justice.   

    My dear Boyajian, thank you for your kind words.  It pains me to clarify that I do not live in Armenia, nor have I visited it yet… but my heart belongs to Armenia.  I live in the United States.

    Karekin, I share your deep concerns about the future of landlocked Armenia… I hope our leaders hear these concerns and focus on building and strengthening our beloved motherland.  We should all be part of making Armenia stronger and more prosperous.  She is the dream that we dreamt for so long.  It would be a shame to have her slip from our fingers.  Everyone should do their part in advancing our nation, whether it be by investing in it, starting businesses there, writing songs and making movies about it, pushing to enhance tourism there or passing our vacations there… It would be a shame to let Turkey and Azerbaijan crush our fledgling existence there….

  183. Thanks to all for your dedicated long articles
    From Anahid to Boyajian to Katia…and more 
    And All male writers…One by one
    I don’t want to give names
    As i don’t want to miss any one… 

    I showed prof articles to a real Norwegian
    My relative married to 
    She doubted if he is a real Norwegian
    So all of you who are writing to educate him…
    Don’t waste your time
    You will never modify him
    And what everyone feels towards him…it’s true…

  184. Gor – I get your point, and don’t disagree completely…there is still something very uncomfortable about the official position of the Turkish government towards Armenia. I get that completely. But, let me tell you and others that I’ve been to some very remote spots in Turkey as well as cities, and have, under cover, asked randomly about Armenians, to get the pulse of ordinary people there, their opinions and attitudes. Let me just say, the results were uniformly shocking. In every single conversation, all I heard was praise about Armenians…and never once did I hear something negative, even when prodded.  This is absolutely true and to say I was surprised is an understatement.

    So, what does this tell us?  I think it indicates that the negative images, publicity and mindset towards Armenians in Turkey largely comes from the group of nationalist/Kemalist ideologues who are still very powerful at the top of political society. And, let’s not forget, the control the education system, as well.  They are the leaders or have a great influence on the political leaders, as well as on the military leadership, which is a stronghold of anti-Armenian sentiment.  This is why the laws have not changed, particularly 301.

    The other thought I have is that this may be generational, and once the old guard dies off…their racist, anti-Armenian mentality will die with them. Of course, there will always be rabble-rousers who will try to incite the people to fight for their evil goals, but eventually, such ideologies often die from attrition and changes in attitudes, as well as a general bankruptcy of support. This is what happened inside the Soviet Union. So, it could certainly happen in Turkey, as well.   So, we need to be sensitive to these nuances and not paint Turkey or Turks with too wide a brush or with just one color. It is a multifaceted society with many different attitudes, education levels and political leanings, as well as a general population that is not totally in synch with its leaders. 


  185. Karekin –-   Got your point, as well. But have you ever tried to allude randomly that Armenians lived in eastern parts of Turkey for millennia before being mass murdered and deported from their homeland? I’d be interested in knowing how these ordinary Turks praising Armenians would react when they’d sense that Armenians are entitled to these lands.

  186. [“let me tell you and others that I’ve been to some very remote spots in Turkey as well as cities, and have, under cover, asked randomly about Armenians, to get the pulse of ordinary people there, their opinions and attitudes.”]

    I am assuming, Karekin, that you speak fluent Turkish  (and Kurdish ?), with no accent to be able to ask questions ‘under cover’ without arousing suspicion.
    Where and how did you learn to speak fluent Turkish ?

  187. Gor…the people I met all seemed to know very well that Armenians not only lived there for centuries (they can point out all the vacant Armenian) houses, but they know all the details about what Armenians contributed to their culture. When I asked, innocently, what happened to all the Armenians…again…all I heard was that the government was to blame. It was the government’s fault. As I said…it really was a bit shocking and unexpected, but I heard this all over the place from peasants to well educated professors. I think we have to remember that the experiences of all those centuries is not and cannot be so easily forgotten, despite what the government has tried to do, and, that there may still be quite a few hidden Armenians living (undercover, of course), in their midst. That said, empty Armenian houses are all over the place, ruined churches and vanks dot the landscape, Armenian inscriptions are seen carved into stone over doorways and on walls. The fact is, there is still an Armenian presence in Turkey…and in places like Istanbul, is quite an active one. Less so in the interior, but when pressed, you hear things like, ‘there are 35 Armenian families here’, or ‘the last Armenian left just 10 years ago’.  By the way, fluent Turkish or Kurdish is not necessary, as English speakers are everywhere. It might be a bit broken, but ideas and concepts are loud and clear.

  188. Oh, just a minute here, Karakin. Things are not at all the way you paint them as being in eastern Turkey. I have been to remote villages on 3 separate trips. There are no turks in the villages in eastern turkey. The population are all Kurdish peasants. The Kurds are so very, very, happy when the Armenians come. They are happy because we give them money if they promise to keep their cattle and their laundry out of our churches. They are happy because their women do needlework all winter and they bring it out to sell to us. They are happy to see us because we do not stand  empty-handed in front of their children.  They are happy because we give them money to stop removing the stones from our cemeteries and our churches and using them to build their latrines with. They know we will will put the folded green in their hands in order to kneel and pray and weep on the land of our fathers that they are still occupying. And how do you think an Armenian feels pressing money into the hands of the descendant of someone who murdered in order to pillage? The alternative is to never see this land that is soaked with our blood and keeps calling us home. The Turks in suits and cars who have been following us come and tell us to get moving because we are not in a tourist area. They smile as they say it, but make no mistake about that big bulge in their suits – it’s hardware. (no pun intended here, ladies and gents) The only other turks you will come across are wearing military camouflage and have visible hardware and large dogs. You get the message. You know you are being followed, you are being watched. If you go out of the villages and into the towns, you may be dealing with turks when you go into stores to purchase something. Civility towards someone who has money and is being overcharged comes with a smile everywhere in the world.  Any turk, or kurd for that matter, who tells you how much he cares for Armenians, is well aware that your wallet is larger than his. Money may not buy you love, but it sure buys a lot of cheap Turkish flattery.
    And that, dear hearts, is the way things REALLY are in the land where the rivers ran red with our blood.

  189. Katia, I am sorry for my clumsy phrasing.  I am aware that you don’t live in Armenia; but by your words and thoughts, you are 100% “in Armenia.”   The way I see it, there are citizens of Armenia who live in Armenia and there are those who live there in their hearts.  

    As for Mr. Naess, many of us tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, thought he was the victim of Turkish propaganda, tried to help him see it from our point of view.  In the end, all efforts failed whether they were appeals to logic or appeals to the heart.  His main purpose here seems to be to convince Armenians to acknowledge that we instigated our own demise through the bad timing of the liberation and defense efforts of some revolutionaries and ordinary villagers who simply refused to be victims any longer.  “Yes the genocide was a crime”, he seems to say, “but you shouldn’t have provoked them when the empire was in such peril.  And although it was unjust, after 96 years, isn’t it equally unjust to make claims to lands where innocent Turks and Kurds now make their homes?”  

    Wonder what he would say if we moved into his home, claimed it for our own, stole his wife and children and drove him into the streets?   How quickly would he run to the neighbors, local authorities, and media for help?  There is a serious disconnect here.

    Gor, writes this in response to Karekin’s “To the victor go the spoils’ comment:
    Can Turks be considered “victors” in a situation when there was no opponent, no enemy, no wrongdoer to them? Is this a “victory”?! It’s a disgrace to mass murder, burn alive, rape, and mutilate innocent human beings en masse.  

    Yes, the world has been turned upside down.  Even some misguided Armenians are too intimidated by barbarism to look the evil in the eye and name it. But Gor fights to set it right again!  Thank you, Gor.

    Karekin, sometimes I think you suffer from B.A.S. (Battered Armenian Syndrome).  Like the battered wife, who has yet to break free of her bondage, you still believe that you can strike a bargain with your abuser, or perhaps sidestep another beating if you only behave better and don’t provoke his anger.  But appeasement only feeds the beast!  

    You also write:  “The other thought I have is that this may be generational, and once the old guard dies off… “

    I think you are deluding yourself here.   The old guard were once the Young Turks and they are being replaced by new “Young Turks” everyday.  Who after all killed Hrant Dink?  The Turks who have realized the truth about the genocide have done so, by large measure, due to the efforts of the Armenian community to bring our cause to light.  I am all for person to person contact, to challenge stubborn prejudices, but this is not a substitute for a strong fight for a just resolution.
    How can you even consider letting Turkey get away with this crime?  How can Armenia ever be secure in its borders when Turkey continues to show no remorse, admits no wrongdoing, and threatens Armenians without compunction even today?  Yes a strong Armenia is our dream and we should do all we can to protect her, but in the fashion of the emancipated former abused wife who recognizes her own worth, confronts her abuser, refuses to be abused anymore, enlists the help of the authorities, gathers her friends around to protect her, and goes on to help others who were abused.

  190. Perouz:
    I have never been to Turkey like you, but the gentleman claims to have gone to Eastern Turkey, ‘under cover’ (what does that mean ?), and had conversations with the locals in broken English, and was able to clearly ascertain from them that they knew anything about Armenians that precisely ? Not very plausible: it all sounds like a fairytale.
    I don’t think Karekin suffers from any Armenian syndrome: can you guess  why ?
    His evasive  non-answer about my question regarding the Turkish language should give you a clue.

  191. Karekin, he may not be an Armenian living in Turkey, but a Turk, who graduated from Ankara University school of Foreign Languages!!those people directly work for Turkish Government guidance and payroll!!

  192. Avery, I have been to eastern turkey three times, each time for about 3 weeks. I doubt if even a flea on a dog could go there “under cover.” Whether you get there through Georgia, or fly directly to turkey, you go through immigration and customs. They know who you are and where you come from and they know where everyone goes and everything they do.  Your tourist bus is stopped regularly enroute by armed guards and everyone is asked for their passport. The boys in suits appear regularly when you stop. As for talking to turks in broken english – I never met a single turk in eastern turkey who was not a gendarme. I’m not going to ask them if they like me. I just want my passport back. Eastern turkey is all kurds. You talk to people with hand signals or through your tour guide or bus driver who speaks to them in turkish and then translates for you. I have been to places where there is no mail service let alone anything remotely like a telephone. I have been to villages where communication is done by sending a boy to run down the mountain to the next village to carry an oral message.  I have no idea how anyone would be able to speak broken English. Turkey wants us to go to the tourist places because they want our tourist dollars and because the world would cry out in protest if they stopped us from going. But they don’t want us anywhere they don’t consider a tourist spot. And eastern turkey is not considered a tourist spot. Even the towns in eastern turkey are thinly populated. Everyone knows every wild dog in the area. No one goes into any village or town without immediately being recognized as an outsider. Every hotel is required by law to keep the passport of every tourist until they sign out.  The men in suits check those passports. You are fooling yourself if you think that you open your mouth and put even a raisin in it without it being observed, let alone going “undercover.”

