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#281 Yervant1


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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:44 AM

Panorama, Armenia
Dec 28 2017
Turkey’s purchase of Russian missiles contains an element of political blackmail – Ruben Safrastyan


The opinion that Turkey may change its decision over the purchase of S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia at some point are not groundless, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of Armenia's National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Ruben Safrastyan told Panorama.am, pointing out that Turkey’s decision to obtain Russian anti-aircraft missiles is not only based on military reasons, but also contains an element of political blackmail.

“Buying weapons from Russia, Turkey is posturing to show that it is capable of going elsewhere besides NATO for its weapons and its alliances. Once again, the country shows it is sovereign in making own decisions and finding alternatives. The deal between Moscow and Ankara can be cancelled should certain messages from the U.S and NATO are at place,” the analyst suggested.
To note, NATO and U.S. officials have repeatedly warned Turkey about the consequences of purchasing the S-400, saying the system would not be interoperable with NATO weapons systems.

Asked whether the NATO is that naïve to succumb to Turkey’s blackmail, Safrastyan noted the matter is not about naivety but rather the geography of Turkey.

The expert said he believed the purchase would not affect Turkey's cooperation within NATO and its participation in the alliance's activities. “Turkey is of high importance for both the alliance and the U.S. Bearing this in mind, both the U.S. and NATO can turn a blind eye on Turkey’s actions, since the stakes are too high here,” concluded the analyst.


#282 Yervant1


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Posted 30 December 2017 - 10:24 AM

La Croix International, France
December 28, 2017 Thursday
Noose is tightening around Christian minority in Turkey
The Syrian Orthodox Church is condemning the Presidency of Religious Affairs in Turkey for seizing 50 churches and monasteries in the southeast of the country. This is happening in the context of a hardening of the policies of the ruling AKP party and is weakening, even more, the already fragile position of a Christian minority deprived of all legal rights.
 The ancient Syrian Orthodox Monastery of Mor Gabriel has been subjected to constant and unfair legal attacks since 2008. It has now fallen under the control of the all-powerful Diyanet, which governs Islamic Turkey (99.8% of the population).
The Mor Gabriel Monastery was founded in 397 by the ascetic Mor Shmu’el (Samuel) on the Tur Abdin plateau, “the mountain of the servants of God”, in southeastern Turkey.
This sacred site of Eastern Christianity is one of the 50 churches and monasteries that have been seized by the Diyanet, according to Kuryakos Ergün, the Chairman of the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation.
“We are in the process of identifying the properties that have already been seized,” Ergün told the Turkish-Armenian newspaper, Argos. “We have so far filed lawsuits with regard to twenty property titles, and we’re going to do the same for thirty more.”
A legal marathon
This legal struggle goes back to 2008. In that year, an updating of the land registry requalified 250 hectares within the Monastery’s boundaries as “forests”, on the grounds that they were not “cultivated”.
What followed was a long series of lawsuits, each one lost because of false accusations: Christian proselytism, the supposed existence of a mosque under the monastery’s foundations - even though it was built well before the advent of Islam.
Now, it’s the administrative change of Mardin Province to a “metropolitan municipality” that is serving as the excuse for the seizing of property. The authorities set up a “Committee of Liquidation” in order to redistribute any property that no longer has a legal entity.
Initially transferred to the Treasury, the 50 churches and monasteries are now under the control of the Presidency of Religious Affairs.
The increasing harshness of the Islamic-Conservative authorities.
These developments are occurring in the context of an increasing hardening of the policies of the Islamic-Conservative President Erdogan and his AKP party, in power since 2002.
A law passed in 2002 supposedly opened the way for the recovery of about a hundred properties seized from minorities since the creation of modern Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923. This should have allowed the restitution of goods and properties confiscated by the State from non-Muslim minority foundations.
Since then, however, this has come to a dead end. Ever-decreasing Christian communities are increasingly oppressed by the State and by a society that is being re-Islamized.
In its 15 years in power, the AKP has thus ground away at the secular principles that were defended tooth and nail by the Kemalists, such as the prohibition of the veil in universities and government offices.
This year, just before Easter, the Turkish President even planned to pray with members of his Party and Islamic clerics at Saint-Sophia. This great Christian Basilica, built in 537, became a mosque under the Ottoman Empire’s rule. It was transformed into a museum by Ataturk in 1935.
Now, it is a symbol that is increasingly coveted by Erdogan’s Islamist government.
More recently, on Thursday 22 June, Mehmet Görmez, the President of the Diyanet, participated in a Muslim prayer service that was broadcast by State television.
Christians deprived of legal status
Most Christians in Turkey (0.1% of the population) do not have any legal status. The Treaty of Lausanne (1923), which gave rights to non-Muslim minorities, recognized only minority groups of Armenian, Greek Orthodox, and Jewish origin.
Syrian Orthodox Christians (whose numbers have fallen from 70,000 in the 1970s to about 2,000 today) and Roman Catholics (between 10,000 and 15,000) are therefore excluded. They can only battle the courts to try to keep or to recover property confiscated from them by the State.
Similarly, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians, has been fighting for the Greek-Orthodox Seminary of Halki to be re-opened, forty years after it was closed.
The collapse of Christianity’s presence in Turkey over the last century
At the beginning of the last century, Turkey itself was home to the largest Christian population in the Middle East: 20% of the population. Now, there are only 80,000 Christians (of all denominations).
The Armenian genocide of 1915 and departure of a huge number of Greek Orthodox Christians in the early 1920s largely account for the collapse of Christianity’s presence in Turkey.
Although the Christian minority in this country is not being subjected to the same degree of violence as in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, Christians and intellectuals have nonetheless been assassinated during the past few years.
Those killed include the Catholic priest, Andrea Santoro in 2006; the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007, and the Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, Mgr Luigi Padovese, in 2010.
Needless to say, investigations into these deaths are going nowhere.

