Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Rebuffing "Politicizing the Armenian tragedy" By Mr. Abdulla Gul

April 1, 2007
By Bedros H. Kojian

I applaud DPM and FM Abdullah Gul for his charming, eloquent and genuine sounding article “Politicizing the Armenian Tragedy”.

For decades the Turkish government and Mr. Gul have over-exploited their strategic partnership with United States and others. Always lying and unsuccessfully trying to find new ways and means of covering up their guilt and responsibility. As a result and the collaboration of United States and others, to date Turkey hasn’t recognized the Armenian Genocide nor made reparations. On the surface they pretend that they genuinely wish to normalize their relationship with Armenia, but their deeds always prove the opposite.

In his article Mr. Gul questions whether “the Armenian allegation of the genocide is true and if it would be in accord with the point of view of international law.” In addition he claims only scholars can answer this question who have full access to all available primary sources. He also asserts that all Turkish archives including the military archives of the period, are open to the entire international academic community… And he concludes that all these will help normalize Turkish-Armenian relations.

Here he conveniently forgets that A) On several occasions Turkey has rejected Armenia’s invitation to establish full diplomatic relations with Armenia without any preconditions. B) For over a decade Turkey has blockaded the border of Armenia. and that this is the only blockaded border in Europe. C) To further isolate Armenia and make it economically unviable, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia will soon spend six hundred million US dollars and built a railroad that will bypass Armenia, even when such a railroad exists in Armenia and served and can surve the same purpose if Turkey opens its borders.

Turkey and Mr. Gul are experts on calling bluffs and hope that they remain unchallenged. Let us see what happens when one meets head on Turkey’s and DGM and FM Gul’s bluffs.

1. On April 13, 2005, during the Turkish Grand Parliament Assembly (TGPA) Meeting, Foreign Minister Gul had said that the ministry was working jointly with Turkish and foreign lawyers on rebuffing the genocide claims, and will take all the necessary measures up to taking the issue to the international court of Justice. Why is it that to date they haven’t done anything about this?

2. Turkey’s Grand Parliament speaker Bulent Arinc send a letter signed by all the members of the Turkish Grand Parliament to Michael Martin MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons in London, claiming that the Blue Book (The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-1916) was:

A) A forgery produced for British propaganda during World War I.
B) The British parliament was responsible for the Armenian Genocide Thesis as we know today, and
C) British MPs today should publicly rescind the 1916 report.

On January 27, 2006, 33 British MPs expressed their disagreement to the TGNA’s position regarding the 1916 report, and invited their Turkish colleagues to a meeting to discuss their differences. The Turkish parliamentarians did not respond to the British invitation.

On July 18, 2006 a second invitation was sent by email to every member of the TGNA, again inviting them to discuss the 1916 report. To date NOT a single member of the TGNA has responded.

The most recent event took place when Armenian historian Mr. Ara Sarafyan of England accepted an invitation by the President of the Turkish History Institute (TTK) Mr. Yusuf Halaçoglu, to meet and discuss the genocide. Both sides were supposed to produce various documents to argue their case. Unfortunately the meeting was canceled because Halaçoglu refused to open the archives without limits and objected to presenting certain documents. But in his interview Halaçoglu claimed that Sarafyan had cancelled the trip because the Armenian diaspora was furious about Sarafyan's trip.

The list can go on and on, but I will end by partially quoting Mehmet Ali Birand’s article of March 14, 2007: Why do we invite them in the first place?

And Mr. Birand concludes :

“If you were not going to show the documents, why would you ask for a meeting? Why do you organize such a meeting before agreeing on the conditions of opening of the archives? (“They had agreed”)* Why do you initiate a process you cannot go take to the finish?

Turkey is already on the defensive on this issue and this latest development means another point scored against us. No one will ever believe Turkey when it proposes to open the archives and share all the documents so that historians can discuss the matter.”

Bedros H. Kojian, M.D.
Orange, CA
A son of Armenian genocide survivors.
*(My quote)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are two main errors i see in this article. First, the Armenian border is not closed for anything regarding the "Armenian Genocide" issue. The border is closed because Armenia invaded and occupied Karabag region and maasacred thousands of Azeris. For those who are interested, just google "hocali massacre".

And second, i read Mr. Birand's mentioned article. In the full article, he admits that he doesnt knows the details and refers another article of Mr. Fatih Altayli. And I happened to read Mr. Altayli's mentioned article too. And Mr. Altayli repeats Sarafyan's claims and asks if it is true or not. The common point in both articles, they are only based on questions, but not actual declarations of Mr. Halacoglu, the Turkish historian mentioned above.

Mr. Halacoglu anounced that he had never said he will not open the archives, but simply, the documents he is asked to open do not exist. I have never seen Mr. Birand writing another article regarding this announcement, and yet, i doubt if it would ever be referred if he ever wrote it.

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Bedros H. Kojian, M.D. said...

