Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Akcam to Talk on Armenian Genocide Trials at NAASR

BELMONT, Mass.—On Thurs., Feb. 16, Dr. Taner Akcam, the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor of Modern Armenian History and Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University, will give a lecture entitled “Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials,” at 8 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation, the Mashtots Chair in Armenian Studies at Harvard University, and NAASR.

The cover of 'Judgment at Istanbul'
The recently published volume Judgment at Istanbul (Berghahn Books) by Vahakn Dadrian and Taner Akcam is a new, authoritative translation of the Key Indictments and Verdicts and detailed analysis of the Turkish Military Tribunals concerning the crimes committed against the Armenians during World War I.
The authors have compiled the documentation of the trial proceedings for the first time in English and situated them within their historical and legal context. These documents show that Wartime Cabinet ministers, Young Turk Party leaders, and a number of others inculpated in these crimes were court-martialed by the Turkish Military Tribunals in the years immediately following World War I. Most were found guilty and received sentences ranging from prison with hard labor to death.
In this lecture, Akcam will discuss the authors’ new findings and the importance of these trials in the light of recent scholarship, and will address the critiques of and attacks against the validity of the trials and documents discovered through the proceedings.
Until recently our knowledge of the trials was limited to those trials whose indictments and verdicts were published by the Takvim-i Vekayi. Over the course of years of meticulous research, Dadrian and Akcam discovered that there were as many as 62 trials. In Judgment at Istanbul, they not only list these until-now-unknown cases, but also analyze the political conditions of the time and the history of these trials.
Judgment at Istanbul will be available for purchase and signing the night of the lecture.
Taner Akcam is the author of From Empire To Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide and A Shameful Act: the Armenian Genocide and Turkish Responsibility, as well as numerous articles in Turkish, German, and English. His forthcoming book The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, will be issued by Princeton University Press in April 2012.
Admission to the event is free (donations appreciated). The NAASR Center is located opposite the First Armenian Church and next to the U.S. Post Office. Ample parking is available around the building and in adjacent areas.
For more information, call (617) 489-1610 or e-mail

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Germany could likewise pass bill that criminalizes genocide denial – German MP

Germany could likewise pass bill that criminalizes genocide denial – German MP
January 19, 2012 11:21
YEREVAN. – German ruling party’s MP Erika Steinbach considers it possible the country’s Bundestag (Parliament) could likewise pass a law that criminalizes the denial of genocides.
“It is crystal clear for me and my parliamentary faction that there was genocide, no matter how much Turkey denies the reality,” Steinbach said, who is the spokeswoman of the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union Parliamentary Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid.
In response to Armenian correspondent’s question as to whether their French colleagues’ track-record will be used in the Bundestag, too, Erika Steinbach noted that, in general, the German parliament can pass a bill that criminalizes genocide denial, but most of the other factions would hardly vote in its favor.
“The Armenian Genocide topic must constantly be kept on the agenda. Turkey bears a responsibility. Today’s authorities did not commit genocide, and they can easily accept this fact, say they are remorseful that there was an injustice, [and that] genocide was committed,” the German MP stressed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


