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Turkey: An Action Movie without a ‘Good Guy’

Special for the Armenian Weekly

In Turkey today, a very high-tempo, high-tension action scene is unfolding, with a life-or-death fight at the top of the state apparatus. A volcano of corruption is erupting once more, releasing all the filth from below the surface. We’re seeing the sons of cabinet members being taken from their homes, alongside prominent businessmen, and put into custody; the mass removal of middle- to high-ranking security officers; and comprehensive changes in the juridical organization. But there are no prospects for a better Turkey, because both parties of this fierce fight belong to the “bad guy” club—the ruling AK Party and the informal but all-mighty clandestine organization of the “Gulen community.”

Gulen (L) and Erdogan (Photo: worldbulletin.net)

Gulen (L) and Erdogan (Photo: worldbulletin.net)

The audience is deprived of the expectation of a reward for watching these horrors play out. There is no hope for the emergence of a good guy, who will punish the bad and set things right. There is no need to wait for it, because there is no good guy at all in this action film. None of the already-few forces of democracy in Turkey have the slightest role to play in the plot.

The new enemies are, in fact, old comrades-in-arms. Until very recently, both were acting in perfect harmony in their evil-doings—their vulgar, gross denial of the genocides of Asia Mnior’s Christian population, their repression of the Kurdish resistance, their involvement in judicial scandals (Turkey has the highest number of political prisons in the world), in human rights violations of every kind, in public racism and discrimination, in the prisons where life becomes hell for the inmates.

The disintegrating state apparatus

Now, let’s take a short look at what happened: On Dec. 17, 2013, the İstanbul police detained 47 people for their involvement in corruption and bribery. The names of the detainees created a stir: they included the sons of three cabinet members, Muammer Güler, the Minister of Interior, Zafer Çağlayan, Minister of Economy, and Erdoğan Bayraktar, Minister of Environment and Urban Planning; Mustafa Demir, the mayor of the district municipality of Fatih (known for the much-debated “urban renovation project” that left thousands of Roma homeless); as well as a number of prominent businessmen, including the Iranian-Azerbaijani Raze Zarrab and Süleyman Aslan, the general manager of the state-run Halkbank. Newspapers have also reported that Egemen Bağiş, the Minister of European Union Affairs, may be a potential suspect of bribery related to businessman Reza Zarrab.

The police reportedly confiscated some $17.5 million used for bribery during the investigation; $4.5 million came from Aslan’s residence, and $750,000 from the Interior Minister’s son’s home. Prosecutors accused 14 people, including 2 sons of cabinet members, of corruption, fraud, money laundering, and smuggling gold. On Dec. 21, the court ordered their arrest. Reports indicated that a new investigation would be held on Dec. 26 involving Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s sons, Bilal and Burak, as well as certain al-Qaeda affiliates from Saudi Arabia, such as Yusuf Al Qadi and Osama Khoutub. But police officers in the Istanbul Security Directory, newly appointed by the government just a few days prior, reportedly refused to carry out the orders of arrest. The deputy director of public prosecutions also didn’t approve this new operation. The man behind this second investigation, Prosecutor Muammer Akkaş, was dismissed on the same day. Akkaş said he was prevented from performing his duty.

A few days later, on Jan. 7, the police force was purged, and the positions of 350 police officers were changed, including chiefs of the units dealing with fraud, smuggling, and organized crime.

The public’s amazing state of numbness

The only good thing in this show is the possibility that the Turkish people, still loyal to their “father state,” may take one tiny step towards doubting the morality of the entire mechanism that dominates their life. With each new scandal, the Turkish public is shocked at the extent of the corruption revealed. Yet, it always falls back into an everlasting state of oblivion, forgetting that corruption seems to be an integral part of the establishment.

The republican history is full of scandals that tell stories of large-scale irregularities, embezzlement, and abuse. Not very long ago, in 1996, the famous “Susurluk Accident,” during the peak of the armed clashes between the PKK and the Turkish army, had prompted  many to believe that nothing would be the same again. The car crash victims included the deputy chief of the Istanbul police department; a member of parliament who led a powerful Kurdish clan serving as the paramilitary armed support of the Turkish army; and the leader of the ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves, who was a contract killer on Interpol’s red list.

The scandal had revealed the close relations between the government, armed forces, and organized crime in a wide variety of unlawful activities that ranged from drug trafficking, gambling, and money laundering to extra-judicial killings and gross human rights violations in the Kurdish provinces. Although then-Interior Minister Ağar, who was shown to be closely involved with outlawed gang members, and then-Prime Minister Çiller, who led the state-sponsored assassinations, resigned after the scandal, no one received punitive sentences. Ağar was eventually re-elected to parliament as a leader of the True Path Party (DYP), and the sole survivor of the crash, chieftain Sedat Bucak, was released. In short, the perpetrators escaped justice. A number of Susurluk investigators subsequently died in car accidents suspiciously similar to the Susurluk car crash itself—two in 1997, and one in 1999.

The corruption that gave birth to Turkey

Nothing—no restructuring of the state apparatus, no reformulation of the founding values of the government, no enlightenment on the part of the Turkish public—came from this outpouring of immense filth that lay deep beneath the surface.

Corruption forms the very texture of life in Turkey, because corruption is the initiator, the founder, the very reason for its existence. Less than 100 years ago, it was founded on the massive plunder of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian property, and the unlawful transfer of their wealth to the state and to the local Muslim population.

Since then, since this tremendously large-scale theft, embezzlement, fraud, and corruption, we in Turkey all live on a vast land of sticky, stinky swamp, bubbling continuously, emitting nauseous vapors, fuming sickening smoke and, from time to time, creating small volcanoes that throw up the age-long filth the swamp has struggled to keep inside.

Parliament is now (as of Jan. 12) debating a government-proposed bill that would strengthen the Justice Ministry’s hold on a council that appoints judges and prosecutors and oversees their work. Opinion makers, academics, and politicians are on TV heatedly protesting (rightly) that this would put an end to the already feeble independence of the judiciary system.

The judicial system and denialism

From the start, the judicial system in Turkey was designed to serve denialism—the denial of the founding essence of the Turkish state, the genocide, the suppression of all opposition. It was the High Court of Appeals that, in 1974, decided that the minority foundations’ “1936 declarations”—given at the request of the government to record the immovable properties they presently possessed—should be considered to be the foundations’ charters and, therefore, unless it was clearly indicated that the foundation could acquire new immovables, acquisitions made after the declaration had no legal validity. So hundreds of immovables acquired by foundations after 1936 (by way of donation or passed on by elderly non-Muslim individuals, as they were once sources of income of the non-Muslim communities’ churches, hospitals, orphanages, cemeteries, and schools) were seized by the state. What was unbelievably unlawful in this decision was that these foundations of non-Muslim citizens of Turkey were referred to as the institutions of “foreigners”! Such is the lawlessness practiced by the highest body for justice in this country.