  193. On june 14, Anahit cites me in some five citations. The part about the Turks’ plight as a context for 1915, I will not comment on. Bulgaria – and ther Caucasus – obviously was a context  for 1915 in the minds of the perpetrators.— I do not know exactly what Anahit has in mind when she says “with regard to the need for Armenians to acknowledge the Turks’ suffering that he advances (not speak) as a parity model, as an unsubstantiated archetype”.—
     I would have liked you to explain this more, but I’d like to pose a counter questions: is the denial of “parity” in actual practice an attempt to deny  the possibility of comparison, to emulate the Charny thesis of the unicality of the Holocaust? (trying to tell Turks that “your calamity was much smaller than ours” even adding as msheci almost did “but you deserved it”, referring the exclusivist status of genocide victim to other elected genocide victims, but never the Turks?)
    Of these citations I would rather dwell on my remark that “I believe the ethnic cleansing of Turks in 1877-78 might qualify as genocide, but I do not feel I need this term. The crime was horrendous as it was.”
    I think this is misleading because my criticism of certain rampant uses of the term genocide is much sharper.  The wording “I do not feel  I  need…” sounds condescending, and I apologize for this.  —  I ask forgiveness for the length of this post, but I feel entitled to provide an explanation. – – –  My relationship to slogans has to do with language functions, and especially with the switching between rhetorics and scholarly use of words. In rhetorics, words are used for their EFFECTS on a certain audience, as I see it. In scholarly work we qualify the words by discussing their meanings and assigning a certain meaning to them. Not to be misunderstood, these two uses have  to be combined in any practice: the scholar can never wholly escape the rhetorical use of the words, maybe unless he or she makes completely new words. So in actual practice the scholar will use existing words but try to make them more amenable to a scholarly goal. Definition is a main intellectual tool in this respect.  Needless to say the most value loaded terms will be very important in this respect. – – – – I will relate an example which has been very important to me. In Norway, I saw how the anti-racist movement “relied” on the word “racism” to make an impression on people in the 1980-ies. In Norway it was a great shock for the public when some intellectuals of immigrant background started to analyse Norwegian institutions as racist. I was one of these intellectuals, but I always ruined my case as a political campaigner because I insisted on defining the word “racism”, even discussing the meaning of the word because I did not want to be part of a chorus chanting the same word as their main weapon. Intellectual immigrants, who held that “for us racism is a reality” were disgusted by this.  But their reliance on a word, rather than on “word+definition+analysis”, made them loose the case in the long run. People got tired of a word which only upset them, estranged them as dialogue partners, and provided no throughgoing explanations.  The majority in Norway happily discarded the notion that maybe Norwegian institutions were racist in some aspects of their functioning. – – – Of course the social anthropologists are aware of this. To take still another example. In Norway in the late 1980-ies and early 90-ies our social-anthropologists, who themselves had introduced the word “culture” as an important concept to use to “understand” the  immigrants, started to warn against it (“Culture” is “loose in the streets”, or something like that). The word (in its rhetorical use) was simply a new way of objectifying immigrants, with xenophobic and even racist consequences. – – – — The main problem with this use of words basically has to do with people naively believing  in a given connection between a word and  an object constituted by their own immediate associations. This is the stuff populist politics are made of. See for instance the abuse of the word “bölücü” in Turkish politics which is used to stifle political opposition from minority group, the word hinting at a plan to “divide” the Republic. It can mean anything, all dissenting voices may be accused of being “bölücü”,  but it fits nicely into the courtroom, too, and has its questionable juridical counterpart – – –  I believe the rhetorical use of the word “genocide” as a highly value loaded term exhibits some of the same negative  traits. This is rhetorics, aiming at creating political cohesion through the use of a slogan that glosses over differences in meaning and which functions to create loyalty in a group,( by the way mainly by attaching a stigma to the adversary).  Not a least I recognized it in myself earlier when I was really  doubting and worrying about the Armenian case: “Maybe it WAS genocide!”. But the scholarly approach to this is to judge the matter according to alternative definitions of “genocide”. Given one definition what happened to the Armenians  obviously was genocide, given another it was not, given a third it possibly was. Sometimes I use the word to denote the Armenian fate in 1915, sometimes not. My criticism of Steiner is that she seems to want to discard it in the name of “facilitation”. But I will not invest my personal feelings in an assertion the centre of which is an undefined rhetorical slogan. Is this what Theriault is willing to do? —For me the ethical and moral investments are  1) to acknowledge the terrible fate of the Armenians, and 2) the responsibility of the ittihadists (not only the “genocidal consequences”), mainly because – as far as I can see – they  did not prosecute the perpetrators (a very significant fact mostly underemphasized  by those who hold that it was genocide), and hence the need for 3) solidarity with Armenians in your attempts to reach Turkey and the world opinion, and 4)support of the forces in Turkey  that  want  Turkey to go into this dark spot in its history, and 5) make reparations according to international standards.—- But I will not be party to a populist use of the term “genocide”. So for this reason I do not personally feel tempted to say “yes, it was…” or “no, it wasn’t”.

  194. Boyajian and Gina
    Gina you ask me about my JUSTIFICATION for previous Turkish massacres of Armenians. Have you been sleeping in my lectures? I am not providing justifications for massacres, neither those against Armenians, nor those against native Americans, massacres and thefts opening the road for immigrants like Armenians to find a refuge in the US, or the massacres of the Crusaders providing the possibilities of the Armenians’ establishing their Cilician kingdom, nor Norwegian massacres of the Sami people in 1852 and on other occasions. I am talking about something else- – – 
     Boyajian, the point is not whether Armenians recognise or not – in the back of their minds? –  that Turks were massacred in tens of thousands, and killed by starvation and sickness in hundreds of thousands. I obviously did not make my point clear enough. When I talk about the parables of John and Paul an so on, it is because I attach an importance to actual processes of dialogue and their characteristics. To repeat: IF Armenians want to reach the average Turk in a discussion of the Armenian fate – and I know them very well – you had better give them the assurance that the massacres of Turks are terrible, only next to make them see the point that they are changing the theme, to realize that their saying this in a debate on 1915 is a kind of subterfuge, that they are being accused of something they should think about, and that they better answer. For you (for the record) simply to state that Armenians are aware of the Turkish suffering is like discarding therapy for an obvius patient and instead having the psychologist give him or her a book and say “it is written here, and it is true!”. I thought we all knew that what counts are real processes between people, dialogue between Turks and Armenians, more countries and institutions asking Turkey to listen, and political manifestations like the youths singing in Akhtamar. The characteristics of interaction is of parampount importance. The truth rhetoric and refusal to listen seriously to the Other only opens for endless repetitions.— So when I talk about the need for Armenians to acknowledge the Turkish sufffering, (IF they raise this point), this has to do with the dynamics of democratic dialogue. It is a means to create a common understanding and agreement regarding the demands of humanitarian principles. I just repeat my question: What does an Armenian have to loose by conceding basic humanitarian principles to a Turk in the context of a discussion of 1915? And conversely if this is denied, what speculations or confirmation of  prejudices will you revive in the Turk? Or in Norwegians who hear Armenians say that Turks were bad from the very dawn of history and onwards?—Boyajian, I dont know if you do therapies, but I know pretty many psychologists who do, and whose arsenal of convincing people implies conceding and even empathising with the true points of the Other as an obvious intervention, even if these truths are only remotely relevant to the actual case, and function as a diversion or smokescreen. If the patient then believes that the psychologist agrees with her or him in everything, it is up to the therapist to wizen her or him up to realities. I hope this made my point clearer.

  195. Anahit
    you write:
    Turks and their sycophants conveniently forget that first instance of mass murder in which up to 300,000 Armenians were brutally massacred, occurred before 1914-15, when there was no expulsions of Turks form the Balkans, no disgraceful defeat at Sarıkamış led by untalented Enver, no…”.
    comment: 1877 is before 1914-15. And also: read Justin McCarthy’s “Death and exile”. Or Nalbandian or Ter Minassian on “The Bulgarian Way”

  196. Reading some of your (uninformed, speculative and conspiratorial) comments is like watching the blind man mistake an elephant’s leg for a tree. Very amusing but also very stupid. However, for those without much imagination or experience in travel, put this in your hat and stuff it: someone, anyone, with an American passport and (oh my God) an ethnic Armenian background, can travel to Turkey pretty much unnoticed as such. The results can be very informative. I suggest you try it, as many Armenian-Americans have done over the years. It might just dispel your primitive notions that you will be attacked by hostile locals weilding spears who wearing colorful native gear. And, if you selectively choose to reveal yourself as an Armenian while there, you’ll get a completely different reaction and experience, the pleasantness of which might seriously challenge your own pre-conceived ideas of what Turkey is or is not at this point in history. I’m sure American Jews have a similar reaction if they visit Germany, despite having driven a Mercedes or BMW for the last 20 years. And, let me remind you….this post all started as a serious rebuke to Pam Steiner, whom I vehemently disagree with, both in terms of her content and tactics.


  197. Ragnar,

    Your dedication to dialogue is admirable and confusing.  I keep wondering about what’s in it for you.

    Regarding your aversion to the word genocide on the basis that it is too highly charged and merely a rhetorical instrument.  I agree that it is highly charged and that it has the affect of “closing the mind” of the average Turk.  This is an obstacle both sides must struggle to overcome.  I disagree that it is merely rhetorical when used by Armenians.  For Armenians, this word captures the essence of what happened to us.  It captures our truth.  It conveys the message that we were deliberately targeted because of virtue of being Armenian.  It embodies the degree of destruction that was wrought upon our nation.  It is the proper name for what happened.  

    You keep trying to draw me out in this dialogue by using psychological constructs to make your point.  Your effort is not missed by me, but ‘psychologist’ is only one of many hats I wear.   But I will answer you with this:

    In therapy with abuse victims, it is often critical to help the patient ‘name’ what happened to them.  It is empowering to the victim to speak with clarity about what was done to them. What you seem to want Armenians to do is similar to telling a victim of child abuse that “Daddy had a hard day at work and you shouldn’t have been so loud in the house.”  Can’t you see that you are only reinforcing the excuses that the abuser uses to avoid owning their guilt?  You are sacrificing hard truth for the sake of superficial peace-making.  We all want peace but, at what cost to the victim?  What cost to the perpetrator?  We are looking at the situation from two different angles. I am an advocate for the victim.  You are an advocate for the perpetrator.  That makes us adversarial.  My experience informs me that healing comes when the perpetrator acknowledges and apologizes for his abuse and admits that there was no justification for it.  Short of that the victim must protect themselves from further abuse, even if only in the form of distortion of truth that further maligns their basic dignity as a human being.

  198. I’d like to thank Mr. Henry Theriault for his extremely well presented essay above.  I also thank you Katia, Anahit, Gor, Sylva, Grish, Avery and Boyajian for answering professionaly to Ragnar Naess and others with your thoughts for our justified cause for the AG.  Your long and professional explanations answered all my conscious and subconsious thoughts about it.  Excepting Karekin, which I still don’t know where to place him, most likely in the bizarre category.

    I am appalled at Pam Steiner and her ala Barak Obama pro-denialist comments about the Armenian Genocide.  It’s very disheartening to know that she was the great great granddaughter of a great humanitarian and a sympathizer of Armenians the Ambassador Morgenthau who tried very hard to divert Talaat the murderer from his heinous acts during the Armenian Genocide as he saved numerous Armenians from annihilation. 

  199. I ask everyone to watch this video, to understand how deeply rooted the hatred against Armenians still is in Turkey.  Turks who are opening up about the Genocide and Armenians are to be commended, not only for their courage in a country where the word “Armenian” is treated as a blasphemy, but also because they are finghting to pave the way for human rights and democracy in a country that has come to exist by openly oppressing and annihalating other peoples.

  200. Yes, Karekin is totally bizarre!  He exists outside of the Armenian bubble!  So Katia, if you’re worried about human rights, oppression and democracy, and live in the US….maybe you should consider these facts.  The US is right in line w/ Turkey!
    Did you know?

    4.5 million — Total population of American Indians and Native Alaskans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2006. They comprise .08% of the total US population.
    Cherokee — Largest American Indian tribal group with a population of 331,000, followed by Navajo with 230,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
    $33,132 — Median annual income of American Indian and Native Alaskan households.
    185,000 — Number of Native American veterans of U.S. military forces.
    $26.4 billion Revenues of Native American-owned businesses in 2002.
    31 — Median age of the Native American population in 2006. About 28 percent of the Native American population is younger than 18, compared with 25 percent of the total population.
    77 percent of Native Americans 25 and older have a high school diploma.
    14 percent of Native Americans have a bachelors degree or higher. (89 percent of non-Hispanic whites are high school graduates and 30 percent have a bachelors degrees or higher.)
    24 percent of Native Americans live in poverty.
    29 percent of Native Americans have no health insurance.

