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ErdoFascism turks In Their Natural Behavior

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#321 Yervant1

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Posted 29 July 2022 - 08:02 AM

 
Turkey: Why are non-Muslim cemeteries attacked?
Attacks against the cemeteries of Christians, Jews and Yazidis have a long history in the country.
Uzay-Bulut-New-400x400.jpg
 

(July 22, 2022 / JNS) The Istanbul community woke up on July 15 to learn of painful news published on social media: A Jewish cemetery had been subjected to the most cruel and callous attack. Gravestones had been desecrated, and some of the badly damaged graves had even been opened.

The Chief Rabbinate Foundation of Turkey announced on Twitter that the Jewish cemetery in Istanbul’s Haskoy neighborhood was targeted at midnight and 36 gravestones destroyed.

 

A later investigation revealed that the scope of the attack was even more devastating than earlier thought. The marble stones of 81 graves were broken, according to the newspaper Duvar. Some graves were found to have been excavated.

“After the attack, many people went to the cemetery to check whether the tombstones of their relatives were broken.

“Those who destroyed the graves are allegedly children under the age of 18. The police took five children into custody for the damage they did to the gravestones.

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“Beni Yohay went to the cemetery to check the graves of his relatives and said: ‘This is barbaric. This is a burial place. My blood froze when I saw the broken graves. I don’t understand why they are doing this. This is not the first time such an attack has been carried out.’

“Eli Yohani also went to the cemetery after seeing the news on social media. He said: ‘Here are the graves of my father-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, and my father, who died two months ago. … Things like this have also happened a few times before. There is nothing to say. Shame on those who did this.’ ”

Jewish-Cemetery-Desecration-in-Turkey.pn
Jewish cemetery desecration in Turkey. Source: antisemitism.org.il.

Muhlis Tatlı claimed that the children may have targeted the cemetery upon the instruction of adults. “Kids don’t do such things. An elder may have directed them,” he said. A shopkeeper who works next to the cemetery said that the graves were previously desecrated by those searching for gold.

Garo Paylan, an Armenian Parliament member of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), wrote on Twitter:

“The fact that the attack on the Jewish cemetery was carried out by children aged between 11 and 13 does not alleviate the situation; it aggravates it. Who and what mentality have filled those children with hatred towards Jews?”

Attacks against non-Muslim cemeteries are widespread in Turkey. When Assyrian (Syriac) Christians in the city of Mardin, located in southeast Turkey, went to the cemetery of the Mor (Saint) Paul and Peter on June 29—their namesake’s feast day—Christians saw that the graves had been destroyed and the bones thrown out.

David Vergili, a prominent Syriac-Assyrian journalist and editor-in-chief of the Syriac newspaper Sabro, has family roots in Mardin. He has lived in Europe for the past 20 years and written about minorities in Turkey for more than a decade. Vergili told JNS:

“In the past two months, the graves of Syriac and Jewish communities in Turkey have been attacked and destroyed. The graves and holy places of the Armenian community have also experienced similar attacks before. These incidents and especially the attacks on the sacred places, graves and values of non-Muslim communities are not new and they constitute hate crimes. These attacks have racist, religious motives and mostly target groups that are not part of the Turkish-Islamic ideology. These attacks have been happening for years and there has been no improvement in the way the government responds to them. Given the past trauma of and attacks against the Christian and Jewish communities as well as the Turkish government’s denial of its own crimes, it is obvious that even the dead are affected by these violations. The hatred and humiliating discourse towards minority groups in Turkey manifest themselves as direct attacks on minority groups. Not only the living non-Muslim minority communities, but also their sacred places and their dead are not fully recognized and respected by large segments of the society and the government/state of Turkey.”

As Vergili pointed out, Armenian cemeteries in Turkey are also familiar with similar attacks. An Armenian cemetery in the province of Van was reportedly destroyed by bulldozers in August of 2021. A deputy of the HDP, Murat Sarısaç, asked Turkey’s vice president, Fuat Oktay, in a parliamentary motion:

“Has any investigation been initiated regarding the destruction of the Armenian cemetery?

Why are the Armenian cemeteries, cultural and religious structures in Van not protected? If there is a protection measure, why do similar destructions occur frequently?

Will you take any initiative to repair the destroyed cemeteries, cultural and belief structures in Van?

Do you have any plans to protect the many derelict Armenian cemeteries in Van?

Has an inventory of Armenian monasteries, churches and cultural structures in Van been prepared?” 

Oktay is yet to answer the questions.

Sarısaç also pointed out these sorts of incidents are often reported in Van. “In 2017, a public toilet, some sort of dressing room and a carpark were built on Dilkaya Tumulus and the Armenian cemetery in Van,” he continued. “Because of treasure hunters and the negligence of the authorities, precious historical and cultural patrimony in and surrounding Van are damaged.”

Attacks by Muslims against non-Muslim cemeteries—the cemeteries of Christians, Jews and Yazidis—have a long history in Turkey. Ottoman Turkey committed genocide against Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks from 1913 to 1923. This crime is also recognized as genocide by the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Following the genocide, cultural and religious heritage belonging to those communities including their cemeteries were targeted, and in many cases, destroyed, across Turkey.

Even after the founding of Turkey in 1923, such attacks continued. During the pogrom that targeted Greeks, Armenians and Jews in Istanbul on Sept. 6-7, 1955, cemeteries were violently attacked. According to an article by Speros Vryonis Jr., a historian who specialized in Byzantine, Balkan and Greek history, Turks “profaned and soiled the Greek Orthodox religious vessels; they smashed and dug up the graves in Greek cemeteries, throwing out the bones and remains of the dead; they affected circumcisions on some elderly priests on the streets during the pogrom.”

Yazidis, a non-Muslim community native to the Middle East, are also victims of such assaults. Subsequent Turkish governments and Muslim citizens of Turkey have made varied efforts to Islamize the Yazidis. Author Yasar Batman writes that Yazidi temples were destroyed, and Yezidi graves were defaced in Turkey.

According to Batman, Yazidis lay their dead in graves on their backs facing the sun. But many Yazidi graves were opened, and the dead bodies were placed according to Islamic rules—this time facing the Qibla, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca.

Sadly, Turkey has transported this destructive tradition to Cyprus. Christian and Jewish cemeteries have been destroyed in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the Republic of Cyprus since the 1974 Turkish military invasion. According to a 2012 report,

“Even the cemeteries in occupied Cyprus became a target for the mania for the destruction of the Turkish invaders and their associates.

“British journalist John Fielding reported (The Guardian, May 6, 1976) that he and his TV crew had visited 26 villages in occupied Cyprus where Greek Cypriots used to live and did not find a single cemetery which had not been desecrated.

“In another report from Cyprus The Observer (March 29, 1987) states that vandals desecrated a great number of British graves in occupied Cyprus, some of them belonging to soldiers who fought in the First World War. According to the article, in the British cemetery at Famagusta all the crosses have been smashed, while at a cemetery in Kyrenia, the graves had been opened and the headstones smashed to pieces.”

Among the desecrated and destroyed cemeteries in the occupied north of Cyprus is the historic Margo Jewish Cemetery in southeast Nicosia.