The swamp is sticky and contaminates everything that it comes into contact with. The recent scandal that led to a wide-scale cabinet reshuffling broke out during the so-called “peace process” between the PKK, the armed organization of the Kurdish liberation movement, and the Turkish government. While generally, individual Kurds and some prominent local officials in the Kurdish provinces display an honest and conscientious attitude towards Armenians’ demands for genocide recognition, recently one of the top-level Kurdish leaders, a woman, Bese Hozat, made anti-Armenian, anti-Greek, and anti-Jewish statements, causing great disappointment and resentment among democratic forces in Turkey.

In an interview with the Kurdish Firat news agency about the “parallel state” (a trendy phrase nowadays to refer to the Islamic Fethullah Gulen movement), Hozat said: “The Jewish lobby, the nationalist Armenians and Greeks are such parallel states. Such parallel states are in touch with one another and have interests from each other. Parallel states do not have formal and constitutional rights. It seems they do not have troops either, but they have an organized and a strong structure and they hinder the efforts for democratization in Turkey.”

It was only a couple of weeks before that Rupen Janbazian, in the Armenian Weekly, wrote how he was deeply impressed by his visit to Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd. “What is interesting, however, was that nearly a century after the genocide began, the descendants of those Kurds not only accepted our delegation in Dikranagerd with open arms, but actually apologized, time and time again, for the part some of their ancestors had in the genocide—something Armenians across the world wish to hear from the government of Turkey,” he said. “Hospitality is a trait Armenians have been known to value for millennia, but what we experienced in our six days in Dikranagerd was something I had, quite unfortunately, never felt in Armenia nor in the Armenian Diaspora, not to that extent, anyway. These people, who I had heard only negative things about from so many of my compatriots, were not only taking us to all the sites of Armenian civilization and culture in the city, but were giving us the factual, unadulterated history behind these places.”

The only hope for a ‘Good Guy’

Were Bese Hozat’s words an answer to Rupen Janbazian? No, this discourse has its roots in the original corruption, the initial one—the genocide and its denial, the one that gave birth to the still-fuming swamp that contaminates everything, even the politics pursued by the most radical opponent of the present Turkish state, the PKK.

These words reflect the dirty politics that the PKK leadership is itself caught up in, in this fight between the two bad guys, believing it has to choose the one that will maintain official power for the sake of the “peace process,” which will mean nothing if the original corruption is not revealed, recognized, and compensated.

These words also reflect the Turkish state’s biggest fear: the possibility of mutual understanding and cooperation between the politically involved Armenians and Kurds. The PKK leadership is forced to give into the government’s demands for a concession by declaring that it will not challenge the official Turkish thesis on the Armenian question.

But these words do not belong to the people of Dikranagerd who welcomed Janbazian. Here is how Janbazian described them in the Armenian Weekly: “One would assume that a stadium full of Kurds who don’t understand Armenian would be bored, uninterested, and ultimately indifferent—especially since we were speaking as representatives of a people who once called these lands ‘home.’ Yet, we witnessed the exact opposite that day. As I read out loud what we had written in the Western Armenian dialect of my forefathers, the audience watched and listened attentively. It almost seemed like they understood everything I said.”

It is clear that the politically conscious sections of the Kurdish people are far ahead of the PKK leadership, which is more interested in gaining ground in the negotiations behind closed doors than adhering to the ideal of justice.

The emergence of a “good guy” in this disgusting action film will depend on whether or not the movement for recognition from below can become strong enough to challenge the denialism that spews from the swamp of corruption.

63 Comments on Turkey: An Action Movie without a ‘Good Guy’

  1. “Corruption forms the very texture of life in Turkey, because corruption is the initiator, the founder, the very reason for its existence. Less than 100 years ago, it was founded on the massive plunder of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian property, and the unlawful transfer of their wealth to the state and to the local Muslim population.”

    Thank you, Ayse, for writing this truth. Please be safe wherever you are.

  2. avatar David Marshall // January 17, 2014 at 11:46 am // Reply

    Balanced. Well written, well said. Provides a critical and necessary background for the uninitiated.

  3. I guess you could say we have the government we deserve.

  4. Another masterly written, revealing analysis of the state of affairs in present day Turkey by Ayse Gunaysu. Thank you Ayse. Your insightful wiritings should help both Turks, Kurds as well as Armenians to better define where they stand towards each other. I will pray for your safety and well-being.

  5. avatar Ralph Magarian // January 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm // Reply

    Turkey: An action movie without a “good guy.” A well written concise narrative of present day Turkey problems in all aspects of Turkish life. But what can one expect from a country that extolls republicanism yet the government still has a residual Ottoman mentality.

  6. Ayse. I am speechless by your frank article on the truth of the Turkish State. I can only say THANK YOU!!!!! Please be Safe!

  7. LOL..After I read armenian articles about Turkey,I have feelings of pity and anger towards armenian groups..on the other hand I am of the opinion that you armenians have a huge desire to explain everything in terms of 1915…You live in the past because that’s where your thoughts are..I understand you are desperately seeking out an answer to a question everywhere but that’s all..May Allah help you inshallah!

    • This is surely a typical response from a typical ignorant and “loyal” Turk who neither has the integrity nor the intellectual capacity to express a point of view to defend or to try to dispute the author’s frank and eye-opening words against the corrupt leadership of a country with blood on its hands. Instead, just like a pre-programmed robot, he can’t help but throw in a poisonous remark completely unrelated to the topic of discussion in attempts to change the course of reality being discussed about the country to which he must remain loyal unconditionally like an illiterate brainwashed peasant.

      The truth and the words expressed in this article must be a kick in the face for the likes of you for whom his nation can do no wrong and anything negative spoken about it must be the works of some foreign conspirators. You indeed represent a model Turkish citizen and you deserve the government you got and more. Obviously, it is you who needs pity because Armenians “living in the past” is nothing but an expression of a hidden fear in you for exposing your criminal and genocidal past.

      The Armenians don’t need allah, whose teachings were used by racist Turkish Imams to help expedite race extermination, to help them with anything. You, on the other hand, need help from a shrink to get you out of that darkness you live in.

    • Well said Ararat. Well said.

  8. avatar David Marshall // January 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm // Reply

    I am not an Armenian, nor a Kurd, nor a Greek, or a Assyrian, but I have been working in the field of human rights for 40+ years, and I will say it again Atilla: “Balanced. Well written, well said. Provides a critical and necessary background for the uninitiated.”

    • We have so many Turks who represent themselves as European in AW like you!! Attila The Hun will remember always as bloodsucker of humanity, where most ordinary European as of today read and analyze in their schools tears, that how a maniac man like Hitler, Attila and Mongol Turks did to humanity and world civilization…and yet people like Davood wants Armenians to forget and forgive the enemy of Armenian Nation. One of the consequences of Armenian Genocide are the survivors, who are spreaded all over the world like a homeless man with no identity in his pocket!!