  201. Karekin, America unlike Turkey is not however in denial of the Native Americans’ massacres.  They have accepted it a long time ago.

  202. Thank you Katia for the video.  I have seen this video a little while back on the internet and I have known about the Turkish writer who discovered her grandmother’s Armenian roots from my mother before she passed away.  Thank you for this and I am certain that many others didn’t see this video yet.

  203. Karekin, You seem to be obsessed with being with or without the Armenian bubble.  It doesn’t matter where you are or you are not, the matter of the Armenian Genocide is not belonging or otherwise; but a matter strictly siding with known historical facts.  It is a matter of knowledge and human psychology as Boyajian psychologically and eloquently explained it to you the role of the murder vs. the victim.  In this case Turkey vs. Armenians.  Perhaps you should take lessons from the psychologist. 

  204. On my above post to Karekin, I was trying to say;
    “It is a matter of knowledge and human psychology as Boyajian psychologically and eloquently explained it to you the role of the murderer vs. the victim.  In this case Turkey vs. Armenians.”

  205. Karekin,…

    Many posts ago, I have already said that friendship flourishes among people who have things in common, ie: Amercian Indians for the U.S. and the Armenians in Turkey… The U.S. may be reluctant in sacrificing its relationship with Turkey by recognizing the Armenian Genocide because it understands Turkey’s passion and ambition of being a powerful empire at the cost of swallowing smaller nations…

    In defense of the Americans though, movies, books, articles, documentaries, and monuments related to the American Indians are never answered by open vandalism, sabotage, denial, lies, arrests, jailing and assasinations.  Apologies and reparations have been openly made to the American Indians by the American government.  Another very close friend of Turkey was Germany.  Germany in fact in many ways assisted in the “experiment” of the Armenian Genocide as Turkey’s ally in WWI.  Germany has apologized and made reparations to the Jews.  Germany has openly apologized to the Armenians.  Germans have even taken steps in raising awareness to the Armenian Genocide which was perpetrated under their noses while their officers were stationed in Turkey, case in point the very powerful documentary “Aghed” prepared by German producers a couple of years ago.

    In contrast, not only is the Turkish governement nowhere near accepting and apologizing, but it actively covers up, denies, and continues harrassing and discriminating against the Armenians!  It spends millions in sabotaging the production of Genocide movies, and it spends millions paying off the Jewish, American, Oil company, etc. lobbies to defeat the Armenian Genocide Resolution from passing in the U.S..   Big difference in my mind…

  206. Zeki
    You started out pointing to the possible futility of any Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide.  It is difficult not to agree with you in a certain sense, but I believe Karekin and Anahit have a point when they say that this is a step on the way to reconciliation. And as I mentioned, the world today is full of similar attempts for historical justice. Obviously it is a meaningful goal for many.
    Then came the debate on retroactivity. From a five minute look through Google I came across a text from the book “state succession to international responsibility” by Patrick Dumberry. It dealt with a case of the International Court of Justice arising out of the partition of Czhechoslovakia and oiut of the situation of the successor state Slovakia. It ran like the following: “The court did not question whether the Slovak state could freely decide to be held solely liable for the internationally wrongful act committed by the predecessor State. It simply accepted this position as a fact (Dumberry  p. 215 on the case between Hungary vs. Slovakia in 1997)—
    Then of course one might ask if this acceptance  of responsibility for the wrongs of the predecessor state is a quite new thing. No, Dumberry recounts some 20 fairly early cases, among them a Protocol between US and Venezuela of 1852. So successor states’ liability is not a new thing, but I am not sure what pressure can be made on states to concur with such decisions if they themselves have not taken the case to arbitration. For Dunberry, see
    then unfortunately you left the thread, but returned after some time to repeat that the effects of any recognition of the Genocide would be illusory.
    Then Anahit points to the fact that Turkey is already being forced and that the worls community is doing this, not the Armenians. A little over-optimistic, I believe, but basically I agree. Turkey wants to go into this matter and have been doing it since Özal made his famous conference in 1990 in which only Levon Marashlian participated from the Armenian side. This is a SLOW process, but a GOOD process in spite of protests  both in Turkey and among Armenians. People are afraid of being hoodwinked. But I am concerned about making this process quicker and better and part of what I see from both Turks and Armenıans makes me worry. This is part of the role of an interested outsider, whether you like it or not.
    Will turks genuflect? The Aydin AKP parliamentarian çömez went to Yerevan in 2004, I believe, to tell a group of 200 Armenian intellectuals that “we are deeply concerned with what happened in 1915”. So the process is going.  
    Then Anahit again points to the possibility of Turkey simply being taken to court and having to admit genocide and make reparations. No, it cannot be ruled out. I agree, Anahit.
    But then it seems that Zeki has left us again. Why?  Is Turkish presence in the debates in AW only to be seen as a fodder for Armenian hurt feelings, or is there a genuine wish to have Turks participate? Zeki, I am an organizer of dialogues on difficult themes, mainly sexual (teaching youths to do dialogue for safe sex) and for democracy in working life. The important dialogues are always difficult, but the alternative – no dialogue – is mostly worse. We always evaluate our dialogues as a means to enlighten people, not only to register “who won?”, that is: who won an absolutely worthless humiliation of the Other. What were your reactions to the the debate? Did you learn anything? Do you agree, as Katia K.  said that you should not  give up.Quote:  Don’t listen to Ragnar. Armenians are the most open people. They have been extending thousands of their hands to the Turks, asking them to do the right thing, even suggesting to help them come in terms with what their ancestors have done. Dialogue is always open with us, if the dialogue is true, pure, full of humanity and devoid of prejudice, influence and hidden agendas. Unquote. Did you feel the outstretched hjand? Or did not notice all the “IF”s of Katia’s post? This post came after  my fairly subdued note to Zeki not to be offended  and withdraw because of  the opprobria several Armenians throw at those who disagree in these discussions (I am either laughing at or pitying Sylvia – her last remark on my not being a “real Norwegian” – and somebody said that Zeki’s arguments were juvenile….). Is this part of Armenain culture: an excess of toleration for those Armenians who repeatedly express the national trauma in the form of attacks on others that would have you thrown out of any civilized debating forum ?

  207. Thank you Servart,

    I know that documentary has been around for a while.  I had myself seen it a long time ago.  My posting it was for the benefit of those who had not seen it.

    Thank you for your kind words and also for being involved and caring yourself…

  208. Boyajian
    I dont know why you go on wondering about my motives. What can I do to inform you? I was raised on dialogues and all my relationships are saturated with dialogue, my marriages, my male friends and colleagues with whom I quarrel in monthly meetings. Cant you accept me as a kind of dialogophile or dialogoholic?  I also write a book on Armenians and Turks and will write on our dialogues and  I welcome anybody who will finance more work on it it as long as it is my own book. I am late with my book so many believe I will never conclude it. Is this an answer?
    — Then you write:  I disagree that it is merely rhetorical (the word genocide,RN) when used by Armenians.  For Armenians, this word captures the essence of what happened to us.  It captures our truth. unquote.
    Yes, my friends the immigrants to Norway said roughly the same to me in the 80-ies, “for us racism is a reality”, but still I adviced them to use more space on definitions and analysis. They lost in the end for relying too much on a single word– The admiration, by the way, is mutual. You are one of the best dialogue makers I have met in my whole life, not at least because you at times are confused and asking both us and yourself what to believe. The greatest sin is simply to stay in the mode of assertions I wish I was as good as you. And I believe you write far more posts than me in AW.

  209. Dear Katia, my dear Armenian sister, you are most welcomed.  Being Armenian and loving my country and my people is surely a legacy left from my dear father Dikran and my mother Mary who are in heaven now and who have instilled it in me to be the Armenian woman that I am today.  May God bless you and your good Armenian soul.

    You wrote very well to Karekin about the huge differences between Turkey, America and Germany.  One more addition is how Turkey victimized and finally killed Herant Dink, the publisher of Agos; because he was mildly and soberly making the Turkish population aware of the Armenian Genocide.

  210. The Turks continue to steal Armenian lives, lands, properties, culture, (lately even Armenian music set to Turkish lyrics-evidently, exceed Turks).   Turks thought they’d ‘eliminate’/steal from Armenians to accommodate their hordes from the Asian mountains – gaining a ready-made ancient advanced nation of Armenia.  Turks thought the slaughters, rapes, tortures and worse, shall accomplish their goals of clearing the lands of Armenians.  Too, Turks assumed that Armenians would inter-marry in the lands wherever Survivors had reached.  Armenians now eliminated, as planned, a Turkey’s goals been gained -not any Armenians on planet earth – as if Armenians never existed!  Next, to destroy and to convert any of Armenians’ tremendously advanced sites religious (Turks misused as stalls, etc.)or others which were falling to ruin were to be destroyed – any/all traces to become as if these great advances the Armenian had created were creations of a Turkeys.  Their efforts to ‘eliminate’ the existence of a Christian people… was doable… None, not any  nation, no any leaderships would stop the Turk from their goals -ala Turkish style – winnings via Genocides was complete/done!
    Obviously, had nations/organizations/religions of the world addressed the Turk perpetrator in the early 20th century – joined leaderships together with USA President Woodrow Wilson –  shall then punished the Turk perpetratorss. IMAGINE, cycle of Genocides shall ended then – FOREVER!!

    – SAD, today, Genocide perpetrators are the WINNERS
    – SAD, today, Genocide  victims are now the LOSERS!
    ANd, even worse…
    – Genocides continue today – Darfur peoples, too, Kurds in a Turkey and Iraq – STILL.
    What will it take for the so-called CIVILIZED peoples of the world face up to the bullies who still persist foisting their inhumanity upon the innocents – and, WHY NOT!!
    NOTE: Do not criminals in all nations – face their crimes, must serve their punishments’
    NOTE: Today, no punishments for leaderships who eliminate humans via their inhumanity; 
    NOTE: Thus Genocides – route ready-made for despots to gain their goals (wars can be costlier)
    NOTE: Humans/innocents  simply can be eliminated – for who will end this inhumanity?
    NOTE: some (Armenians) still – have never been buried!! 
    Sadly. Inhumanity wins.

  211. Many thanks, Boyajian, Katia K, and Avery for your kind words. I will continue supporting Armenian commentators’ posts by historical/anthropological data to confront denialists’ misinformation.

    One such case of circumvention is an attempt to justify the Hamidian massacres, also referred to as the Armenian Massacres, of 1894-1896 by the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 that chronologically precedes both the massacres and Ottoman Empire’s entering the WWI in 1914. This is being purported to confront the truth that whatever isolated Armenian fedayees have done in 1916-17 was in retaliation to the earlier massacres and genocide perpetrated by the Turks. The Bulgarian April 1876 uprising against the colonizing Turkish force and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 are stealthily presented as events that could somehow justify the ensuing massacres and the genocide of Armenians.  In their attempt to find justification for a whole-scale onslaught of Armenians during the Hamidian massacres, denialists conveniently omit the fact that the two events are not in any way interrelated. The Russo-Turkish War was a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox coalition led by the Russian Empire and several Balkan countries. Its origins lie in the wake of national liberation movement that attempted to free Balkan nations from the Ottoman yoke, as well as in Russia’s aspiration of recovering territorial losses it had suffered during the Crimean War. During the war the Ottoman Turks showed their unsurpassed brutality in the finest fashion when putting down the Bulgarian national uprising. Whereas the Hamidian massacres refer to massacring of Armenians and Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, internationally nicknamed “Great Assassin”, who believed that the woes of the Empire stemmed from hostilities of the Christian world. Because Ottoman Armenians were Christians, the suspicious, obsessive-compulsory mind of the Sultan perceived them to be an extension of Christian hostilities.

