Friday, March 19, 2010

100,000 Armenians working illegally in Turkey could be expelled

It seems that with all the recent activity around the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that some 100,000 Armenian working illegally in his country (some are decedents of the same Armenians that his country stole the land they are found on from) could be expelled “if necessary.”

Okay, let me get this straight. Turkey has 100,000 Armenians working illegally, that they know about and do nothing to deport for the simple fact that they are there illegally? This does not sound right or I should say that this fact in itself does not make Turkey look above board and honest. Now that the truth is coming out about the Genocide and Ergodan and his government are going to have to come to terms with this issue, they are pissed off at the Armenians and in the Turkish tradition, will once again expel them if need be? I’m sure that if the world was not watching, they would march the "illegal" Armenians to their death, into the same desert as they did back in 1915.

Turkey will never change and the same Turkish way of dealing with problems back in 1915 is still with them in 2010. The proof of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, though extensive and indisputable, is also living within the leaders of Turkey today. Welcome to the Turkish reality and another reason why the international community needs to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Turkey at any moment could repeat the history they are unwilling to recognize.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A devastating document is met with silence in Turkey

By Sabrina Tavernise
March 9, 2010

— For Turkey, the number should have been a bombshell.

According to a long-hidden document that belonged to the interior minister of the Ottoman Empire, 972,000 Ottoman Armenians disappeared from official population records from 1915 through 1916.

In Turkey, any discussion of what happened to the Ottoman Armenians can bring a storm of public outrage. But since its publication in a book in January, the number - and its Ottoman source - has gone virtually unmentioned. Newspapers hardly wrote about it. Television shows have not discussed it.

"Nothing," said Murat Bardakci, the Turkish author and columnist who compiled the book.

The silence can mean only one thing, he said: "My numbers are too high for ordinary people. Maybe people aren't ready to talk about it yet."

For generations, most Turks knew nothing of the details of the Armenian genocide from 1915 to 1918, when more than a million Armenians were killed as the Ottoman Turk government purged the population.

Turkey locked the ugliest parts of its past out of sight, Soviet-style, keeping any mention of the events out of schoolbooks and official narratives in an aggressive campaign of forgetting.

But in the past 10 years, as civil society has flourished here, some parts of Turkish society are now openly questioning the state's version of events. In December, a group of intellectuals circulated a petition that apologized for the denial of the massacres. Some 29,000 people have signed it.

With his book, "The Remaining Documents of Talat Pasha," Bardakci (pronounced bard-AK-chuh) has become, rather unwillingly, part of this ferment. The book is a collection of documents and records that once belonged to Mehmed Talat, known as Talat Pasha, the primary architect of the Armenian deportations.

The documents, given to Bardakci by Talat's widow, Hayriye, before she died in 1983, include lists of population figures. Before 1915, 1,256,000 Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire, according to the documents. The number plunged to 284,157 two years later, Bardakci said.

To the untrained ear, it is simply a sad statistic. But anyone familiar with the issue knows the numbers are in fierce dispute.

Turkey has never acknowledged a specific number of deportees or deaths. On Sunday, the Turkish foreign minister, Ali Babacan, warned that President Barack Obama might set back relations if he recognized the massacre of Armenians as genocide ahead of his visit to Turkey next month.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire was bloody, the Turkish argument goes, and those who died were victims of that chaos.

Bardakci subscribes to that view. The figures, he said, do not indicate the number of dead, only the result of the decline in the Armenian population after deportation. He strongly disagrees that the massacres amounted to a genocide, and says that Turkey was obliged to take action against Armenians because they were openly supporting Russia in its war against the Ottoman Empire.

"It was not a Nazi policy or a Holocaust," he said. "These were very dark times. It was a very difficult decision. But deportation was the outcome of some very bloody events. It was necessary for the government to deport the Armenian population."

This argument is rejected by most scholars, who believe that the small number of Armenian rebels were not a serious threat to the Ottoman Empire, and that the policy was more the product of the perception that the Armenians, non-Muslims and therefore considered untrustworthy, were a problem population.

Hilmar Kaiser, a historian and expert on the Armenian genocide, said the records published in the book were conclusive proof from the Ottoman authority itself that it had pursued a calculated policy to eliminate the Armenians. "You have suddenly on one page confirmation of the numbers," he said. "It was like someone hit you over the head with a club."

Kaiser said the before-and-after figures amounted to "a death record."

"There is no other way of viewing this document," he said. "You can't just hide a million people."

Other scholars said that the number is a useful addition to the historical record but that it does not introduce a new version of events.

"This corroborates what we already knew," said Donald Bloxham, the author of "The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians."