      Davood Oghloo you are a hypocrite and very selfish human garbage like Attila The Hun!

      http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/04/we-are-surrendering-to-genocide.html#

  9. To: Atilla “the Hun”: Clearly a fair description of you and Your Government.

  10. would that be ATTILA THE HUN.

  11. Ayse Gunaysu is exceptional. She writes with clarity and truth about the criminal foundations of the Turkish state. Without coming to terms with this past (and present!), Turkey will remain stuck with corrupt and defunct governance.

    I hope Ms. Gunaysu’s article is available to the misnformed Turkish public. They can’t all be as closed-minded as poor Atilla!

  12. Allah=Death, inspired by Evil

  13. @ Atilla
    I advise you to learn good about our “PAST” , as your and your nations “future” is going to be shaped by our “past”…

  14. Ironically (or sadly for us Armenians), Turkey is doing much better in terms of democracy and corruption than Armenia. Folks in Armenia would dream to see their corrupt “leaders” go to jail. Here are the corruption index ranks of the two countries:

    Turkey: 53
    Armenia: 94
    http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/

    These numbers should be embarassing for every patriotic Armenian. Until Armenia is a democracy, Armenians cannot even start to hope to gain anything out of anything going on in Turkey. In fact, given the demographic trends, my prediction is Armenia will not even be around in 20 years. That is, unless it becomes a democracy.

    • No, not really, Yıldırım քոչվորoğlu: read the title of the report. It says ‘Perceptions’. Nobody actually _measured_ it, buddy boy.
      These numbers not only are _not_ embarrassing, but they are meaningless.

      And my prediction for the next 20 years is this, Turkbeijani քոչվորoğlu:
      -your fake homeland of Turkbeijan will break up into several parts: Talyshstan, Lezgistan, Avaristan,…,Sultanate of Baku Khanate.
      -NKR will expand to the Kur river. Nakhichevan will be voluntarily returned to RoA.
      -Turkey will be effectively broken up into 3-4 parts, like Iraq: Kurdistan, Alevi/Shia, Islamist Sunni, Secular Kemalist.
      -RoA and (Turkish) Kurdistan will begin negotiations on how to come up with a mutually beneficial mechanism regarding Western Armenia.

      About those surveys and indexes. Here is a couple for your edification, sonny boy. I can come up with dozens and dozens more that measure something or other, but if you remember last semester you failed to progress to double-digit arithmetic: we are eager to educate you, but we do not want to reverse what little progress we have made with your education by causing an overload, son.

      [Global Food Index: Armenia is far ahead Azerbaijan in food quality and affordability]
      http://www.panorama.am/en/region/2014/01/16/global-food-index/
      {In the Global Food Index affordability, quality and diversity ranking of food, compiled by the Oxfam International organization, Armenia is significantly ahead of Azerbaijan. Armenia took the 57th place in the overall ranking, Azerbaijan – the 91st. Georgia is not noted in this rating. Iran is on the 80th place, Turkey – on the 77th.}

      Armenia: 57
      Turkey: 77
      Turkbeijan: 91

      [Armenia Ranks High in Economic Freedom]
      http://asbarez.com/118443/armenia-ranks-high-in-economic-freedom/
      {Armenia is ranked 18th among 43 countries in the Europe region in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom released by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation.
      Armenia’s neighboring countries and Customs Union member states are ranked as follows: Georgia, 22nd; Iran, 173rd; Azerbaijan, 81st; Turkey, 64th; Russia, 140th; Belarus, 150th; and Kazakhstan, 67th.}

      Armenia: 41
      Turkey: 64
      Turkbeijan: 81.

      And about that Democracy: go and spread your fake democracy in your fake homeland of Turkbeijan, Yıldırım քոչվորoğlu.
      Democracy reminder nomad:
      China: one party, autocratic rule.
      India: full democracy.
      China leaves India in the dust in every measure of human development, and economic & military progress.
      China just landed a robot on the Moon: only the 3rd country to do so.
      Meanwhile, India is making tremendous progress in the Gang Rape Index.

    • avatar Random Armenian // January 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm //

      Avery,

      You have a seething, irrational hatred of democracy. Why? There is a very high correlation between the level of democracy and the level of quality of life and a strong economy.

      Putting a rover on the moon is not an indicator of a good government. India for example has its own space program with their own indigenous rockets. They’re sending a probe to Mars. The Soviet Union put a man in orbit first, built space stations and also put rovers on the moon (there is an Armenian connection with that rover btw). But I doubt you’d want to live under a soviet/communist system of government. Even Iran is putting rockets and test animals into orbit.

      For all your cherry picking, it’s insanely easy to do the same by picking prosperous, low corruption, democratic countries to make authoritarian and autocratic countries look bad.

      You feel threatened by a democratic style government and country. Why? My guess is you don’t want your guy, Serj, threatened by votes and democracy.

      Are you currently living in a western, non-autocratic, country? I assume you are. Why aren’t you living in Armenia?

    • [Random Armenian // January 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm //: “Are you currently living in a western, non-autocratic, country? I assume you are. Why aren’t you living in Armenia?”]

      Our “Armenian” buddy boy has admitted in prior posts that he safely lives in the USA. And that many, many years ago he lived in Yerevan. And that he was safely in the US during the NKR war (he admitted the last bit after some skillful prodding by yours truly). As I have said before, the hypocricy of the pro-regime apologists is the gift that keeps giving.

    • [Avery // January 18, 2014 at 11:10 am //: “… perception … bla bla … food quality … bla bla “]
      What time is it?
      Its time to educate our buddy boy (again).
      When it comes to corruption, perception is what matters. Hence the importance of the Corruption Perception Index. Investors refuse to invest in a country based on their perception of corruption and lack of rule of law. And people flee a country (such as Armenia) based on their perception. Which brings us to the statistics that matter much more for Armenia than your ludicrous “food quality” stats. Here are the net migration rates, i.e. folks permanently leaving or entering a country (per 1000 people in the population) :

      Turkey: 0.50 (i.e. people move in to the country)
      Azerbaijan: 0 (i.e. stable)
      Armenia: -3.35

      This translates into roughly 40-50 thousand Armenians permanently leaving the country. And those are official figures.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_net_migration_rate

      The real numbers are probably much higher:

      “Experts in the migration field warn that the outflow of people searching either permanent residence or employment opportunities abroad has reached a disastrous scale in Armenia. According to the National Statistical Service, 108,005 people left within the last quarter (June-September) who did not return.”
      http://www.armenianow.com/society/50966/emigration_armenia_national_statistical_service

      You see, gyavuroghlu, having a better food quality will not save Armenia. What will destroy Armenia is its massive emigration, which is due to the rampant corruption and lack of rule of law. Both being the twin result of lack of democracy.

      As for your irrelevant example of india vs china, you have been educated before on the issue. Happy to do it again. India’s system is classified as a flawed democracy. We need to emulate successful democracies, such as the US (you know, where you live).

