Synopsis of ‘Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials’

‘Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials’
By Vahakn N. Dadrian and Taner Akcam
New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books
2011, 363 pp
ISBN 978-0-85745-251-1 (hardback)
ISBN 978-0-85745-286-3 (e-book)

This book is a study of the World War I Armenian Genocide as documented through the Ottoman Special Military Tribunal’s criminal prosecution of the perpetrators involved. The aim of these post-World War I Ottoman courts-martial was the exposure and punishment of the organizers of the crime. As the courts-martial unfolded over nearly three years (1919-22), the near-omnipotent role played in the organization of the genocide by the top leaders of a militarized political party, the Young Turk junta—along with their governmental subordinates—became all too evident. That party was the Ittihad ve Terakki, or the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP).

A scene from the courtroom on April 3, 1919

This study is almost entirely anchored on original and authenticated documents. The evidence these documents yield is by no means ordinary in nature, but is rather a kind of evidence that is legally characterized as “evidence-in-chief.”

Most importantly, the documentation for the trials was rendered both incontestable and verifiable by a distinct legal procedure the tribunal adopted: When on the witness stand, the principal defendants were invited to examine and confirm the authenticity of the many secret and top secret documents bearing their own signatures. Most of these documents had been secured and authenticated during the pretrial investigations by officials from the ministries of the interior and justice. The authentication formula used was, “It conforms to the original.”

The book represents firsts in many ways.

  1. This is the first time the complete known documentation of the trial proceedings are being provided in English. This study is based on authentic Turkish documentation, which the Ottoman government was forced to release during the trials. It includes the personal, eyewitness testimony of high-ranking Ottoman officials, given under oath, on the magnitude of the crimes against the Armenians. The indictments, evidence, and verdicts clearly prove the centralized planning and the genocidal intent of the Young Turk government against its Armenian citizens.
  2. This is the first time information from the Ottoman newspapers of the era—whose collection, digitization, editing, transliteration, and translation were commissioned by the Zoryan Institute as part of the long-term project known as “Creating a Common Body of Knowledge”—has been utilized to reconstruct the trials. While the official government record lists only 12 trials, the newspapers provide details on 63. Between 2001 and 2004, researchers went to libraries in different cities in Turkey to locate and digitize all the articles in 17 Ottoman newspapers from 1919-21 on the trials. It was important not to alert officials about the intent of the project, or access might well have been blocked. In the end, Zoryan had a nearly complete collection of hundreds of articles on the trials from Ottoman newspapers. These articles have been transliterated into modern Turkish, and the titles of the articles translated into English. Digital images of these newspapers are now in Zoryan’s archives.
  1. This is the first time a national court successfully prosecuted such a case of mass atrocity against its own citizens. The legal principle of “crimes against humanity” that arose in this case had a far-reaching influence and is echoed in the Nuremberg Charter, the Tokyo Charter, and the UN Genocide Convention.
  2. This is the first joint publication by the two most internationally renowned scholars on the Armenian Genocide—Professors Vahakn Dadrian, an Armenian, and Taner Akcam, a Turk.

Wartime Cabinet ministers, Young Turk party leaders, and a number of other accessories were court-martialed for orchestrating Turkey’s entry into World War I and for the annihilation of the Armenians. Most were found guilty and received sentences ranging from prison with hard labor to death. Talat, Enver, Cemal, and Dr. Nazım were condemned to death in absentia.

On Jan. 13, 1921, the courts-martial were abolished altogether, with jurisdiction reverting to regular military courts. Nearly all of the key figures of the CUP managed to escape Turkey before being brought to trial. Scores of lesser CUP leaders were condemned to death in absentia or sentenced to prison terms. However, many of these eventually escaped or were set free, as the Allied Powers were very slow in implementing the trials, constantly undermined each other, and removed their forces from occupying Turkey, while at the same time freeing tens of thousands of prisoners of war, who readily joined the Kemalist insurgency. The July 24, 1923 Treaty of Lausanne was framed in such a way as to avoid the subject of war crimes and massacres. With Declaration VIII of Amnesty and the Protocol attached to this treaty, and as Kemalism gained the upper hand and eventually ended the Ottoman Empire, the pursuit of justice for the Armenians was abandoned.

The Armenian Genocide represents the first case of genocide (as described by Raphael Lemkin, the legal scholar who coined the term “genocide”), in which a government tried to eliminate an identifiable ethnic or religious group of its own citizens, and is recognized as the prototype for what specialists refer to as “modern genocide.” It serves as a classic example of how impunity for one crime can lead to another crime, as Adolf Hitler infamously justified his plans by asking his generals in 1939, “Who remembers now the extermination of the Armenians?”

Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials adds a new perspective to the historical and moral studies of the genocide, and serves as a legal case study. It holds great relevance today, with the current interest internationally regarding the Armenian Genocide and its denial.

See the Table of Contents attached for an outline of the book.

About the Authors

Vahakn N. Dadrian’s field of specialization is genocide, in general, and the Armenian Genocide, in particular. For several years he was engaged as director of a large Genocide Study Project sponsored by the H. F. Guggenheim Foundation. The project’s first major achievement was the publication, now in its fifth printing expanded, of an extensive volume titled The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus (Oxford & Providence, R.I., 1995). This work has appeared in French (Paris, second printing) and in Greek (Athens). Dadrian’s other major work, German Responsibility in the Armenian Genocide: A Review of the Historical Evidence of German Complicity, was published in 1996 (Cambridge, Mass.) and is now in its third edition. His third volume, Warrant for Genocide: The Key Elements of the Turko-Armenian Conflict, appeared in 1999 (London and New Brunswick, N.J.). His latest book is titled The Key Elements of the Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide (Cambridge, Mass., and Toronto, 1999). This book was translated into Spanish in Buenos Aires (2002). In addition to these monographs, Dadrian has published numerous articles in scholarly journals around the world. His extensive list of publications includes several articles on the Jewish Holocaust and the victimization of the American Indians. In 2005, he received four separate awards for his lifetime contribution to genocide studies. Dadrian is currently the director of genocide research at the Zoryan Institute.

Taner Akcam was born in the province of Ardahan in northeast Turkey and became interested in Turkish politics at an early age. As the editor-in-chief of a political journal, he was arrested in 1976 and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. One year later, he escaped and fled to Germany as a political refugee. His books include Dialogue Across an International Divide: Essays Towards a Turkish-Armenian Dialogue (2001) and From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide (2004). A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility was published in November 2006 and has since been translated into Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, and Spanish. He is the first Turkish scholar to have drawn attention to the historicity of the Armenian Genocide and has, as a result, been persecuted by the Turkish state. In April 2006, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts presented him with a distinguished award for outstanding work in human rights and fighting genocide denial. He is currently an associate professor of history and the Kaloosdian/Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University.

Table of Contents

Ottoman-Turkish Words and Names xi

Introduction 1
Vahakn N. Dadrian and Taner Akcam

PART I. The Conditions Surrounding the Trials

Chapter 1. History of the Turko-Armenian Conflict 13

Vahakn N. Dadrian

Chapter 2. Military Defeat and the Victors’ Drive for Punitive Justice 19

Vahakn N. Dadrian

Chapter 3. The Preparations for Courts-Martial 78

Vahakn N. Dadrian

Chapter 4. The Initiation of Courts-Martial 93

Vahakn N. Dadrian

Chapter 5. Emergent Kemalism and the Courts-Martial 101

Vahakn N. Dadrian

Chapter 6. The Series of Major Trials and the Related Verdicts: Falsification of the Arguments of “Relocation,” “Civil War,” and “Intercommunal Clashes” 108

Vahakn N. Dadrian

Chapter 7. Legal Proceedings as a Conceptual Framework 126

Vahakn N. Dadrian

Chapter 8. A Summary of the Conditions Surrounding the Trials 154

Vahakn N. Dadrian

Chapter 9. The Judicial Liquidation of Some of the Arch Perpetrators by Both CUP and Kemalist Authorities, and the Demise of Other Accomplices 177

Vahakn N. Dadrian

 

PART II. The Trials and Beyond

Chapter 10. Death Sentences Handed Down by the Military Tribunal in Istanbul 195

Taner Akcam

Chapter 11. Coverage of the Trials by the Istanbul Turkish Press 200

Taner Akcam

Chapter 12. Formation and Operation of the Ottoman Military Tribunals 251

Taner Akcam

Chapter 13. The Full Texts in English of the Indictments and Verdicts 271

Appendix 333

Glossary of Terms 335

Archival, Judicial, and Parliamentary Documents 337

I. The Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic 337

II. Imperial Germany and German Official Records 342

III. Imperial Austria-Hungary 344

IV. Great Britain 345

V. T e United States 346

VI. United Nations 346

VII. France and French Archives 346

VIII. Armenian Archival Documents 346

 

Select Bibliographic Secondary Sources 348

Books 348

Turkish 348

English 350

German 351

French 351

Armenian 351

 

Articles 352

Turkish 352

English 352

German 353

Armenian 353

 

Newspapers 354

Turkish 354

French 354

American 354

British 355

Canadian 355

Australian 355

Armenian 355

Index 356

 

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286 Comments

  1. This is the first joint publication by the two most internationally renowned scholars on the Armenian Genocide—Professors Vahakn Dadrian, an Armenian, and Taner Akcam, a Turk.

    I am not a scholar but I can easily expose the false assertations of these

    • go ahead and expose them.
      are you going to write another book or you are going to expose both
      in one compact post @AW ?

      Would you be also kind to post excerpts from your most recent book: ” A Turk proves that the Earth is Flat ” by John the Turk.

    • Expose them Yahya, but be sure to include irrefutable references and citations from original source materials as they did. AW is very generous with its space here. Let’s see what you have.

  2. John TT,

    1. You have a closed mind. You know why the authors are wrong without reading their work.

    2. You cannot disprove a report about what 1919-1921 trial documents and contemporaneous newspaper articles say. It is a certainty that the documents Zoryan Institute collected, as well as the records of the tribunals say what they say.

    3. You are in no position to disprove the first hand observations of the tribunal witnesses. You obviously did not observe the events they described in 1919-1923.

    4. If you are not interested in the truth, I don’t blame you. I don’t like admitting the genocidal acts the British colonists and United States committed against Native Americans. But when a scholarly work appears it does not make me so uncomfortable that I falsely boast I can disprove the authors’ work, sight unseen.

    5. Why don’t you read the recent work of Umit Ungor, a Turkish citizen, about the intentional state destrruction of Armenians and Assyrians in Diyarbekir? You might learn something.

    6. Do you want to learn anything about the foundations of Turkey being as red as the field of your nation’s flag of death?

    • Oh yeah, the Fake “jda” again. Say a few nice things about AG, then slip in the calling card.

      “I don’t like admitting the genocidal acts the British colonists and United States committed against Native Americans.”

      I thought you were Armenian, “jda”. (that includes being Armenian-American).
      Why would an Armenian admit to something he had absolutely nothing to do with ?

      It is the same old, same old: conflate every atrocity with the AG. Mix it in with every massacre ever committed. Dilute its uniqueness and significance.
      Everything was a Genocide, therefore nothing, including the AG, is a Genocide.
      Right ? Riiiiiight.

  3. Can not wait to get a copy and read it. If we (Turks) knew that CUP members deserved to be put on trial back then why should we waste our time defending them now. Their folly and lust for power led us into a war that was not ours and cost millions of lives, of all Ottomans. If we asked a hundred people in a Migros tdy who Talat was I bet more than 80 would have nothing to say. There is a reason why we know nothing about them: there is nothing good about them.

  4. This collection supplies irrefutable evidence of the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks. The Nuremberg trials were held by the Allies, although managed with scrupulous attention to law and accuracy, while the Istanbul trials were held by the Turks themselves, also with scrupulous attention to law and accuracy. Those who deny the evidence of the Ottoman courts-martial are either blind or have a deranged mind.

  5. The depth of scholarship on the Armenian Genocide continues to explore all aspects of the crime. John the Turk… I understand that it must be very frustrating to see the truth displayed in research verses the empty rhetoric that you and your colleagues offer. This is an incredible piece of history wedged between the crime and the institutional denial. I suggest you read the book and listen to the documented testimony of your ancestors.

  6. john the turk,

    Must you act like a mad man? Expose what? A well known historical fact of 92 years ago carried out and fully and rightfully judged by Turkey for the murderous acts of their own Ittihadist government of 1915? What in the world can you add now to that known historical act nearly 93 years later?

  7. How often do you see a guilty party admit to guilt? It offends their boastful Pride.

    When allies and neutrals validate the facts, one needs to question the rational of people unable to accept TRUTH.

  8. as an armenian, i just wonder, how many more years do we need to present evidence, how many more rooms full of facts and figure do we need to fill. how many more countries do we need to acknowledge the genocide. does it matter if president obama went back on his word, makes no difference, president reagan already had called it a genocide. we have enough u n d i s p u t a b le evidence. enough is enough. why do we need to even try to educate the people that will always disagree with us. i mean, who cares about them, do we need to stoop to their level. of course not. what we need now and always needed are the courts, the politicians who will say the right thing in order to get re-elected, a meaningful loby in washington. our powerful lawyers in california and elsewhere shouldthrow in their expertise on the subject,
    and most of all…. the courts at the hague. enough dialogue. action speaks louder than words.
    wishing you all a merry armenian christmas.
    gerard

  9. Editors;
    Please do not delete

    Avery,

    I am the same person you have castigated and criticized as well as lionized on the unlikely surmise that there are two jda posters. Perhaps the editors can send you a private email attesting to the same address for all my posts save a few from my gym or iphone.

    The latest springboard for your headlong jump into the deep water is my supposedly erroneous comparison of the slaughter of Native Americans to the slaughter of Armenians [and Greeks and Assyrians].

    The campaign against American native peoples was Genocidal in every respect. Their men were sometimes murdered outright, as were ours; their children were forcibly adopted and made to abandon their language, as were ours; their culture was destroyed as was ours, and it was otherwise denigrated by the American culture and government, which beat Native children for speaking their own language in agency schools, as were Armenian and Greek children; the cruelty of our culture to native Americans is something no grandchild of the Armenian Genocide can ignore.

    The state killing of unarmed people, and the forcible conversion of children are independent grounds for a determination that Genocide occurred.

    And, I’m sure you take the point that they were here first and their lands and wealth were stolen, right?

    If you wish to dispute it was Genocide, go ahead. You can corroborate your conclusion in the works of Gunter Lewy, who wrote a whole book about it.

    I didn’t realize that Armenians should be concerned only with the Armenian Genocide. I didn’t realize that an Armenian born in this country became a turncoat by seeing the humanity in other suffering and mistreated peoples. I didn’t realize that there is only one injustice.

    Your final argument, is one that some Jews make – our Holocaust is worse than yours. I’ll leave that one to you, as you anonymously and ineffectively enforce your standards of what an Armenian must think on the internet. I take my guidance from what Jesus Christ and my parents and grandparents taught me. The latter lived through slaughter and exile, and were the first to sympathize with anyone suffering from injustice.

  10. It is interesting. Just a reminds us that NONE of the fedayeen, revolutionary leaders and other Armenians who committed horrific crimes against humanity have faced the music and held responsibe for their deeds. Not one.

    • You are still not getting it Murat. Individual Armenians who committed acts of violence in retaliation or in defense of their communities is not the same as a government (Ottoman Turks and CUP/Ittihadists) targeting a specific ethnic group (Armenians) for deportation under conditions that led to their annihilation.

      If Turkey has a case against individuals who committed crimes against her citizens, let Turkey pursue this, but not before she faces the crimes that she committed against her own Ottoman Christian citizens.

  11. I wish one day ‘very soon… but before the Centenary of Armenian Genocide’ all those events… ‘Turkish bloody and macabre history 1885-1923’, The Genocide, Court martial’s, British betrayal, Russian betrayal…. will be all available as big screen movies instead of some research files and books on the dusty shelves of some libraries!

  12. Adali

    You must read the books written by akcamian family but not only akcamian family. you must read Turkish and non Armenian scholars such as Gunter Levy and compare them. then talk about Talat

  13. jda, whoever you are: the campaign against American native peoples was not ‘genocidal’ in every respect, because the intent of the Europeans arriving in the New World was not ‘to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group’ as defined by the 1948 UN Genocide Convention. While atrocities against the native Americans were deplorable, they occurred in the course of colonization and not as premeditation by the state authorities based on the intent to destroy their own citizens as in the case of the Ittihadist Turks. You fail to see this crucial point present in the genocides of Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, and Rwandans, but absent in the atrocities against the American Indian that led to their partial ethnic cleansing.

  14. murat: would be interested to know what ‘crimes against humanity’ have the fedayees, revolutionary leaders, and other Armenians committed? Did they savagely slaughter the Turkish nation en masse or uprooted and death marched your ancestors from their historical homeland in Central Asia? Your irrational comments denigrate not only you as an individual but cast shadow on the ability of the Turks as a nation to think rationally.

    • We may not agree on much, but I 100% agree with you. I mean were there some crimes committed by Armenians? Most likely- but Armenians did not start the fight so things done in self defense and retaliation cannot and should not EVER be used as a means to say that “crimes were committed by both sides.” Also, those people are individuals- there are bad and evil people amongst every group- but the Armenians who may have committed crimes did not have government support and a military with them. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people like Murat to see reason.

      Murat: Have you ever walked by an Armenian church in Eastern Turkey and wondered why no one worships there anymore and why the churches are in ruin?

  15. Paul, or whoever you are,

    The topic of the thread is the work of Dadrian and Akcam, not whether what happened to our native peoples meets the common or legal definition of Genocide. I had merely mentioned to a denier that as an American I do not feel my nation’s honor is unfairly attacked when the bloody foundation of this country is discussed. We may have one leg which rests on the high ideals of the Enlightenment, but we have another firmly standing upon what was stolen from Native poeoples.

    Then the watchdog of orthodoxy in these pages, Avery, said I must be a Turk because I said that the Armenian Genocide and the Genocidal actions to which
    native peoples were subjected were the same, to the cost of our conception of the Armenian Genocide. I doid not say they were the same, only that Native Peoples were subjected to Genocidal acts. I responded. These will be my last comments on the subject.

    The American Native peoples were subjcted to Genocidal acts from the arrival of Europeans onwards. In the colonial periods Native Peoples were killed on sight in both North America and MesoAmerica. Over the course of nearly 400 years, North Americans slaughtered them, deprived them of a way to support themselves, purposefully infected them, enslaved them, stole their lands, denigrated their culture, outlawed the speaking of their languages in agency schools, and as previously noted, forcibly stole their children. In North America the phrase “manifest destiny” was a convenient shorthand for atrocity, something like “Turkey for the Turks” is and was.

    Even the US Government apolgized for this:

    http://www.tahtonka.com/apology.html

    It is certainly true that the Genocide of Native peoples here did not have the type of final red crescendo achieved in Europe, Rwanda, Cambodia, and the Ottoman Empire. Huge numbers of Native peoples were not killed all at once, or on an indsutrial scale, as was achieved by the Turks, Germans and their varuious helpers. But Genocide does not require something approximating the AG or the Jewish Genocide to be Genocide. As you should know, the Hague has indicted Serbs and Croats for killings on a much smaller scale.

  16. ‘jda’: Paul answered you about Native Americans , so I will not repeat.

    Take a look at the Comments (only 17) in this AW article:
    https://armenianweekly.com/2011/11/23/matiossian-to-talk-on-%E2%80%98aryan-myth%E2%80%99/

    This is what ‘jda’ said there:
    “Saying that Turks are from Mongolia is not only silly, but it also is parallel to stupid things some Turkish nationalists say.”

    Another ‘jda’, long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away said this:
    “However, the Mongols are considered a Turkic group on account of language and culture. Genghiz Khan’s actual name “temujin” means iron-smith in turkic .”

    So, which ‘jda’ are you ?

    There are a lot of other interesting things said in the Matiossian article by ‘jda’, like this gem: “The language developed in the west, and conquerors who spoke it moved east, conquering the native peoples in the Highlands. “ (meaning Armenians are not indigenous to Armenian Highlands, right ?)

    BTW: saying Turks are (originally) from Mongolia not only is not silly, but accurate (and not remotely disparaging: just factual):
    Not surprisingly, a well known Turk agrees:

    { Thursday, 28 October 2010
    Ahmet Davutoglu, who has become the first Turkish foreign minister ever to visit Uighur Autonomous Region in China, toured historical sites in Kashgar city. Davutoglu and an accompanying Turkish delegation arrived early Thursday in Kashgar in the extreme west of China and the extreme southwest of Uighur region. Davutoglu first visited the tomb of Mahmud Kashgari and then they toured the tomb of Yusuf Has Hajib as well the 500-year-old Id Khah Mosque, the largest mosque in China.

    “We are visiting the land of our ancestors,” Davutoglu said.}

    Do you dispute that FM Davutoglu said that ?

  17. ‘jda’: part2

    Regarding “I didn’t realize that Armenians should be concerned only with the Armenian Genocide”

    Armenians and Armenian organizations, particularly ANCA, have been at the forefront in raising “call to action” on Darfur Genocide. Examples:

    https://armenianweekly.com/2011/06/17/anca-asks-armenian-americans-to-protest-new-sudanese-attacks-on-civilians/
    https://armenianweekly.com/2011/06/11/fear-pervades-nuba-mountains/

    I, and countless other Armenians responded and took action.
    Here is the text of the letter (not email) I sent to both of my CA Senators, and my Representative. (all 3 responded to me with letters).

    ————-
    U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
    United States Senate
    112 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510
    July 4, 2011

    Honorable Senator:

    I have attached an article from ArmenianWeekly by Mr. Samuel Totten, a Genocide scholar.
    The people of Nuba Mountains, Sudan, are under threat of annihilation by the forces of Sudan’s indicted war criminal President Mr. Omar al-Bashir
    I ask you to urge the US State Department to do everything it can to prevent another mass murder of unarmed civilians.
    We need to prevent these sorts of things from happening in the first place, instead of later trying to bring the perpetrators to justice: much better to try to save lives at the outset.

    Respectfully,

    Avery __________
    ________________
    ________________

    ——————
    So your statement about Armenians supposedly not caring about other Genocides is vacuous and false.

  18. Avery,

    I am mystified at your inability to read. My comment was reminding Paul that we have a bond of sympathy and understanding with those whose families were murdered by the state, and those whose culture was destroyed, not the reverse.

    An additional point as to Native Americans. Like Europeans, Africans and Asians, they are composed of many nations with different languages and cultures. There should be no doubt that European colonists and the American government killed many Native nations outright, while subjecting all who survived to cultural oppression and destruction. Pointing this put and labelling it as Genocide takes not an iota from the Armenian Cause.

    The point about Turks needs repetition, because you don’t seem to get it. The Turkish language originated east of Anatolia, We agree. However, if you reach back 50-100 generations, to see the genetic endowment of the average Anatolian who identifies as a Turk, it comes primarily from the same places those of the neighbor groups come from. This explains why many Turks resemble Anatolian Greeks and Armenians. Sometimes the worst Turk nationalists have our family names if you go back 10 generations, see e.g. Dogu Perincek.

    The process by which autochthonous groups are conquered, acculturated and assimilated is universal. Its why Gaelic is spoken in Ireland, and Turkish in Marash.

    The same process occurred with Armenian-speaking conquerors who moved east from Phrygia and Thrace. That is why there are similarities between ancient Greek and old Armenian. The Armenian conquerors also impressed their language upon conquered peoples indigenous to the area, who are also our ancestors.

    We, Kurds, Assyrians, and Turks all come from indigenous people.

    That does not license oppression or genocide. It does not mean the Armenian Highlands should be Turkish. I am referencing Anatolia instead.

    The irony of your position, corroborated by your post, is that nationalistic Turks also believe they are of Mongol origins. They name their children Cengiz with depressing regularity. Hence Erdogan, Davatoglu et al may endow Ataturk reading rooms in Mongolia. Big whoop. Mongolians laugh at them as the only Middle easterners who lack oil. Even more ironic is the fact that the Mongols destroyed the Seljuks.

  19. Concerning the Broad and Sweeping Statements of Genocide, I am reading, committed by Americans against Native Americans:

    Not all regions of Colonial America, nor founding members of city councils or state legislatures encouraged, participated in, or generally allowed genocide to occur. As a member of a family which immigrated into the Philadelphia region during the time of it’s founding by the Quaker, William Penn, I would like to clarify several things in this on going debate: This Quaker founder of Philadelphia, and the subsequent fathers of the State of Pennsylvania, in the majority also Quakers, along with the earliest members of the Pennsylvania Legislature, entirely Quakers until about 1722, did not abide unfair dealings or treatment of native peoples and they put it in writing and called it a part of the law of the land. Penn, and subsequent others, were adamant that Native Americans were to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserved. (Google: Josiah Hicks, Painter) Penn laid the ground work that all lands that the City, and Estates surrounding Philadelphia, were to be purchased at what I believe Penn would have called “fair market value”. Documents were signed and sealed by Colonists and Native Americans attesting to these new laws. Treaties for the privileges of acquiring land, water, and hunting/fishing rights were also developed, signed, and enforced. All of these documents, that I am referring to, can currently be found in Pennsylvania archives.

    Penn considered Philadelphia “The Great Experiment” and allowed ALL RELIGIONS to have houses of worship within the city limits. For example, in Philadelphia from the time of Penn there are the first protestant churches. For example: First Presbyterian Church, First Synagogue: Temple Israel, First African Church: Mother Bethel, First Catholic Church: St. Andrews( not so sure about the name of this one.), the First Swedish Church: Gloria Dei was here before the founding of Philadelphia and continues into today. If there had been a population of Muslims in early Philadelphia there would have been: First Islamic Center.

    Additionally, Penn asked that a substantial house of worship be built with no adornment or markings. Penn specified: If a holder of the property wanted to hang a cross or a five pointed star on the buildings outside over the double doors it was OK during the time the newly forming religion occupied the building. The building charter reads: It was to be used by any immigrant community of “ANY RELIGION” as a house of worship, tax and rent free for a period 10 years. During those ten years the newly formed immigrant religious community was to fund raise for their own building of worship. This unmarked building still exists and stands within a few blocks of the center of Quakerism in North America: The Arch Street Meeting House, at 4th and Arch Street. The City of Philadelphia offers a “Self Walking Tour”, called “The Great Experiment.” The tour visits each and every “First” House of Worship founded throughout the colonial period and the original “Unmarked House of Worship”.

    An additional point in the rebuttal against genocide practices of “Americans”. In the Philadelphia Region it was a Quaker in 1664 who stood in a local Quaker Meeting and denounced slavery and involuntary servitude. This was the first denunciation of slavery made by any person, anywhere in the world. I believe by the date 1775 ALL QUAKERS in North America had come to a consensus and agreed that enslavement of any kind was an abomination and any person who held slaves could no longer be considered a member of their Religious Society of Friends (the full and proper name for the nickname Quaker). Quakers were expelled from The Religious Society of Friends over this issue.

    Having read this I hope you do not cast your aspersions on “Genocidal America” with such a broad brush. Yes genocide occurred at times against Native Americans. But it occurred against the wishes and best designs of many founding fathers of the United States of America. And, it continued against the best designs and wishes of many, many later Americans. Genocide is an abomination against God.

  20. So stipulated.

    I never said that every American or every aspect of colonial or republican government was in the genocide business. If the unique religious scruples of some forbade it, we can be proud of their nobility.

    We and Turks can also point to the courage of numberless Kurds, Turks and Arabs who sheltered Armenians without charge, conversion, enslavement and rape. We can thank Turkish government officials who here and there refused to murder, such as the Governor of Smyrna, who refused orders to kill in 1915.

    But, as you admit, these are the all too rare exceptions.

  21. Avery,

    A parting shot-

    This is I think the third thread where you have accused me of being a Turk because I have said things with which you disagree. And more precisely, you use the word “Turk” as an epithet. I expressed. I have responded with the appropriate ire to your posts, which betray great cut and paste skills, and not much more.

    I would be happy to wager a year of my income that I have done far more for my family’s Armenian culture and for our brothers in Armenia than you have or will in a lifetime. But that is not the point, and it is not proper to boast of such things. In fact, arguing about racial or ideolgical purity is a bad thing for Armenia and Armenians.

    I have this to add. Your style of argument, if one can call it that, matches exactly the Turkish Nazi mindset. When a Turk dips a toe over the nationalist path, she or he is immediately scorned and shunned. And, just as you are ready to call me a Turk for not being on your path, Turkish Nazis immediately brand all who disagree with them as Armenians, which to them is an insult. I am sure you remember Can Aritman calling Gul 1/2 Armenian because he watched a soccer match inYerevan four years ago.

    You do Armenians a disservice by attacking those you disagree with. Attack their ideas, their prose style, whatev., that’s all fair. But when you insist upon ideological purity, you hurt us all. We are actually a very individualistic group – exile and diaspora makes people that way – and you betray your insularity by baring your little fangs when you hear something that varies from your personal orthodoxy.

    I urge you to read the breezy, human, open work of William Saroyan.

  22. jda (other type): I know that the topic of the thread is the work of Dadrian and Akcam, but it was you who brought up the comparison of atrocities against Native Americans to the genocide of Armenians. Or was it a third brand of ‘jda’ posting the following on 5 JAN 2012: “The latest springboard for your headlong jump into the deep water is my supposedly erroneous comparison of the slaughter of Native Americans to the slaughter of Armenians [and Greeks and Assyrians]”?

    I, in turn, had merely invited your attention to the fact that atrocities against American native peoples do not fully conform the definition of genocide because the major determinant of genocide—the intent to destroy—was absent in the case of Native Americans. Therefore, the Armenian genocide and the genocidal atrocities to which American native peoples were subjected were not the same. In the latter case, the intent is missing. To say that ‘the American native peoples were subjected to genocidal acts from the arrival of Europeans onwards’ is not the same as to say ‘the American native peoples were subjected to premeditated genocide as focal point of the intent of the Europeans’. Besides, not any atrocities, killings, or even ethnic cleansing qualify for ‘genocide’. The bravado of calling ‘genocide’ every atrocity on Earth should be lessened and used with caution. Of course, genocide does not require something approximating the Armenian genocide or the Jewish genocide to be genocide, but the UN and the ICTJ give clear definitions as to the cases when atrocities can be termed ‘genocide’. Atrocities against the Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Rwandans, and the Darfurians do clearly meet these international definitions. I know that the Hague has indicted Serbs and Croats for killings on a much smaller scale and have never argued that number of the killed matters. This said, the Hague fell short of calling the killings ‘genocide’, as you should know.

    In the link you provided, the US government apologized for ‘terrible acts and wrongs that infected, diminished, and destroyed the lives of Indian people […] despite the efforts of many good people with good hearts who sought to prevent them’. The US government did not apologize for the ‘genocide’ of Indian people. Turks, on the other hand, haven’t even inched closer to apologizing for whatever they think their ancestors had done to the Armenians.

    While ‘manifest destiny’ was the American belief that the US was destined to expand across the continent, it was used not against the American natives, but to justify the war with Mexico in the 1840s.

    I’m not ‘whoever you are’ for a simple reason: the name I’m posting under is my real name. Is ‘jda’ your real first or last name?

  23. jda: I read Avery’s posts in other threads and I don’t think he’s ‘attacking’ those he disagrees with. Rather, he methodically disproves their ideas, often in a fact-based manner.

    I noticed that the argument about racial purity is brought by posters only when denialist Turks or Turkophiles start to bloviate about ‘thousandS’ of years of Turks’ presence or their autochthonous origin in Asia Minor. To state the historical fact of Armenians’ indigenous belonging to the area for five thousand years and Turks’ invasion of the area from places of their origin in the mountains of Altay and Central Asian steppes is not demonstration of racism.

  24. Paul,

    There are several deficiencies in your knowledge and reasoning.

    Let us suppose that the Governor of Virginia Colony in 1758 decreed that all Natives in the Shenandoah Valley will be killed or moved, or that the United States Government in the 1890’s decreed that Indian Children should be pressured to become Christians.

    I would say those are Genocidal acts. They are designed to kill and to destroy a culture as well as people. Even if there was never a single overarching order to kill from Boston or New York or Washington, in my view these are Genocidal in nature. Or, in the more useful language of Goldhagen, they are eliminationist.