#283 Yervant1


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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:38 AM

Armenian Weekly
Jan 12 2018
Greece and Turkey Playing Nice?

By Garen Yegparian on January 12, 2018 in Garen Yegparian


So, a Turk walks into a bar…

Oh wait, I’m not telling a joke. Rather, I’m writing an article. But that’s difficult to remember when the Turk in question is Erdoğan and the “bar” is Greece.


Turkey’s First Couple signing the book of honor as the Greek President looks on (Photo: Press service of the President of Turkey)

A friend recently sent me a BBC news item reporting on an historic visit by a Turkish President to Greece, the first in 65 years. You won’t be surprised to learn that Erdoğan played the boorish guest almost as soon as he arrived. Fortunately, he was put in his place. Too bad he wasn’t shown the door right back out of the “bar!”

On the first day of his visit, Erdoğan was whining about insufficient “support…in terms of investments” for and “discrimination” against Turks in Greece. He also asserted that some points of the Treaty of Lausanne lacked clarity.

The temerity and unmitigated shameless brazenness of this latter day wannabe Sultan is more breathtaking then a kick in the gut. Supposedly, Athens appointed a mufti (leader, Islamic expert) for the Turks living in the country rather than allowing them to choose their own. I don’t know what the rules are regarding the filling of this position, but for the purposes of this discussion, they are not relevant.

Aside from the fact that this probably only means the guy Erdoğan wanted didn’t get the job, the hypocrisy manifested is astounding. Does Erdoğan have multiple personalities? Is one of those unaware that the other is jerking around Turkey’s Armenian community around, preventing the election of a new Patriarch of Bolis? And, in this case, there are well established rules dating back to the adoption of the constitution governing such procedures back in 1863.

The discrimination complaint is equally hypocritical. I suppose there’s yet another Erdoğan personality in charge of jailing and murdering Kurds, one more for mistreating Alevis, a fifth for discriminating against Jews…

The funniest Erdoğan “plaint” is the one about the lack of clarity in the Treaty of Lausanne. He wants to rejigger it to make it even more favorable to Turkey, I suppose. Perhaps we, along with other signatories, should propose a deal, the mother of all deals (to make President Trump happy). We’ll agree to reopen the Lausanne Treaty if Turkey first accepts and re-signs the Treaty of Sèvres (I would bet the Greeks would jump at the opportunity to sign, which they refused to do at the time, since they would do much better territorially). Then, it would only make sense to rework Lausanne. How about it, Mr. Erdoğan? Let’s trade treaties.

Luckily, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who is also one of Greece’s foremost law experts, shut down his visiting counterpart’s absurd proposal, saying: “This treaty, to us, is not negotiable, this treaty does not have any gaps, does not need a review nor an update. This treaty is valid as it is.”

Clearly, despite the view of analysts that Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras share a warm relationship, there is no spillover of “warmth” into the overall relationship between the two countries. Nor, rightly, should there be, for so long as Turkey continues to violate Greek air and sea space, oppress the few thousand Greeks remaining in Turkey, continuing its occupation of Cyprus, and generally being a bad neighbor and destabilizing force in the region.

Perhaps we Armenians must take it upon ourselves to remind Greece that making nice with Turkey under these circumstances will only lead to more losses. Should we start a campaign to write letters to Greek ambassadors worldwide? Maybe by taking them to a bar…


#284 Yervant1


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Posted 14 January 2018 - 11:20 AM

The Guardian, UK
Jan 13 2018
Elif Shafak: ‘Nations don’t always learn from history’
When The Bastard of Istanbul was published in Turkey in 2006, the author was accused of insulting her homeland. Sadly, things have been getting worse since then …


When BBC Radio 4 asked to feature my novel The Bastard of Istanbul in its Reading Europe season this month, I found myself reflecting on the cultural and political journey that my motherland, Turkey, has undergone in the years since the book was published.

The novel came out in Turkey in 2006. It tells the story of a Turkish family and an Armenian-American family, mostly through the eyes of four generations of women. It is a story about buried family secrets, political and sexual taboos, and the need to talk about them, as well as the ongoing clash between memory and amnesia. Turkey, in general, is a society of collective amnesia.

Shortly after publication, I was sued for “insulting Turkishness” under Article 301 in the Turkish criminal code, although nobody quite knows what either “Turkishness” or “insulting” means in this context. The ambiguity of its wording allows the article to be interpreted to stifle freedom of speech and the freedom of the press; and for the first time, a novel, a work of fiction, was put on trial under the article. The words of the Armenian characters in The Bastard of Istanbul were plucked out of the text, and used as “evidence” by the prosecutor’s office. As a result, my Turkish lawyer had to defend my Armenian fictional characters inside the courtroom. The whole thing was surreal and I was acquitted.

What I remember of those anxiety-ridden days today, however, is neither the trial process nor the ultranationalist groups organising protests on the streets and spitting at my photo and the EU flag, but the amazingly heart-warming, uplifting and inspiring feedback I received from readers. The majority of fiction readers in Turkey are women – Turkish, Kurdish, Alevi, Jewish, Armenian, Greek … women of all ethnicities, cultures and classes . In Turkey, if women like a book, they pass it on to other women. A book is not a personal possession. The same copy is read on average by five or six people, underlining different sentences with different coloured pens. Even though Turkey’s written culture, media and publishing industries, especially as you move up the ladder, remain male-dominated, it is mostly women who are the bearers of memory and it is mostly women who keep multiple traditions of storytelling alive.

