Friday, July 22, 2011

Turkish Embassy in Washington Counsels ‘Civility’

Edmond Azadian
From the Armenian Mirror Spectator

Turkish Embassy in Washington Counsels ‘Civility’
to the Armenian Mirror-Spectator

The Turks may regret that Mazamanian was left alive....

The Armenian Mirror-Spectator has received a protest letter from the Turkish Embassy, dated June 28, 2011, regarding the publication of the obituary of the late Vergin Mazmanian, who was a vocal witness of the Armenian Genocide until her last breath at the age of 103.
It seems that one statement in that obituary has touched some raw nerves at the Turkish Embassy, as evidenced in the letter, which we have reproduced here below. Rauf Alp. R. Denktas, counselor and spokesman for the embassy, finds “reckless and irresponsible” the statement in the obituary that at one point Ms. Mazmanian had been harassed by the Turkish Embassy.
It is very good news that Turkish Embassy monitors Armenian publications by paid staff members and reacts immediately to statements which contain “falsehoods” in their judgment.
Ms. Mazmanian is no longer alive. Common sense dictates that criminals have more reason to falsify facts than their victims. But, Mr. Denktas goes further to counsel us “to promote civility.” Turning back the tables, we are entitled to ask how much of that “civility” did the Turks exercise in murdering Ms. Mazmanian’s parents, along with 1.5 million Armenians? They certainly may regret that Vergin was left alive to embarrass the Turks for the rest of her long life.
Counselor Denktas goes one step further from “educating” us on “civility” and opens a more
loaded issue by stating: “It [the statement] could further frustrate efforts by Turks and Armenians to reconcile their complex relationships and reignite the open hostilities some Armenian activists committed in the past against Turks and their representatives in Massachusetts and around the US.”
The reference is transparently directed to some frustrated Armenian youth who had taken the law in their hands to avenge the Genocide through some individual acts of violence.
We stand far from endorsing terrorism in civilized countries, but on balance, what the Turks
committed against Armenians in murdering an entire nation and usurping its historic homeland, far outweighs the understandable acts of some young people.
Thirty five nations and counting have hurled the accusation at present-day Turkey. “That you
committed a genocide against Armenians and there is still blood on your hands.”
President Barack Obama himself advised Turkey, right in the Ankara Parliament, that it has
to face its dark pages of history.
Therefore, rather than dispensing “civility” advice to us, it is incumbent upon official representatives of Turkey to initiate the promotion of “civility” themselves by admitting the heinous crime that they perpetrated against Armenians.

Below is Mr. Denktas’ letter, reproduced verbatim, in tradition with the Mirror-Spectator’s
tone of civility.

The Armenian Mirror-Spectator


June 28, 2011

Alin K. Gregorian, Editor
Armenian Mirror-Spectator
755 Mt. Auburn St.
Watertown, MA 02472-1509

Dear Mr. Gregorian,

Your June 23 obituary of Vergin Mazmanian paints a vivid picture of a w"man, bom in Amasya. Turkey, who was obviously vibrant and much-loved by her familv and community. Turkey is also saddened by her passing.

I was struck that the obituary offered an utterly false accusation that the Turkish Embassy had once harassed Ms. Mazmanian. Including this falsehood in the story is reckless and irresponsible. It could further frustrate efforts by Turks and Armenians to reconcile their complex relationship and reignite the open hostilities some Armenian activists committed in the past against Turks and their representatives in Massachusetts and around the U.S.

The best way to honor the memory of remarkable people lile Ms. Mazmanian is to promote
civility. Unfortunately, this article falls short of that principle.


Rauf Alp. R. Denktas
Counselor, Spoke,sman.
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
Washington D.C.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Turkey doubling its military size:

Turkey doubling its military size:

With Prime Minister Erdogan's Islamist AK party having seized its third landslide election victory in Turkey, many throughout the international community have been watching to see what will be next on the Turkish agenda.