    The destruction of Armenians and the continuing Genocidal stance of most Turkish people and institutions today is “worse” than how this nation treats Natives today, but after a certain level of depravity is reached, it does not much matter.

    Natives today live in unimaginable poverty of the body and spirit, and those of us who live here profit from their destruction and loss. None of this weakens the case for justice for Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians.

    Turning to Avery, you should be more concerned with his efforts to de-legitimize speech by Turks by calling them outsiders and Mongols, or by me and others by accusing them of not being Armenian. Unfortunately, you sip that kool-aid a bit yourself.

    Its the ideas which matter, not who the speakers are.

    • “Turning to Avery, you should be more concerned with his efforts to de-legitimize speech by Turks by calling them outsiders and Mongols”

      show me where I de-legitimized speech by Turks by calling them Mongols.

      BTW: I already gave a concrete example of one posting under ‘jda’ that wrote this:
      “However, the Mongols are considered a Turkic group on account of language and culture. Genghiz Khan’s actual name “temujin” means iron-smith in turkic .”

  25. jda (other type): ‘There are several deficiencies in your knowledge and reasoning.’ Are you judging me or just expressing a personal viewpoint? If you’re judging, what are the criteria?

    ‘Let us suppose’ is an unscientific, non-legal term. An intellectual cannot base his or her arguments on suppositions or presuppositions. A physical decree from the governor of Virginia or the US government on deliberate killings of the natives in the Shenandoah Valley or forced religious conversion of Indian children would, without doubt, be indications of intent to destroy. However, since most mass murderers conceal or demolish such decrees, just like in the case of Armenians, scholars and legal experts examine circumstantial evidence, witness accounts, survivor testimonies, and court verdicts. The prevailing view of scholars and legal experts interprets the ‘intent to destroy’ requirement as a special intent stressing its purpose-based tendency. The purpose-based tendency of the Europeans in the New World was NOT the deliberate destruction of the local populations, but expansion, colonization, trade, and, ultimately, state-building. Atrocities happened in the process. They were horrific. But they were not demonstrative of the Europeans’ special or specific intent at physical elimination of the natives. In the case of Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Rwandans, and Darfurians there was no other special intent highlighting its purpose-based tendency rather than a premeditated, deliberate destruction of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. You either conveniently avoid admitting this disjunctive point or miss it all together due to possible deficiencies in your knowledge.

    It does matter how the US treats the natives today. The government more than once officially apologized for killings and wrongdoings. It adopted the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act making the guarantees of the Bill of Rights applicable to the Native Americans. It adopted the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. It built the Museum of the American Indian next to the Capitol. It protects the life and safety of the American Indian in vast reservations. You cannot even compare these acts with the denialist, unremorseful, egocentric stance of the Turkish government and most of its brainwashed citizenry.

    Turning to Avery, I see no efforts at de-legitimizing comments made by Turks by calling them outsiders and Mongols. Turks are outsiders in the sense that they’re not indigenous inhabitants of Asia Minor up until the 11th century AD. I’m sure Avery can speak for himself, but I’ve never come across his calling the Turks ‘Mongols’. That Turks originated in the steppes of Mongolia is a historical fact that even Turkish foreign minister admits. Again, the race/origin point emerges only when attempts are made by some Turks to prove the unprovable: that their ancestors have lived in the area for as long as the Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians have.

    As for you as a second type of ‘jda’, your reasoning, ideas, writing style, and your ‘persuasion base’, so to speak, are clearly different from those of jda several of us came to know in other threads.

    On such sensitive matters as Turkey’s denialism of its crimes, it does matter who the speakers are.

    • ” I’m sure Avery can speak for himself, but I’ve never come across his calling the Turks ‘Mongols’. ”

      Correct, Paul.

      ‘jda’: again, produce the post where I have supposedly called Turks Mongols.
      OR, apologize to me and Paul (see below).

      And this statement – a personal insult directed at Paul – is unbecoming a supposed ‘jda’ (Juris Doctor ?). “Unfortunately, you sip that kool-aid a bit yourself.”

  26. Paul,

    If you think I am two [or now three!] different writers, approach privately the webmaster. I think they will confirm that the email address I use begins with the letter a. Years ago it may have started with the letter j.

    Your statement that lawyers and scientists do not hypothesize or suppose betrays ignorance. The heart of legal argument before Courts of Appeal is the hypothetical state of facts. Watch any argument in front of a State or federal Appellate or Supreme Court and you will see the Justices posing questions based on an assumed or a hypothetical state of facts. That is also the heart of Socratic Dialogue, once popular as a method of instruction in law schools. This is how the common law system works.

    So far as science goes, the hypothesis frames the experiment and confirmation. Moreover, this is a historical and legal discussion, not a scientific one. We don’t have a control Genocide to compare to the real one.

    I repeat that calling Anatolian Turks outsiders and Mongols is indefensible for two reasons. First, it simply has no purchase. Do you expect them to pack up the yurt and head east when you say this? Second, as I think you are beginning to see, the ancestors of Anatolian Turks were indigenous Anatolians, not a relatively small number of Mongols etc. The Mongols or Turkic speakers conquered Anatolia, to our great cost, but their genetic contribution to the current population is insignificant.

    I guess the point is that the language and portions of the Turkish culture [not all of it] are foreign, but the physical bodies and their genes are not. Spend some time with Anatolian Turks, and you will see that much of the physical culture is indistinguishable from that of Christians who lived near them.

    Your ramble into the international law of Genocide is amateurish and nonsensical. You posit that if the dominant purpose is something other than mass murder, it ain’t Genocide.

    That’s just the argument that halfwits like McCarthy and Lewy make – they say that desperate measures had to be taken to protect the state from insurrection. Quite apart from the fact that no general insurrection occurred, tyrants and state murderers will always find a pretext.

    Hitler, it will be recalled, wanted to save the Volk from internal disorder at the hands of German Communists and international Jewry in the guise of bankers and communists. Under your analysis, if he killed Jews with a good faith belief that this was only incidental to resisting Communists, it wasn’t Genocide. I differ. So does everyone else except David Irving, the Argentine Bund, and the Boys from Bitburg.

    Part of the definition of Genocide – there are several – includes exposing persons of the victim group intentionally to conditions which will kill them. That happened to Native Americans by design. Read about the 4,000 dead Cherokees on the Trail of Tears for starters. Another has to do with brainwashing children out of their language and religion. That happened routinely.

    Admitting that Native Americans suffered colossal crimes and obscene oppression does nothing to reduce the verdict of history that Genocide happened to the Christians of the OE.

  27. Avery,

    I don’t take orders from you, and i don’t respond to the imperative voice from anybody. And i doubt Paul needs a tiny paladin.

    These pathetic efforts to bully and whine stop working in kindergarten. If you have an idea, do favor us with it. Otherwise, why don’t you tutor our Turkish guests in modern composition.

    • Right ‘jda’:

      typical and predictable behaviour of the group.
      Seen it before many, many times.
      One of the “tells”. (there are many)

      You falsely accuse me of having supposedly said Turks are Mongols.
      I ask you to produce proof.
      You respond by another insult – “tiny paladin”.
      Your last post is a classic of obfuscation and misdirection.
      You got caught in a lie, and are too little of man to admit it and apologize.

      I’ll see you around pal. Every time you post.

  28. to Hairenagitz,
    You are not right but damned right!!!
    with all due respect to all scholars.Itis not for boasting but I have Prof.V.Dadrian´s books(none of Ackcam´s) .One of thse given to me in Yerevan by Dadrian.
    You see, I just wrote on another thread here in AW(please check) the majority of those who write and talk are busy doing just that…
    We need ACTIVISM.That ´s my line.Since 1979 from Paris First World Congress(and even before that in 1978 in Lyon…France).I have also come to the conclusion -lonmg ago- that we hsould be exposed on BIG SCREEN,like Schindler´s List(an example). I suggested ¨m a m i g o n ¨a book by Armenian American -now deceased- that would best show to Int´l public what trasnspired in grdeat Turkey…
    All other short documentaries also are being shelved like you mention for books publications in libraries etc.,
    Time to get on the band wagon,be smart and then of course get MOBILIZED.I shall again mention how.please go to.-www.armeniannews.info ,read me in Users Articles…Thanks.Otherwise Turks and turcophiles will fight to the end to evade JUSTICE.UNLESS OF COURSE,like LA FRANCE´s one section at least begin to side with us.One side ,though is not enough…we must fight on…like you undeerstand and I endorse…BIG MEDIA..not press or books.
    These are good, but hardly one tenth not even that of the effect that the other would leave.Plus of course my ¨suggestted¨MOBILIZATION!!!
    Previous 160 year old ¨Sahmanatrutyun¨belongs to the libraries too and indeed their followers..WE HAVE A DYNAMIC YOUNG GENERATION, that await action!!! work and OBJECTIVES!!!!!

  29. Regretfully,there are some who still believe that the present great Turkish Govt. will AT ONCE admit to Culpability and even make amends….
    Hogwash!!!(excuse me,but this is my belief,whether you like it or not)
    Could anyone(read any power or sensible advice) make Adolf hitler change his mind?
    hje went all the way ,HIS WAY…I wrote before here or on another thread.,as an example:- Cabeza de turco(spanish phrase) started 400 years or so ago when on the high seas the Spanish Armada delivered a devastating blow to the Ottoan fleet..prior to which the Spanish admiral tells the Ottomans to surrender,when they do not he calls them just that MEANING, Turk head<.THIS PHRASE IS rarely used any more…in Spain(they have commercial ties with them as well as Spain has similar problem ,the Basques..vis a vis k u r d s of Turkey.So when the Colonel Tejero some 20 yrs ago stormed the Spanish Cortes(Parliament) …later subdued of course,the press in Madrid on Front pages showed Colonel wearing a Turkish RED FEZ and beneath that phrase!!!
    Thence, to expect that Gidler like presnet Turkey ADMI a very unlikely proposition…However…

    Yavash yavash adn with cotton-coated(not sugar coated) diplomacy ofv the Franco-Americaines they will without too much fuss and noise(Armenians please be a bit more patient) they will be on the road to recognition .They will definitely come to TsITZDERNAKAPERT (LIKE jEMAL PASHA´s grandson)
    but do not expect that they cough up a penny.They have been given non returnable aid for so many long yrs that they got used to that and also to taking over,confiscating …
    Then ce i have the problem nearly solved.When it comes to compensation they rather give eac one of them their personal soul-life, than a penny..
    so?
    Why the oil pipeline was intentionally bypassed bythe oil companies..when the shortest route was VIA Armenia!!!!
    So these ought to be addressed by us and through their Govt.s 8when they also recognmize genocide o us by Ottoman Tukrey Young turk Turkey and Mustafa Turkey and even the recent ones..Their Govt.s should ¨suggdest¨ to the afore3mentioned loil Co´s to pay half of OIL TRANKIST DUTIES, (few yrs bakc it was mentioned as 1.6 billion dollars per annum) now probly even more…
    To the heirs and descendents of the Genocide, both in Armenia and Diaspora.Trhough aGBU and RA Govt.
    To imagine or picture that present or future Turkihs Gov.ts pay…is out of the question they will not part with a penyy.Simply put Kaput no use!!!!
    We must always think of tangible realizable easy ,rather than complicated ways of dealing with them.Lest we raise their KHERS(wrath)…
    Finally let Sarkozy and co. carry on best they can,for the time being ,stay put.

  30. ‘jda’: The heart of legal argument is the state of facts, but not ‘hypothetical’ state of facts, because legal argument embodies text, intent, precedent, tradition, and policy—five pillars that, if weaved together, make it more persuasive in any court. Suppositions hardly ever make legal argument persuasive. The Socratic dialogue (the Socratic method) is an important part of law teaching, but hardly ever an accomplished lawyer will enter a courtroom to make legal argument based on his talent to discuss moral and philosophical problems.

    By ‘unscientific’ I meant untypical to any science: history, law, etc.

    You ignominiously failed to produce evidence that any Armenian poster called Turks ‘Mongols’. As for Turks being outsiders, I repeat that this resurfaces only when some Turks beat gums that their ancestors have lived in the area for as long as the Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds, and Armenians have. I don’t think anyone expects Turks to pack up the yurt and head east, but I think retorts reminding where they’ve come from and when, and who were living in Asia Minor before Seljuk/Mongol invasions, are once in a while required.

    ‘Anatolia’ is a false toponym from the historical perspective. Since the ancient times the area was known as Asia Minor with Armenian Plateau or Armenian Highland as its easternmost portion. To say that the ancestors of ‘Anatolian’ Turks were indigenous ‘Anatolians’ is historically and demographically incorrect, because the indigenous peoples inhabiting Asia Minor were the Hittites, Assyrians, Greeks, Kurds, Persians, Armenians, Romans, Goths, and Byzantine Greeks. There were no Turks in sight until invasions of Seljuks in the 11th and Mongols in the 13th century AD. By the way, the Mongols did conquer Asia Minor in great numbers. Had their numbers been small, they couldn’t have established the second largest empire in hisotry. With their numbers and with consequent intermingling, forced marriages, rapes and impregnations, and forced conversions came their significant genetic contribution to the current population in terms of their physical bodies and their genes.

    The language and the Turkish ‘culture’ is almost totally foreign, because nomads hardly ever have culture of their own. Turkish language and culture is an adoption of Persian, Arabic, Byzantine, and Armenian cultural characteristics. This is why much of their physical culture may be indistinguishable from that of Christians who inhabited the lands long before the arrival of the Turks, were forced to live near them, and were ultimately annihilated by them.

    I don’t posit anything with regard to the international law of genocide. I read definitions—mainly in the UN Convention and ICTJ—and I can’t but see that the intent to destroy has an indelible bearing on calling mass murder genocide. Sellouts McCarthy and Lewy make many stupid arguments in a desperate search for a pretext, but the understanding of everyone else—genocide scholars, international lawyers, historians, and politicians—fundamentally differs. They look at deliberate mass murders from the perspective of intent to destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, and not through the pretext that tyrants and mass murderers like Talaat and Hitler could, indeed, always find. You don’t annihilate a whole people for the fear of insurrection by a handful of revolutionaries. Nor do you establish internal order by annihilating a specific ethnos well beyond the boundaries of your country.

    No one denies that Native Americans suffered gruesome crimes and oppression, but their sufferings were not the result of a premeditated, deliberate state policy with the intent to destroy them as a race. In the case of Armenians, Jews, and others, this dominant determinant of genocide was omnipresent.

  31. Avery, Paul, or maybe it was Curly and Moe;

    You ask what you have done towards de-legitimizing the speech of others. Here is a partial answer.

    I posted in mid-November a couple of comments about the idiocy of Victorian and Hitlerian racial precepts, something which Avery actually agrees with. However, a third person – let’s just call him Shep [Berch] – immediately noted that while there was a good poster named jda, I was certainly an imposter.

    Then Avery jumped on the bandwagon and seconded this unlikely proposition. You repeated it above in this deathless prose:

    “Oh yeah, the Fake “jda” again. Say a few nice things about AG, then slip in the calling card.

    “I don’t like admitting the genocidal acts the British colonists and United States committed against Native Americans.”

    I thought you were Armenian, “jda”. (that includes being Armenian-American).
    Why would an Armenian admit to something he had absolutely nothing to do with ? It is the same old, same old: conflate every atrocity with the AG. Mix it in with every massacre ever committed. Dilute its uniqueness and significance.
    Everything was a Genocide, therefore nothing, including the AG, is a Genocide.
    Right ? Riiiiiight.”

    In his posts, Paul has also joined in the questioning of my identity.

    You first claim that I am not who I say I am. My standing offer that you can verify my identity by contacting the webmaster stands. Time to give up the ghost on that one.

    Second, you imply that I am working to deny the Genocide. These are insults and efforts – pathetic efforts I grant you – at delegitimizing my speech.

    Not to be denied, you keep digging with this gem:

    “This is what ‘jda’ said there:
    “Saying that Turks are from Mongolia is not only silly, but it also is parallel to stupid things some Turkish nationalists say.”

    Another ‘jda’, long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away said this:
    “However, the Mongols are considered a Turkic group on account of language and culture. Genghiz Khan’s actual name “temujin” means iron-smith in turkic .”

    If you don’t see the consistency in my posts, you probably cannot read too well. Anatolian and Balkan Turks are not Mongols. The fact that a few lunatics in Ankara or even Glendale think so does not make it so. Turkic speakers conquered Anatolia, and impressed their language on their subjects. That does not make them Mongols, anymore than I am a an Anglo Saxon because I speak English.

    Calling people outsiders, as some of us do Turks, is not only ineffective, but it is an illegitimate tactic. Turkish-speaking people have been living in Anatolia since Manzikert, and have controlled it since the Catastrophe of 1453. Even in the United States, we don’t reference recent illegal Mexican immigrants as outsiders. Part of the reason we do not is that this is the exclusionary language Nazis used. Jews had lived in Germany for 600 years, but Hitler and his cadres used the concept of the other and the outsider to make them seem de-legitimate.

    I suspect that open-minded Turks visit these websites in far greater numbers than the few loons who post Nazi rhetoric in English only a brain injury patient can decipher. When you attack everyone who does not meet your standards of ideological purity, you make them unwelcome. You reinforce the Hitlerian caricatures their schools teach, and their public spokesman repeat.

    Maybe they have doubts about the Genocide – its not as if their schools and culture promote freedom of inquiry. They are guests here, so if they are not Nazi scum, treat them like guests. So far as I know, no teacher ever instructed her class by insulting them.

    Paul also posts the usual drivel about Turkish non-culture. While I am prepared to believe that none of the nomadic invaders -Huns, Goths, Vikings, Mongols, Seljuks, Ottomans ad nauseum – devoted much energy to the arts of civilization that Greeks, Romans, Armenians, Indians, Chinese, and other settled peoples achieved, that does not mean that they then or now lack a culture of their own.

    Turks of the last 200 years are not nomadic conquerors. The idea that Turks have no independent culture is absurd. All human societies have culture. Much of their culture springs from the Ottoman Empire as does ours, in a slightly different way. Saying it is syncretic is not to criticize it. There is no culture more syncretic that that of the good old USA.

    Saying that people have a stolen or syncretic culture is again reminiscent of Nazis who called Jews rootless cosmopolitans. Do you know so much about Turkish culture that you can deny they have one? I don’t.

    I have read Quataert’s text on Ottoman culture, because I was interested to know the Armenian contribution, just as I wanted to know our contribution to Byzantium. Believe me, there’s plenty. Much of their culture is ours. When you ddenigrate it, you diminish ours as well.

    Saying that it is syncretic is meaningless. All culture is. German culture has very large dollops of Catholic and Latin culture. Ditto as to France.

    None of this diminishes that the Turkish nation and culture stole Armenian lands and wealth. But its foolish to act as if Turks aren’t a real people.

    These insults also underestimate the enemy. Much – not all – of Turkish society today is Genocidal. They would kill Armenians if they could, and may still. I remember well the police laughing with Ogun Samast after he killed Hrant Dink. Acting as if they are not serious, intelligent and relentless enemies, but are instead uneducated, is foolish.

    • “My standing offer that you can verify my identity by contacting the webmaster stands. Time to give up the ghost on that one.”

      Are you serious ? what century you think we are living in man.
      You really think I would fall for that ? What, you were asked for your SSN, DOB, mothers maiden name, etc when you created an email account ?

      And apparently you have a problem reading yourself: re-read the two ‘jda’ examples about Mongols. Are you now are going to pull a Clinton ? {‘It
      all depends,’ said the president, ‘on what the meaning of the word
      ‘is’ is.}

      The rest of your post is an incoherent mishmash of useless drivel, not worth dissecting.
      And it is very mature of you adding to your bag of insults: Curly, Moe, Shep (what happened to Larry ? you perhaps ?).

  32. Jda

    Probably, the most stupid in the recent Turkish history was to kill Hrant Dink for whatever the reason.He wasn’t a famous journalist and most people didn’t know who he was before his death. I am still wondering what might be the reason for his killing from time to time. For this reason, People were shocked when he was killed. On top of that, the video that shows him in custody was embarrassing. However, this is just one side of the story. An Armenian man killed his Turkish girlfriend because she wanted to leave him. Have you heard this news in the Armenian media? The answer is NO. A Turkish journalist said fortunately, the killer is Armenian this time otherwise we would be in trouble.

  33. Avery,

    Each time I post I identify privately an email address. All you have to do is send an email or letter to the webmaster. They can send me a private email confirming that I authorize the confirmation of my email address, and isps [there are three] info as being consistent over time. Nothing out of date about that, but I do understand your reluctance at taking steps to prove or disprove your silly defamation.

    Can’t answer the stuff about your efforts to delegitimize my speech? Thats ok. We’re the only two reading this anyway. You failed. I suspect you have a fair amount of experience in angry failure.

  34. ‘jda’, or maybe Larry (borrowing from Avery): To your disgrace, you again failed to produce evidence that any Armenian poster here called Turks ‘Mongols’ by bringing this: “Anatolian and Balkan Turks are not Mongols.” Since you couldn’t find any poster who called Turks ‘Mongols’, you resorted to some unidentified and unidentifiable ‘few lunatics in Ankara or even Glendale’.

    “Turkic speakers conquered Anatolia, and impressed their language on their subjects. That does not make them Mongols”. –It certainly doesn’t. But it does make them ecdemic to Asia Minor and Armenian Highland (‘Anatolia’ is a relatively new Turkish creation) before the 11-13th centuries AD. And it does reaffirm that nomadic ‘Turkic speakers’ invaded the sedentary inhabitants of Asia Minor from the Mongolian steppes.

    “Calling people outsiders, as some of us do Turks, is not only ineffective, but it is an illegitimate tactic.” –I guess everyone agrees that before the 11th (Seljuks) and the 13th (Mongols) centuries, Turks were outsiders to the region. If they were not and you think stating this is an ‘illegitimate tactic’, produce, if you will, at least this time, the evidence to the contrary. If before those centuries they were outsiders, how would you like ‘some of us’ to call them?

    “Even in the US, we don’t reference illegal Mexican immigrants as outsiders. Jews had lived in Germany for 600 years, but Hitler used the concept of the other and the outsider to make them seem de-legitimate.” –Neither Mexicans nor Jews invaded America or Germany respectively, subjugated the natives, stole their culture and civilizational achievements, colonized them into voiceless millets, and ultimately murdered them en masse.

    “While I am prepared to believe that none of the nomadic invaders—Huns, Goths, Vikings, Mongols, Seljuks, Ottomans—devoted much energy to the arts of civilization that Greeks, Romans, Armenians, Indians, Chinese, and other settled peoples achieved, that does not mean that they then or now lack a culture of their own.” –Now they do, then (before circa 1600) they didn’t. In any case, how is it a ‘drivel’ to remind that these nomads’ language and culture were heavily adopted from Persian, Arabic, Byzantine, and Armenian cultural traits?

    “Turks of the last 200 years are not nomadic conquerors.” –They certainly are not. They were, but their elites have developed from nomadic invaders to brutal colonizers to savage mass murderers.

    “All human societies have culture.” –Undeniably. The difference being that some cultures are genuine, original, autochthonous, and some are stolen.

    “Much of their [other human societies’] culture springs from the Ottoman Empire as does ours.” Whatever springs from the Ottoman Empire is not genuinely Turkish per se. It’s in the large part the genuine cultures that the colonized peoples—Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks, Arabs, Armenians—were able to preserve while being oppressed by the Turks.

    Calling a spade a spade based on historical facts doesn’t make anyone a Nazi.

    • Paul,

      Don’t inflate my criticism. I didn’t say you were a Nazi. I pointed out that the predicate of many remarks you make have antecedents in racist speech reaching a nadir in Nazism. But that’s also true of a Polish joke on the other extreme.

      ““Turkic speakers conquered Anatolia, and impressed their language on their subjects. That does not make them Mongols”. –It certainly doesn’t. But it does make them ecdemic to Asia Minor and Armenian Highland (‘Anatolia’ is a relatively new Turkish creation) before the 11-13th centuries AD. And it does reaffirm that nomadic ‘Turkic speakers’ invaded the sedentary inhabitants of Asia Minor from the Mongolian steppes”

      You don’t get it. The language and aspects of the culture may be of Eurasian and Turkic origin, but the DNA is not. Before they were Turks, many of them were us. Dogu Perincek, genocide defender and of Armenian lineage. Get it?

      “Calling people outsiders, as some of us do Turks, is not only ineffective, but it is an illegitimate tactic.” – I guess everyone agrees that before the 11th (Seljuks) and the 13th (Mongols) centuries, Turks were outsiders to the region. If they were not and you think stating this is an ‘illegitimate tactic’, produce, if you will, at least this time, the evidence to the contrary. If before those centuries they were outsiders, how would you like ‘some of us’ to call them?”

      The genetic science has been out there for 20 years. The self-identified Anatolian Turks of today have no significant link to Mongols and Central Asian populations. Again, they have significant similarity to their neighbors.
      Encore: Before they were Turks, they were us. Moreover, we have to deal with them today, not 1200 years ago.

      ““While I am prepared to believe that none of the nomadic invaders—Huns, Goths, Vikings, Mongols, Seljuks, Ottomans—devoted much energy to the arts of civilization that Greeks, Romans, Armenians, Indians, Chinese, and other settled peoples achieved, that does not mean that they then or now lack a culture of their own.” –Now they do, then (before circa 1600) they didn’t. In any case, how is it a ‘drivel’ to remind that these nomads’ language and culture were heavily adopted from Persian, Arabic, Byzantine, and Armenian cultural traits?”

      It is preposterous for a lay person such as yourself to say that Turks had no culture before 1600. You may not like the culture [not that you know anything about it], you may not like what you think it is, but all people have culture. The fact that it drew on those it invaded or colonized or lived next to is not important. All cultures and socities influence and take from each other. How many loan words in Armenian come from old Persian?

      The thrust of your comment – the “so what?”- is to show that Turks are primitive or illegitimate in some way. I bet you would never dream of saying such things about any other group or culture. Oppose the enemy on the battlefield, not with silly amateur cultural anthropology and a touch of racism. I think we can agree that “civilized” cultures commit Genocide- Germany being at the top of the list of nations thought cultured, remember?

      “Even in the US, we don’t reference illegal Mexican immigrants as outsiders. Jews had lived in Germany for 600 years, but Hitler used the concept of the other and the outsider to make them seem de-legitimate.” –Neither Mexicans nor Jews invaded America or Germany respectively, subjugated the natives, stole their culture and civilizational achievements, colonized them into voiceless millets, and ultimately murdered them en masse.”

      Response: You’re confusing the crimes of the Turkish nation and OE over history with whether the culture is authentic. The Germans are authentic. They called Jews outsiders and used that as one of many bases to whip up racial hatred. The Turks became the Turks through conquest , enslavement and Islamic forced conversion. No matter how they got there, they are not outsiders.

      ““All human societies have culture.” –Undeniably. The difference being that some cultures are genuine, original, autochthonous, and some are stolen.”

      Have you seen Garni? One amateur’s stolen culture is another’s adaptation. Again, all this is meant to belittle Turks and Turkishness, and none of it is necessary or even smart to defeat the enemy and keep Armenia and Amenians strong.

      ““Much of their [other human societies’] culture springs from the Ottoman Empire as does ours.” Whatever springs from the Ottoman Empire is not genuinely Turkish per se. It’s in the large part the genuine cultures that the colonized peoples—Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks, Arabs, Armenians—were able to preserve while being oppressed by the Turks.”

      That”s what empires do. They are unjust, violent, brutal. No subjugated people ever is ennobled by colonization, invasion and theft. But its foolish to act as if the OE was unique in this regard or tha the Turkish elites were different over the centuries before trhe serious killing began.

      The American armed forces never underestimated the Japanese or the Germans. We respected them, opposed them, and defeated them. They, by contrast were obsessed with racial classifications, sweeping statements about our inferior mongrel culture, and could not envision that we would destroy them. We won’t defeat a dangerous Genocidal enemy by underestimating them.

  35. Jda, Paul and Avery, for months now I have enjoyed reading your contributions. I haven’t always agreed with all your points of view, but I admired your passion and commitment to justice, and respected your apparent sincerity. I have learned so much from you and others here. But this latest exchange between the three of you seems to have gone off the rails.

    What’s with the belittling and accusations? Let’s accept that Armenians who love Armenia and struggle for justice are not clones of one another? Each person has their own opinions and ideas. We can disagree with one another without suspecting a spy in our midst. Even if you have suspicions, keep the focus on ideas and opinions. Disagree, debate, counter, etc., and add to the dialogue.

    Don’t think I’m naive. I realize there are operatives trolling these sites for their own purposes, but most of us don’t know each other, except as a commenter on a website. So let’s not get personal because it only diminishes and side tracks the discussion. Just my opinion.

    • Boyajian:

      Agreed. Bickering among yourselves does nothing except play into the hands of the other side (I won’t call them the enemy). I strongly doubt JDA is a “spy” whose sole purpose is to spread discord here, but if JDA was, then it looks like they would have succeeded.

      Look at the things you people are arguing about (not you of course, Boyajian): DNA, Mongols, Turkish culture, the origin of Turkish people… in short, topics completely irrelevant to the Armenian genocide, yet, when Turkish posters bring up these issues, they are accused of intentionally changing the topic. What the Ottoman government did was despicable to say the least, what the Turkish government continues to do is just as bad, if not WORSE- in my opinion. But these facts do not justify the attacks on Turkish people and culture. Forgive me, but if you have lived on lands for nearly a thousand years, I’m not sure if you still qualify as “outsiders.” As JDA said, you may not like it, but Turkish people have ALWAYS had a culture, so what if it infuses its own elements with cultural elements of its conquered people, to me that only makes the culture richer. Now obviously I would have preferred is that fusion of cultural elements did not come as a result of oppression and conquest. Honestly, are any of these things (DNA, Mongols, Turkish culture, the origin of Turkish people) really THAT important? Why does every discussion always drift further and further from your ultimate goal- genocide recognition?

  36. I doubt that the denialists need to plant a spy to sew dischord. Its already here. We have been doing an excellent job of that for millenia. Its a common observation by Armenians that there is alot of internal bickering.

  37. ‘jda’: It is your knee-jerk reaction to my remarks that makes you think they have antecedents in racist speech. In fact, the only antecedent they have is in historical interpretations and factual evidence.

    “The language and aspects of the [Turkish] culture may be of Eurasian and Turkic origin, but the DNA is not. Before they were Turks, many of them were us.”
    –If we admit that due to interethnic syncretism, rapes, impregnations, forced marriages, abductions to harems, child-gathering, and forced religious conversions many of them were ‘us’ before, we must as well admit that prior to ‘before’ they were tent-living sheep-breeding Central Asian nomads. Inevitably, such contemptible conduct should have affected their DNA, just like adoptions from Persian, Arabic, Byzantine Greek, and Armenian culture had affected their language, script, and aspects of their culture.

    “The genetic science has been out there for 20 years. The self-identified Anatolian Turks of today have no significant link to Mongols and Central Asian populations. Again, they have significant similarity to their neighbors.”
    –Since you’re a jack-of-all-trades and I’m just a lay person, I’m not sure where you got this from, but if we admit that Turks of today have no significant link to Mongols, it doesn’t disprove the fact that their origins are in the Mongolian steppes and Altay mountains. Since for centuries these nomadic warriors practiced forced marriages, rapes, impregnations, abductions to harems, child-gathering, and forced religious conversions of the peoples of Asia Minor, the Balkans, and the Middle East, it wouldn’t surprise me if they acquired some similarity to the indigenous peoples.

    “Before they were Turks, they were us. Moreover, we have to deal with them today, not 1200 years ago.”
    –Look above for my retort to ‘before they were Turks, they were us’ gibberish. Also, 1200 years ago there was no such thing as Turks. Their ancestors—Seljuks and Mongols—appeared in Asia Minor only in the 11th (Battle of Manzikert) and the 13th centuries, respectively.

    “It is preposterous for a lay person such as yourself to say that Turks had no culture before 1600. You may not like the culture, but all people have culture. The fact that it drew on those it invaded or colonized or lived next to is not important. All cultures and societies influence and take from each other. How many loan words in Armenian come from old Persian?”
    –Only circa 1600 and by the 17th century have the Ottoman Turks reached the height of their power militarily, and also culturally. The culture of their predecessors, the Seljuks, wasn’t distinctively Turkish, whatever that may mean; it was heavily adopted from Persians and Arabs (script, language, crafts, architectural style, etc.). Undeniably, all people have culture. The difference being that some peoples develop genuine, distinctive culture, while others — stolen one. Roughly 2000 word roots in the Armenian language came from old Persian. But Armenians didn’t invade, colonize, and mass murder Persians, stealing their language and culture along the way and appropriating their lands and properties. The presence of Persian words came about as a result of two ancient peoples’ living side by side for millennia and the fact that a few Armenian royal dynasties had Persian pedigree.

