Australian Foreign Minister Confirms Turkey’s Gag

CANBERRA, Australia—Documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) confirm that the Australian government continues to be gagged by Turkey on the issue of the Armenian Genocide.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

In a letter addressed to then-Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop writes: “Recognizing the important interests at stake for both countries, I assure you that there has been no decision to change the long-standing position of successive Australian Governments on this issue.”

The letter from the Australian Foreign Minister further emphasizes Turkey’s “gag rule” by qualifying Australia’s position on the Armenian Genocide with the words: “recognizing the important interests at stake for both countries.” It has already been revealed that Turkey is currently on an international campaign to gag leading nations from speaking truthfully and honestly on the Armenian Genocide.

A large part of the documents released by the Department of Foreign Affairs were redacted in full, citing disclosure of documents would cause damage to “the international relations of the Commonwealth.”

“It is obvious that Australia has succumbed to Turkey’s ongoing threats to ban Members of Parliament from attending the Centenary commemorations at ANZAC Cove, and even close ANZAC Cove in its entirety in the lead up to the Centenary, should Australia recognize the events of 1915 as genocide,” said ANC Australia Executive Director Vache Kahramanian.

“It is bewildering that the Australian government needs to redact a large number of documents held by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the Armenian Genocide. It is clear that Australian government officials continue to succumb to ongoing threats by Turkey and as a result allow a foreign government to dictate Australia’s position on this issue,” said Kahramanian, adding, “In this Centenary year, where Australia will commemorate the horrors of World War I, it should also have the moral courage to unequivocally recognize and condemn the Armenian Genocide and pay homage to the thousands of Australians­ who were at the forefront of providing international aid during and after the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923.”

The release from DFAT can be accessed at

20 Comments on Australian Foreign Minister Confirms Turkey’s Gag


  2. avatar Susan Sivaslian Wisecup // January 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm // Reply

    Turkey is despicable!

    • So is Australia and all the Anglo and European countries that have been bending over for Turkey in the last 120 years. I don’t see them changing their practices any time soon

  3. avatar Alec Baghdasaryan // January 8, 2015 at 3:51 pm // Reply

    It is truly sad that a country like Australia would be making a decision about Armenian Genocide based on bullying techniques of Turkey and not based on the undisputed facts. A county like Australia that one thinks of as a democracy, far away from Turkey, a country that has lost thousands of soldiers during Australia’s experience with Ottoman Turkey as part of the ANZAC campaign of First World War.

    As Turkey is playing a more active role in the world today, Armenians all over the world, need to refocus their energy on campaigns, educating the each country’s elected officials on the facts, and on getting engaged in each country’s political system in order to combat Turkey’s campaigns against Armenians on all fronts.

  4. avatar armenag manoukian // January 8, 2015 at 3:56 pm // Reply

    gag orders do not come from turkey ,but from their allies like the u.s.a./england and israel.who have yet to recognize the genocide.but to me this is just talk ,if only the germans will tell us what realy happened we may get some satisfaction,i blame3 the germans with the ottoman rule.

    • avatar Paul Giragosian // January 8, 2015 at 4:38 pm //

      Least we forget:The hidden eddy of history put the Germans as the perpetrators of the 1st Genocide of the 20th Century–General Lothar von Trotha orchestrated the Genocide of the Hottentots in 1904. Birds of a feather—

  5. Completely agree with Armenag on the allies. This comes from Israel, UK and USA. No one be paying any attention to Turkey otherwise. Just do some research on what the formers prime minister says about the genocide in the open. No telling what they not say in the open.

  6. avatar Svetlana Swanson // January 8, 2015 at 5:31 pm // Reply

    These so called Christian Democratic States make fools out of themselves by appeasing “Terrorist States” like Turkey, and then they act surprised when their citizens are attacked by terrorists.