    • Random:

      And you, Random Armenian, have a seething, irrational hatred of RoA.
      So why aren’t _you_ living in India ?
      Why aren’t _you_ living in one of those European democracies you gush about ?
      Why don’t you go and live in India for as many years as I have lived in Armenia, then offer advice where I should live.
      And take your Turkeijani buddy with you: you two can work hard to improve the ‘imperfect’ Democracy in India, before you stick your unwelcome nose in the internal affairs of RoA.

      And normally I would reply in greater detail. However this article is about Turkey, so some other time, Anti-RoA Random Armenian.

      With kind regards,
      Avery the Online Bully.

    • Turkbeijani Yıldırım քոչվորoğlu:

      You have become even more desperate in your Anti-RoA hysteria based on manufactured nonsense.
      And the year is just starting.
      Looks like I am going to have a very rewarding year educating one Turkbeijani nomad.

      Azerbaijan stable ? is that why there are 3 million Azerbaijanis living and selling tomatoes and potatoes in Russia,. nomad ?
      Turkey stable ? is that why 5 million Turkish citizens
      live in Europe ?

  15. avatar Garbis Yessayan // January 18, 2014 at 1:43 pm // Reply

    “Balanced. Well written, well said. Provides a critical and necessary background for the uninitiated.”
    “Thank you, Ayse Gunaysu, for writing this truth. Please be safe wherever you are.”

  16. The corruption in Turkey is further evidenced by those who have followed nato to their own shame I’m speaking of minister who tried to blame my President for being in cahoots with isis LOL
    The recent false and treacherous accusations spewed from the mouth of Turkish Foreign Minister Davutaglu are a sign of the growing desperation of the defeated west to salvage their standing.
    Their plots to take Bashars honor are in vain. Never would a honorable commanding officer ever give support to forces arrayed against his own brothers in arms.
    To suggest such a thing is dishonorable and surely an indication of Davutaglus own character.

  17. So let me get this straight … Vahagn here, when he voices opinions against Armenia (as you perceive it as such), then he is a fake Armenian or at least a bad one … But Ayse, when she does the same to her own people, then she is a sublime human being?

    My opinion on Ayse … There are certain kinds of people in the world who derive pleasure from being contrarian or anti-establishment. It is from such people that Soviet communism tried to build a revolutionary group in Turkey. The cold war is over, but these confused souls are still left there, influencing a next generation of rebels without a cause … Some, like Ayse, have found a cause in the Armenian Genocide. Which in itself is a noble cause. The problem is, doesn’t Turkey have its own deep problems with poverty, democracy, etc? If she is trying to do good, why does she do it for another nation’s interests and not her own? Well, that would not be contrarian enough, that is why! Not to further deconstruct her motivations, she also seems to be a narcissistic person seeking at least some form of praise (even contrarians need it). What is the point of her coming and saying all this to Armenians if not to get a pat on the back, WHILE at the same time feeling like she is a true contrarian. A great bargain indeed.

    Ayse, yes, Turkey, as any former empire, has a lot of skeletons in its closet. One does not build an empire without them. Look at America. Built upon the genocide of MANY nations … a whole race in fact. And has constructed a country on the back of slave labor, and still exploiting their descendents. The only country that has used a nuclear bomb upon civilian cities. Yes, Turkey is not perfect. But that does not give you a moral right to trash it amongst its sworn enemies. You have every right to say what you say. But why say it here? Are you that desperate for an applause?

    • avatar Ayşe Günaysu // January 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm //

      Karim, whoever you are (I am using my own name, written exactly as it is written on my official Turkish ID, but I don’t know who you are, I am in the open but you are not, you are hiding, I am not), you ask if I am that desperate for an applause. Here is the answer: I am saying all these in my home country for 20 years and am hated by the majority of my compatriots, seen as a traitor, insulted in internet forums, even threatened. I have written hundreds of articles in Turkish in Turkey hundred times more in length than I have written in Armenian Weekly. I am in the conference rooms, meeting halls and on the street as well. It’s just that you can’t believe an ethnic Turk and Sunni Muslim by birth can sincerely, honestly believe what he/she is saying against his/her own country’s government policies, isn’t it? Well, I am not alone. We are here in Turkey, openly doing what we do, writing what we write, unmasked. Where are you? THis is the first time I answer an insult in AW website, and it will be the last.

    • Ayse, I admire your bravery … But don’t you think it is hypocritical when you state that you feel insulted by my criticism, whereas you have been waging war against Turks feeling insulted by the mention of their historical wrongs (of which there surely have been many). See, you may not be that different. You too cannot stand criticism of your motivation. What exactly do you mean by I insulted you? Not to delve too much in a psychoanalysis of your motivation here, but I cannot resist noticing in your response to me such a strong streak of “Look, I am better than you! I am better than you!” Is that why you are doing all this, to feel better to your brethren? Nothing wrong with that. I think the Armenian issue is secondary to this drive you seem to have in you. To feel superior! And by the way, it is not unusual for contrarians to openly broadcast their identity … After all, what is the point of being a contrarian if nobody knows who you are? There are no secret contrarians. They are out there in the open, on the tallest soap boxes in the market. You are probably tired of aggregating Turks at home (they probably have grown used to you, and insensitive to your shock-value). So you are branching out. As for who I am … You are right … I am a nobody. But what does that have anything to do with the merits of what I say? If a nobody says 1+1=2, are we to ask his identity? True, if I say, 1+1=3, then beat me up for it, and not because I am not a revolutionary thinker like you, taking pride in openly being a gadfly.

    • Karim, I truly believe that Ayse Gunaysu writes and does the things she does for the good of Turkey. I believe it is her intention to create a better future for Turkey based on honestly facing the past.

    • Your are wrong Karim, I don’t know where are you from but I know that we, Armenians and Turks, are children of same land. I am a Turkish citizen with the proud of sharing same land and culture with Armenian brothers and sisters but at the same time I am a Turkish citizen with the shame of dark past against Armenians and others. That dark past never told us in Turkey. I can tell you that my learning process started with the assassination of Hrant Dink. We couldn’t save him as we couldn’t know the facts about Armenians for a long time. If we would have more brave people like Ayse Gunaysu before, Hrant would be alive today. If we would have more brave people like her 100 years ago, we wouldn’t be talking here.

    • @Karim, I think it is quite unfair and rather pathetic that you compare the words expressed by someone of Ayse Gunaysu’s background and credentials to the words of some anonymous person with personal agenda most likely. In a manner of speaking, you are comparing apples to oranges. You are implying that Ayse is unpatriotic when in fact dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

      There are tens of Turkish scholars these days who openly speak about a range of topics in Turkey today, some tabooed, that could have gotten them in trouble in the past, perhaps even now, and every one of them is labeled a traitor. There is a pattern here. People who live in authoritarian and totalitarian societies are only interested in blind patriotism. They are not interested in openness and fact findings because that would amount to “airing their dirty laundries in public” and they can’t afford to do that according to you.