original article © Panorama
Published on January 17, 2012
· Turkish leaders routinely proclaim that they are not afraid of facing their country's past. Yet, the minute someone reminds them of the darkest chapters of their history, they panic and overreact.
The most recent example of Turkish officials' irrational behavior is their reaction to French initiatives to adopt a law criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide. Despite Turkish threats and retaliatory measures, the bill was adopted by the French Parliament on December 22, 2011 and the Senate is expected to approve it on January 23, 2012.
Here are a few examples of outrageous Turkish overreaction to France and all things French:
-- Prime Minister Erdogan accused French President Nicolas Sarkozy's father of participating in the Algerian atrocities, while serving in the French Army. Sarkozy's father shot back by admonishing Erdogan to read his biography, telling him that he had never set foot in Algeria.
-- To justify his own country's genocide of Armenians, Erdogan accused France of committing "genocide" in Algeria. Yet, Erdogan was shocked when Algeria's Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia rebuked him for playing politics with Algerians' blood. Ouyahia also blamed Turkey for the deaths of countless Algerians by providing ammunition to France during the colonial period for which former Turkish Pres. Ozal apologized to Algeria.
-- The Mayor of Ankara announced last week that the City Council had decided to change the name of "Paris Street" to "Algeria Street," rename "Charles De Gaulle Street" in honor of a yet to be named Algerian hero, and erect a monument dedicated to the Algerian "massacres" in front of the French Embassy in the Turkish capital.
-- Turkish factories have been busily manufacturing toilet paper, trash bags, and baby diapers carrying Sarkozy's name, and condoms with the picture of French Deputy Valerie Boyer. Meanwhile, a gang of Turkish hackers attacked the websites of French lawmakers and threatened to rape Mrs. Boyer and murder her children.
-- Prof. Oya Akgonenc wrote a hilarious article titled, "Armenian Events in the Triangle of Armenia, France and America." She identified three "dangerous attackers" of Turkey whose last names start with S: "Sarkozy of France, Sargsyan of Armenia, and Sassounian, head of the Armenian lobby in the United States!"
-- Although Turkey called for a boycott of French products and services, Turkish flights to Paris were fully booked, as the number of Turks visiting France during the holidays increased by 10% compared to last year. Similarly, trade between the two countries increased by 30% after the 2001 French recognition of the Armenian Genocide, despite the Turkish boycott of France.
-- French-Algerian businessman Rachid Nekkaz, who proudly declared during a recent visit to Turkey, "I feel like I am a Turk," announced setting up a million euro ($1.3 million) fund to pay the fine for any Turk arrested in France for denying the Armenian Genocide. Mr. Nekkaz failed to inform potential Turkish denialists that the pending French law also carries a sentence of one year in jail which his fund would be unable to prevent.
-- The head of a Turkish news agency called for the closing down of French schools in Turkey and banning the teaching of French in Turkish schools.
Such nutty statements are likely to multiply after the French Senate approves the bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide and Pres. Sarkozy signs it into law, in view of the fact that the two largest French parties have expressed their support for the Armenian bill. Imagine the whining of Turkish leaders, when Turks are arrested in France for breaking the upcoming law on genocide denial.
Turkish protests will reach a crescendo when the French government proposes to the 25 other states of the European Union a similar anti-denial law which would lead to the arrest and punishment of Turkish denialists throughout Europe.
Turkish leaders have no one else to blame but themselves for their embarrassing and demeaning predicament. Yet, Turkey is in no position to give lectures about freedom of expression to anyone, given its draconian laws that violate the basic human rights of its own citizens. In France, it is illegal to lie about genocide, while in Turkey, it is illegal to tell the truth!
Instead of blaming the French Senate or the three men "whose last names start with S," Turkish leaders could get out of their century long quagmire by acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and making amends to the descendants of dispossessed victims. Source:

Friday, January 13, 2012

“Grandma’s Tattoos’ Available for Watching Online

WASHINGTON (A.W.)—“Grandma’s Tattoos,” a Swedish production directed by Suzanne Khardalian, is now available online in full, and can be watched on Al Jazeera’s website.
Al Jazeera English is an international round-the-clock English language news and current affairs TV channel headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Launched in 2006, it reaches around a billion English speaking viewers.
“This is an extraordinary achievement for the film,” Khardalian told the Armenian Weekly. “The film will have a huge exposure, and will reach countries that would have been difficult to reach.”
“Grandma’s Tattoos” (2011), a 58-minute-long documentary, chronicles Khardalian’s quest to uncover the atrocities that scarred her grandmother, a woman who bore “devilish marks”—tattoos on her face and hands—that were the persistent reminders of a time in captivity and rape during the Armenian Genocide. Much of her experiences remain a mystery to her progeny, but the few tidbits Khardalian discovered years after her grandmother’s death are but a faint yet terrifying echo of the hellish occurrences that haunted the survivors to the grave.
“Witness,” the Al Jazeera program that features “Grandma’s Tattoos,” screens award-winning documentaries that present realities often in conflict- or disaster-stricken regions, from Nairobi to Palestine, Japan to Somalia, Libya to Turkey.
Al Jazeera English is an international round-the-clock English language news and current affairs TV channel headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Launched in 2006, it reaches around a billion English speaking viewers.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Synopsis of ‘Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials’

‘Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials’By Vahakn N. Dadrian and Taner AkcamNew York and Oxford: Berghahn Books2011, 363 ppISBN 978-0-85745-251-1 (hardback)ISBN 978-0-85745-286-3 (e-book)
This book is a study of the World War I Armenian Genocide as documented through the Ottoman Special Military Tribunal’s criminal prosecution of the perpetrators involved. The aim of these post-World War I Ottoman courts-martial was the exposure and punishment of the organizers of the crime. As the courts-martial unfolded over nearly three years (1919-22), the near-omnipotent role played in the organization of the genocide by the top leaders of a militarized political party, the Young Turk junta—along with their governmental subordinates—became all too evident. That party was the Ittihad ve Terakki, or the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP).