Response to Anonymous

You claim that you have found “two main errors in my rebuffle “Politicizing the Armenian tragedy by PM Gul”

The first error that you “think” I made was that Turkey closed the border with Armenia because of the Armenian genocide. I didn’t or haven’t written anywhere that Turkey closed the Armenian border because of the Armenian genocide. You have just assumed it. If I am wrong please underline where you read and forward to me. Your second mistake on the same paragraph is that you blame Armenia instead of Azerbaijan.

For your information, when President Gorbachev of USSR started Glasnost and Perestroika, An Armenian delegation went to Moscow and complained about the Azerbaijanis mistreatment of the Armenian population of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabkh.) The conclusion of that meeting was that there should be a referendum to allow the people to decide their faith.

The people of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) followed the Soviet constitution and on September 2, 1991 they officially declared that they were going to have a referendum. And on December 10, 1991 they legally had a referendum and the great majority chose to be independent.

This was unacceptable for Azerbaijan. Therefore the Azerbaijanis tried to force the Armenians to annul, and when they failed the started the Karabakh war. They used heavy artillery, armored vehicles, attack planes and helicopters and indiscriminately bombarded the Armenian cities, towns and villages, and killed tens of thousands of innocent people. In addition Azerbaijan closed the border with Armenia and committed pogroms in Baku, Sumgait and other regions of Azerbaijan. These were regions that had nothing to do with the conflict area. These events forced about 400,000 Armenians to flee from Azerbaijan and leave all their properties and belongings behind.

As long as Azerbaijan was winning Turkey was silent. They did not criticize and they did not interfere. But once the tide of the war changed and Azerbaijan began to lose, Turkey suddenly emerged in a parental capacity. They claimed police power for the region and they blockaded their border and began sanctions against Armenia. They even sanctioned humanitarian assistance. For your information, amongst other things, this partisan action goes directly against the Charter of the United Nations.

As for Mr. Birand’s article, he may not have known the details, but his questions are proper. When it comes to Mr. Halaçoglu, he has no excuse. He was directly involved in pre-meeting negotiations with Mr. Sarafyan. The two discussed and agreed what documents to present and argue on. And when it was time to face the truth Mr. Halaçoglu claimed that the documents that Mr. Sarafyan had asked to produce did not exist. Why?

The answer is simple. Turkey has no documents to prove its “innocence.” If they had, for decades they would not spend tens of millions of dollars to disseminate lies. They would not threaten every country that recognizes or wishes to recognize the Armenian Genocide, including the United States. The Turkish members of the parliament would accept the British MPs invitation to discuss their differences that the Blue Book was forgery and a British propaganda. The list can go on and on.

It is past time that the Turkish government like other governments of civilized nations face the truth and accept the responsibility of their forebears who planned, organized and committed the Armenian genocide, and make restitutions.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous A. Arzoumanian said...

Mr. Anonymous certainly knows that Turkey has repeatedly clarified two preconditions to opening its borders with Armenia and to establishing deplomatic relations with Armenia (while Armenia has no preconditions):

(A) - Armenia and Armenians have to stop their claims for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
(B) - Nagorno Karabakh has to go under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan, and buffer zones occupied by Armenian forces for security of the population have to be returned to Azerbaijan.

Armenia never "invaded and occupied Karabakh region". During the dying days of the Soviet Union, the openness and reforms ("glasnost and perestroika") policies allowed Armenians of Karabakh to demand the Soviet authorities to put an end to Azeri oppression of Armenians living on their ancestral homeland of Karabakh, and asked to correct a historical and arbitrary injustice, by annexing Karabakh to the Armenian Soviet Republic. Azerbaijan's response was unprovoked massacres of peaceful Armenians in Sumgait, in Baku and elsewhere in and around Karabakh, followed by bombing of Stepanakert, capital city of Karabakh by Soviet cluster bombs (Grad missiles), fired from the heights of Shousha. In self-defense, Armenian forces drove out the Azeri forces from Shousha and from other startegic positions around Karabakh, and created a buffer zone such that Azeri missiles will not reach Armenian settlements. When occupying Khojalu, the Armenian forces allowed a corridor for safe passage of the Azeri population, who were later ambushed by Azeri forces and became the victims of internal Azeri conflicts. Today, Karabakh is a de facto independent state. As to the "occupied" lands, as a Turkish general once said, land is not given; it is taken. Armenians took those lands at the cost of blood and thousands of lives. They are not prepared to give up any lands for nothing.

As to your redundant story of Mr. Halacoghlu and Mr. Ara Sarafian, suffice it to say that Mr. Sarafian is a straightforward and honest scholar. Mr. Halacoghlu's wishy-washy and contradictory statements speak for themselves.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Vahe Balabanian said...

Anonymous, Kojian and Arzoumanian,

Turkey has three conditions for opening the border:
"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."


9:44 PM  

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