    Can anyone explain intelligently as to what possible interrelation could there have been between these two autonomous events: one being a military conflict between two countries and the other a barbarian domestic massacre of Christian subjects by their own government? Was the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 waged between the Ottoman Turks on the one side and Armenians on the other so Ottoman Armenians would fall victims of a mass murder some 20 years later? The only two interrelations that the sick mind of the Sultan might have produced were (1)his fear that came to effect by the Russian victory in the war, namely: the Treaty of San Stefano, under which the Ottomans would cede parts of Armenia to Russia and (2)that some of the Russian army commanders were of Armenian descent. It was, in fact, the forces under lieutenant-general Arshak Ter-Ghukasov, stationed near Yerevan, who began the first assault into Ottoman territory by capturing Bayazid in 1877. Capitalizing on Ter-Ghukasov’s victory, Russian forces advanced further, taking Ardahan and besieging Kars.

    War conditions in which the Russians on the one side and the Ottoman Turks on the other found themselves in Western Armenia reciprocated against the local Armenian population. In some areas, the Turks encouraged the Kurds to attack and massacre the Armenians. We are latently led to believe that Armenians played any role in the Ottoman Empire’s ceding parts of Armenia to Russia and the Russian inroads into the Ottoman territory or in the presence of several army commanders of Armenian descent in the Russian army. Both cases are phantasmagoric and lack credibility to be accounted as possible justifications for the massacres of Armenians 20 years later. Ceding of parts of Armenia to Russia and Russian advances into the Ottoman territory were part and parcel of a war waged between Russians and Ottoman Turks. It just so happened that one of the fronts of the war laid in the Caucasus and Western Armenia, but the two sides confronting each other on the opposing sides of the front were Russians and Ottoman Turks, not Armenians. As for several army commanders of Armenian descent in the Russian army, they were lawful—and profoundly Russified—subjects of the Russian Empire. With the same yardstick, if we were newly-cooked junior historians, we would measure Abdul Hamid himself in that he was half-Armenian. Nonetheless, under this Sultan the first mass murders of Armenians took place.

    We are also being predisposed to believe that Armenians had anything to do with the Bulgarian April 1876 uprising and the subsequent Bulgarian national revival during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. The uprising involved those parts of the Ottoman territories populated predominantly by Bulgarians, in which Armenians neither geographically nor demographically nor politically nor physically could have partaken in 1876 or during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. The Bulgarian uprising was a national liberation insurrection organized by the Bulgarians against Ottoman colonizers, which resulted in the re-establishment of Bulgaria as an autonomous nation in 1878. The regular Ottoman army and irregular Bashibazouks crushed the Bulgarian freedom fighters with typically Turkish brutality, leading to a public outcry in the world, with many famous intellectuals condemning the Turkish atrocities and supporting the oppressed Bulgarian population.

    The brutal treatment of Armenians by Abdul Hamid some 20 years after the Bulgarian national revival of 1876 and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 was not the result of Ottoman Armenians’ being in the picture during any of these events, but the result of Abdul Hamid’s efforts to reinforce the territorial integrity of the embattled Ottoman Empire by reasserting pan-Islamism as a state ideology, inability and unwillingness to liberalize the Empire and to introduce much-pressed reforms for its ethnic minorities by offering them non-preferential treatment as equal citizens.

    I don’t think anyone here called the  gentleman  ‘stupid’, or anything derogatory. So the ridiculous overreaction and nonsensical example –
    [‘ It might just dispel your primitive notions that you will be attacked by hostile locals weilding spears who wearing colorful native gear.’] – are quite revealing.
    And we have seen the non sequitur German example before, and it has been answered before:
    [1]German nation has apologized to the Jewish people profusely and  unequivocally.
    [2]German people have shown genuine remorse.
    [3]Germany actively, some people say too-harshly, suppresses ANY manifestations of Nazism in Germany.
    Even displaying Nazi paraphernalia is a criminal offense.
    [4] Germany actively supports the State of Israel: scientifically, financially, diplomatically, and militarily.
    There is no quid pro quo: Germany doesn’t expect nor  ask for anything in return from Israel – it’s all one way.
    [5] Germany financed, designed, and built 3 super-quiet submarines for Israel to carry the 3rd leg of Israel’s nuclear triad.
    [6] Germany has paid 10s of US$ Billions to worldwide Jewry in compensation, and continues paying.
    [7] The list of how Germany continues helping Israel and Jews is almost endless.
    Turkey has done and continues  doing the exact opposite in every one of the items I listed above: repeat, the exact opposite to Armenians and RoA.
    Here is one example: Talat is treated as a national hero in Turkey, not as the mass-murdering criminal that he was. There are schools, streets, and other public places named after him.
    I’d like our Turkophile friend  – who has nothing but effusive praise for Turkey and nothing but degrading, false pronouncements  for RoA –  to find a single example of Hitler being honored in today’s Germany, as the mass-murderer Talat is honored in today’s Turkey.
    And your rebuke of  Steiner is no shock: it’s in line with what  you have and continue promoting; non-Turks from Salonica (read Jews) were responsible for the AG, real Turks had nothing to do with it, and since  Steiner is Jewish……
    And  finally, bringing up the Native American counterexample when discussing the AG and placing US and Turkey on the same moral plane is another one of the standard lines of Turk posters and their apologists.

  213. General retort all those who keep bringing up the suffering of Turks, of what ASALA did or did not do, what ARF did or did or did not do, what Armenian self-defense forces did or did not do, and so on and so forth.
    We, Armenians, were peacefully minding our own business around 1000 A.D., when Seljuk Turks INVADED Armenian Highlands.
    Repeat – Seljuk Turks INVADED Armenian Highlands, as in they INVADED our homeland, our homes, murdered our people.
    Specific date: Battle of  Manzikert/Manazkert 1071 A.D.: Seljuk Turks INVADED Armenian Highlands.
    They then unleashed centuries of destruction, mass-murder, burning, looting, stealing, mass-abductions of our boys, of girls and young women, mass-rapes, forcible conversion to Islam, forcible sexual slavery in Turk  harems….and the nightmare continued until their Coup de Grâce in 1915-1923.
    Every last bit of subsequent bloodshed flows from three events: INVASION by Turks, INVASION by Turks, INVASION by Turks.
    Whatever violence Armenians have done was in response to the violence that Seljuk Turks unleashed on us: we did not invade their homeland; they invaded ours.
    Nobody invited the Turks to Armenia: they INVADED.
    There was no voluntary, consensual intermixing of Armenians and Turks: Turks used force and violence to displace the indigenous populations and forcibly steal their cultured genes by abducting the most beautiful of girls and young women – among a long list of other things they stole and misappropriated, and continue doing so today.
    (someone posted a link  just  recently @ AW Comments section about a female Turk singer who stole the music of Ադանայի Վողբերգ, and changed the lyrics to something pro-Turkish)
    In 1988 Citizens of Armenia SSR protested and petitioned – peacefully, repeat peacefully –  the Supreme Soviet of USSR to return Nagorno-Kharbagh ASSR to Armenian SSR.  In response, Azeris started massacring unarmed Armenians in Sumgait, then Baku, and started terror-bombing Stephanakert with GRADs and long-range Artillery (a war crime): 2,000 civilians died; thousands wounded; hundreds were maimed or crippled. Every drop of subsequent blood spilled is on the hands of Azeris: they started the bloodshed.
    If Armenians were 1/10th as vicious and remorseless in killing defenseless civilians as Turks/’Azeri’ Tatars were and are, there would be 50 million Armenians in Western Armenia today and 100,000 Turks – not the other way around.

  214. Who burns our hearts 
    if there is god
    Let god burns their hands
    Who write against Armenians

  215. “Is this part of Armenian culture: an excess of toleration for those Armenians who repeatedlyexpress the national trauma in the form of attacks on others that would have you thrown out of any civilized debating forum?” —No, it doesn’t seem to be part of Armenian culture. But we are, I agree, righteously oversensitive towards whoever attempts to minimize our national trauma either semantically, as in: “colossal crime vs. genocide” or substantially, as in: “there were mass murders of Western Armenians in 1894-96, 1909, and, most horribly, in 1915, but Turks suffered too in 1877-1878 and then in 1914-15 in the hands of non-Armenian freedom-fighters or war enemies and in geographical areas detached from Armenian provinces.” I think these two instances of an absolutely unfounded juxtaposition make us “attack” (or react harshly, rather) the denialists. Again (and I know this was brought up in numerous threads): every crime has its peculiar name, and the Turkish one was brabded at the time of perpetration “a crime against humanity and civilization” by the Allied Powers. It was then examined by international lawyers who coined it “genocide” which was used for the known UN Convention. As for Turkish sufferings, I think Armenians could acknowledge them but only in the context of loss of human life, but not as a historical objectivity since Seljuk and Ottoman Turks were invaders and colonizers of the areas from which they were ultimately kicked out. Most categorically, Armenians will not acknowledge Turkish sufferings in any correlation with oppression, humiliation, and ultimate physical extermination of Ottoman Armenians who were: (1)not actual expulsers and murderers of the Turks; (2)were nowhere near the areas where expulsions and atrocities of Turks took place; (3)extended no military, humanitarian, man-power, or other support to the Balkan de-colonizers; and (4)were not a party to the war, military conflict, inter-ethnic clash, or inter-communal scuffle between Ottoman Turkey and its opponents.

  216. “Reading some of your (uninformed, speculative and conspiratorial) comments is like watching the blind man mistake an elephant’s leg for a tree. Very amusing but also very stupid.” —To their credit, none of the Armenian commentators allowed personal affront, Karekin. Actually, some comments shared personal experiences of posters in eastern parts of Turkey that were counter to yours. Is this so inflammatory to you?

  217. Avery; I can sense your frustration in your last post. You are, of course, absolutely right on the mark.  Your use of the word “invaded” is absolutely correct and appropriate.  I thought the link to the singer was worth posting because I wanted to see if a turk would deny the evidence. Of course, they have remained silent, as they always do when it comes to the theft of Armenian life, money, culture.

  218. “I also write a book on Armenians and Turks and will write on our dialogues […]” —Ragnar, I’m puzzled. How can you write a book on a hypersensitive relationship between Armenians and Turks if you’re entering dialogues in AW a preconceived platform?! How can you show objectivity if you a priori exhibit features of a biased author? Borrowing from Anahit’s posts:

    [Armenian leaders] chose to attack a desperate nation [of Turks] standing with its back to the wall, and the Turks responded with a desperate crime.

    “Armenians should acknowledge the fate of the Balkan Turks as part of the context of the whole situation[…]”

    “…so much of what happened to the Armenians in 1915-1918 also happened to the Turks[…]”

    “I believe the ethnic cleansing of Turks in 1877-78 might qualify as genocide […]”

    “I think what was done to Armenians in 1915-23 was a colossal crime[…]”

    If these are not biased standpoints that, as we can see, affect your deliberations here, then what are they? Are you sure you won’t be joining a bunch of petty genocide deniers like bought and paid-for Turkish sycophant McCarthy with such a preconceived assessment of events and categorization of crimes and liabilities?