    “The thrust of your comment – the ‘so what?”- is to show that Turks are primitive or illegitimate in some way. I bet you would never dream of saying such things about any other group or culture. Oppose the enemy on the battlefield, not with silly amateur cultural anthropology and a touch of racism.”
    –I hope Boyajian is reading this and maybe having a second thought for his remark that paul, too, has ‘gone off the rails’. Never have I allowed insults, misinterpretations or misrepresentations of other posters’ words. Here I’m defamed by an explicit lie that I actually said that ‘Turks are primitive or illegitimate’ and am demonstrating a ‘touch of racism’. Moderators, are you overseeing?

    “Oppose the enemy on the battlefield, not with silly amateur cultural anthropology and a touch of racism.”
    –Whenever and however they could, my people opposed Turks on the battlefield facing the overpowering threat of annihilation. The only thing your ‘culturally civilized’ Turks could do is to avoid battlefields and strike from the back, unarm men and kill them en masse, and then rape, burn and bury alive, mutilate, torture, and death-march innocent women, children, and elders.

    “I think we can agree that ‘civilized’ cultures commit Genocide- Germany being at the top of the list of nations thought cultured, remember?”
    –The difference being that culturally civilized Germans have the ability to acknowledge their crimes, apologize, pay reparations, and criminalize the denial of the holocaust, remember?

    “The Turks became the Turks through conquest, enslavement and Islamic forced conversion. No matter how they got there, they are not outsiders.”
    –No, it does matter how they got there. For authentic Armenians, Byzantine Greeks, Pontic Greeks, and Assyrians, Seljuks-then Mongols-then Ottoman Turks were outsiders, because they forcefully positioned themselves in the region from the outside. Again, Jews didn’t invade, colonize, and mass murder the Germans.

    ““All human societies have culture.” –Again, undeniably. The difference being that some societies develop genuine, distinctive culture, while others — stolen one.

    “Have you seen Garni? One amateur’s stolen culture is another’s adaptation.”
    –Have you seen Garni’s adaptation as an Armenian Christian church? Have you seen on-site displays claiming the structure as a proto-Armenian place of worship? Go to Turkey and face adaptation in full beauty: except in Constantinople-Istanbul, virtually all other ancient Armenian churches and monasteries that survived desecration or detonation of the ‘culturally civilized’ Turks are portrayed as Seljuk structures or unspecified ‘museums’.

    “Again, all this is meant to belittle Turks and Turkishness”
    –All this doesn’t mean belittling at all, but do you threaten me with Article 301? Not a Turkish citizen, fortunately.

    “That’s what empires do [oppression]. They are unjust, violent, brutal. But it’s foolish to act as if the OE was unique in this regard or that the Turkish elites were different over the centuries before the serious killing began.”
    –The OE was unique because her elites have savagely mass exterminated almost all of their non-Turk, non-Muslim citizens. No other empire has done such a colossal harm to their own subjects.

    “The American armed forces never underestimated the Japanese or the Germans. We respected them, opposed them, and defeated them.”
    –Stating the facts about the enemy doesn’t imply underestimating them. Knowledge empowers. We defeated the Japanese only after we used the atomic bomb. The Germans we didn’t defeat; we contributed heavily to the victory, but the major merit goes to the Russians.

  38. RVDV: You must have missed the outbreak of the ‘DNA-Mongol-Turkish culture-Origin of Turks’ argument. It started with a provocative statement by ‘jda’ that some Armenian posters here called Turks ‘Mongols’. He never apologized to us, but instead chose to develop his DNA-Mongol-Turkish culture ideas further. Some of us retorted.

    P.S. Not that I’m dwelling on the subject, but you stated you were a Kurd. Are you happy that Turks call your people ‘Mountain Turks’ thus portraying your distinct culture and ethnic uniqueness as part of theirs?

    • Paul: naturally I am not happy of my culture being essentially a part of Turkish culture. I have no problem with the fusion of the cultures, but trying to pass it off as your own is wrong. As for mountain Turks, I am happy to say that those days are behind us. Although I think what the PKK does Is wrong, they have made the Turkish government recognize some rights of the Kurdish community- such as, actually being a community. 12 or 13 years ago a Kurdish/Turkish singer was essentially exiled for wanting to make a music video in Kurdish. today there is a Kurdish channel on the state television TRT. Is it a lot? No. Does it make up for a long history of Cultural genocide? No. But it is a sign that, slowly, things are beginning to change. In fact- this just happened yesterday- the Greek religious schools in Gokceada were given permission to open for the first time since 1964. It’s hard not to get optimistic sometimes. Things are changing.

  39. RVDV
    I disagree with your idea that so what if a colonizer infuses its own culture with cultural elements of the colonized. For Turks, it of course makes their culture richer, but how do you think the colonized and more culturally advanced people would feel, if a church is called a Seljuk mosque or the sacred Biblical mountain’s name Turkified? I think cultures must enrich each other not steal from each other. I’m afraid Turks are good at the latter…

  40. As an Armenian, a member of a group conquered and oppressed by Mongol invaders, I know I have been affected by very negative imagery regarding what a ‘Mongol’ is. Gotta wonder how ‘Mongols’ feel about this conversation?

    After centuries of mixing gene pools with the indigenous peoples of the region, it seems more likely that the greatest differences between Turks and Armenians and others are not genetic, but cultural and attitudinal. It’s these cultural and attitudinal differences that trouble me the most. One of the main reasons I want Turks to face the crimes of their ancestors (in addition to justice for Armenians) is for them to confront some of these attitudes and the policies stemming from them. I don’t think real peace with Armenians is possible otherwise. It seems that in some corners of Turkey this reappraisal has begun.

  41. RVDV
    “”they(PKK) have made the Turkish government recognize some rights of the Kurdish community-“”

    Your above statement is wrong. and this is what PKK wants people to think. I firmly believe that if there was no PKK and therefore no blood but political pressure on the Governments. Those rights could have been achieved long time ago .Time is changing and we are all human beings.The PKK supporters must understand that more than half the Kurdish population doesn’t live in the South eastern turkey. we have 700.000 mix marriage and millions of people having mix heritage.Therefore territorial claim and designated area for Kurds is dead and unrealistic.But more can be done to improve and preserve the Kurdish culture.
    You must understand that Turkey is irritated by any land claims by any group since the beginning of the century. For this reason, the land claims of Minorities were resisted ferociously.Armenians claim that CUP deceived Armenians.On the contrary,The CUP leaders made it clear from the first day and said anyone who try to divide or snatch our homeland is our enemy. If a tourist had walked around in a town 50 years ago. He/she could have been arrested on the ground to be a foreign spy but now, almost 30 millions of Tourists visit Turkey every years.You see how the society perception is changing.

  42. You go easy on them, Boyajian: “After centuries of mixing gene pools with the indigenous peoples of the region…” In many instances this mixing gene pools didn’t proceed voluntarily, but my means of cruel Turkish misdeeds against the Christian natives: Devshirme converting Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian boys into Muslim Janissaries; forced marriages and the right of first night; rapes and impregnations; abductions of girls to harems; forced religious conversions, etc. These are crimes, not just ‘mixing gene pools’.

    “…it seems more likely that the greatest differences between Turks and Armenians are not genetic, but cultural and attitudinal.” How do we know? It seems highly unlikely that, genetically, Armenians would ever commit such indescribable savage acts as Ottoman Turks were renowned for.

    • Paul, I accept your criticism, but I assure you I don’t “go easy on them” just because I use milder terms. Your description of how the gene pools mixed is accurate. I agree, it was mostly involuntary. And I never suggested that Armenians are just as likely to commit the ‘savage acts as Ottoman Turks were renowned for.’ Our culture and our attitudes as a nation don’t support it and our history doesn’t show a taste for it.

    • Paul,

      You write: ‘It seems highly unlikely that, genetically, Armenians would ever commit such indescribable savage acts as Ottoman Turks were renowned for.”

      I am not aware that science has discovered a Genocide gene, or anything close on the individual level. I am not aware that science has discovered a gene which makes collective Genocidal action more likely. I am not aware that there is a gene for pacifism either.

      I do think, on the nurture side of the equation, that a nation which prizes Christian virtues is less likely to commit murder than one which looks to Mohammed’s life for guidance. That is because Koran and Hadith are full of murder and vengeance sanctioned by and at times committed by Mohammed.

      I am aware that societies known for peacefulness today have launched brutal wars of aggression: Sweden, and France, to name two.

      Turks’ sinful nature is the same as mine and yours. Given their genetic similarity – approaching an identity – with ours, if you claim their genes are Genocidal, you are saying ours are as well.

      There are plenty of Armenian bioscientists around. Garo Armen comes to mind. Ask any one of them what they think of your claims that some but not all genes predispose to Genocide and that Armenian Genes are resistant to this or any other evil in unusual proportion. For that matter, ask any junior high school graduate.

      While you’re at it, read up upon the Armenian Byzantine ruler Basil the Bulgar Slayer if you really think we are genetically less capable of brutality than anyone else, at least in his case.

  43. Armen,
    You are right of course,but you see the international diplomacy ,especially the top few…prefer to swallow -even their own-pride and do not admit to realities.
    True the Germans came up with the word Realpolitik somehow to derail above and try to appear(generally) on the Int´l political scene as such,it did not work.
    The deep state,or call it whatever you wish is always behind the scenes and contriving complicated ways in order to drive home their own wishes/objectives.They are not to be taken at face value …EVER!!!
    Thence ,if I also confirm your stance that as rgds the Turkish Gene,not yet altered or even near altered to be on same level as Eastern or Western European culture -let alone advanced sciences- a make belief by those aforementioned for their BENEFITS

  44. RVDV and Boyajian,

    Blessed are the peacemakers.

    I want to make one last comment about those who denigrate both enemies of ours who happen to be Turks, and Turks in general who are not. I will use the word Mongol, but it really is used as metaphor – a synechdoche – meaning primitive and barbarous. It has nothing to do with who Mongols are today. Genetic science also tells us it has little to do with who Turks are today as well.

    I consistently use the word enemy to mean [1] Turks and their associates and lobbyists [2] who actively oppose justice for us and our Christian Brothers and Sisters throughout not only Anatolia, but also in Orthodox and other Christian lands, who [3] actively portray Armenians in negative essentialist ways and/or [4] who oppress Armenians, their culture, their Churches, and their lives, primarily in the TR . The Azeris fit into a fifth category.

    We all know what the issues are here, in Turkey, in Georgia and Azerbaijan, in France etc.

    Some of the issues we face do not involve Turkey, or do not involve Turkey directly: Javakh and the destruction of Churches in Georgia, the threat of Azeri aggression, the loss of a generation of young AAs
    in southern California, as profiled ably in Ararat 18 months ago, the loss of western Armenian, the rising threat of Islam to Christians in the Middle East, and the general de-Christianization of Christian peoples, including us. [Been to a Badarak outside a feast day lately? Nobody is participating, parents are not bringing themselves or their children to Badarak. Less than 1 per cent of us are regularly pledged members of our Churches. ]

    So, with all of these life and death problems, why should we waste time denigrating Turks’ culture and background, especially when we are so wrong at understanding that background?

    Ottoman Turks did not commit Genocide because they were “of Mongol blood”
    or lived in a primitive way for their times. Germans we all agree committed Genocide, so high culture is no immunization against Genocide. I think we play the Mongol card [apology to real Mongols because this is all conceptual as to what a Mongol is] because it makes sense that primitive people kill more often and more brutally than “advanced” peoples. But we know after WWII that this is false. For that matter, USA citizens seem to be pretty adept at murder – far more so than in “primitive’ societies.

    We and other Christian peoples don’t realize how Turks see themselves. We may call them Mongols or a “creeping agony in the flesh” of Europe, but they see themselves as Emperors and the heirs of Empire. They claim – erroneously – that the OE was Turkish, and they see themselves as the natural rulers of the Mediterranean and Near East. They look down on us and all Christians. Because we look down on them sometimes, we are unaware of that. They plan to use their growing economic strength to contol NE Oil, I guarantee it.

    So, if you think you shame them by calling them Mongol, you’re mistaken. To the degree the term means brutal, you feed their already overdeveloped sense of superiority, something Hitler understood.

    We should work to expose to the world the injustice of our enemies. They are sensitive to bad PR.

    Why don’t we shame Namik Tan with videos of the Genocide Dancers who gather ifo the Embassy each year?

    Why don’t we expose to every journalist, editor and human rights activist the racist ravings of Ergun Kirlikovali?

    Why don’t we picket the homes of wealthy Turk lobbyists like Livingstone, Gebhardt and Hastert to let their neighbors know they are paid to deny Genocide their client state committed?

    Why don’t we as a community save our young people in SoCal?

    These and the bigger issues of Genocide and Armenia’s survival bother us all. We get nowhere by calling Turks names.

    When we call Turks names, we also alienate Turks of conscience and good will. I am convinced they are as numerous as the 30-40 per cent of Turks who are our mortal enemies. They may be agnostic on the AG issue, but they can be educated and exposed to scholarship and evidence. Calling them Mongols
    gets us nowhere.

  45. “So, if you think you shame them by calling them Mongol, you’re mistaken.”

    For the fifth and the last time, our incorrigible pacifist ‘jda’: WHO called them ‘Mongols’, for Christ’s sake?!

    • standard strawman technique of the group: falsely ascribe a view or statement to the target, and then proceed to berating them for a view they do not hold, nor a statement they made.
      .

      grandiosely write in the name of the group, as in “When we call Turks names,….”.
      To paraphrase Tonto: “Who do you mean ‘we,’ fake man?”

      from my post above:
      {‘jda’: again, produce the post where I have supposedly called Turks Mongols.
      OR, apologize to me and Paul}.

      in response to:
      {Turning to Avery, you should be more concerned with his efforts to de-legitimize speech by Turks by calling them outsiders and Mongols,}

  46. Some Turks here do feel proud of their history as ruthless warriors and conquerors and see their violent reputations as a valuable asset. Yet genetically they have more in common with us than they do with those who came from Central Asia. They are perpetuating a national character based on the myth of superiority in war and doing their country a disservice.

    • Boyajian,

      Yes, exactly. That’s why some of them name their boys Cengiz and the Grey Wolves websites have pictures of she-wolves leading ancient horsemen who look more like Joe Namath, ’69 Jets, than actual Mongol horsemen.

      When we accuse them of fitting this template, the fascists among them beam with pride that they are seen this way. Its like accusing the SS of being brutal.

      Each nation has a founding myth predating Christianity, but theirs is especially bizarre in this respect, given what the Seljuks suffered at the hands of Mongols. Ara Keghetsek had a much more recognizably human life.

    • Ha ha ha… :)

      Boyajian,

      You describe exactly Me.

      Yes, i am a descendent of a Noble Nation who ruled the world for a thousand of years. and founded hundreds of States , Empires.

      Yes, I am a Warrior,
      I am the Master,
      I am SUPERIOR,
      I AM A PROUD TURK…..

      What about You Hays ?

    • Necati’s comment reminds me that I should add that today’s Turks are also the descendants of Turks who were driven like helpless refugees from the Balkans, and also of those Turks who bravely helped their Armenian neighbors during the genocide, risking their own lives.

      Do you get it Necati? You are bred from multi-dimensional and imperfect humans like the rest of us. Time to deal with reality.

    • Necati: I know they made the Turks really powerful in Age of Empires 2 but that’s just a game, not reality anymore. We are from a country that can’t even completely sever ties with Israel because we are so dependent on Israel and America on weapons. Who are you superior to? If they let Turkey into the EU today, half the country would move to Europe TOMORROW. How are you a warrior? The last “war” we won was in 1976 in Cyprus, which I honestly believe was a justified invasion, but nonetheless the Turkish military probably heavily outnumbered the Greeks and Cypriots.

      “and founded hundreds of States , Empires.”

      Founded HUNDREDS of states and empires? I can think of the Gokturk, Selcuk, and Ottoman Empires off the top of my head. Last I checked that made THREE. Hundreds of states? Yes, many states were formed from the Ottoman Empire, but, again, don’t know how to break this to you, but those many states consider that to be their LIBERATION from the Turks. I’d say there are probably like 15 countries or so today that were once part of the Ottoman empire- hardly HUNDREDS.

      Finally, you may very well be a proud Turk, but there will come a day when Turks will NOT be proud to have YOU as one of them.

      Seriously Necati, I spend half my time on AW trying to stop people from getting the impression that YOU represent Turkish people as a whole. The unfortunate part is that I think I’m failing- congratulations, you are breaking my spirit.

    • Necati: “Yes, I am a Warrior,
      I am the Master,
      I am SUPERIOR,
      I AM A PROUD TURK…”

      Boyajian: “I know, Necati. I was thinking of you when I wrote that.”

      Who says Turks and Armenians can’t hold a discussion and get along? ;-)

  47. Paul,

    1. I think our mutual grievances have bored everyone enough. This will be my last on the Mongol and apology loop.

    2. I don’t have time to see if you made or ratified the T=M equation, but if I was wrong I apologize.

    3. Do you suppose that accusing me of being both an imposter, a non-Armenian, and a denialist is at least as offensive as being accused of being a poor historian?

    4. You call me an incorrigible pacifist. Jesus was, so its no insult. However, I was a police officer in a very active city for many years, so I have some knowledge and experience with the use of force and deadly force. By my actions I am no pacifist, but I admire non-violence in the pursuit of civil rights.

    5. Assuming you no longer or never did subscribe to the T=M hypothesis, your comment above, that Armenian genetic nature is less evil than Turkish genetic nature leads us to the same racist destination, namely that Turks are pre-determined to be killers [“It seems highly unlikely that, genetically, Armenians would ever commit such indescribable savage acts as Ottoman Turks were renowned for.. “]. I can only assume that despite what appears to be a solid education, you skipped biology, and forgot about the misuse of science as perpetrated by the Nazis.

    • Jda: Point number 5 is excellent. Would Armenians commit such a crime? Maybe, maybe not- after the Armenian genocide I would put my money on they would NOT commit genocide. The fact that Turkey attempts to hide its past shows that it is ashamed of it. I believe if TODAY’S Turks went back to 1915 they would NOT commit genocide either. I could be wrong, but unlike Paul and some others, I try and see the good people- not label them as genetically programmed to kill. As someone from Turkey, I wish we didn’t have such bad blood with our neighbors (Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Syrians, and maybe Iran). I wish a lot of news about Turkey in world news didn’t deal with human rights violations. The worst part is, it’s our own fault. If we would just man up and get rid of the skeletons in our closet, things could, and would be better. I’m not delusional, I know Armenians and Turks will never be best friends, there will always be resentment there, but Turkey should still ask for forgiveness, pay reparations and all- the rest is up to the Armenian government, whether they accept the apology or not. It would people like Paul that the strength of our “genocide gene” is matched and exceeded by our humanity. There have been many many examples of Turkish brutality and genocidal acts- empires do that. Here’s some positive things: welcomed Jews into the Empire after the Reconquista. Supported the rise of the Protestantism ( for its own reasons), and toleration of other religions- even though they were treated as second class in some regards.

      http://www.globaled.org/nyworld/materials/ottoman/turkish.html

    • RVDV,

      That webpage you linked to whitewashes Ottoman and Turkish history.

      “The success of Ottoman tolerance can most easily be seen in the fact that large Christian and Jewish communities existed in the Ottoman lands until the end of the Empire. Then it was European intervention and European-style nationalism, not internal failure of the system, that destroyed the centuries-long peace between religions that had characterized the Ottoman system.”

      This is from the official Turkish line on 1915. Was this written by Turkish groups?

      Also there is this page: http://www.globaled.org/nyworld/materials/ottoman/modernization.html

      Who wrote this?! No mention that Turkey went to war allied with Germany in WWI.

    • Random: Fair enough, I skimmed over the article. I noticed a degree of bias, you are right there. I didn’t think, from the website name- global ed(education presumably) that it would be a biases site. Biased as it may in some regards, I was just trying to show that all of Ottoman history is not bloody massacres and genocide.

      Who wrote this?! No mention that Turkey went to war allied with Germany in WWI.

      To be fair, it was the Ottoman empire not Turkey who was allied with Germany (i’m just kidding of course). Yeah, I have no answer to that, I should have looked into this site more.

    • RVDV,

      I understand the point you were trying to make. And that’s the problem with skimming over articles. I don’t believe you were trying to whitewash Ottoman/Turkish history like that article was trying to do. That article made my blood boil for second.

  48. ‘jda’: Apologies for ‘T=M’ accepted. Thank you. On all other subjects, you’re free to stick to your guns, I’ll stick to mine.

    For this discussion the following verse from Jesus is, I think, relevant: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and tear you.” –Matthew 7:6

  49. Paul, I may have apologized for something I did not do, so can you id the post where I said you subscribe to the T = M myth? I finally drank the pepto and read all of my posts. No can locate, mon General.

    Thanks,

  50. ‘jda’: Strange… You could miraculously locate in Mustafa Kemal junior high archives that Turks are ‘indigenous inhabitants’ of Asia Minor and not originally in the steppes of Mongolia and the Altay mountains, but couldn’t locate your own post of 9 JAN 2012 even after drinking the pepto?

    Here it is, bro:

    “Turning to Avery, you [paul] should be more concerned with his efforts to de-legitimize speech by Turks BY CALLING THEM outsiders and MONGOLS, or by me and others by accusing them of not being Armenian. Unfortunately, you [paul] sip that kool-aid [read: calling Turks Mongols] a bit YOURSELF.”

    You apologized for something you DID do. No need to palter, jda-bey. I hope you don’t mind my reciprocating to ‘mon general’ with such a salutation.

    • Paul: No need to palter, jda- “BEY”. Back to the Jda is a Turk pretending to be an Armenian conspiracy?

  51. RVDV
    What the h*** is a “justified invasion”? If you justify an invasion of a sovereign UN member-state of Cyprus, then you’d easily justify all other invasions, including Iraq and your own Seljuk Turk invasions of Asia Minor in the 11th c. How sane is it to justify invasions?

    • Armen:

      The de-facto president of Cyprus Nikos Sampson, in an interview with the Greek newspaper Eleftherotipia on 26 February 1981, said that:

      “Had Turkey not intervened, I would not only have proclaimed Enosis but I would have annihilated the Turks in Cyprus as well.”

      That’s why I say it was justified. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying the situation as a whole was dealt with correctly on the part of Turks. Taking Greek Cypriot property and forcing them to move south is wrong- there is no defending that. But I don’t blame the Turkish government for wanting to defend their own.

  52. RVDV
    You appear to have no idea about the history of Turkey. Likewise, Paul is totally blind because of the obvious reason but I can not blame him.We have some invaluable scholars and book in Turkish but unfortunately English speakers have no access as the books are available only in Turkish. I would advise you to read the book called ” Medieval history of Turks in Turkey and the formation of Turkey’s Turks”. If I get time I will try to translate paragraphs who support what Jda says

  53. Looks like i pled guilty due to having a lousy lawyer.

    The listed sin in your post was accusing me of not being Armenian, which is insulting. Your kool aid was the attack on my authenticity. If you read it more broadly i apologize for not writing more clearly, but i owe no apology for what you think i said.

    I notice that during this great apology fest you neglected to apologize for claiming i am a Turk and an imposter. But i think i can get through my day without seeing a grief counselor.

  54. RVDV
    I disagree that Turks are labeled as “genetically programmed to kill”. But I’d agree with Paul in that if in our 4000+ year long history there’s never been a recorded instance of mass murder of such magnitude and with such barbarity as in Ottoman Turkey, we could justifiably doubt that Armenians are capable of committing such deplorable crimes. During the times of the Armenian empire under Tigran the Great (1st c. BC), Tigran would save the lives of the local rulers and move subjugated populations to Armenia as builders and artisans, not exterminate them.

    • Armen: “we could justifiably doubt that Armenians are capable of committing such deplorable crimes.”

      After the Armenian genocide especially, I highly doubt Armenians would commit a crime onto others (there were some massacres committed by Armenians and Russians during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, but a massacre is not a genocide.) All I disagree with you is the word “capable.” I think all peoples are capable to kill- but some groups, more than others actually exercise that capability.

      “Tigran would save the lives of the local rulers and move subjugated populations to Armenia as builders and artisans, not exterminate them.”

      I have no doubts Tigran was a great King, otherwise they wouldn’t call him the great. The last part- “not exterminate them.” All of Ottoman history is not marked by massacres and genocide. Suleyman the Magnificent passed several laws(kanuns) protecting Jewish subjects and raising the class of Christians serfs.

    • “(there were some massacres committed by Armenians and Russians during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, but a massacre is not a genocide.)”

      Please tell us which were those massacres (plural).
      (I am aware of only one that Armenians have been alleged to have been involved in, and only one Azeris vociferously promote as “genocide”:Xocali)

      Hopefully you will also list the following massacres (plural) of Armenians by Azeris:

      1988 Sumgait
      1988 Kirovabad
      1990 Baku
      1991 “Operation Koltso” (combined Azeri OMON & Soviet operation)
      1992 Maragha Massacre
      1992 Stepanakert: months long bombardment by Grads and artillery.
      City leveled. Estimated 2000 civilians killed. Thousands more wounded.
      And of course the military invasion of Nagorno Karabgh Republic by Azeris which cost thousands of Armenian lives.

    • Avery: Just because I have mentioned Azeri killings does not mean I consider them innocent in any way, shape, or form.

      “Armenian side officially claims that the killings occurred as a result of wartime military operations, and were in part caused by the prevention of the evacuation of town inhabitants by Azerbaijani forces. Armenian government officials asserted that the casualty count, though high, was due to the fact the fleeing civilians in Khojaly had mingled with the retreating defenders and when the Azeri troops shot back, Armenian forces fired upon them, killing both soldier and civilian alike. Helsinki Watch itself concluded “that the militia, still in uniform, and some still carrying their guns, were interspersed with the masses of civilians.” However, Human Rights Watch and Memorial, found this explanation of Armenian officials unconvincing, stating that the killing of civilians could not be justified under any circumstances. Human Rights Watch noted that “the attacking party [i.e., Karabakh Armenian forces] is still obliged to take precautionary measures to avoid or minimize civilian casualties. In particular, the party must suspend an attack if it becomes apparent that the attack may be expected to cause civilian casualties that are excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.”

      Armenians have their side, Azeris have their side of the story. A neutral party, Human Rights Watch, sides AGAINST the Armenians. Agreed you right about the fact that they were caught in the crossfire and presumably chaos reigned there- but I’m sure after shooting a few civilians the Armenian soldiers would have been able to see who were civilians and who werent, Avery, I have respect for you and your opinions, I think it’s great that people like you are standing up even 100 years later against the Turkish government. I know you probably have a negative view of Turks and Azeris- you have every right to- but please, come on. What you said was word for word the official Armenian account. A tragic incident at best? I mean, that’s certainly true, but you don’t have to get so defensive-

      “In February 2011, five members of the US House of Representatives, Steve Cohen (D-TN), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Sue Myrick (R-NC) and Bill Shuster (R-PA), have issued Congressional statements remembering the victims of Khojaly massacre and condemning the crime.[42]

      On March 3, 2011, the Texas House of Representatives passed a resolution 535 recognizing and commemorating victims of the Khojaly massacre”

      – This is not a fabrication. I mean I get it, this is war, no one wants things like this to happen, but they do- it’s a reality of war. Things like this happen in most wars, but saying that it may or may not have happened looks bad on you, and it disrespects the hundreds who died because of a pointless war based on who owns what territory because evidently there is so much hatred between people that they cannot even stand to live in the same area as one another. Because who needs to talk and negotiate when you can kill each other. I’m sorry I went of tangent there, I’m just so sick and tired of ethic/religious crap between Turks Azeris and Armenians. I’m so sick and tired that people need to defend well documented massacres, genocides, and atrocities. Aren’t you tired of all the hate?

      If I can stop myself, this is my last comment on this site. Just know this Avery, I am sorry. I am eagerly awaiting the day when the Turkish government accepts genocide, but I know that won’t change any of the long established hatred.

  55. Boyajian, you wrote:
    Necati’s comment reminds me that I should add that today’s Turks are also the descendants of Turks who were driven like helpless refugees from the Balkans,
    Comment:
    yes, maybe many of the strange histrionics of Turks have to do with a forced reversal of the experience of being a victim

    Apart from this: a kiss for you for mentioning the ethnic cleansing of the Ottoman Turks

    • Ragnar,

      We all recognize that some innocent Turks have been oppressed by their government as well as by the unfair and murderous treatment of some elements of newly-liberated peoples, in the Orthodox countries. Halil Berktay recounts that men in his family living in Crete were hung. We get it.

      But these are irrelevant in every imaginable way to a discussion of whether the Armenian, Greek, Pontic Greek and Assyrian populations – to name just a few – were subjected to Genocide.

      Genocide Denial comes in many flavors. One is to point out the suffering of Balkan and Caucasian Turks. These sufferings no more explicate or justify the AG than the 1945 mass rape of German women in Berlin justifies the 1933-1945 campaign against the Jews. These crimes don’t offset one another.

      The two have nothing to do with another, but in the context of confirming the AG, Turks raise it to deflect. Boyajian raised it out of courtesy – we know some Turks suffered – but you habitually raise it in a futile effort to make the Jews weep for the Germans.

      You are a dilettante, and far more annoying than the Grey Chihuahuas who curse at us because they lack the ability to stab our women to death with impunity as their grandfathers did. Get lost.

    • Ragnar, we don’t know each other well enough for kisses! Also I only mentioned that Turks were driven out of the Balkans to expose to Necati the myth that Turks have never been dominated by other powers, or humbled into victimhood. I have not joined your band wagon.

      I also pointed out to Necati that there were compassionate Turks who helped Armenians because I want to expose the myth that Armenians and Turks are inevitable enemies. It all depends on personal character and respect for one another.

      We are all humans who are free to do right or do wrong. It is our choice. I make no excuse for Turks who chose to do wrong, horrible, heinous, despicable, wrong.

      It is the myth of infallibility and superiority that caused and continues to cause Turks to perform ‘strange histrionics.’

  56. ‘jda’: I hope you understand that by denigrating those who disagree with you (lousy lawyer, grief counselor, mon general, Curly and Moe, sip the kool-aid, tiny paladin, saying that people have a syncretic culture is reminiscent of Nazis) you denigrate yourself. I also hope that others who post here noted that I never reduced myself to a payback for insults. Re: you being a Turk and an imposter. I never claimed that. Accordingly, you never, until now, requested an apology for something I didn’t say. Here’s what I said in the 9 JAN 2012 post: “As for you, as a second type of ‘jda’, your reasoning, ideas, writing style, and your ‘persuasion base’, are different from those of jda several of us came to know in other threads.” Your reading comprehension skills should be exceptional, I reckon?

    P.S. A couple of posts ago you suggested leaving this infinite loop. You wanna keep your word or start over?

    • Hi Paul,

      Like a drunk needing just one for the road, I will wander back to the Bar of Shame to respond to your latest post. I really, truly take the oath of sobriety after this…I hope.

      I appreciate the time and intense work it took to quote my various quips: “I hope you understand that by denigrating those who disagree with you (lousy lawyer, grief counselor, mon general, Curly and Moe, sip the kool-aid, tiny paladin, saying that people have a syncretic culture is reminiscent of Nazis) you denigrate yourself.” Even my adversaries in appellate practice don’t give such close Talmudic analysis to my very forgettable prose. But they do read better:

      I am the “lousy lawyer” who counselled my client – me – to apologize too readily;

      The “grief counselor” remark referred to services I did not need on account of your attributions.

      “Sip the kool aid” referred to your buy in to this silly idea that there is a triune jda poster.

      “Tiny paladin” fits Avery as he rushes around the battlements telling Armenians how to argue or bestows an attaboy, and as he comes to your rescue in 1 inch of rhetorical water. Plus its nicer than “hormonal chihuahua.”

