“The Armenian Genocide: The Islamist and Kemalist Consensus,” by Firat Demir

firat

Firat

The Armenian Genocide: The Islamist and Kemalist Consensus
by Firat Demir
for Syria Comment, 10 March 2010

Tension between Turkey and the US is rising as the anniversary of the Armenian genocide (April 24)  approaches. The pain and suffering of hundreds of thousands of Armenians who perished in the hands of the Committee of Union and Progress during the final years of the Ottoman empire will again be sidelined thanks to politics.  Every year, the US congress, attempts to recognize the “the Great Calamity” as Genocide and the Turkish government does everything in its power to prevent it. Turkish newspapers and TV stations devote hundreds of pages and hours of air time to the issue. They dust off arguments that no one believes in anymore.

An original photograph from the ancient twon of Van, South East turkey showing an irregular militant group that attached Armenians and Assyrians villages in the area of Van

An original photograph from the ancient town of Van, South East turkey showing an irregular militant group that attached Armenians and Assyrians villages in the area of Van

The Armenian genocide is probably the number two issue (in addition to the Kurdish problem) that the Erdogan government and the military agree on completely. During an interview on the Charlie Rose show on December 8, 2009, Erdogan stated that “I can say very clearly that we do not accept genocide. This is completely a lie.” On the same day, he reiterated his views in a speech at John Hopkins university, during which he argued that “my ancestors did not and would not commit genocide”. Likewise, “foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu described the 1915 Armenian killings as genocide is an insult to Turkey’s ‘honour’“. You can have a glimpse of how different views (as, for example, voiced by Taner Akcam, or late Hrant Dink) to Turkish official position are treated, here.

Using the same absolutist tone, Mr. Erdogan also previously defended the Sudanese president al-Bashir (whose arrest warrant is ordered by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges) and denied the genocide in Darfur claiming that it is not possible for Muslims to commit genocide.

Recent News Articles on this Subject

Turkey threatens ‘serious consequences’ after US vote on Armenian genocide
Robert Tait in Istanbul and Ewen MacAskill in Washington, guardian.co.uk, Friday 5 March 2010 21.34 GMT

Turkey has threatened to downgrade its strategic relationship with the US amid nationalist anger over a vote in the US Congress that defined the mass killings of Armenians during the first world war as genocide.

Turkey should pause before a mirror, Stephen Kinzer, guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 March 2010 18.42 GMT

An ultra nationalist left party supporters “shout slogans during a protest outside the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey, after a US congressional committee approved a resolution branding the 1915 killing of Armenians a genocide”. The banner reads ‘We did not do genocide, We defended the motherland’.  Photograph: Burhan Ozbilici/AP

When a committee of the US Congress foolishly voted last week to brand as genocide the 1915 slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks, there was plenty of blame to go around. Ethnic lobbies, big-money politics and narrow-minded congressmen all played their part. Together they poked a gratuitous stick in the eye of a valuable friend. Once again America repeated its classic foreign policy blunder: do something that makes you feel good now, but that in the long run actually undermines American security interests.

Amid all this finger-pointing, however, it is only fair to single out one other culprit for this misguided vote: Turkey itself. After the vote, which was broadcast live on Turkish TV and followed as passionately if it were a World Cup match, thousands of Turks took to the streets in protest. They were right to be angry. As Turks try to figure out who brought this insult upon them, though, they should pause before a mirror.

US genocide resolution is an ignorant stunt
Marcel Berlins, guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 March 2010

So the foreign affairs committee of the US House of Representatives has passed a resolution (by 23 votes to 22) that the Turkish killings of Armenians in 1915 amounted to genocide. What business is it of theirs? I’m not judging whether their decision was right; I don’t know enough to do that. My concern is that such ham-fisted intervention, and the publicity it received, demeans a crime which should be treated as the worst in the annals of human behaviour, and turns it into a political event played out by largely ignorant legislators responding to a campaign by a well-funded political lobby.

Thankfully, their presumptuous decision will not find its way into the statute book. President Obama doesn’t want it to, just as an identical decision by the House of Representatives in 2007 did not become law because President Bush didn’t find it politically expedient.

Living proof of the Armenian genocide
Robert Fisk, Independent, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The US wants to deny that Turkey’s slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 was genocide. But the evidence is there, in a hilltop orphanage near Beirut.