  219. Interesting how some non-Armenian posters call Armenian posters ‘inbred’ , then intimate that Armenians posters are not civilized.
    (Gor: thanks for extracting the relevant sentence; my nerves are shot – can  no longer read the endless recursive chain of posts  from our ‘Dear Prof’.)
    (Perouz: thanks for the stolen-song link; should have remembered it was you – frustration got the better of me, mind went blank)

  220. Seervart…nothing I have ever said would or could be construed to deny the fact of the genocide. What I reject is continual reminder of victimization, because I find it to be unproductive and inaccurate. I don’t know where you or others were born or grew up, but I suspect you’ve not been the actual victim, in the technical sense of the word, of anything close to what happened during the genocide.  So, it seems you have adopted a victim mentality, and the problem with that is that there is no satisfying it. It is a hunger that cannot be fed.  You also seem to reject anyone who doesn’t adopt a similar mindset. Yes, my grandparents and their relatives were, in fact, victims, but not me. Moreover, I refuse to be and frankly, don’t think any living Armenian should feel that they are a ‘victim’ of Turkey or anyone else. You can only be a victim at this point if you choose to be, and I suggest you throw off the shackles of victimhood and liberate yourselves. The time has come – be free!  Do not submit to groupthink…because it is and will inhibit your ability to think clearly about the present and the future. As for Ragnar…he may be a complete idiot, of the Pam Steiner variety, if he actually thinks Ottoman Armenians could have or would have been able to do anything remotely genocidal…justifiable self-defense, yes…but that’s about it…against an imperial army charged with the destruction of the Armenians.  So, get real, Ragnar…your facts don’t add up.

  221. Please all my dears…peers …start a new page
    Every letter i read on this site 
    I feel how our nation felt 
    I still see my grandmothers tears
    She use to cry every night
    As I use to sleep beside her

    I never heard stories
    Of Cinderella and three bears
    But stories of genocide

    I wonder …I jut wonder
    Did the bribed hands
    Who write in this century
    Without feeling any shame…
    Without fearing their conscious
    On this side… on above pages… felt the same…! 
    They add only words to show them selves they are fair…
    How can they change our feelings
    We were grown on genocided grass
    Ate fruits and felt… how our race died in hunger
    Leaving their trees for other to enjoy that shades 
    And still eating…enjoying and still able to deny

    Please forget…
    Hear and see the two voices and tunes

    Both felt the genocide
    I hope they unite
    And teach our enemies…
    That truth must prevail…


    Therapeutic voice of Nazeri
    And Armenian musical hands by Cheknavarian and his orchestra

  222. Karekin:    —You’re out of line. In one post you affront commentators by calling their posts “very stupid”, in the other you insult a person by calling him a “complete idiot.”  Ragnar, I’d like to apologize for Karekin’s misdemeanor. Nowhere had any Armenian commentator descended so low as to call you or any other contributor names.

  223. Ragnar   —-I hope you’ll be excited to hear this news:

    “On June 20, 2011 an [Armenian government’s] committee in charge of organisation of festive events to mark Fridtjof Nansen’s 150th anniversary, confirmed construction of a monument to the great Norwegian humanitarian in downtown Yerevan. The Ministry of Culture was instructed to announce a tender for monument construction project, with the results to be analyzed till August 1. The committee will also consult with the Yerevan municipality’s arts council concerning the slection of the monument project. Fridtjof Nansen (10 October 1861–13 May 1930) was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel laureate. From 1925 onwards he dedicated much time and efforts trying to help Armenian refugees and victims of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey.”     —- Source: Panarmenian News Agency

  224. Gor
    you write
    “I also write a book on Armenians and Turks and will write on our dialogues […]” —Ragnar, I’m puzzled. How can you write a book on a hypersensitive relationship between Armenians and Turks if you’re entering dialogues in AW a preconceived platform?!
    comment: I am also puzzled. I do dialogue here because I want to get acquainted with Armenians, I have expressed both my solidarity and my disagreements with you.  I have some guiding lines which I partly have been changing as a result of these dialogues, partly I stick to my ideas after having considered arguments I met here in AW.  What is strange in this? Unlike the WATS listserve this is a discussion forum open to the general public. The discussions I have participated in are still available at the internet for anybody to read.   Put there by the AW. What is your idea of the motives for writing books on important themes, and how one should go about it?

  225. anahit
    in a long post on important historical matters you write:
    The Bulgarian April 1876 uprising against the colonizing Turkish force and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 are stealthily presented as events that could somehow justify the ensuing massacres and the genocide of Armenians.
    Yes, there is a kind of dilemma here which I really dont know how to solve. To contextualize a crime – something that criminology and anthropology traditionally have been doing for more than a hundred years – may inevitably function as a justification for the crime. I can only refer to what I earlier wrote that the bottom line of all this – the most pressing demand if one looks at the late Ottoman violence – is for Turkey to “come clean” and admit the crime committed against Armenians, and do repairs. While I have been saying this in my lectures the earlier years I tried to make it even clearer this year by playing the video of the youths in Akhtamar for the students, further to invite them to go with me to the airport and hand out leaflets to the Norwegian tourists going to Turkey, telling them about the Armenian fate and asking them to pose questions regarding this to at least one Turk. I am aware that my personal efforts are negligible in the big picture, but this is my way to try to avoid that my contextualization of the crime and my disagreementrs with the received version of the genocide will not stealthily function as an excuse. There are other important dimensions of this, but I will let them rest now. 

  226. Gor – As far as I know, criticism of a comment as being ‘stupid’, can be quite valid, especially if that comment includes lies, distortions and falsifications. If it is less than intelligent, not based on facts and is composed of fantasy, it can, in fact, be described as stupid. 

    I’m very sorry if this offends your sensibilities, I don’t mean to. But, let’s call a spade a spade.  Not every opinion can escape that term and not every opinion is valid, as I’ve learned here. Some of my comments have been described much less charitably than ‘stupid’.  

    Ms. Steiner’s blatantly biased campaign is disingenuous and suspect, but if someone here wants to accuse Ottoman Armenians of having committed ‘genocide’, I reserve the right to describe that position as stupid. Maybe it’s a bad choice of word, but if so, what would you suggest?  Would we be better off to describe that kind of thing as ‘indefensible’?

    The notion that every opinion which presented as fact, is actually valid and equal, is doing us all a huge disservice. This is the Pam Steiner and the Turkish propagandist position, that when presented enough times, false information can and will be seen as valid and eventually adopted as fact. They use this to change not only the tone, but the entire direction of the discussion.

    Attempting to challenge them with our own facts, while important, also serves to perpetuate the false premise on which their argument rests. We get sucked into their game and tacitly play along.  If something regarding the genocide is a well known, boldface lie and fabrication, and is allowed to be presented as fact, equal to all others, then maybe we’re all the stupid ones for not stopping it in its tracks.

    The Pam Steiners of the world seek to distract us with stupid equivilancies because they want to distract us all from the important facts that need to be raised and discussed openly…like her involvement in any of this.

  227. Gor, I appreciated your comment regarding the use of the term “stupid.”  Civility is the ‘hye’ road. But I also see Karekin’s point about challenging distortions and fabrications and share his disdain for approaching ridiculous fabrications as if they were actually worthy of intelligent debate.  It is a terrible irony that Armenians now must find themselves defending against accusations that they committed genocide against the Turks.  It should be laughable, but the more they (Turkey and her lap dogs) repeat it, and the more non-Armenians are confronted with the need to judge the merits of such falsehoods, the more tragic the whole situation becomes.

  228. Ragnar, in your last response to me you further argue against the use of the term ‘genocide’ because of it’s inflammatory affect on Turks.  I understand the point you are making in your example regarding immigrants in Norway using the term ‘racism’ to express the discrimination they experienced.  Again, I don’t agree in this case.  

    For me it all comes down to costs and benefits.  Turks struggle against accepting the term genocide because of the heinous nature of the crime and the repulsive thought that one’s ancestors engaged in such activity.  It will cost them much in terms of their sense of national pride to accept the truth, but the cost will be more than made up for by the ‘cleansing’ of this national shame and the reconciliation with Armenia—if they have the will to do so.   The establishment of Turkey as a moral leader can only enhance her goals as an economic leader and help her relations with Europe.  

    For Armenians, the cost of accepting the Turkish notion that the suffering encountered in the Balkans created an overreaction to the perceived threat from Armenians in the eastern provinces takes the form of suggesting that they brought on their own destruction.  It suggests that women, children and elderly, had to be deported, starved, massacred, raped, etc., in order to preserve Turkish territorial integrity.  It ignores the fact of numerous large and small scale massacres against Armenians that preceded the Balkan events.  It links non sequiturs and suggest parity where there is none.  It also turns the world upside-down in the sense that the sensibilities of the perpetrator must take precedence over those of the victims who have been deprived justice for 96 years.  Now, I believe that you don’t really subscribe to this notion, but merely advocate for a softening of ‘rhetoric’ to make things more palatable for Turks.  Genocide is not a case where “plea -bargaining should be applied.

    As for the ‘benefit’ to Armenians as a result of softening rhetoric:  that Turks will more willingly engage in dialogue when the terms are more to their liking.  If the goal was relationship reconciliation this might make sense from a therapeutic point of view.  But the goal is justice of the highest order, not making nice-nice with those who nearly obliterated one’s ethnic group. This crime against humanity should not be diluted because the perpetrators feelings might be hurt. In what hall of justice does this make sense?  Doesn’t civilized society deserve a greater assurance that such crimes won’t happen again?  How do you achieve this when you white-wash a crime and ask the perpetrator to pay no penalty.

  229. I have to admit, that I normally skim through Ragnar’s comments because, excuse the expression, their confusing spin gives me vertigo.  But a comment of his caught my eye as I was skipping through comments, because it mentioned one of my posts to Zeki.  Honestly, I was surprised to see that he had commented about something I had said, because he normally does not respond to me.  Here’s Ragnar’s comment to Zeki:

    ” We always evaluate our dialogues as a means to enlighten people, not only to register “who won?”, that is: who won an absolutely worthless humiliation of the Other. What were your reactions to the the debate? Did you learn anything? Do you agree, as Katia K.  said that you should not  give up.Quote:  Don’t listen to Ragnar. Armenians are the most open people. They have been extending thousands of their hands to the Turks, asking them to do the right thing, even suggesting to help them come in terms with what their ancestors have done. Dialogue is always open with us, if the dialogue is true, pure, full of humanity and devoid of prejudice, influence and hidden agendas. Unquote. Did you feel the outstretched hjand? Or did not notice all the “IF”s of Katia’s post?”

    How can I or anyone here accord any credibility to Ragnar’s nonsensical spin?  How hypocritical of him to point out to Zeki the IFs in my suggestion, when he has offered us the biggest and most illogical IF as the central theme of his arguments.  “The Turks will listen to Armenians IF we acknowledge their suffering in the Balkans first…”  A philosophy shared by Steiner also…. maybe it is being marketed to them both from the same source.   Turkey is so important to these people, geopolitically and economically, that the best thing they can suggest is for the Armenians to swallow their dignity some more, and sympatize and accord importance to the Balkan massacre of the Turks, that had nothing to do with the Armenians, in order to facilitate Turkey’s recognition of the suffering of the Armenians by the Turks hands as a remotely possible outcome that we should hope for.

    I have news to you Ragnar, I offer to you that Zeki already knows what his ancestors have done to the Armenians.  Nowhere in his posts is he directly refuting the Armenian Genocide.  He is simply slapping us in the face saying that Tukey evaded justice for almost a 100 years, and purpusely bid her time in order to render our legal demands for reparation and concession of lands unattainable in practicality.  And you are behaving like a child with no integrity, who sides with the bully and joins him in pouring some more salt on the wound of the fallen.  If Armenia was the more powerful nation, you would have no problem telling the Turks that they had to admit to  and pay for their crime.

    You are treating this debate as a “contest of who won”?  Despicable indeed, when we are discussing the murder of innocent civilians, and the illegal annexation of a country.  One thing I concede to is your success in pulling us in this most unworthy debate.  It is sad that the likes of Boyajian, Avery, Anahit, Perouz, and the rest are responding to you and according you such attention because of the simple fact of lack of truly intelligent debaters, when they themselves are the true valuable talents here.  