      Anyone can express his opinion on any subject being discussed here based on his perception, even bias, and the knowledge of the subject matter but someone of Ayse’s, or any other official contributor for that matter, caliber has the responsibility to present the subject in a balanced and objective manner based on facts and that is exactly what Ayse has done.

      You seem to have problem with objectivity and taking criticism and you contradict yourself quite often. I personally am not surprised you behave that way because I would not expect any less from someone who calls his opposition the enemy. Whether right or wrong, if you consider the Armenians your “düşman” then you have lost all sense of logic in what you say. Freedom of expression must have a different meaning in your neighborhood because if you think Ayse has every right to say about what she has to say, unless there is something to hide, then why can’t she say it in public and openly?

      I will end my remarks by mentioning the fact that the Azerbaijani citizens were interrogated by the police for voting in favor of Armenia in the Eurovision song contest a couple of years ago speaks volumes about where you are coming from in terms of your mentality and the views and the complaints you expressed here.

  18. Dear Ayşe,
    I have to congratulate you, and thanks to you, for your determination as a Turkish lady journalist with a such a courage, and bravery, uncovering the hidden truth of Turkey’s past, where most liberal minded Turkish intellectuals are afraid to do so!

  19. avatar Lorie Turner // January 18, 2014 at 7:47 pm // Reply

    Turks & Armenians, so similar in so many ways but both full of anger (for each other). I personally don’t think the 2 countries will ever make a lasting peace until the day Armenia is free from Russian influence and military presence. Because of this Armenia will always be used as a political bargaining chip and i believe most Armenians know this deep in their hearts. Not saying that Turkey is perfect but at least it is its own master (as can be). As a Turk i love Armenian culture and Armenian people and its history although it makes me sick the level of violence done. I can see that we have a hard time letting go of things. We as two people need to stop being stubborn and stop bashing each other and instead need projects which encourage peace and friendship. On a personal not i think Ayse has good intentions as a writer but is not doing anybody, any good by making statement like the core of the TR is rotten. Very naive thing to say and clearly highlights your bias.

  20. Dear karim, I truly think Ayse is a great human being , beside and obove what nationality or religion she is from . For me she is a great patriot , great doughter of Turkish nation and represents the best and noblest qualities of her people . It does take someone great to find the strength and to come from her humanity first .
    It is ok to recognize and call wrong and right with their names.
    As a grandchild of genocide survivors , as a man of art and a humanist I would like to tell you that despite what happened Armenians do not consider Turks as their enemies . Part of my family was saved by their Turkish neighbors and their memory always comes first for us . Yes we expect and demand that justice be done in regards to the genocide , and for the same reason we will never associate our just cause with premetive haterste and childish “enemy ” games .
    All good people are brothers and sisters .
    Ayse is my sister , the choice is yours to be our brother or not . We will waith and will hope “you’ll ” join us one day .
    And when “you” do , we all can sing together again , one of those old soulful Anatolian songs. There is no “us versus you” , it’s rather
    Great Wrong has been done and justice is
    due. I hope you’ll hear my call !

    • Hi Hrair, I hear your call deep in my heart. Thanks for the great humanity you show here. Main reason for me to follow AW was learn more about Armenians and Armenian Genocide. But I learnt much more than that by reading commentators like you. As I see people like you, my respect to Armenian Nation increases day by day. Also my pain and anger to lose you from your homeland and my neighborhood increases as well. Because of that I believe, they also stole my life by Armenian Genocide. They have separated us physically but our hearts will always be together.

  21. People like Ayse Gunaysu, with the courage and insight that they have, belong to the whole human race. They are a cause and reason for all to be proud as human being. Contemptible souls like “Karim” cannot understand this. Or, perhaps they do, but they have a mission to carrry as agent provocateurs.

  22. [Ayşe Günaysu // January 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm //: “Karim, whoever you are …”]

    Ayşe, as an American and an Armenian, I commend you for your courage and devotion to freedom of speech. Tyrants and their lackeys, whether in Armenia or Turkey, need to be confronted and exposed.

    Since you are not familiar with Karim, I will introduce him to you. He is another brave individual. He is an Azeri who has acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and Nagorno-Karabagh’s right of self-determination. Naturally, of course, he also favors the right of Azeri refugees to return to their homes in Karabagh. His point is that if a Turk can criticize Turkey, an Armenian can certainly criticize Armenia, contrary to what the apologists for the Armenian government claim. As a free-minded individual, I am sure you agree.

    • avatar Ayşe Günaysu // January 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm //

      Vahagn, thank you very much for introducing Karim to me, I thought he was an ultranationalist Turkish citizen. Now I understand better. Karim, I of course respect your stand against official Azerbaijani theses and of course your standing for free expression of thoughts. It was just difficult to digest your presenting me as someone “desperately in need of applaud”. Anyway, nice to meet you!

    • Only you know who or what you are, Turkbeijani Yıldırım քոչվորoğlu.
      But you sure ain’t Armenian.

      Let’s see you find another ‘Armenian’ who wrote something like this:

      {“ and then there is that piece of aborted fetus called “nkr”. “} (Vahagn // December 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm //)
      {“(oh, and in that terrorist entity called “nkr”.) “}
      (Vahagn // December 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm //)

    • [“Avery” // January 19, 2014 at 1″41 pm // “Only you know who or what you are”]

      We sure can infer from your posts what you are, gyavuroghlu. IF you are an “Armenian”, its the self-hating kind we are talking about. Lets see how you accused Armenians of being sick with “national diseases”. Or called our Genocide victims sheep.

      post by “Avery” // November 8, 2013 at 10:39 am // “The twin national diseases that many of our people suffer from: Ստրկամտություն and Օդարամոլություն.”

      https://armenianweekly.com/2013/11/07/2003-nobel-prize-for-mri-denied-to-raymond-vahan-damadian/

      post by “Avery” // February 26, 2013 at 3:17 am // “no wonder we were slaughtered like sheep by Turks. Turks glorify their military, while we glorify our spoiled brats.” https://armenianweekly.com/2013/02/23/a-story-of-defiance-activists-reject-international-observers-assessment-of-election/

  23. avatar Ayşe Günaysu // January 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm // Reply

    I want to apologize to Armenian Weekly readers for my posting a comment in answer to the person with the nicname “karim” and not until now to AW readers’ warm, generous, encouraging comments on my articles right from the start. It’s just that I am too embarassed to say anything in response to these words which I think I don’t deserve, as what I do is what every Turkish citizen should do and many of them would have done if denialism didn’t persist in Turkey nearly 100 years now. Can you imagine a German receiving such thankfulness from Jews for just acknowledging the holocaust and expresses his/her shame as one of the descendants of the perpetrators? No, the big difference is that Turkey is still denying, and the overwhelming majority of the Turkish people believes in the official version of history. In short the whole Turkey is denialist. Under these denialist habitus anybody saying the truth, the simple truth, the bare reality, is praised as a brave person and in turn, he/she is insulted as “being desparate for applause”. I’m writing this because I just felt very bad that until now I never thanked the words of AW readers, each of whom I really feel my brother/sister, closer than any blood relation, despite oceans and mountains between us. I thank for all the generous, exalting, inspiring, rewarding words of AW readers and yes, I really need these, Karim, to be able to go on living in this deep endless well of injustice, not for the applaud but the love of my brothers and sisters closer to me than my blood kins. Thank you Armenian Weekly team for making this possible for me and thank you Armenian Weekly readers.