“Every vestige, and as far as possible every memory, of the children’s Armenian or Kurdish origin was to be done away with. Turkish names were assigned and the children were compelled to undergo the rites prescribed by Islamic law and tradition … Not a word of Armenian or Kurdish was allowed. The teachers and overseers were carefully trained to impress Turkish ideas and customs upon the lives of the children and to catechize [sic] them regularly on … the prestige of the Turkish race.”

The Armenian question, Turkey and the US
Ihsan Dagi, Monday, April 27, 2009

Can you imagine a foreign policy strategy in which a particular issue turns into a constant source of problems that cannot be resolved permanently? It appears that Turkish foreign policy has been taken hostage by the genocide issue and as if Turkey is prepared to do anything to make the word “genocide” be forgotten or prevent it from being spelled out.

Comments (37)


1. Averroes said:

There is no way to deny that the Turks carried out massive campaigns that ended up killing and deporting hundreds of thousands of Armenians and other ethnic minorities. From the Turkish point of view, that took place after the Armenians took up arms against Turkey from the inside during a desperate time where Turkey was on the verge of complete disintegration. It was World War I, if we remember.

Kalamists were extremist and ruthless in more ways than one. To me, the ruthlessness with which they ripped the Arabic alphabet from the Turkish language echos of extremely violent mind sets. Just try to read some Arabic-rooted Turkish words in the Latin alphabet, and you can almost feel the hastiness and fierceness with which the conversion was carried out. You can almost feel the fear that was hanging over the heads of the people 90 years ago. But that’s another story.

My take on the story above is that you cannot defend the Turks when they’re your friends for the same thing you attack them for later, when they’re .. not so much your friends anymore. You can’t do that and claim a moral high ground and feel good about yourself. You can do that as a shameless, opportunistic politician that has no real principles. This is what the Israeli and American neocons are doing right now in pushing for this resolution.

Please note that I am not defending the early 20th century Turks for what they did. But the point is that once you’ve defended them (as the Israeli Lobby did for a long time against the much weaker Armenian Lobby), you can’t come back and make a U turn and start arguing in the opposite direction anymore. You’ve lost the moral standing and you can’t reclaim that.

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March 11th, 2010, 12:32 am

 

2. almasri said:

I do not believe the Turks committed any crime against any nationality. I do not think anyone can prove anything. There was a war and people usually die in wars.

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March 11th, 2010, 12:50 am

 

3. trustquest said:

The Turkey’s Genocide is a contentious subject and been lingering for long time. The denial of the genocide would not help even if we value current Turkey standing and behavior towards their neighbors. I hate to disagree with Mr. Erdogan on this even I agree with his statement that it is against Islamic philosophy but all the facts show that 1.5 million civilians been killed even if sometime spared their children as another attest. I would say the denial is part of the military dominance in Turkey and they need even stronger person to face the facts. Syrians commentators on this forum should not avoid telling their personal views and they should not brush it under the rug especially Alex who has some photos on this massacre on his site.

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March 11th, 2010, 1:05 am

 

4. Akbar Palace said:

To Err is Human, to Forgive is Divine (usually)

Al Masri said:

There was a war and people usually die in wars.

Al Masri,

Interesting point, but you left out a very important clause:

(*except when Israel (aka “The Zionist Entity”) is involved.)

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March 11th, 2010, 1:21 am

 

5. jad said:

I agree with you Trustquest, the Armenian genocide did happen and Turkey shouldn’t deny it anymore, it sounds ridiculous and it’s not making them any good whatsoever.
To simply deny the killing of 1.5 million human as if they didn’t exist is like killing those people again and again, year after year, so it’s for the Turks best interest to stop the denial and face what they did.
Integrity is to be free from any guilt and from any lies, it makes you think better and it goes on nations as it goes on individuals and Turkey needs to come clean with it’s bloody history sooner or later.

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March 11th, 2010, 1:23 am

 

6. Majhool said:

Whether it was genocide or not, is a purely technical and legal issue. The core issue is that Turkey committed terrible crimes against the Armenians, and this is undeniable.
I am not big fan of moral equivalencies. You don’t have to kill an entire ethnicity to commit a crime, killing one unjustly suffice.

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March 11th, 2010, 1:29 am

 

7. Akbar Palace said:

Distorted Reality NewZ

I do not believe the Turks committed any crime against any nationality. I do not think anyone can prove anything. There was a war and people usually die in wars.

