Friday, March 31, 2006


March 31, 2006
By Gayane Abrahamyan ArmeniaNow reporter

[...] Turkish CanalTurk will screen Ararat, the film by Canadian Armenian director Atom Egoyan about the 1915 Armenian Genocide, reported Armenpress on March 30. Before taking this decision, the company conducted a survey of 21,000 Turks and 18,000 were in favor of seeing the film. CanalTurk has, however, cut some scenes depicting massacres of Armenians by Turkish soldiers.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


March 30, 2006
Eurasia Net
Mina Muradova and Rufat Abbasov (freelance reporters in Baku)

Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, has lashed out at Armenia, claiming that "Armenian ideologists-nationalists" have pursued a policy of aggression against Azeris for "about 200 years." Aliyev’s vitriolic rhetoric indicates that the window for a negotiated solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is slamming shut.
In recent weeks, Aliyev and other officials have repeatedly threatened that Azerbaijan might resort to military action if Baku determined that Karabakh peace negotiations stood no chance of success. In comments made March 27 during a ceremony at the National Security Ministry, and broadcast by ANS television, Aliyev stressed that Azerbaijan’s rapid economic growth, driven by the development of the country’s abundant energy reserves, was enabling the government to embark on a far-reaching military build-up. He added that the potential for Karabakh negotiations "has not yet been exhausted."
In addition to the build-up, Azerbaijan appears intent on mobilizing the Azeri diaspora to join in an information offensive to promote Baku’s interests around the globe, including a Karabakh settlement that is favorable to Baku. Azerbaijani officials used the second Congress of World Azerbaijanis, held in mid March, to issue a call for rapid consolidation of diaspora groups in order to present a unified view of Azerbaijan and its policy aims to the outside world.
Some delegates to the congress acknowledged that Azeri diaspora groups had not done a good job in promoting Baku’s policies. "The Azerbaijani diaspora is badly organized because it is young," Azad Seidov, head of the Azeri national cultural center in the Russian city Surgut, told EurasiaNet. "We do not have a common plan of action and Azerbaijani communities in foreign countries are working on their own. We have to unite in order to recover our lands, cultural heritage and customs."

Other representatives of diaspora groups confirmed that the consolidation effort was intended to influence the Karabakh peace process. Fahri Kerimli, chairman of board of the Romanian-Azerbaijani Cultural Assembly, said unification would assist in the "neutralization of efforts of Armenian diaspora around the world against Azerbaijan, Azerbaijanis and Turkey." A major aim of the intended information offensive, Kerimli added, was to recast Azerbaijan as the victim in the Karabakh conflict, dispelling the widely held view at present that Baku was the aggressor.

Seidov and other delegates expressed interest in coordinating actions with representatives of Turkish diaspora groups. "State interests ... made it necessary for the Azerbaijani and Turkish diasporas to cooperate – to jointly operate to solve vital problems," Ibrahimov, the state committee chief, said.
In 2002 the Azerbaijan goverment decided instead of working on peace, to launch an international PR campaign. See HERE.
Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

State's Fried Discusses Armenia Democratization, Nagorno-Karabakh

29 March 2006
Washington File
By Jeffrey Thomas Staff Writer

Washington - The United States expects Armenia’s parliamentary and presidential elections in 2007 and 2008 to meet international standards for free and fair elections, the State Department’s Daniel Fried said March 27 in a speech that also touched on such regional issues as the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, energy security and the war against terrorism.

Fried, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said the Bush administration is “taking at face value” assurances from the Armenian government that the elections will be free and fair. The elections are “key tests” of whether Armenia is meeting its commitments under the terms of the Millennium Challenge Compact it signed March 27, he said.
Armenia, he said, “has the potential to be a leader in the region by showing progress on democratic reforms to keep pace with its economic expansion.”
Turning to Nagorno-Karabakh, Fried said finding a solution to the conflict over the predominantly ethnic Armenian region within Azerbaijan remains a “key focus” of U.S. foreign policy.[...].

Fried said the United States does not intend to impose a settlement on either Armenia or Azerbaijan. “But it is our intention to support a solution if both governments arrive at it,” he added.

When questioned, Fried declined to reveal details of any possible settlement under discussion except to say that “the will of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh has to be respected” and that “there are issues of territorial integrity.”
Fried also said the United States hopes to see the Caucasus region integrate economically even before a solution to the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. “It’s good not only for Armenia; it would be good for Turkey and Azerbaijan as well,” he said.

Regarding U.S. security cooperation with Azerbaijan, Fried said U.S. assistance was meant to help Azerbaijan handle such security threats as Iran, not to be used against Armenia.

“Our assistance to Azerbaijan does not undermine our support for Armenian security, and it is not designed and will not be used for offensive purposes against Armenia,” he said.
“The U.S. position on events of 1915 has not changed,” Fried said. “We want to foster reconciliation and peace based on an understanding of history, not a denial of it. We believe that the tragedy of 1915, the killings, is of enormous human significance and its historical assessment should be determined not on the basis of politics, but introspection among civic leaders and scholars. This process has begun in Turkey where it needs to take place.”

Turkey, Fried said, “will have to go through what many other countries such as the United States have had to go through in our own history, which is looking back at the darker spots in our past.”

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Armenia: Receives Grant, Credit To Support Renewable Energy Project

March 30, 2006

Press Release World Bank

The World Bank today approved a Renewable Energy Project for Armenia. The total amount of the project is US$25.050 million, including a US$5 million International Development Association (IDA) credit, and a US$3 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project will also be supported by co-financing of US$7 million from EBRD, US$3 million from the Cafesjian Family Foundation, and US$7.050 million from the government and local financial institutions.

This project will assist the government to increase privately owned and operated power generation utilizing renewable energy and to reduce greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) emissions by overcoming barriers to the development of renewable energy.
“The project will increase the role of renewable resources in Armenia’s electricity generation mix in the future thereby increasing the diversification of electricity supply and energy security,”- said Gevorg Sargsyan, Head of the World Bank team designing the project. “It will also generate environmental benefits by reducing emissions and pollution.”
By the time of completion, the project is expected to contribute to the development of about 80MW of additional renewable energy generation capacity, adding 200GWh annual renewable generation to the electricity generation mix. In addition, carbon dioxide emissions are expected to be lowered by around 130,000 tons annually.

The Credit will be made to Armenia on standard IDA terms, including 40 years maturity and a 10-year grace period.

Since joining the World Bank in 1992 and IDA in 1993, the commitments to Armenia total approximately US $921 million for 42 operations.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

U.S.: Financial Aid Ready To Flow To Armenia

March 28, 2006
By Julie A. Corwin

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- "The compact we are signing today will directly improve the lives of 750,000 Armenians, three-quarters of the country's rural population," Condoleezza Rice said at the ceremony. "Over the next five years, Armenians will build almost 1,000 kilometers of rural roads," she continued.

"They will upgrade their irrigation and drainage systems. They will plant new crops and through all of this the United States will provide Armenia with the technical assistance and credit support that it urgently needs."
The money from the MCC will be disbursed over a five-year period and will be contingent on Armenia's policy performance in three areas: "ruling justly, investing in people, and encouraging economic freedom." More specifically, Rice said that the United States expects Armenia to deliver on its pledges to improve the conduct of national elections.
Richard Giragosian, a Washington-based independent analyst, is skeptical that Armenia will suffer any financial repercussions in future regardless of how the future elections are conducted. He told RFE/RL that the U.S. government has delivered consistent warnings, citing the recent visits of the Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Bryza to Yerevan.

But, according to Giragosian, "the feeling is that the Armenians have not really learned any lessons from past electoral violations and are still likely to resort to their habitual ballot rigging." The key question, he said, is one of degree, that is, how blatant will the vote rigging and other types of election fraud be in practice.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Armenians of U.S. Protest against Turkish Defense Minister


YEREVAN (YERKIR) - The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) led a demonstration of over 2,000 Armenian Americans today outside the Beverly Hills Hotel during a speech given by Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül, a key figure in the Turkish state’s campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR).

Among the thousands of participants in today’s protest were Congressman Brad Sherman (CA-27) and Burbank Board of Education President Paul Krekorian. [...].
“It is not only those with Armenian heritage who demand that the truth be recognized. Friends of Turkey should demonstrate that Turkey accept the Armenian Genocide,” said Congressman Sherman in his remarks to the crowd.