      Larry, Moe and the General…sorry. You can dish it out but apparently you can’t take it.

      As for my remarks about your amateur cultural anthropology concening Turkish and Ottoman culture, and reference to Turks and/or their genes being foreign to Anatolia, they are reminiscent of themes Nazis and all who seek to exclude minorities also use. That doesn’t make you a Nazi, it just means you should consider what the rhetorical purpose of branding a race or ethnic group in this way is. Nazis always referred to Jews as outsiders, as “rootless cosmopolitans”,and the implication was they were not authentic in some way.

      Let us suppose the position of Armenians and Turks was the reverse, and it was Armenians who came 1,000 years ago. Had the Ottoman Turks done everything they did to our people and culture in this reverse timetable, would our claims for justice or the evil of their acts be lessened based on who got there first? No. Of course not.

      It is true that because Armenian and pre-Armenians culture was very old, the destruction of the physical things and places is even more profound and destructive, but calling Turks outsiders is silly. Their genes go back to Anatolia, even if their culture does not completely – I suspect that their “kitchen culture” is exactly like ours, because the foods and landscape and weather are the same.

      Your attempts to denigrate their culture are also worth reconsidering. Our people were not killed by their music, cuisine, rugs, myths, holidays, or language. Our people were killed by nationalism, militarism, Islam, greed, cowardice and evil. Those things are our enemies, not these portions of their culture.

      Pointing out that their culture took from those they conquered, is a modern and estimable criticism of only their method – conquest – but not the syntheses they achieved.

      We ourselves boast of our contacts with other cultures, albeit without blood: from the Cathedrals in Poland, to the mystics who strengthened Christianity in Ireland, to being the first foreigners in Lhasa, to a trading University in Persia, to significant commercial presences in Singapore, Madras, Kolkata and Hong Kong. Adapting foreign technology and culture is, as RVDV points out, a strength, not a weakness. Its why you can get decent Kebabs in Berlin and Curry in Birmingham. Its why Armenians used exile after Manzikert to their advantage.

      St Gregory the Illuminator – foreigner (Parthian). Apostle Bartholomew – foreigner (Judean); Apostle Thaddeus-foreigner (ditto); Jesus – a definite non-Armenian foreigner. Never made it to Armenia [well, there is a myth he did], but he qualifies as an outsider in some sense.

      The best way to see things in a new light is to meet well-meaning Turks. In NY, LA, and NorCal there are facilitated groups of Turks, Armenians, and Kurds who speak to each other. Ultra-nationalists don’t like these things at first, but even they can see the similarities in culture and temperment we all have.

      I see Turks as individuals, not as zombie killers and deniers. Few in Turkey – very few – have access to the truth. If one of our goals is to educate those who are open-minded, we cannot do it by denigrating their culture or calling them outsiders.

      We should show the highest hospitality to those like RVDV. We are famously good hosts. Shall we demonstrate that gift?

  57. RVDV
    I think a sovereign country cannot invade another sovereign country based on an informal opinion of someone seven years after the invasion. You sound like George W Bush who claimed presence of WMD in Iraq that were never found. Cyprus was never Turkey’s “own”. Just like other nations, Cypriots, too, were oppressed by Turks. If you can’t blame the Turkish government for wanting to defend “their own”, what are they doing on the foreign soil until now after they’ve “defended” “their own”? Some unidentified “massacres” committed by Armenians during the NK war, if they happened, might have been retaliations for murders and pogroms of innocent Armenians of Sumgait and Baku. You don’t expect us to sit and wait until slaughtered like sheep, do you? All of Ottoman history is not marked by massacres and genocide? Perhaps. But all of Ottoman history is marked by invasions into the territories of other peoples, their subjugation, colonization, and, then, massacres and genocide.

    • Armen: did you read the quote by Nikos Sampson? When I said defend their own I did not reference Cyprus or Cypriots. I meant ethic Turks living in Cyprus that were being attacked. Just because Turkey has a bad track record when it comes to human rights does not mean they are automatically wrong when they want to stop a human rights violation by others. And the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is an independent nation ( though they depend on Turkey on much). Turkish Cypriots are illegally occupying Greek Cypriot properties and land, but they are not illegally occupying Cyprus. For generations many have called that island home- they have a right to live there. Unnamed massacres? how about Khojaly massacre? You can claim it was retaliation, Azeris will claim it was a massacre. Every story has two sides. Also, about retaliation for Armenian killings by Azeris- I can understand retaliation- I’m not in any position to tell Armenians about morality, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Yes, Ottoman history is marked by colonization and invasion- i’m not trying to make excuses but that IS kind of what empires do- you have to be ruthless and often barbaric to build and sustain one- it’s just one of those unfortunate realities. I sound like George Bush? I hope I don’t sound that unintelligent! But if I do, thanks for the heads up :)

    • RVDV:

      the duly elected President of Azerbaijan, Abulfaz Elchibey aka Abulfaz Qadirqulu oglu Aliyev, publicly stated that he would hang the last Armenian he found in Karabagh in the central square of Stepanakert. (presumably after defeating and clearing out Armenian troops). He also boasted that he would wash his feet in Armenia’s Lake Sevan.

      Now, if you justify Turkish invasion of Cyprus because of a statement by some unelected defacto Greek Cypriot leader, then what do you say about the statement of the duly elected President of Azerbaijan promising complete extermination of NKR’s Armenians ?

      Were Armenians justified in liberating historic Armenian lands outside of NKR proper, and removing the Azeri military threat ?

    • Were Armenians justified in liberating historic Armenian lands outside of NKR proper, and removing the Azeri military threat ?

      I don’t know the answer to that question Avery, but you can DEFINITELY argue that is was a justified action by Armenia. Every nation has the right to defend itself and its people.

  58. ” if they happened, might have been retaliations for murders and pogroms of innocent Armenians of Sumgait and Baku”

    Armen, don’t be too quick to admit to something that may or may not have happened. Let the opposing party present their evidence first. See what they got.

    In any case, even if your civilians are murdered by enemy soldiers, it is illegal to murder their civilians in retaliation: it’s a war crime just the same.

    Armenian troops in Artsakh were given specific orders by the leadership not to harm Azeri civilians in any way. And they didn’t. Reason we know they didn’t is that there is only one incident that Azeris are accusing Armenians of: Xocali.
    (an tragic incident at best, where Azeri civilians were caught in a cross fire)
    (after Azeri leadership failed to evacuate them thru the safe corridor)

    You think Azeris would not have advertised everything else if there was something ?
    They are not above manufacturing crimes out of nothing:you remember how they accused Armenians of murdering – yes murdering – an Azeri girl about a year ago who had picked up an explosive device from a river bank and which killed the little girl? They were going to present supposed evidence to UN and and charge Armenians with murder. After the initial hysteria, it went into a black hole.

  59. FVDV (or RVDV ?):

    “This is not a fabrication…..but saying that it may or may not have happened looks bad on you,” you wrote.
    Again, as you have done many times before, you ascribe something to me that I did not write.
    Read my posts above: I specifically mentioned Xocali several times.
    Here for the record: Xocali did happen. Azeri civilians were killed.
    HRW said about 200. Azeri official figures are about 600.
    Now, if you can point to the post where I supposedly said it is a fabrication or that “it may or may not have happened”.

    Now for the reason I said “a tragic incident at best,”:
    Since you seem to be quite familiar with the incident, you must also be aware of what Pres. Ayaz Mutalibov had said at the time, that his political enemies had planned Xocali to get rid of him. You also must be familiar with Azeri reporter Eynulla Fatullayev, who was persecuted and jailed on trumped up charges, when he wrote a report in 2005 (I believe), based on his investigation of the site and interviews with Xocali refugees. He blamed Azeri leadership.
    The reason I said “a tragic incident at best” was to contrast it with the other, worst, extreme: that Azeris special forces or OMON actually fired on their own people, as some conspiracies allege. I personally find that extreme not plausible. Based on my research, my view is similar to HRW: Azeri troops had mixed in with the refugees and somehow wild shooting started (all it takes is one shot to get it going). Armenians returned fire on the groups of people where the firing at them was coming from. Azeri civilians (and troops) were killed by Armenian bullets.

    Reason I don’t believe for a second that Armenians deliberately killed Azeri civilians – a massacre – is this: throughout the war, Armenian troops would surround Azeri populated villages or towns on three sides: a safe passage would always be left, ALWAYS. Civilians would be given plenty of time to leave.
    This happened dozens and dozens times. It is a historical record. A safe passage was also left at Xocali. Also a historical record.
    Now how is it that the same Armenians who would allow Azeri civilians to leave completely unmolested in every other case, suddenly decide to massacre them at Xocali ? Does that make sense ?
    That’s why I’ll repeat: at best, it was a tragic incident: due to confusion, miscommunication, incompetence, etc Azeri leadership failed to evacuate all civilians in time., and they got caught in a crossfire.
    At worst, Azeri leadership deliberately set Azeri civilians up to be shot at by Armenians, so they could use the incident for propaganda.

    On the other side of the ledger, the massacres of Armenians and war crimes I listed above were no tragic incidents: they were deliberate, planned acts.
    The fact that you appear to give far more weight to Xocali, where by Azeri official figures about 600 civilians were killed, yet fail to show anywhere near the indignation for the deliberate acts of war crimes and massacres, where several times more Armenian civilians were killed – speaks volumes about you and your agenda.

    BTW1: the Steve Cohen (D-TN) you listed: Do you know who he is ?
    He is a notorious AG Denialist. Anti-Armenian to the core.
    Someone who denies the AG, but votes for Xocali certainly has
    a lot of credibility.
    BTW2: you never substantiated your claim above, to which I asked:
    “Please tell us which were those massacres (plural).”

    • Avery: it was me, typo.

      “Pres. Ayaz Mutalibov had said at the time, that his political enemies had planned Xocali to get rid of him”

      Yes I heard of this, but I imagine the event looked very bad on the Azerbaijani leadership so to me it was a lame attempt to put the blame on someone else. I agree with you though, I don’t think anyone would sink as low as to kill its own citizens.

      “Azeri reporter Eynulla Fatullayev, who was persecuted and jailed on trumped up charges, when he wrote a report in 2005 (I believe), based on his investigation of the site and interviews with Xocali refugees. He blamed Azeri leadership.”

      I can’t blame this reporter, a degree of the fault for this incident goes on the Azeri military, you cannot be that uncoordinated during a wartime evacuation.

      “Reason I don’t believe for a second that Armenians deliberately killed Azeri civilians – a massacre – is this: throughout the war, Armenian troops would surround Azeri populated villages or towns on three sides: a safe passage would always be left, ALWAYS. Civilians would be given plenty of time to leave.”

      Again, I agree with you on this, a certain degree of the blame for this goes on Azeri military and leadership. They messed up the planned evacuation.

      “Now how is it that the same Armenians who would allow Azeri civilians to leave completely unmolested in every other case, suddenly decide to massacre them at Xocali ? Does that make sense ?”

      I have no answer to this, you make a good point. But still, at some point during the shooting you would think they’d realize these people are not soldiers and stop.

      “On the other side of the ledger, the massacres of Armenians and war crimes I listed above were no tragic incidents: they were deliberate, planned acts.
      The fact that you appear to give far more weight to Xocali, where by Azeri official figures about 600 civilians were killed, yet fail to show anywhere near the indignation for the deliberate acts of war crimes and massacres, where several times more Armenian civilians were killed – speaks volumes about you and your agenda.”

      Again, you are jumping to conclusions. I’m not taking sides as to who is right and who is wrong. Personally I put some blame on the Soviet Union. The issue in Nagorno-Karabakh is not new, they should have taken decisive measures to resolve it in the Soviet era instead of just containing the issue. I have read many reports that the number of Azeri deaths FAR outnumbers Armenian deaths. As for why I don’t bring up Armenian deaths and massacres? Say what you want, this is a biased forum, I am just trying to show the other side on some issues. If you want to know my personal opinion on the Nagorno-Karabakh War, here it is: the region shouldn’t have been under Azeri control in the first place. An Armenian dominated region in Azerbaijan could only mean one thing: war. I put it under the list of failures of the Soviet Union for not clearly resolving the issue when it had the power to do so.

      BTW 1: I did not know that about Steve Cohen. What about the other 4 representative though?

      BTW 2: If I found another one I would I have let you know. The silence was me conceding.

  60. RVDV
    You say: “Turkish Cypriots are illegally occupying Greek Cypriot properties and land, but they are not illegally occupying Cyprus.” Well, arguable at best. Wasn’t Ottoman presence in Cyprus, just like in Byzantine, Armenia, the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula, a result of occupation? Even if we admit that it just so happened historically, it’s not that Turkish Cypriots are illegally occupying Cyprus, but that the Turkish Republic is illegally occupying the island. Moreover, the TR acknowledged the TRNC as an independent state — a sheer affirmation of occupation of a foreign soil.

    P.S. Avery, I didn’t admit what I don’t know for sure. I said: “IF they {massacres} happened, it might have been…” But you answered RVDV’s question amply. Thanks.

    • Armen: “It’s not that Turkish Cypriots are illegally occupying the island, but the Turkish republic.”

      I agree. That was the point I was trying to get across. I mean how “independent” is TRNC if Turkish military is constantly there? Not very much.

  61. RVDV:

    I agree, at some point Armenian troops should have held back fire, assuming there was no fire coming from the opposite side.

    Don’t know about the other 4: just know that Cohen’s objectivity is suspect.
    Azeris want to commemorate the Xocali tragedy, I have no problem with it: it did happen. Civilians and children were killed. It should be remembered.
    I only object to their use of the term “massacre”, and “genocide”: but that’s me.

    We have our hands full with AG Recognition right now, but soon we need to start efforts to hold Azeris responsible for the massacres and war crimes they inflicted on Armenians. (those I listed above: well documented, planned, deliberate acts).

    You are correct: Azeri deaths far exceeded Armenian deaths. But you left out an important detail. It was Killed in Action KIA deaths, not civilians.
    Armenian KIA: estimated 5,000-7,000
    Azeri KIA: estimated 25,000-30,000

    It is tragic for all those (mostly) young men to have died: but comes with the territory. Maybe some day wars will become illegal events.
    But until then, a soldier is allowed to legally kill another soldier in a firefight.

    • Avery: Your second paragraph, “don’t know… but that’s me..” That was well said, I understand your objection. I can respect that.

      Regarding wars, I hope they will one day cease to exist as well- but unfortunately that will never happen as long as people try to elevate their religion, ethnicity, and race above others, and then have the nerve to deny it, it will always exist.

      You are right, Armenia and Azerbaijan need to talk about the human rights violations. I think both sides deserve an apology- one side maybe more than the other, again, not too informed on the war itself.

  62. ” I don’t think anyone would sink as low as to kill its own citizens.”

    RVDV, isn’t this exactly what the Ottomans did when they committed genocide against the Armenians?

    • Thats the thing isn’t it? At the time, I don’t think the Ottoman government saw Armenians as their citizens, but as spies working for the Russians.

    • RVDV,

      Spies? Really? All of them? Even the babies in their mother’s wombs?

      This statement, which you so nonchalantly made, really brings home the crime committed against Armenians. The Ottomans had the right to look for and stop so-called spies, but to indiscriminately target all Armenians, including the unborn, is a colossal crime.

      I am sure you didn’t mean it to be as callous as I took it, but that’s the point, isn’t it. Turks really have a hard time coming to terms with the atrociousness of what was done and tend to speak of these events with a very flat affect while we Armenians can barely contain our pain.

    • Boyajian: I’m sorry if I came off as insensitive. What I said was in no way my personal opinion. That is the official Turkish stance. They “removed” the Armenian threat against the ottoman empire- and they did so without genocide: that is the Turkish governments position. So when you ask isn’t that what the ottomans did to Armenians- yes that is what they did. But I guess if you see the people you are indiscriminantly killing as traitors and not your own citizens, the answer to your question is no, even though Armenians were definitely Ottoman citizens. Because someone had to be the scapegoat for the war.. Again Im sorry if I offended you, I meant no disrespect.

  63. jda
    we were through this one before so I see no reason to repeat it (allthe same: there is a connection between these events in three ways . 1. as part of context which all historiography has to deal with, 2. as ONE ASPECT OF conflicts between Christians and Muslims, 3. as a recognition of Turkish suffering AFTER some Turk has made the first move towards apology.)

    boyajian
    I had my 70th year birthday yesterday so maybe I felt free to make a joke.

    you write:
    It is the myth of infallibility and superiority that caused and continues to cause Turks to perform ‘strange histrionics.’

    comment: I am surprised for you to make such a statements. Turks are really pressed. Answers of this kind (the histrionics) are mere attempts to keep up apparences of certainty, to my mind. and to keep up some strange notion of honour. But of course Turks are more than often sincere in their beliefs about 1915. But as long as adversaries simply beat them over the head with statements like “Turks were bad from the rtime they left the Altai mountains”, or “all research says that I am telling the truth”, even democratically minded Turks – I dont think about those who support the French legislative proposal who are not so democratic – get stubborn. If the goal is to get anywhere with Turks, choose another strategy.

    • Ragnar, don’t worry. I took it as a joke. Happy Birthday to you.

      I understand that Turks “are really pressed.” This is true. Guilt can do that to people. In my opinion, they are caught between the history they wish to deny and the historical myth they wish to perpetuate. I don’t want to diminish the hardships they have had or overstate their accomplishments, either. My point is that grave mistakes were made by their ancestors which must now be dealt with. Human to human. All mythology aside, they simply must come to terms with the Armenian Genocide.

      The civil discussion here between the Turkish Kurd, RVDV, and several Armenians is a good example of the direction the dialogue between Turks and Armenians can go in when the Turkish side simply acknowledges the truth. Without Turks being able to first acknowledge that their ancestors committed a crime against Armenians, the dialogue can only go so far.

      And I accept that Turks suffered in the Balkans. But they can’t use that suffering to justify their acts against Armenians. In my opinion, it is only relevant to explain some of the irrational rage that was released on my people—-and something to incorporate into an apology not an excuse or denial.

  64. According to Herodotus “Armenians were a migrant branch of the Phrygians, and has the same customs and traditions as them.” As we know Phrygians came to Anatolia at 1200 B.C and eradicated the well rooted civilisations, including the Hittites and destroyed many other states. These backward, destroyers who originated in Thrak, intermixed with the native Anatolian population and as a product of this mix, the Armenian people came forward in to being. The Armenians became then the strongest people of eastern Anatolia in terms of civilization and culture just like the Anatolian Turks, they too have their identity form within Anatolia.

    * Medieval history of Turks in Turkey and the formation of Turkey’s Turks

  65. Ragnar,

    Your points 1 and 2 are the same thing. Turkish and Armenian suffering in WWI came from CUP’s decision to ally with Germany by attacking Russians. Armenians died fighting in the Caucasus for the OE. Shall we apologize or acknowledge our suffering to Turks as if we caused it? The fault for WWI losses lies with Enver et al.

    A small number of Armenians enlisted in the western Armies to save their people.
    Are we obliged to apologize because sons felt it their duty to save their mothers?
    Did your father fight the Nazis, or did you have a comfortable war?

    Some Armenians rose in self defense. Are we obliged to apologize for not dying like sheep?

    You aren’t going to orchestrate any apologies by anyone.

  66. The Oghuz Turks accepted Islam in 9. century. They had the same national customs and traditions in 11. century.They didn’t know anything about Islam apart from one God and his prophet Muhammed. According to the Arab writer Ibn Fadlan;when he mention the religious belief of Turks ” they are like stray donkeys.They do not believe any religion and carry out their business based on their logic(implying that they do not consider religious belief when dealing with business)

    • Ibn Faldun was not intending to be complementary.

      Monastras, if I was you, I would stay away from claiming lineage from illiterate nomadic folk. Nothing wrong in the big picture with being illiterate or nomadic – you know we’re all God’s children and all – but its not your strongest argument,all things considered. Not that you have an argument.

      Maybe you should attack Ibn Faldun for a while on some Islamic website.

  67. Ragnar,

    I reread your post. Your appeal that Armenians acknowledge “context” is from the first page of the modern denialist playbook. It matches recent statements by Davatoglu. We are supposed to agree that there was a “context” explaining and excusing Genocide- Turks were being cleansed out of here and there outside Anatolia.

    If you believe these things, you’re ignorant, willfully so. Read the Robertson article. Even if Armenians cleansed Turks out of Bulgaria and the Caucasus, the Turkish Ottoman state’s intentional murder of Civilians is Genocide. The state and state orchestrated Theft of Christian property was not caused by Turkish suffering, it was caused by greed. Context didn’t kill my grandparents’ families. State murderers did.

    I implore you. Don’t insult Armenians and scholars of the AG by pretending you know anything. Help your own nation.

  68. ” ” if they happened, might have been retaliations for murders and pogroms of innocent Armenians of Sumgait and Baku”

    Armen, don’t be too quick to admit to something that may or may not have happened. Let the opposing party present their evidence first. See what they got.

    In any case, even if your civilians are murdered by enemy soldiers, it is illegal to murder their civilians in retaliation: it’s a war crime just the same.”

    Avery,

    I never thought i would ever agree with you…

    BUT, what is happening to you… man ? you seem started to have a heart. Or it is some one else using your account.?

    So, you admit killing civilians in XOCALI is a genocide ?

    • Turk-oglu Necati Genis:

      Read what I wrote exactly: I have told you several times to go an learn what the difference is between: mass murder, KIA, atrocity, pogrom, war crimes, war time tragedy, deliberate murder, accidental/incidental killing, etc and Genocide.

      People like you who alternatively deny AG happened, then boast about it (remember what you posted @ Asbarez, don’t you ?), people like you who write the most vile insults directed at someone’s dead grandmother just because she was Armenian – are beneath contempt.

      I don’t know any Armenian that denies Xocali happened. Unlike you and your Denialist buddies, who outright deny Armenian Genocide perpetrated by your Turk ancestors. Go back and read the entire exchange between me and RVDV.
      And like I said: get some professional help.

      And Azeri criminal leadership who scream about Xocali have yet to acknowledge the crimes they committed against Armenians, starting with Sumgait (1988).

  69. Jda
    “The fault for WWI losses lies with Enver et al”
    I had the same knowledge several years ago. But it is far from reality. A historian on TV said” Ottoman empire had no option but to join the WW1 because the western powers shared the territory of the empire on the table in and around 1913. It was only a matter of the time for them to take action.” When I read a shameful act written by Taner akcam, I was amazed as he put similar statements in his book. So the CUP most probably wanted to control the situation in their favour instead of sitting back and waiting for a catastrophic invasion.

    “A small number of Armenians enlisted in the western Armies to save their people.
    Are we obliged to apologize because sons felt it their duty to save their mothers?
    Did your father fight the Nazis, or did you have a comfortable war?

    Some Armenians rose in self defense. Are we obliged to apologize for not dying like sheep?”
    I can understand that a story has always two sides but one side must be more close to the truth. I do not think fro a moment your above statement tells the sory accurately. I am not optimistic about the relationship between Armenians and Turks in the long term

  70. Monastras,

    If you’re going to teach history, find out more than anti-Armenian propaganda so readily abundant at your nation’s nth rate schools.

    According to your logic, no Genocide of the Jews took place, because the Jews in Old Testament days committed Genocide of non-Jews. Obviously, any unarmed people can be subjected to Genocide. Genocide is based on murder and destruction, not victim history, and there is no affirmative defense to it based upon what happened 400 generations ago.

    Turning to your “historical” prononcements: the actual quote from Herodotus is that Armenians were “Phyrigian colonists” not conquerors. [BTW, nobody but nobody has ever described Oghuz, Seljuk or Ottomans as colonists.]

    “Oh look” the 8 year old Russian girl said, ‘Here come the Nazi colonists”. There is a difference between colonizing and conquering, and between conquering and Genocide.

    Actual historians not working for the Turkish state school system ascribe the fall of Urartians to Medes and Scythians, not Armenians. Moreover, conquest, if it was conquest, does not imply Genocide. Nobody says that the Phrygian colonists brought down the Hittites, but even if they did, that’s not Genocide either.

    When spreading false claims about common knowledge, its thought best by you people to say you misunderstood and am so sorry to have humiliated yourself and bored your audience. Or, I have a better idea: spread your lies to Turk Nazi types who eat this stuff up all year long except for soccer season when they scream murderous insults against Armenians and foreigners.

    Now go tell Ergun Kirlikovali you failed.

  71. Monastras, Ragnar and RVDV

    With melevolence, Monastras and with naivete and arrogance, Ragnar both pursue the idea of a need to account for Turkish suffering as something offsetting Christian sufffering in Turkish history. Davutoglu in 2010 insisted that both ‘sides’ needed to show empathy for the other sides’ “suffering” under his label of ‘just memory.”

    But as Taner Akcam demonstrated masterfully in these pages on 5/19/10, this is just another denialist trick:

    “First, the “just memory” and “mutual suffering” thesis is an extremely stale one. It’s been repeated over and over again in Turkey for years. Justin McCarthy, Sukru Elekdag’s history consultant, has written books on it. It represents a violation of a simple rule that shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but here it is: You can never, ever, present civilian and military deaths that occurred during a war as equivalent to the annihilation of a population upon the orders of a party or government. This is a very ordinary denialist tactic. The fact that the civilian and military deaths during World War II in Germany far exceed the number of Jews who were destroyed is a fact known by every school child there. However, today, outside of a few leftover Nazis and some extreme German nationalists, you will not find a single German citizen opposed to acknowledging the Holocaust based on the notion of “just memory” and “we suffered too.” Anyone doing that would be shamed into silence. In a similar vein, if you were to take the deaths caused by Stalin’s massacres against civilians during World War II, and equate them to the losses suffered by the Soviet Army and civilian population while combating the Nazis, that would again be considered shameful. For a less known example, in the genocide perpetrated by the Hutu government against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, 800,000 Tutsis were killed. If you were to compare those 800,000 deaths with the deaths of Hutus by the Tutsi independence organization called the Front for Rwanda Nationlovers (RPF), you would have again committed a grave injustice. Today the Hutu nationalists being prosecuted by the Rwanda International Criminal Court are making those very same arguments in their defense.”

    Ragnar, this is one of the many reasons I demand you stop fronting for the Turkish state, no matter how blandly well-intentioned you think you are. The Armenians suffered as members of the Ottoman state, and as victims of that state. Pretending there were separate Christian and Muslim losses from the same processes is absurd. Stop serving evil. Armenians died as members of the armed forces before they were disarmed and murdered by their officers, and by the state en masse. Captain Torossian exemplifies this; he sunk the first allied ship at Canakkale only to learn the state he served murdered his family as aprt of the Genocide.

    RVDV, I included you as an addressee because i thought you might find the story of Captain Torossian, the hero of Canakkale, interetsing. It is also widely known that Armenian soldiers saved Enver in the Caucasus from the Russians.

  72. I am surprized when I read some of the posts here trying to convince,pursuade and/or prove that the Armenian genocide did happen and Eviciotn from ancestral lands is areality .Witness the monasteries,remains of some still there,etc.
    My dear compatriots do not stop to think that these are pretty much like one of their ultra racist groups the notorious,infamous ¨Grety wolves¨.
    And what also has me baffled is -like one opined above-instead of conducting constructive dialogue ,exchange of viewpoints as to Armenian national affiars etc., we are wasting time to talk sense into the aforementioned offshoots of the X khans etc. It is indeed anybody´s God given previlege to do as one pleases.Personally I do not think we can do much to change the descendents of the X khans.
    Let us leave that to the Euro-American diplñomats who will by and by with ¨their¨ mode of pursuation bend them by and by over.
    For me it is a simple fact that we cannot do anything ,especially when they have always considered us a s Ermeni Rayas.Yes even now they believe ,not only us but the neighbours Persiand for example to be AJEMI(similar degrading ref.) to the arabs the y consider even simpler than the aforementioned.Let thme live with that untill such time when they will suddenly finmd themselves forlorn and foresaken.
    best to those who will understand my suggestions…

  73. Monastras: Herodotus’ version (“Armenians were a migrant branch of the Phrygians, and has the same customs and traditions as them”) is just one of many hypotheses on the origin of the Armenian people. You cannot know for sure if this particular Phrygian branch was the one that fought the Hittites and others. Please refrain from assumptions and generalizations (e.g. “as we know…” — were you present there around 1200 BC?). Also, there’s no evidence that those people were ‘backward’ and ‘destroyers’. Many sources indicate that proto-Armenian tribes might have been of Aryan origin and thus civilized. Also, there was no such a toponym as ‘Anatolia’ until the Turks made up the term to eradicate historically known Asia Minor and the Armenian Plateau. Don’t fall for false science. ‘Anatolian’ Turks’ civilization and culture is a borrowed civilization, because nomads (Seljuks, Mongols, etc.) normally don’t have established culture of their own. Of course, Turks have developed their culture in the course of several centuries, but originally it was heavily adopted from the Persians (artifacts, rugs, architectural style, etc.), Arabs (script, language, religion, etc.), Byzantine Greeks, and Armenians. No need to equalize the two incomparable historical cases. Some peoples are more ancient than the others. Some people are autochthonous, while others are heterochthonous. Some people are more culturally advanced (based on their contributions to the world civilization) than others. There’s nothing remotely reminiscent of anything ‘racist’ in stating these historical axioms; they in no way denigrate the uniqueness and culture of any people inhabiting the Earth.

  74. JDA,

    You blame Mr. Ragnar for being “ignorant” .

    Why is it so easy for you hays to use this word for non-AG believers ?

    And, what is your academic career ?

    • I am not an academic.

      Anyone who can read can see the evil in Ragnar’s point of view. Anyone with internet access can see his stance of the helpful facilitator who will help primiitve Armenains and bestial Turks settle their disputes under his superior, essential Scandinavian tutelage.

      Ragnar claims to agree there was an AG, but then says “not in the juridical sense” which is his way to demonstarte an undeservedly neutral position.

      We should all understand he is an old man, not trained in this field, who wants to make a few bucks as a pretend-expert. You can look up his cv online.

  75. Greetings, ‘jda’: I understand you chose to start over. I, in turn, appreciate the time and intense work you undertook to clarify your various quips, which in the context of your various posts sounded not exactly like quips, I must confess. But, since you preferred starting over, let’s leave them behind us.

    “Let us suppose the position of Armenians and Turks was the reverse, and it was Armenians who came 1,000 years ago. Had the Ottoman Turks done everything they did to our people and culture in this reverse timetable, would our claims for justice or the evil of their acts be lessened based on who got there first? No. Of course not.” –Of course not. But if Armenians claimed that they’ve been in the region for as long as the Turks and that their culture is indigenous and not adopted, it’d be equally dreadful.

    “It is true that because Armenian and pre-Armenian culture was very old, the destruction of the physical things and places is even more profound, but calling Turks outsiders is silly. Their genes go back to Anatolia, even if their culture does not completely.” –They were outsiders in Asia Minor (‘Anatolia’ is a made-up Turkish substitution for ‘Asia Minor’ and the ‘Armenian Plateau’) before the 11th (Battle of Manzikert) and the 13th (Mongol hordes’ invasion) centuries. I honestly don’t understand what you have against falling under the category of ‘outsiders’ before those centuries? Their genes might go back to Asia Minor not because they were autochthonous but because for centuries they intermingled with the natives by mixing the gene pool in deplorable ways.

    “Your attempts to denigrate their culture are also worth reconsidering. Our people were not killed by their music, cuisine, rugs, myths, holidays, or language. Our people were killed by nationalism, militarism, Islam, greed, cowardice and evil. Those things are our enemies, not these portions of their culture.” –Undoubtedly. But you’re wrong if you think I denigrate their culture. I only reaffirm the fact that their culture heavily took from Persians, Arabs, Byzantine Greeks, and Armenians. If terrorizing Seljuk warriors originally had advanced culture, they would have left traces of it along the line of march from Mongolia into Asia Minor. None is there.

    “Pointing out that their culture took from those they conquered, is a modern and estimable criticism of only their method–conquest–but not the syntheses they achieved.” –Invasion, not conquest, to be exact. Adoption and adaptation, not synthesis, to be precise.

    “We ourselves boast of our contacts with other cultures, albeit without blood: from the Cathedrals in Poland, to the mystics who strengthened Christianity in Ireland, to being the first foreigners in Lhasa, to a trading University in Persia, to significant commercial presences in Singapore, Madras, Kolkata and Hong Kong.” –We didn’t invade those countries as nomadic warriors, nor did we adopt their culture after invasions and portrayed it as ours.