Nonetheless, although words were dangerous in Turkey in mid-2000s, the situation for writers and publishers was never as dire or dark as it has become today. Over the past decade Turkey has been sliding backwards, at first gradually and then at a bewildering speed. Authoritarianism, Islamism, nationalism, isolationism, and sexism have all been on the rise, systematically feeding and encouraging one another. It has not helped that the prospect of Turkey’s EU membership was shattered.

As the country became more and more distanced from Europe, the growing gap was exploited by nationalists and Islamists. The ruling elite began to talk about joining the Shanghai Pactinstead of the EU. Today Turkey’s relations with the EU are at their lowest point. The AKP government has become increasingly undemocratic, inward-looking, illiberal and intolerant. In April 2017, a controversial referendum and a narrow (51% to 49%) vote means Turkey will change from a parliamentary democracy to a state in which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds an absolute monopoly on power.

Turkey has become a shocking example that the ballot box in itself is not enough to sustain a democracy. If there is no rule of law, no separation of powers, no media freedoms, no academic freedoms and no women’s rights in a country, democracy cannot thrive or survive.

Today my motherland is a polarised and bitterly politicised country where thousands of intellectuals have lost their jobs. There is an increasing number of court cases against academics, journalists, writers, thinkers and commentators. One of the country’s most celebrated cartoonists, Musa Kart, has spent five months in prison and even though he was released under judicial supervision, still faces up to 29 years in jail. The Cartoonists Rights Network International has issued a statement describing the trial as “an embarrassing effort on the part of the Turkish government to further disappoint its own people”.

The most difficult profession in Turkey is journalism. Since the bloody coup attempt in 2016, more than 160 media outlets have been shut down and a widespread purge was introduced. With more than 150 journalists in prison, Turkey has surpassed China’s sad record, becoming the world’s leading jailer for journalists. Many more have been blacklisted, sacked, stigmatised, or had passports confiscated.

The cases against academics are equally worrying. Academic freedoms are being destroyed one by one. More than 4,000 academics have been expelled from universities throughout the country. Those who were signatories to a peace declaration in 2016 have lost their jobs, with no chance of finding a job at another Turkish university; many are being prosecuted and prevented from travelling abroad. One of the most disturbing arrests was of Osman Kavala, a leading human rights and peace activist, businessman and philanthropist who is greatly respected by democrats, liberals and minorities in Turkey.

With self-censorship increasingly widespread, there is far less civil public debate. Across social media and mainstream media almost every week someone new is being targeted, attacked, lynched. The International Press Institute (IPI) is looking into more than 2,000 separate cases of online abuse in Turkey directly targeting journalists.

The impact of all this on women’s rights is enormous. When countries go backwards and slide into populism, authoritarianism and nationalism, women have more to lose than men. Today some of Turkey’s biggest fights for democracy are carried out by women.

In 2016 the Turkish government put forward a bill that pardoned child rapists if they agreed to marry their underage victims. The MPs who came up with this abominable idea were clearly more interested in preserving an abstract notion of “family honour” than the lives of millions of women and girls. In the face of widespread reaction from the public, the bill was put on the backburner.

But the same MPs were eventually able to pass another bill that allowed muftis, religious officials, to perform civil marriages. In a country where one out of every three marriages involves a child bride, this is a very dangerous development. It will increase the number of child brides and cases of polygamy. It will enable conservative/religious families to marry off their daughters at a younger age and without any supervision. When multiple women’s organisations expressed their concern about the bill, and women took to the streets to protest, President Erdogan said that it would be passed “whether you like it or not.”

Women’s rights have been melting away. Meanwhile Islamist newspapers are running pieces against women’s shelters

Domestic violence against women is escalating at a frightening rate and there is no investment in women’s shelters. The government’s rhetoric is based on the sanctity of motherhood and the sanctity of marriage. Under the AKP, women’s rights have been melting away. Meanwhile Islamist newspapers are running pieces against women’s shelters and some organisations are launching petitions to make women travel in “female priority” carriages on trains. Women-only pink buses are already running in several cities.

Gender segregation will neither lessen sexual harassment nor provide a solution to the cycle of violence. “When women go to police or the prosecutor for protection, they are either sent back home, they try to reconcile [couples] or they receive a protection order only on paper,” says Gulsum Kav, of the We Will Stop Femicide organisation.

Equally alarming are the changes in the education system: in the new curriculum Darwinism will not be taught. In the early 2000s around 60,000 students attended imam hatip schools, designed to train Muslim preachers. Today that number is 1.2 million. In order to avoid the Islamicisation of the national education system, the families who can afford it send their children to private schools. and the percentage of children in private education has increased from 7% to 20 %. There is also a sad exodus under way, and Turkey is experiencing a brain drain like never before.

Many academics, intellectuals, activists, journalists, liberals and secularists are leaving the country. But many more remain. And they try to keep their spirits up. Turkey’s civil society is far in advance of its government and Turkey’s women are clearly not giving up the fight for their rights.

This is still a country of mesmerising contrasts, brave and beautiful souls. But now, more than a decade after The Bastard of Istanbul was first published, it is heartbreaking to see that nations do not necessarily learn from their mistakes. History does not necessarily move forward. Sometimes it goes backwards. Turkey, once regarded as a glowing bridge between Europe and the Middle East, and a role model for the entire Muslim world, has become an undemocratic and an unhappy country.

 Reading Europe – Turkey: The Bastard of Istanbul is on Radio 4 on 21 and 28 January at 3pm.


#285 Yervant1


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Posted 15 January 2018 - 10:01 AM

Maybe the rats are turning against each other!