    My dear friends, we have no worthy challenger of what we are offering here, because there is nothing to challenge.  The Armenian Genocide is a fact that no one can dispute or debate about.  The only person who is challenging us, admits that his own daughter points out to the bizarreness of his cognitive style.

    Dear Boyajian, your last post was beyond excellent.  Do not waste your talent on unworthy challengers.  We need psychologists like you to analyze and make public, the psychological trauma of the Genocide AND the effects of its denial by the perpetrator upon the Armenian nation and humanity in general.  Do not debase your talent by squandering it in unworthy debates.  Analyze, research and write a book about it.
    Ragnar passes himself as an Emperor, and I am sorry to say that he has no clothes on.  And we have emperors and empresses who do not come out into the limelight that they deserve. 

    Avery, Boyajian, Anahit, Perouz and the rest…. If someone like Ragnar, who puts the words “solidarity and arguments” with Armenians in the same sentence and feigns a deep and mysterious intelligence and logic that we supposedly do not have the capacity of uncovering or understanding, passes himself as some worthy scholar, who’s philosophical genius finds calling a crime by its name too simple and uncreative… why when we, who have so much to contribute to humanity by sharing our experience as the children of a nation who survived Genocide do not commit to publish books and start websites worthy of civilization’s attention. 

    I am sorry for being harsh Ragnar… but it is wrong for you to make our suffering and the injustice that was dealt to us as a people your source of entertainment and opportunity to attain selfish attention and kudos from your Turkish friends.   Shame on you…

  230. [“It is sad that the likes of Boyajian, Avery, Anahit, Perouz, and the rest are responding to you and according you such attention”]
    Right you are Katia K.

    [“Avery, Boyajian, Anahit, Perouz and the rest…. If someone like Ragnar,..”]
    Right again.
    To plead my case with you that I did not engage in a debate with the ‘Dear Prof’: I almost did when I first encountered him on this thread (…although I had seen his name elsewhere). But our friend Anahit set me straight right away  about Mr. Naess: she was right of course. Since then, every one of my posts follows the same rule I use with throughout: the minute someone, anyone  Denies the AG, all civil discourse or debate is out the door.  I will attack harshly (in the literary sense) and use every misstep against them. Mr. Naess is going to regret calling us Armenians ‘inbreds’: Ever time I see him post, I will find a way to throw that insult back at his face. And there is a lot more he has said that I’ll use against him as appropriate.

  231. Boyajian is absolutely correct….there is no correlation between what happened to Muslims in the Balkans and what happened to the Armenians, because there is no responsibility resting on Armenians for any of that tragedy. The responsibility falls on the government that made a tragic decision to enter WWI, not on the minority citizens of the empire. That is an example of the false equivalency Armenians are being forced to accept and what the propagandists, including Pam Steiner, are advocating. Let’s remember….the CUP’s ethnic cleansing scheme was, at least in part, designed to create a space for those displaced from the Balkans.  

    It is well known that negotiations between Armenians and the CUP ultimately collapsed over issues of land and taxation, and had nothing to do with the Balkans, religion or anything else. They made promises to the Armenians, reneged and then turned on them in the most vicious way, and developed trumped up charges to indict and scapegoat an entire millet within Ottoman society. It was not the other way around. The Armenians had no real power, whatsoever – at their worst, they were like mosquitos on the hide of an elephant…a nuisance to the government.

    Sadly, they have been accused of all kinds of treachery, when all they were trying to do was to defend themselves, which was entire justified, no matter how many wars the CUP was engaged in.  The self-defense justification becomes even more pronounced when the CUP turned the war machine against their fellow citizens, with the aim of destroying them.  So, while I endorse the idea of having a dialogue with Turkey and with Turks, where everything is put on the table, uncensored, I do not and cannot support an approach that attempts to brand Ottoman Armenians as responsible for their own demise. Blaming the victim is not a way to achieve any kind of dialogue or reconciliation.   

  232. Katia, your point is well taken.  

    It’s very much like being caught between a rock and a hard place at times:  The knee jerk response to ‘freeze out’ the deniers and avoid giving credence to the ridiculous; and the overwhelming instinct to scream ‘no it ain’t so’ in the face of a bold fabrication.  A difficult balance to strike when so much is on the line.

    I really appreciate your astute observations above. 

  233. Since there seems to be a strong inclination to psychologize on this forum it is perhaps time to mention the following contradiction:
    Those who apologize for Turkey’s refusal to own up to the Genocide on the grounds that it is too shameful for the nation to admit imply that this is because of its deep moral sensitivity. If there were any substance to such moral sensitivity, then Turkey would feel bound to acknowledge the truth and get on. One must therefore exclude moral sensitivity from the list of reasons given for Turkey’s refusal to acknowledge its extermination of Armenian, Assyrian and Pontic Greek life in Asia Minor.

  234. This is just a sidenote, in case anyone might be doubting the power of false equivilencies (such as equating Armenian resistance with Ottoman imperial might and treating them with equal weight), so influential these days, to cause problems of a huge magnitude.

    The best contemporary example is the US after 9-11, where the scapegoating and blame was placed squarely on Iraq, largely because Rumsfeld and the Bush family harbored huge grudges against Saddam Hussein. As a result, upwards of a million innocent people died in their own country by foreign hands, 4 million became refugees, and huge swaths of the country were leveled to the ground.

    All this happened while the real source country, Saudi Arabia, was and is left untouched. As a result of this, Americans at all levels are much poorer than they were 10 years ago, many have lost their jobs, their homes and all kinds of basic services have been cut, including education, and the ultrarich refuse to shoulder any of the burden.  But, the rank and file of 340 million people still largely believe most of the lies that were promoted to equate a trumped up threat in Iraq with American military power.

    So, this is an example of how using a false equivilency can succeed, and cause major human damage in the process. Such things are promoted by intelligent people for less than savory reasons…some of which include greed, hatred, racism, a need for control and downright thuggishness. 

    Now, you may say that the well-dressed and nicely credentialed Dr. Steiner couldn’t be such a person, but if she and her cast of characters continue to promote the idea that Armenians of the Ottoman Empire could even remotedly be compared with or placed on an equal level as the imperial, military machine of the Ottoman state, then I think we all need to question what’s really going on. 

    I think it’s safe to say that this kind of farce is an attempt to discredit real scholarship and intelligent, honest discussion on the genocide, and replace it with yet another diversion – all the better to confuse and distract the Armenians, who are still being treated unfairly, as the unruly subjects of a long defunct empire, instead of being granted the dignity of a sincere, adult dialogue by those who inherited the reigns of power from the original perpetrators.  



  235. Americans didn’t mass exterminate their own citizens who happenned to be of Iraqi origin and Muslim faith, Karekin.

  236. Karekin, In the past on other posts a few of us were trying to debate with a denialist Turk and you barged in and started telling us off and siding with the denialist Turk.  Then you argued to death with a few of us about your so called UN-BUBBLE views about the Armenian Genocide that we have to wait it out and continue our discussions both with the government of Turkey and the people, and you said “yavash yavash”, there is still plenty of time to have.  Furthermore, you wanted us to convince every Turk in the Turkish government bit by bit before we try to claim anything or even to have them accept the veracity of the Armenian Genocide.  As if 96 years wasn’t enough for the Armenians to wait it out patiently; meanwhile the Turkish government teaches their children in schools the opposite of what occured to the Armenians.   Furthermore, they made it their business to put the congressmen, the senators, the oil companies’ Chief Executive Officers on payroll and recently even the New York Times’ editor in chief that once that paper used to report daily the mass murders of the Armenian population in tens of thousands of the massacres that was occuring during the Armenian Genocide in Turkey.  And you said we should pretty much kiss the turks’ tu***es, even the denialist ones; something that no Armenian who’s veins run deep into them would do!!!  But your veins doesn’t seem to have the same warm blood that  runs through most of our veins.

    You say that your grandparents went through the AG.  It doesn’t matter where I came from or where I am now, what matters is that as a child I felt the pain and the sufferings of my people in my very bones and I do not have to carry any burden, but I do have to fight until the end of times for it to be accepted first and then reparations that are long overdue to be paid in full to us.  FYI my own father was a mere 10 year old child when in 1915 he was orphaned and lost only from his immediate family 14 members, including his young mother and father.  I used to cry as a child for the misfortunes that my dear father had to endure during the Genocide.  I grew up with that pain knowing well that more than 90 percent of my family were atrociously annihilated by the Turkish government from 1915 through 1923.  As I grew up, I then began to realize and feel the unbelievable loss that my nation had to endure and came to realize the horrificness of our loss.  The loss of a nation.

    What I feel now is nothing less than for the Turks to return what is due to us, our lands, our homeland, our Vana Lidge and the Western Armenian lands that was stolen from us when they wanted Armenia without Armenians.

  237. It is wrong to say or to think that the genocide is not effecting our lives today, no matter if we realize that or not , the Turkish government is  the one to be blamed for it. 
    Thanks evreybody for supporting the truth and stopping it from being covered up .  

  238. The saddest part of all this is to see Armenians sniping at each other, and putting their own personal feelings ahead of those of an entire nation, but I guess I should not notice such things. And worse, snarky comments are offered without even taking the time to understand some of the basics of of what is expressed here. 

    On top of that, many seem to express a level of shock and horror about 1915, as if it happened yesterday, but it did not.  Let me also remind you…the Turks became our masters almost 1000 years ago…not just in 1915. That means we had a full millenium to change the situation, but we did not because we could not, and Armenians learned to live with it, just as they lived with the Arab conquest, the Greek conquest, the Roman conquest, etc.

    More to the point, this discussion began with an analysis of Dr. Steiner’s work, and I still believe there is alot to criticize. In particular, I was trying to make the point that her entire premise is wrong, that when put on the scales, nothing that happened to Turks from 1915 onward can or should be compared to or equated with what befell the Armenians of the Ottoman empire. That is a false equivilancy.  Hers is the tactic of an organized, methodical and powerful force of anti-Armenian propagandists. Get this straight…they are not only anti-genocide, they are fully anti-Armenian to the core, and as such are like wolves in sheep’s clothing, sent to placate Armenians and get them to buy-in to their farce.  And, they enjoy nothing better than to see us argue endlessly over petty issues, while they work hard behind the curtains to change and rewrite history in their favor.

  239. Those who think that the genocide of our people has not affected the generations that followed, have never  gone to a doctor and been asked about hereditary illnesses in their family and  have had to  say that their family all died from murder, not cancer or heart disease. If you are the first generation born after the genocide, did you grow up surrounded by aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents like all the odar children did? Or did you grow up with only the nuclear family within your own house? Did your surviving parents or grandparents carry fears  all their lives? My mother never went out of her house without first looking up and down the street to see if turks were lurking. She and her sister had both been raped and the scars were still there when she died. Every scholar of note (perhaps not Thierault) will tell you that genocide does not end as long as there is denial. The trauma of genocide is transmitted generation after generation. It is highly offensive to read in these posts that”victimhood” is desired by us. It is insulting to tell us to “get over it, and get on with life.” Comments like these are an indication of insensitivity and ignorance.