“Where will Turkey be among the family of nations if it does not recognize the truth? I will work in Congress every day until the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide is recognized,” he concluded. Congressman Sherman also commented on Turkey’s failure to provide access to US military bases in Turkey and necessary passage over its land and air space during the invasion of Iraq three years ago.

[...]. In his remarks at the luncheon, the Defense Minister addressed the issue of Turkey’s actions during the run-up to the Iraq War.

He directly contradicted the position of his American counterpart, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who has repeatedly said on national television that Turkey’s refusal to allow US-led coalition forces to open a northern front has significantly contributed to the strength of the Iraqi insurgency. “Turkey has supported the US led war on Iraq from the beginning,” said the Defense Minister.

He added that “Turkey promotes good neighborly relations.” This assertion also stands in sharp contrast to the actions of the Turkish government, which, on one hand, blockades and seeks to isolate Armenia, and on the other, denies the Armenian Genocide and continues to harvest the economic, demographic, and geopolitical fruits of the genocidal crime it committed against the Armenian nation nine decades ago.
California, which is one of 38 states to have recognized the Armenian Genocide, last year adopted legislation permanently designating the week of April 24 as California’s week of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. The effort to enact legislation on the Armenian Genocide was led by state legislators such as Senators Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno) and Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco), and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2005.

California has also adopted an education curriculum that includes teaching of the history of the Armenian Genocide, and the Los Angeles Unified School District is among many public school systems in the state that continue to train its teachers on implementing a curriculum that teaches about this crime against humanity.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

UNESCO to Send Experts to Nakhichevan


UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura (Japan) has expressed readiness to send a group of experts to Nakhichevan to study the issue and to censure what happened.
There is a difference between expressing readiness and actually going there. There is still the problem of Azerbaijan letting the group of experts from UNESCO, into the Julfa cemetery for inspection and censure.
Last week Chairman of the World Armenian Congress Ara Abrahamyan, being a UNESCO good will Ambassador during an official meeting drew Koïchiro Matsuura’s attention to destruction of the Armenian cemetery in Old Julfa by Azerbaijanis.

In the words of chair of the European representation of all-Armenian structures, Armenian FM's Advisor Ashot Grigoryan, A. Abrahamyan censured vandalism regarding cultural monuments. Vandalism regarding Christian monuments in Old Julfa entails negative political consequences as well and more destabilizes the political situation in the South Caucasus, Abrahamyan remarked. He also invited Koïchiro Matsuura to visit Armenia to get acquainted with treasures of the Armenian culture. The UNESCO Director-General assured in case of receiving an invitation, he will plan his visit to Armenia with pleasure.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Nizami Jafarov: “Creation of Turk States’ Parliamentary Assembly worries Armenia seriously”

27 Mar. 2006

Talks on creation of Turk States’ Parliamentary Assembly worries Armenia seriously. Armenian media writes that Turk nations will create Turan State (Great Turkish State) and claims [...] will be against Armenians,” Turkish-Azerbaijani Parliamentary Friendship Group chairman, Nizami Jafarov, told APA.

He said that creation of Turk States’ Parliamentary Assembly does not mean creation of Turan State.

“Establishment of such an assembly is important for harmony in the world and is not in contradiction with international juridical norms. On the other hand, Armenians are very trifle in Turks’ imagination. Turks are 100 million in the world while Armenians are up to 10 million only. However, after creation of Turk States’ Parliamentary Assembly, Armenian issue will be discussed there,” Mr. Jafarov said.
True, if importance could be measured in numbers ....
Jafarov also said that Turkey and Azerbaijan discussed creation of this organization and talks will be held with other Turk states in near future as well.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Letters on "It was genocide" of LA Times

See the article HERE.

[...] The Times has shown us with clarity and courage that integrity remains the defining essence of journalism.


We need to rightly consider the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks as the first holocaust of the 20th century.

As the merchant class of the Ottoman Empire, the Armenians were not only dispossessed of their wealth, businesses and lands, but thousands of Armenian men were taken away and executed while women and children were sold into bondage and slavery.

There may not have been any cameras to record these terrible events, but in the little killing field of Margada and the riverbeds of towns like Mus, mass graves are yielding up their dark secrets.

It is time for Turkey to come clean.


Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

VIEW: Turkey has to confront its demons

March 24, 2006
Daily Times - Pakistan
By Jonathan Power

[...]. Despite phenomenal progress in improving the parameters of free speech [...], Turkey still has not faced up to its two big outstanding historical questions: What has it done with all its Jews and Christians?

[...] when will it have an honest discussion about the disappearance of the Christian Armenians, which some say was an act of genocide?
Jonathan Power is reminded of the International Affirmation of the Armenian Genocide and that the overwhelming majority of historians, estimate that 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey were killed in 1915 as part of a genocide campaign.

The facts of this history have been affirmed by the International Association of Genocide Scholars (unanimously) HERE, the People’s Permanent Tribunal in 1984, and in the legal analysis prepared for the International Center for Transitional Justice issued to the public by the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC), on February 10, 2003. See HERE.

Such also was the opinion of Raphael Lemkin; Polish Jewish Lawyer, who lost his family in the Jewish Holocaust of WWII and was very affected with the horrors of the Armenian Genocide. He had that in mind in addition to the Jewish Genocide, when he coined the term "Genocide" for the first time, and afterwards when he helped in making of the "U.N. Genocide Prevention Law 1948".

Moreover, in a newly found CBS TV interview, Lemkin on the record had discussed the U.N. resolution and the Armenian Genocide.
If we’re all going to be forced to make the clash of civilisations the principle item on the geo-political agenda, [...]those who oppose such polarisation need to face up to why this modern, liberal Muslim state par excellence has not come to terms with its terrible past. Ironically, this law-abiding state, [...] has a worse record on these matters than its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire. [...] the Ottomans, had a much better historical record than Christianity in its tolerance of the other religions of “The People of the Book”.
Historically, there has never been a sustained, continuous, clash between these great civilisations. [...] the Muslims invariably showed greater magnanimity and tolerance than the Christian powers when they triumphed. So why is it that the dying Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey have such a poor record?

Some Turks would say in [...] the break up of the Ottoman Empire [...], the West has inflicted one grievous blow after another on the Muslim world. This has pushed Turkey — and much of the Muslim world in this region — into an uncharacteristic degree of defensiveness and intolerance.

Caroline Finkel, the author of the big new study on the Ottomans much praised by Turkey’s most famous novelist, Orhan Pamuk, [...], “terrible massacres did take place on both sides. That’s not in doubt. But the devil is in the detail. No ‘smoking gun’ has been found in the Ottoman archives”, although she adds that some documents could have been lost “perfectly innocently or removed”.

Finkel, while unsparing of the savagery of Ottoman forces in killing off so many Armenians, reminds her audience that more Muslim Turks than Armenians were killed in the war and that the fifth column activities of the Armenians made inevitable their relocation to Syria and Iraq, well away from the Ottoman-Russian frontline.
Jonathan Power is using Caroline Finkel's book as an authoritative document. The truth is the reviewer in The Economist (Feb. 25, 2006, p. 96) qualifies it as follows:
"The limitations of Ms Finkel's approach are most apparent in her perfunctory treatment of the empire's final, tumultuous years. She deals no more than cursorily with the Armenian massacres during the first world war, preferring to observe that scholarship has suffered from the highly-charged contemporary dispute over whether the killings constitute genocide. This point would have made a worthwhile footnote. As a substitute for an account of what happened, it is a cop-out." See HERE.
An open reckoning of the evidence by an independent panel of distinguished historians should now be commissioned by the EU and paid for by the Turkish government. The longer the Armenian issue is left to stew, manipulated by the ignorant, the more damage to the EU digestive tract, as the EU entry negotiations proceed, it is going to cause. Likewise, a separate inquiry into what happened to the Jewish and Christian minorities needs to be undertaken and why even today the continued existence of a major Orthodox seminary near Istanbul remains under threat.

The past weighs too heavily upon modern Turkey, even though its media and intellectuals can be very forthright about these issues. The Turkish government still needs to open up. Denial is no substitute for the whole truth. And if Turkey truly wants to enter the EU it must get on with it, sooner rather than later.

The writer is a leading columnist on international affairs, human rights and peace issues. He syndicates his columns with some 50 papers around the world.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Republic of Armenia to Sign $235 Million Millennium Challenge Compact

march 24, 2006
Student Operated Press

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Chair of the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), will make remarks at the signing of the Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States and the Republic of Armenia, on Monday, March 27, 2006 at 4:00 p.m., in the Benjamin Franklin Room, at the Department of State.