Lragir, Armenia

Jan 14 2018
Erdogan Gave Away Azerbaijan: Putin's Stunning Statement
Hakob Badalyan, Political Commentator
 Sunday, 14 January 2018, 00:13
Turkey is not standing behind the drone attack at the Russian military base in Syria, the Russian president Putin said. He said they know who attacked, who were the sponsors, who produced the drones.
The attack on the Russian military base Khmeimim was on December 31, causing victims, as well as destruction of jets and helicopters. The Russian military announced that on January 5 and 5 they confronted an attack.
Earlier, at the end of the past year the Russian president visited the Russian military base in Syria and the withdrawal of personnel from Syria started. Afterwards Putin left for Turkey. And before the withdrawal of troops there was the Trump-Putin statement on their commitment to stability in Syria.
After this statement the Turkish president left for a meeting with the Russian president, and a few days later the presidents of Iran and Turkey met with Putin in Sochi. A few months earlier Iran, Turkey and Russia started the three-party Astana process to stabilize Syria involving Assad’s government and armed opposition. An agreement was reached in the Astana process to create demilitarized zones.
Did the joint Trump-Putin statement and agreement contradict the agreements of the Astana process? It is hard to tell. However, afterwards the presidents of Turkey and Iran left for a meeting with Putin, either to demand or to learn more.
Afterwards Putin announced about victory in Syria and withdrawal of troops, left for Syria to start the withdrawal and immediately left for Turkey.
At the same time, the strike on the Russian military base on December 31 overran with the unrest in Iran that started on December 28 for which the Iranian government blamed the United States and Israel. The United States and Israel supported the demonstrators in high-level statements.
Along with the developments in Iran the Russian military base was hit in Syria. In addition, the Russian ministry of defense confirmed the strike much later than it had appeared in the Russian press. The news was published by the Kommersant.
The Russian military base was stricken from the demilitarized zone agreed with Iran and Turkey by the Astana process.
In addition, on January 1 the spokesperson for the Russian president Peskov announced that the Russian president and the Israeli prime minister agreed to meet and discuss important issues soon. Peskov did not tell other details. Was this agreement of the Russian and Israeli leaders determined by the developments in Iran or the strike to the Russian military base in Syria? Or maybe both?
Who needed or who might need to strike Russia in this situation? Information came that the Russian military base was stricken from the area controlled by Turkey. On the eve there was a telephone conversation between the presidents of Russia and Turkey and today Putin announces that Turkey did not strike. He says they know who did but they do not say who. In addition, Ankara made another gesture to Moscow, arresting the person who organized the murder of the Russian ambassador. When the Russian plane was stricken at the border of Syria and Turkey, Putin announced, at the start of the Russian-Turkish reconciliation following the breakup that it was not Ankara but a hand that wished to harm the Russian-Turkish relations and friendship.
Moscow said almost the same thing when the Russian ambassador was killed in Ankara. It was not Turkey. Did Erdogan bring forceful arguments to Putin or has the Russian president appeared in Erdogan’s trap? Or maybe Putin catches Erdogan in a trap by way of accepting all the strikes directed at Russia, demanding some expensive concessions in return for silence.
The situation is strange. At the same time, it is interesting that Putin says to know the “producers” of drones. The point is that a limited number of countries produce combat drones: the United States, Israel, China, Canada.
Of course, the list of buyers of combat drones is longer. Among them is Azerbaijan which has bought drones from Israel. By the way, it is known that Azerbaijan supplies ammunition to the Syrian militants, including ISIS. The scandalous investigation was published in the Bulgarian press.
Of course, Putin would hardly hint to Azerbaijan but after the conversation with Erdogan the Russian president makes an interesting statement without a visible target. It will be interesting if it turns out that Erdogan has given away Azerbaijan. By the way, the Putin-Netanyahu meeting announced on January 1 has not taken place yet.


#286 Yervant1


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Posted 29 January 2018 - 12:13 PM

Ahval News

Jan 28 2018
The debris of history: Christians and Arabs of the Ottoman Empire


Jan 28 2018


With the 1913 Treaty of London, signed between the victorious Balkan League nations and the Ottoman Empire, the Turks lost not only the Balkans, but also the Christians and Arabs living in the Middle East as well.

These factions had not been successfully assimilated to that of the Ottoman Empire for centuries, and following the successes of the new nation states, it was almost impossible for these Middle Eastern counterparts to the Balkan League to acquiesce the sultanate anymore.

The Young Turks were especially wary of Hellenism spreading from western Anatolia and the Black Sea regions to central Anatolia since the Greeks at the time were both economically stronger and more literate than the Turks.

Another significant minority within the Ottoman Empire with financial means were the Armenians. The Young Turks believed these two Christian factions threatened the existence and power of the state, and their presence was a direct result of the tolerance of the previous Ottoman governments. The Young Turks maintained that, with the influence of the Germans, the Christian minorities that were slowly becoming an economic and political power would eventually seize control of the state.

After the Second Balkan War, ended in 1913 a decision to destroy all Christian elements in Ottoman society and to seize and confiscate their wealth was made. A systematic plan to achieve this goal was implemented. Towards the autumn of 1913, local militias started to form.

While the militias were gearing up for possible clashes, the local inhabitants were subjected to intense propaganda against the Christian minorities. Journalists wrote inflammatory articles to radicalise the public. Huseyin Kazim, a member of the pan-Islamist association, wrote:

“The existence of such infidels among us is an abscess for us and is a curse for our religion. Every relationship with them is a stain for us, and every connection is spiritual calamity ...

Regardless of the standing of any Christian, for us, he is blind just because he is a Christian; and he lacks human dignity just because he is a Christian."