Al Masri,

I guess I’m not surprised the death of over 1 million Armenians doesn’t bother you. It seems the much greater “attrocity”, the death of 1500 Gazans and 1500 Lebanese is what really angers you. And BTW, how many missiles did the Armenians fire into Turkish population centers?

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

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March 11th, 2010, 1:42 am

 

8. b said:

The author is uninformed when he says:
“Mr. Erdogan also previously defended the Sudanese president al-Bashir (whose arrest warrant is ordered by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges) ”

The ICC rejected charges against al Bashir for genocide when the prosecution tried to get them.

http://www.ejiltalk.org/icc-issues-arrest-warrant-for-bashir-but-rejects-the-genocide-charge/

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March 11th, 2010, 2:20 am

 

9. almasri said:

Basically what all the Turkish governments were telling the so-called human rights liberal advocates of the west for the last hundred years is go and put tiles over the sea with regards to this matter. The justification is simple. Woodrow Wilson foolishly encouraged mutiny with pompous promises that he cannot fullfil. Turkey was and still is facing conspiracy from the West with the ultimate aim of destroying it with the West foolishly thinking it is a banana republic. May be the armenians should go and seek justice from Wilson’s heirs in this matter not the present Turkish government.
Wilson didn’t have he teeth to stand up to his foolish promises. Obama would be more than foolish to acquiesce to the new plots of few zionist lobbyists. Both Obama, or more corrrectly the US, and the zionists would be digging their own graves if they want to carry on with their foolishness and play ball with the Turks.
I doubt Obama will act stupidly.

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March 11th, 2010, 3:03 am

 

10. Shami said:

There are some facts that must be taken into account.
The moderate turks who refuse the term “genocide” do not deny that large scale massacres that happened in Anatolia,it’s an evidence, but they also claim that it was in a context of a civil war between nationalities promotted by the western intelligences in which the goal was the division of Anatolia in several nationalistic states and that prior to this state nationalist paramilitary armenians have committed religious and ethnic cleansing in eastern anatolia during the russian ottoman war against kurdish ,turkish and circassian muslims.
There is also an other fact that must be known:the nationalist party tashnaq was an ally of the young turks party who removed the effective power of the Sultan.
They also disagree with the number of 1,5 million armenians killed ,in comparison ,the number of inhabitans of Syria was barely 2 millions.
They recognize 300 000 deaths among the anatolian armenians.
I would not speculate on these facts by respect towards the memory of my armenian brothers but only a serious and academic committee of historians that have access to the western and ottoman archives can provide us a more accurate version of these sad events.This is on what agreed the turkish and armenian governments lately and Erdogan said that he will accept the verdict of this committe whatever the result is.

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March 11th, 2010, 5:41 am

 

11. Off the Wall said:

Averroes, Trustquest, Jad, and Majhool

Fully agree, especially with Averroes argument about the morality of convenience. What makes it worse is that here in the US, the struggle between the many honest voices in the jewish community and those claiming to represent it regarding ADL and AIPAC former stance on the issue has been ongoing for years. ADL and AIPAC seem to have yielded to these voices within the community only when it suited Israel’s government narrow interest in scoring a point against Turkey. I would argue that the two organizations, and their counterparts in Europe and in Canada have played a major role in enabling the Turkish denial for decades now as they did during the hay days of Apartheid.

Turkey will have to come to a grip with the issue. The sooner it does the sooner it can move towards its natural role as a leading country in the region. Armenia is a key country in the region, and without excellent Turkish Armenian relationship, the vision of strong independent region is at risk as others will continue to poison the regional atmosphere. There are both moral and rational reasons for Turkey to re-examine its stance, to acknowledge the facts, to issue a sincere apology, and to move towards extending a favorite nation status to Armenia as a goodwill gesture. It must be done even if the emotional and pride price is high. We as Syrians, many of us have in their veins traces of Turkish blood, must stand with our Turkish brothers and sisters by telling them in a clear voice: The time has come.

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March 11th, 2010, 3:09 pm

 

12. norman said:

OTW,
What are the obligations of Turkey if it was a genocide , ?

