Hamparian: Turkish-Armenian Ties Require Truth and Justice

Track 2 Diplomacy Hits Bottom with NY Times Revelations of ‘Cheese Diplomacy’
Despite the best efforts of Ankara and its allies to get us to buy into their alternate reality, the fact remains that Turkey-Armenia relations remain defined by the massive demographic, geographic, economic, security and other modern-day consequences of Turkey’s still unpunished genocide of the Armenian nation.

According to The New York Times, their latest U.S. tax-payer funded diversion – laughable were it not so tragic – actually involves “cheese-diplomacy.”

Sadly, for us, as Americans, rather than honestly confronting this horrific injustice, the U.S. government continues to be held hostage by Ankara’s denial of this crime. Instead of simply rejecting Turkey’s gag-rule once and for all, our White House and State Department have spent decades playing tortured word games, undertaking one fake Track 2 effort after another to somehow avoid doing the obvious, speaking honestly about this inconvenient but inescapable truth.  According to The New York Times, their latest U.S. tax-payer funded diversion–laughable were it not so tragic–actually involves “cheese-diplomacy.”

Now, Turkey’s motives are clear:  Using the full measure of its geo-political and public relations leverage to prevent other nations and global civil society from addressing the genocide in its proper context as an unpunished crime, requiring a forceful international response and a truthful, just, and comprehensive resolution.

Like an unrepentant criminal seeking to escape the wages of his sin while keeping the fruits of his crime, Turkey strives tirelessly to get the international community to buy into its redefinition of this international crime into a bilateral conflict.

Why?  Clearly not because they seek the truth or thirst for justice.  Ankara simply wants this issue to disappear forever.  By seeking to restrict discussion of the Armenian Genocide to bilateral talks between two nations of vastly disparate power – all the more so as a result of the Genocide – Turkey figures it can–outside of the glare of international scrutiny–arm-twist Armenia into silence and ultimate acceptance of Ankara’s consolidation of its genocidal gains.

Internationally, Ankara reinforces its pressure against Armenia by using threats, bribes, and diversionary tactics (such as TARC and the Protocols) with other countries, hoping that the international community will absolve itself of its moral, civic, political, legal, and international responsibilities to truthfully and justly resolve the Armenian Genocide.  At the same time, Ankara is tirelessly recruiting Armenians themselves–even if only token ones–to buy into Ankara’s narrative of the Genocide as a bilateral conflict.  This, as we all know from Armenia’s long history under Ottoman rule, is a classic divide-and-conquer approach that they have frequently used against Armenians.  Ankara’s aims to deter third-party recognition, using the patently false claim that progress is around the corner, and should not be jeopardized by further international acknowledgement of this crime.

The public record shows that U.S.-funding to think tanks and publications in Armenia and in our Diaspora is often used to advance efforts to create a false impression of meaningful Armenian civil society support for astro-turf initiatives (such as TARC and the Protocols) that harm Armenian interests and compromise Armenian rights.  The fact is that U.S. State Department-funded “grassroots” efforts to promote Turkish-Armenian dialogue are neither grassroots nor authentic.  It is precisely because these transparently fake efforts–cheese-based or otherwise–are so widely recognized by Armenians as obviously aligned against the interests of truth and fairness, that sustaining them requires active diplomatic life-support and millions of dollars in government backing.

To the credit of Armenians worldwide, we have demonstrated a normal, healthy common-sense response in seeing through the interests behind TARC and the Protocols, rejecting, on principle, cynical campaigns that seek to enlist us as enablers of Ankara’s effort to consolidate the material, moral, geographic, demographic, economic, and other benefits of the Armenian Genocide.

The moral American stand on the Armenian Genocide is a simple one:  Truth.

The only workable U.S. policy for improving Armenian-Turkish ties is just as simple:  Justice.

We don’t need Track 1, Track 2, or even a Cheese Track.  We need a Truth Track.

So, rather than wasting more years, more tax dollars, and more of America’s moral standing by aiding Ankara’s evasion of responsibility for the Armenian Genocide, the United States should press for a fair and full resolution of the crime of the Armenian Genocide – the only meaningful basis for improved Armenian-Turkish ties.



Aram Hamparian

Aram Hamparian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

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  1. Kudos Mr. Hamparian. Thank God we have principled and unshackled leaders like yourself and others at the ANCA working day and night to defend truth, justice and our rights to our assets. I continue to support the ANCA morally and financially because they continue to fight for our collective rights without caving in to asinine ploys at skirting justice.

    Those few who support the defeatist protocols and the delusional folks behind tarc are still enslaved to ottoman masters and will eventually realize their folly.