MCC Chief Executive Officer Ambassador John Danilovich and Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian will also make remarks. The $235.65 million Compact will be signed by Ambassador Danilovich and Armenia’s Minister of Finance and Economy, Vardan Khachatryan.

Armenia’s Millennium Challenge Compact aims to reduce rural poverty through a sustainable increase in the economic performance of the agricultural sector. The Compact consists of two investments: a Rural Road Rehabilitation Project and an Irrigated Agriculture Project. The program will directly impact 75 percent of the rural population and is expected to significantly increase the annual incomes of the rural poor.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Miss Universe Canada

March 22, 2006
CanWest New Service

MONTREAL -- Alice Panikian of Toronto was anointed Miss Universe Canada 2006, defeating 48 other hopefuls Tuesday night at the Casino de Montreal.

The 20-year-old York University student takes over the tiara from Natalie Glebova, who went on to win the Miss Universe pageant in Thailand last year.

"It's surreal. I think I'm dreaming," Panikian said, checking her pulse. "No, no, I'm not."

The judges rated the young women on poise, confidence, intelligence, physical fitness, and beauty as they modelled in swimsuits and evening gowns and made impromptu speeches.

Glebova said Panikian, who also took the Miss Photogenic prize, will give Canada a strong candidate for the Miss Universe crown for a second year in a row. "

She's gorgeous. Absolutely stunning," the past queen said. Three Quebecers were among the 10 finalists, but none made the Top 5.

This disappointed runner-up Claudia Cote, who had received the loudest applause from the audience.

"Quebec women are known their warmth and beauty,'' Cote lamented. "It would have been nice to see one of our girls in the final round."

The title of Miss Universe Canada allows the winner to travel the world in defence of a favourite cause. For Panikian, it will be HIV and AIDS prevention in Africa.

"(AIDS) is very preventible. With education we can save a lot of lives," she said

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Normalization of Armenia-Turkey Relations Favorable for Yerevan-Baku Relations

24 March 2006
JTW Newws

“The normalization of the Armenia-Turkey relations will have a positive impact not only upon the economy and internal political and ideological situation in Armenia but also upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. The more Armenians benefit from the cooperation and good neighbor relations with Turkey the less political forces in Armenia will build the policy of hostility towards Turkey and Azerbaijan,” Azeri political scientist Zardusht Alizade stated in an interview with Armenian news source PanARMENIAN.Net.

“Integrating Europe is a good example. But counter steps are essential. Armenians are convinced that Turkey should acknowledge the events of 1915 with all the consequences. Turkey for its part considers that Armenia should stop being an instrument in the hands of anti-Turkish forces, first of all the Russian special services and right-wing conservative parties in Europe,’ Alizade said.

About 20 percent of Azeri territories have been under Armenian occupation. About 1 million Azeri people were forced to migrate by the Armenians. Armenia also does not recognise Turkey's national borders.
Only some 12% is under Armenian control as a buffer zone. As far as 1 million refugees is concerned, they left when the Nagorno Karabagh forces advanced because they were scared. Nagorno Karabagh did not ask for war. They were bombarded daily by Azeri forces because they expressed their legitimate right of self determination. Negotiations are presently underway for exchanging land against guarantee for self determination.
Many Armenian extremists are against the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border gates.
The only party putting a condition for opening up the border is Turkey not Armenia or the extremists. President Robert Kocharian told many times that Armenia does not set any preconditions for normalizing relations with Turkey.
Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Aliyev hails Azeri Diaspora as ‘stronghold’

Azer News

The second congress of World Azerbaijanis was held in Baku on Thursday and attended by 1,218 representatives from 49 countries and 388 visitors from abroad. President Ilham Aliyev addressing the event termed it as an important historic event.

He said extensive and prolific steps have been taken to organize the activity of the Azerbaijani Diaspora over the five years that have passed since the first such congress. Aliyev said Azerbaijanis abroad are actively involved in the socio-political life of the countries of their residence. "As the Diaspora strengthens, the Azerbaijani state is starting to rely on it more." [...].
President Aliyev said at the congress that Azerbaijan is interested in the speedy commissioning of the Gars-Tbilisi-Baku regional railway project. "We will accomplish launching this rail line." Aliyev said the talks on the issue are under way. The line, which will connect the Azeri and Turkish railway systems, bears both political and economic importance. The president termed Azerbaijan as a bridge connecting the East and the West. "Not a single regional project can be implemented without our participation today." The president also emphasized that the country is a leader in the region for the volume of investment per capita. Aliyev said that as a result of its policy, Azerbaijan has left Armenia out of regional projects, including the Gars-Tbilisi-Baku line. "We cannot allow for a state occupying Azerbaijani land to participate in regional projects along with us."

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Mikhail Piotrovsky: “The entire world must recognize the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey”

Regnum News Agency

“The entire world must recognize the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey in 1915, recognize and condemn the genocide system that made 20th century notorious, starting from Armenians and Jews. And the world must condemn it together, because the 20th century has demonstrated that humans are animals, not humans,” stated Head of the Russian Hermitage Museum, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Mikhail Piotrovsky on March 23, after ceremony at the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial of victims of the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan.

He said that the Armenian Genocide is a great tragedy that everybody must learn from. If people resist, Genocide becomes the moral victory of victims, as became the Armenian Genocide, said Piotrovsky.

Piotrovsky, along with Director of South Caucasian branch of the Caucasian Institute for Democracy Development Foundation Armenika Kiviryan visited Museum-Institute of the Armenian Genocide, where he left a record in the Book of Memory.

Mikhail Piotrovsky is in Yerevan since March 21. He was invited by the Caucasian Institute for Democracy.[...].

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Nagorno-Karabakh: The Long Shadow of Joseph Stalin

21 March 2006
Written by Rene Wadlow

The president of Azerbaijan, Ilhan Aliyev, son of the long-time president Heydar Aliyev and Robert Kocharian, president of Armenia, met outside Paris, in Rambouillet February 10-11, 2006 to discuss the stalemated conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Rambouillet had also been the scene for the last-chance negotiations on Kosovo just before the NATO bombing of Serbia began in 1999.
The Nagorno-Karabakh issue arises from the Post-Revolution-Post-Civil War period of Soviet history when Joseph Stalin was Commissioner for Nationalities. Stalin came from neighboring Georgia and knew the Caucasus well. His policy was a classic 'divide and rule' carried out with method so that national/ethnic groups would need to depend on the central government in Moscow for protection. Thus in 1922, the frontiers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia were hammered out in what was then the Transcaucasian Federative Republic. Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian majority area, was given a certain autonomy within Azerbaijan but was geographically cut off from Armenia. Likewise, an Azeri majority area, Nakkickevan, was created as an autonomous republic within Armenia but cut off geographically from Azerbaijan.
Nakhichevan is not an automous republic within Armenia. Nakhichevan was made part of Azerbaijan, it was populated in majority by Armenians. In fact the name Nakhichevan is an Armenian name. It was emptied from its Armenian population by Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh was also on its way to be emptied by the Azeri government.
Thus both enclaves had to look to Moscow for protection. This was especially true for the Armenians. Many Armenians living in what had been historic Armenia but which became Turkey had been killed during the First World War; Armenians living in "Soviet Armenia" had relatives and friends among those killed by the Turks, creating a permanent sense of vulnerability and insecurity. Russia was considered a historic ally of Armenia.

These mixed administrative units worked well enough or, one should say, there were few criticisms allowed until 1988 when the whole Soviet model of nationalities and republics started to come apart. In both Armenia and Azerbeijan, natioanlistic voices were raised, and a strong "Karabakh Committee" began demanding that Nagorno-Karabakh be attached to Armenia. In Azerbaijan, anti-Armenian sentiment was set aflame. Many Armenians who were working in the oil-related economy of Baku were under tension and started leaving. This was followed somewhat later by real anti-Armenian pogroms. Some 160,000 Armenians left Azerbaijan for Armenia and other went to live in Russia.

With the break up of the Soviet Union and the independence of Armenia and Azerbaijan, tensions focused on Nagorno-Karabakh. By 1992, full scale conflict broke out in and around Nagorno-Karabkh and went on for two years causing large-scale damage. The Armenian forces of Nagorno-Karabakh helped by volunteers from Armenia kept control of the area, while Azerbaijan faced repeated political crises.