    “Adapting foreign technology and culture is, as RVDV points out, a strength, not a weakness.“ –RVDV also points out that stealing cultural traits of other peoples (e.g. Kurds), but portraying them as indigenously Turkish is appalling.

    “St Gregory the Illuminator–foreigner (Parthian). Apostle Bartholomew–foreigner (Judean); Apostle Thaddeus–foreigner (ditto)” –Have I claimed they were insiders? Have they invaded Armenia and adopted our culture?

    “Jesus–a definite non-Armenian foreigner.” –A bit of blasphemy here on the part of a devoted Christian believer as you claim to be. Our Lord and Savior is the Son of God, and God has no ethnicity.

    “I see Turks as individuals, not as zombie killers and deniers.” –I clearly don’t see Turks as zombie killers, but I do see the majority of them as deniers and radical nationalists. I also see them as threatening bullies, because their state maintains close borders with Armenia, continues to impose an economic blockade and refuse establishing diplomatic relations. These are modern-day hostile acts that have nothing to do with the lack of ‘access to the [historical] truth’.

    “If one of our goals is to educate those who are open-minded, we cannot do it by denigrating their culture or calling them outsiders.” –Please elaborate on how we can walk along the sharp edge of not ‘denigrating’ their culture and calling them outsiders, but stating at the same time the fact of considerable elements of other peoples’ culture in the Turkish culture and their emergence, so to speak, in Asia Minor in the 11-13th centuries AD?

    “We should show the highest hospitality to those like RVDV.” –Has any one of us exhibited a different attitude?

    • Paul: regarding the hospitality thing, I agree with you. For the most part my comments have been tolerated and unlike Turkish posters on Zaman or Hurriyet, Armenian posters here do not find it beneath themselves to agree with a Turkish poster. Some of my comments may have made people angry, but I understand your anger, I’d be angry too after nearly a century of a genocides legitimacy and existence doubted and outright denied. And once I saw the treatment Armenian posters get on Todays Zaman and Hurriyet by most Turkish posters, I have no complaints- but I get what jda was getting it.

    • Paul,

      While I accept that my intentional acts make me a sinner, I reject any charge of blasphemy, which means more than a doctrinal error. It means a spirit of rejection, irreverence or contempt.

      The Havadamk says that Jesus became fully man. The Evangelical Church agrees, as does the Catholic.

      So, if Jesus was fully man, how can it be denied that he was a Jew? He was a descendent of David. His parents were devout Jews. He was raised as a Jew.
      Jewish Prophets predicted him.

      He wasn’t Polynesian.

      He was also fully God, but his human nature had an ethnicity. Yes, he was transcendent, but a Jew he was.

      Are you a Christian?

  76. “If the goal is to get anywhere with Turks, choose another strategy.”

    We don’t need advice from a Turcophile agent who calls Armenians ‘inbreds’ and uses terms to describe our exterminated ancestors commonly used to describe garbage – “disposed of”. Take your advice to your Turk buddies.

    Another strawman: who says the goal is to get anywhere with Turks ?
    I’d say the goal is to tie Turks in knots and keep jackhammering at the Denialist Dam. Once the dam bursts, the flood will drown the Denialists.
    The goals is to get as many powerful Western and European countries in our corner as we can.

    Turkey cannot fight the whole world. We don’t need their co-operation.
    Those days are long gone. Turks could have gotten away cheap. Too bad.
    Europe and the West are slowly lining up against Islamist Turkey.
    Armenians are the least of their nightmares. Kurds have openly started talking about Independence. (which they never did before). Israel and World Jewry will do everything in its power to defang the existential threat to Israel that Islamist Turkey has become. (three Turk engineers working on IFF mysteriously murdered: whooo done it ?)
    The end is near.

    Full Disclosure: the above is my personal opinion.
    I am not, nor have I ever been a duly elected
    Spokesman the the Armenian People.

    • Avery,

      First, our disputes are not with Turks or Turkishness. Try to make that clear in your posts if you agree. I may slip, but I do try and differentiate between the nationalists, the extreme nationalists, whom I refer to simply as the enemy, and the rest.

      Second, we will not “tie up” the Turks if every nation demands justice. Every nation that mattered demanded justice for Armenia and Armenians from the middle of the 19th Century through Versailles, and it got us nowhere.

      Turkey is a very important country with its own ambitions, many of which conflict with the west. The Armenian issues are a sideshow and a stalking horse to both our friends and to our enemies. The important issues to our friends are energy supplies, weapons sales, and the Islamization of Europe.

      There is nothing Europe or the west will do which will make much of a difference by themselves, although I agree that pressure must be applied. The reason I agree that pressure is necessary is that the acts of foreign governments keep the issue before the Turkish public. I did not think so untilI heard Taner Akcam say that this pressure is vital exactly five years ago in California. When the issues are in Turkish papers and otherwise in the media, they lead to more and more questioning of the state orthodoxies.

      I disagree with you that Turkey and Turks are a lost cause. That is why we must educate the educable, and help build bridges where we can. I know some Turks.
      The propaganda to which they are and have been exposed in their schools matches what Germans taught their children about Jews. Read the 2000 or so article in Radikal where Halil Berktay recounts that he cried when he saw the information and pictures withheld in Turkey from him while reading in the Sterling Library at Yale.

      The approach must be two fold. Of course, my hope is that more and more Turks will embrace Christ. In 50 years, I think 10 per cent will be orthodox Christians. But I will save that for another day.

      Hint- Christianity is appealing to the secular Kemalist tradition of associating Islam with primitive Arab social customs.

    • “our disputes are not with Turks or Turkishness.”

      I am guessing when you use the pronoun ‘our’, you are not speaking as the spokesman for the Armenian people, are you ? I remember someone alleged a little while ago that I had presumably appointed myself spokesman for the same. Try to make that clear in your posts if you agree, won’t you ?

      And the last thing I need is advice from one ‘jda’ as to how or what to post.
      The same poster who falsely claimed that I had presumably written Turks are Mongols.

  77. jda: “There is a difference between colonizing and conquering, and between conquering and genocide.” There is also a difference between conquering and invading. The Battle of Manzikert was the battle between Byzantine Greeks and Armenians against invading–not ‘conquering’–Seljuks. ‘Conquest’ has a positive connotation, as you know. “Oh, look”, the 8-year old Armenian girl, a native of Manzikert, said, “Here come the Seljuk Turk conquerors! From inside Asia Minor!”

    • Paul,

      In your eagerness to dispute my remarks, you overlook their purpose: to answer a
      Nationalist remark that the movement of Phrygian colonists east Or possible conquest of Hittites et al is the same thing as Genocide.

      I was not aware that conquest has a positive connotation, which you say i know.
      I agree that invaders say it, but conquered people don’t view it positively.

    • Sure I do. Unlike you, who believes in mythology, I believes in reality.

      Ottoman Turks were crushed: their Empire shrunk to what, 1/20th its previous size in a couple years under the blows of Allies ? Even with massive German help to Turks ?

      At the Battle of Sarikamish the 3rd Turkish Army with 118,000 troops under Enver Pasha was annihilated by the Russian Caucasus Army of 100,000 troops, supported by Armenian volunteer brigades. (it has been said Enver never forgot the humiliation and took it out on unarmed Armenian civilians later on).

      Musrafa Kemal was on the ropes, almost finished, until massive help started coming in from Bolshevik Russia, which helped Kemal win battles and ultimately the war.

      So, yeah I really know Turks. Maybe better than you.

  78. boyajian,
    thank you for your congratulation
    jda
    I suggest you go back to some of our earlier discussions and look at my arguments, cite one or some of them and make one or more counteragruments. Mere repetition is not interesting.
    Monastras
    you never came back to me after you sent me a personal mail under another name, as you said, your real name. I actually alerted the AW about your complaint to have been censored. They denied that you had been censored. I tried to go back to you or rather the mailadress someone wrote from, but my mail came in return.
    This to my mind shows some of the pitfalls of anonymous debate. We do not know whom we are debating with. So I suggest you clear up this matter.

    • Ragnar,

      Time for some Aricept.

      I have communicated with you only on websites, and only under the name jda.

      I am not the only person who has criticized you.

      You are a volunteer shill for the denialists.

  79. Ragnar, I am always ready to give you another chance. In fact I am always hopeful that you will return from your frequent absences with some new contribution or willingness to participate in the current thread with less arrogance and prejudice. But no such luck. So now you know my birthday wish for you!

    You may know Turks better than I do, but your objectivity is suspect. You have shown yourself to have a biased opinion about Armenians and a specific agenda—to convince Armenians that Turkish suffering has been ignored for too long and must be taken into consideration in order to engage Turks in a dialogue about the Armenian genocide.

    We have heard your opinion loud and clear. Please hear this: Turks have many to blame for their suffering, including themselves and their own leaders. To try to place the issue of Turkish suffering squarely upon the shoulders of the Armenians is wrong-headed. If Turkey has a legitimate claim against others, they should pursue it, but inserted into the Armenian issue, it is a specious argument. A smoke screen. A deflection.

    The unjust annihilation of an indigenous people from their homeland, replete with actions that fit the definition of genocide as set forth in the Genocide Convention, should be be faced head on. It is a stand alone crime that Turkey, as a signatory of the Genocide Convention, has an obligation to address.

    The genocidal actions of a government are not excusable for any reason. Babies are not revolutionaries. Children are not traitors. Mothers are not the enemy. Grandmothers are no threat. Old men are not cattle. Their homes and property are not to be up for grabs. And soldiers should not be disarmed and slaughtered simply by virtue of their ethnic group.

    One cannot suggest that skirmishes and attacks by a freedom fighting group are justification for the annihilation of an entire ethnic group. Stop playing the mutual suffering game here. It has run its course.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have no objection to Armenians having more compassion for Turks who also suffered the pain of having been driven out of their homes in the Balkans. Person to person, we should be able to empathize with one another. But let’s not mix all things together into one stew pot and effectively negate each others right to seek justice. Armenians suffered the willful actions of their own government that resulted in their annihilation and elimination from Asia Minor. This is a distinct and unique crime that falls squarely on the shoulders of Turkey.

  80. jda: “Are you a Christian?” –Haven’t I stated “Our Lord and Savior is the Son of God” in the previous post? Then I guess I am. As such, I’m a bit chagrined by the statement “Jesus was […] a foreigner”. The Havadamk says: “We believe […] in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God the father, only begotten, that is of the substance of the Father”. Jesus is the fully divine Son of God taking on a human body to save our bodies; and a human mind to save our minds; and human emotions to save our emotions; and a human will to save our will.

    Jesus is a descendent of David and Abraham. In genealogy of Jesus Mathew reveals he’s ‘the son of David, the son of Abraham’. A native of Ur, Mesopotamia, Abraham by no conceivable approximation could be a Jew.

    It’s erroneous to say that ‘Jesus’ parents were devout Jews’ because Joseph wasn’t his biological father and Mary’s body was only used by the Holy Spirit to conceive the divine child.

    We know little about Jesus’ childhood; therefore, we cannot say for sure that he’s been raised as a Jew. Even if we assume so given the fact that he was born and raised in Judea, Jesus came to denounce many unholy practices that Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees had employed.

    Jewish prophets predicted Jesus in the Old Testament, yes, but when the time came to admit him as their King and Messiah, their religious leaders insisted on crucifixion.

    Again, because Jesus is also fully God, He, by definition, cannot have ethnicity.

    • Paul,

      I teach Sunday School. Because Jesus was also fully man, he had all the human characteristics except sin. Here is the portion of the Havadamk which addresses this issue:

      “Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, took body, became man, was born perfectly of the holy Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit.

      By whom he took body, soul and mind and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance.”

      All men have ethnicity. All are part of a web of language, culture and kinship.
      Please don’t be insulted, but in this regard, you are ignorant. Ask a der Hyr or Vartabed or Badveli. Jesus was more than a Jew, yes, but he was a Jew also.

  81. Ragnar: Would this be a fair deal for you? Turks would demand apologies from whomever they think they suffered from (notwithstanding the fact that their sufferings came as a result of their own invasion, subjugation, and colonization of the various native peoples or their own entering the various wars), while Armenians demand apologies from the ones they most horribly suffered from, read: the Turks. Deal?

  82. Wrong, jda: I didn’t overlook the purpose of your remarks to answer a nationalist remark. I confronted your remarks re: Seljuks and Mongols’ ‘conquests’ of Asia Minor and the Armenian Highland (which you called ‘Anatolia’) by demonstrating that, indeed, conquered sedentary people didn’t view the invasions of the terrorizing nomadic warriors as ‘conquests’, but as invasions that brought widespread devastation and grief. And if you’re the descendant of one of those conquered peoples, you must not use the word ‘conquest’ when describing the invasions of Turkic outsiders.

  83. I remember a person posting under ‘Karekin’, who has not posted in a long while. Sometimes he would write posts very strongly affirming the AG, but would generally write posts that overall advocated eternal love and friendship between Turkey and Armenia (in so many words). Moving on from the bad old days of AG. Ottoman paradise. All that.

    Very strange: as if there were two personalities.

    I also remember that an Armenian poster wrote that he (Karekin) had insulted Jesus Christ as a mere carpenter. (I did not see Karekin’s post: just the claim by someone else).

  84. jda: “We will not ‘tie up’ the Turks if every nation demands justice. Every nation that mattered demanded justice for Armenia and Armenians from the middle of the 19th century through Versailles, and it got us nowhere.” –Turks have already gotten tied up with France’s genocide criminalization bill alone. Demanding justice for Armenians ‘got us nowhere’ not because other nations demanded justice for us but failed, but because Turks have physically annihilated the very subject of demand, while the surviving rest of us, as a subject of international law for which justice was demanded, has been incorporated into the USSR.

    “Turkey is a very important country with its own ambitions, many of which conflict with the west. The Armenian issues are a sideshow and a stalking horse to both our friends and to our enemies. The important issues to our friends are energy supplies, weapons sales, and the Islamization of Europe.” –But the Armenian issues are also effective influence levels to our friends and are very important for containing Turks and, possibly, weakening their regional posture.

    “There is nothing Europe or the West will do which will make much of a difference by themselves, although I agree that pressure must be applied.” –Actually, there’s a lot Europe or the West can do that’d make a difference. A country’s importance is not a static concept. When the importance grows to the point when it starts annoying the big shots (e.g. Turkey’s stance on war in Iraq, unauthorized incursions into the Iraqi territory, Kurdish issue, Cyprus issue, human rights issue, relations with all of her neighbors, radical Islam trends, etc.), a country may be shown its place in the world stratification of power. Methods vary.

    • In yesterday’s Republican debate, Perry was asked a very strange question.
      Most have probably heard about it already. Perry is not a very bright man, so his answer was not that important here.

      The question was: for the first time in a US Presidential debate, the idea of expelling Turkey from NATO was planted in Americans’ mind.
      It was also a message from US Establishment to Turkey.

      All questions to be asked are carefully vetted beforehand. The question was a shot across the bow of the ship of Turkey.

    • Paul,

      Sorry, but Turkey’s role in the world will not be hamstrung until and unless she crosses a red line in a public way.

      Our issue, and that of the Kurds, human rights, the Ecumenical Patriarch, drug smuggling, and Cypress are not red lines, by which I mean conflicts the US or the rest of the west will not tolerate. We know this because these issues have een around for years and decades, and are no secret to European or US elites, e.g. Cypress, drug smuggling, the AG.

      Here are the red lines:

      1. Any effort by Turkey to control Iragi oil supplies, or to curtail our access to any ME oil, or to wrest cntrol of Iraqi territory for security [read: oil] reasons.

      2. Any effort by Turkey to supplant the US in the ME, esp. with regard to making the Palestinian crisis worse for us or Israel;

      3. Trying to take over Syria’s role in Lebanon, or to assist in any way, the mission of Hezbullah

      4. Assisting Iran avoid detection or develop nuclear based weapons

      5. doing anything to cut off Europe’s access to Azeri gas.

      US decisionmakers do not care what Turkey does to minorities or their own liberals, or to Kurds as long as it does not disrupt our economy. Jimmy Carter taught us that in the long run, only money and power, not human rights, matter.

      If elephant gas or oil fields were discovered near Gyumri, the administration would overnight all become pro-Armenian.

      Turkey’s place in the world has nothing to do with Europe’s approval. Most Turks do not want in the EU, esp. now. EU access is the only thing Turkey wants to some degree. All the pronouncements in the world -which I support, as explained above – are not going to force the Turks to do anything. Like the Chinese, the Turks claim to resent anything which smacks to them of extraterritoriality, although what France says you can say in France does not.

  85. “Jesus is also fully God,”…

    You Hay people seem not only wrong in historical matters but also in religious systems….

    How can a human be God ?

  86. Avery,

    I suspect that on various issues regarding the AG and the other issues of concern to our people [pls note the plural], there isn’t much difference in substance between us. There are differences in style, and I do think your style is off-putting to Turkish or Kurdish friends or agnostics. If you offend and insult the Turkish Nazxi element, I don’t care. Same for the deluded Norwegian.

    What, exactly are you saying with regard to Karekin and me?

    • I re-read my own post several times that discussed Karekin, and see not a single mention of ‘jda’ in that post. ‘jda’ is mentioned in that post ZERO times.

      What am saying about you and Karekin ? You tell me pal: you seem to be able to effortlessly see things in my posts that I didn’t write.

    • Avery,

      I was not asking a rhetorical question. I was asking a plain old question. You have accused me of being someone posing as jda, and you have made a similar characterization of Karekin. You also point to Karekin mentionig religious topics, as have I. So I was wndering if you were saying k and I are the same person. That’s all. No need to go all Elton John on me.

      I do enjoy your new [strictly verbal] muscularity via use of the word “pal.’ Very NYPD circa 1978.

  87. Necati: I’m afraid a Turk of your caliber will never get a Christian doctrine that has 2.5 bln followers worldwide. Here’s an easier question from your own religion for you to contemplate. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to any religion; I’m only responding to your blasphemous post.

    Q.: How could a human be transported to Heaven to meet God on a mythological steed?

    • Paul,

      This is the only thing you have or will say that has actually made me upset.

      Christ’s love speaks to us all, Christians and non-Christians. I know from what Moslems have told me that they sometimes have wandered into our Churches and other Christian Churches here and in Iraq and Turkey where they have felt peace. I ascribe that to the Holy Spirit. Many are secret Christians.

      How can you say to anyone that ” a Turk of your calibre will never’ understand Christian doctrine? Ours is a CATHOLIC [meaning universal – not Roman] religion based on the universal truth of Christ’s love, among other things.

      Necati may today want to worship creation – that is what Shamanism is. Tomorrow, he might want to read Thomas Merton. Sunday he might enter a Church building and feel peace. The week after he might wish to observe Badarak. The worst thing we can do is make anyone feel unwelcome. That is what you have unwittingly done.

      Let’s not tell anyone, even unsulting Denialists, they are incapable of participating in faith or the sacramental mysteries. The doors of our Churches are open, and each of us is called by Christ to be missionaries. There is no place to exclude anyone.

      You know better.

    • Jda: I hope I don’t look ignorant by saying this, but I thought Armenians were Orthodox Christians for the most part, not Catholic? Am I wrong?

    • RVDV,

      Most Armenians are Orthodox, but there are substantial numbers of Catholics and Protestants. These days there are Buddhists too.

  88. Avery, you talk about Turkey being evicted from NATO. Now, you guys would love that, wouldn’t you? Well, the truth is NATO needs Turkey more than Turkey needs NATO. Yes, the Soviet Union is gone. But the new foe of the West is Iran, and you know (I hope) where Turkey is. Why do you think they just put a new missile shield or a sattelite there very recently?

    All this, once again, points to people like you seeing the reality in a distorted self-serving manner. Don’t confuse your desire for Turkish demise with the reality thereof.

    • Kerim,

      Your geopolitics are bizarre.

      Neither odarh Americans nor Armenian [or Kurdish- Greek- or Assyrian-] Americans want the “demise” of Turkey. Some of us may want autonomy for Kurds, or separation, but demise – I have never seen or heard anyone call for that.

      Asking and demanding Turkey to be just is not a demand for the death of Turkey. Asking for her brainwashed masses and Kemalist elites to deal with reality is, again, not the same thing as seeking the demise of the state.

      The assertion that the west needs Turkey is problematic. What, exactly does Turkey do for the west?

      We know that Turkey would not allow overflight or invasion routes through her space in 2003, escalating the costs of the Iraqi operation, if not allied lives.

      We know that she has designs on Iraqi Kurdistan, esp. the oil.

      We know that she wishes to restore some semblance of a realpolitik Caliphate within the outlines of the non-European OE, and to neutralize the west in the Balkans

      We know that she will keep her forces in Cyprus

      We know that she will not act for the US or Israel with regard to Iran

      I agree that we will not be kicking Turkey out of NATO. I don’t think it is in anyone’s interests that this occur.

      However, she is not Germany, France or Britain, and will never be. Belgium is a more important part of the alliance than Turkey.

    • Well, I have to reluctantly come to Kerim’s defense on one specific item: nowhere in his post did he mention anything about a “demise”.

      All he said was “…you guys would love that …..” (meaning expelled from NATO)
      (and yes, I would love that)

      Being kicked out of NATO would not be equivalent to a demise, which as far as I know is a synonym for ‘death’. Turkey will be in a heap of trouble out of NATO, but will not automatically ‘demise’. (is that proper English ?)

      (Kerim, I will overlook your geography jab. And will also overlook your lack of technical knowledge, as in “missile shield or a satellite”: you don’t put a satellite there: you put a radar and interceptor missiles. Satellites are launched from surface, but orbit the Earth above the atmosphere)

    • Avery,

      You make inferences from absent evidence and now overlook the actual words Kerim selected:

      “Don’t confuse your desire for Turkish demise with the reality thereof.”

      .

    • You are correct Kerim did say it: my mistake.
      I withdraw my defense of Kerim re ” demise”.
      The rest of the post stands.

  89. Necati, on your question about Jesus. I am sorry but that was a really dumb question. You just opened yourself to very similar (if not more incisive) questons about Islam, which is even more ridiculous of a religion (they all are, by the way).

    • The Kemalist mindset exactly.

      Your figurative grandchildren will be Christian. They can see a Christian landscape everywhere in Anatolia, or as Paul would have it less melifluosly, “Asia Minor.”

      Daddy why did Paul write letters to the people in Ephesus?

      Who was Paul?

      Daddy, what does this passage in Corinthians mean? Where did the Corinthians live? How far is that from here?

      Your figurative grandchildren will be asking these and more questions about the Christian landscape under their feet.

    • jda: “Your figurative grandchildren will be asking these and more questions about the Christian landscape under their feet.”

      I’m not so sure, we’ve gotten pretty good at the denying game, and we’ve had about 97 years of practice with it.

    • RVDV,

      I agree that the entire Turkish state apparatus hates Armenans and obscures the mistreatment and slaughter of minorities. I do not believe that ethnic Turkish citizens will make much progress for a long time on that front, or that ethnic Turks will admit/believe there was a Genocide of the Christians in larger numbers than they already do.

      Christianity is a different, if related matter. The lands are covered with Christian places and structures. The ghosts of Christians cover every square foot.

      At the same time, as Turkey prospers and becomes more educated, I do believe that the strong anti-Islamic Kemalist culture will push intellectuals against Islam, no matter how Gulen hides or alters it. It is unlikely that as countries like Iraq, Egypt and Syria become more Islamic their peoples will do well. In truth, they will do worse. Women will lose their freedom, and you won’t be able to have a glass of raki in southern Lebanon. I think there will be cultural repudiation of extreme Islam in Turkey, more so than is happening under the AK party.

      Put another way, Turkey will revert to the Kemalist mean.

      Christianity may also appeal in that reversion process to young people because it is exotic, which is ironic given the ancient history. Finally, Christianity is not today frightening, but Islam is. The lasttime Christians qua Christians were frightening was the fifteenth century in Europe and the sixteenth in the New World

      So, I think that in two generations, a substantial number of Turks will be Christians, including the descendants of hidden Armenans, but by no means will they be the only source. This may only be a 3-6 per cent number, but that is a lot of new converts.

  90. In the civilized world, calling religions ‘ridiculous’ is unacceptable, outrageous, and punishable by law depending on peculiarities of a case. But Turks or Turkic posters here can allow them such a misdemeanor…

    • Paul,

      There are well established if small groups of atheists here and throughout western Europe. Where is making these remarks punishable by law?

    • I find the mythological aspects of religions silly and ridiculous. If you have the right to believe in myths then I have the right to not believe in them.

      Please show me where and which laws prohibit what I just said. And please show me how its punishment is morally justified.

  91. Avery: I saw Gov Perry answer that question about Turkey on tv. As it wad Rick Perry, the man who can’t list three things, I laughed it off. Turkey is many things- but it is not ruled by “Islamic Terrorists” as he claims. Anything legitimate he had to say was voided by that comment. Especially considering US-Iran relations, Turkey-as a NATO ally and neighbor to Iran has considerable importance to the US. I’m not delusioned, if Turkey doesn’t fix things with Israel the US will choose Israel if they have to. No doubt. But for the past 70 or so years Turkey and the US have had generally good relations. I don’t see that changing any time soon, though Erdogan is trying his best to mess up our relations.

  92. Paul you say: “In the civilized world, calling religions ‘ridiculous’ is unacceptable, outrageous, and punishable by law depending on peculiarities of a case.”

    Really, Paul? I am really scratching my head on this one. I thought the very sign of a civilized world is one in which people have freedom of speech and freedom from religion, if they so desire, and to critize religion if they so are inclined. I think you are more like talkin about Iran and Taliban. Only in crazy places like that people would think like you do with respect to taboos about calling their religion ridiculous. And yes, I think both Christianity and Islam are ridiculous. The only one that makes even some remote sense is Buddhism. The rest is just … well, I dont want to offend you, Mr. Taliban. Or what, are you going to flog me the infidel?

  93. boyajian
    your comment is a step backwards from the points we have arrived at earlier.

    Regarding the ideas of giving me a chance or not and your other characteristics of me -. they are not interesting to me any more, we re beyond that. If you want to relate to me is must be in a fact oriented debate, on history, morality or strategy – remember our discussion on the questrion of going to Sourp Khatch or not….but not this persistent “Is Ragnar honest or not? Is he on our side or just another differnet kind of denier? The repetitiousness you show denigrates your otherwise excellent intellect and empathy.

    I never denied that events in 1915 in which Armenians died and were uprooted and their comminities destroyed may qualify as genocide according to the convention. Indeed, this is so obvious after the Srebrenica verdict that I will not even discuss it. The question is who were the actors. The proof for genocidal intent in e.g. Talat Pasha is weak, its conjectural.

    The sufferings of the Turks is another matter because it is the Armenians that are asking for justice. Turkey is not raising the issue. So common morality says that Armenians shpould have a serious answer which Turkey is not yet providing (at the moment I read Turkish “official” responses since 1985. It is not reassuring. But it is part of any general description of historical context, and even a cause.

    The suffering of turks, many times a genocidal sufffering, is obvious, and if and when Turkey relates more seriously to the Armenian claims it will be reasonable for Armenians to admit this, even that the vengance on muslim civilians in 1916-20 in the russian and armenian controlled areas, this is so even according to the Armenophile Christopher Walker, it was excessive. But at the moment Armenians are asking for justice and it is not right to answer their demans with pointing to ones own suffering.

    In spite of my high opinion of your contributions on many occasions here, I still feel you have a difficulty in relating to my cirtical solidariy with Armenians. I support the Armenian cause but not the way you like or accept. I would prefer to discuss more with Turks which I actually do now but in other channels. I am highly critical of their attitude, they have quite some way to go.

  94. To dear Avery,
    When you get enough time (leaving jda/Karekin et al discussion/debates)please occupy-on my behalf- at AW re what I just saw heard on TV(Armenia) the discurse(or part of it)of prof.Ackcam in L.A.where he very heatedly stressed and insisted that:-UNLESS THE ARMENIAN (INTELLECTUALS)do not enter into contact with the Turkish counterparts(who stand for AG recognition,like himself) and condone and promote same in order that more of the HUGE COLLECTIVITIES OF THE TURKISH PEOPLE IN GREAT TURKEY FOLLOW SUIT,……there will be NO PROGRESS IN SAME ….
    In other words Prof.Ackcam wishes that WE ARMENIANS UNDERTAKE WITH HIS LIKE TO PROMOTE AND ENHANCE A CIVIL SOCIETY IN TURKEY IN ORDER THAT THE JUNTA GIVE IN…
    My personal viewpoint is that he errs!!!! no way, those fascist leaders will give in even if a few thousand Armeno-Turkish intellectuals (like those on the istanbulla Str. rally and SHOUT ..we all are Armenians…
    MY SUGGESTION? dear Mr. Ackcam, YOU ASK YOUR CO INTELLECTUALS OR SEMI INTELLECTUALS JUST PLAIN DEMOCRACY SEEKERS IN GREAT TURKEY TO GET ON BUSES (CHEAP WAY) COME TO kneel at Tsitzernakapert LIKE JEMAL PASHA´S GRANDSON DID.This may INDEED LEAVE GENERAL IMPRESSION ON THE TURKISH PEOPLE IN GENERAL THAT SOME IMPORTANT SECTOR OF THE TURKS ARE ACCEPTING FACTS AND ARE RADY TO REPENT ,BEG FORGIVENESS AND THEN …MAKE RESTITUTIONS,PROPERTY RICHES WISE,AS WELL AS THEIR GOVT.

    • Dear Mr. Palandjian:

      re: {When you get enough time (leaving jda/Karekin et al discussion/debates)please occupy-on my behalf- at AW re what I just saw heard on TV(Armenia) the discurse(or part of it)of prof.Ackcam in L.A.where he very heatedly stressed and insisted that}

      I am not sure what is it you are asking me to do when you write “occupy on my behalf”.

      Please clarify.
      Thank you.

  95. paul
    read my post to Boyajian. The difference between you and me regarding apologies has to do with what is the Armenians demands today. This must be adressed first, not turning the issue around and start with the problems of the Turks. If someone approaches you with a reproach you appear very strange if you by way of answer start talking aobut your own problems.

    To give a concrete example, the section on “The Armenian Issue” on the website of “Turkish Coalition of America” starts withe the familiar tale of “Armenians” – as if all did – collaborating with the Russians in WW1 and for this reason had to be “removed from the war zones”. Even researchers who are far from the mainstream Armenian point if view will disagree strongly with this angle. The text exhibits a strange persistance on the part of Turks – not all, but too many! – always to START with the “Powers threatening the Empire” and the “treacherous Armenians”. Instead they should start with an apology. This should be all the easier since Talat Pasha himself admits to have granted those who committed atrocities against Armenians impunity in too many casesv (it is true that some also were prosecuted). These people were not prosecuted, not because of “wartime conditions” which is another common Turkish excuse, but “because we could not afford to enstrange these elements in a time of crisis”, as Talat writes. That is, criminal impunity accorded for a political reason, as the Greek junta did in 1967, the nazis did after the Krystallnacht in 1938, and Pinochet did regarding the hoodlums of 1973. Is it possible to read Talaat in another way? If yes, please explain!

    In plain writ: he admits that he and his associates for political reasons did not prosecute those who massacred Armenians. This is said in an autobiography of the interior minister and finance minister of the time and also Grand vezier from 1917 until early october 1918. Why on earth is it difficiult for Erdogan, who has made excuses for the Dersim killings and the Varlik vergisi to cite Talat and make an apology?

    Of course an apology in these lines will not automatically solve everything. There are other issues like financial reparations and the question: is it true what he is saying, or was the real plan to annihilate and expel Armenians, not “temporarily relocating them, securing their belongings” and so on. the last idea has been repeated AD NAUSEAM by Uras, Sonyel, Ataöv, Simsir, Cicek, halacoglu, and other mainstream ‘Turkish writers, assertions which SIMPLY ARE NOT CREDIBLE IN THE EYES OF ANYBODY WITH A SCANT KNOWLEDGE.

    If Turks at least were able to start with an apology on the lines of what the main actor at the time himself says – needless to say it should not be so difficult – and scrap the introductory “The-Armenians-collaborated.with-the Russians” incantations, then the Armenian-Turkish dialogue would be one step further.