  2. Surely the Swiss must have been involved in this effort, ’cause it’s full of holes. Or maybe the Armenians were just trying to string the Turks along? Get it? String? Cheese? Thank you! You’ve been a goudaudience! I’ll be here all week!

  3. “Us Americans” later “we Armenians”. Very convenient to call yourself American and “worry” about tax payers money, while you have no interest in America or Americans. Your primary loyalty is for Armenia and Armenians. This is so obvious that it is as funny as childish.

    Get a life, or go back to Armenia, your beloved country.

    • Turk-oglu Karamanli:

      when you and Turks that think like you go back to the land of your ancestors – East and Central Asia – you can give advice to Armenian-Americans about going somewhere or other.

      In case you doubt East Asia is your ancestral homeland, read this:

      {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.}

      Got that Karamanli bey ? Uighur region of China is where you belong: it’s your home.
      Pack your bags and buy a one-way ticket to China.
      Have a safe and pleasant trip.

  4. Tell your BS to the family of Ernest der Vishian, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, to Harry Kizirian, winner of the Navy Cross, to Victor Maghakian, winner of the Navy Cross, to the 25,000 Armenian American families whose sons fought in WWII, and to the thousands who have served from the Civil War to today. Tell it to the family of a Marine Captain killed serving the cause of freedom and human dignity in Afghanistan…where Turks refuse to bear arms.

    Turkey, the coward nation, declared war on Hitler…in 1945. But you excel at theft and murdering women. Korkakistan.

  5. @Avery
    Just pointing the hypocracy of the writer, and probably with most of you. Trying to come across as an American, while your loyalty lies with Armenia. I dont have that problem. My loyalty is with Turkey, where-ever I live, and I never pretend to be something else. I never say in one article “us Americans, and “we Armenians”.
    I would have more respect for you and your opinion if you would be straight. You guys don’t care about US tax payers money if it involves Turkey or Armenia. Right? Of course I’m right. Just be straight.

    BS? What BS are you talking about. Yeah, so, some American Armenians have shown bravery in the army. Fine, you should be proud of them. That doesn’t change or refute what I’m saying.
    About Afganistan. Well it would be off topic to discuss that in this section. But I can assure you, there is nothing wrong with Turkish bravery. Many countries in central Asia, Europe and Norther Africa can vouch for that.

    But enough about Turkish bravery. If you guys are so brave, go back to your country and build it up. You can’t because it is too comfi outside Armenia. Isn’t it.

    • Karamanli:

      you say “where-ever I live”: that is ambiguous.
      tell us specifically:

      are you currently living in US ?
      are you US citizen ?
      or are you a Turkish citizen living in US as a resident alien ?

      after you do that, I will respond to your post.

      (I am US citizen living in US).

  6. @ avery, i wouldnt hold my breathe if i were you,turks are here to stay however, you armenians are welcome to go have new homes in places you mentioned plane tickets will be provided by turkish state if you cant affored one, have safe and pleasant trip

    • Anton,

      Why are you sending Armenians to your ancestors land ie. Uyghur region of China? We have no business there.

      In case you have doubts, majority of Diasporan Armenians in America and elsewhere are well off and if they need a ticket to fly somewhere they can afford it.

      As to whether Turks are there to stay only time will tell. Time will also tell if your great Turkey’s sovereignty will hold up against Kurdish dream of independent Kurdistan. Kurds have already paid dearly for their grandfathers crimes and mistakes let’s see when it is your turn.

    • Anton:

      “if i were you”. you are not me: we couldn’t be more different.

      I am a descendant of people who were sedentary creators, inventors, builders and who created the wealth your countrymen are living off today, and enriched humanity.
      You are a descendant of nomadic tribes that invaded, destroyed, burnt, pillaged, abducted, murdered – on a mass scale.
      after exterminating the creators, they stole their creations, including their culture, and are shamelessly presenting it to the world as “Turkish”.
      Go and lookup all the things said over centuries about Turks: you will be unpleasantly surprised.
      Or maybe you already know: that is why you and your Turk compatriot Karamanli are so viciously Anti-Armenian.
      Deep down inside you guys know who your ancestors were, and are masking the shame and humiliation by overt displays of hostility.

      And those places I mentioned are your ancestral Turkic tribal homelands, not mine: why would I want to go to a place from where even your nomadic yurt-dwelling ancestors escaped ?


    • If you love America, you wouldn’t rip 200 million from Medicare, or give guns to Shiite Militants in Iraq to kill US troops, or constantly yap about the 1915-1923 civil war via one sided allegations which NO ONE GIVES A HOOT ABOUT.

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