Why are attacks against non-Muslim graves so commonly committed by many Turks, and why is there so much apathy towards these abuses? Ayse Gunaysu, a member of the Commission Against Racism and Discrimination of the Human Rights Association (IHD), told JNS:

“Turkey is a land of genocide. After the 1913-23 genocide against Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, hatred against non-Muslims has been encouraged by the state’s anti-minority policies ever since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, and this hatred has dominated the societal climate. The destruction of cemeteries is the destruction of the memory closely linked to the genocide.

“Photographs of the looting of the stores and businesses during the Sept. 6-7, 1955 pogrom in Istanbul are often shared, creating a perception as if this pogrom stemmed from “hostility towards the wealth of non-Muslims.

“However, the Sept. 6-7 pogrom showed a particularly terrible face in the attacks on churches and the graves of saints in churchyards. Graves were destroyed, and bones were scattered. Even a newly buried dead body was hung from a tree and a Turkish flag was stuck in its stomach. Photographs by Dimitros Kalumenos, the official photographer of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, published in two books by Istos publications, recorded the devastating images of attacks on churches and cemeteries during the pogrom. Hatred of non-Muslims is a state of existence that dominates large sections of Turkish society. As long as this hatred continues in Turkey, the destruction of non-Muslim graves will continue.”

Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist and political analyst formerly based in Ankara.

 

https://www.jns.org/...eries-attacked/



#322 Yervant1

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Posted 30 July 2022 - 07:16 AM

NEWS.am
Armenia - July 29 2022
 
 
Garo Paylan: Armenian youth beaten in Turkey on racist grounds
16:49, 29.07.2022
 
 

Karo Paylan: Armenian youth beaten in Turkey on racist grounds

A group of people attacked an Armenian youth named Arlen in Uskudar. An Armenian member of the Turkish parliament, Karo Paylan noted, calling the reason for the attack 'racist'.

“The fact that the assailants beat Arlen with intent to kill, and the perpetrators were not prosecuted, raises the suspicion that this was a hate crime. Arlen was beaten for being an Armenian?” the MP tweeted.

https://news.am/eng/news/714029.html



#323 Yervant1

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Posted 09 August 2022 - 06:22 AM

NEWS.am
Armenia - Aug 8 2022
 
Erdogan acknowledges direct participation in aggression against Armenia and Artsakh
19:18, 08.08.2022
 
 
 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the conference of ambassadors spoke about the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh and Armenia.

According to Turkish CNNturk, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that it was with the support of Turkey that Azerbaijan defeated Armenia in 2020.

He also believes that Armenia will correctly assess developments and respond positively to the calls of Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Thus, Erdogan recognized the direct participation of the second most powerful NATO country in the aggression against Armenia and Artsakh.

 
 
https://news.am/eng/news/715371.html


#324 Yervant1

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 06:56 AM

Armenpress.com
 

Garo Paylan accuses Turkey of deliberately destroying 1600-year-old St. Bartholomew Monastery

 
 
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1091619.jpg 19:02, 2 September 2022

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 2, ARMENPRESS. The Saint Bartholomew Monastery in the region of Baskale of Turkey’s Van province has been standing for 1600 years, however, in the past 100 years it has been damaged, isolated and now is being deliberately destroyed, ethnic Armenian member of the Parliament of Turkey Garo Paylan said on Twitter.

 

Paylan visited Van province these days and got acquainted with the conditions of Armenian churches, monasteries and other historical and religious monuments.

 
 

“The monastery is completely destroyed. The arch of the entrance door has been maintained, but the dome is in a damaged state. I am applying to the Ministry of Culture of Turkey from here. What do you think? What is the benefit from the destruction of that monastery? What do you think? Will Turkey gain or lose from the destruction of the monastery?”, Paylan said.

 

 

https://armenpress.a...tod-yTSqt3pcqx4



#325 Yervant1

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 06:58 AM

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Sept 2 2022
 
 
Kalçık: Historical buildings reminiscent of Kurdish and Armenian identity are being destroyed

Van ÇEVDER President Ali Kalçık said that all areas with historical buildings reminiscent of Kurdish and Armenian identity were destroyed by a conscious policy.

 
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  •  ANF
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  •  VAN
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  •  Friday, 2 Sep 2022

The old city of Van, whose history dates back 3,000 years, is on the way to extinction as it is abandoned to its fate, although it is a protected area.

The Urartians founded the city on the south side of Van Castle 3000 years ago. The city, which was the cultural, artistic, economic and political center of the time, served as the capital of the Urartians for centuries. Kurds and Armenians lived together in the city, which tried to preserve its former glory until 1915. With the Armenian Genocide, the historical city was plundered and destroyed.

This ancient city was waiting to come to light under the ground, but it was left to its fate due to the conscious policy of the state. The historical city, which is the target of treasure hunters today, is used as a place for grazing, shelter and rest.

Van Historical Artifacts Preservation Research and Development Association (ÇEVDER) President Ali Kalçık said: “There were mosques, churches, artisans’ workplaces, Kurdish and Armenian neighbourhoods and a bazaar center in the historical Tusba. Such an important ancient social space has come to the point of complete extinction today. They repaired one or two mosques in this old city, but Kurdish and Armenian buildings such as historical Turkish baths, workplaces, mansions and houses have come to the point of extinction.”

Cuneiform inscription destroyed

Kalçık continued: “As the saying goes, wherever there is a cross, there is always a treasure. Following this logic, they seriously destroyed Van's historical buildings and Van Castle, and took away many of their treasures. There is also Meher Kapı there. Meher Kapı is an inscription in cuneiform. On 12 September [1980], they smashed that inscription with cannons. They tried to destroy it in such an incomprehensible way. It is now in ruins in Tusba, the ancient Van. The authorities, who did not give importance to this historical city, turned Van Castle into a business. They cut people off from history, culture and tourism.”

A policy of destruction

Stating that the historical city must be reformed and cleared of treasure hunters, Kalçık said: “The old city has almost been turned into a molehill. Animals should be prevented from entering here. This old city is our culture. If taken seriously, it means a great income for the city of Van and its people. A great profit will be obtained both in terms of economy and tourism. Unfortunately, the administrators of the city don't do that. Decision makers and local authorities are responsible for protecting the values, culture, history, geography, water and soil of this province. Van Castle, the old city of Van, and other historical structures in the Van Lake basin, which are the building blocks that provide our connection with history, should be preserved and restored in accordance with their original form. Unfortunately, stones have been removed and destroyed in all areas where historical buildings are located. The destruction of these buildings is the product of a conscious policy. It is to destroy life, culture, Kurdish and Armenian identity and all values that belong to them here. This is a deliberate practice.”

https://anfenglish.c...destroyed-62238



#326 Yervant1

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Posted 10 September 2022 - 08:32 AM

TheAtlantic.com
 
Where the Hatred Comes From

What I learned in the space between death threats and bodyguards

original.jpg
Tyler Comrie / Atlantic; Getty
September 9, 2022, 8:22 AM ET
 

About the author: Orhan Pamuk, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature whose books have been translated into 64 languages, is the author of the forthcoming novel Nights of Plague.

 

Updated at 10:36 a.m. ET on September 9, 2022.