Every possible method was employed to incite hatred against Christians, especially the Greeks. The state spread propaganda that as long as these Christian elements remained, Turkish people were destined to be poor, Muslims were doomed to live without safety or dignity, and the Turkish state was under tremendous danger.

The counties that seceded were coloured black on maps, and those maps were hung on school walls marked with the word; revenge. The clergy and government mouthpieces spread vengeful and hateful rhetoric across the country.

The attacks launched against the Greeks in 1914 would target the Armenians a year later.

For the armed forces, Pan-Turanism almost became a new denomination; lower-ranking officers were taught Pan-Turanist theories. For the Turkish Unionists, it was clear as day that the Arabs, who had resisted assimilation for centuries, could not be spared either. According to this mindset, Arabs, who evidently could not be Turkified, had to be humiliated with a huge blow to stop them from seceding.

The Arabs had never accepted Turkish rule and always demanded autonomy. They considered themselves as a noble race, being the proprietors of Islam and proud of the fact that the Quran was revealed in their language.

The abuses of Turkish officials who did not know Arabic or Arab culture angered many Arabs. Security forces suppressed all Arab protests with extreme force.

Among the Arabic-speaking regions, Syria stuck out like a sore thumb for the Turks. Syria had a wealthy class that was in correspondence with the politicians and business people of European countries. Christians and Muslims living in Syria wanted to build and maintain a harmonious system for themselves in line with their multicultural past. The Turkish Unionists were bitter and annoyed of these attempts to secede and were waiting for an opportunity to implement their anti-Christian and anti-Arab policies in Syria.

The unionists had no intention of granting autonomy to the Arabs even at the expense of losing the hearts and minds of Arabs altogether. Lebanon, which had gained autonomous status with the support of the French, was the first target of the Turkish Unionists.

Lebanon's autonomous status was abolished on Nov. 1, 1916, and the Christian administrator Ohannes Kuyumcuyan was removed to be replaced by Pan-Turkist Ali Munif. Istanbul deputy Salih Cimgöz said: "Lebanon become a part Turkey instead of being a cyst on (the Empire’s) body."

The seizure of animals in Lebanon accompanied with a shortage of seed, resulted in mass starvation. On March 10, 1917, during a congressional meeting, Lebanon deputy Emir Adil, speaking of the deaths of thousands, said:

"We consider no difference between dynamite or bread when it comes to Lebanon and Beirut. For example, it is forbidden to transfer even one okka (about 1280 grams) of flour. "

The Ottoman government also seized camels in Syria, making it impossible to transfer trade goods to Lebanon.

Cemal Pasha, who played the leading role in the oppression of the Arabs, threatened bankers and merchants to keep the paper money and gold on par. When he rejected U.S. aid to the region, a large part of the population quickly vanished. Cemal Pasha persecuted leaders in Syria, especially those holding higher positions in local governments and the educated. Abdulhamit Zohravi, a member of the delegation of Ayan, and former deputy, Sefik al-Mawyid, was among 36 people executed on the orders of Cemal Pasha during this period. The families and relatives of those convicted were exiled from Syria to Anatolia, hence, wiping out the local leaders of the Syrian people.

Their crime, according to the military courts, was “forming an underground organisation”. The activity of the organisation was determined to be establishing relations with British and French diplomats in order to gain autonomy for Syria. Military courts were closed to the public, they did not allow defendants to bring their own counsel, and verdicts were immediately carried out.

When Mecca's Amir Hussain Pasha's son, Faisal, made a plea to Cemal Pasha on behalf of prisoners, Cemal Pasha not only declined the request, but also ordered the arrest of Faisal for constituting a danger to the state.

Following these events, Mecca's Amir Hussein, a descendant of Prophet Muhammad, declared his independence in July 1916 and occupied a large part of the Hijaz region. Hussein afterward restated his commitment to the Caliphate and the Sultanate. His rebellion was against the Turkish Unionists and he cited Cemal Pasha's atrocities, including the persecution of the Christians.

Because of the security policies and the atrocities of Ottoman Empire officials, Arab warriors ended up cooperating with the British in Syria and Mesopotamia. Thus, the empire lost two of its sacred cities, slashing the clout of the caliphate in the region.

Strictly centralised, racist, nationalist and oppressive policies cost the empire those lands, but more importantly, it cost the empire the hearts and minds of the people living in those areas.

History, in some sense, keeps repeating itself. Those who are ignorant of the Ottoman Empire's history now found themselves pawns in the game of superpowers seeking to dominate and control the region.

Just like Walter Benjamin said, knowing about the past is crucial for freedom and liberty. But how we learn it is even more critical. Everything that happened in the past still constitutes a danger, but at the same time, atonement for what happened in the past is also possible.

Civilised societies are ones able to solve their problems by compromise and reconciliation. Uncivilised societies, on the contrary, keep trying to solve their problems through violence.

The unjust world system that is standing on the violence created by the hegemons of the world proves that humanity has yet to emerge from its primitive state and has yet to civilise.

Turkey and the world continue to be a hell for those with tender hearts.

#287 Yervant1


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Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:46 PM

News.am, Armenia
Feb 5 2018
Politician with Armenian roots reelected Turkey main opposition party leader
14:38, 05.02.2018


Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has been reelected chairman of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

At the CHP regular general congress, party MP Muharrem İnce and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu ran the post of CHP Chairman, according to Cumhuriyet newspaper of Turkey.

As a result of the congress delegates’ voting, İnce and Kılıçdaroğlu received 447 and 790 votes, respectively, and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was once again declared chairman of the CHP. 