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March 11th, 2010, 4:03 pm

 

13. almasri said:

It looks like some people from outside Turkey believe they can have a say over Turkish policies. This is laughable childish wishful thinking. Is there a need to remind you guys of the Ogalan affair and how Hafiz simply obliged to Turkish dictates as soon as the Turks moved their army to the border. Better be quite guys before you ruin your newly semi-favored status that the Turks bestowed upon you. Do you have too many friends outside Turkey? Doi you like to go back to pariah status? Turkey will never admit to doing anything wrong. If the Armenians feel they faced some kind of injustice, the address they should knocking at is in Virginia, USA.
On the other hand, if the Armenians appear to foolishly take advantage and acquiesce to this sinister zionist manipulation of their case, they stand to lose any sympathies they may have achieved with the Arabs. It is in Armenians best interests to come out in full rejection of this new zionist ‘love affair’ with their saga. You only stand to lose with a zionist. you never gain with him as his ultimate interest is his own self interest.

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March 11th, 2010, 7:12 pm

 

14. Averroes said:

Almasri,

Unfortunately, the facts cannot be denied and there were great atrocities committed. I know that first hand on first-hand accounts from my late grandparents, as well as from many Armenian friends in Syria. Syria took in a large number of Armenians as refugees at the time, and now they are our brothers and sisters in the country. I also know of first hand accounts of Armenians being protected by Yazidi tribes in Northern Iraq. Some interesting stories.

We cannot have a convenience-based system of ethics.

Shami,
I’m happy to say that I agree with you! We’ve had our disagreements on a number of things, but I agree with you on your analysis. I cannot speak with any authorities regarding the numbers. I also know that Erdogan has been trying to reconcile with the Kurds and Armenians so the region can really begin to move ahead. However, opportunists are bound to try and fish in the murky water.

OTW,
I think that the current Turkish party is sincere in its willingness to pay the required price for a better future for all of us. However when pushed against the wall and threatened, most countries (and people) will act in the reverse direction. It would take great courage for them to come forward and acknowledge the difficult past. Can they do it? Maybe not in the immediate future. If they do come forward, it would be a great advancement for the entire region.

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March 11th, 2010, 7:23 pm

 

15. almasri said:

Yes Mr. AVERROES (very impressive name indeed!) and I am speaking from first hand experience with Armenians who date back to almost the same period and who blame Wilson for their saga more than they blame the Turks. You must judge these events with the system of ethics that was prevalent at the time of the events as these rare Armenians are still very much aware of and not with what humans came to acknowledge 100 years later. Are you, presumably an Arab or Muslim, willing to apologize for anything that took place 1400 years ago? That would be foolish, I’d say.

I still did not mention the sinister attempts of zionists trying to manipulate the saga to their advantage.

I do not believe the Turks are against going past the events with the Armenians if the Armenians are willing to acknowledge their collusion with Western powers, particularly the USA, in their attempts to destroy Turkey. In order to put things in perspective, Woodrow Wilson promised the Armenians all the area east of Trebizond on the black sea in return for an uprising against the Turks and then left them alone. Will the zionists behind-the-scenes plots serve the Armenians any better knowing such plots are only meant to be self serving means to a third party? In this case the Armenians would once again foolishly make themselves pawns in a game that is much bigger than them.

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March 11th, 2010, 8:03 pm

 

16. Shami said:

Masri ,as any country there are ultra nationalists and moderate people,it’s true in turkey and it’s true in armenia ,the armenian government of today republic and the opposition of inside included i mean ter petrussian who was born in aleppo support a non confrontational policy with turkey .The ultra nationalist armenians who are looking to humiliate turkey live mostly in the diaspora.
Anyway,What really happened must be known but the answer must come from a joint comittee of turkish ,armenian and other renowned historians not from turkish and armenian ultra nationalist groups ,on this solution both governments have agreed lately and with the blessing of one of the greatest armenians alive,Charles Aznavourian.
It would be great if the armenians are allowed the right of return in the land of their ancestors in Anatolia in order to revive their culture around of what remained of the wonderful armenian churches and monasteries.
This is an absolute necessity ,this region without its christians and jews look sad.

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March 11th, 2010, 9:19 pm

 

17. Shai said:

AlMasri,

Wallahi, where do you get this stuff from (about Zionist hands in everything from the Armenians to Tupperware Parties)? Even the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” isn’t that updated! 😉

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March 11th, 2010, 9:28 pm

 

18. almasri said:

SHAMI,
Those things you’d like to see happening are up to Turkey alone to decide upon. I do not believe Syria or Syrians in general have the means to influence the outcome one way or the other. Syrians are better off maintaining their new good relations with Turkey while advising the Armenians to maintain distance from zionist plots that may end up burning them and their case, at least in the Arab world where a huge chunk of diaspora Armenians live.