When I told a few friends that I wanted to write a short piece about the assault on Salman Rushdie, they warned me to be careful—even though, for about 15 years, I have been protected by bodyguards assigned to me by the Turkish government. They are right to be concerned.

It has been depressing to see the way the attack has been received with some approval in Iran and other Muslim countries. Several people told the Associated Press they were pleased to hear that the Indian-born writer—whose 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, they felt insulted the Islamic faith—had been hurt. Some worried about how it would affect Iran’s relationships with other countries. I would not want to make broad conclusions based on social-media comments, but a quick glance at various platforms in Turkey, where I live, shows that many people believe that freedom of _expression_ must not be confused with the freedom to offend or insult. They seem to think that the author had it coming, and they would be glad to see him dead.

 

Those who have denounced the attack in printed newspapers—most of which are directly or indirectly controlled by the state—rarely do so in the name of free speech, claiming instead that it must have been a false-flag operation staged by the West, maybe by America itself, to put Muslim countries and Islam in a bad light. Even among the Turkish writers and intellectuals who I know value free speech, few have been eager to protest or even draw attention to the matter.

I’ve had many long conversations with writers who have received death threats, especially from “Islamists” or “Islamic extremists,” and with writers and journalists who—for various reasons—live under threat in Muslim countries such as Egypt and Turkey. The threats I face in Turkey are primarily not from Islamic extremists, but rather from nationalists who take issue with my comments on the Armenian genocide and think I am insulting Turkish history—though, in truth, these two groups are not too distant from each other, and Turkey is currently governed by an Islamic-nationalist coalition.

Life under protective surveillance almost always feels like a suffocating ordeal. It means that one is never able to fully experience the pleasure of being forgotten. The number of my guards fluctuates over time, depending on where I am and what the political mood is. No matter how kind they are, or how hard they try to stay out of sight, this is not a pleasant experience. If bodyguards are to do their job properly, they cannot be invisible; on the contrary, they must make their presence felt and be seen to be protecting the author, to discourage would-be assailants. In these conditions, any writer may quickly become disconnected from the “normal” day-to-day life that is our most natural source of inspiration. There were times, at least before I was charged with insulting the government in the mid-2000s and faced a barrage of death threats, when I refused bodyguards so as not to inhibit the natural flow of my daily life. There were also moments when I could sense that my home and my office were being guarded by plainclothes policemen sent by the state, and although no one had asked for my permission, I did not object. Soon I had so many bodyguards assigned to me that it became difficult to sit in a café and write, or to take an aimless stroll around Istanbul.

 

It is, of course, reassuring to know that I am being protected, and there is comfort in being shielded from physical and verbal assaults. I am fully aware that I owe to my bodyguards my ability, while researching my novel A Strangeness in My Mind, to walk around at night taking photographs in distant, gloomy neighborhoods where I might have been in danger even if I were not known as a particularly outspoken writer.

The difficulties of living under state-ordained protective surveillance are compounded by such a multitude of bureaucratic rules and requirements that the act of protection becomes a duty and an inconvenience not just for the bodyguards but for the author they are guarding, too. Say I have a meeting to attend, or wish to visit a relative. If I feel that the route and modes of transport I plan to take to get there are safe enough, and would rather be alone, I have to sign an official form declaring that I do not want to be accompanied by bodyguards. Arranging bodyguards for when I want to leave Istanbul and go to a different Turkish city requires a different set of forms.

All of these bureaucratic hurdles and the constant presence of bodyguards become so irksome that the individual living under surveillance can no longer have a “private life,” and is always aware of being watched and monitored. At times I have wondered whether the main thing making certain writers a target is the very fact that they are being protected. Once you have been identified as a target, even people who have no connection to the matter will start to see you as such, and to look at you as if you were some strange, unfathomable creature.

Protection is an incessant reminder to the writer that they have become an object of loathing among certain nationalistic, political, and religious factions, and soon they begin to crave escape from that real or imagined hatred. I know from my own experience that after the most dangerous first few years, the writer under protection wants to believe that “the worst is over”: Perhaps we don’t need bodyguards anymore, and we can return to the old, beautiful, “normal” life. Unfortunately, most of the time this is not a realistic decision. So the universities, foundations, and cities that invite a writer who is under threat to speak should automatically protect the safety of this writer—no matter what the writer may think or say about their own condition.

Living under protection has frequently prompted me to think of the people who make these threats. Did they really mean the death threats they uttered? Do they still stand behind their words, or have they forgotten about me by now? Is forgetting them in turn, or leaving their threats unanswered, really the best method of dealing with them? These are questions I have often asked myself and my loved ones.

 

Whenever a writer comes under physical attack, everyone starts talking about responding to words with words, to books with more books. But does this old adage make sense? Those who are pulling the trigger or wielding the knife tend to have read very few books in their life. Had they read more books, or been in the position to write one themselves, would they have turned to this kind of violence? Would they have been capable of it?

What we need to do is use our privilege of free speech to acknowledge the role of class and cultural differences in society—the sense of being second- or third-class citizens, of feeling invisible, unrepresented, unimportant, like one counts for nothing—which can drive people toward extremism. (Rushdie’s 24-year-old assailant worked as a clerk in a discount store.) I say this with a novelist’s awareness that trying to understand a person does not equate to forgiving them or excusing their heinous crimes.

Remembering the class-based cultural differences and nationalistic resentments that lie beneath these kinds of threats and attacks can only serve to strengthen our commitment to free speech. In many cases, these differences in class and social status have become taboo subjects that nobody wishes to hear or dares speak about. The news media, reluctant to appear to be somehow condoning violence, don’t dwell on the fact that the people who turn to it tend to be poor, uneducated, and desperate, and they are instead portrayed as if they were attacking literature itself and all the values it stands for. If we hope to see the principle of freedom of _expression_ thrive in society, the courage of writers like Salman Rushdie will not suffice; we must also be brave enough to think about the sources of the furious hatred they are subjected to.

 

This essay was translated by Ekin Oklap from Turkish.

This article originally misstated the year in which The Satanic Verses was published.

 
Orhan Pamuk, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature whose books have been translated into 64 languages, is the author of the forthcoming novel Nights of Plague.
 
 
 


#327 Yervant1

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 07:22 AM

PROVIDENCE Mag.
Sept 19 2022
Why are Turkey and Azerbaijan targeting Armenia and Greece?

By Uzay Bulut on September 19, 2022

Denial of the Genocidal Past Perpetuates Future Threats

On September 13, starting at 00:05, the Armenian people once again woke up to the bombs of Azerbaijan.    

Less than two years after Azerbaijan’s violent war against the Armenians of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, the military of Azerbaijan is now undertaking an illegal war of aggression against the Republic of Armenia. 

According to the government of Armenia, at least 135 Armenian soldiers were killed in nighttime attacks by Azerbaijan. Turkey will continue to stand by Azerbaijan and will always do so, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on the same day. 

Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenians has caused massive destruction to civilian buildings and communities as well as horrific torture and murder of Armenians. Anush Apetyan, a 36-year-old Armenian soldier, for instance, was captured alive in the town of Jermuk in Armenia, and then raped, tortured, and dismembered by Azerbaijani soldiers. They put her severed fingers in her mouth and gouged out her eyes. The Azeri soldiers filmed those barbaric acts and uploaded the video on social media. Apetyan had three kids, ages 16, 15 and 4.