  96. Yeah… considering my Gök Tengri as a myth is not an insult, but saying any word against your christianism is unacceptable.. right ?

    why do you force (indirectly) people to accept your god to be “civilized” ?

    I know, only christians are civilised in this world…! in your mind…

  97. Paul
    I have to disagree with you. As far as I know calling religions “rediculous” or criticizing them is nowhere punishable in Europe, neither should it be. Otherwise, we cannot talk about freedom of thought which is the basis for progress.
    Kerim
    Buddhism is normally not considered a religion, but a spiritual practice, discipline, which is not necessarily religious. In other words, you can be spiritual without being religious. This discussion is a bit off track from the subject, but still worthwile mentioning.

    • Arshag, you are absolutely correct about Buddhism not being really considered a religion. I was being sloppy with my statement … I guess that is why I said what I said about Buddhism making more sense than “the other religions.” The less something is like a religion, the more sense it tends to make.

      Anyways, I agree, this was a disgression … Let’s get back to hating each other … it is more fun that way :)

  98. Kerim: Educate yourself on basic civil rights and free yourself from narrow-mindedness, if you can. There’s no such a thing as freedom ‘from’ religion. Both freedoms of speech and religion do not allow you to use derogatory words. In the West you can be sued for insulting a person or a religion. I hope you understand that saying ‘this or that religion is ridiculous’ is a sheer affront, not a critique.

    • “Both freedoms of speech and religion do not allow you to use derogatory words.”

      What world do you live in? Is there this OTHER America I have never heard of, cause in the one I live in, that is just simply not true.

      On a CNN special I saw an Islamic Center trying to be built in Murfeesboro, Tennessee. There was this big controversy and the case went to court. The plaintiffs lawyer tried to argue that Islam, was, in fact, not a religion but a cult. The federal government had to send the lawyer a letter to reaffirm that Islam was, in fact, a religion. THAT is degrading, racist, and derogatory behavior towards all Muslims in America. You can get over Kerim calling Christianity ridiculous. Why do you even care what he thinks? Even after a thousand years, some Armenians here still say Turks are outsiders. I don’t agree with that no matter what “proof” you or anyone else can show. But I don’t act all arrogant like my word has finality and tell people to educate themselves.

  99. jda: You don’t know? In the US and the UK – the blasphemy law, for example, or other relevant laws under which hate speech may fall. Atheists can reject the belief in the existence of God, but they can at the same time be sensitive towards a believer in order not to offend him or her. Simply put, not all atheists are Kerims, as I hope you understand.

    • paul,

      Are you telling me the use of the word “ridiculous” to describe religions is a hate crime? Seriously?

      Why isn’t Bill Maher in court for the things he has said ?

    • Paul,

      I would be very surprised to learn that you live in the United States. While there probably are some very old blasphemy laws in the state statutes of this country, they are absolutely unconstitutional abridgments of the right of free speech, and they tend to be a state recognition of a religion, also unconstitutional.

      You have the legal right to stand near St Patrick’s Cathedral, or St Vartan’s if you wish, or go on tv, and insult Christianity to your heart’s desire without fear of civil suit or arrest. I guarantee that you will not be arrested, and any case against you will be thrown out.

      Not only can you claim that the religion is false, ridiculous, absurd and moronic, but youy may personalize the attack to Christians and say they are all morons too.

  100. {“I never denied that events in 1915 in which Armenians died”} writes the AG Denialist Norwegian.

    Isn’t that a revelation ? they apparently died of natural causes, old age and such. Or maybe lead poisoning.

    Silly me, I always thought my Armenian ancestors were: gassed in caves; burnt alive in churches; shot en mass and dumped into rivers; cut to pieces while alive; shot and dumped by the roadside; burnt alive; forcibly starved to death; gang raped, then slashed to death with yatağans…..

    And next what happened with these “inbred” Armenians is that they were “disposed of”.

    Denailists can never hide their true motives for long: sooner or later they slip, and their true filling pop to the surface.

    • Avery: “I never denied that events in 1915 in which Armenians died and were uprooted and their comminities destroyed may qualify as genocide according to the convention. Indeed, this is so obvious after the Srebrenica verdict that I will not even discuss it.”

      THAT was the whole quote. I do not know much about this person, you may be dead on, they might very well be a denialist. Some of their comments have led me to suspect that they probably are.

      “The proof for genocidal intent in e.g. Talat Pasha is weak, its conjectural.”
      Quotes like that are just mind boggling- I mean a quick Google image search will show CLEAR genocidal acts. Personally, my blood started to boil when I read that so your anger is understandable.

      All that being said, I still fail to see how taking PART of that quote, which by the way it looks a lot worse when it’s taken out of context like that, can be proof of someone’s true beliefs.

    • RVDV:

      Mr. Naess has been a guest @AW for a long time.
      I do not base my assessment on that one sentence.
      There is a long history. He was tagged as an AG Denialist long before me.
      He is not so blatant as many others, e.g. Necati or Ms. Monastras.
      We have also discussed why master Denialists have changed strategy: blanket denial is met with blanket derision these days. So more sophisticated methods are being field-tested.

      here is one of his quotes:

      {I agree that the word “genocide” should not figure as prominently in the Armenian accusations against Turkey as it does. However, to simply scrap the word does not make sense. There is a real debate on whether a genocide occurred.} (Rangar Naess @Hurriyet 2011-9-12)

  101. Ragnar, you are trying to instruct others how to properly conduct a discussion with you. You may have your preferences, but you really can’t assume to have any right to make demands of others comments here. What they contribute is out of your control. This is an open forum for discussion, debate, dissemination of information, and expression of personal opinion. Loosen up.

    In the case of my recent comments, I feel you have not read carefully and have also made wrong assumptions. I did not say anything like this:

    “Is Ragnar honest or not? Is he on our side or just another differnet kind of denier?”

    Also, as far as this…..

    “The repetitiousness you show denigrates your otherwise excellent intellect and empathy.”

    I can only say, sorry I bore you, but you really are not addressing my comments with thoughtfulness. That’s your right, of course.

    As for you comments to Paul, I agree with this:

    “If Turks at least were able to start with an apology on the lines of what the main actor at the time himself says – needless to say it should not be so difficult – and scrap the introductory “The-Armenians-collaborated.with-the Russians” incantations, then the Armenian-Turkish dialogue would be one step further.”

  102. How about the Japanese genocide? Your government cowardly dropped two atomic bombs in Japan and committed a horrific genocide and caused death and destruction. Don’t you have anything to say? Were babies and children in Nagasaki an Hiroshima guilty? Why didn’t the American government deal with the Japanese soldiers but instead it killed the entire population of the cities and the genocide isn’t over yet. People have been suffering from cancer generation after generation. what did you do to deliver justice about this genocide? Why are keeping silent? You must be well aware that the bomb was manufactured by using your taxes. Shame on you!!!!!!!!!!

    • American state failure to acknowledge what may or may not have been the genocidal use of bombs at Hiroshima or Dresden or Tokyo or Hamburg says nothing about the “colossal crimes” of the Ottomans against the Armenians. [Quote comes from a Turkish scholar, Selim Direngil].

      But you might be proving too much by your failed parallelism. Unlike the Turkish state and culture, in which merely being an Armenians is insulting, America rushed in aid and help for the victims of the atomic bombings. Amercan culture and people raised millions of dollars to help the suffering of the people. A group of Japanese women who were disfigured by the bombing raised money throughout this country to help wounded and starving civilians.

      By contrast, after the major killings of 1915-1916, the Turkish state tried to kill the relatively few survivors of the Genocide, as well as those who lived in Russian Caucasia with another round of Genocide. Whereas Hiroshima and Nagasaki were legitimate military targets to at least some extent, innocent unarmed civilians were not.

      The question is not why did Americans not apologize; in fact they acted out of common humanity. The question is why Turks like you have such a Genocidal hatred of Armenians.

    • Turks like you have a built-in self-delusion mechanism that’s immune to any reason.

      First off: there was no Japanese Genocide. Turks like you need to brush up on what Genocide is as versus war crime, mass murder, atrocity, etc.
      There is no doubt in my mind that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were War Crimes.
      US official explanations that the bombings were meant to break the spirit of Japanese defenders, and end the war with minimal additional casualties – may or may not be true (I don’t buy it). But US has gone out of its way to make a former enemy whole.

      US spent 100s of US$ Billions (today’s dollars) to rebuild Japan after the war. A war that Imperial Japan launched on USA.
      Read that again: Japan attacked USA. Japan fired the first shot. Japan drew first blood.

      Rebuilding Japan does not bring back the dead Japanese civilians and children: but it is tantamount to apology and reparations.
      Superior US technological know-how (e.g. transistors, semiconductors, mass production) was allowed unfettered transfer to Japan.
      US allowed Japan (and still does) unfettered access to the wealthiest consumer market in the World.
      US military stands guard 24×7 to keep trade and supply routes open to Japan: no country in the world (read China) will be allowed to interfere.
      Japanese have a standard of living that is the envy of the world: Japanese are industrious and hard working people. But without the US, they would not have anywhere near the standard of living (same with South Korea).

      And then we have Turkey.
      PM Erdogan states publicly that AG is “lie” (on Charlie Rose program).
      Turkey rushes in massive logistical and military support to Azerbaijan in their attempt to ethnically cleanse and exterminate Armenians of Artsakh.
      Turkey is doing everything, even as we speak (OK write), to suffocate RoA.
      I could go on, and on, and on, and…..but you get the point.

      One final thing:
      Japanese have yet to acknowledge or apologize for the Rape of Nanking, or other atrocities they unleashed on Chinese civilians.
      Japanese have yet to acknowledge or apologize for what they did to Koreans.

    • John: It’s easier to blame others for a similar crime than to look at yourself in the mirror. When Erdogan referenced Israeli’s killing Palestinian children and laying out their inhumane actions at Davos in 2009 he was being hypocritical. However, his hypocrisy did not mean that what he was saying about Israel wasn’t true. America may not have yet acknowledged probable genocide in Japan, but that does not mean that Americans citing the Armenian genocide are lying.

  103. jda: Don’t complicate things. You asked: “There are well established if small groups of atheists here and throughout western Europe. Where is making these remarks punishable by law?” I replied: “In the US and the UK – the blasphemy law or other relevant laws under which hate speech may fall.” What do your suspicions whether or not I live in the US have to do with a plainly put answer to a particular question?

    RVDV: Re-read jda’s Q. and my A. The Q. was not about whether this or that law was still in place, but where derogatory remarks about religions were punishable by law. Whether in some countries they’ve been repealed or not was not the point. Cheers.

    • Paul: “was not about whether this or that law was still in place, but where derogatory remarks about religions were punishable by law. ”

      You said “where derogatory remarks about religions were punishable by law.” If those laws are not in place anymore you cannot say that derogatory remarks are punishable by law in the UK. Can’t do it. No way around it.

  104. Dear Avery,
    I meant to write¨occupy yourself…w/that issue.That of prof .Ackcam advocating A JOINT ARMENO TURKISH INTELLECTUAL rally….
    I suggested ..that he do that with his countrymen -his co intellectuals and semi intellectuals ,democracy-seekers in great Turkey…
    None of our business to help them get a Civil Society, as we most likely would get slaughtered.You are doing allright,but do please also consider others´ viewpoints,such as mine. Also on another thread on the MASTER SPY ,Mr. G.Vartanian I have responded to your post bu AW has ommitted it….
    best

    • I understand about Mr. Akçam, and am aware.
      But many other more urgent activities take up my available resources at this time.

      I agree, I should consider others’ viewpoints more.

      And I did read your Reply to my Master Spy post. I cannot comment further.

  105. Ragnar: Following your weird logic, because it is the Armenians who demand apologies for being mass exterminated by the Turks, we’re sort of expected to acknowledge their sufferings in the hands of others? In other words, you suggest that in order to solicit an apology, a victim ought to placate a murderer by acknowledging his sufferings that are irrespective to his recent crime? You state: “The suffering of Turks, many times a genocidal suffering, is obvious, and if and when Turkey relates more seriously to the Armenian claims it will be reasonable for Armenians to admit [their own sufferings].” Why?! Omitting the point that as compared to near-total annihilation of Armenians, the wartime sufferings of the colonizing Turks were far from being genocidal, how are the two related? Who were the perpetrators in each of the two incomparable cases? Don’t you think it is you who’s turning the issue around and start with the Armenians’ demands instead of starting—chronologically—with the Turkish crime that targeted a nation that wasn’t the cause of the Turks sufferings? Also, how scholarly and morally correct is to equalize atrocities during wars of independence from the oppressing yoke, as in the case of Turkish ‘sufferings’, and the deliberate destruction of a particular ethnos, as in the case of the genocidal extermination of Armenians?

  106. ‘Even after a thousand years, some Armenians here still say Turks are outsiders’. –Wrong, RVDV: Some Armenians here, including myself, say that Turks WERE outsiders before the 11th-13th centuries AD. If someone doesn’t agree with that, wouldn’t he or she attempt to educate him- or herself? With deniers I am arrogant, yes. I hope you grasped the difference between my replies to you and a couple of other Turkish posters. If I’m arrogant, it’s still the mildest attitude an Armenian can give to denialist Turks. For harshest attitude, please visit TZ and Hurriyet.

    • Paul: yes, I have noticed your recent comments towards me have been a lot more tolerant, and I appreciate it, I hope its because you truly believe I am not a denialist. I have agreed with you before, Turkish posters here are shown more respect than Armenian posters of TZ and Hurriyet- no argument there. This is not the issue though. You ask someone to educate themselves when in fact the facts you presented to disprove them were out of date. All you had to do was acknowledge that perhaps the UK wasn’t the greatest example because their blasphemy laws have been repealed. Going off of that, I re read your posts and I think I get what you were trying to say. In most civilized places, most people to do refer to anothers belief as ridiculous- people show more respect and tolerance for other religions in the west. Now I don’t think ridiculous is a derogatory term, but it can be perceived as an insult.Without religion people would have a lot less reasons to hate and kill one another. If Armenians were Muslims, or if the Ottomans were Christians like Armenians, the Ottomans almost certainly would not have committed genocide against them. Because of these shameful events brought upon by whose version of God is better, I think we all need to be tolerant and respectful of other religions, regardless of our personal opinion as to how right or wrong a particular religion may be.

  107. Ragnar: “I never denied that events in 1915 in which Armenians died and were uprooted and their communities destroyed may qualify as genocide according to the convention.” –I’m not sure, but when I was reading the most commented threads here, somewhere I think it caught my eyes that you were not in complete agreement with the definition of genocide as it applies to the Armenian case, in particular, in ‘the following acts, such as’ part of it. Am I correct? I may be mistaken. Also, what do you mean by ‘events in 1915 in which Armenians DIED’? You mean to say 1.5 million people living in the six Armenian vilayets, as well as in Cilicia, Constantinople, Smyrna, and other places, have collectively reached the old age or, using jda’s metaphor for some of us, all of them drank the kool-aid within several months of 1915?

  108. Incidently, while reading ‘The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power’ by Turkish-biased revisionist author Sean McMeekin, a professor at Bilkent University, Turkey, I came across a reference to a report by Joseph Pomianowski, Austro-Hungarian military attaché in Constantinople on his conversation with Grand Vizier Said Halim.

    When Pomianowski expressed concern that Armenians ‘were being slaughtered en masse’, Said Halim told him it was ‘not a question of massacres’, but the ‘removal’ (Übersiedlung) of Armenians to make room for the never-ending wave of Muslim refugees from the Balkans and Tripoli. (Pomianowski. Zusammenbruch des Ottomanisches Reiches, p. 161). –‘The Berlin-Baghdad Express’, p. 252.

    This is the only fact-based connection that I’ve so far spotted in the literature on or in relation to the AG between the genocide of Armenians by Turks and atrocities against Turks by others.

  109. I disagree, RVDV: “If Armenians were Muslims, or if the Ottomans were Christians like Armenians, the Ottomans almost certainly would not have committed genocide against them.” I don’t think the primary reason for mass extermination of the Armenians was our religion. Besides, we know that thousands of fellow Muslim Arabs and Alawis were exterminated by the Turks, as well. As for the fellow Muslim Kurds, their destruction as an ethnic group is ongoing.

    Turks, unfortunately for them, have zero tolerance towards other peoples, especially native peoples. I tend to believe they have a psychological complex of inferiority knowing that originally, repeat: originally, they did not belong to the region where other peoples were masters of their lands for millennia.

    • Yes, good point there. Alevis as we call them in Turkish, were the next target after Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians. I know this all too well, I am one myself, and I have heard some of the accounts from my grandparents. However, I wouldn’t say the Turkish treatment of other Muslims, Kurds and Alevis, can be considered genocidal. There are instances of genocide, such as Dersim, but the fact is there is just too many us for the Turkish government to even attempt to wipe out. About 20 million Kurds and 15 million Alevis, and people like me who are both. For the most part as of late the attitude has been assimilation, whether you like it or not. I’m can’t say I’m particularly thrilled or proud that my mother language is Turkish even though I’m not an ethnic Turk. Going off religion, on Turkish IDs there will no longer be a section for what religion you adhere to. Another small but positive change. Now if we could just get AK party voted out.

  110. Paul,

    It is impossible for anyone who has not lived among Ottoman era Turks, or studied them, to make broad statements about their psychology. I have no idea who they were.

    First, “the past is a foreign country.” In many respects an Ottoman Turk and Armenian from Marash had more in common than a Turk of today has with his great-great grandfater, etc.

    Second, it was not the everyday Turks who engineered the Genocide, although many were willing helpers, killers and looters (and others nobly helped our ancestors). The Genocide was engineered by the young cream of their society, there were physicians and engineers among the CUP leaders. Many had roots outside Asian Turkey and European educations, as did our elites.

    Third, if the Turks of today have feelings of inferiority, they hide it well. Like the nascent Japanese of 100 years ago, the Germans of 80, and the Chinese of today, a lot of Turks in the press pine back to imperial days of glory and dominion over other groups.

    Why would people who have a belief they spring from conquerors feel inferior?

    I think it is hard for us to separate feelings some of us have about Turks as backwards rural and uneducated people – which was certainly true in Imperial times in Anatolia – with our assumption that they see themselves this way, or the way Europeans saw them 200 years ago. Btw, you can find literature describing rural Armenians in the same unflattering light, see Emin’s autobiography. Even if we look to the poor and uneducated people from Anatolia that Kemalist elites today deride, I doubt they feel inferior to other groups.

    Rural Anatolia was a lousy place to become educated for Turks, Kurds and Armenians through at least the early 19th Century. We were helped in great measure by American Missionaries, Moslems were not, by their own choice.

    Many Turks are our enemies. They want us dead, and our history, places and culture obliterated from the Earth. They are Nazis. But, we don’t understand our enemies by underestimting them or denigrating them.

    Paul, what facts do you base your conclusions about Turkish psychology upon?

  111. Paul,
    you asked me if my idea was that Turks should apologize to Armenians and vice versa. My main point is that mainstream Turks regularly answers Armenian accusations by pointing to the treacherousness of Armenians in 1914-15, and that this is unacceptable. On the other side, once Turks have made some progress, it is natural for Armenians to concede some points, but not before.

    If you are interested in my views, see the “Bedrosian Recovering churches” deb ate of the summer 2011. See for instance my post of august 15, in which I say:
    quote
    At the same time I believe it is important to admit that there was a cycle of violence and that Turks – in revenge and fear – did to Armenians something that Bulgarians, Russians and Greeks had been doing to them, only on a much larger scale. To admit this must not make us deflect from the main aim which is to seek justice for the Armenians, but if challenged by Turks it must be admitted (see the Libaridian article I mentioned in earlier posts).
    unquote (note: I mean to say that what was done to the Armenians was on a much larger scale than what was done to the Turks. My formulation may be misunderstood or?)
    So I will not subscribe to a formula that the parties simply should apologize to each others – Guenter Lewy comes up with such an idea at the end of his book.

  112. paul
    you write:
    This is the only fact-based connection that I’ve so far spotted in the literature on or in relation to the AG between the genocide of Armenians by Turks and atrocities against Turks by others.
    comment:
    there are others. For instance Donald Bloxham in his “The Great game of Genocide writes the following:
    ..wars and attendant atrocities, in which muslims were the primary victims, accellerated the influx of refugees in to Anatolia

    Though there is no definite causal relationship between the population displacement and the coming armenian genocide, it is beyond dispute that muslim suffering on this scale and the indifference of the outside world to it, heavily coloured late ottom perspectives, providing a model of the ‘solution’ of population problems and accentuating an already brutalized ethos of state demographic policy of the region
    (p.63)

    In his article “The first World War and the Development of the Armenian Genocide” in the recent book “A Question of Genocide” Bloxham repeats this points and enlarges upon it, he is looking for the causes of the genocide and emphasizes the obvious – there was a cycle of violence.

    In his last book “The young Turks legacy” Erik Zurcher says roughly the same – which for me is evident for anybody with an understanding of historical dynamics. An needless to say it is the same that Justin McCarthy has said for years, whereas early pro-Armenian writers like Yves Ternon talks as if Turks started to kill Armenians out of the blue. Dadrian is much more nuanced as far as I can judge even if he too much – to my mind and according to commentators (e.g. Ronald Grigor Suny) – emphasized the Moslem tradition as a factor in itself.

    Regarding definitions of genocide, there are several. Some genocide sholars like Charny uses a definition different from the definition of the Convention. So there are really two necessary strands of reasoning: 1) what definition is the right or best one, and 2) did the deportaiton and massacre of Armenians qualify as genocide according to a given definition. Again what I hold I explained many times in debates on articles here in the AW. See for instance the debate after the article “What Davutoglu fails to understand”, but also the debate on whether Armenians should boicott the religious ceremony at Sourp Khatch (Akdamar church) or not

    • Ragnar, regarding the cycle of violence:

      Are you saying that if the bully in the neighborhood beats up my neighbor’s son and takes his best baseball bat, and then the neighbor’s son comes home, and seeing me in my front yard with my baseball bat, decides he can now kick me and steal my bat—that this is a ‘cycle of violence?’ Is my neighbor’s son somehow less guilty because he was first attacked by others?

      Yes, Turks suffered atrocities as a result of war and the independence struggles of groups breaking free of the weakening OE. And these events and the influx of refugees from the Balkans may have contributed to the actions they took against Armenians. But I still don’t get the point of this incessant favorite theme of yours. It is not ever right that innocent people suffer for the sake of land grabs and or in retaliation for past suffering. Historians may busy themselves with writing books about and debating the causes of genocide, but a ‘cycle of violence’ doesn’t effect the right of the genocide victim to seek justice. Nor should it alter the responsibilities of the guilty.

      You have said that Turks should apologize for the Armenian Genocide (my choice of words) without the insertion of their own past suffering. I agree with this. Turks have every right to speak of and seek compassion for massacres they have suffered, but not in the context of an apology to the Armenians or any other group they have victimized.

      Maybe you believe that Armenians overly demonize Turks and fail to understand that they suffered, too. At times, this may be true. But hasn’t the Turkish government action and inaction toward the Armenians rightfully earned demonization? Maybe you want both sides to understand each other better and, you want to play a role in bringing the two-sides together. Is there any shorter route to a softening of animosity between the two sides than a sincere apology on the part of the Turks?

  113. Ragnar: I didn’t ask you if your idea was that Turks should apologize to Armenians and vice versa. Armenians have nothing to apologize for. We didn’t expel Turkish occupiers from the Balkans and the Middle East nor did they savagely exterminate Turks as a race. I asked you if you’re seriously suggesting to the Armenians, who demand apology from the Turks, to acknowledge Turks’ sufferings in the hands of others. I enquired as to what one [genocide of Armenians] had to do with the other [expulsion of Turks] if in each case the perpetrators were different? And why should Armenians acknowledge something in which they didn’t figure in any way? You brought a passage from one of your earlier posts elsewhere. I’m stunned and here’s why. You claim: “I believe it is important to admit that there was a cycle of violence [what violence? who were the parties? did Armenians unleash violence?] and that Turks–in revenge [what did the Armenians do to be avenged so savagely?] and fear [of whom? a few Armenian revolutionary groups resisting Turkish brutality or unarmed Armenian women, children, and elders?]–did to Armenians something that Bulgarians, Russians, and Greeks had been doing to them [this one is a pearl. So instead of settling scores with offenders, ‘psychotic’ Turks decide to exterminate an ethnic group that had nothing to do with their sufferings in the hands of Bulgarians, Russians, and Greeks], only on a much larger scale. To admit this [why should Armenians admit this if they didn’t figure in it?] must not make us deflect from the main aim which is to seek justice for the Armenians, but if challenged by Turks it must be admitted [why should it be by Armenians and not by Bulgarians, Russians, and Greeks?]”.

  114. Jda: I said I tended to believe Turks have an inferiority complex, not that I actually believe they do. Aren’t you oversensitive to anything that you think might denigrate Turks? Why I tend to believe so? Because a nation thinking of itself as superior and high-minded would have attempted to live in harmony with native peoples, not exterminate their presence throughout Asia Minor. Ottoman Turks might have felt and become envious that in business and trade, literature and music, banking and finance, architecture and artisanship, medicine and sciences, many non-Turk nations—Jews, Greeks, Armenians, etc.—were superior to them.

    “In many respects an Ottoman Turk and Armenian from Marash had more in common than a Turk of today has with his great-great grandfather”. –If Turk of today is different, why does the state in which he and millions like him live threaten to drop bombs on Armenia, refuse establishing diplomatic relations with Armenia, maintains blockade of Armenia, and supports a third side to a conflict which shouldn’t concern Turks?

    “Second, it was not the everyday Turks who engineered the genocide, although many were willing helpers, killers and looters”. –Of course, not the everyday Turks engineered the genocide, but engineers represented only a tiny fraction of the Turkish society, while executors were the everyday Turks and Kurds—much larger fraction.

    “A lot of Turks in the press pine back to imperial days of glory and dominion over other groups”. –Is this a sane mentality? I’d be ashamed to be a part to such ‘imperial days of glory’ during which millions of innocent people were savagely massacred.

    ‘Why would people who have a belief they spring from conquerors feel inferior?’ –Because we already discussed this, i.e. conquerors and invaders are different things. You don’t go on and call the Nazis ‘conquerors’ or Napoleon’s army, for that matter. Because the peoples they ‘conquered’ were superior in that they gave the Turks almost all they now have: language, script, religion, architecture, some cultural traits and habits, etc. Nations are not judged by their military successes alone, but by cultural and technological contributions to the world civilization. Germans don’t think of themselves as a great nation based on Hitler’s occupation of Europe, but by world’s first pocket watch, cars, world’s first petrol/gasoline engine, diesel engine, motorcycle and jet engine, world’s first light bulb, TV, LCD screen, electric and electronic goods, classical music, philosophy, etc.

    “I think it is hard for us to separate feelings some of us have about Turks as backwards, rural and uneducated people – which was certainly true in Imperial times in Anatolia – with our assumption that they see themselves this way, or the way Europeans saw them 200 years ago.” –They haven’t so far demonstrated the traits of a transformed, open society. Killings continue, imprisonments and deportations continue, denialism of crimes continues, sick imperial ambitions continue.

    “Btw, you can find literature describing rural Armenians in the same unflattering light, see Emin’s autobiography.” –Emin who? Rural Armenians lived in misery and fear imposed by their Ottoman government and maraudering Muslim bands. But besides rural Armenians, we have many others whose contributions to the race of man in various spheres are spectacular.

    “Many Turks are our enemies. They want us dead, and our history, places and culture obliterated from the Earth. They are Nazis”. –What facts do you base your conclusion that Turks are Nazis?

    “We don’t understand our enemies by underestimating them or denigrating them”. –No, but it is imperative that we present fact-based evidence on who they look at themselves in the mirror not only as ‘conquerors’ but also as mass murderers.

    • “Aren’t you oversensitive to anything that you think might denigrate Turks? ”

      Oh yeah. The “tells” tell tales.

      Now why would an Armenian be so sensitive to the sensibilities of Turks ?

    • Paul and Avery,

      Nothing Paul states defends the racist and overly broad comments he originally made. Paul defends his original remarks with rhetorical questions, or weasel words, such as saying that he doesn’t believe Turks of the OE were feeling inferior, he now “tends” to believe it. Paul’s excursions into the history of people long dead are like his lectures on the law. All dressed up with nowhere persuasive to go.

      But at least he avoids insults.

      Avery continues his ridiculous campaign to say i am a Turk, because he adopts Paul’s characterization that i am overly sensitive to Tuks’ feelings. There is nothing wrong with being solicitous of the feelings of one’s guests, which is how i view Turks of good will who read these pages. But that is not why i write to answer
      Paul or Avery when you spout gibberish or espouse Victorian racial concepts.

      I answer you because I oppose racism. I oppose racism against everyone, including Turks. I am in awe of people like Ayse Gunaysu and Regip Zarakolu. You would not dare to say these things in front of them or Turks of good will.

      I also answer you because my family was not racist in my youth. Although they were nationalists, they said that before the 1890’s the Turks were the best men at our weddings. They also warned and saved many members of my family in Marash in the 1890’s when the Gendarmes were killing most of the men.

      I oppose your remarks when I think you have been lazy, casual, wrong, or do nothing more than pass on remarks which are embarassing. If you were Navajo or Irish, i would not care. I care because “Haygagan eh Badvagan eh” means a lot in my world, and i want to see Armenians represent us well. The laziness in your remarks does not meet the standards our cultural and religious leaders established for us.

      Avery, deal with my ideas, not your delusions that i am a Turk.

    • “Many Turks are our enemies. …..They are Nazis” writes jda.
      (carefully make note of the present tense).

      We are still waiting for proof that any AW posters, including this one, have supposedly written that “Turks are Mongols” (present tense) as has been alleged.
      Yet the same person who protested that such a characterization would be wrong – as indeed it would be – sees nothing wrong with calling “many Turks” Nazis.

  115. “Turks want us dead, and our history, places and culture obliterated from the Earth.”

    jda –

    They already did these, wake up…

  116. paul
    I see I misunderstood your question of jan 17. No, regarding the cycle of violence the Armenians should not apologize, but you should acknowledge – to the Turks – that there was one – once the Turks acknowledge more of what actually happened, to speak about a “intercommunal war” is a gross distortion – and that Turks started to play the same game that apparently was sanctioned by the West (humanitarian action on behalf of Ottoman Christians, never on behalf of Ottoman Muslims. Some morality!). The constellation produced a “morality” of its own. See what Bloxham writes!
    Further, Cycle of violence may also mean that you shoot first. This is actually a very important point and moreover what the ittihadists did by deporting close to one million Armenians before they could support the Russian army with more volunteers, food and so one, with catastrophic results for the Armenians. They did it to avoid “another Bulgaria” after a military defeat, a policy of massacre and ethnic cleansing, destruction of an ethnic community, a “genocide”. (which they expected once the Russians occupied Anatolia (and which actually happened in 1916-17, also according to a armenophile like Walker. 1.2 million Kurds and Turks fled and several hundred thiousands died). I suggest you read Bloxham and Zurcher for a version of events on these lines, a version which is written by upholders of the genocide thesis. —-Apart from this you will find my views in the AW article I mentioned, and in other AW articles since early 2010. —-I hope this explains the notion of “cycle of violence”, it was not between Armenian women, children and old men on the one side and the Ottoman army and Muslim chetes on the other. It was regarding past experiences and fear of what the existence of one million Armenians in the Eastern Anatolia meant in the actual situation. The ittihadists also believed – probably falsely – in a big coordinated Armenian uprising —- Needless to say a cycle of violence is not morally speaking an excuse for massacre. And it is an explanation. To refuse to acknowledge explanations is to adopt “morality” in the form of fundamentalism. —-I hope I made myself a little clearer.

    • Ragnar, some questions for you on the question of cycle of violence and fundamentalist morality:

      First I acknowledge the cycle of violence.

      If it was this cycle of violence which caused Turks to take actions that resulted in genocidal consequences (your words) because they felt threatened (and wanted to avoid another Bulgaria), and were in a ‘take no prisoners’ mentality, than why don’t they just admit to this? If they were responding to the political and social atmosphere thrust upon them, why not just admit this? Why not do as Germany did; face the truth, face the ‘momentary insanity,’ apologize to Armenians (and others), and take actions that show remorse (reparations, etc.,)?