A scene from the courtroom on April 3, 1919
This study is almost entirely anchored on original and authenticated documents. The evidence these documents yield is by no means ordinary in nature, but is rather a kind of evidence that is legally characterized as “evidence-in-chief.”
Most importantly, the documentation for the trials was rendered both incontestable and verifiable by a distinct legal procedure the tribunal adopted: When on the witness stand, the principal defendants were invited to examine and confirm the authenticity of the many secret and top secret documents bearing their own signatures. Most of these documents had been secured and authenticated during the pretrial investigations by officials from the ministries of the interior and justice. The authentication formula used was, “It conforms to the original.”
The book represents firsts in many ways.
This is the first time the complete known documentation of the trial proceedings are being provided in English. This study is based on authentic Turkish documentation, which the Ottoman government was forced to release during the trials. It includes the personal, eyewitness testimony of high-ranking Ottoman officials, given under oath, on the magnitude of the crimes against the Armenians. The indictments, evidence, and verdicts clearly prove the centralized planning and the genocidal intent of the Young Turk government against its Armenian citizens.
This is the first time information from the Ottoman newspapers of the era—whose collection, digitization, editing, transliteration, and translation were commissioned by the Zoryan Institute as part of the long-term project known as “Creating a Common Body of Knowledge”—has been utilized to reconstruct the trials. While the official government record lists only 12 trials, the newspapers provide details on 63. Between 2001 and 2004, researchers went to libraries in different cities in Turkey to locate and digitize all the articles in 17 Ottoman newspapers from 1919-21 on the trials. It was important not to alert officials about the intent of the project, or access might well have been blocked. In the end, Zoryan had a nearly complete collection of hundreds of articles on the trials from Ottoman newspapers. These articles have been transliterated into modern Turkish, and the titles of the articles translated into English. Digital images of these newspapers are now in Zoryan’s archives.
This is the first time a national court successfully prosecuted such a case of mass atrocity against its own citizens. The legal principle of “crimes against humanity” that arose in this case had a far-reaching influence and is echoed in the Nuremberg Charter, the Tokyo Charter, and the UN Genocide Convention.
This is the first joint publication by the two most internationally renowned scholars on the Armenian Genocide—Professors Vahakn Dadrian, an Armenian, and Taner Akcam, a Turk.
Wartime Cabinet ministers, Young Turk party leaders, and a number of other accessories were court-martialed for orchestrating Turkey’s entry into World War I and for the annihilation of the Armenians. Most were found guilty and received sentences ranging from prison with hard labor to death. Talat, Enver, Cemal, and Dr. Nazım were condemned to death in absentia.
On Jan. 13, 1921, the courts-martial were abolished altogether, with jurisdiction reverting to regular military courts. Nearly all of the key figures of the CUP managed to escape Turkey before being brought to trial. Scores of lesser CUP leaders were condemned to death in absentia or sentenced to prison terms. However, many of these eventually escaped or were set free, as the Allied Powers were very slow in implementing the trials, constantly undermined each other, and removed their forces from occupying Turkey, while at the same time freeing tens of thousands of prisoners of war, who readily joined the Kemalist insurgency. The July 24, 1923 Treaty of Lausanne was framed in such a way as to avoid the subject of war crimes and massacres. With Declaration VIII of Amnesty and the Protocol attached to this treaty, and as Kemalism gained the upper hand and eventually ended the Ottoman Empire, the pursuit of justice for the Armenians was abandoned.