The condition of "no peace, no war" followed the ceasefire largely negotiated by Russia in 1994. This status quo poses few problems to the major regional states who are preoccupied by other geo-political issues. Informal and illicit trade within the area has grown. However, interest in a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has grown as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline opened in May 2005. The pipeline is sheduled to carry one million barrels of oil a day from the Caspian to the Mediterranean by 2009. The pipeline passes within 10 miles of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The crucial question for a settlement is the acceptance by all parties and by the wider OSCE of an independent 'mini-state'. An independent Nagorno-Karabakh might become the 'Liechtenstein of the Caucases'. After 15 years of independence, Karabakh Armenians do not want to be at the mercy of decisions made in distant centers of power but to decide their own course of action. However, the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent states raises the issue of the status of other de facto mini-states of the area such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, Transnistria in Moldova and Kosovo in Serbia. Close attention must continue to be paid to the potential restructuring of the area. Can mini-states be more than a policy of divide and rule? The long shadow of Joseph Stalin still hovers over the land.
Rene Wadlow is editor of the online journal of world politics and an NGO representative to the UN, Geneva. Formerly, he was professor and Director of Research of the Graduate Institute of Development Studies, University of Geneva.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Turkey has less than 2 years to meet EU's political accession criteria


Brussels - Noting the slowing pace of reform in Turkey, the European Parliament has called upon the Turkish government to take immediate steps to ends its discriminatory and repressive policies.

In its recently adopted resolution on the "Commission’s 2005 Enlargement Strategy Report," the Parliament also called on the European Commission to define the geographical boundaries of the European Union. [...] to formulate a comprehensive enlargement policy before focusing on candidate nations (Macedonia, Western Balkans) and countries in negotiation (Turkey, Croatia).

In the section of the report dedicated to Turkey, the European Parliament states that the [...] criteria have to be fulfilled within one or two years.”

Based on these considerations, the Parliament therefore called upon Turkey "to present as soon as possible a plan, including a timetable and specific measures, to meet these deadlines," [...].

This demand comes in reaction to the slowing down of Turkey’s reforms, which were noted in the resolution. The Parliament also formally asked Turkey "to remove all existing legislative and practical obstacles to full enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms by all Turkish citizens, notably freedom of expression, religious freedom, cultural rights, rights of minorities." [...].
"We welcome the adoption of this resolution as a true expression of the growing will of the European Parliament to be involved in the Union’s decision-making processes. This measure - like the many previously adopted resolutions on this matter - urges the European Commission and Council to not be satisfied with pledges and prolonged delays, but rather to demand genuine reforms in Turkey," said Hilda Tchoboian, Chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.

"We are working with European democratic movements in order to require that Turkey meet its criteria within the next two years - including its full recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the abandonment of its aggressive policies toward Armenia

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Pope avoids mentioning ‘Armenian genocide’

March 22, 2006
Turkish Daily News

Pope Benedict XVI has paid tribute to the sufferings of Armenians because of their Christian faith and recalled their “terrible persecution,” a reference to what Armenians claim was genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire during the years of World War I.

Benedict recalled the Armenians' history as he welcomed an Armenian Catholic patriarch, Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, and Armenian pilgrims to a Vatican audience on Monday.

Speaking about the Armenian people through the centuries, the pope singled out the “sufferings that they underwent in the name of the Christian faith in the years of the terrible persecution that went down in history with the sadly meaningful name ‘metz yeghern,' the great evil.”
For the editors of the Turkish Daily News‘metz yeghern,' is not the great evil, it means the great crime.
Benedict was citing the term used by Armenians to refer to what they say was genocide perpetrated by Turkey. Turkey vehemently denies genocide charges and has harshly criticized countries that characterize it as such.

Benedict did not use the term “genocide” in his official remarks. His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, called the deaths genocide but did not declare any party responsible.
Is the Turkish Daily News so desparate to hang on this word which means, great crime, in Armenian? Is the Jewish Holocaust not a genocide because they call it Holocaust and not genocide? I do not think Vatican plays the politics. Vatican has recognized the Armenian Genocide on November 2000 HERE.
In 301, Armenia became the world's first country to declare itself Christian.
Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI's predecessor, visited Armenia's capital of Yerevan in 2001 to celebrate the 1,700th anniversary of Christianity in the country.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

It was genocide

March, 22 2006
Los Angeles Times

JOHN EVANS IS THE U.S. ambassador to Armenia, as of this writing. But he probably won't be for long. Evans, a career diplomat who was selected to receive an American Foreign Service Assn. award last year for his frank public speaking, irked his superiors at the State Department by uttering the following words at UC Berkeley in February 2005: "I will today call it the Armenian genocide." For that bit of truth-telling, Evans was forced to issue a clarification, then a correction, then to endure having his award rescinded under pressure from his bosses, and finally to face losing his job altogether.

What happened in Armenia in 1915 is well known. The Ottoman Empire attempted to exterminate the Armenian population through slaughter and mass deportation. It finished half the job, killing about 1.2 million people. Yet the State Department has long avoided the word "genocide," not out of any dispute over history but out of deference to Turkey, whose membership in NATO and location between Europe and Asia make it a strategic ally.

It is time to stop tiptoeing around this issue and to accept settled history. Genocide, according to accepted U.N. definition, means "the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group." Armenia is not even a borderline case. Punishing an ambassador for speaking honestly about a 90-year-old crime befits a cynical, double-dealing monarchy, not the leader of the free world.

Turks point out that their Ottoman ancestors considered it treason to side with Russia at the outbreak of World War I, as many Armenians did. But the massacres were also fueled by Muslim animosity toward a Christian minority. When then-U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morganthau protested the bloodletting, he received a telling response from Mehmed Talaat, the interior minister in charge of the anti-Armenian campaign. "Why are you so interested in Armenians anyway? You are a Jew, these people are Christians," Talaat said. "Why can't you let us do with these Christians as we please?"

For Armenians who escaped the killing and came to this country, inadequate recognition of their history is crazy-making. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), whose district includes the heart of the Armenian diaspora, keeps introducing a bill to officially recognize the genocide, only to see congressional leadership quash it each year, under pressure from the State Department.

Some nations, thankfully, are stepping where Congress fears to tread. The European Parliament last year passed a nonbinding resolution asking that Turkey acknowledge the genocide as a precondition for joining the European Union. The Turkish government, typically, was infuriated, yet it still desperately wants to join the EU.

One day, the country that was founded as a direct repudiation of its Ottoman past will face its history squarely, as part of a long-overdue maturing process. Some day before then, we hope, the State Department will too.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Monday, March 20, 2006

War is hatred by other means

By Jim Winter,
Cambridge University

"The presence in the northeast of the country of a thriving cultured and relatively wealthy community of Armenians was a difficulty to Turks long before the First World War.

"It became a political and strategic threat when the war broke out because of the place of Armenians in the Russian Empire. However, most Armenians, two million of them living in the Turkish Empire, were no threat whatsoever.

"In many ways, it shows that the old idea that war is politics by other means is outdated in the 20th century. War is hatred by other means. And in this case, hatred means extermination. The First World War was the biggest war ever to date. The Second World War was bigger still. It's not accident on my mind that both of them were marked by genocide. This is the logic of the brutalization of total war."

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Daniel Fried Referred to Armenian Genocide Recognition Issue in Ankara


"The issue of acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide is a complex question, which should be daringly discussed by the two parties," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried said during his visit to Ankara. Following the meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Daniel Fried declared that it is necessary to evaluate the tragedies of the past years, since the people should think about their future. The American diplomat underlined that "the position of the Unites States on this issue is known. US President George Bush will most probably make a traditional annual statement on the issue in April." Daniel Fried added that the issue of Washington's demand to open the border with Armenia was addressed during the discussions in Ankara.

! Reproduction in full or in part is prohibited without reference to «PanARMENIAN.Net».

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Coming Soon to Viewers Like You: "The Armenian Genocide"

March 17, 2006
PBS Ambudsman
By Michael Getler

On Monday evening, April 17, many PBS-affiliated television stations across the country — including nine of the top 10 TV markets — will air an hour-long documentary on "The Armenian Genocide" produced by the independent, New York-based filmmaker Andrew Goldberg.
Nevertheless, despite that recognition, PBS also went ahead and commissioned Oregon Public Broadcasting to produce a 25-minute panel discussion — which is already taped and scheduled to air immediately after the documentary — that includes two scholars who support the view implicit in the film's title, and two who question, among other things, the accuracy and use of the label "genocide." The panel discussion is called "The Armenian Genocide: Exploring the Issues." It is moderated by National Public Radio correspondent Scott Simon.