      Why not be open about the race annihilation that was committed if it was the Ottomans who did it and the modern Turkish Republic was a reborn and different animal? Why not express regret that the cycle of violence caused things to get so out of hand? Why teach distorted history in their schools? Why deny the remnants of Armenian culture throughout Asia Minor? Why fight the charge with such fierceness, financing historians, lobbying politicians?

      You say the cycle of violence is not an excuse for the annihilation of the Armenians but it is an explanation. Is it fundamentalist morality to want those guilty of genocide to be held accountable even if their actions are explained as part of a cycle of violence? Does the cycle of violence make the crime of genocide any less abhorrent?

      Why shouldn’t Armenians consider this focus on the cycle of violence as a ‘veil of defensiveness’ if it doesn’t lead to an apology for the consequences of this cycle that the Armenians suffered?

  117. See what happens ? you give this Denialist an opportunity to bloviate by trying to reason with him, and he uses it for dissemination of Turcophile disinformation.

    Read his latest post above: it is chock-full of false data and inferences, starting with this: “what the ittihadists did by deporting close to one million Armenians before they could support the Russian army…….”
    Straight from the Denialist Book of Phrases and Explanations.

    There is only one way to deal with this level of Anti-Armenian intransigence.
    And it is definitely not by trying to reason with them.

  118. Avery: Indeed, the fact-based reasoning with denialists and petty turkophiles looks like talking to a brick wall or, even worse, pi**ing against the wind.

    ‘jda’ and ragnar naess: There’s a good chance that a debate with a turkophile may produce stigmatization of an opponent as ‘racist’ even though the opponent never descended to outright insults or pejorative epithets or discriminatory allusions against any race and based his arguments purely on historical evidence. Evidently, when a turkophile runs dry on fact-based counterarguments he resorts to stigmatizing posters as ‘racists’ — a primordial, kneejerk attitude. A debate with a turk-flattered denialist, at the same time, can produce pearls, such as ‘what the Ittihadists did by deporting […] Armenians before they could support the Russian army’ — a stunningly distorting statement on something that the mainstream scholarship has long rejected as non sequitur. A denialist who exclaims ‘Some morality!’ for the Western humanitarian action on behalf of Ottoman Christians and never on behalf of Ottoman Muslims, dares to make a shockingly amoral statement essentially justifying Turks’ mass slaughter of Armenians based on presupposition that Armenians ‘could’(?!) support the Russian army. Quite reminiscent of themes Nazis had used, paraphrasing: “What the Nazis did by deporting, throwing in concentration camps, and mass exterminating the Jews before they could spread internal disorder in Germany at the hands of the world Jewry in the guise of bankers”. As Cambridge University professor Richard Evans states in his review of ‘The Russian Origins of the First World War’, a revisionist pro-Turkish account by Sean McMeekin, “identifying the Greeks, Armenians, and other Christians’ aspirations to rise up against the Turkish government in the rear is a long way from proving either that the Russians actively fostered uprisings before the war or that the Armenians took part in them”. Apparently, denialists only read what soothes their ears…

    I stop here and look forward to January 23 when the French Senate, and hopefully, the parliaments of other major European countries, will adopt genocide denial criminalization laws that will remind the world and demonstrate to the Turks that their ancestors were not only invaders, but mass murderers of Christian peoples of Asia Minor, as well.

  119. Paul,

    Please point out a Turcophile or denialist thing I have ever said.

    I have certainly pointed out some deficient posts from you on various issues e.g. the place of hypothesis in legal argument, at least as I see things. That hardly qualifies as being a Turcophile or denialist.

  120. ‘jda’: whenever you point out a ‘racist’ comment I ‘originally made’, I’ll stand ready to point out a Turcophile thing you’ve said.

  121. boyajian
    I will try to answer your questions
    you write:
    Ragnar, some questions for you on the question of cycle of violence and fundamentalist morality:
    First I acknowledge the cycle of violence.
    If it was this cycle of violence which caused Turks to take actions that resulted in genocidal consequences (your words) because they felt threatened (and wanted to avoid another Bulgaria), and were in a ‘take no prisoners’ mentality, than why don’t they just admit to this? If they were responding to the political and social atmosphere thrust upon them, why not just admit this? Why not do as Germany did; face the truth, face the ‘momentary insanity,’ apologize to Armenians (and others), and take actions that show remorse (reparations, etc.,)?
    comment:
    The crude Turkish participant will just say the Armenians are lying because the Armenians have been defined by them as enemies. Regarding the more knowledgeable Turks they probably think that the ittihadists committed crimes that were excusable because of the desperate situation, but as long as they believe Armenians exaggerate (the number of people massacred , the degree of malevolent intent, etc) they choose not to reconsider the question. The official Turkish view has so far not accepted that the results of the ittihadist policies were genocidal in a broad sense of the term (destruction of the Armenian communities). i hope they will aknowledge this some day, with the qualifications you know that I usually add (the role of the CUP center in the process is ambiguous, and so on). Why dont they admit this? Well, first they have an abhorrence of the word “genocide” because of its implicit connotations (“your grandfather was a nazi”), second because they believe in the many documented telegrams sent by the CUP center aiming at the protection of the Armenian deportees, even the verdicts against perpetrators (see the article of Sarinay in the “Middle East Critique, fall 2011). Third they believe that admitting the genocide will lead to enormous reparations that will bankrupt Turkey, fourth they are (rightly in my mind) pissed off by Armenians who warn Europe not to take Turkey as a EU member, and other mere anti-turkish stances.
    You write:
    Why not be open about the race annihilation that was committed if it was the Ottomans who did it and the modern Turkish Republic was a reborn and different animal?
    Comment:
    I never spoke about “race annihilation”. Armenians are not a race. the Armenians of Istanbul, Izmir and Aleppo were not deported in 1915, some Armenian doctors and officers continued to serve until the armistice, the rate which which Armenians in the labour battallions were killed varied with the location, many close to the Caucasus front, few on the Sinai front where deserters could do less harm (Zurcher). This is not racial policies. .The ittihadists had no racist ideology .But of course, in the course of events, all Armenians became targets of suspicion by assumed bonds of loyalty , but the policies were in a sense pragmatical: the very existence of the Armenians in the Eastern Anatolis was perceived as a threat, as a demographical factor to be used politically by outsiders, which of course was what the Russians and the British did many times. But this is not racism. But the self perception of the average Turk is of course exaggeratedly defensive: we did nothing wrong, we were attacked an so on. If 50 million Turks believe this, the politicians had better agree if they want to stay in power. And people like Baskin Oran or Halil Berktay are not elected…
    Regarding the “reborn and different animal”: The most recent Turkish historiography points to the fact that it was the ittihadists who started the War of Independence, Atatürk just succeeded in the 20-ies in presenting the story as one with him as the sole savior. So there is a strong continuance between the ittihadists and the republican cadres. This is a reason for not admitting. One would have to admit that so many of the early supporters of the republic had Armenian blood on their hands or lived off stolen Armenian money. In this sense it it true that starting to apologize will set in motion a political process the end of which they fear. This fear is realistic.
    You write:
    Why not express regret that the cycle of violence caused things to get so out of hand? Why teach distorted history in their schools? Why deny the remnants of Armenian culture throughout Asia Minor? Why fight the charge with such fierceness, financing historians, lobbying politicians?
    Comment:
    I believe the reason is a combination of the factors mentioned above, and the Turkish paranoia: nobody likes us, nobody is interested is listening to what we went through, why the hell should we admit to anything?
    You write:
    You say the cycle of violence is not an excuse for the annihilation of the Armenians but it is an explanation. Is it fundamentalist morality to want those guilty of genocide to be held accountable even if their actions are explained as part of a cycle of violence?
    Comment:
    Certainly not, it is good morality. Fundamentalist morality is to consistently deny contextual factors that explain morally abhorrent acts. But I admit it is difficult to know how to separate the two in actual practice.
    You write:
    Does the cycle of violence make the crime of genocide any less abhorrent?
    Comment:
    “Less abhorrent”? You mean emotionally? Then the answer is no. Morally? These are questions I grapple with. Is it possible to compare crimes according to moral negative status, once they reach certain proportions of hideousness? I don’t know… On the other hand: I know you will react very negatively to this, but in my mind: it does. Just killing people for belonging to a certain group like the Nazis did can be seen as morally worse than killing people because you have 100 years of experience of Christian subjects profiting from outside support and then indiscriminately killing Muslims in the “liberation” process. In a court room a cycle of violence will in my mind function as extenuating circumstances when meeting out the verdicts to the killers. There is an element of premeptive self defence in it which was absent in the Nazis.
    You write:
    Why shouldn’t Armenians consider this focus on the cycle of violence as a ‘veil of defensiveness’ if it doesn’t lead to an apology for the consequences of this cycle that the Armenians suffered?
    Comment:
    Well, in the end we do not know what strategy will lead to what result. There are no strategies without risks…
    You ask for an explanation and you ask for the right strategy. Regarding the last I believe Armenians will do well in focusing on 1915-16 as the moral zero of Ottoman leadership, but should not vilify Turks generally speaking, and should admit that The ottoman empire at its best was better than most other empires of the time in their treatment of subject peoples. And Armenians should not warn EU not to accept Turkey. But on these pages in AW I see a lot of crude anti-turkishness.
    Explanation/legitimation: They should consider this more contextual picture as a “veil of defensiveness” because Armenian historiography has produced a too simplified picture, especially the early works. For a contrast, read Libaridian’s “The Past as a Prison, the Past as a New Future”, with his admonitions of “The Armenians must realize that….” And “The Turks must realize that….”, or see if you can get hold of any writings of Ara Sarafian in which he explains why he publishes memories of Armenians that do not fit into the general picture of the genocide theorists, e.g. the memoirs of Vahakn Dadrian’s uncle, who belonged to a family that was deported, underwent a lot of hardships in which several family members died, but eventually was resettled in Syria, as the ittihadist policies promised. He is extremely disliked by the Armenian establishment. His bottom line , as I understand him, is that onesidedness harms the Armenian cause.
    Well, I tried to answer you as best as I could. I probably also repeated myself. Sorry

  122. boyajian
    a mistake crept into this. I wrote
    They should consider this more contextual picture as a “veil of defensiveness” because Armenian historiography has produced a too simplified picture, especially the early works.
    I meant to say:They should NOT consider this more contextual picture as a “veil of defensiveness” because Armenian historiography has produced a too simplified picture, especially the early works.

  123. paul
    yiou wrote:
    jda’ and ragnar naess: There’s a good chance that a debate with a turkophile may produce stigmatization of an opponent as ‘racist’ even though the opponent never descended to outright insults or pejorative epithets or discriminatory allusions against any race and based his arguments purely on historical evidence. Evidently, when a turkophile runs dry on fact-based counterarguments he resorts to stigmatizing posters as ‘racists’ — a primordial, kneejerk attitude. A debate with a turk-flattered denialist, at the same time, can produce pearls, such as ‘what the Ittihadists did by deporting […] Armenians before they could support the Russian army’ — a stunningly distorting statement on something that the mainstream scholarship has long rejected as non sequitur.
    comment:
    Maybe I misused the term “racist” some times but I generally agree with you. But regarding the “pearl” I do not quite get you. Do you mean that the Armenians in the main were – if not “loyal”- then politically quiescent for very good reasons,m and hence not any immediate threat? If so, I agree with you. At least to a certain extent. Or do you want to say that any pre-emptive action against a potential adversary is morally reprehensive, or any explanation using preemptive action against a potential threat as an “explanans” is a kind of non sequitur? Then I disagree. preemptive actions quite often function as explanation of acts. Third, I would like to have information on some of the “mainstream literature” you refer to.

    • The Govrnor of Smyrna was hailed by Armenians as a hero because he affirmatively protected the Armenians of his area in 1915-7. I am told a banquet was held in his honor in New York by grateful survivors of taht era.

  124. Ragnar Naess
    Many Armenians of Istanbul, Izmir (Smyrna), and Aleppo were not deported in 1915 only because Turks staged this as a manipulative deception for foreign diplomats, consuls, and businessmen stationed there. Let’s not forget that it was in Constantinople (Istanbul), where on April 24, 1915 some 250 brightest members of the Armenian intelligentsia were rounded up and executed. It was in Smyrna, where in 1922 Turks burnt alive some 20-30,000 Armenians, as well as Greeks.

    Also, Armenians are too minor a political activist force to press Europe not to take Turkey as an EU member. Europe itself is frightened of accepting 73 million of crude Turks to Europe. Recent parliamentary acts by France are not initiated only as a result of pressure by 500,000 French Armenians, but France and Europe’s own policies aimed at containing Turks and making them recognize the shameful pages of their history.

  125. Ragnar you wrote:

    “Just killing people for belonging to a certain group like the Nazis did can be seen as morally worse than killing people because you have 100 years of experience of Christian subjects profiting from outside support and then indiscriminately killing Muslims in the “liberation” process. In a court room a cycle of violence will in my mind function as extenuating circumstances when meeting out the verdicts to the killers. There is an element of premeptive self defence in it which was absent in the Nazis.”

    Ragnar, I don’t think you have ever made your position clearer. After more than a year of confusion, I appreciate this. It appears that you do excuse the actions of the Ittihadists on the basis of the ‘cycle of violence,’ (extenuating circumstances). I do react to this very negatively.

    First of all, the comparison to the holocaust is misleading. Why use the worst crime as the yardstick and say this one (Armenian genocide) was not as bad. Is it not more consistent with usual jurisprudence to judge the crime on the basis of how far it falls short of an accepted moral standard (law or social consensus)? The Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide are distinct incidences of abuse of governmental power with unique features upon which they should be judged. Yet they are both horrific events that are worthy of condemnation and the expectation for atonement.

    Also, I don’t accept your characterization of ‘100 years of experience of Christian subjects profiting from outside support and then indiscriminately killing Muslims in the “liberation” process’. Please provide the source for such an inflammatory statement. It comes as close as one can get to blaming the Armenians for their own demise and defending the deportations and annihilation of the Armenians as necessary pre-emptive and retaliatory strikes. I can think of hundreds of thousands of innocent mothers, children and elderly who would object to this formulation. History has many examples of the oppressed or subjugated struggling for their rights which are remembered as noble efforts. And given the stiff necked and punitive responses of the Ottomans to the demands of their Christian subjects, who could blame them for soliciting and accepting the help of ‘outside’ powers?

    Also, if you intend to admit the notion of extenuating circumstance when defending the actions of the Ittihadists, then you must also consider the extenuating circumstances for the actions taken by some Armenians, and there were many.

    You are right. Race annihilation is the wrong term. You may change it to annihilation of an ethnic group and address the question. Clearly there is a relatively negligible remnant of the Armenian community that existed before 1915 left in Turkey today. What do you call this?

    Lastly, if you must make comparisons, I think it makes more sense to compare what the Armenians lost to what the Turks lost (and gained) and then decide who is more in need of ‘friends’ to champion their rights. You are right. I do have a hard time with your ‘qualified’ support of the Armenian cause. Given the utter decimation of the Armenian community of Asia Minor, I think the descendants of the victims of the deportations and massacres have every right to call this a genocide (along with respected historians around the world) and to unceasingly seek justice. I may have more time to respond later, but for now I will say that I think it is disingenuous of you to identify yourself as a friend of Armenians. Though I do appreciate the candidness of your last post.

  126. Ragnar,

    There is no “pre-emptive self defense” to murder, and there certainly is no such defense to Genocide. Your latest binge is obscene.

    Like Boyajian, I suppose I should thank you for camoflaging your usual pro-Genocide tendencies a bit less. Your post, and your approach serves evil. I blame Nationalist [Nazi] Turks less than I blame you for serving the Genocide agenda – after all, they are inculcated with racial hatred from the day they are born. We know where they stand.

    You have no such excuse. You also, as a European, know what Genocide is. The Norwegians bravely fought the Germans, and sheltered Jews, as did the Danes. Apparently Quisling was the role model in your upbringing.

    Its easy to understand why in common law as well as under the Genocide Convention there are no such “extenuating circumstances.”

    The Turks, like the Germans who stage-managed the Reichstag fire, created pretexts in which Armenians were forced to arm themselves or see their families destroyed. That is actual self-defense which does not give rise to a right to kill the unarmed.

    Are you saying that when OE state actors killed unarmed civilians or disarmed men in labor battalions they were acting under “extenuating circumstances?” This is the obscenity to which Bernard-Henri Levy alluded three years ago.

    It is the Genocidal mind-set to destroy and/or de-racinate the women of the victim group so that the victim group will cease to exist. That is what the Turks did. Your defense of these murders of unarmed civilians, which occurred all throughout Anatolia and European Turkey [no matter how distant the Russian Army] did not arise under any known claim of right except the right to commit Genocide .

    And while we’re at it. why not extend a simialr fig leaf to the Germans? They viewed their war on the Slavs as a defese of the west against Bolshevism, their war on Jews as the most acute form of that war. Genocide always has a pretext.
    Or, let’s limit our focus to the German right to annex Norway to protect the Reich. Murder, conquest and enslavement can always be defended, although you do a particularly poor job of it.

    I truly detest the Genocidal opinions you hold. If i attend a conference where you are present, I will denounce you in public for your insults to truth and the memory of all who have died by state terror.

    Please book a ticket to France and make loud your opinions.

  127. Ragnar: I think the best you can do after posting your 23 JAN 2012 comment [boyajian, I will try to answer your questions…], is to sink into oblivion, really. I hope that one day the EU will adopt the bill similar to the one just passed in the French Senate so that justifiers of genocidal acts or denialists could be put to silence for good.

  128. armen
    that the ittihadist Armenian policies in Istanbul, Smyrna and Aleppo were part of a deception campapign is a possible explanation but a bold assertion. Other interpretations are possible, for instance that the ittihadists changed their policies quite often and were quite confused at times. Or are we entering a realm where only one hypothesios has the privilege of being confirmed. Of course I realize that this not simply a “hypothesis” for you, it is life and blood and the gruesom experiences of the Armenian people. Still I would recommend a course in basic scholarly method if you aim at debating rather than merely expressing emotions
    Boyajian
    no, I believe you got me wrong. Extenuating circumstances, as I have learned from lawyers, is no excuse for instance in the question of guilty/not guilty. As I have said previously, the ittihadists – or many of them – were guilty. The crime must also be evaluated according to its ultimate results which – as we agree on – were particularly appaling in the Armenian case. Extenuating circumstances gives rise to lessening of punishment, and they more than often consist in pointing out contextual matters. But as I have said earlier this presupposes that it gives meaning to grade catastrophies and crimes in terms of seriousness. I am not sure. – I agree with you that we should not use the Holocaust as yardstick. As you know I prefer to use the lesser catastrophies of the Turks to compare with. But I use it here because it is used by many Armenians and other scholars. The very term “genocide” also came into use connected to the jewish holocaust. So I feel you are on thin ice, as we say in norwegian, when you criticise me for using it as a yardstick. The reality is that Armenians themselves have introduced this yardstick in order to point to the basic similarity between the events- But again I am grappling with these questions, I just thought that you deserve an honest answer from me.
    jda
    I understand that you react, but read what I say about the term “excuse”. Regarding self-defence, it is really not my idea. William Schabas, who wrote the influential “Genocide in International law” writes on page 337, I quote:

    There is no theoretical or policy reason, why an individual, accused of genocide, could not plead self-defence in appropriate cirsumstances…..The specific intent of of a person acting in self-defence would be to protect that person’s life or the life of another, not to destroy..(a protected group)
    unquote

    He also writes (P.207):
    207
    Degrees of culpability are…..expressed by degrees of criminal sanction

    Here I do not immediately agree with him, because – I repeat – I believe crimes may have so extensive consequences that it gives little meaning to compare them.

    Yes, Boyajian, I believe this makes the picture clearer. I have all the time seen the majority of the Armenian wiews here in the AW as exhibiting syptomes of fundamentalism, the fundamentalism of the moral expressions like “unspeakable”, “inaxcusable” and so on, in the rejection of comparison (except the Holocaust which really is the achilles heal of standard Armenian reasoning), the rejection of any kind of contextualization. These are traits of mainstream Armenian reasoning which the Turkish shcolars are now eagerly picking up, happy not to be confronted with their own weak spots. As I say, in the last two months I have mainly been arguing with Turks, apart from reading the literature sent out by the Embassies, which really is all the time evading the central points.

    When I was in the list serve of the University of Michgang there was one Armenian man who told me: “I am NOT discussing the Armenian genocide, DO YOU HEAR ME”. This as an answer to my arguments which you know. This is a consistent view. On the other hand, Armenians who try both to embrace a kind of fundamentalism, taking refuge in emotional protestations and AT THE SAME TIME claiming to be on the side of scholarly reasoning, even being able to reason in a scholarly way, and THEN STILL AGAIN taking refuge in emotional outburst, well, I admit I am provoked! At the same time I put the Armenian cause as a just cause at the center of my lectures, but NOT IN THE WAY YOU WANT!!! I will have another lecture in the nearest future. – Yours is a very fragile building of beliefs, believe me, because you have so little leeway for nuances. At any suspicious sounding expression you cry: Denier! Impostor”. The world is not like this….
    This does not apply to you, Boyajian. For the sake of our debates, not for one year, but for more than two now, I want to answer according to my honest beliefs. At an early stage in our discussions I was criticized for withdrawing. As you see I answer questions and I do not withdraw, which I believe is the right thing to do.

    • Ragnar, you are doing it again! Armen has every right to express his emotion on this site and no obligation to ‘debate’ according to your preferred formula. This site has many purposes and one of them is to give Armenians a place to connect with one another and process their experiences. Your tendency to evaluate others’ debating skills is quite alienating. In my opinion, your style of cold comparison and dissection leaves much to be desired.

      Back to your point about extenuating circumstances having an impact on degree of punishment and not on the judgement of guilt or no guilt. I understand. One may kill the rapist of one’s child in a fit of rage, and while the court may determine the punishment should be lenient given the circumstances, one is guilty of the murder nonetheless. But if that rage extended to killing the mother or brother, or distant cousin of the rapist, would or should the court be lenient in its punishment?

      I think you are really reaching when trying to apply this reasoning to what Turkey did to Armenians, especially those who were nowhere near areas where their presence could be viewed as potential security risks; the deportation of innocent women, children and elderly from interior villages to places where the lack of provisions meant sure death. And a campaign of targeted hate against innocent people because they are members of a group who harmed your group elsewhere or have the perceived ‘potential’ to do harm in the future, can never be a defense for undeserved, uncivilized, unregulated acts of rage and cruelty which all humane and law-abiding societies reject. And this holds true whether you are Turkish or Armenian or something else.

      You have become a worker bee in the genocide denial industry; producing fodder for the negationists and apologists, but for what purpose and to serve whom? Does Turkey need to be defended for destroying the Armenian homeland of Asia Minor or brought to justice for a crime whose consequences are so obvious and that has been ignored for so long? Should Turkey’s campaign of denial continue to go on unfettered, despite its damage to the Armenian nation, as well as the family of man?

      Is the issue between Armenians and Turks too polarized? Definitely. But you are only adding to the polarization by fostering Turkey’s view of itself as the victim. In my opinion, the quickest route to a more balanced understanding of the events is for Turkey to admit to the patently obvious annihilation of this ethnic group, to end its campaign of denial, and to engage in honest discussion about what happened and what should be done today as atonement. ‘Extenuating circumstances’ can certainly enter the discussion once the destruction to the Armenian nation is acknowledged and proper compensation is considered. History deserves a balanced accounting, but the responsibility of Turks to the Armenians is obvious, regardless of ‘extenuating circumstances.’

      I am no historian and can’t engage with you on a point by point dissection of the events, but I do know that Turkey is no better off for what they did and continue to do to Armenians. They have much to gain by facing this past and making peace with Armenians and all others whose sense of justice is offended by their ‘thumbing their nose’ at the basic concept of governmental restraint and protection of citizens rights.

      Armenians loved that land because it was theirs throughout thousands of years of invasions and conquests. They loved it like anyone loves that which they struggle to keep. They loved it even more for the blood and sweat their ancestors paid to hold onto it. And throughout history Armenians turned its stones into homes and places of worship, its fields into fertile tracts, and revered its mountains as the anchor of their heritage, regardless of who was their king, emperor or sultan. Too bad the Ittihadists and the leaders of the modern Turkish republic were too consumed with rage against non-Turks to recognize the resources that the Armenians would bring to nation building in a land where all citizens are equal.

      I leave you with these thoughts, at the risk of boring you with my repetitive theme.

  129. Paul
    on the contrary, I see both Bloxham’s and Zürcher’s recent writ as an admission of the importance of variables I pointed to many years ago and even argued personally with Bloxham in 2007 when he was in Oslo. Read again the citation from his 2006 book which I gave you some days ago.

    In his article “The first World War and the Development of the Armenian Genocide” (The book “A Question of Genocide” of 2011) there is a notable development from the 2006 book. On the first half page he presents the aim of explaining the causes of the genocide, expressly stating that this does not mean that the ittihadist policies were “rational” in any sense, nor that they were any less “vicious” because they had causes. Then he leaves the themes of rationality and morality – too quickly I think – and goes on to describe what I call the cycle of violence, the combination of the policies of the powers and the aspirations of the Armenian revolutionaries, factors with fed each others in a spiral of conflict. This takes up several pages of his 15 page article. Then he tries to pinpoint the moment when killing Armenians became an empirewide sanctioned policy.

    To my mind he adequately describes the process as a process of incremental radicalization due to contextual factors – there was no master plan in advance – but he fails to consider important counter arguments always presented by the Turks. If Armenians were that dangerous – and if there existed a master plan of extermination why on earth let them stay in important places in Istanbul, Izmir (I talk about 1915, not 1922) and Aleppo? (I agree that deception is a possible but in the end implausible explanation). He notes that Armenians had “few cards to play with”, but he fails to adress the uncanny question of putting himself in the shoes of the ittihadists anmd their “cards”. What lessons were they to draw from the policies of the powers who consistently neglected Muslim suffering, always intent on denying the Empire the right to exist ,indeed indulged in the crassest anti-Muslim rhetorics? At this point many scholars take a refuge in fundamentalism. The ittihadists, and possibly the Turks at large, were simply bad from the beginning, and that explains everything.

    I would recommend his article, if you read it I will be happy to answer questions, but please also read Libaridian’s “The Past as a Prison and as a new beginning”. Both authors embrace the genocide thesis, but I see Libaridian as the better analyst in terms of what needs to be done.

    Boyajian
    I want to say that I agree with you in your question: if there was a cycle of conflicts, why cannot the Turks admit this and apologize for the actions of a government who unleached so much suffering both on their own but primarily on Armenians? But the Turkish mainstream is still playng the “blame game” regarding the Armenians. The civic movement with people like Baskin Oran and Halil Berktay is the hope for the future. Wether they think that the label “genocide” is appropriate or not is to my mind not so important. I welcome both. The point is to have turkish mainstream answer the important questions, make the Turks apologize and make reparations.

    • Sorry Ragnar if my responses are out of sync with your comments. You have answered various parts of my posts in different posts of your own and I answer them as I can.

      I have an allergy to Justin McCarthy.

      I want to acknowledge that you do state that Turkey should apologize and make reparations. I wish you would stop playing good cop-bad cop with us. This is not a game. Serve justice first. Whether or not Turks had what they consider good reasons for taking actions against the Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks, the bottomline clearly shows that the CUP turned on its non-Turk citizens in preference of its Turkish citizens through deportations, confiscation and looting of property and outright massacre. This is a government engaging in criminal acts by anyone’s standards.

      Speaking of games, you say the Turkish mainstream is still playing the “blame game” regarding the Armenians. Very true. Wouldn’t a government proclamation acknowledging guilt cut the game short? Certainly groups in Turkey would object and some would cause trouble, but I believe most Turks would slowly open their minds and alter their views and join those who long ago embraced the truth. Abolishing Article 301 would also indicate a change of heart. Weak, corrupt and fearful leadership in Turkey is what permits the blame game in the first place. Not to mention, people who go out of their way to help Turkey lay blame for her past genocidal actions on the independence struggles of subjugated minorities.

  130. boyajian
    you write

    Ragnar, regarding the cycle of violence:

    Are you saying that if the bully in the neighborhood beats up my neighbor’s son and takes his best baseball bat, and then the neighbor’s son comes home, and seeing me in my front yard with my baseball bat, decides he can now kick me and steal my bat—that this is a ‘cycle of violence?’ Is my neighbor’s son somehow less guilty because he was first attacked by others?
    comment:

    no, I would not call it a cycel of violence but a context. According to an influential part of criminology you should consider what people have experienced when you judge their actions. Whether this leads to less punishment is another matter.

    If you neighbours son takes the bat from someone he associates with his oppressors, for instance both being in the same family or belonging to the same group, and there is a pattern of conflict with this group, then I believe it would count as extenuating ciorsumstances. For the Ottoman Muslims, the category “Christian citizens, among whom some collaborated with attacking European powers at some time, and who may do it again” would be a relevant category. If you or your grandparents are a Circassian having family members killed in the Caucasus in the 1860-ies, you take it out on Ottoman Christians as a symbol of the oppressors, and because some of them have earlier acted against the Empire (as some Armenians did in all the Russian invasions of the 1800-eds) , but you may also take it out on anybody who stands in your way because of the harsh treatment you have received by others. But in the last case I would not say your previous problems constitute an extenuating circumstance. The bottom line for me is that the Christian Ottomans were as such a security risk for the Ottoman leaders. The leaders themselves made mistakes which aggravated this situation, but the main threat was simply one of powerful neighbours assuming the morally superior role, denouncing atrocities against Christian Ottomans, applying diplomatic pressures in the name of humanity and NEVER doing the same regarding the abundant atrocities against Muslim. The last time I discussed this was with gor, who held that my reasoning was faulty because “the turks were invaders” and “such things happen” as the killing of civilians. To me this is a completely immoral standpoint.

    Is he “less guilty”? I believe the words we use often are ambiguous. We have to specify them. In law, I believe you are either guilty or not guilty, they will not accept the idea of degrees of guilt. on the other hand, as Schabas says, in criminal law you have degrees of “culpability'” which is expressed by the pubnishment. The difference between maximum punishment and actual punishment can be expressed by “extenuating circumstances”. Biut to the guilt question

    I’d like to add that in judging the acts of the ittihadists you also certainly have aggravating circumstances. If we assume that they had no legitimate security concerns because they were bad anyhow, wanted to kill allArmenians, or for some other reason, in a way the whole juridical idea of degrees of culpability is meaningless. This is part of what I call fundamentalism, as a doctrine of pure evil or infinite culpability (“the crime of crime”, or “the worst crime there is”).

    But if we agree that they had some legitimate security interests, for instance to protecxt civilians in the case of Russian invasion assisted by Armenian voluntary groups, I would say that they were certainly guilty of not protecting deportees once they had decided on deportaiton, further there is an aggreavating circumstance because they deported people from places that in all likelihood never would be a scene of war, like places in the mountaineous interior of Western Anatolia, outside all natural roads of invasion.

    Regarding the record of Christian minorities, invasions,ethnic cleansing and massacres in the 1800-eds, read Justin McCarthy’s “Death or Exile”. All the same when I look at the statement you regarded as “inflammatory”, yes, you are right, I would rephraze it differently.

  131. Ragnar Naess
    I agree with jda that you’re more to blame for serving the genocide agenda than nationalist Turks. Your ferocity in justifying mass slaughter of unarmed people most of whom lived far from war zones and whose only “fault” was that, like other nations oppressed by the Turks, they too had a couple of freedom-fighting groups, is obscene.
    I hope you don’t mind my asking personal questions:
    Is your wife Turkish?
    Are you a believer, an atheist/agnostic, or a convert?
    Are you a misanthrope when it comes to Christians?
    By asking these questions I only try to comprehend where this fierceness in identifying “extenuating circumstances” for mass murder of innocent people comes from?