Armenians in Artsakh were also subject to a genocidal assault by Azerbaijan and Turkey during the 2020 war against Artsakh that lasted for 44 days, from September 27 to November 10. The entire world watched while the aggressors committed many crimes and indiscriminately shelled the native lands of the Armenians. Around 90,000 Armenians were forcibly displaced.  

Turkish and Azerbaijani soldiers then participated in a military “victory parade” in Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku on December 10, 2020 The parade, organized to celebrate the countries’ joint “military victory” over Artsakh, was attended by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. 

During the “victory parade,” Erdogan delivered a speech in which he praised Enver Pasha, one of the planners of Ottoman Turkey’s 1913-1923 Christian genocide, which targeted Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks. The Ottoman military march was also played during the event. 

Erdogan referred to the 1918 Islamic Army of the Caucasus created by Enver Pasha and led by the Ottoman commander, Nuri Pasha. The Islamic Army of the Caucasus was responsible for the massacres eliminating the non-Muslim population of Baku, mainly Armenians. Erdogan said

Today is the day when the souls of Nuri Pasha, Enver Pasha and the brave soldiers of the Islamic Army of the Caucasus are blessed.

Just as Turkey falsely claims that the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus are Turkish territory, Azerbaijan falsely claims that Artsakh and even Armenia, including its capital Yerevan are Azeri territory. 

During his speech Aliyev said that the Armenian capital of Yerevan, Armenia’s Lake Sevan and the Syunik (Zangezur) region in southern Armenia are “historic lands of Azerbaijan.” 

This was not the first time Aliyev referred not only to Artsakh but also to the Republic of Armenia as “Azerbaijani lands.” In 2018, for instance, Aliyev referred to the same Armenian regions as “historic lands of Azerbaijan.” “The Azerbaijanis’ return to those territories,” he added, “is our political and strategic goal, and we need to work step-by-step to achieve it.” 

To this end, Azerbaijan is targeting Artsakh and Armenia with the full support of Turkey. “We support Azerbaijan until victory,” Erdogan said on October 6, 2020. “I tell my Azerbaijani brothers: May your ghazwa be blessed.” 

“Ghazwa” in Islam means a battle or raid against non-Muslims for the expansion of Muslim territory and/or conversion of non-Muslims to Islam. Erdoğan openly claimed that attacks against the Armenian territory constitute jihad. Moreover, it was not only Turkey and Azerbaijan attacking Armenians. Turkey also deployed Syrian jihadists to Azerbaijan to fight against Artsakh, according to a UN report

Similarly, Turkey recently celebrated the 1922 Smyrna genocide against Greeks and Armenians, which, according to Turkish historiography, was just a “victory against Greek invaders”.  On September 4, Erdogan addressed Greece in a public speech

“Greeks, look at history. If you go any further, the price will be heavy. We have only one phrase for Greece: Do not forget Izmir [the city of Smyrna]. Your occupying the islands [in the Aegean] will not stop us; we will do what is necessary when the time comes. You know what we say: ‘Unexpectedly one night we shall come to [conquer] you’.” 

On August 30, which is celebrated as “the Victory Day” in Turkey, Erdogan said:  

We see our enemies’ [the Greeks] destroying our cities during their withdrawal [from Anatolia in 1922] as proof of their vile character. Just like they are today.

What Erdogan was referring to was Turkey’s genocidal attack against Greeks and Armenians of the city, also known as Smyrna, in 1922. 

The Turkish aggression against Greeks and Armenians has a long history. Greece and Armenia are trying to preserve whatever is left of historical importance from Turkish aggressions – including their native lands, their cultural identity and patrimony. This history of Turkish violence against indigenous Christians – inspired by Islamic jihad and Turkist expansionism – started in the eleventh century with the invasion by Turkic armies from central Asia of eastern Anatolia (or Armenian highlands), which was then within the borders of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine empire.  

Throughout history Turkish governments have had a policy of aggression and persecution against native Christians. The culmination of that persecution was the 1913-23 Greek, Armenian and Assyrian genocides by Ottoman Turkey, which the International Association of Genocide Scholars also recognizes as genocide.  

Subsequent Turkish governments have honored the memory of genocide perpetrators as well as the organizers of the 1955 Istanbul pogrom that targeted Greeks, Armenians, and Jews of the city. Many schools, universities, airports, avenues, streets, neighborhoods, and other venues across Turkey are named after genocide perpetrators and other state officials that committed crimes against their own minority citizens.

As the international community’s response to Turkey’s genocide denial has been slow and ineffective, genocide denied means genocide continued.  On August 17, the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention issued a “Red Flag Alert” warning of a possible genocide by the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey against the Armenian population. 

Turkey’s proud denial of these genocides and its continued aggressions against Greece, Armenia and Assyrians in Iraq and Syria are inter-connected. The same ideology that motivated the 1913-23 Christian genocide is today motivating Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s aggressions against Armenians, Greeks and other Christians.

In 2016, Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) announced

Genocide denial perpetuates genocide. Denial becomes institutionalised, and in fact socialised and internalised by generations of perpetrators. Denial continually reproduces hatred against the identity of the victims.

The international community must move immediately to hold Azerbaijan and Turkey to account. The safety of Greece, Armenia, Cyprus, Iraq, Syria and indeed of Turkish people from their own Turkish government depends on ending the impunity of the illegal actions of the governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan.  

 


#328 Yervant1

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Posted 01 October 2022 - 05:41 AM

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Sept 29 2022
 
 
Pan-Turkism's aggressive dreams of empire – yesterday and today

By Lucine Kasbarian

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Turkey’s imperial ambition of creating a Pan-Turkic empire, ruled from Ankara, is on display in today’s Caucasus and elsewhere.

This racist ideology envisions an empire that would include any country or region speaking a Turkic-type language regardless of how distant that language is from the language spoken in Turkey and regardless of whether the people in those regions approve of such an empire. This doctrine was and continues to be a key element of Turkish foreign policy.

A country standing in the way, Christian Armenia, is considered the Cradle of Civilization. In biblical tradition, Noah’s Ark rested upon the peaks of Mt. Ararat – the historic symbol of Armenia. The Armenian language is considered to be one of the mothers (if not the mother) of all Indo-European languages. Armenia is decidedly non-Turkic.

Yesterday’s Pan-Turkism

Pan-Turkism was a prime motivator for Ottoman Turkey to enter World War I against the Allies in 1914.

Not only did Ottoman Turkey aspire to expand its existing Middle East empire but sought to spread east and include all the regions (most were not even countries back then) depicted in the editorial cartoon accompanying this article. Features of pan-Turkism would include actively involving different countries, primarily Turkic-speaking ones, in the sphere of Turkey’s ideological, cultural, military, diplomatic and economic influence.

In a bid for the pan-Turkic goal, Ottoman Turkey aimed to eradicate the indigenous Christian people who lived in what is today called Turkey – that is, Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks.