The New York Times quoted Lea Sloan, PBS's vice president for media relations, as saying the network "acknowledges and accepts that there was a genocide." But it ordered the panel discussion, she told the Times, to explore more deeply the question of why the Turkish government and its supporters continue to reject the genocide label. [...]
Turkey is also perhaps this country's most important ally in the Muslim world, although its parliament, when the chips were down three years ago, did not allow the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division to use its ports to get to Iraq in time for the invasion. (That action, and the Pentagon's failure to secure Turkish agreement beforehand, remains, in my view, one of the bigger blunders of the war's planning.)
In my role here as ombudsman, I've made it a rule to come at issues that are raised by viewers, and as a viewer. I don't write about programs until after they have aired. I watch them as you would. So in this case, I have not yet seen either the documentary or the panel, although both have been recorded for some time now. And with few exceptions, the people raising a fuss — and they are on both sides of this "genocide" issue — haven't seen the actual programs either. The battle is really over whether the panel should be aired at all.

Yet I decided to write about it, in this preliminary stage, because the circumstances surrounding this matter, the decision-making by PBS and affiliated stations, the issues being raised and the pressures being applied by interest groups strike me as concerning free speech and the responsibilities that go with that freedom.
[...] what follows is a list of questions I submitted to top PBS officials and their answers. In some cases the answers are slightly abbreviated, with permission.

Q — One assumes that a documentary by a skilled producer will produce the fullest exploration and informed judgment on an issue, that it would be PBS's statement on this long-running, hot-button issue. So why, exactly, did PBS feel the need to do a panel? What was the reasoning behind it?

That assumption is faulty. No one-hour documentary, no matter how skillfully produced, can be said to represent the fullest exploration of such a topic. This is why PBS's editorial standards have long included the goal to seek a diversity of perspectives on controversial subjects in the national schedule over time. In this case, we judged THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE to be a credible documentary on a significant and little-covered event. We worked with the producer through his final editing to ensure that the program met our standards. We, through Oregon Public Broadcasting, vetted its content with a historian and journalist unconnected with the show. While we were satisfied that it was fair and accurate, because the fact of genocide is still contested in terms the documentary could only mention in brief, we commissioned a panel discussion that could explore the issues in greater nuance and detail.

Q — Whose idea was it to have a panel; what was the process that led to this decision, who was involved in the decision and who made the decision?

There was immediate consensus among the Senior Programming Team that a follow up panel was a good idea. The decision to commission the additional program was made as Andrew Goldberg was finishing the program and as we were in contact with him requesting script revisions. The acceptance of the documentary and the decision to do a follow up was essentially one process. The follow-up program had a carefully articulated goal — not to provide a platform for those interests who deny the genocide, but to explore how serious historians do their work, and how they can look at events and evidence and reach such different conclusions. PBS's chief programmers, John Wilson and Jacoba Atlas, are responsible for the ultimate decision in this case.

Q — Did politics enter into the decision, or pressure from the Turks or from anywhere inside or outside PBS? Did it intrude in any way? Turkey is obviously an important ally, is trying to enter the European Union, is a Muslim country.

No, the documentary was completed and PBS had commissioned the follow-up long before we were contacted by anyone about the program. We obviously knew of the international controversy surrounding the subject and the attention being focused on Turkey's position and internal laws, and the fact that the U.S. stance on the use of the term "genocide" differs from that of many other nations. It is true that this larger present day status of the issues that stem from the history presented in the documentary provided a compelling rationale in our minds for providing the public with more information on the subject.

Q — How common is it for PBS to schedule, in advance, a panel to air immediately after a program? Perhaps you could tell me some other instances and when they took place.

There have been several examples in recent years. The P.O.V. presentation of "Two Towns of Jasper" (about the dragging death of a black man in a predominantly white town) was followed by a Ted Koppel-anchored town meeting, which allowed the further exploration of differing and passionate viewpoints engendered by the killing. Each evening's presentation of AVOIDING ARMAGEDDON (a series we ran over four nights) that looked at the dangers of nuclear proliferation) was followed up by a panel discussion led by Frank Sesno allowing the airing of viewpoints not emphasized in the films. TRADE SECRETS, a Bill Moyers investigation of the chemical industry's knowledge of threats to public and workplace safety, was followed up by a discussion with an industry spokesman.

Q — Jacoba Atlas has been widely quoted as saying that this is "settled history." By having a panel, does this not suggest that PBS is leaving room for doubt?

That a question is generally considered "settled" does not mean that it does not warrant discussion. The fact is there are individuals, organizations and countries (including the United States) that do not see the Armenian Genocide as settled. The panel discussion recognizes that fact and provides, in our opinion, information that should be useful to the public understanding of the issue.

Q — Who funded the documentary and the panel?

The documentary was fully funded from outside sources — individuals, foundations and corporations. A list is provided at the end of this document. They are credited on screen per our normal disclosure requirements. As is the case with all PBS underwriters, none of these had access to program materials or influence over the production. PBS (the National Programming Service budget) funded the panel.

Q — Several news articles have reported, according to Colgate professor Peter Balakian, who was also an adviser on the documentary, that PBS threatened to pull the documentary if he and another genocide scholar declined to participate in the panel discussion. True?

This is absolutely not true. If Balakian declined, we would have sought out other historians to speak as experts in Armenian history.

Q — Officials at WNET in New York say they made the decision not to air the panel because after reviewing it they felt it made no new points beyond the documentary. What was the PBS assessment of the panel that went into your decision to distribute it? Did PBS consider it to be a worthwhile, substantive addition to the documentary — and if so, in what aspect — or was it automatically linked to the documentary and a commitment to distribute it included in the original programming decision however it came out?

We do feel the panel is a worthwhile addition to the documentary — if only because it provided the rare, perhaps unprecedented, occasion for experts holding differing views to be in the same room, let alone a TV studio, participating in a discussion about such sensitively held convictions. Scott Simon did a wonderful job of keeping the discussion on track and asking tough questions of all panelists. And the panelists did provide significant detail beyond that mentioned in the documentary in support of their perspectives.
Neither the documentary nor the panel program was designated for common carriage. We respect local stations' decisions to carry both, or one, or neither.

[...] the documentary, that the Armenians don't seem to object to going in, is funded partly by the Armenians. Then the panel, which they clearly don't want, is funded by PBS. So one could argue, as PBS does, that the public is best served by the combination. But if the documentary does indeed explore the other side, and the panel doesn't add anything, as WNET suggests, that would raise anew questions about why the panel was felt to be necessary. My instincts, without having seen anything, are with PBS's desire to have the fullest airing possible of this historic event. But let's wait and see.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Pope: “Terrible persecution” of Armenians lingers in history

20 March, 2006

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “Metz yeghèrn, the great evil”: this is what Armenians still call the genocide they suffered in the years of the First World War, at the hands of the then Ottoman Empire. The phrase was repeated by Benedict XVI when he received Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Patriarch of Cilicia for Armenians, who was accompanied by members of the Patriarchal Synod. He talked about the “great persecution” at the roots of the diaspora of that people, and also about the division which persists among Armenian Christians, expressing the hope that it will soon be overcome.

“The Armenian Church that refers to the Patriarchate of Cilicia (in Lebanon n.d.r.), is certainly a full participant of historical events lived by the Armenian people throughout the centuries and, especially, of the suffering they bore in the name of the Christian faith in the years of the terrible persecution which remains known in history by the sadly significant name of metz yeghèrn, the great evil. How can one not remember, in this regard, the many invitations sent by Leo XIII to Catholics, to go to the rescue of the poverty and suffering of the Armenian peoples?”

Benedict XVI continued: “The Armenians, who have always sought to integrate themselves with their industriousness and dignity in the societies where they found themselves, continue to bear witness to their faithfulness to the Gospel still today.” This is a fidelity that is also a “strong attachment, sometimes even to the point of martyrdom, which your Community has always shown towards the See of Peter, in a reciprocal and fertile relationship of faith and affection”.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Armenian conference invites academics of all convictions to floor

March 19, 2006
Turkish Daily News

A three-day conference at an Istanbul state university last week offered the floor to dozens of academics of all convictions even though it was largely dominated by historians and officials who defend Turkey's official position on an alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in the last century.