Kılıçdaroğlu was born in Tunceli—formerly Dersim—Province of Turkey. According to the Turkish press, his mother is Armenian. Kılıçdaroğlu has not refuted the questions on whether his mother is Armenian, and has said that his mother’s nationality does not matter. 

“My mother may very well be Armenian,” he had stated, in particular.


#288 Johannes



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Posted 06 February 2018 - 02:07 PM

News.am, Armenia
Feb 5 2018
Politician with Armenian roots reelected Turkey main opposition party leader

14:38, 05.02.2018


Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has been reelected chairman of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
At the CHP regular general congress, party MP Muharrem İnce and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu ran the post of CHP Chairman, according to Cumhuriyet newspaper of Turkey.
As a result of the congress delegates’ voting, İnce and Kılıçdaroğlu received 447 and 790 votes, respectively, and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was once again declared chairman of the CHP. 
Kılıçdaroğlu was born in Tunceli—formerly Dersim—Province of Turkey. According to the Turkish press, his mother is Armenian. Kılıçdaroğlu has not refuted the questions on whether his mother is Armenian, and has said that his mother’s nationality does not matter. 
“My mother may very well be Armenian,” he had stated, in particular.

What's the meaning of saying "politician with Armenian roots"?

#289 Johannes



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Posted 06 February 2018 - 02:13 PM

Նա իսկական թուրք է, քեմալական, Քեմալի եւ Իսմէթ Ինէօնուի հիմնած կուսակցութեան ղեկավարը…թուրք բանակի Սուրիոյ Աֆրին շրջանի դէմ գործողութեան՝ Էրդողանի որոշումին սատար կանգնեցաւ։

Եթէ թուրք մը, ցեղասպանութեան տարիներուն առեւանգած է որբ, մինուճար հայ աղջիկ մը, այդ աղջիկէն ծնած թուրքը հայկական արմա՞տ կունենայ։
Այո։ Ճիշտ էք։ Բայց շատ անհամ, անիմաստ եւ անտեղի։ Նրա հայկական արմատ ունենալը ոչինչ իմաստ ունի։ Ինչպէս նշեցի՝ նա իսկական թուրք է, ինչպէս միւս թուրքերն են։
Նրա հայկական «արմատ» ունենալը հայութեան եւ Հայաստանին որեւէ առաւելութիւն չի հաղորդեր։

#290 Yervant1


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Posted 06 February 2018 - 04:24 PM

What's the meaning of saying "politician with Armenian roots"?

It just means that, nothing more. If you look at the thread where I posted should have answered your question, it's under the humor section, he himself says it at the end "My mother may very well be Armenian" so he doesn't care neither do I.  


I know very well this party which is called "Turkiye Halk Partisi" and what they did!, 

All this thread is about Turkish lies and propaganda also for ridicule which is what I meant.

Edited by Yervant1, 06 February 2018 - 04:31 PM.

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#291 Yervant1


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Posted 17 February 2018 - 08:54 AM

Agence France Presse
February 15, 2018 Thursday 4:08 PM GMT

German Turks to sue AfD on 'camel drivers' slur

Berlin, Feb 15 2018

A Turkish group in Germany said Thursday it was taking legal action
against a lawmaker of the far-right AfD who defamed the ethnic
minority as "camel drivers".

The latest controversy sparked by the anti-immigration Alternative for
Germany party came as Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was
Thursday due to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel on a visit aimed at
healing frayed relations.

The AfD -- which entered Germany's parliament with almost 13 percent
of the vote last September -- often makes headlines with hate speech
before usually backing away from the most incendiary comments.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he condemned extremist
politicians who make "ruthlessness and hatred ... their strategy".

A lawmaker in the formerly communist eastern heartland of the party,
Andre Poggenburg, Wednesday attacked Turkish immigrants over criticism
of German plans for a new "homeland" ministry.

He said Germany needed no advice on its culture and history from Turks
who he said bore responsibility "for their own genocide", the mass
killings of Armenians in the World War I-era.

"Are they crazy?" he told several hundred mostly-male AfD supporters
in Nentmannsdorf, a village near Dresden.

"These camel drivers should go back to where they belong, far beyond
the Bosphorus, to their mud huts and multiple wives."

He also labelled dual passport holders with Turkish roots as "landless
rabble we don't want here anymore," sparking shouts of "deport them!"
from the crowd.

Gokay Sofuoglu, chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany
organisation, which represents the three-million-strong minority, said
it would take legal action under hate speech laws.

Prosecutors in Dresden said they had launched a preliminary investigation.

Poggenburg, the AfD leader in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, later
defended his comments as "pointed political satire" in the tradition
of Ash Wednesday when German politicians make gloves-off remarks about
each other.

- 'True face' -

The slur comes at a time when Germany and Turkey are seeking to
restore ties after Berlin's strong criticism of a mass crackdown after
a failed 2016 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Yildirim said on Wednesday he hoped that a jailed German-Turkish
journalist, Deniz Yucel, would soon be freed, which would remove a
major .

On his way to Berlin he told Turkish journalists that "I hope we will
overcome the problems we have encountered and open a new chapter".

Poggenburg's comments were widely condemned in Germany, with even AfD
national leader Joerg Meuthen saying they "clearly went too far and
should not have been made".

A regional politician of the far-left Die Linke party, Rico Gebhardt,
said the language was like that of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph
Goebbels and was "inexcusable and a shame for a civilised country".

The state premier of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, said the AfD was
showing its "true face".

And Social Democratic lawmaker Johannes Kahrs suggested the AfD be
placed under surveillance by the domestic security service BfV which
monitors radical groups.

The controversy follows public anger against another AfD member, Peter
Boehringer of Bavaria state, who in a foul-worded group email
allegedly branded Merkel a prostitute.