The Armenian Genocide represents the first case of genocide (as described by Raphael Lemkin, the legal scholar who coined the term “genocide”), in which a government tried to eliminate an identifiable ethnic or religious group of its own citizens, and is recognized as the prototype for what specialists refer to as “modern genocide.” It serves as a classic example of how impunity for one crime can lead to another crime, as Adolf Hitler infamously justified his plans by asking his generals in 1939, “Who remembers now the extermination of the Armenians?”
Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials adds a new perspective to the historical and moral studies of the genocide, and serves as a legal case study. It holds great relevance today, with the current interest internationally regarding the Armenian Genocide and its denial.
See the Table of Contents attached for an outline of the book.
About the Authors
Vahakn N. Dadrian’s field of specialization is genocide, in general, and the Armenian Genocide, in particular. For several years he was engaged as director of a large Genocide Study Project sponsored by the H. F. Guggenheim Foundation. The project’s first major achievement was the publication, now in its fifth printing expanded, of an extensive volume titled The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus (Oxford & Providence, R.I., 1995). This work has appeared in French (Paris, second printing) and in Greek (Athens). Dadrian’s other major work, German Responsibility in the Armenian Genocide: A Review of the Historical Evidence of German Complicity, was published in 1996 (Cambridge, Mass.) and is now in its third edition. His third volume, Warrant for Genocide: The Key Elements of the Turko-Armenian Conflict, appeared in 1999 (London and New Brunswick, N.J.). His latest book is titled The Key Elements of the Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide (Cambridge, Mass., and Toronto, 1999). This book was translated into Spanish in Buenos Aires (2002). In addition to these monographs, Dadrian has published numerous articles in scholarly journals around the world. His extensive list of publications includes several articles on the Jewish Holocaust and the victimization of the American Indians. In 2005, he received four separate awards for his lifetime contribution to genocide studies. Dadrian is currently the director of genocide research at the Zoryan Institute.
Taner Akcam was born in the province of Ardahan in northeast Turkey and became interested in Turkish politics at an early age. As the editor-in-chief of a political journal, he was arrested in 1976 and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. One year later, he escaped and fled to Germany as a political refugee. His books include Dialogue Across an International Divide: Essays Towards a Turkish-Armenian Dialogue (2001) and From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide (2004). A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility was published in November 2006 and has since been translated into Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, and Spanish. He is the first Turkish scholar to have drawn attention to the historicity of the Armenian Genocide and has, as a result, been persecuted by the Turkish state. In April 2006, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts presented him with a distinguished award for outstanding work in human rights and fighting genocide denial. He is currently an associate professor of history and the Kaloosdian/Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University.
Table of Contents
Ottoman-Turkish Words and Names xi
Introduction 1Vahakn N. Dadrian and Taner Akcam
PART I. The Conditions Surrounding the Trials
Chapter 1. History of the Turko-Armenian Conflict 13
Vahakn N. Dadrian
Chapter 2. Military Defeat and the Victors’ Drive for Punitive Justice 19
Vahakn N. Dadrian
Chapter 3. The Preparations for Courts-Martial 78
Vahakn N. Dadrian
Chapter 4. The Initiation of Courts-Martial 93
Vahakn N. Dadrian
Chapter 5. Emergent Kemalism and the Courts-Martial 101
Vahakn N. Dadrian
Chapter 6. The Series of Major Trials and the Related Verdicts: Falsification of the Arguments of “Relocation,” “Civil War,” and “Intercommunal Clashes” 108
Vahakn N. Dadrian
Chapter 7. Legal Proceedings as a Conceptual Framework 126
Vahakn N. Dadrian
Chapter 8. A Summary of the Conditions Surrounding the Trials 154
Vahakn N. Dadrian
Chapter 9. The Judicial Liquidation of Some of the Arch Perpetrators by Both CUP and Kemalist Authorities, and the Demise of Other Accomplices 177
Vahakn N. Dadrian