Seventy-five academics participated in the conference, titled “New Approaches to Turkish-Armenian Relations,” which came six months after an earlier gathering convened under harsh criticism, including that of a Cabinet minister.

“This conference will bring to light many points that have remained obscure. From now on, nobody will be able to simply say what they want [on the Armenian issue],” Istanbul University Rector Mesut Parlak said prior to the opening of the conference. [...].
Organizers of this second Armenian conference said they had also invited academics who defend that there was a genocide but most of them cited various reasons for not being able to attend.
“If we fail to explain this problem to our own people, we cannot explain it to others. In order to explain it, we should discuss it in all its aspects. It is possible to do so by giving the floor to opposite views in an academic platform within the framework of objective criteria,” Professor Şafak Ural, one of the organizers, said before the conference opened on Wednesday.
In a positive step on the second day of the international conference, the leading Turkish historian who contests the definition of the controversial killing of the Armenians during World War I as genocide offered to conduct joint research with an Armenian researcher on the issue.

“Let's carry out a project together, dig up common graves if there are some, to put an end to numerous demagogical arguments,” said Yusuf Halaçoğlu, president of the Turkish History Society, to Ara Sarafian, a British historian of Armenian origin who describes the killing of the Armenians as “genocide.”
What a nice way Yusuf Halaçoğlu to begin discussions by qualifying those who do not agree with you as demagogues? I suppose this is part of you wanting to say what you want as academician. And in itself it is not demagoguery.
Sarafian, a researcher at the Gomidas Institute in London, said he had accepted the offer.

In a speech during the conference Sarafian defended the “Blue Book,” which was written by the British during World War I, when Britain was fighting the Ottomans.
Şükrü Elekdağ, a retired ambassador and a deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said the Blue Book was a product of propaganda and emphasized that it was U.S. Professor Justin McCarthy who “pulled the mask off of the Blue Book.” McCarthy had said that the source known as the “Blue Book” chosen by Armenians to prove their claims of genocide is one of the products of the British war propaganda bureau's efforts at misinformation during World War I.

In the first session of the conference Yair Auron, an Israeli researcher of Jewish archives from Ottoman times, openly used the term “genocide” and appealed to Turks to question their past.

Another speaker at the conference, renowned historian Professor McCarthy, said: “There are people who assert claims without doing any research. One professor alleges that such [alleged inhumane] treatment is in the character of the Turks. How stupid of a comment is that.”
How stupid is Professor McCarthy who qualifies all researches to-date on the Armenian Genocide based on one writing by a professor.
He went on to say, “No matter whether you agree or not with the participants here, their speeches are based on documents.”
Well how about the Blue Book Professor McCarthy? You sir qualified a fact as propaganda, see HERE. Now how believable are you and consequently all your research?
The three-day conference was generally quiet except for a moment of tension sparked during a book exhibition held by Sarafian, publisher of the Blue Book, on the second day of the conference.

Academic Ali Emin Özsoy reacted angrily to Sarafian, who displayed a book whose cover depicted the Turkish flag in the form of a dagger. The tension calmed down when the Sarafian removed the cover and placed it in his bag.
Well Ali Emin Özsoy, if we remove all the things that offend your sensitivities then there will be no proof to incriminate the Ottoman Turks on the Armenian Genocide. May be if you cannot stand the heat you should not be in the discussion group.
Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

French and Turkish protesters clash in demo crash

18 Mar 2006
Source: Reuters

LYON, France, March 18 (Reuters) - French youths protesting against a new employment law ended up in an unexpected clash with Turks demonstrating against an Armenian memorial when their separate marches crossed paths in this eastern city on Saturday.

Riot police used water cannon to separate the two groups after about 2,500 Turks opposed to the construction of a memorial in the city centre to Armenian victims of a 1915 massacre attacked the demonstrating youths, police said.

The Turks, waving Turkish flags and holding up posters saying "There was no Armenian genocide," reacted after youths denounced them as "fascists" and yelled "go home!", police said.
[...]the French parliament passed a bill in 1998 officially recognising the killing as genocide.
Turkey has not taught in its schools the existence of the Armenian nation on the Eastern part of Turkey. Now that Turks are becoming acutely aware of this reality, they are searching for explanations on why there are no Armenians left. With its strong nationalism as the hallmark of the new Turkish republic, Turkey cannot accept the Genocide without destroying the pride in its nationalism. Therefore education and not revisionism is the only means out for Turkey from this dilemma.
The protest against the new employment law was one of many marches across France on Saturday aimed at putting pressure on the Paris government to withdraw the measure that allows employers to fire workers under 26 more easily.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Foreign Ministry commemorates martyrs:

March 18, 2006
ANK - Turkish Daily News

Foreign Ministry officials yesterday commemorated martyred diplomats at a ceremony held at an Ankara cemetery, reported the Anatolia news agency.

In a speech during the ceremony Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ali Tuygan said the martyred diplomats died for their homeland and added that the 39 Foreign Ministry diplomats buried in the cemetery were killed as a result of Armenian terrorism or some other terrorist attacks.
The absolute majority of Armenians worldwide do not approve of violence as a means of promoting Armenian rights, but one should try to understand why these acts were committed, since these young Armenians are not common criminals, but they are part of a very small minority that reflect the exasperation of the Armenian people regarding the denial of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey; moreover, Turkey by blaming Armenians of massacring Turks is adding insult to injury. At the time these specific violent acts were committed there was no political platform for desperate individuals to vent their frustration. For some time now, action platforms have existed in order to channel the frustrations to getting the Armenian Genocide to be recognized. A growing number of countries including Canada, France, Switzerland among many have now recognized the Armenian Genocide.
Tuygan emphasized that the Turkish nation was sincere in its efforts at peace but stressed that such efforts also merited a response in kind. He said Turkey's proposal to Armenia to establish a joint committee to study the alleged genocide allegations was still on the table.
Let me understand what Tuygan means by sincerity. Turkey urges a joint study by historians (the great majority of whom have already recognized the Genocide except for few deniers) saying that it will show Armenians there was no Genocide. It wants under the threat of blockade, for Armenia to drop its rightful memory of the Genocide. It honours Talaat Pasha one of the key perpetrators of the Genocide as a national hero. It still prosecutes those who mention the Armenian Genocide under the penal code Article 301. Some sincerity that is. It is one that only Turkey believes in.
Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Armenian Parliament Called upon Latvian Saeima to Recognize Armenian Genocide

18 March 2006
European Armenian Federation
source: PanArmenian

During the meeting with Latvian Ambassador to Armenia Aivars Vovers RA Parliament Speaker Artur Baghdassaryan called upon the Latvian Saeima to recognize the Armenian Genocide for the prevention of similar crimes in future, reported RA NA press office. [...].

[...]. For his part Mr. Vovers briefed to Artur Bahghdassaryan on the parliamentary election to be held in Latvia in October 2006.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Turkey-Armenia Border Lost on Google Map

March 18, 2006
By Celil Sagir

A part of the Turkey-Armenia border does not exist in the world map of the popular Google Earth program.

Indicating the borders with a yellow line, the map shows no sign of a border in the Arpacay region, which constitutes the Armenian border, and that the unfinished border line continues into Turkey up to Cildir Lake.

There is also a gap in the border near the Igdir region, which is very close to Armenia's capital Yerevan.

The map shows the borders and territorial waters of other countries explicitly and carefully with the yellow line. This indicates that the blank in the border does not stem from Arpacay, a local river. It is known that Armenia still preserves some of its demands on Turkish lands.
Is this desire for accuracy, fear or obsession on Turkey's part? Turkey got it right. Armenia will invade Turkey by way of the Google map. May be this is how Armenia got the bird flu through, unknown to Turkey! See HERE.
Google, in a statement clarifying the issue to Zaman, accepted that some data in Google Earth is missing and/or incorrect.

The company maintains the visual data for the maps is provided by third parties and Google does not make any change to them in efforts not to express any particular political or religious view. Google also noted they are working on the issue to rid the maps of any faults and inadequate information.
Turkey must be glad it closed this gap. Now at least Turkey is safe from Armenia for a while. About a year ago Turkey made another discovery that stunned the scientific world and thus overcame another threat. See HERE.
Google Earth, a popular method of allowing people to see even minor streets of big cities, can be downloaded with a program available from MDA Earth Sat, the National Geographic Society and Google own the copyrights for the maps.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Ankara Refuses US Call to Open Armenian Border

March 18, 2006
By Suleyman Kurt

The Turkish government responded negatively once again to a demand from the United States to open the Armenian border.