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March 11th, 2010, 9:47 pm

 

19. Alex said:

No horror movie can come close to these real life stories:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-living-proof-of-the-armenian-genocide-1918367.html?action=Popup

Shami, Averroes OTW

Wonderful suggestions. I totally agree.

Trustquest,

I intentionally tried to minimized the number of negative photos and stories on mideastimage.com … I did not want to use the site to lobby against Turkey or Israel. It is mostly a feel good site and I was surprised to find out that most of our visitors were from .. Turkey and Israel!

My family was heavily truncated because of the sad events of 1915. I have absolutely no bad feelings towards today’s Turkey or its wise and impressive leadership, although I hope the country will find enough courage to recognize what took place 95 years ago for what it was.. a genocide.

I know that Armenia will reciprocate. and I know that Syria has been quietly mediating and will continue to do so.

I found these in my photo collection. I think they come from Today’s Zaman (Turkish paper)

http://joshualandis.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/assad-erdogan-01-450×408.jpg

http://joshualandis.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/assad-erdogan-11.jpg

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March 11th, 2010, 10:02 pm

 

20. Shami said:

Alex ,the man near Bashar is the chief rabbi of Turkey,in the center it’s the Greek Orthodox Patriarch ,and the third is a Syriac Orhodox bishop.

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March 11th, 2010, 10:28 pm

 

21. Off the Wall said:

Shami
You never cease to amaze me with your encyclopedic knowledge of our recent, and no so recent history. Whether I agree with your interpretation or not, I am proud to share this virtual space with you (and others off course). Your post 16 tips the scale. Kudos.

Alex
Never mind that I am quoting a quote that was quoted by AP, to forgive is divine . I know a few who share your position, and they humble all of us.

I have a photo book published in Aleppo by a prominent Aleppan with photos of the Armenian refugees in Aleppo who were the seed of a vibrant Armenian community. What I see in every photo is proud people ready to confront their future in the country that became their home away from their ancestral land.

TRUSTQUEST
I agree with your response in post 14. However, Turkey can have a coup around such pressure by taking the brave and bold step. I agree also with you and with Shami that it is important to also recognize that both Armenian and Turkish leaderships are moderate and visionary. Managing to continue their dialog would frustrate the attempts of those who have a convenient on/off moral switch. It is on this front that I see Syria playing a very constructive role as a good friend of both nations.

Norman
It will depend on the Armenians, I like Shami’s suggestion and I think it is a good start. Other issues will be highly technical from legal point of view and I do not feel qualified to address them. But one would hope that continuing sincere negotiation, studies such as those discussed by Shami and TQ will yield foundation of what appropriate actions.

Needless to say, any action must not be punitive, for those who committed the genocide no longer live, but should be fair and condusive of foundation for long-lasting friendship between these two great nations.

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March 11th, 2010, 10:57 pm

 

22. Akbar Palace said:

Alex,

I just wanted to thank you for your reasonable and intelligent post #19.

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March 12th, 2010, 12:05 am

 

23. norman said:

I personally do not know exactly what happened in the early 20Th century , what i know is that many Armenians died and many others came to Syria and became Syrians , Syria became better with their arrival ,
looking at the past will only create hatred , The Turks and the Armenians should look for the future and as i do not think that arguing about the killing of the Armenians and forcing them out of their homes will serve present day Armenians , I do not think that arguing about the killing of the Palestinians and forcing out of their homes will serve present day Palestinians , Israel should help the Palestinians advance and prosper as a compensation and Turkey should do the same for present day Armenians , Revenge will bring more revenge and more death , working together for the future is in the best interest of all the people of the Middle East , If we continue to look for who did what to home , we will be killing each other while Europe and the West who saw a lot more killing are moving ahead and leaving us bite the dirt,

Thinking about good coming from bad , Just remember that Alex would have not become Syrian and my Aunt would not have married her Armenian husband ,

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March 12th, 2010, 2:24 am

 

24. trustquest said:

Please do not get me wrong, I value the new relation with Turkey from my point of view not from Syrian policy makers point of view and I have asked Syrians to voice their view in effort to tell some on this forum, that we are not all have the same voice and we value our individual opinion from our experience in life. I didn’t know about Armenian’s massacre tell late in life, not from Armenians friends but from living here in the US.
I happened to meet one Turkish person here in our town and happen to talk with him about shared history, I felt that many Turks have too much pride beyond the reason and consider Arab betray them during the first world war and they look down on us for this reason. For us who heard the stories of Jamal Basha the Slaughterer, we know that Turkey was a colonial power over our ancestor heads, sucking them and treating them second hand citizens, if politic changed thing it is OK but history is history, for God’s sake they kept telling us about Alexandretta for 15 years in school.
Akbar Palace, hold your breath not all 19.
Alex, you still amaze us with your pictures which insist on your bloody tie with the regime, may be good for you, who knows. )
Btw, the link is posted twice Alex.

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March 12th, 2010, 2:27 am

 

25. trustquest said:

Shami and other on this forum, could you please suggest any references, books, links or article about the subject of: Islamic social fabric change in Syria since independence, for a student who is preparing his dissertation for this year.

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March 12th, 2010, 2:32 am

 

26. jad said:

Dear Trustquest,
You’ve been picking on Alex since last week and I don’t understand why you are doing that.
The fact is that we all owe Alex lots, be it through his outstanding personal site Creative Syria or through his amazing work, research and extremely smart and rational arguments, and you can get a glimpse of this man personality from his gracious take on the Turkish massacre even though it is very personal to him and his ancestors, and when someone attack Alex I take it as an attack on me.
You either be clear about your disagreement with him or stop this unproductive approach singling out Alex as if he is the only one on this site that you disagree with.
I strongly believe in your dignity and pride and I think you are higher than this picking strategies.
Am I wrong?
Thank you.

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March 12th, 2010, 4:52 am

 

27. Shami said:

Many Thanks OTW ,for your praise it’s very heart-warming especially when it’s expressed by you.
Trustquest,i’m not an historian nor a sociologist,but the subject does interest me,so contrary to Egypt,(Gilles Kepel) ,we lack of social studies on this matter for Syria under asad regime ,you can guess the reason behind this rarity.(c.f the fate of the french researcher Michel Seurat in Lebanon).
But you can find some interesting works on the Sufi brotherhood in contemporary Syria in particular those of Paolo Pinto, a Brazilian researcher.
I also remember some works from the late 70’s and 80’s that i have read on jstor from Hanna Batatu.Do you have access to jstor?

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March 12th, 2010, 5:08 am

 

28. Alex said:

Dektore Jad you are so kind : ) … thanks!, and same to Dektore OTW

And thanks Akbar Palace. So nice when we are not on opposite sides of things.

Trustquest,

I’m not replying to you because in the past every time I criticized any opinion of yours you came back telling everyone that this site does not welcome you and that you are somehow specifically targeted and that Alex only wants pro-regime commentators …

So, again I will not comment on what you wrote about me twice this week (that I am benefiting from the regime) … I’m not in the mood for more of your character assassination tactics.

Shami,

And I also am impressed with your knowledge about the Turkish religious leaders in the photo I posted!

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March 12th, 2010, 5:20 am

 

29. Majhool said:

speaking of crimes committed against humanity, when will the syrian goverment apologize for the killings of 15,000 syrians in Hama?

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March 12th, 2010, 7:25 am

 

30. trustquest said:

Thanks Shami,

Alex, I did not mean any accusation or tacit beyond what I said. Actually I was agreeing with Akbar Palace on all he said except for the picture (I still have the right to not like what I don’t like unless I’m living in Syria, smiley face). I said bloody tie to mean your strong defense of it and I do respect that and that is why I put smiley face in the end which it seems did not show up clearly.

I felt your feelings towards the Armenian past plight on your wonderful site, I wanted you to speak up even you might consider the sensitivity of the subject because of the current good relations between Turkey and Syria. I also, wanted as I said to emphasize that our differences in views are good thing and no need for anyone to defend others. Sorry for the misunderstanding. smiley face
Yes Jad, you are not right!

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March 12th, 2010, 1:09 pm

 

31. Joshua Lanis said:

I thought I would add this article about how Armenians and Assyrians have congratulated the Swedish government for its recent vote to call the 1915 massacre of Armenians a “massacre.” 12 European countries define it as a “Holocaust.” The author of the article laments that no Arab or Islamic countries have yet officially recognized the massacre.