PART II. The Trials and Beyond
Chapter 10. Death Sentences Handed Down by the Military Tribunal in Istanbul 195
Taner Akcam
Chapter 11. Coverage of the Trials by the Istanbul Turkish Press 200
Taner Akcam
Chapter 12. Formation and Operation of the Ottoman Military Tribunals 251
Taner Akcam
Chapter 13. The Full Texts in English of the Indictments and Verdicts 271
Appendix 333
Glossary of Terms 335
Archival, Judicial, and Parliamentary Documents 337
I. The Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic 337
II. Imperial Germany and German Official Records 342
III. Imperial Austria-Hungary 344
IV. Great Britain 345
V. T e United States 346
VI. United Nations 346
VII. France and French Archives 346
VIII. Armenian Archival Documents 346

Select Bibliographic Secondary Sources 348
Books 348
Turkish 348
English 350
German 351
French 351
Armenian 351

Articles 352
Turkish 352
English 352
German 353
Armenian 353

Newspapers 354
Turkish 354
French 354
American 354
British 355
Canadian 355
Australian 355
Armenian 355
Index 356

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On the Armenian Genocide: The Response of a Handful of Historians

Bernard-Henri Lévy
French philosopher; Writer
On the Armenian Genocide: The Response of a Handful of Historians
Posted: 01/ 3/12 04:00 PM ET
Genocide , Armenian Genocide Bill , Aermanian Genocide , Armenian Genocide France , Armenian Genocide Law , France-Armenia-Genocide-Bill , World News
Are these people really incapable of comprehending? Or are they just pretending not to understand?
The law whose purpose is to penalize negationist revisionism, voted before Christmas by the French parliament, does not propose to write history in the place of historians. And this for the simple reason that this history has been told and written, well written, for a long time. This we have always known: that, beginning in 1915, the Armenians were the victims of a methodic attempt at annihilation. A wealth of literature has been devoted to the subject, based in particular upon the confessions offered by the Turkish criminals themselves, starting with Hoca Ilyas Sami, almost immediately after the fact. From Yehuda Bauer to Raul Hilberg, from researchers at Yad Vashem to Yves Ternon and others, no serious historian casts doubt upon this reality or denies it. In other words, this law has nothing to do with the will to establish a truth of state. No representative of the French National Assembly who voted for it saw himself as a substitute for historians or their work. Together, they only intended to recall this simple right, that of each of us not to be publicly attacked -- and its corollary, the right to demand reparations for this particularly outrageous offense which is the insult to the memory of the dead. It is a question of law, not one of history.
Presenting this law as one that denies liberty, one likely to hamper the work of historians is another strange argument that makes one wonder. It is the negationist revisionists who, up until now, have hampered the work of historians. It is their mad ideas, their hare-brained concepts, their twisting of facts, their terrifying and breathtaking lies that shake the earth upon which, in principle, a science should be built. And in punishing them, making their task more complicated, alerting the public that it is dealing not with scholars but with those who would enflame minds, that the law protects and shelters history. Is there one historian who has been prevented from working on the Shoah by the Gayssot law punishing denial of the Holocaust? Is there one author who, in good conscience, can claim that it has limited his freedom to do research and to raise questions? And isn't it clear that the only ones this law has seriously hindered are the Faurissons, the Irvings, and the other Le Pens? Well, the same applies to the genocide of the Armenians. This law, when the Senate will have ratified it, will be a stroke of fortune for historians, who can finally work in peace. Unless... Yes, unless those who oppose the law express this other, cloudier reservation: that it would be a bit premature to come to a conclusion, precisely and for nearly a century, of "genocide".
Some still say, isn't there some other way than the law to intimidate the "assassins on paper"? And hasn't the truth in itself, in its starkness and its rigour, the means to defend itself and to triumph over those who would deny it? It is a vast debate, one which has been discussed, in parenthesis, since the origins of philosophy. And to which one adds, in the case at hand, a specific parameter stating that, when in doubt, it is prudent to make sure one is backed up by the law. This parameter is the negationist revisionism of the Turkish State. And this specificity is that the negationists there are not just a vague bunch of cranks, but people who are supported by resources, diplomacy, the capacity for blackmail and retaliation of a powerful State. Imagine the situation of the survivors of the Shoah had the German State been a negationist State after the war. Imagine the immensity of their additional distress and anger had they been confronted, not with a sect of loonies, but with an unrepentant Germany that brought pressure upon their partners by threatening them with angry retaliation should they call the extermination of the Jews at Auschwitz genocide. It is, mutatis mutandis, the situation of the Armenians. And that is also why they have the right to a law.
And finally, I would add that it's time to stop mixing everything up and drowning the Armenian tragedy in the ritualized blahblahblah assailing the "memorial laws". For this law is not a memorial law. It is not one of those dangerous power plays capable of laying the path for dozens if not hundreds of absurd or blackguardly rules, codifying what one has the right to say about the Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre, the meaning of colonization, slavery, the Civil War, the misdemeanor of blasphemy and heaven knows what else. It is a law concerning a genocide -- which is not the same. It is a law sanctioning those who, in denying it, intensify and perpetuate the genocidal act -- which is something else entirely. There are not, thank God, hundreds of genocides, or even dozens. There are three. Four, if we add the Cambodians to the Armenians, the Jews, and the Rwandans. And to place these three or four genocides on the same level as all the rest, to make their penalization the antechamber of a political correctness that authorizes a stream of useless or perverse laws on the disputed aspects of our national memory, to say, "Watch it! You're opening a Pandora's box from which everything and anything can pop out !" is another imbecility, exacerbated by another infamy and sealed with a dishonesty that is, really, grotesque.
Let us confront this specious line of argument with the wisdom of national representation. And may the senators complete the process by refusing to be intimidated by this little band of historians.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sassounian: Turkey Besieged by Armenian Successes Long Before the Genocide Centennial