An envoy from the United States brought the Mountainous Karabag (Karabagh) region to the agenda in search of a resolution as they asked the Turkish government to reevaluate the Armenian border. On Thursday, Turkish foreign ministry officials met with Assistant Secretary of States Daniel Fried of the United States as well as with Ambassador Steven Mann, a United States negotiator assigned to find a resolution to the Mountainous Karabagh question.

Fried addressed the demand to open the Armenian border, according to reporters. Ankara, however, acted unenthusiastically to the issue at hand. Turkish officials classified the Armenian cessation of its invasion of the Karabagh region as one of the three requirements for the appeasement of relations between Turkey and Armenia. Turkey is also pushing Armenia to disavow its allegations of genocide and to remove from the Armenian constitution the anti-Turkish clauses.
Is this an example of largesse by Turkey? Turkey still thinks that it can impose conditions before it dialogues with Armenia. What happened to good old diplomacy?

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


March 15, 2006
Eurasia Daily Monitor
By Zaal Anjaparidze

Tensions are running high in Tsalka and Akhalkalaki, two regions of Georgia that are predominantly populated by ethnic Armenians.

The latest problem began in Tsalka on March 9, when a trivial brawl at a restaurant between local Armenians and Georgians resulted in the death of Gevork Gevorkian, a 24-year-old Armenian, and injuries to four other Armenians. However, Maria Mikoyan of the Armenian Union in Georgia (Nor Serund) claimed that the fight began because the Georgian young men were irritated by the Armenian music playing in the restaurant.

Tsalka Armenians [...] took their appeal to the Georgian government and demanded that Tbilisi "stop the policy of pressure by fueling interethnic tensions" and "stop the settlement of other nationalities in Armenian-populated regions."[...].
Although Georgian Public Defender Sozar Subari investigated the Tsalka incident and ruled it to be a "communal crime," the majority of the Armenian communities in these regions consider the incident to be a demonstration of ethnic hatred towards Armenians, which they believe is the result of the Georgian government's misguided policies towards ethnic minorities. They further alleged that Georgian law-enforcement agents were working in tandem with those who committed the crime.
The United Javakh statement warned about "destructive trends in the Georgian government's policy" aimed at artificially creating a "climate of ethnic intolerance" and "crushing the will of Javakh's Armenian population to protect its right to live in its motherland." Finally the statement demands that Tbilisi show "political prudence" and put an end to the "infringement" of the Armenian community's rights.

The content and tone of this and previous statements by United Javakh and other radical Armenian organizations reportedly have strong backing from political forces in Armenia. In fact, the statements recall the language used by the Armenian community in Karabakh in its relations with the Azerbaijani government before war erupted. Vardan Akopian, chair of the Javakh Youth organization, argued, "The current situation in Javakheti is a cross between situations in Nakhichevan and Karabakh." Several protestors explicitly cited the Karabakh precedent.
Although the Georgian government is continuously downplaying the ethnic aspects of the disturbances in Armenian-populated regions, this factor appears to lurk beneath the surface. Georgia remains Armenia's sole transport route to Russia and Europe due to the ongoing blockade by Turkey and Azerbaijan. Thus an unstable Samtskhe-Javakheti would hardly be a gain for Yerevan. However, the "Karabakh syndrome" should not be removed from the agenda.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Armenia Was Sacrificed in 1921


[...]the study of documents shows that Germany was indifferent to the fate of eastern Armenia and did not insist on its conveyance to Turkey. “It was Trotsky’s personal initiative most likely coordinated with Lenin. [...]. As result, representatives of Turkey and Russia gathered in Moscow and cut off a considerable part of Armenia’s territory,” {Melik-Shahnazaryan} noted.

The expert said the problem was that in March 1921 Armenia was not a Bolshevik republic. “Bolsheviks wished to make friends with Turkey and the conveyance of Armenian lands to Turkey proved their “sincerity”. [...] this caused the rebellion February 18, 1921.

“The February rebellion expelled Bolsheviks from the greater part of Armenia. Yerevan and all major towns were ruled by the leaders of the First Republic of Armenia. Blaming Armenians and saying “if it were not the rebellion there wouldn’t have been the conveyance of the lands” is incorrect from the historical viewpoint and immoral from the national viewpoint,” the Armenian expert underscored.

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Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

US urges Baku to refrain from war


The resumption of military action will not solve the problem even in 20 years, said the US co-chair of the mediating OSCE Minsk Group, Steven Mann, who visited Baku, along with the US Department of State Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried, to discuss the Garabagh problem with the top Azerbaijani leadership. [...]."America is cooperating with Azerbaijan and Armenia and deems both as friendly nations." Asked why the U.S. has not duly assessed Armenia as aggressor, Mann said such terse questions are frequently asked by Azerbaijanis as well as representatives of the Armenian Diaspora in the United States. "But we do not intend to take any sides on these issues and urge the parties to give preference to peace talks," Mann said.[...].

[...]"At the same time, in considering the military option, Azerbaijan should take into account other factors, such as the importance of energy projects that will bring profits to the country," Mann said. [...].

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.


March 15, 2006

At his meeting with UN Representative to Armenia Consuello Vidal Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II expressed his satisfaction with the assistance rendered to Armenia by UN structures.

The sides also discussed the mission and activities of the Holy See of Echmiadzin, the stronghold of the Armenian faith.

The sides broached the issue of destruction of Armenian monuments at an ancient cemetery in Old Juga, Nakhichevan, Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani side started destroying Armenian khachkars (cross-stones) as far back as 1998. The destruction was stopped after the European countries condemned it. However, the acts of vandalism were resumed in 2003 and later in December 2005.
But what did Consuello Vidal had to say? Does not this reporter think that it is worth reporting?


Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.


March 16, 2006

A 3-day international conference on topic “New Approaches In the Turkish-Armenian Relations” commenced in Istanbul, March 15, correspondent of AzerTAc reported.

24 historians from numerous world countries attend the conference held by the organizational support of Istanbul University. Despite of invitation of 4 Armenian scientists as well, they refused to take part at the conference.
Perhaps if the organizers worded the conference in a neutral and not an accusatory manner they would attend. But this is may be expecting too much from the organizers and it shows how biased they are. This bias makes the conference not worth attending.
The Conference will hold discussions around the so-called “Armenian genocide”. One of the lectures presented to the conferees is “The Armenian Problem and Safety on the South Caucasus”.

Scholars will focus the historical roots of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh conflict, as well as the question of invasion of the Azerbaijani lands.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.


March 15, 2006

The rise in the price for Russian gas supplied to Armenia will be compensated for, Chairman of the National Civil Council for International Affairs, Director of the Institute of political Research Sergey Markov told reporters in Moscow. According to him, compensations will be paid in any cases independently of the rise in gas prices.
To anybody who hears this, it is a very strange statement. If it is independently of the rise in gas price how is it then a compensation for the rise in the gas price? come on Sergey Markov, if this is an attempt to spin you are not doing it well.
“We have a lots of means of compensation. For example, Armenian students can receive free educations in Russian higher schools, and Armenian businessmen will have certain tax privileges in Russia,” Markov said. He also reported that in discussing the gas prices the sides should consider the fact that the rise will tell on all the consumers, including Russian ones. “The task of raising the gas prices is bringing gas prices to the international level, and no discrimination should be seen in this,” Markov said.