آشوريو وأرمن سورية مرتاحون لقرار السويد
طباعة أرسل لصديق
وكالة آكي الايطالية
13/ 03/ 2010
عرب سريان وأرمن سورية عن ارتياحهم لإقرار البرلمان السويدي بـ “المذابح” التي ارتكبتها الامبراطورية العثمانية عام 1915 ضد الأرمن والآشوريين، وطالب ناشط آشوري أن “تقتدي برلمانات الدول العربية” بما قام به البرلمان السويدي.
وفي هذا السياق، قال ناشط سوري إن السريان والكلدانيين والأرمن في سورية تلقوا “بارتياح شديد” إقرار البرلمان السويدي بـ”المذابح” التي ارتُكبت بحق مسيحيي الإمبراطورية العثمانية عام 1915 من أرمن وآشوريين ويونانيين، واعتبارها “جرائم إبادة جماعية”.
ورأى سليمان يوسف الناشط السياسي والباحث في شؤون الأقليات أن القرار السويدي “ثمرة جهد سياسي ودبلوماسي كبير يعود لسنوات قامت وتقوم به الجاليات الآشورية، السورية والتركية، في السويد وفي بقية الدول الأوروبية، لحث هذه الدول على الاعتراف بمذابح العثمانيين بحق المسيحيين، والتي تسببت بقتل نحو مليون ونصف مليون أرمني ونصف مليون آشوري وعشرات الآلاف من الروم اليونانيين، فضلاً عن تهجير مئات الآلاف من مسيحيي السلطنة العثمانية من مناطقهم التاريخية”.
ونوّه إلى “احتضان العشائر العربية في الجزيرة السورية لمئات العائلات المسيحية الهاربة من المذابح” والذين “أصبحوا اليوم مواطنون سوريون يتمتعون بالجنسية السورية وبقدر كبير من الحقوق والحريات الدينية في ظل سياسة التسامح الديني التي تتميز بها سورية”.
وطالب الحكومة التركية بـ”تحسين” أوضاع الأقليات لديها وتوفير شروط وظروف تعزيز استقرارهم في مناطقهم التاريخية.
وأعرب يوسف عن أمله أن يشكل القرار الذي اتخذه البرلمان السويدي وبرلمانات أوروبية أخرى قبله “حافزاً مشجعاً للبرلمان السوري للاعتراف بالمذبحة باعتبارها حقيقة تاريخية.. ولما ستتركه مثل هذه الخطوة السورية التاريخية من ارتياح شديد في نفوس أكثر من ثلاثة مليون مسيحي سوري ومائتي ألف ارمني”، مشيرا إلى أن “هذه المطالبة ليست للانتقام من تركيا، وإنما لنشر الطمأنينة في نفوس مسيحيي المشرق ولردع الأنظمة العنصرية والفاشية من ارتكاب مثل هذه الجرائم ضد الإنسانية”.
وأعرب عن أسفه لرفض سورية والدول العربية والإسلامية “الاعتراف بهذه المذابح”، رغم إصدار حتى الآن نحو عشرين دولة منها اثنا عشر أوربية قانون يعترف بـ”عمليات الأبادة الجماعية التي تعرض لها مسيحيو السلطنة العثمانية عام 1915”.

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March 13th, 2010, 1:26 pm

 

32. Alex said:

Joshua,

I prefer that Syria quietly encourage the Turkish government to be more actively involved in reconciliation talks with Armenia.

It is out of the question for now for the Syrian Parliament to officially recognize the Armenian genocide.

In reality though, of course Syria recognizes the genocide, and the Armenian people know it. They are close to collecting the full amount needed to finish building “The Monument of Gratitude” in Yerevan

http://www.themonument.org/index.html

FOR THE ERECTION OF A MEMORIAL IN GRATITUDE OF THE ARMENIANS TOWARDS THE ARAB PEOPLE

The role of the Arabs in the forming and survival of the Armenian Diaspora has been decisive. Few Armenians would have survived the 1915 Genocide had the Arabs not saved the remnants of the deportees in the Syrian Desert or in towns and villages.

After the end of World War I, neighboring Arab countries gave shelter to the remnants of the Armenians and granted them citizenship with all its rights and privileges. Armenians survived on the Arab soil, enjoying freedom and restoring their culture and traditions.