Now there are strong indicators in the Turkish media that Turkey is planning on literally doubling the size of its army – this coming from the nation that already has the largest army in Middle East and the second-largest army in NATO, second only to the United States. Presently, Turkey's army has over 500,000 troops. Its army is larger than France, Germany and England combined. And now Turkish media are reporting that they are planning on adding another 500,000 paid soldiers.

According to Egemen Baðýþ, a state minister and Turkey's chief EU negotiator, the purpose of the army is to kill two birds with one stone, overcoming two of Turkey's biggest challenges: terrorism and unemployment. This move would create half a million new jobs for Turkey while answering once and for all Turkey's problem with Kurdish separatist terrorists in the southeast.

Baðýþ spoke to journalists at the Turkish ambassador's office in Brussels. "The government is prepared to hire 500,000 people. ... This structural change will also contribute to our struggle with unemployment," he said.

Turkey's nation defense minister, Vedci Gonul, stated that the new army is "the future of Turkey." But he also said that the actual number of paid soldiers is yet to be determined pending a government study. According to Gonul, the creation of such a large army could take several years to complete.

A poll conducted shows that 80 percent of Turks support the idea while only 9 percent are opposed.

Despite the government's claims that the purpose of the army would be to address terrorism, skepticism concerning such a massive force is well-deserved. First of all, creating an army this size merely to address Turkey's terrorism problem, primarily from the PKK, a Kurdish separatist group in the southeast, would be like trying to kill an ant using a nuclear warhead. Secondly, such a move certainly will only reinforce the concerns of those who believe that Turkey has broad-ranging neo-Ottoman regional aspirations.

The silence of the Western media has been surprising. Imagine Israel announcing an expansion of its forces by 500,000 men to address its Palestinian terrorism problem. Yet the Western media has yet to comment regarding Turkey's grandiose plans.

Such an expansion would be particularly concerning in light of the Turkish government's recent swing toward Islamist political alliances. They have worked to significantly reinforce strategic alliances with both Iran and Syria, two of the most well-established state sponsors of terrorism globally, while significantly cooling its relationship with Israel and the United States. Despite this, the Obama administration this past January, sold the Turkish Air Force 100 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets. Turkey already manufactures it's own F-16s.

It is also essential to once again remind ourselves of the recent accomplishments of the Islamist AK party under Prime Minister Erdogan's leadership. In just the past several years, the AK party has edged ever closer to establishing a full-blown dictatorship, all in the name of democracy. Since 2002, they have managed to accomplish the following:

•occupy the presidency;
•occupy the seat of prime minister;
•gain a large majority of seats in the parliament;
•fill the judiciary with Islamist-leaning judges;
•behead the top echelons of the military;
•infiltrate the police force (over 70 percent of officers are members the Islamist Gulen movement);
•intimidate and imprison Turkish journalists (there are more Turkish journalists in prison than any other nation in the world – more than China or Iran).

The nation's leadership is now working toward a bill authorizing them to rewrite the Turkish Constitution, giving them far more sweeping powers over the military and judiciary.

In last month's victory speech, Prime Minister Erdogan couldn't have made his regional ambitions any clearer:

"Believe me, Sarajevo won today as much as Istanbul, Beirut won as much as Izmir, Damascus won as much as Ankara, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, the West Bank, Jerusalem won as much as Diyarbakir."

In a follow up commentary piece, J.E. Dyer, a retired U.S. Naval intelligence officer asked how the world would take it if Nicolas Sarkozy had proclaimed that a victory for him was a victory for Moscow as much as Paris, for Washington as much as Lyon, for Ankara as much as Marseilles. Dyer then very appropriately reminded us that such comments are, "imperialist at worst, absurdly arrogant at best – to speak of your electoral victories as conferring benefits on foreign humanity – especially on those once occupied by your nation in its days of empire."