  240. Dear Perouz, First off I am sorry for your dearest mother and her sister to have gone what they have both gone through.  Thank you for your justifiably sensitive post above as it hurts to most of our Armenian hearts and souls as well as mine.  To the other poster above, there are psychological books written exactly for the survivors of the Armenian Genocide of how psychologically they are still victimized and affected.  Because such a magnitude of a horrific barbarically perpetrated Genocide that wipes out a whole mass of an entire nation, the generations that comes after it cannot be non-affected by it; especially when the heirs of the survivors have only seen mega denials even the tables being turned back to them and having no closure whatsoever for 96 long years.  I know of two sisters from where my father came from Palu, Eastern Turkey at the time, an entire caravan of women and their children were all thrown into a huge ditch they said in their book, and I know now that the huge ditch they were speaking of is the Shaaddin in Der El Zor where we now call it the equivalent of Auchwitz of the Haulocaust.  The Shaaddin in Der El Zor has been our grand mother’s, great great mothers, sisters and brothers Auchwitz.  Those two sisters from Palu knew about the upcoming final nail on the coffin and felt that that would’ve been their death sentence, they were able to hide away and the remaining women in the caravan who knew of their upcoming death yelled at the two sisters to tell the whole world of their sufferings.  Tell the whole world they said of our sufferings.  As justly you said, the Genocide is still ongoing; because Turkey is in full foce in denial and so denial is the last stage of the Genocide.

    To Karekin above, Armenians yes lived with the horrible situation but always in agonyzing FEAR.  They never knew when the Turks or the Kurds would lurk around and attack them, kill them, steal their most beautiful daughters and wives to rape them first and then keep or kill them.  Their young boys which later they made “Yenicheris” out of them, that is a whole army of stolen Armenian little boys.  One can even tell from the poems Taniel Varoujan and Siamanto, how they lived in fear every day of their lives.  I suggest that if you didn’t, read Raffi, Varoujan and Siamanto, although in Armenian and you’ll be much more understanding and hopefully sympathetic to our thoughts and feelings.  That is my ultimate message.


  241. Yes, I get the trauma of genocide, but let’s face some other important facts….the trauma of genocide and/or conquest did not seem to get in the way of Armenian success, either within the Ottoman empire or outside of it. The list of important and successful Armenians goes from Sinan to the Balyans, from Aznavour to Kirk Kerkorian, from Boghos Nubar to Calust Gulbenkian, from the Abdullahians to George Deukmedjian, from Vartazad Kazanjian to Alex Manoogian, from Aknouni to William Saroyan.  There have also been millions to fill in the cracks who have made huge contributions to their adopted societies. Armenians are alot more resiliant and resourceful than others, because they’ve had to be. If there is a plus side to the horrors, it is that we have learned, both individually and as a people, how to bounce back from trauma, learn quickly and effectively, and reintegrate into a new society. As much as we might long for a lost vineyard in Malatya or Van, the reality is, none of us really wants to be there, any more than we want to be living 20 miles outside of Yerevan. This does not mean to suggest that anyone throw in the towel on recognition, acknowledgement, apology or honest reparations, but that we really might be better off to focus on the positives, of which there are many and on the living, many of whom in Armenia are less than fortunate and living very difficult lives. How do you think they feel when they hear that huge amounts of money is being spent on such things, when they are sitting in a freezing domig or stone hut, with no food and crying children?  Where is your human  compassion for their plight, which is very real and has that potential to damage Armenia for many decades?  Yes, honor the genocide, remember the genocide, but please….put your time, energy and money into your living brothers and sisters in Hayastan. That is our future.

  242. Karekin, You couldn’t be more wrong when you said above that we put our own feelings above our nation.  When we do speak of our individual losses and feelings, we are all speaking exactly for our nation and for our cause for the Armenian Genocide to be recognized by Turkey and reparations made.  That’s what you don’t seem to understand , do not or perhaps cannot understand.  We speak about our losses in the same manner as the very few remaining Genocide survivors to be aware of the Genocide and make our points FOR OUR NATION’S SAKE.  Remember we want more and more people (Turks or otherwise) to know of this and so our cause will be better known throughout the world as well as to the Turks who are still in denial.  We want to move forward for our just cause for the Genocide to be accepted by the Turkish government and reparations to be made to the heirs of the Armenian Genocide.

  243. Well said Perouz, Seervart:

    The ridiculous strawman argument advanced by some posters that we are suffering from some sort of  ‘victimhood’ is an amateurish attempt to divide us and dilute our focus: it doesn’t work and it won’t work.
    I have been reading posts by our fiery women – Seervart, Perouz, Gayane, Katia K, Gina (…who did I miss ?), for close to a year and have yet to see even a hint of ‘victimhood’ in their prose. What I see is healthy, positive, and inspiring controlled rage and righteous indignation – a sustaining life-force that will spur our side onwards and onwards. It’s no academic feel-good exercise for an event that happened “long ago” (as Turks keep bloviating): Turks and Azeri  are an existential threat to RoA and Artsakh – today, in  2011. The Genocide never ended: it is ongoing. They tried, again, to exterminate our people in Artsakh only 18 years ago: all you who keep bringing up “long ago” try to explain that.

  244. Karekin, Are you kidding or joking?  For numerous years now Armenians from all over the world, individuals like Kirkorian and the Hovnanian brothers and many others as well as the Armenian Relief Society and the Ramgavar Azadagan Miyoutyoun also, as well as individuals such as myself who for years adopted two orphans who’s fathers were killed in the Artsakh war adopted them, financially and contributed by sending money to them as well as sending clothing and money to Armenia with the appropriate persons, as well as personally going to malls for months along with the A.R.S. to collect monies for the Gumri’s and northern Armenia’s earthquake that occured in the late 1980’s.  I know for fact that many Armenians from all around the world not only contributed financially to Armenia; but some went to war in Artsakh as well as we are constantly yelling on the websites as well as petitioning to the Armenian government and the oligarchs against corruption in Armenia and for democracy to reign in there, as well as speaking against the infamous protocols of 2009.  Do you think you are the only one that speaks about it?  Each and everyone of us, including myself as I stated above I have contributed with my money, my time and my words towards the betterment of our newly fledgling nation as well as the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and for reparations to be made to the heirs of the Armenians.  

  245. Karekin, I agree that the sniping is unproductive.  However, dear, you bring it upon yourself when you suggest Armenians have no legitimate right to mourn the ongoing effects of the genocide today.   Seervart and Perouz have described it well.

    When you describe how our people “put up with” their conquerors for 1000 years, you fail to acknowledge that our people were “holding down the fort,” on their ancestral lands, not merely accepting the futility of their lives.  You denigrate the efforts of the church to nourish their faith as a Christian sacrifice, despite the harshness of their lives.  You demean the centuries of martyrdom our people lived in the form of “picking up their crosses” and going forward in life, long before the genocide.  You ignore the impact that centuries of such a life have on a nation and how it shapes its character.  After living 1000 years (and more) under such circumstances, do you really think 96 years can make a people forget who they are and what they lost, simply because they were forced into diaspora?  You don’t understand the Armenian sense of survival and commitment. 

    Further, our diasporan lives only underscore our disconnection from our roots, while the lies that Turkey peddles enhances the quest for justice and our longing for what was lost.  People like Pam Steiner and Ragnar can’t speak for us or teach us how to deal with Turks.  Their advice is laughable and ill-informed.  They lack appreciation of the God-given Armenian spirit of survival.

  246. Dear Avery, Thank you and believe you me I have seen the very same righteous, inspiring, positive and healthy rage and the righteous indignation and your plight towards our just cause to go onward for our nation.  At the very least to have closure from the Armenian Genocide; but above all for reparations to be made in terms of our sweet and long lost homeland of Western Armenia.

  247. One more thought for Karekin.  Our people are suffering in Haiastan today, by no small measure, due to the fact that Turkey got away with murder.  The life of Armenians in Armenia will never be secure as long as she is surrounded by an enemy that has been allowed to prosper from its crime and feels no obstacle to prevent future immoralities for the sake of a pan-turanic dream. Need I spell out the present-day examples?  The struggle for justice for the genocide is integral to the safety and security of Armenia.  Otherwise, I am in agreement with you that we must do all we can to help Armenia.

  248. Avery, you missed me (sob-sob… :) ). I believe Boyajian is female, too. But please refrain from praising, otherwise the professor, while admitting that he’s learnt a lot from Armenian commentators’ posts and gathered a lot of material from us for his upcoming book, will nonetheless taunt us for praising ourselves on these pages. Are we to praise Turks instead for their ancestors’ very “civilized”, “non-barbaric” mass crimes against humanity?

  249. Karekin, I wonder how the Israelites or any Jew from around the world would take your views about forgetting towards their plight against the Nazi’s Haulocaust, before they had closure from the Haulocaust and before reparations were made to them in terms of billions of dollards to Israel and to every survivor from the Haulocaust, if you dared to have suggested to them that they should only concentrate on Israel’s well being rather than fighting justly towards their cause for the Haulocaust’s recognition and reparations.  Even though they had closure from the ghetgo and billions of $$$$ paid to Israel and to the survivors of the Haulocaost, they are still fighting for more and more.

    We must not only fight towards strengthening our fledgling country Armenia and the total and the just freedom of Nagorno Karapakh, Artsakh; but together we must see to it that recognition and reparations are made from the Armenian Genocide.  They are all intertwined meshed in together, all three are our just cause to fight and fight we must until the end.

  250. [“As much as we might long for a lost vineyard in Malatya or Van, the reality is, none of us really wants to be there, any more than we want to be living 20 miles outside of Yerevan.”]

    None of us ? really ? did the gentleman conduct a scientific poll ?
    In 1946-47 250,000 Armenians left their comfortable lives in the Diaspora and immigrated to war-ravaged hell of place called Armenian SSR to save her from being dismembered and absorbed into Georgia SSR and Azerbaijan SSR. I am quite sure a number greater than ‘none’ will go to Malatya, the beautiful shoreline of Lake Van, once the Turks have closed down their garrisons and left.
    [“….many of whom in Armenia are less than fortunate and living very difficult lives. How do you think they feel when they hear that huge amounts of money is being spent on such things, when they are sitting in a freezing domig or stone hut, with no food and crying children?  Where is your human  compassion for their plight, which is very real and has that potential to damage Armenia for many decades?”]

    Sorry to say, but these are the classic catch-phrase lines from Turk posters I see over and over again.

  251. ….by our fiery women – Anahit, Boyajian, Seervart, Perouz, Gayane, Katia K, Gina….

    (sorry ‘Prof’: profuse, insincere apologies;  couldn’t help myself praising our own; no self control – as you know, I am one of those inbred Armenians – genetically defective, missing self-control gene) [thanks for headsup  Anahit]

  252. Avery is, of course, absolutely correct. You cannot generalize about whether or not an entire population of exiled people would choose to return, or not, to their ancestral village if they had the option. And what does “return” mean? Millions of people own summer cottages, ski chalets, cabins in the woods, etc. that they don’t “live” in, but maintain for their own and their children’s use on a regular basis, as well as maintaining another place of daily residence. We are each entitled to the option of deciding to what extent we will, or will not, go “back home.” We need to start with the squatters being removed from our lands. We don’t need goons following us, ordering us off soil soaked with our blood, telling us our villages are not “tourist spots.”  We don’t go as tourists. We go as pilgrims, as owners. Return our stolen land and we will decide for ourselves what we will do with it. The villages in eastern turkey today are not the thriving, productive, populated communities that they were when our people lived there. All along the dirt roads in the mountains, there are many villages where people live out primitive, isolated lives in desperate poverty. If you go into the towns, you will see rows of small shops, and along the streets, in front of the shops, there are men sitting on chairs all day long; just sitting. Women? You’ll seldom see one.