  132. While I do appreciate and esteem all above posts-including those who clerly show their dislike,shall we say to Armenian aspirations to Justice, God given right to Liberty etc.,I cannot understand those who wish to go contra/against to latter. After all…wouldn´t they themselves wish to have all those?
    Justice ,liberty and ….also right TO LIVE ON ONE´S HABITAT.
    This last word is the Key word for Turks or pro turks to understand that Armenians in contrast to Jews (who underwent holocaust) LOST HOMELAND..
    e v i c t i o n was a terrible act/crime that Ottoman Turkey performed and that on one of its MOST PRODUCTIVE,LAW ABIDING AND KIND PEOPLE.
    Hence…..all talk about comparisons between the Jews and Armenians as rgds suffrage -without taking into consideration act of EVICTION is incorrect.
    April 24,2012 only Three months away,Armenians are aware of that important factor as well.
    We know full well that it is a matter of time that great Turkey will repent ,understand and change attitude towards accepting the culpability issue in committing the enormous crime of Genocide and even come -like Jemal pasha´s grandson to Tztzernakapert(Yerevan) and pay respect to the 1.5 million martyred by ottoman Turkey. However,
    We also know deep inside that the souls of our martyrs also wish their descendents to RETURN TO CENTURIES OLD HABITAT/their grandparents lands and properties.
    Time is now for Turks and Turkey to wake up from long slumber and like it was already initiated and displayed at AKHTAMAR AND ST. GIRAGOS,respectively in VAN and Diarbakir and carry on with such reforms.We don´t mind if it is by and by.WE also realize that after 70 long yrs of denialist attitude(injected into fabric of new generation Turks) it is not possible to overnight make the whole big CHANGE.it will come by stages.
    We wish our neighbours Turks and G.Turkey Bon voyage to Liberty,Equality and brotherhood.

  133. armen
    I think that the first step for you to understand my opinions would be to read what I say. Your questions do not relate to any of the things I say. We were discussing themes like cycle of violence, extenuating and aggravating circumstances and so on. But ok, you ask:

    By asking these questions I only try to comprehend where this fierceness in identifying “extenuating circumstances” for mass murder of innocent people comes from?
    unquote

    answer:
    I answered a question from Boyajian, there is no fierceness in this. When somebody like Boyajian asks a question I try to answer. I will copy the question where Boyajian invites me to compare evils:
    Does the cycle of violence make the crime of genocide any less abhorrent?
    I answered the following:
    Comment:
    “Less abhorrent”? You mean emotionally? Then the answer is no. Morally? These are questions I grapple with. Is it possible to compare crimes according to moral negative status, once they reach certain proportions of hideousness? I don’t know… On the other hand: I know you will react very negatively to this, but in my mind: it does. Just killing people for belonging to a certain group like the Nazis did can be seen as morally worse than killing people because you have 100 years of experience of Christian subjects profiting from outside support and then indiscriminately killing Muslims in the “liberation” process. In a court room a cycle of violence will in my mind function as extenuating circumstances when meeting out the verdicts to the killers. There is an element of premeptive self defence in it which was absent in the Nazis.

    Note that I say these are ideas I am grappling with, I have no definite answer. But if I am to compare these evil acts I will say that to kill people for racial theories is worse than killing people because one thinks that they – collectively speaking – constitute a security risk, particularly if one has the experience of uprisings and massacres combined with foreign invasion. In this sense the Jewish Holocaust is worse than e.g. the massacres of Armenians and Tutsies (there actually was a Tutsi army invading Rwanda at the time of the Rwandan Genocide). But then again I repeat that I also in a way regard the question as meaningless.
    Armen, I understand that I have outraged you , I am sorry for this, but there is something incongrous in your overlooking everything I say about Turkish guilt, that they must apologise, make reparations, that what happened was a genocide according to a valid reasoning, but with some qualifications. Turks in the main do not agree with me, their are strongly against my views. I am an outsider sympathetic to the Armenian cause, but who does not agree with you on all issues. Is this so revolting to you?

    Boyajian
    I do not understand how my words on extenuating circumstances for the ittihadists can be construed as an EXCUSE. There is no excuse when an interior minister says that he did not prosecute perpetrators for political reasons.An excuse is something we give to present ourselves as innocent. And he is not innocent, he is guilty to my mind. But his reasons may be more or less villainous. These are two different matters. But may be you find it difficult to use the term “extenuating circumstances” in connection with a particular serious crime? – Because we often say that this is “horrible, unimaginable, unspeakable, impardonable”, that is – implicitly we say that NO CONCEIVABLY POSITIVE characteristic can be applied to the given events. And hence no “extenuating circumstances” which may sound as an “excuse”. But both in law and in theories of morality I believe such distinctions are made. They are not my invention. So I feel you construct my views in a hostile way. The distinctions I make are standard distinctions in criminal law and they do not obliterate morality and the quest for justice. At least to my mind, I add. This is what I get out of my reading of law and ethics and my understanding of “moral fundamentalism” as I understand it. But of course i may be wrong, but I’d like to get arguments, not simply accusations that I “excuse” genocide.

    • Ragnar, killing people for ‘racial theories’ is abhorrent. But killing innocent people simply because they belong to an ethnic group, some of whose members present a real or imagined potential threat, is equally abhorrent and is based on ‘ethnic theories.’ Whether based on ethnic or racial theories, what is the real difference? How is one qualitatively and quantitatively less wrong than the other? Do you think the Nazis didn’t see the Jews as a threat that had to be eliminated or pre-emptively incapacitated, as vile as that may sound? They didn’t kill Jews because they simply hated them for no reason. They believed they had good reason. They scapegoated the Jews just as the CUP scapegoated the Armenians while they were under attack from the outside. Because some Armenians aligned with Russia, Turks believed they had good reason to view all Armenians as treacherous and consequently targeted for elimination simply because they were Armenian. Do you deny that many Turks referred to Armenians as infidels and saw them as inferior? That bigotry and ethnic prejudice had anything to do with the CUP actions?

      You are making very weak distinctions between two events that, though unique in their own way, are both about attributions placed on others and the wish of one group to purge itself of the undesired and unwanted ‘other.’ This blanket labeling of a group of people as undesirable or ‘disposable’ simply because of their association to a particular race or ethnic group is what is abhorrent.

      I believe I have provided you with arguments, not simply accusations that you excuse genocide. You present plenty of arguments, few of which I feel are compelling or convincing. They are mostly disappointing as example of twisted logic.

  134. Ragnar Naess
    I expressed facts, not emotions. If facts don’t sit well with you, that’s your problem, not the problem of my lacking training in basic scholarly methods. In turn, I’d recommend that you attempt to veer from excessive Turkophilic emotions if you aim at looking at facts objectively. One such undeniable fact is that the genocide of Armenians has begun in 1915 in Constantinople, even if many Constantinople-based Armenians were not deported. The reasons being (a)to behead the nation of its intelligentsia; and (b)to conceal from the Constantinople-stationed foreigner observers the mass exterminatory program that was already planned by the CUP. A person inferior in training in basic scholarly methods as compared with you cannot but see that the chain of events suggest that, in fact, the Ittihadists didn’t change their policies and weren’t confused at all. There was an apparent, rigid pattern in their actions all testifying to the existence of a premeditative plan of destruction: first, the intelligentsia, the potential leaders of the nation, are liquidated—then all the male population is first unarmed then summarily massacred—and then defenseless women, children, and the elders under the guise of “relocation” are convoyed to sunny “villas” in the Syrian desert without food and water, exposed to massacres, rapes, and mutilations by Teşkilât-ı Mahsusa, the Chettes, and the convoys themselves. This is not a hypothesis; this is the line of events that have actually taken place, described in abundance in witness accounts, survivor stories, and tons of scholarly literature. Even if many Armenians were not deported from Smyrna in 1915, but were nonetheless savagely burnt alive in 1922 after all the Armenian population of the Ottoman empire had perished, is it not clear to even a lay person that “sparing” Armenians of Smyrna in 1915 had motives other than preserving their lives? If the wholesale destruction of Armenians wasn’t premeditated, then why would the Turks liquidate even this remaining pocket of Armenians?

    Re. “extenuating circumstances”.
    –Anders Behring Breivik killed 69 innocent people on Utøya island. If the order wasn’t kept and justice wasn’t served, what would parents of the slayed teenagers do? Would they slaughter everyone they considered multiculturalists or xenophobes throughout Norway or they’d attempt to take life of the known perpetrator in retaliation for their loss?
    –Stalin considered (wrongly) Volga Germans supporters of the Nazis as they were advancing towards Stalingrad. The country was on the brink of defeat and subjugation by the Nazi war machine. Do you know, given your superb training in basic scholarly methods, that Stalin slaughtered all ethnic Volga Germans? No, he didn’t. He relocated them (again, wrongly) to Central Asia. Until now, I’m told, there are small pockets of ethnic Germans in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. But, in their case, relocation proceeded without the authorities’ intention to mass murder them en route, as in the case of Armenians.

  135. Ragnar Naess
    In fact, my questions do relate to many of the things you say. By the way, thanks for reminding me what you’re discussing. Even being untrained in basic scholarly methods, I can, well, read…
    Do you care to answer at least “yes” or “no”?
    Is your wife Turkish?
    Are you a believer, an atheist, an agnostic, a convert?
    Are you a misanthrope when it comes to Christians?

    • Armen, I completely understand your questions. One can’t help but wonder why an educated European, who has dedicated his life to human rights causes, would find it worthy to defend a country guilty of genocidal acts at the risk of delaying justice for the genocide victims even one more day. I am not saying that it is wrong to acknowledge the myriad causes of the actions taken by Turkey, just that anything that bolsters her defensiveness against facing a hard truth and compensating the Armenians is a step in the wrong direction at this time in history. It has been long enough.

      On the other hand, I am in awe of educated Turkish citizens who stand with us and bravely suffer the consequences for the sake of truth. Clearly, educating the masses in Turkey with a truthful account of this history is critical and I for one gladly lend my support to those who are taking on this task.

  136. ragnar naess –

    What were the “extenuating circumstances” for the mass slaughter of the Armenians in 1894-1896, the so-called Hamidian massacres, in which up to 300,000 Armenians were butchered? Massacres that prompted the Europeans to nickname Abdul Hamid II as “Great Assassin”, “Red Butcher”, and “Bloody Sultan”. A few Armenian revolutionary groups were created only after those massacres for self-defense purposes. What were the “extenuating circumstances” back then?

    B

  137. I just talked to old friend in Marseille.After bon soir,I immediately added ¨Vive La France¨¨ twice…after a while ,while we chatted,she insisting my French was good and I responding , just enough to get by..etc.,it slowly came to me to begin using following phrase,especially when we meet French people,whjether in business,arts ,etc., and daily meets,as follwos:-
    ¨LES ARMENIENS DE TOUT LE MONDE,NOUS SOMMES TOUJOURS UN PEUT FRANCAIS, A PARTIR DE AU JOURD´HUI..APPROXIMATE TRANSLATION:-

    ´´ARMENIANS OF THE WHOLE WORLD,WE ARE A LITTLE FRENCH,AS OF TODAY__.I do believe what they have done today deserves that much and more!!! they showed to the world that they are THE VANGUARDS OF LIBERTY,EQUALITY AND BROTHERHOOD__ hopefully…
    THIS VERY IMPORTANT A C T WILL TRIGGER A CHAIN REACTION IN EUROPE,ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL AND THE …ATLANTIC OCEAN

  138. Ragnar Naess,

    I am following your conversation for a long time in AW now, and I wonder a brilliant retired artist like yourself never become a psychiatrist as profession, instead you are an oriental (Turkish) art dealer!! I suggest if you open an office in Istanbul Turkey, you will find too many unhealthy psychopaths, where your wealth and reputation will be a personal success in that part of the world!!

  139. Boyajian
    what I say about switching between emotional rhetorics and arguments does not apply to you.
    the difference I would emphasize is 1) that between having a very real and indisputable experience of uprising of subject peoples coupled with invasion and massacres/ethnic cleansing of Muslims, or just scapegoating jews for illusory reasons. I am surprised you dont see it. 2)that of having a racial outlook that would never lead to a jew being chosen as foreign minister or being let into the parliament (Nouradian was foreign minister in 1912-13, some Armenian parliamentaries stayed in the ittihadist parliament if I am not mistaken.)
    to me thiis is a difference that makes a difference. whether it makes a difference morally regardijng the crime of the ittihadists and that of the nazis I cannot tell but I see fairly good arguments for such a view

    Armen,
    I am sorry, I do not answer such questions but I understand that you follow your wife’s opinions, automatically…

    Regarding what you say about ittihadist methods, central genocide scholars like Kaiser, Akcam and Bloxham today deny that there was a coherent, pre-planned program of extermination

  140. Wrong guess, Ragnar, I’m single.
    As for Kaiser and Akcam, they are not “central genocide scholars”. Hilmar Kaiser is a social/economic historian. Taner Akcam, a brave Turkish intellectual, is a sociologist. Only Donald Bloxham is a genocide historian, but in no way a “central” scholar. Central genocide scholars are Raphael Lemkin, Yehuda Bauer, Vahakn Dadrian, Israel Charny, Helen Fein, Ben Kiernan, Roger Smith, Mark Levene, Gunnar Heinsohn, Michael Freeman, and the prevailing majority of other scholars who admit that there was a coherent, premeditated program of extermination of Armenians. Singling out a few and omitting the majority doesn’t do anyone a credit –- human or professional, notwithstanding.

  141. Really Ragnar?

    Historian Taner Akcam wrote the following in discussing archival evidence: “Although we are missing a significant portion of these papers, what remains in the Ottoman archives and in court records is sufficiant to show that the CUP Central Committee, and the Special Organization is set up to carry out its plan, did deliberately attempt to destroy the Armenian population”. Akcam. A Shameful Act, p. 5.

    And in a review by Carl Brown on the Great Game of Genocide” we have this on what Bloxham thinks:

    “Lewy sifts the available documentation and the charges and countercharges of scholars to decide that although the Ottoman government bears indirect responsibility for overreacting to the possible security threat Armenians posed and for mishandling the deportation, there was no plan to eliminate the Armenians; it was not genocide. To Bloxham, it clearly was. He offers a broad historical account of Armenian relations with the Ottoman Empire leading up to the 1915 deportation orders and the ensuing massacre. Thereafter, he weighs the “international response and responsibility” in this case of genocide in the years since. A penultimate chapter offers a penetrating review of official and unofficial U.S. responses from the time the massacres were taking place to the present.”

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/61664/l-carl-brown/the-great-game-of-genocide-imperialism-nationalism-and-the-destr

  142. Compelled to repeat for ragnar naess –

    What were the “extenuating circumstances” for the mass slaughter of Armenians in 1894-96 by the Great Assassin Abdul Hamid II? As I hope you know, a couple of Armenian revolutionary groups emerged for self-defense purposes only AFTER those massacres. What were the “extenuating circumstances” for Turks back in 1894-96?

    Or, maybe, intolerance, discrimination, sick domineering feeling, and a sense of otherness with regard to Armenians were there throughout most of the Ottoman Turk colonization period?

  143. Boyajian
    I admit that you are right about Akcam, he has a whole chapter on “the Genocide decision” in “A shameful act”. Cannot understand how I came to write that…

    – let us look at what Bloxham himself says (bloxham 211 p. 265:)
    “At the end of march the governor of Van province, Cevdet, accompanied by several thousand soldiers and Kurdish and Circassian irregulars, returned from unsucessful campaigning over the border in Persia. On april 17, he responded to a minor occurance in the Shatak province by dispatching his forces to annihilate the Armenians there, but the ill-disciplined irregular soldiers opted instead to attack closer Armenian settlements, and the ensuing chain of massacres drove the Van Armenians to resist. Cevdet was attempting to isolate the city from the outlying districts of the province, and crush any sign of trouble with extreme and indiscriminate violence. THUS TO ASCRIBE THE HATCHING OF A BIGGER PLAN TO EITHER SIDE IS WRONG. THIS WAS NEITHER THE INTENDED BEGINNING OF A GENERAL INTENDED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE (my italics), as some Armenian disapora historians would have it, nor evidence of premeditated Armenian revolt in the interior, as Turkish nationalists would have it: in a terrible circularity, the Van Armenians, trying to maintain an escape route to Persia, were driven to action by the same “ethnic reprisal” measures Cevdet used to crush the putative Armenian threat at the local level”.

    He then explains that the absence of deportations from “Istanbul and its hinterland …..indicates that the Armenian policy was still contingent on the course of the war (p.267)

    Further:
    “The Russian army did come,slowly, while thousands of Armenians were dying in Van, but as an ad hoc measure, not because of a preconceived plan”.

    I dont have the 2006 book at hand, but to my mind Bloxham has all the time been a critic of the idea of a premeditated plan (for instance made in the conclave in 1910).

    He then says that it was only in the summer that constituted “a turning point at which it becomes possible to speak of an accepted practice of general destruction of the major Armenian communities of Anatolia…”(p.270)

    At this point he does not talk about the communities spared from deportation, there were actually more than Istanbul, Izmir, and Aleppo. Why he restricts this “general destruction” to Anatolia, (Istanbul and Aleppo are not in Anatolia). This is unfortunate, and why he calls this “general destruction”(with these important exceptions) is not clear.

    One may, as some here in AW tries to do, improvice a possible and plausible explanation for the sparing of “major Armenian communities” (these cities certainly had major communities)

    This detracts from Bloxham’s analysis. I agree that he convincingly shows the absence of a general plan, but he fails to argue for the “general solution”. I believe this is because of his preconceived ideas about the genocidal character of the policies. I believe that the CUP policies, horrible as they are, are more complex.

    • Ragnar visits Armenian sites and drops mysterious citations, which when read prove nothing close to the confused point he seeks to make. He drops the references to imply he is an academic. He couldn’t qualify to teach history even in a Turkish junior college.

      Here’s his resume.

      http://www.developmentsupport.no/CV/cvragnar.RTF

      It shows that he is not an academic, has no training in the AG or anything close, has published nothing on the issues, and doesn’t stay employed long.

      If you want a Norwegian text on HIV translated into Russian or Turkish, he’s your man.

    • You general point seems to be that there was a lack of intent for genocide, insinuating that the events just sort of came to be as a result of the conditions of they day. The Turkish position is similar, citing war time conflicts and so on. I have just one question: The book you are referencing is the called The Great Game of GENOCIDE. Does that not strike you as odd?

  144. Ragnar Naess
    Gabriel Noradunkyan, not Nouradian, foreign minister of OE for six months in 1912-13. Managed to escape execution in 1915. What does this illustrate? There were a few Armenians in the military, administration, and legislative bodies. Most, however, lived in misery, discrimination, and constant fear in the Armenian provinces outside of Constantinople.

    There were also high-ranking Jewish intellectuals in the Third Reich, even in Hitler’s inner circle. What’s your point?

    I hope you don’t want to spew out gibberish that, overall, non-Turks and non-Muslims had equal rights and privileges with the Turks during the Ottoman colonization? I hope not…

  145. Armen,
    ….maybe you then have your idea of the husband automatically following the views of the wife from your parents….?
    I agree that I should have read the said authors, but in the contributions that are hailed as important (Akcam is hailed by Zurcher as “the state of the art” regarding the Armenian genocide) there are few or any references to people like Smith, Levene, Mazover. The book “A Question of Genocide” which in many ways is a central product of one of the most celebrated scholarly milieux on Armenian history and culture, at the University of Michigan, there are, outside of V. Dadrian hardly any citations of these, as far as I can see…
    When I speak about genocide scholars I have in mind those who use the term “genocide” in a consistent way to characterise the events, so maybe we misunderstood each others. But certain Lemkin did no work on the Armenian genocide, he only read about the trials of 1919-20 as a young man, as far as I know. Correct me if I am wrong. And why do you mention Yehuda Bauer who as far as I know is an exclusivist like Katz and Lewy? But of course Dadrian, in spite of his weaknesses, is indispensable.Melsom is actually the one I believe is a central genocide scholar, member of the IAGS, who wrote on the “Provocation Thesis” regarding Armenian revolutionary tactics. – But Kaiser is seen as an immensely informed scholar, sociologist or not. He has done more work in the German and Ottoman archives on the AG than most, if I am not mistaken.

    • Ragnar, I don’t expect you to answer personal questions if you don’t want to, but I think you are being needlessly sarcastic with Armen, as well as missing his point. I may be wrong, but I don’t think he is implying that you don’t think for yourself. I think he is wondering if a strong personal relationship with a Turk or Turks is having an influence on your attitudes toward Armenians of if your attitudes are informed by an atheistic or non-religious bent. It may not be his business, but he is entitled to wonder how you came to hold your position of empathy for genocide deniers. I have had the same questions.

  146. Boyajian
    “”Historian Taner Akcam wrote the following in discussing archival evidence: “Although we are missing a significant portion of these papers, what remains in the Ottoman archives and in court records is sufficiant to show that the CUP Central Committee, and the Special Organization is set up to carry out its plan, did deliberately attempt to destroy the Armenian population”. Akcam. A Shameful Act, p. 5.”””

    He says that there is enough evidences however he can’t show any evidence that’s his weakness

    • John,

      Many records were destroyed by the CUP and its followers, a process which continues to this day. Turks even destroyed records in the Library of Congress.

      In Anglo American law, a jury may infer that when a party destroys evidence, it has consciousness of its own guilt, reflected in such records.

      But there is sufficient evidence from virtually every nation that your nation intended to destroy mine and did so.

      Please show me such evidence to the contrary. Please show me the narratives of missionaries, or Arab neighbors, that when Talaat heard of the murders of Armenians under his control he rushed wagons of soldiers and supplies to protect the women and children, and kept doing so until they were safe; that he opened hospitals to care for them, that he caused summary executions of those who killed them as opposed to those who kept Armenian wealth for themselves, that he ordered the Moslems to care for them. Show me the great tide of 1000’s of such acounts as we have. This, and this alone is where there is insufficient evidence.

      You defend men who bashed in the heads of babies and cut off the breasts of women. You ridicule the grandchildren of women forced to convert to Islam and kept as slaves.

      In Hell you can sit with the old SS men who shot children in the head and loaded Zyklon onto trucks headed for Auschwitz, or with the Cambodian communists who made pyramids of skulls of young mothers.

      You aren’t defending your nation. You are defending people who murder children.

  147. “THUS TO ASCRIBE THE HATCHING OF A BIGGER PLAN TO EITHER SIDE IS WRONG. THIS WAS NEITHER THE INTENDED BEGINNING OF A GENERAL INTENDED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE.”

    — Bloxham errs. I just finished reading the newly released (in 2011) account “The Russian Origins of the First World War” by pro-Turkish author Sean McMeekin, Asst Prof at Bilkent University. On p. 170 he states:

    “New research in now-open Ottoman archives, mostly carried out by Turkish scholars, demonstrates that several deportation orders actually PRECEDED (emphasis mine) this date [Armenian resistance in Van], including a small-scale ‘relocation’ decree applying only to Zeytun and Dörtyol that was issued by Tallat Bey, the interior minister, in EARLY MARCH 1915 (emphasis mine). A similar order pertaining to Maraş was issued EARLY IN APRIL (emphasis mine).”

    Therefore, the intended beginning of the Armenian genocide started BEFORE the resistance in Van. McMeekin clearly indicates that there’s an evidence testifying to this in the Turkish archives.

  148. Jda
    All you are doing is empty talk. If everything is in your favour why do you prefer to sit back for a century.Instead of crying out and running from one parliament to the other Why not apply to ICJ?
    I know the answer One scholar in Turkey said a week ago that Armenians can’t do that due to the lack of evidences

    • JTT,

      You reprise a tired old Turkish Nazi melody. But let’s look more deeply.

      First, several neutral tribunals have concluded it was Genocide, as did the man who invented the word to describe what the Turks and Germans did to the Armenians and the Jews. Repeat after me: Rafael Lemkin, Polish jurist and Professor at Yale University Law School.

      Second, tribunals do not make decisions in a vacuum. They make decisions for the purpose of reaching a result binding upon the parties.

      Can you deliver some evidence that the Turkish people and state will give back our lands, restore our places, make reparations and conform to any judgment anyt tribunal might make? We know that will never happen.

      Do you know something I don’t know suggesting they will abide by a judgment?

      I suspect that if Erdogan and all the Generals took that pledge, papers would be filed tomorrow.

      Go back to Nazi-land.

  149. Boyajian
    Thanks for clarifying the point of my curiosity that was far from implying that Ragnar Naess doesn’t think for himself.

    Ragnar Naess
    Could I ask if you’ve ever had strong professional (note: not personal) relationship with the Turks? Might it be that you’ve spent some time in the country or in a Turkish environment outside of it? Oftentimes, one acquires a psychological bent towards an alien environment which might have treated him well, resulting in unscrupulous adoption of its prevailing views and attitudes. Of course, you’re free to avoid answering this one too, but, this time, don’t tell me I automatically follow my (nonexistent) wife’s opinions. Thanks.

  150. Yahya the turk —

    ICJ may be next. Have you given a thought to such turn of events with the power of your Turkish brains?

  151. Also, Yahya the turk —

    This article is about a book written based on the proceedings and verdicts of the Ottoman, repeat: Ottoman, Special Military Tribunal’s criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of the genocidal extermination of Armenians.

    Doesn’t it occur in your Turkish denialist brainpan that the proceedings and verdicts of the Tribunal are in and of themselves an evidence?

  152. armen
    I have a 30 year relationship with Turkey through research and through work with Amnesty International. I speak fairly fluent Turkish and have Turkish friends ,mainly ordinary people. I always disagree with them on the Armenian issue. You can know more about me by looking at the website http://www.pertinaxgruppen.no. — My present wife is Russian and my 2 former wives were Norwegian. Various Turkish agencies have approached me to finance my work – this would be OK with me, but in the end they always say no. After being a reseacher in a research institute I worked as a private consultant for 20 years, mainly by defining my own projects which I then ask responsible agencies to finance, mainly in the field of integrating refugees in Norwegian working life, which is a high priority area, so there is money in it. Also I work in russia on health issues, mainly in organizing so called Youth Peer Education, educating young people to inform other young people on health hazards, mainly drugs, std’s and alcohol. I work as a volunteer on reform in psychiatry, to stop excessive use of forced medication. I studied and taught philosophy and philosophy of science. Since I want to write on the question of the Armenian Genocide and lecture on, I want to discuss with Armenans. Twice I invited Turkish and Armenian scholars and genocide scholars to seminars in Norway, and ran one and two days’ seminars. Discussion is what I do here. I learned a lot from it both about Armenians and about myself. — I dont think I am unduly influenced by Turkish friends, but this is for others to judge. But in my lectures I now focus more on Turkey’s failure to go seriously into the question than I did earlier. – I generally work in human rights related work, often in conflictual areas. I hope this answered some of your questions about my motives. But, as I have said before, this forum has some important limitations because people, except in some few cases, hide their true identities. -The combination of the extremely important issue,the insistance on moral issues on the one hand combined with anonymity is puzzling to me. There is an inbuilt tendency towards scpticism towards others in a field where trust is essential. Participants in the main seem to prefer this limitation while simultaneously continuously raising the question of the need to trust others. – If you are on Skype we could talk face to face. I am sorry if I answered you in a condescending way.

  153. Ragnar Naess
    Thank you for sharing personal details. I think I now better understand where and how your twisted logic re: ‘extenuating circumstances’, ‘pre-emptive self defense’, and the ‘lack of coherent, pre-planned program for extermination’ of Armenians might have shaped. I also understand that you’ve never been nor are you now a genocide scholar or a social historian or even a scholar in a contiguous field. Yet, you want to write on the question of the Armenian genocide and lecture on it being already predetermined to excuse the actions of the Ittihadists on the basis of the ‘cycle of violence,’ (i.e. extenuating circumstances). Nice…

    The link you provided gives me an “Oops! Internet Explorer could not find http://www.pertinaxgruppen.no” message.

    Have a good life!

  154. armen
    there is something wrong with the website at the moment. If you are happy with my answer, all the better. Now I understand that you react personally and emotionally to the expression “extenuating circumstances in genocide”. But I suggest you think more about this. Spontaneous rejections of something can be misleading. Also think about the Statement of Shabas cited above (the possibility of pleading self-defence when one is accused of genocide).In sum, neither you nor the other Armenian discussants on this thread have given any good reason why the Armenian population as such was not a real threat to the Turks and Kurds in Eastern Anatolia, whereas the jews certainly were no threat to the Germans.

  155. Berch,the devout Christian Turk Yahya always uses same argument of ICJ.Many times he’s been given the answers but he continues on repeating himself.Let the denialist Turkey go to ICJ & Yahya representing it.

  156. 1915, new ethics and new paradigm by Markar Esayan,Todays Zaman,24/12/2011

    “Let France pass these anti-democratic laws, thinking their citizens deserve them. Let Armenia refuse to join Turkey’s commission of historians. But let us do amongst ourselves what is right and let us tidy our own house. We claim that our archives are open, but we are not telling the truth. The General Staff Archives for Military History and the Strategic Studies Center (ATASE) are still closed. There is no use blocking the process, saying, “You open yours first, then I’ll open mine.” ”

    Note this very important phrase:”he General Staff Archives for Military History and the Strategic Studies Center (ATASE) are still closed”.

  157. Ragnar Naess
    We’re not obligated to give you “any good reason” why the Armenian population was a not real threat to the Turks and Kurds, because if you’re reading into the subject, it’s most everywhere. If you had a capacity of mastering the subject devoid of a pro-Turkish tilt, you’d find out that most authors mention constant pillages, pogroms, abductions, unbearable taxation, and outright murders of the Armenian population of Eastern Asia Minor by marauding Muslim—Turkish, Kurdish, and Circassian—bands. An unbiased reader would easily grasp who posed a real threat for whom. Even Armenian freedom-fighting groups didn’t pose a real threat to the Turks and Kurds or the State for that matter, let alone masses of unarmed, impoverished, and disorganized villagers or intelligentsia in cities. Like the Jews, who we know were no threat to the Germans, Armenians, too, were no threat to the Turks. It is safe to say that both groups were scapegoated. Armenians—for expulsions and atrocities against colonizer Turks elsewhere in which they didn’t partake or for the wars that Turks have waged in which the government turned on Armenians in preference of ethnic Turks through forced relocations, theft of property, mass extermination, and making room for the wave of Turkish refugees from elsewhere. Jews, as Hitler reveals in ‘Mein Kampf’, were scapegoated for the perceived danger from the “international Jewish conspiracy” that could pose an external threat to his idealized German nation, as well as spread internal disorder in the guise of bankers.
    You’ll be better off assessing historical events if you cast off your turlophilic taint.

  158. Jda

    I know you have no information about this subject. You have possibly read Akcamian and think that you know everything. All ICJ will do is to determine whether or nat this was a case of genocide.ICJ won’t grant eastern turkey or compensation for you guys. But it will give you a strong support unlike French law so very few people can reject the outcome. I do not think that the turkish government will be in a position to reject the outcome. I strongly believe that if you go in to that direction you are highly likely to receive a compensation provided that the outcome is in your favour. unfortunately, Turkey will not give away a pieces of land to anybody for the sake of a verdict as Armenia will not give away karabakh if Azeri gets a court verdict unless they beat you. that’s the rule as everybody knows. But I am sure Turkey will recognised the Armenian calamity as genocide if you are genuine and wise enough. I really do not understand Armenians. Turkey has a powerful government and you you can speak to them and find a solution but trying to impose your version will never work.If we get coalition governments in the future you won’t be able to find anybody to speak let alone find a solution
    Venomous Tiger
    Show me what was the answer I won’t bring the same subject next time

  159. I am sorry my words flawed out of context
    “””But I am sure Turkey will recognised the Armenian calamity as genocide if you are genuine and wise enough. “”” was going to be after the court verdict.

    • JTT,
      The land of Osman Pasha of Turkey had same mentality…..we Armenians have good patients, we all know what will happen to your beloved Turkey we don’t have to rush and go for a war right now …our job is to built Armenia the best we can and promote democracy and freedom of speech and get rid of corruption as much as we can, where your beloved Turkey jailing more intellectuals, Armenians are promoting more intellectuals!! Right now your Midnight Express cars are over crowded and running out of fuel!!

  160. ragnar naess
    Now that you have shared your professional and personal life with the readers, for which we thank you, perhaps we can see some background behind your tendency to somehow put the blame, or at least part of it, on Armenians at the end. Perhaps you strive to find some “in-between” thesis to satisfy both Armenians and your Turkish friends. I can imagine you find yourself caught between two fires. If that is the case, you should not forget the saying: The one who tries to satisfy all, satisfies none. At any rate, you come very close to the denialist postions or even, it is denialism wrapped in very “subtle” arguments.

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