The AfD was launched at the height of Europe's sovereign debt crisis
in 2013 on an anti-euro platform, but from 2015 turned its anger
against a mass influx of mostly Muslim asylum-seekers.

At Wednesday's event, reported Die Welt daily, one of its most
extremist members, Bjoern Hoecke, openly greeted supporters of the
street movement PEGIDA, short for Patriotic Europeans Against the
Islamisation of the Occident.

#292 Yervant1


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Posted 19 February 2018 - 10:12 AM

Sputnik, Russia
Feb 18 2018
Erdogan Won’t Like It: Netherlands to Recognize 1915 Armenian Genocide
© REUTERS/ Hannibal Hanschke

On Thursday, the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the bicameral Netherlands parliament, approved two motions recognizing the atrocity known as the Armenian genocide of 1915.

One of the motions states that Tweede Kamer "recognizes the Armenian genocide," while the other motion states that the Dutch minister or Dutch Secretary of State will attend an upcoming genocide commemoration in Armenia in April. 

According to ANP, the motions will likely frustrate an already tense relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands particularly as The Hague prohibited Turkish ministers from campaigning in the Netherlands for a previous Ankara referendum that successfully awarded the increasingly autocratic Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, additional executive powers in the country.

Both of motions in the Netherlands were submitted by Christin Union parliamentarian Joel Voordewind. All four coalition parties in the Netherlands are in support of the motions.

"We cannot deny history out of fear of sanctions. Our country houses the capital of international law after all, so we must not be afraid to do the right thing here too," Dutch politician Joël Voordewind said Friday. 

In 1915, hundreds of thousands of Armenians, including women and children, were murdered by the Ottoman Empire, the precursor nation to modern-day Turkey. According to Ankara, the genocide was not premeditated, as the Turkish government continues to mount claims that Armenians were a danger because they were fighting alongside Russia, an enemy at the time.

As a result, whenever countries, blocs, organizations or prominent global citizens recognize the Armenian genocide, Ankara cries foul.

According to RTL Nieuws, when Germany officially recognized the Armenian genocide, there were what are now considered to be state-sponsored protests in Turkey.

Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic church, recently referred to the 1915 Armenian genocide as the first large-scale massacre of the 20th century, The event resulted in a souring of the relationship between Ankara and the Vatican.


#293 Yervant1


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Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:57 AM

Erdogan, a Menace to the World, Should be Stopped Before it’s Too Late
11 hours ago

Harut Sassounian


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become a major danger to his own nation as well as many others. His actions and statements in recent years should seriously worry his neighbors and the entire world.

The last tyrant ignored by the international community was the genocidal butcher Adolf Hitler who unleashed World War II, invading scores of countries and killing millions of people. Regrettably, Western leaders have tried to appease Erdogan, thereby creating a monster! Strangely, some in the Islamic world treat him with respect, while many Western countries consider Turkey as one of their key allies. To make matters worse, Russia is also trying to win Erdogan over, to distance him from the West and NATO.

A vivid example of Erdogan’s unfit mental state is his recent bizarre public statement posted on the Turkish President’s website, titled: “Turkey is the Standard-Bearer of the Global Fight for Justice.”

No one in their right mind would make such a deceptive statement. Turkey is the last country in the world to be described as “the standard bearer of the global fight for justice.” With hundreds of journalists and tens of thousands of professors, lawyers, judges, and public employees in jail, how can Pres. Erdogan make such a false claim? Besides the current injustices perpetrated on the Turkish people, Erdogan also denies massive past injustices such as the genocide against Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians.

Earlier this month, during a speech at the AK Party’s Eskisehir Provincial Congress, Pres. Erdogan shamelessly announced: “Turkey is also the standard-bearer of the global fight for justice. Turkey is a safe haven for the oppressed and a nightmare for the oppressors.” If Turkey is such a ‘safe haven,’ why so many Turks are trying to escape from the country and seeking asylum in Europe? Why is the Turkish government issuing arrest warrants for the escapees and pressuring European countries to extradite Turkish journalists, intellectuals and human rights activists?

Appointing himself as a world leader, Erdogan has cast a wide net, meddling in the internal affairs of many countries, near and far: “Turkey is the hope for our Crimean brothers and sisters, the oppressed of Turkestan [Turkic people in Central Asia] and our friends from Caucasia, Sarajevo and Africa.” Erdogan goes on to affirm: “If we stumble, Al-Quds [Jerusalem] will fall, Palestine, Rakhine [region in Myanmar] and Somalia will fall.”

Several days after Erdogan’s pompous speech, Turkish opposition journalist Uzay Bulut wrote a critical commentary in The Washington Times, titled: “Turkey’s violence-tinged foreign policy.”

Uzay reminded readers that “the Ottoman Empire’s occupation of vast lands and Islam’s flag of conquest still influence Turkey’s foreign policy, including its invasions and ethnic cleansings.”

The prominent Turkish commentator specifically cited Erdogan’s interventionist policies in Northern Syria (Afrin) and Cyprus. Uzay mentioned that Turkey, having illegally occupied Northern Cyprus since 1974, now threatens what remains of the Republic of Cyprus. Erdogan declared: “Cyprus’ courage will only last ‘until they see our army, our ships and our planes.’” Turkey has ignored dozens of UN Security Council resolutions asking for the withdrawal of its troops from Northern Cyprus.

Erdogan also warned the European companies that are exploring gas fields in Eastern Mediterranean, in the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus. Uzay wrote that earlier this month “Turkish warships blocked a rig belonging to the Italian energy firm ENI from reaching Cypriot waters to start exploring for gas.”