  253. “Every man dies, but not every man lives”

    Thank you Avery for your passion!
    Karekin, there is no glory in conforming into a model that is designed to benefit others. We minded our own business in 1915, we worked hard to make our communities prosperous in Western Armenia just like you are suggesting us to do now in Armenia. Our community in Western Armenia was at its pinnacle economically and culturally. We should all work hard to advance Armenia, there is no question about that. We cannot however, just shut up and put up with the Turkish and Azeri propaganda precisely for Armenia’s security… We have tried to shut up and put up in Western Armenia and it has failed miserably. It will be a terrible mistake to do that currently, in this age of information, because the Turks and Azeris are spending millions to win the war of the minds by propagating and promoting false information to advance their agendas. They are brainwashing entire countries by claiming that the Armenians were the aggressors in Karabagh. They are claiming that the Armenians massacred the Azeries! Does that sound familiar? They are cowards. The Azeris attacked the Armenians in Baku and Sumgait out of nowhere with the intention of ethnically cleansing our communities there. They started an all out war against Karabagh, which had no army to face them, and when they lost, they started coming up with all sorts of cowardly fabrications. You may chose to call our cry for justice “whining” (I can’t recall how you actually put it), but it is essential for our survival, because we have never left the red alert danger zone. Each Turkish rethoric needs to be answered by us. This is a different type of war. I am curious as to why you are not describing the barrage of Turkish propganda as “whining” also?

    To get anywhere in life, one needs commitment and passion. Thankfully, we have no shortage in that in our general population. We need clearly articulated commitment and passion from our leadership however; and we should all work towards that end.
    I am so glad, that Avery started the tradition of “praising” on this thread. We should praise each other every time merit warrants it. We should work on empowering our people in general. One of our mistakes has been to put foreigners with supposed qualifications above our own people. Qualifications and degrees do not guarantee ethical decency and integrity of character. We should “background check” all the specialists we are electing to invest time and value in. One of our shortcomings as a nation has been the inability to truly support and empower each other. Nations cannot sustain themselves when everyone wants to be chief and noone wants to be soldier. We should commit to change that.

  254. To Katia
    and to all who contribute soulfully to find solution for our cause

    I like your article and others’ as well 
    Is this your proverb?
    “Every one dies, But not every man lives”
    I like something about the Egyptians…They never criticize their country…and don’t allow others to criticize them…and if they criticize…they make it with jokes… even recently after all the trouble you hear in their state… ‘Arab Spring’…

    The others can see our qualities, 
    But we don’t see our selves… 
    We have endless painters
    In every Armenian home
    They possess more than one art…gifted hands
    One paints
    Another has a nice voice…Soprano
    Able to sing by multiple tongues…
    Another able to write or chant poems 
    With extreme passionate soul
    Another plays violin
    Another piano
    Another Kamancheh…Ode
    Another and another
    Every talented race…knows about us

    “Thus…We should not allow others to criticize us for silly mistakes
    and we should not criticize our selves
    Because we are the least nation to do mistakes…”

    Every one adores to marry our girls
    From east till west
    I wonder….do our Armenian men know about it
    or they hide their feelings and ignore
    and they ask our girls to be better yet do more…! 


  255. OK. I never said anywhere that Armenians cannot or should not mourn the genocide. That’s just not true. But, the reality is that the mourning is, for all practical purposes, reserved for one day a year…Apr. 24. Since several of us enjoy drawing comparisons with the Jews, have you ever noticed how many Holocaust commemoration days they observe?  There’s more than one on the calendar, so there is an official remembrance several times a year. We don’t have anything like that. The other major missing piece is that the US, Britain and others not only defeated Germany, but they have internalized their guilt about the Holocaust and their refusal to stop it while it was in progress. This led them to use the UN to set up Israel. Again, we have no parallel to those events. The political world abandonned Armenia, even if various charities worked with survivors, orphans and the needy. Armenia became the problem of the USSR and Turkey prevailed in Anatolia.

    So, as much as I might agree, sympathize and support all of your goals and aims, under today’s current political landscape, on a practical level, I do not see us as having the clout to do much more than to help Armenia.  Now, some people have turned the genocide into a full time job…good for them…I wish them every success, but have we seen any?  And by the way, Turkish propaganda doesn’t fall into the category of ‘whining’, at all.  If you analyze it closely, it is much more like bullying and designed to psychologically overcome Armenians and perpetuate their sense of victimhood. This is why I refuse to play into it or to become their willing victim. It is demeaning to wear the cloak of victimhood, especially at this point in time. We are no longer victims!  Until the Armenian community can shake that mindset and act strongly, we will not be able to be effective in achieving any goals in a serious way.


  256. Perouz said:  “We don’t go as tourists. We go as pilgrims, as owners. Return our stolen land and we will decide for ourselves what we will do with it.”

    I agree!

  257. You touched the greatest downfall of our nation from the beginning until today Katia, and that is we have and still do praise and assign foreigners on important tasks that has been and is still the wrong thing to do.  No foreigner with whatever qualification can feel in their soul what we Armenians feel in our souls.  As a matter of fact, no other nation understands us nor will have compassion for us.  We haven’t in the past come to grips with this basic understanding and unfortunately our people continue to do it time and again.  I even see it in our Churches and our centers how individual Armenians are so welcoming and kindly towards foreigners, yet yelling and uncompassionate and unwelcoming towards individual compatriot Armenians.  It’s enough and it’s high time to start praising and loving each other instead of the “odars”.  Our people must assign any important jobs and tasks to the ones that are patriotic Armenians and of course when the individual is qualified for such a position.  I welcome your reminders Katia, good job! 

  258. I love your poem above Sylva, it’s so fitting and appropriate for our people who are truly very cultural, good politicians, inventors, builders, poets, singers; we are intelligent bunch of people yet we praise each other very little if that much.  You are so right about the Egyptians as I still remember how they used to say to one another “Masr Omm El Donya”, Egypt is the mother of the world, and they believe it too.  Indeed the Arabs are inventors and workers and builders, but we don’t see that in our Western Armenia where today the Turks left it the way it was when Armenians were annihilated and the remnants if they were lucky enough were able to escape from the 1915 Genocide.  Not much else has been done in a soil where it has been said that it’s the cradle of civilization.

    Btw; I happen to have a dramatic soprano voice myself, I have been a known poet reciter and I love sketching as I won an award once.  It’s funny that you mentioned the traits of an Armenian and here we are all.  I am not a psychologist like Boyajian nor a good poet like yourself, but each one of us has one, two or three traits from your list above, isn’t it dear?  On another post you wrote a poem and you wished someone to sing it for you, I wish I could sing that piece and put it on you tube just for you Sylva jan. :)))  

  259. As long as I cannot  go back to my father’s village without fear; as long as I cannot open the door of the house my grandfather built; as long as I cannot pray at the remains of the altar of their village church; as long as I cannot pick the apricots from the trees my grandmother planted; as long as I cannot turn the soil in my mother’s vegetable garden, I am a victim of the Armenian Genocide. I am grateful that there are learned scholars who have made it their life work to expose the evil of genocide. They are aware, through many years of careful research leading to consensus, that the effects of genocide are carried down through many generations. They are now in a place of study in genocide research where they ignore the self-promotional ramblings of the uninformed.

  260. [“If you analyze it closely, it is much more like bullying and designed to psychologically overcome Armenians and perpetuate their sense of victimhood.”]
    We have analyzed it, and you are absolutely correct: it is psychological warfare.
    And it is not working: for the umpteenth time – Recognition, Reparation, Return does not equal ‘victimhood’: it is the exact opposite.

    [“This is why I refuse to play into it or to become their willing victim. It is demeaning to wear the cloak of victimhood, especially at this point in time. We are no longer victims! “]
    Recognition, Reparation, Return does not equal ‘victimhood’: it is the exact opposite
    [“Until the Armenian community can shake that mindset and act strongly, we will not be able to be effective in achieving any goals in a serious way.”]
    Armenians did demonstrate unequivocally and very convincingly  – in 1988 –  that the alleged mindset was shaken long ago.
    Armenians worldwide acted very strongly, came together to back and support our heroic brothers and sisters in Artsakh and Armenia.
    Armenians did make a VERY strong stand and said: “No, we will not be exterminated again. There’s been enough. If any of us have to die, we’re taking a whole lot of you with us. No more marching columns of unarmed civilians  to the slaughterhouse”.
    Armenian threw out the ‘Azeri’ Tatar invaders who were bent on exterminating them with massive support from their Genocidal Turk cousins.
    A very solid, very tangible goal was reached: 200,000 Armenians were saved from extermination; Historic Armenian lands were liberated; Artsakh is de facto independent and secure.

  261. Dear Servart 

    Our Land was Umm Aldunya ( the mother of the world)
    We were present there since Pharaohs
    Because we couldn’t kill with our arts
    (Brushes…Canoon…doodoks… Kamancha…
    We will thrown out one by one…
    Still Turks call us killers …
    i say by what…

    The money speaks 
    The rudeness speaks
    The power speaks

    We should bring more children
    To replace…our great loss 
    What ever we do… still unreplaceable 
    We lost our best literates
    Our children must have more kids
    To fill our land and become Umm Aldunya
    At least in our Eyes…


  262. I am sorry Karekin but you got it all wrong, although you are entitled to have your opinions.
    Asking and demanding justice is not playing victimhood. I don’t know why asking for justice embarasses you, and you see the Turkish “bullying” as a stronger and more respectable alternative. Bullying stems from ignorance, weakness and insecurity. I still think that Davutoglu’s call for the recognition of the Balkan Turkish massacres, which by the way took place as a consequence of a war the Turks themselves had launched, and the lies about the Azeri loss of life which again was the consequence of the Azeris waging war against the Karabakhzis, as a clear example of playing the “phony” victim.
    Demanding justice and promoting the truth takes guts, and is nothing to be ashamed of. The Jews don’t have this kind of complex whatsoever.
    My Dear Servart and Sylva, it’s funny, but guess what, I write poems as a hobby too! Ha Ha Ha…

  263. Dear Sylva,
    Last semester I took two courses in college and one of them was Western Civilization to Reformation and don’t you know that we as a nation are older than the Pharaohs, it’s true.  Although we were tribal people before we formed a nation, (from Phrygia, Thraece, Hyasa, Urartian, etc.) but later we have formed a nation and we are more than 5,000 year old nationality.  Of course thanks to our hard working but peace loving nature as it’s the traits of our people, we had far too many invadors, and because of it we have mixed blood, but nonetheless culturally of course we are Armenians.  My point is that we are older than the Pharaohs and we thaught the world many things; two of them that comes to mind is the bronze warfare materials (swords and shields) and the other is how to draw a map.  We were and we shall become again Sylva jan Armenya Umm El Donya!!!!! 

  264. Dear Katia,
    Very good answers and explanations.  Not only the Turks bully and try to manipulate us, but they constantly speak from both ends of their mouth, they lie, cheat, bribe, everything and anything that is inhuman, low life, illegal as well as killings against good people who are doers, workers, builders, peace loving and who are great contributers to the civilizations of mankind, such as the Armenians.   By the way what I’d like to know is, what were the Turks doing in the Balkans all the way from Mongolia?  Why in the world they came to our country and then went through Balkania and all the way to the middle of Europe?  I give credit to the Europeans that were able pushed them right out.  I only wish we did the same.  Like Victor Hugo said; “Wherever the Turks go, bloodshed, misery and massacres follow as that’s what they are good for”. 

  265. Anahit
    I will not taunt you, I will give you a feed back as honestly as I can. If you disagree or find it unpleasant, and if you find nothing in it you can use, all the worse, but this is how feed backs go, isnt it?
    By the way I think you do an injustice to Karekin. Actually I complained about Sylvia, but gor chose to chastise karekin for calling me an indiot. Did you take on this opportunity to chastise Karekin because he is not in line with the other Armenians?

  266. Now possibly you will argue that the AW, while technically and juridically consisting of texts open to all and citable by all, usable by all, still our discussions has a semi-private character which means that it is not right of me to use them as material for a book. If some of you experience my book project as a kind of braking of implicit rules of good conduct, please tell me!

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