Turkish leaders made a serious tactical error in 2011. They were so preoccupied with countering the upcoming tsunami of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in 2015, that they lost sight of the more immediate political storms facing them.

Armenians quickly capitalized on the Turkish blunder, managing to score a series of early successes: 1) the French Parliament adopted a bill banning denial of the Armenian Genocide, 2) the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on Turkey to return Armenian churches and other properties to their rightful owners, 3) an Israeli parliamentary committee held a public hearing on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and 4) a U.S. Federal Court may shortly issue a default judgment against the Republic of Turkey.

Facing a tenacious French President who refused to be intimidated by insults and threats, Turkey reacted with slash and burn tactics that aggravated its problems and undermined its bid for European Union membership. By withdrawing its ambassador from Paris, the Turkish government deprived itself of the services of a capable diplomat at a crucial time when the French Senate is about to take up the bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide. Judging from past experience, the Turkish Ambassador will be sent back to Paris soon, making his dramatic recall an exercise in futility and attracting the ridicule of the diplomatic community. If Turkey withdraws its ambassador every time a country recognizes the Armenian Genocide or adopts a decision contrary to Ankara’s wishes, it will isolate itself from the rest of the world.

Even more damaging to Turkey’s interests is the threat to boycott goods imported from countries that are deemed to be “unfriendly.” Turkey would simply damage its own economy by purchasing inferior products at higher prices from alternative sources. Moreover, should Turkey stop buying highly technical items such as passenger planes and advanced missiles from the few countries that make them, it will end up with an antiquated air transport system and a weakened military. In recent days, however, Turkish leaders have sheepishly withdrawn their bombastic boycott threats, after realizing that the World Trade Organization would impose severe penalties on Turkey for violating its membership obligations.

Turning to the House resolution on return of church properties, the Turkish government and its high-priced lobbying firms were caught flat-footed on how to counter such a delicate matter. After years of success in derailing Armenian Genocide resolutions, the Turkish side was clueless about fighting a motion that called for the return of church buildings and other properties to their respective Christian communities. Consequently, the resolution was approved by a vote of 43-1 in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and by more than two-thirds of the full House. This is the first time that the U.S. Congress has gone on record demanding that Turkey restore the rights of genocide victims beyond the mere acknowledgment of the Genocide. In the coming months and years, Armenians will be presenting an ever growing list of demands to international organizations, parliaments around the world, and the Turkish government itself.

The third positive development took place in Israel, when the Knesset’s Education Committee held an unprecedented three-hour public hearing on the Armenian Genocide, despite pressure from Turkey, its lackey Azerbaijan, and the Netanyahu government. This discussion, held in front of TV cameras, and not behind closed doors, is expected to continue at a later date. It is shameful that the Israeli government continues to obstruct recognition of the Armenian Genocide, perhaps hoping to regain Turkey’s trust and friendship. Rather than playing political games with mass murder, the Netanyahu government should acknowledge the truth of the Armenian Genocide for the sake of its own reputation.

The final salutary development is an expected default judgment to be issued by a U.S. Federal Court against the Republic of Turkey on two lawsuits demanding payment for Armenian properties confiscated during the Genocide. Such a judgment would be a stern warning to the Turkish authorities that they cannot continue to enjoy the ill-gotten gains from the blood money of genocide victims.

Long before the arrival of the Armenian tsunami in 2015, Turkey is increasingly confronted by pressures for greater human rights and Kurdish autonomy, and far-reaching Armenian demands, while experiencing acute problems with virtually all of its neighbors. A Turkish regime besieged with serious internal and external challenges is less of a threat to its own population and its neighborhood, and more likely to settle past injustices and present conflicts.