From April 1, 2006, the Russian “Gasprom” company plans to raise the price for gas supplied to Armenia up to $110 for 1,000 cubic meters. The negotiations over the “gas issue” with the participation of Director General of the Armenian-Russian “ArmRosgasprom” CJSC JV Karen Karapetyan are still under way in Moscow. P.T.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

US State Department declined to comment on withdrawal of its ambassador from Armenia

16 March 2006
By Regnum - website

Washigton - US State Department has declined to comment on the report on withdrawal of the US Ambassador John Evans for his statement on the Armenian Genocide. Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Aram Hamparian has expressed his regret over the State Department refusal to comment on the situation.
Is this a case of Condoleezza Rice's second shoe dropping? See previous history HERE.
Meanwhile, a letter sent by the ANCA chairman to the US state secretary says that the USA should explain its policy to the Armenian people, particularly, implementation of “punitive measures” towards John Evans. Earlier, Co-Chairman of the US Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Frank Pallone wrote a letter to Condoleezza Rice, stating his disappointment by the report on withdrawal of the US ambassador in Armenia.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Ankara Routs So-called Armenian Genocide Film

March 15, 2006
By Suleyman Kurt

Ankara is annoyed over a film about so-called Armenian Genocide allegations developed by Eurimages, an organization that promotes common art forms and works in affiliation with the European Council.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took the initiative with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s authority, and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said the efforts of the Turkish administration in opposition to the film continue.
I wonder which one is free speech telling the truth or covering up the truth?
Diplomatic sources say the attempts made so far in relation to the Italian Director’s film, “The farm of the skylarks," have ended in vain. The director was called to the Foreign Ministry, but he refused to give up his ideas of support in the film. Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi wrote a letter to the director asking him “not to present Turks negatively.”
It is surprising Americans are not worried about being portrayed in a negative image. The highly popular film, "Metal Storm" offers a highly realistic account of an American war with Turkey. Now why is Turkey so much worried about its image. What does Turkey have to hide?
Minister Gul was reminded of the interpretations on the change in the US Jewish Lobby’s positive attitudes in relation to the “Armenian Genocide Allegations” after the HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement) visit to Ankara. “They talked to us in a different way, “Gul responded, “Ask them.”

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

'Genocide' Course for Teachers in the US

March 13, 2006
By Ahmet Dinç

The Federation of Turkish-American Associations (FTAA) in the United States has taken the initiative to explain the true face of the so-called Armenian genocide. The project was launched in 2006 by the federation which believes the Armenian issue is not thoroughly explained to American teachers.

The FTAA, beyond the Atlantic, is exerting great efforts for the promotion of Turkey. As part of this project the federation aims at elaborating on the details of the so-called Armenian genocide, and so far 46 American teachers have been reached as part of this initiative.
It will be interesting to hear what the responses from those teachers have been.
In various cities across the US with a high Turkish population, the FTAA plans to establish "Turkish towns".
Well this is a novel idea. Will these towns have Turkish names too?
In the days following the "Turkish Day Parade," this year, "Peace Day Parades" will be started with the participation of various other nations.
Peace in Iraq? where else? May be US will appreciate help in Iraq and not parades in the USA.
The federation has also launched a campaign to send cards on special days, such as anniversaries and birthdays, to prominent US figures including President George W. Bush and pop star Madonna. It has also been reported that Turks living in the US had requested an imam be provided by the FTAA.
Let me see greeting cards to President Bush, Madonna and an imam. Well that makes perfect sense.
Establishing community associations such as the Turkish People's Union and the Cyprus Association, operating since 1956, Turks in America have increased the number of such associations to more than 40, and have managed the formation of the federation. From Turkey, Atilla Pak from Midyat in Mardin, was appointed as the FTAA president three months ago, and as head of the federation he hopes to shed light on the problems facing Turks, as well as the Armenian genocide allegations. The federation, operating in the interests of the country, continues its struggle in several other areas such as lobbying for Turkey, Pak informs. The FTAA cooperates with organizations from nine countries to stage the "Peace Day Parades," and it will be a wholly Turkish production, Pak adds.
Atilla Pak from Turkey is showing a great understanding towards the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. He is heading FTAA to tell them that what they know is not really what it is. That he knows better what happened to their ancestors.
About a thousand Turkish restaurants operate in the US, according to the FTAA's newly elected president. As part of their activities, they will assemble a box to include three CDs, one will contain the Armenian Reality, and the others will have information about Turkey and will reflect the lives of Turks residing in the US. The evil eye, as part of the unique Turkish tradition, will also be added to this box bearing the slogan, "Not Turkey, but Turkiye" together with a tulip motif. Customers at Turkish restaurants will be presented with this box, as part of the new project initiated by the FTAA.
Atilla Pak should know that people in the West show great respect for those countries that atone for their past mistakes. That the right way for Turkey is not to hide the past but look at it with a critical eye deserving a great country. Everyone knows that Turkish people are good people and that is what everyone is counting on.
Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Armenian genocide demo banned in Berlin

14 March 2006

BERLIN - Political leaders and human rights groups on Tuesday welcomed a decision by Berlin police to ban demonstrations aimed at the Armenian genocide in World War I.

Police on Monday banned two protests due to have been held in the German capital this week which supported the official Turkish position that killings of Christian Armenians by Muslim Turks in 1915 did not amount to genocide.

Organizers of one of the protests warned Europe's cities would "go up in flames like Paris" unless Europeans stopped blaming Turkey for the Armenian genocide.

The ban was justified by police who said they feared violence and because they suspected demonstrators would try to both deny and glorify the events of 1915.

"It is unacceptable when planned demonstrations seek to deny the genocide of Armenians during the First World War and make veiled calls for violence in Germany," said Frank Henkel, the opposition Christian Democratic Union interior affairs spokesman in the city government.

A human rights group, the Society for Threatened Peoples, also welcomed the ban and called for legislation to prevent all public events denying or glorifying genocide or war crimes.
Germany has about 1.8 million resident Turkish nationals out of a total population of 82 million.

Mainstream Turkish-German groups had withdrawn support for the controversial demonstrations at the weekend.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Levon Aronyan Won Chess Super-Tournament in Linares Spain

RIA Novosti

Russian player Pyotr Svidler finished fifth with 6.5 points at the 380,000-euro ($450,000) chess super-tournament in Linares (Spain). Levon Aronyan from Armenia won the tournament with 8.5 points, edging Bulgaria's defending FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov by 0.5 points.
At his last tournament that he also won GM Levon Aronyan said he played badly and that he needs to improve!
Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

Turks step up efforts against Armenian genocide claims

March 14, 2006
The New Anatolian

The Turkish diaspora is stepping up efforts to rescind recognition of Armenian genocide claims and to win support against its proponents ahead of April 24, the date Armenians say is the anniversary of the so-called genocide.

While Turkish associations in France joined forces under an umbrella committee to overturn the 2001 French law recognizing the Armenian genocide claims, the Workers' Party (IP) gathered over the weekend in Istanbul to outline plans for the Talat Pasha Movement, which will include a mass rally in Berlin on Saturday to denounce the Armenian claims.

The Turkish groups' decision to put forward a unified response to French recognition of Armenian genocide claims came during a meeting on Sunday with the participation of representatives from 10 associations under the leadership of the Anatolian Culture Center and the Kemalist Thought Association.
At a press conference last week, the groups organizing the committee meeting demanded that the French Parliament's recognition of the alleged genocide in 2001 be reversed, saying that judging history was up to historians not lawmakers, making reference to an earlier statement by French President Jacques Chirac.

As part of the activities to overturn Armenian claims, the organizers of the Talat Pasha Movement met over the weekend in Istanbul to finalize preparations to launch the movement in Berlin beginning on Saturday.

A mass demonstration aimed at denouncing Armenian genocide claims, to be held in Berlin under the slogan "Take your flag and come to Berlin," has caused tension between Turkey and Germany. Flyers announcing the movement read, "If Western capitals don't want to be burned like Paris, unjust treatment towards Turkey must end."
In an effort to hamper these efforts, the German Embassy in Ankara turned down yesterday visa applications for some who might be intending to participate in the demonstration.
The denial by some Turks has now turned into defiance instead of understanding and enlightenment. Will this bring honour to Turkey? I guess not.
The same group last year also held a demonstration to mark the 82nd anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne. At that demonstration Perincek lashed out at a decision by Switzerland to punish those who deny the Armenian genocide claims, [...] the incident turned into a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Switzerland.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus stressed on Sunday that stirring up and bring the past events back to the agenda of the international community is useless, saying, "Who will benefit from Turkish recognition of the Armenian 'genocide'?"

Speaking to German daily Der Spiegel, Klaus questioned the necessity of facing the past, saying, "The past is the past. Nowadays the European Parliament is urging Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide claims. Who will benefit from this recognition? Russian President Vladimir Putin apologized for the suppression of the Prague spring reform process by harsh methods in 1968, saying that his country takes moral responsibility for the events of 1968. This was a gesture for the Czech Republic but I don't think that we have to discuss with Putin the things a former Soviet leader did to us. In other words Putin is not the inheritor of Leonid Brezhnev and I am not the inheritor of the communist regime that took power in 1948 in my country."
President Vaclav Klaus remarks are appropriate for the Czech republic but they can hardly apply to the case of Armenians. In fact Mr. Vaclav Klaus is showing a great lack of understanding of what Armenians went through in Eastern Anatolia at the turn of last century.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.