Bardakci is a history buff who learned to read and write Ottoman script from his grandmother, allowing him to navigate Turkey's written past, something that most Turks are unable to do. He plays the tanbur, a traditional string instrument. His grandfather was a member of the same political party as Talat, and his family knew many of the important political figures in Turkey's founding.

"We had a huge library at home," he said. "They were always talking about history and the past." Though Bardacki clearly wanted the numbers to be known, he stubbornly refuses to interpret them. He offers no analysis in the book, and aside from an interview with Talat's widow, there is virtually no text beside the original documents.

"I didn't want to interpret," he said. "I want the reader to decide."

The best way to do that, he argues, is by using cold, hard facts, which can cut through the layers of emotional rhetoric that have clouded the issue for years.

"I believe we need documents in Turkey," he said. "This is the most important."

But some of the keenest observers of Turkish society said the silence was a sign of just how taboo the topic still is. "The importance of the book is obvious from the fact that no paper except Milliyet has written a single line about it," wrote Murat Belge, a Turkish academic, in a January column in the liberal daily newspaper Taraf.

Still, it is a measure of Turkey's democratic maturity that the book was published here at all. Bardakci said he had held the documents for so long - 27 years - because he was waiting for Turkey to reach the point when their publication would not cause a frenzy.

Even now, the state feels the need to defend itself. Last summer, a propaganda film about the Armenians made by the Turkish military was distributed to primary schools. After a public outcry, it was stopped.

"I could never have published this book 10 years ago," Bardakci said. "I would have been called a traitor."

He added, "The mentality has changed."

Monday, March 08, 2010

How many more time will the U.S. block the truth of the Armenian Genocide?

It has become clear that the U.S. government and those who were elected with the promise of recognizing the 1915 Genocide of the Armenian people at the hands of the Turks were not being forthright.

The recent maneuvers of the Obama administration and particularly Hillary Clinton, are unacceptable actions that oppose the findings of a State Department sponsored initiative called the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Committee (TARC) and the January 2003 findings of a third-party study commissioned by TARC regarding the validity of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), a New York-based human rights organization, ruled that the slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians fits into the internationally accepted definition of genocide.  The reports conclusion reads as follows:

"The crucial issue of genocidal intent is contested, and this legal memorandum is not intended to definitively resolve particular factual disputes. Nonetheless, we believe that the most reasonable conclusion to draw from the various accounts referred to above of the Events is that, notwithstanding the efforts of large numbers of "righteous Turks"59 who intervened on behalf of the Armenians, at least some of the perpetrators of the Events knew that the consequence of their actions would be the destruction, in whole or in part, of the Armenians of eastern Anatolia, as such, or acted purposively towards this goal, and, therefore, possessed the requisite genocidal intent. Because the other three elements identified above have been definitively established, the Events, viewed collectively, can thus be said to include all of the elements of the crime of genocide as defined in the Convention, and legal scholars as well as historians, politicians, journalists and other people would be justified in continuing to so describe them."

(59 Paul Glastris, Armenia's History, Turkey's Dilemma, Wash. Post, March 11, 2001, at B01; Zoryan Institute, Turks Who Saved Armenians: An Introduction (rev. ed.), available at

Taking into what I've stated above, I ask the question of Hillary Clinton and the people at the Department of State of if a third-party study which was commission by funds from the U.S. government and particularly the State Department found that the crimes committed in 1915 against the Armenian people fits into the internationally accepted definition of genocide and you yourself said you would recognize it if elected, then why on earth would you stand in the way of the initiative to be put to a vote in Congress?

I fully understand the possible negative economics behind the U.S. officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide and the many defense jobs that could possibly be lost in the U.S. which are for the express purpose of creating weapons for present and future wars and I also understand the strategic importance of Turkey, but all those are temporary possible setbacks which will in time be smoothed over.

Hillary my dear, do the right thing and don’t stand in the way of justice for the Armenian people who were victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.

H.Res.252 Won't Make It to Full Congress Agenda: Hillary Clinton

10:33 - 06.03.10

Barack Obama's administration is going to do everything possible so that House Resolution 252 on the Armenian Genocide doesn't make it to the full Congress for a vote, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

`We're going to work hard so that the resolution doesn't make it into the Congress agenda,' said Clinton.

Following Thursday's dramatic House Foreign Affairs Committee vote approving H.Res.252 affirming the Armenian Genocide, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the resolution should go no further.

While on a tour of Latin America, Clinton said from Costa Rica that the Obama administration has made its intentions clear:

`We do not believe that the full Congress will or should vote on that resolution and we have made that clear to all the parties involved,' Clinton said.

Three times since 2000 - while both Democrats and Republicans were in office - similar resolutions never got off the Floor.