  7. Since mass murder/genocide is an assault on all of humanity citizens truth and reconciliation working groups throughout the world might be in order

  8. avatar Gregory Ketabgian // January 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm // Reply

    Australians and New Zealanders should also remember and consider the terrible treatment that their soldiers received as POWs under the Turkish forces and the high mortality that they suffered in their decision concerning the Armenian Genocide.

  9. avatar Stephen J Avalyan Newton // January 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm // Reply

    I believe this assessment of Australia’s diplomatic stance is unfair and that too much is being read into the statement. Whatever you wish to believe you cannot keep hassling other sovereign states to go along with your views. If they wish to support your views than its down to them to make their own decision.

  10. Shame on Australia for not coming forward on the well documented Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. Armenians in Australia must petition the Government on this serious issue with the forthcoming 100th Anniversary in April of 2015. Also, shame on Israel for not recognizing the Armenian Genocide. I call Israeli Government Anti-Armenian & Anti-Christian.

    • Is that the best the diasporan Armenia community can do? Sign another useless petition? How about redirecting their energies and monies into strengthening the Armenian homeland so that no such thing happens again.

  11. Gag orders come from countries and powerful lobbies who have something to loose for speaking the truth and for standing for what is right and just. We should stop expecting others to recognise our rights and fight our fights. We need to get involved in defending our case in any way we can through our own lobbies and national organisations. We can learn a lot by just observing others.

  12. Armenian cannot defeat Turkey alone neither Kurds can do. Greece is out as a member of NATO and agent of CIA. What else. Armenian have only one true friend today; the Kurds. Today is the day Kurds have opened both eyes.

    • Actually the Kurds will be sacrificed by the west and slaughtered just like the Armenians were. They are not a capable military or political force. And when push comes to shove, the Kurds will do again what they did in 1915 to the Armenians if we claim Western Armenia as ours. The only nation capable and willing to destroy Turkey will be it’s natural enemy – Russia. It would be wise for Armenia to remain strategically aligned to this massive nuclear super power. When it comes to gas pipelines and trade between Russia and Turkey, Business is business but geostrategic interests trump all other interest.

  13. avatar Boghos L. Artinian // January 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm // Reply

    Has Turkey recognized the genocide of the Australian aborigines?

  14. (Stephen J Avalyan Newton // January 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm // )

    {“…you cannot keep hassling other sovereign states to go along with your views”}

    “Hassling” ?

    What do you call Australia’s PM Tony Abbott threatening to “shirtfront” (bodyslam) Vladimir Putin regarding Crimea like a schoolyard bully ? What business is it of Australia to stick its nose into the backyard of Russia ?

    England and her offspring have no qualms about hassling countries all over the world, and lecturing everybody and his brother about “rule of law”, “democracy”, “human rights”, “justice”,……
    Jewish diaspora has no qualms about hassling countries, and then some, all over the world when it comes to the Jewish Holocaust.
    And I say good for them.

    And what do you call Turkey threatening to ban Australian MPs from the Gallipoli events because of their AG vote ?
    Can’t be ‘hassling’, can it ?

    So why shouldn’t Armenians demand that 3rd parties/countires not support the Turkish AG Denial Machine ?
    Why, because Armenians are second class ?
    We are lesser human beings than others ?
    And are you only worried when Armenians inconvenience you ?

    You don’t want to ‘hassle’, don’t.
    We will.

  15. Gutless wonders! Where’s Crocodile Dundee when we need him. They wouldn’t have the nerve to deny the German Slaughter of Jewish people. Australia = coward

  16. avatar George Ohanessian // January 11, 2015 at 8:41 pm // Reply

    Amongst other punitive measures, one of the first thing that Turkey will do should Australia recognize the Armenian Genocide will be the baring of it’s citizens from making their yearly pilgrimage to Gallipoli. I can imagine the outcry of the populace should this happen and could be political suicide to any government. Apart from other political issues, as far as Australia is concerned, Turkey will always have a trump card up it’s sleeve.

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