The latter peoples inhabited these lands and had established states thousands of years before Turkic tribes arrived from Central Asia and Mongolia and conquered Constantinople in 1453.

Pan-Turkism was a primary reason for Turkey to commit genocide against Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks from 1915 to 1923. Turkey sought to homogenize and Turkify its empire. To achieve this goal, millions of indigenous Christians were tortured, slaughtered or abducted and turned into concubines and forcibly converted to Islam.

The genocides continued under Turkish dictator Kemal Ataturk even after WWI. He ordered his generals to “destroy Armenia politically and physically.”

Turkey’s genocidal goals and those of its partner, Azerbaijan, are no secret. Those sentiments are echoed today by Turkish tyrant Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azeri dictator Ilham Aliyev, who express a desire to eliminate Armenia as a dam wall between their Turkic states.

Today, Christian Armenia (population just under 3 million) is the object of Turkey’s (population 86 million) and Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan’s (population 10 million) aggression, just as it was during World War I.

Present manifestations of Pan-Turkism

Libyan journalist Alaeddin Saleh speaks to the threat of pan-Turkism when he writes, “Ankara seeks to exploit the alliance with Baku to strengthen its foothold in the region in a bid to restore the Ottoman Empire and merge the Turkic States of Central Asia into a seamless logistics space with common armed forces.”

Pan-Turkism does not simply affect central Asia or Armenia, however. As academic Dimitrios Aristopoulos writes, the intervention of Turkey in Libya, as well as in Syria and its claims over the economic zones of Greece and Cyprus in the East Mediterranean, is also part of the Pan-Turkist political agenda.

Land seizure as a feature of Pan-Turkism

Turkey does not have direct access to Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. Armenia prevents this. In the hopes of economically strangling the latter, Turkey and Azerbaijan closed their borders with Armenia soon after the USSR dissolved. This blockade was a mixed blessing. While it prevented the transport of goods in and out of Armenia via those states, it also prevented either country from engaging in destructive activities toward Armenia.

Georgia and Iran currently serve as Turkish routes to Azerbaijan and beyond – but these are indirect avenues. Currently, the Turkey-Azerbaijan connection route is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) crude oil pipeline. It extends from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oil field in the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It connects Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and Ceyhan, a port on the southeastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, via Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.

In 2020, Azerbaijan, under the direction of Turkey, attacked not just the self-governing region of Artsakh, but also Armenia proper. Turkey provided the management, weapons, troops, ISIS jihadists and other terrorists for this aggression. Azerbaijan also received American F-16s and Israeli drones. The visible purpose for the attacks was to win by invasion that which could not be won morally or diplomatically or by sheer historic facts – a historically Armenian territory called Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). But the intention went deeper: It includes capturing Armenia proper in order to geographically connect Turkey with Azerbaijan via the Syunik province of Armenia, also known as the Zangezur region. Syunik links Armenia with Iran, Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan – a historically Armenian enclave now in Azeri hands.

Turkey and Azerbaijan consider themselves “One Nation, Two States.” In 2019, however, Erdogan revealed himself when he stated, “The main instrument to achieve this goal [of Pan-Turkism] is the Turkic Council, created in 2009, which united all (with the exception of Turkmenistan) modern representatives of the Turkic world. Until today, we said, ‘One nation – two states.’ Yesterday I stated that now we have become one nation [within] five states. With God’s help, Turkmenistan will also join us, and thus we will become one nation [within] six states. We will strengthen joint cooperation in the region.”

Azerbaijani President Aliyev even claims that Yerevan (the capital of Armenia), Lake Sevan and southern Armenia belong to “ancient Azerbaijan.” This absurd assertion can be refuted if one consults maps, including ancient ones. In the entire history of the world, there was no such country as Azerbaijan until 1918.

Breaking through via destruction

Following the Azeri invasion of 2020, Azerbaijani troops continued to invade and occupy parts of southern Armenia and cull hostages even after a peace agreement was reached by both parties.

According to analysts evaluating the peace agreement, a proposed opening of existing transport routes between Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan were for just that: the exchange of goods. While Turkey and Azerbaijan show no intention of allowing Armenia unfettered transport access to Europe via Turkey, in 2021 Azerbaijan’s Aliyev emphasized the pan-Turkic aspect of their campaigning when he said,”Both Turkey and Azerbaijan will take necessary steps for the realization of the Zangezur Corridor … to unite the entire Turkic world.”

Transport links serve one purpose. “Corridors,” on the other hand, can mean anything. There are many other reasons to look upon the penetration designs of Turkey and Azerbaijan with misgivings. During and even after the 2020 war waged on Armenia and the Armenian Republic of Artsakh, Azerbaijan occupied sovereign Armenia and either closed roads or attempted to illegally extract “tolls” from truckers who had to turn back with their goods.

Just days ago, on Sept. 13, Azerbaijan again invaded and attacked Armenia. Although a Russian-brokered cease-fire supposedly went into effect two days later, Azeri incursions continue and Armenia still stands alone without military aid from anyone.

Genocide as a feature of Pan-Turkism

Pan-Turkism is not some benign, theoretical goal. It threatens regional stability. It is serious, aggressive and omnipresent. The threat of a renewed Armenian genocide is a daily reality.

The Caucasus is a dangerous neighborhood. If Western hawks seek to contain Russia and Iran via Pan-Turkism, do they think this premise can later be switched off at will? How would the genie be put back in the bottle? All that aside, all hell would break loose if reckless actors tried to tamper with Iran’s borders. In recent days, Iran and Azerbaijan announced the construction of a major motorway bridge over the border on the Arax River amid plans to set up a new transit corridor connecting Azerbaijan to its exclave of Nakhchivan through the Iranian territory. If so, then why the need to seize and cut through Armenia?

Hypothetically, if Armenia were to exit the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) or refuse to engage with regional powers Russia or Iran, it could lead to national suicide for landlocked, blockaded Armenia. She is sandwiched between two states with genocidal track records and has no confidence that the U.S. or NATO would become a guarantor for Armenia. Much as U.S.-Armenia relations have been warm for centuries, history has shown that the West abandoned its “Little Ally,” Armenia, when a mandate was imperative. It is more likely NATO would urge Turkey and Azerbaijan to fully capture and absorb Armenia as a way to bring the region into the Western orbit.

While the West aspires to limit consumer use of natural gas and petrol, it simultaneously seeks those resources from alternate sources – such as Azerbaijan – to boycott Russian suppliers and Iranian conduits. Geopolitically, this attempt to thwart Russia and Iran is flawed and short-sighted. Should Azerbaijan and Turkey succeed in substituting their own energy sources for Russian gas to supply Europe and beyond (and exclude Iran as an economic conveyor belt) what is to prevent Turkey and Azerbaijan from withholding those resources at will for political gain? Turkey did just that when Erdogan threatened to release Syrian refugees into Europe if his demands were not met, or if we recall his many dam-building sprees intended to starve his adversaries.

If Armenia were to consider economic transport convoys through its territory, it would have to have military support to prevent Trojan horses that could engender hostile takeovers and genocides. (Armenia would also have to reserve the right to impose tolls.) But who would the military protectors be? Russians? Iranians? Turks? Azeris? Americans? NATO? The United Nations Peacekeepers? This scenario could unleash World War III.