    • Karim, the above note from Ms. Gunaysu shows us her true character. She is motivated by justice, compassion and humility. She is someone we should all admire. Despite the fact that she doesn’t seek it, I applaud her!

      Ayse, you deserve all the praise and appreciation you receive precisely because you are a person who courageously does good for goodness sake, and not for praise from others. In my opinion, you are serving a sacred cause.

  24. In Nazi Germany during the height of Nazi power, a few patriotic and brave Germans spoke up against the genocidal criminal Nazi regime (e.g. White Rose)
    They were vilified as traitors and ostracized. Only if they were lucky not to get a courtesy visit from the Gestapo goons.
    After the war, those Germans are recognized for what they truly were: patriotic Germans who loved their country and did not want to see it destroyed by Nazi criminal scum. [Today, the members of the White Rose are honoured in Germany amongst its greatest heroes, since they opposed the Third Reich in the face of almost certain death.] (from Wiki)

    In Azerbaijan, a 75 year old harmless writer, Akram Aylisli, was ostracized for telling the truth about the Baku Pogroms of Armenian civilians.
    The leader of the Musavat Party (Hafiz Hajiyev) puts out a bounty of $13,000 for one ear of this harmless man.
    His books were publicly burned. (channeling Nazi Germany).
    He and his family threatened and terrorized. (wife and son fired from their jobs).
    On orders of President Aliyev his pension was eliminated and his state awards withdrawn.

    In US, civil rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, etc, were hounded by racist American officialdom.
    US law enforcement agencies, e.g. FBI, participated in the illegal harassment of civil rights leaders.
    Far worse than simple harassment by US law enforcement agencies has been alleged.
    Today, those same civil rights leaders are recognized as real American patriots for spearheading the fight against the vile corrosive racism in US, at great danger and sometimes cost to their lives.

    It is sad that a unique individual such as Ayse Gunaysu feels compelled to respond to an Anti-Armenian Azerbaijani poster such as Karim, who claimed at one time that he was in Baku in 1990 and that there was no pogrom of Armenians there.
    He has openly and honestly stated that he hates Armenians on the comment pages of Armenian Weekly.
    He is very confused about many things related to Armenians.

    Ms. Gunaysu : please let us, the ‘regular folks’, work with Karim.
    He has been visiting us @AW for a couple of years or so: we got his handle.
    No need for you to waste your valuable time.

    —–

    First they came for Armenians: I didn’t speak up, because I was not Armenian.
    Then they came for Greeks: I didn’t speak up, because I was not Greek.
    Then they came for Assyrians: I didn’t speak up, because I was not Assyrian.
    Then they came for Kurds: I did not speak up; I was not a Kurd.
    Then they came for Muslim Alevis: I did not speak up; I was a Sunni Muslim, not Shia/Alevi.
    Then they came for me, a Sunni Muslim: and there was nobody left to speak up for me.

    Some day Turks like Ragıp Zarakolu, Ayse Gunaysu,….will be recognized by Turks at large as the true Turkish patriots that they are.

  25. Dear Avery,

    “vahagn” is not Armenian, and there is no doubt about that …he does not have constructive opinion about Armenian Nation in general…most probably he is an agent of Sultan Aliyev, whose pocket is filled with rotten Turkish delights…he never even once criticize his corrupted dictatorial oil Sheikhdom, where Axerbaijani corruption, democracy, freedom ranking is one of the worse in global ranking, same level as Sudanese or Yemeni standard ..he is only attracted to “democracy syndrome disease” in order to make Armenia weaker in military superiority over Turkic-tribes, where they can send their Jihadists to Artsakh and Armenia, for bombing campaign, as they are doing in North Caucasus, in order to destabilize entire Caucasus region, like the way Turkey co operating with Wahhabi, Al-Qaeda, Axeri, Chechen Jihadists in Syria!!

  26. Karim:

    You insulted Ms. Günaysu badly.
    Ms. Günaysu has never presented herself as anything other than who or what she is.
    You comparing her to a Turkbeijani shill who pretends to be ‘Armenian’, while engaged in relentless Anti-Armenian propaganda and disinformation @AW, is beneath contempt.
    Your self-professed hatred for Armenians has warped your ability to look at things rationally with anything – anything – having to do with Armenians, Armenia, and NKR.

    Ms. Günaysu lives in Turkey: she has placed her personal security and life on the line by openly challenging the fascist, Anti-Turkish, nationalist, denialist State.

    I listened to her speech in California in 2011 when she was an honored guest at the ANCA Grassroots at Universal City
    Most people do not know about the personal sacrifice she has made to remain true to her convictions: she does not discuss it on the pages of AW.
    And it is a very personal sacrifice: and she did it long before we Armenians had even heard of her.

    And you are accusing her of doing this for ‘applause’ from
    Armenians ?

    Sick and disgusting.

    For that reason, and because I know about her personal sacrifice completely unrelated to Armenians, and because you insulted such a person, henceforth I have no choice but to treat you as a ‘hostile witness’, as the saying goes, on the comment pages of @AW.

    Unless you apologize to Ms. Günaysu forthwith and with genuine sincerity and withdraw your vile accusations.

  27. Wow, Armenians thronging to defend a Turk from an Azeri … That is why I like Armenian Weekly :) Only here can this happen.

    Now, before you congratulate yourselves about congratulating Ayse, note this. I too would do this exact same thing if an Armenian came to Azeris and told us everything that we believed about Armenians. It is rather easy to like such a Turk for you. And I on purpose drew a comparison with your own Ayse (Vahagn). Avery, look, you cannot miss a chance to call him all kinds of names because of what you perceive to be anti-Armenian comments. You question his ethnicity. Now, maybe others here do have a ground to defend Ayese, but, you, given the way you are treating Vahagn and other “fake Armenians” here, you my friend, have no such right. To a Turk and Azeri, Ayese is more of a fake Turk than Vahagn is a fake Armenian. Vahagn does all his stuff here on Armenian Weekly, but Ayse take a step further.

    Ayse, you are at the right place. Turks can see through you. All countries have likes of you. Jane Fonda of the US, for example. During Vietnam war, she called the US soldiers criminals, etc. Were they criminals, sure, maybe. That is not the point. The point is the way she was rightly treated in the U.S. As a traitor. Let me explain this meaning to you.

    Let’s say my brother is being accused of a murder. It is likely that he did it. But it is not for sure 100%. Say, it is 90%. There is sill 10% chance he is innocent. You would turn him in, and go and trash him in court. Most people, however, would be much more reluctant. They would call you a traitor.