For years, several others and I have been warning of Turkey's neo-Ottoman dreams and regional ambitions. And for just as many years, the compliant left-wing media has mocked the notion. Within the next several years, with doubling of the Turkish army, it appears as though there will be 500,000 more reasons to worry about Turkey's regional ascension.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vatican to co-publish a book on Armenian Genocide

Vatican to co-publish a book on Armenian Genocide

July 6, 2011 - 10:04 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Vatican will co-publish a book with documents and information about the Armenian Genocide.
According to Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, the papers are from the Vatican Secret Archives, and, to quote Monsignor Sergio Pagano, the clergyman who runs the archives, “they make me feel ashamed to be a man. Without faith, they’d make me see only darkness.”
Pagano’s announcement was made during the presentation of the “Lux in Arcane” exhibition, which opens next February in Rome to show one of the world’s most important collections of papers, with documents from the 8th century to the 20th century. Lined-up, they would cover 85 kilometers.
With regards to the Armenian Genocide, “when I read documents about the torture practices used by the Turks against the Armenians, I feel an irrepressible sense of pain and horror,” Pagano said.
According to the prefect, some of the papers describe how Turkish soldiers “bet and played dice to guess the sex of a child before stabbing him or her with a bayonet after extracting them out of the womb.”
During the presentation, Pagano, the prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, also announced that within two or three years, the papers concerning World War II and the pontificate of Pius XII will be ready. The current pope will then be able to decide whether to release them to the public, as many expect, or not.
The exhibition will also present less traumatic but equally relevant historic documents, including the Letter of the Peers of England to Clement VII on the matrimonial cause of Henry VIII (1530), the codex of the trial of Galileo Galilei (1616-1633), the Letter of Empress Helena of China on silk and the Letter of American Indians to Leo XIII on birch bark.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Azeri letter to UN: Baku lays its fault at Armenia's door

Azeri letter to UN: Baku lays its fault at Armenia's door

July 2, 2011 - 19:07 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev, Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the UN, has submitted neither more nor less than a 10-page letter to the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council.
In his letter, Mehdiev attempted to shift Azerbaijan's fault for permanent ceasefire violations on Armenia and Karabakh. However, Mehdiyev failed to mention that it's Azeri military units that permanently violate ceasefire, leaving soldiers and peaceful inhabitants dead and injured. For example, over the last week, about 200 instances of ceasefire violation by the Azerbaijani armed forces were reported, with 900 shots fired.
Moreover, it’s no secret who the Deauville statement of OSCE MG co-chairs on unacceptability of the use of force was addressed to, warning that the international community will strictly condemn any use of force.
Azeri representative is also accusing Armenia of ''having the sole purpose of misleading the international community'' of the main issue. One may infer the main issue to be a Karabakh conflict settlement, with Azeri authorities taking every effort to prevent it, lest they might lose their authority. A failure of Kazan meeting was an illustration of Azerbaijan's stalling for time. While many structures and organisations predicted a conclusive document to be signed at the meeting, Baku advanced a dozen of new suggestions reducing urges and demands of superpowers to nothing.
Another subject of complaint in Mehdiyev's letter was that of ''Karabakh being a historic part of Azerbaijan.'' ''From ancient times up to now, Karabakh was an inalienable part of Azerbaijan,'' the letter says, bearing no mention of the fact that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan announced itself as a legal successor to Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, but not to Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
Specifically, Article 2 of Constitutional Act of Azerbaijan Republic on independent statehood of Azerbaijan Republic says, “Azerbaijan Republic is a legal successor of the Azerbaijan Republic dating back to the period of May 28,1918 – April 28, 1920.” Nagorno Karabakh, with 94% of Armenian population, by the decision of the Caucasus Bureau was included in Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic in a capacity of autonomy in 1921. Which means Karabakh has no bearing on modern Azerbaijan.
Thus, Mehdiyev's letter to UN suggests official Baku's continued attempts to misinform both Azerbaijani people and the international community, so as to disallow a rapid settlement of Karabakh issue, which brings Azeri authorities some certainty of future. However it's harldy likely for Azerbaijan to keep misleadign the international community without having to bear the consequences.