Indeed, neither Turkey nor Azerbaijan can be honest brokers in any negotiation with Armenia, not only in light of historical outcomes, but also the present day. Both continue to openly destroy all vestiges of Armenian pedigree, life and culture, including torturing POWs and civilians alike, employing banned chemical weapons and destroying churches, monasteries, monuments and cemeteries now under their control.

For these reasons, Turkish and Azeri transport routes should continue to circumvent Armenia. Armenia should no longer be the site of a tug-of-war between Russia on the one hand and the United States and NATO on the other. The practical and moral imperative is to expose (and oppose) Pan-Turkism.

Rejecting Pan-Turkism for democracy, humanity and peace

“Despite the fact that Turkey during Erdogan’s rule has theoretically abandoned Pan-Turkist rhetoric in favor of Neo-Ottomanism,” says academic Dimitrios Aristopoulos, “in practice it is still pan-Turkist ideology that determines Turkish geopolitics.

And it doesn’t stop there. “From its support of the Muslim Brotherhood and its invasion of Northern Syria,” continues Aristopoulos, “to its involvement in the Libyan civil war, as well as the illegal immigration threats again [sic], Greece and Europe, and the war in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), combined with the persecution of Kurds, all are nothing more than parts of the agenda of the Pan-Turkish doctrine on Turkey’s expansionist policy.”

During the anniversary of Kemal Ataturk’s death on Nov. 10, 2016, Erdogan openly declared that ”Turkey is greater than Turkey,” while at the same time spoke of his doctrine about the ”borders of the heart.” He stated that ”We cannot be imprisoned in 780 thousand square kilometers. Our physical borders are different to the borders of the heart. Our brothers who live in areas of Mosul, Kirkuk, Humus, Skopje, may be beyond the natural borders of Turkey, but they will always be on the borders of our hearts.”

In the words of public intellectual Vahan Babakhanyan, “The ideology of Turkism is not just dangerous, it is actually a form of genocide. Pan-Turkism is masking as a culture and a religion,” says Babakhanyan, “while remaining an essentially aggressive racist doctrine for the seizure of foreign lands and for the creation of a ‘Great Turan.'”

Lucine Kasbarian is a writer and editorial cartoonist based in the U.S. She dedicates this article to statesman Karekin Njdeh who lived and died for Syunik and Armenia. Visit her at www.lucinekasbarian.com

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@wndnewscenter.org.

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#329 Yervant1

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Posted 06 October 2022 - 08:50 AM

The real Turkey!


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Oct 4 2022
 
Turkey: Hate Crimes Targeting Religious Minorities On the Rise


By Uzay Bulut on October 4, 2022

Today, only 0.1 percent of Turkey’s population of nearly 85 million are Christian or Jewish. Both communities (including other non-Muslims and ex-Muslims) are exposed to hate crimes at the hands of the country’s Muslim population. 
 

The 2021 Report of “Hate Crimes in Turkey Based on Religion, Belief or Unbelief” by the Freedom of Belief Initiative of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee was released in September.

The report documented 29 hate crimes or incidents related to religion, belief or non-belief between January and December 2021. The victims are Alevis, Christians, Jews, and atheists.

The report notes that the actual number of hate crimes that target religious minorities are higher than the number of incidents reported to authorities. 

“Considering the fact that, as a general trend, hate crimes are reported [to police] and documented far less than they happen, it can be concluded that these numbers [of the hate crimes in the report] only reveal a general picture.”

The report lists the main obstacles to reporting or notification of hate crimes:

“Victims are used to hateful acts and have a high threshold for reporting or notifying [the authorities of these crimes],

“Victims prefer not to report [hate crimes] considering their risk of exclusion [from society],

“Victims are concerned that their allegations will not be taken seriously or that they will face greater victimization, including at the hands of police officers, if they report [the hate crimes they are subject to].”

None of the hate crimes in 2021 were handled through an effective legal process, said the report. Those hate crimes include damage to property, threats, violent attacks against individuals, damage to places of worship and cemeteries, harassment, and insults. Some places related to religious, or belief communities were repeatedly targeted.

While the report was under preparation, several hate crimes that targeted religious minorities took place in July 2022. For example, on July 15, in the Haskoy neighborhood of Istanbul, 81 tombstones in the Jewish cemetery were destroyed.  On July 30, two Alevi places of worship (cem houses) and an Alevi foundation were attacked in Ankara.  

“These incidents demonstrate that belief-based hate crimes can happen at any time in Turkey and how important it is to take multidimensional measures,” the report said.

The victims are targeted due to their non-Muslim belief or lack of belief regardless of their ethnicity. Assyrians, Armenians, Jews, atheists, and even Turkish converts to Protestantism were exposed to threats and abuse. 

Today, most of the remaining Christians and Jews in Turkey live in Istanbul. The historic Jewish and Christian presence across Asia Minor almost completely ended because of decades-long persecution against the communities by subsequent Turkish government and Muslim locals. However, even the remnants of their cultural and religious heritage are exposed to violations and destruction. Some examples of hate crimes from last year include:

The Protestant community in the Arhavi town of Artvin became a target in print and digital media for being “missionaries”… Some people then put pressure on the landlord of the Protestant community leader to evict him… The community leader was also targeted with threats such as “dead priest walking” while walking in the streets. 

The Protestant Kurtuluş Church leader and church community in the city of Aydın were also threatened on their Facebook posts with messages calling for the killing and beheading of Christians. 

The Assyrian-Syriac Marta Şimoni Church in Şırnak’s Beytüşşebap district was subject to a violent attack. The rosaries were found thrown out and the statues in the church were thrown to the ground. The fabrics hung for the sick to be healed were taken out of the church and thrown from a slope. The church’s cross was also found on the ground.

An Armenian cemetery in Van was destroyed with construction machinery. Soil was poured on the gravestones that were removed from their places; the bones in the cemetery appeared on the ground.

A Turkish nationalist member of parliament, Ümit Özdağ, targeted the Armenian Member of Parliament Garo Paylan, by saying: “When the [right] time comes, you too will and must experience a Talat Pasha experience.” Talat Pasha was one of the organizers of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. 

The signboard of the Jewish cemetery in the city of Manisa was damaged for the second time in two years. The Environment and Urban Law Commission of the Diyarbakir Bar Association filed a criminal complaint with the Chief Prosecutor’s Office regarding the devastation of the synagogue in Çermik district of Diyarbakir. The gate of the historical Kasturya Synagogue in Istanbul and some of its remnants were set on fire by “unidentified persons.” 

A person living in the city of Diyarbakir sought help from the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, saying he was threatened and stalked on his way home for being an atheist. The prosecutor’s office decided that there was no need to prosecute. The victim’s appeal was also rejected. In the city of Batman, a member and volunteer of the Atheism Association was reportedly battered with a gun.

Alevis, a historically persecuted community in Turkey, have a population which is estimated in the tens of millions, thereby being the country’s largest religious minority. But as the Turkish government does not officially recognize the Alevis, they are counted by the government as “Muslim,” not as a belief community with their own authentic faith and culture. 