    Let me ask you this. Granted, I am not familiar with your body of work. What exactly are you trying to achieve? Are ok with Turkey giving up Western Armenia, paying huge reparations, recognizing the Genocide? I want to call you on it. Tell us honestly what you think. Do you also propose Turkey do the same for Assyrians, Greeks, etc? Are you essentially calling for the dissolution of Turkey? Tell us what you think.

  28. Avery, what are you, a musketeer, or something? Don Quixote? Throwing in the gauntlet to defend the honor of a dame? What are you going to do if I don’t apologize? Destroy my arguments on an internet forum? Come on, dude. You take this stuff all too seriously. It seems to have gotten into your head that you are noble defend of justice (Don Quixote) or an Armenian patriot. I doubt the latter, otherwise you’d be in Armenia, helping with NGOs or whatnot. You are just an internet warrior. Me, I am just killing time. I am not taking myself too seriously. I realize I am biased. I might be wrong about a lot of things, as usually I am. But at least I know that. Come down to Earth, would you please? You are just as subjective. If you really admire Ayse for her bravery, I challenge you to come forward (like Ayse) and confess to an anti-Armenian interpretation of anything, any events, anything. If you like her so much, then be like her! Say the unsayable? Or what, is Armenia correct on 100% of things 100% of the time? That is impossible. So pick one wrong Armenia has done against Turks or Azeris, and say it. Be like her! And again, if you admire Ayse for her bravery, then say the same to Vahagn! You cannot cherry pick! You cannot defend one and then ostracize and bully the other!

  29. avatar Random Armenian // January 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm // Reply

    Thank you Ms. Günaysu for your articles. Each one that I have read is able to go to the heart of the matter and present the essence of the issues you’re discussing.

    As you can see, the AW discussions can get very heated and even go off into many tangents and topics.

    Karim,

    The reason for Ms. Günaysu’s writing is because of the Turkish government’s attitude and behavior. The denialism. The intent to deliberately erase this Armeno-Turkish history is what gives people such as Ms. Günaysu the reason and legitimacy for writing as she does. We would not be discussing 1915 in the current manner if Republic of Turkey had openly and justly dealt with it decades ago.

  30. Vahagn
    This is not to meddle with the feud between you and Avery, but I am surprised at your characerization of Karim. He may have recognized the Genocide, which I can’t remember where and when, but as far as I can remember he has belittled Armenians and Armenia and continues to do so in these pages with his frequent outrageous declarations. And especially, here, I was shocked by his hysterical attacks on Ms. Gunaysu on this page. Then, he begins to polemicise and compares Ms. Gunaysu with you, which, with all due respect to you, I find quite misplaced. I may be wrong, but I have a strong sense that we are not dealing with a decent commentator here.

    • Arshag, what do you expect of an Azeri. Of course Karim is going to say things that we Armenians do not like. I have read much worse remarks from extremist Azeris, and I know that Karim is a moderate Azeri.

      Since you too do not seem to be aware of Karim’s views on Armenian issues, I have posted his remarks that he made in March of 2013 on one of the articles at AW. As the comment shows, he does recognize the Genocide and agrees with the independence of Karabagh. As you can also see, his current level of dislike of Armenians has been fueled by the maniacal remarks from “Avery.” Which shows that the few fanatics among us can drive away not only Armenians but also moderate Azeris, whom we might need. Which further shows the harm that these “Armenians” cause to our nation.

      Here is Karim’s response to one of the posts by “Avery.”

      [Kerim // March 21, 2013 at 10:29 pm //: “Avery, this post of yours must be the most ridiculous and hateful, and fascistic, I have read.”]

      https://armenianweekly.com/2013/03/21/aronian-defeats-azeri-opponent-maintains-lead-in-candidates-tournament/

      Here is Karim’s post a few days later, on the same article:

      [Kerim // March 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm //: “yes, I am a liberal Azeri. Here I was, acknowleding the Karabak should be indepdent, that pogroms did take place, that Safarov shoud have never been pardoned, Geoncide did happen … I am not sayin you should have leaped up and thanked me. No, that is not the point. But, the hatred and nasty racism I got back … No matter what, in your eyes, I am just an Azeri, whom you clearly hate no matter what. … Yes, I do hate Armenians. I have been shocked by the nastiness of the narrative dominating these pages. Any Azeri or Turkish person who enters these site, even those who actually agree with you”]

      https://armenianweekly.com/2013/03/21/aronian-defeats-azeri-opponent-maintains-lead-in-candidates-tournament/

    • Arshag:

      Absolutely no need for you or any of my other Armenian compatriots to ‘meddle’ or get involved.
      Though support from my like-minded compatriots is always welcome and greatly appreciated, I am quite capable of handling the likes of the Turkbeijani Yıldırım քոչվորoğlu, Azerbaijani nomad Karim, and a dozen other assorted Anti-Armenian shills, disinformation dongles, Turkophile cybercohort, shapeshifting sheeps….. all by myself.

      And I do it with ¾ of my brain tied behind my back.
      And I am only a low-achieving Armenian, who has failed at most everything he has tried: imagine if one of our more competent Հայ Հայրենասեր compatriots took on these Turkic nomads: it would be the proverbial ‘Turkey shoot’.

      (Note: American lingo; no harm was intended to any fascist Turkic State or American fowl with the proper noun ‘Turkey’ in the above colloquial prose: we come in peace).
      (No animals or denialist, fascist, genocidal countries were harmed in the production of this comment).

      btw: Arshag: do you feel that a Turkeijani who has written the following about NKR is due _any_ respect from an Armenian ?

      {“ and then there is that piece of aborted fetus called “nkr”. “} (Vahagn // December 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm //)
      {“(oh, and in that terrorist entity called “nkr”.) “} (Vahagn // December 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm //)

    • [“Avery” // January 21, 2014 at 12:22 am // “¾ of my brain tied behind my back”]

      Hey, gyavuroghlu, I suggest you try to use your full brain when trying to reply to me. Because you keep getting debunked over and over, and I am all for fair play. Not saying it will make a difference in your case, but still.

      Regarding my comments, for the curious-minded (who actually care), let’s provide some context. Here are the threads where the comments were made:
      https://armenianweekly.com/2013/12/10/i-turned-my-back-on-armenia/
      https://armenianweekly.com/2013/12/03/telethon-raises-22-6-million/

      Now, let’s see how our gyavuroghlu poster accused Armenians of being sick with “national diseases.” Or called our Genocide victims sheep.

      post by “Avery” // November 8, 2013 at 10:39 am // “The twin national diseases that many of our people suffer from: Ստրկամտություն and Օդարամոլություն.”

      https://armenianweekly.com/2013/11/07/2003-nobel-prize-for-mri-denied-to-raymond-vahan-damadian/

      post by “Avery” // February 26, 2013 at 3:17 am // “no wonder we were slaughtered like sheep by Turks. Turks glorify their military, while we glorify our spoiled brats.”

      https://armenianweekly.com/2013/02/23/a-story-of-defiance-activists-reject-international-observers-assessment-of-election/

      Btw, what kind of an “Armenian” doesn’t know that the word used above by our gyavuroghlu “Armenian” is never spelled «Օդարամոլություն». In fact, if you google the word, it’s only used by him on this site. Here is some more education for you, gyavur. It’s spelled «Օտարամոլություն»

      By the way, gyavur, you never said if you read my impromptu poem for you. Here is the link again.