The northern Syrian Capital town of Aleppo was the main central station from where the caravans were driven away, on foot, into the desert. Later on, Armenian refugees spread from Aleppo to all parts of the world, thus forming the present Diaspora.

Syria built a monument for the hundreds of thousands of Armenians who were killed near Deir Ezzore in 1915, and Armenia opened a consulate in Deir Ezzore to facilitate tours for Armenians who want to visit the area.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/Armenian_Cathedral_Deir_Ez_Zor.jpg

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March 13th, 2010, 8:41 pm

 

33. almasri said:

I too find that this request by the Assyrians and Armenians for Arabs and Muslims to recognize allegation against Turkey to be counterproductive and will not serve any purpose. I think this request may be interpreted wrongly by the people of the area and further excerberate the situation. The Swedes are aleady scrambling to contaion the situation as can be seen from this report:

السويد تندد بتصويت برلمانها

وزير الخارجية السويدي (يسار) بجوار نظيره التركي خلال تنديدهما بتصويت برلمان السويد (الفرنسية)

ندد وزيرا خارجية تركيا والسويد السبت بتصويت في البرلمان السويدي وصف قتل أرمن خلال الحرب العالمية الأولى بأنه “إبادة جماعية”.

وقال وزير الخارجية السويدي الذي يجري محادثات غير مباشرة مع نظراء له من بينهم وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد داود أوغلو شمال فنلندا إنه غضب من التصويت ويشعر بالقلق من أنه قد يؤثر على المصالحة بين تركيا وأرمينيا.

وأعرب كارل بيلت في تصريح عن أسفه لتصويت البرلمان، معتبرا أن إضفاء الصفة السياسية على التاريخ لا يخدم أي هدف مفيد.

وأضاف “إننا مهتمون بعملية المصالحة، وقرارات من هذا النوع تميل إلى إثارة التوترات بدلا من خفضها”.

من جهته قال أوغلو إن قرار البرلمان السويدي شكل صدمة لتركيا لأن البرلمانات يجب ألا تقرر بشأن التاريخ.

ووافق البرلمان السويدي بأغلبية 131 ضد 130 صوتا على القرار الخميس وصف قتل أرمن على أيدي العثمانيين بأنه إبادة جماعية، وهو تعبير ترفضه تركيا تماما.

What the Swedish Foreign miminster is saying is the wise course to follow. Otherwise, such requests may end up get interpreted as a proof that these communities represent some kind of trojan horse for western powers seeking a certain agenda.

Very wise Alex, and I do understand your dilemma. Let the Turks and the Armenians sort it among themselves.

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March 14th, 2010, 3:54 am

 

34. Ghat Albird said:

ALEX AND ALMASRI,

Might find the link below interesting reading…. conerns Turkey, genocide and the ADL

http://WWW.GILAD.CO.UK/WRITINGS/TRUTH-HISTORY-AND-INTEGRITY-BY-GILAD-ATZMON.HTML.

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March 14th, 2010, 4:53 pm

 

35. John said:

Armenians and Jews were previlaged communities in Ottomon empire. Many of them even became Ministers. When Turkey was attacked by Russian and French during WW1. Rather than defending the Turkish empire, Armenians stabbed at back. Turks hit back and both sides lost hundred of thousands. Armenain can not pretend to be victim of a civil war, which they had intiated.

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March 24th, 2010, 9:59 am

 

36. wise one said:

AlMasri,

“let the Turks and Armenians sort it out themselves”???????

Since when do you send a wounded, bloody victim to the powerful people who almost managed to kill him and ask them “sort it out themselves”?

your rationale and lack of understanding of the CLEAR CASE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE is ABSURD.

the Armenian genocide was used as a blueprint for the jewish genocide… the sooner people like you understand that, the sooner the world will actually help stop the cycle of genocide.

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July 1st, 2012, 5:40 pm

 

37. wise one said:

John,

did 9 year old girls stab the turks in the back too, and join Russian forces? don’t believe the turkish government’s lies so naively. they were all stolen from their families and forced into turkish harems where they became sex slaves to turks. over 200,000 little girls were rescued by the Near East Relief. all had had a change of names– from Armenian to Turkish names. All had been tattooed and marked on their faces, breasts, and elsewhere to show who they were.

you are ignorance at its finest.

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July 1st, 2012, 5:50 pm

 

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