Alevis top the list of victims of hate crimes in the report. An Alevi family living in Istanbul, for instance, said that their neighbors attacked and beat them, shouting hateful slogans such as “May Allah burn those who are disturbed by the sound of the adhan [Islamic call to prayer]”. A Muslim teacher in Ankara insulted Alevis, including his own Alevi students and their parents, because of their Alevi identity.  An Alevi sought help from the police after experiencing insults by an imam in the city of Amasya. An Alevi family living in Izmir said that they were exposed to insults, verbal abuse, and threats from their neighbors. A middle school teacher in the city of Hatay was subjected to systematic pressure, harassment, and coercion at the hands of the school principal for being an Alevi.

Five Alevi houses in the city of Yalova were crossed and “Alevi” was written on their walls. Marking Alevi houses with some letters or crosses has become a widespread phenomenon in Turkey. This poses a security threat to the Alevi community as Alevis were repeatedly massacred throughout Turkey’s history. And marking their locations could be a signal that they are singled out for a future massacre or pogrom. During the 1978 massacre against Alevis in the city of Malatya, for instance, some masked people attacked and burned down the houses, offices and businesses belonging to Alevis and left-wingers which had been marked beforehand. 

What is it that makes people of a certain ideology, such as Islam, target, attack, and abuse even their own colleagues, neighbors, or students simply for their non-Muslim identity? What makes them see past their humanity? What makes them damage or destroy even the cemeteries and places of worship of non-Muslims, whom Islamic scriptures call “kafirs”? 

Dr. Bill Warner, the president of the Center for the Study of Political Islam (CSPI), describes what the term “kafir” means according to Islamic scriptures:

“The language of Islam is dualistic. As an example, there is never any reference to humanity as a unified whole. Instead, there is a division into believer and kafir (unbeliever). Humanity is not seen as one body but is divided into whether the person believes Mohammed is the prophet of Allah or not.

“Kafir is what the Koran and Islam call the unbelievers. Kafir is the worst word in the human language. The Koran defines the kafir and says that the kafir is:

“Hated (40:35), mocked (83:34), punished (25:77), beheaded (47:4), confused (6:25), plotted against (86:15), terrorized (8:12), annihilated (6:45), killed (4:91), crucified (5:33), made war on (9:29), ignorant (6:111), evil (23:97), disgraced (37:18), unclean (9:28), cursed (33:60), stolen from (Bukhari 5,59,537), raped (Ishaq 759). A Muslim is not the friend of a kafir (Koran-3:28).

“Christians and Jews are infidels, but infidels are kafirs, too. Polytheists are Hindus, but they are also kafirs. The terms infidel and polytheist are religious words. Only the word “kafir” shows the common political treatment of Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, animist, atheist and humanist.

“The word kafir should be used instead of ‘unbeliever’, the standard word. Unbeliever is a neutral term. The Koran defines the kafir and kafir is not a neutral word. A kafir is not merely someone who does not agree with Islam, but a kafir is evil, disgusting, the lowest form of life. Kafirs can be tortured, killed, lied to and cheated. So the usual word “unbeliever” does not reflect the political reality of Islam.”

This mentality has brought, and continues to bring, so much suffering, abuse and injustice to non-Muslims in Turkey and other majority-Muslim countries. 

Historic Asia Minor, which is today inside modern Turkey’s borders, was a majority-Christian country at the time of the Eastern Roman Empire. This was before the Turkish conquest of the region in the eleventh century. Despite centuries-long Turkish oppression that targeted indigenous Christians and Jews (which includes a genocide, pogroms, and official discrimination), those communities preserved their sizable presence – at least in Istanbul – under Turkish rule until the 1955 pogrom. While the government of Turkey has finally achieved the establishment of a completely Muslim-dominated state and political system, the persecution and hate speech against non-Muslims, confiscation of their properties, and threats of further violence never ends. And bringing those realities to light remains a taboo in Turkey – even an “offense” whose “perpetrators” face threats, prosecution, jail time or even worse outcomes. 

https://providencema...es-on-the-rise/

 


 



#330 Yervant1

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 08:13 AM

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Oct 12 2022
 
 
France: Cavusoglu’s incredible audacity – he called on the Turks in France to “move” against the Armenians
 

The reaction of the Armenian organizations was due to the urging of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevult Cavusogluto the citizens who live in it FranceTo act against the Armenian diaspora in a more coordinated manner.

Advice given by him during his last visit Cavusoglu In Strasbourg, where he met at the Turkish consulate with representatives of the Turkish community in France.

 
“If the Turkish commandos attack the Armenians, Erdogan will be responsible”

Frank Babajian, co-chair of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France, said that through this report, the Turkish minister encourages violence against French Armenians.

“We feel threatened by the Turkish minister’s words. We consider his words a call to violence, and we expect the French government to take all necessary precautions,” he added.

At the same time, he criticized the French government because, as he pointed out, “it does not respond because it does not want to anger Turkey.”

Papadzian stressed that “the history of relations between the French and Turkish governments in recent years shows that Paris never provides adequate answers to Ankara’s insults and threats,” and demanded that the French government expel the Turkish ambassador, to demand a public apology and hold Erdogan responsible. In the event of attacks on the population by Turkish commandos.

Source: RES-MPE

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#331 Yervant1

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Posted 19 October 2022 - 08:22 AM

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Oct 18 2022
 
 
VIDEO: The Turkic Jihad on Christian Armenia
 
 
An in-depth discussion with OANN’s Kara McKinney on Why Armenia Will Never Know Peace from Surrounding Islam:
 
Watch the video at the link below:


#332 Yervant1

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Posted 19 October 2022 - 08:44 AM

Asbarez.com
 
UN Body on Use of Mercenaries Urged to Sanction Azerbaijan and Turkey for Employing Terrorists During 44-Day War
 
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The Center for Truth and Justice submitted a report on October 11 to the United Nations about Azerbaijan’s use of terrorist mercenaries in the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh. The report urged the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries to investigate Azerbaijan’s use of mercenaries during the Working Group’s upcoming visit to Armenia in early 2023. CFTJ’s report indicates that Azerbaijan has violated its obligations as a state party to the UN Convention on Mercenaries by recruiting, using, financing and training mercenaries during the 2020 war.

The report contains summaries of four detailed accounts from firsthand witnesses who personally encountered mercenaries from Syria, hired by Azerbaijan and Turkey to travel to Azerbaijan and participate in the attack on Nagorno-Karabakh. One witness served as an official translator to two Syrian mercenaries during their interrogation by Armenian authorities following their capture. The witnesses detailed the mercenaries’ accountings of recruitment, travel to Azerbaijan, pay, training, and the explicit order to kill and behead Armenian soldiers and civilians for additional pay. Beheadings were required to be proven through photographs in order to receive the additional compensation of $100 for civilians or $200 for soldiers.

Another witness described being attacked by someone screaming “Allahu Akbar,” being left for dead, and later captured, detained in Azerbaijan, and tortured by Azerbaijani authorities. Another witness from Nagorno-Karabakh who fought in the 2020 war described encountering mercenaries while fighting. As the witness was fluent in Azerbaijani, he was able to observe that the opposition fighters were not speaking Azerbaijani but rather Arabic (which is not spoken in Azerbaijan). The witness described his surprise of seeing those particular soldiers react with apathy when another soldier was killed, supporting his theory that the soldiers did not know each other and were not part of Azerbaijan’s national forces. A final witness described directly meeting a Syrian mercenary in Jabrayil, who told him that they [the mercenaries from Syria] were lied to about the war and disclosed the pay they received for being proxy fighters. 