      “Rendahl: Top Three Ways to Learn Armenian”
      https://armenianweekly.com/2013/11/22/rendahl-top-three-ways-to-learn-armenian/

      It has a little Charentsesque message for your enjoyment, if you pay attention to the first letters.

  31. Lorie turner; you wrote;” I can see that we have a hard time letting go of things.” What exactly are you suggesting that Armenians “let go” of? The genocidal murder of almost 2 million people who were citizens of your country? Should I let go of the stoning death of my elderly grandmother on a mountain road? Or maybe the butchering of my father’s small brothers? What is it you think I should let go of and enter into “peace and friendship” with? The rape and murder of the women in my family? The pillage of a lifetime of my family’s work? The loss of my native homeland? Try harder to become educated enough to be a little more like Ayse. She understands Genocide, and has the courage to speak up. For you, our demand for justice is just a matter of being “stubborn.” And RoA doesn’t need your political opinion.

    • well said Perouz.

      and Ms. Turner: before you give advice to RoA, go and give advice to your fascist homeland of Turkey.
      go and advise your Fuhrer Erdogan.
      RoA may or may not be influenced by Russia. But it sure isn’t influenced by a religious sect, whose leader lives in US.

  32. While we Armenians should encourage Turkish journalists who face danger for criticizing their government, we need to be aware of the many Armenian journalists who have faced horrible retaliations for speaking the truth. On such journalist is a brave man by the name of Mark Grigoryan, who has fled Armenia after a bomb attack at him for trying to uncover the truth behind the 1999 parliamentary massacre:

    “In October 2002–Grigorian–a free-lance journalist suffered serious shrapnel wounds to the head and chest from a grenade thrown at him as he walked through the center of the country’s capital–Yerevan. The journalist had been working on an article about an October 1999 attack on the Armenian Parliament that left eight high-level politicians–including the prime minister–dead.”

    http://asbarez.com/48921/mark-grigorian-receives-human-rights-watch-award/

    It is widely believed among Armenians that the 1999 parliamentary massacre was at least in part organized by “presidents” Kocharian and Serzh:

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

    Here is the kind of environment of fear that has resulted from these kinds of attacks against journalists in Armenia:

    “Media outlets, particularly broadcasters, feared reprisals for reporting critical of the government. … Fear of retribution led to a high degree of media self-censorship.”

    http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/eur/204258.htm

    We Armenians need to speak up and stand up to our own thugs, or else they will keep driving talented Armenians away. Which will only bring Armenia closer to destruction. As I have said before, democracy is a matter of national security for Armenia.

    • you go and speak up to the real thugs in your homeland of Sultanate of Aliyevistan, where the whole country is run by the Aliyev Dynasty Crime Syndicate, Turkbeijani Yıldırım քոչվորoğlu.

      2012 Human Rights Reports: Azerbaijan
      http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/eur/204262.htm

      [The most significant human rights problems during the year were:
      1. Restrictions on freedom of expression, including intimidation, arrest, and use of force against journalists and human rights and democracy activists online and offline.
      2. Restrictions on freedom of assembly. ……Baku, regularly denied other applications for peaceful political protests, forcefully dispersed unsanctioned protests, and often detained demonstrators.
      3. …..continued reports of arbitrary arrest and detention, politically motivated imprisonment, lack of due process, executive influence over the judiciary, and lengthy pretrial detention…… forced evictions, demolition of buildings on dubious eminent domain grounds, and inadequate compensation for property taken by the state.
      Other human rights problems…reports of torture and abuse in police or military custody that resulted in at least four deaths; harsh and sometimes life-threatening prison conditions; continued arbitrary invasions of privacy; restrictions on the religious freedom of some unregistered Muslim and Christian groups; constraints on political participation; corruption at all levels of government; continued official impediments to the registration of human rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); violence against women; and trafficking in persons.]

      Your nomadic cousins in Turkey are not doing too well either, nomad:

      [Turkey named as worst country for jailing journalists – again](December 2013)
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/turkey-named-as-worst-country-for-jailing-journalists–again-9013870.html

      {More journalists have been jailed in Turkey than in any other country for the second consecutive year, followed closely by Iran and China, according to a media watchdog.}
      {The rest of the top 10 worst were Eritrea, Syria, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Egypt, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.}

      Congratulations nomad: your homeland of Turkbeijan made the top 10 list in something.

    • Vahagn or whoever you are,

      You seem desperate to prove that you are Armenian. The harder you are trying, the less convincing you are becoming. Saying “we Armenians” several times in each post doesn’t help, does it?
      Count how many times you have said it and how many times any other poster has said.

  33. Vahagn
    Sorry, but I cannot consider Karim a “moderate Azeri” and you don’t need to endeavour to convince me the opposite, otherwise I will begin to doubt about your own sincerity.
    Aery
    If you read my comment carefully, I wrote “This is not to meddle with the feud between you (Vahagn) and Avery …
    I think the discussion has degenerated into personal accusations and unproductive polemic. I apologize Ms. Gunaysu for any less than pleasant encounters in these pages and will pray for her safety.

  34. Karim does this suit you better: ‘Turkey, a Horror Movie With Only Villains’ and ‘Azerbaijan, Another Walking Dead Movie With Only Zombies’?

  35. Lorie Turner,
    If there happened to be no Russian military presence in Armenia, what do you think the result would be? The result would be a military invasion of Armenia by the terrorist nation of Turkey. This explains the reason for Russia’s military presence in Armenia. And, the Russian military presence will continue to remain in Armenia, thru at least the year, 2044, which is indeed a blessing for the Republic of Armenia.

    As for letting go of things, you must be extremely naïve and ignorant to actually expect the Armenian people to overlook Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, and furthermore, to forget about the stolen lands and properties due to them, by the Turkish nation. Hey Lorie, make sure to carefully read over again, Ayse Gunaysu’s article, especially the section on how corruption gave birth to Turkey: “Corruption forms the very texture of life in Turkey, because corruption is the initiator, the founder, the very reason for its existence. Less than 100 years ago, it was founded on the massive plunder of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian property, and the unlawful transfer of their wealth to the state and to the local Muslim population.”

    By the way, on the subject of what we know deep in our hearts, we Armenians know that one day in the not too distant future, we will liberate our Western Armenian lands, in court or out.

  36. This is a great post – intense, with all sides taking part – probably the best I have ever read since 1996. A step forward for everyone! Cheers & Pass the tAhyraN!..

  37. Thank you Ayse you said everything

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