Erdogan admitted his expansionist policies drawing parallels between Afrin, Cyprus and the Greek islands of the Aegean which are frequent targets of Turkish threats and demands. Erdogan brazenly declared: “Whatever Afrin is to us, our rights in the Aegean and Cyprus are the same. Do not ever think that the natural gas exploration in the waters of Cyprus and the opportunistic attempts in the Aegean Sea drop off from our radar.”

Going to more extremes, Yigit Bulut, one of Erdogan’s principal advisers, boastfully threatened Greece over the islet of Imia, which Turks call ‘Kardak.’ He warned: “Athens will face the wrath of Turkey worse than that in Afrin. We will break the arms and legs of officials of the [Greek] Prime Minister and any minister who dares to step on the Kardak islet in the Aegean. There is not an armed force in this region that could contend against the Turkish armed forces. So, everyone will know their place. All imperialists will accept that the people in this land are Turks and the nation in this land is Islamic ummah [nation] and they will kiss the hand that they cannot bend.”

Commentator Uzay reported that Erdogan himself threatened Cyprus with yet another military invasion: “Just as we disrupt the plots [in Syria] through Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch, and soon in Manbij and other regions, we can and we will disrupt the plots of those who engage in miscalculations on our southern border. Our warships and air force are keeping an eye on the area in order to intervene in any way whenever required.”

Turkey’s neighbors should be aware that Erdogan is intending to recover the Ottoman territories. He openly threatened: “Those who think that we’ve erased from our hearts the lands from which we withdrew in tears a hundred years ago are wrong.”

At the end of his article, Uzay rightly pointed out that the Western countries are mostly responsible for Erdogan’s out of control behavior: “The global inaction in response to Turkish aggression encourages Mr. Erdogan, the president of a so-called “ally” of the West, to threaten Cyprus with yet another military assault…. What enables him to get away with his intimidating rhetoric and ongoing hostility is the apparent weakness and confusion of the West in the face of violent Turkish supremacism.”

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#294 Yervant1


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Posted 02 March 2018 - 11:13 AM

Stupidity has no limits, ErDOGan just proved it!

Armenpress News Agency, Armenia

February 27, 2018 Tuesday

Garo Paylan slams Erdogan's "girl martyr" comment

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 27, ARMENPRESS. Ethnic Armenian lawmaker of Turkey
from the HDP party Garo Paylan has criticized President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan for his “girl martyr” comment.

“What is this cruelty. And the applaud……mass madness is continuing,”
Paylan said on Twitter and posted a video showing the comments of the
Turkish president.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticized after
telling a girl in military uniform that she would be honored if killed
while fighting.

"If she's martyred, they'll lay a flag on her," he told the sobbing
girl at a televised congress of his AK Party.

In the event, broadcast live on state television, the young girl
dressed as a soldier seems to catch the attention of Mr Erdogan, who
then invites her to the stage.

The speech has been described as "child abuse" and a glorification of
death, BBC reported.

"Look what you see here! Girl, what are you doing here? We have our
maroon berets here, but maroon berets never cry," he told her,
referring to the beret worn by the Turkish Special Operations Forces.

"She has a Turkish flag in her pocket too... If she's martyred,
they'll lay a flag on her, God willing," he said during the congress
in the southern town of Kahramanmaras on Saturday.

"She is ready for everything, isn't she?" The girl replied: "Yes." The
crowd applauded and cheered afterwards.

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan


#295 Yervant1


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Posted 14 March 2018 - 08:16 AM

Panorama, Armenia
March 13 2018
Politics 11:49 13/03/2018 Region
Paylan criticizes Erdogan for making “Grey Wolves” sign

Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish parliament representing the opposition People's Democratic Party (HDP) criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for making a hand gesture associated with a Turkish extremist group known as the Grey Wolves at a meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Ermenihaber reports the Grey Wolves is the youth wing of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which is now an ally of Erdogan’s AKP.

“Do not be angry with MHP and AKP. We were warning you. Today, Erdogan revealed what was already known. Where have we reached?” Paylan twitted.

Erdogan made the “Grey Wolves'' sign while reciting the slogan: “One nation, one flag, one state, one homeland." 


#296 Yervant1


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Posted 19 March 2018 - 09:12 AM

March 18 2018
A pro-Erdoğan Turkish hacker team is behind cyber attacks in Europe

A Turkish hacker, Arslan A. (alias Osman T., aka General Osman), living in Kentucky, U.S. and a member of Turkish nationalist group Lion Soldiers Team (ANT) was behind in a string of cyber attacks on the Vienna Airport, Austrian National Bank, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Defense, and the Federal Army in Fall 2016 according to Austrian Intelligence.

Cosimo Mortola, a threat intelligence analyst with the cybersecurity company Fireeye, talking to Vice News, defined ANT as “ the most prominent hacker group in Turkey”. 

ANT has emerged as a prominent hacking group as of 2015. The groups subscribes to the understanding of Turkish-Islamist nationalism espoused by Turkey’s president Erdoğan.

The available physical evidence does not indicate a direct link between ANT and the Turkish government, yet there may be overlaps between ANT’s targets and Erdoğan’s and his ruling party’s policies and rhetorics according to analysts. 

In the last three years, ANT has organised attacks against Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands. It has also targeted Armenia, Iraq, Israel, and the U.S. 

Zenonas Tziarras, a researcher at the University of Cyprus said “ANT may have some connection to the Turkish government given that they claim to be defending the Turkish nation and Islam, something that resembles very much the current government’s ideological rhetoric”.

“[These] attacks seem to be planned and executed by hacker teams/groups that act alone either based on nationalist feelings or just to take advantage of the current political situation,” Turkish cybersecurity expert Alper Basaran told to Vice News. 


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