Based on the firsthand accounts detailed in CFTJ’s report, the mercenaries hired by Azerbaijan and Turkey committed crimes that constitute violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, and Azerbaijan defied its obligations as a state party to the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020, Azerbaijan committed grave violations of international law, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention, and destruction of civilian properties using indiscriminate and internationally banned weapons.  Turkey co-perpetrated these crimes by recruiting an estimated 2,580 mercenaries from Syria to fight for Azerbaijan against Armenian nationals. As noted in CFTJ’s report, the UN Working Group has previously expressed concern about Turkey’s recruitment and transfer of Syrian mercenaries to Azerbaijan. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has also condemned Azerbaijan’s use, with Turkey’s assistance, of Syrian mercenaries. 

CFTJ’s report urges the UN Working Group to meet with witnesses and mercenaries during their upcoming visit to Armenia, and to then send Azerbaijan and Turkey an allegation letter as well as an urgent appeal. Given that the war of Azerbaijan on Armenia is ongoing, there is cause for serious concern that additional recruitment of mercenaries will recur, says CFTJ.

CFTJ is a US-based nonprofit nongovernmental human rights organization documenting violations of international law via firsthand testimonial evidence. Established in November 2020 as a response to the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, CFTJ has since recorded over 350 testimonies from conflict victims and witnesses, including firsthand accounts detailing the recruitment, financing, and use of mercenaries by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

 

 

https://asbarez.com/...iPbi4d4CNZhv_oY


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#333 Yervant1

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Posted 08 November 2022 - 07:42 AM

   When Will the World Put a Stop

            To Turkey’s Criminal Behavior?

            By Harut Sassounian

            Publisher, The California Courier

            www.TheCaliforniaCourier.com

For many years, dozens of reports have been written about the Turkish government’s large-scale kidnapping of Turkish citizens from around the world for criticizing Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime.

Exiled investigative Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt has exposed these illegal Turkish activities, providing copies of confidential documents he has received from sources inside the Turkish government. Not surprisingly, Turkey has issued a warrant for his arrest. He publishes the Nordic Monitor in Sweden.

Bozkurt wrote an article on Nov. 3, 2022, in Nordic Monitor, titled: “Spying by Turkish diplomats continued in 2022 with new targets in Norway, Netherlands, Greece.”

Bozkurt published a secret Turkish document issued by the Security General Directorate on June 7, 2022. He revealed that Turkish diplomats stationed at embassies and consulates overseas continue “the unlawful practice of intelligence gathering on critics and opponents in Europe.”

Bozkurt reported that “Two Turkish diplomats, then-Press Attaché Hacı Mehmet Gani and Hakan Kamil Yerge, then-second secretary at the Turkish Embassy in Bern, plotted to drug and kidnap a Swiss-Turkish businessman in 2016. In June 2018, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland issued arrest warrants for the two Turkish diplomats.”

In addition to attempting to seize and return home its opponents, the Turkish government jails their relatives at home and confiscates their assets.

In a second article published in Nordic Monitor on Nov. 4, 2022, titled: “Turkish intelligence continues to spy on journalists in Sweden,” Bozkurt reported that Levent Kenez, editor of Nordic Monitor in Sweden, “was spied on by Turkey’s intelligence agency, which leaked his private information to the Turkish media. [Sabah], a newspaper run by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s family, published photos of Kenez last Tuesday in front of his apartment in Stockholm, where he lives with his family, and disclosed his address and details of his daily routine,” endangering their lives. It is clear that after silencing his domestic critics, Erdogan is now trying to silence his critics abroad.

A third article titled, “Turkish diplomats exploited US Homeland Security website to track a dissident in the US,” was published by Bozkurt in Nordic Monitor on Nov. 2, 2022.

Bozkurt revealed a secret Turkish document which showed that the Turkish intelligence agency used the website of US Customs and Border Protection to track a Turkish doctor in the United States who is critical of the Turkish government. It is a crime to access the personal information of individuals on the U.S. government’s website.

Bozkurt reported that in the years 2016-17 alone, Turkish embassies and consulates profiled 4,386 critics of Turkey who were residing abroad. In 2021, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Turkish diplomats assigned to embassies and consulates have officially been instructed by the government to conduct clandestine spying operations on foreign soil. In addition, pro-Erdogan Turkish networks and organizations overseas have acted as the long arm of the Turkish regime.

In 2019, the U.S. government convicted Kamil Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish government operative, for running surveillance on opponents of Erdogan in the United States. Alptekin remains a fugitive and is currently hiding in Turkey, while his associate Bijan Rafiekian was tried and convicted of acting covertly in 2019 as an agent of the Turkish government in the United States, without disclosing that relationship to the U.S. government, according to Bozkurt.

Matthew Amlot published in Al Arabiya an article on July 12, 2020, titled: “Turkey signed secret agreements with countries to abduct dissidents from abroad.” According to a joint letter written by four UN rapporteurs, “Turkey signed secret agreements with multiple countries [Azerbaijan, Albania, Cambodia, and Gabon] in order to conduct extraterritorial abductions of suspected state dissidents … Turkey also targeted [its] nationals in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lebanon and Pakistan, according to the letter.”

The UN letter stated that “The Government of Turkey, in coordination with other States, is reported to have forcibly transferred over 100 Turkish nationals to Turkey, of which 40 individuals have been subjected to enforced disappearance, mostly abducted off the streets or from their homes all over the world, and in multiple instances along with their children.”

Alice Taylor wrote in “Exit News” that “in November 2018, the Turkish Foreign Minister informed Parliament that 452 extradition requests had been sent to a total of 83 countries.”

Yasir Gokce wrote an article published on Nov. 25, 2018 in Harvard University’s Kennedy School Review, titled: “Turkey’s Kidnappings Abroad Defy International Law.” These illegal abductions should be brought in front of the U.N. Security Council and the International Court of Justice, Gokce suggested.

In 2020, Johan Heymans in collaboration with International Observatory of Human Rights published a 128-page report, based partly on a report by the Ankara Bar Association, documenting the specific cases of deportation or abductions of Turkish citizens from 17 countries: Moldova, Azerbaijan, Gabon, Sudan, Kosovo, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Bahrain, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Ukraine, Lebanon, Malaysia, Switzerland, and Mongolia.

Finally, OpenDemocracy.net published an article by Serdar San on June 16, 2021, titled: “Turkish spies are abducting Erdogan’s political opponents abroad.”

Serdar San correctly observed that “emboldened by a lack of repercussions from NATO and the EU, President Erdogan’s regime is kidnapping dissidents” to silence political dissent. This is the fault of Western governments for turning a blind eye to the illegal behavior of successive Turkish governments, encouraging them to continue violating domestic and international laws for decades.



#334 MosJan

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Posted 17 November 2022 - 09:45 AM



#335 MosJan

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 02:10 PM






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