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#61 aurguplu

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Posted 18 June 2001 - 11:05 AM

paul

i dont know much about tigranakert, so i am not in a position to reply.

my point was - still is - the fact that an enormous amount of stuff still survives in excellent condition, and a good deal of it has always been on the surface, which means turks could have destroyed/exploited them if they wanted. the fact that they didn't is to their credit.

also, not all destruction was recent, and not all of it was turkish in origin: in my hometown of urgup (cappadocia) there are about four hundred rock-cut churches in an area of aout ten square miles. to the best of my knowledge this is one of the highest concentrations of churches in a single area in the world. now the churches have frescoes in them, in many cases severely damaged. there are three types of destruction visible:

1. the uppermost layer. this is the most recent type of vandalism, and is in the form of tourist inscriptions "kilroy was here" in a myriad languages (which include most european tongues, incl. greek).

2. the middle layer. this is in the form of litte dents on the surface of the frescoes and the gouged-out eyes. this was done by the local turkish peasants in the 1940s (some twenty years after the local greeks were expelled in the population exchange with the greeks) after two or three years of exceptionally severe draughts. a local imam (muslim priest) said "how do you expect god's forgiveness (fancy term for rain) to fall upon this ground when it is littered with so many infidel churches with engraved images in them?" and the population gathered pebbles and went into the churches to "stone satan". this is still called "şeytan taşlamak" (stoning satan) in the area. the authorities did make life very difficult for the peasants once they found out about it, and now they are protecting them very efficiently, but the damage is done.

3. the first layer. this is the oldest episode of the destruction, and it was perpetrated by .... guess who? the local greeks themselves. it is in the form of entire pieces of frescoes hacked out of the inner surface of the walls, with an accompanying inscription next to them giving the name of the perpetrator and the date and reason of the deed. you see, the local greeks believed that the frescoes had magical properties and a potion made of them would cure all ills! this had given more damage than the other two forms of vandalism combined.


back to stepanakert: i don't know what happened to it, but believe me, it would be too hasty a decision to conclude that the turks destroyed it before you have evidence. the byzantine greeks might have done it (that they destroyed other armenian settlements is well known) the persians might have done it, the kurds might have done it, even a rival armenian faction might have done it! none of these are things that didn't happen in anatolia.

thorny rose

the thing about secret schools etc. are rubbish (they might have existed, but not because greek was suppressed). greek was even used as a state language by the ottoman empire, and most dragomans (translators) of the empire, who were so powerful then, were greek. there is no end to the amount of greek printed matter from the ottoman period still found in the bookseller shops in istanbul.

raffi

come to think of it, i think you are right.

steve

with all due respect - and the good points in your arguments re the marbles - don't you find that you sound a bit like a spokesman for the british museum? (no offence intended).

regards

#62 gamavor

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Posted 18 June 2001 - 01:39 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Paul bunyan:
instead of crude/bungler "restorations" of Ani the turks should give it back to the people its belongs to the Armenians.


If they start giving up lands, they should return half of so-called Turkey to the Greeks and the other half to the Armenians.
And ultimately should move back to Mongolia.
Realistically speaking, Turks will never give back the occupied lands. We must take them (if we need them), and I'm sure when the time comes that will happen. Peacefully.


Until then we will keep the turks in the "back yard"!

#63 ThornyRose

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Posted 18 June 2001 - 06:22 PM

quote:
Originally posted by gamavor:


If they start giving up lands, they should return half of so-called Turkey to the Greeks and the other half to the Armenians.
And ultimately should move back to Mongolia.
Realistically speaking, Turks will never give back the occupied lands. We must take them (if we need them), and I'm sure when the time comes that will happen. Peacefully.


Until then we will keep the turks in the "back yard"!



You're welcome to try to evict me out of my country, baby.

#64 gamavor

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Posted 19 June 2001 - 12:27 PM

Testamonium pauperatis!!!

#65 ThornyRose

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Posted 19 June 2001 - 07:58 PM

quote:
Originally posted by gamavor:
Testamonium pauperatis!!!


Well, your own logic is pretty pauperized, so I don't see how...
Oh and, yes, you are very cool..

#66 nairakev

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 04:15 AM

quote:
Originally posted by gamavor:


If they start giving up lands, they should return half of so-called Turkey to the Greeks and the other half to the Armenians.
And ultimately should move back to Mongolia.
Realistically speaking, Turks will never give back the occupied lands. We must take them (if we need them), and I'm sure when the time comes that will happen. Peacefully.


Until then we will keep the turks in the "back yard"!


Well, the funniest thing is that the idiots like you, still are countless among us.
I urge you to be realistic and more friendly to the past of Turkey and Armenia.
If you can't be friendly, than I'll be there to remind you that your purposes on Armenians demanding land reparations are just silly and baseless.

Get real, for a minute.
You've got 30.000sq km of land in Today's Armenia and it is unexplored and undeveloped.
I think it's enough to host all Armenians over there.
Personally, I think it's even to biig for us.
Try to make prosperous your everuday, thinking of future, instead of feeding your self with unrealistic and useless ideas about armenian lands in Turkey.
If turks should go back to Mongolia, where should Armenians go? Where were we before?
Hm, hard task to deal with, right?


[ June 21, 2001: Message edited by: Berj ]

#67 Boghos

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 05:44 AM

As many threads in our HyeForum, this one has touched a number of interesting issues connected to the original topic.

I think that we need to be realistic when it comes to conservation. Bear in mind that in Anakara´s ethnographic museum there is no mention of the Armenians. This is already an indication of the hostility that exists not only towards Armenians as citizens of the Ottoman Empire, of the Republic of Turkey and the diaspora, but also to the fact that Armenians are one of the melting pot ethnicities that conforms today´s Turkey.

It has been quite common throughout history for invaders and conquerors to destroy the conquered people´s physical wealth. How many Armenian churches are left in Anatolia ? How many pre-Christian monuments are left in Armenia ?

One cannot ascribe to Turks the "benevolent" character of "allowing" Greek as a language to exist to this day, that my dear Ali, is an arrogant and incorrect statement. The Ottoman Empore is credited with some sort of tolerant behaviour towards the cultural life of its conquered peoples. But imperialism is imperialism, its base is economic, not cultural. Cultural tolerance was simply smart realpolitik management.

Moreover, it is clear that there have been deliberate attempts to clear Anatolia of Armenian vestiges, no only the churches, but of course ancient sites as well. The Turkish Army has helped that effort quite a lot, but given the sheer number of these monuments and the fact that the Republic is hardly a model of organization many sites have survived, even though it is clear that the limited resources devoted to preservation are not equally shared among all the conforming ethnicities.

As a final thought, whenever I think of Turkey I think of my origins. Whenever I visit it I am reminded that however bloody and terrible our past is, as Armenians, that land and its culture is also ours. Most Armenians forget or deny that they are emigres from that country and that culture. That there is a religious divide is quite obvious, but there are so many similarities as well.

It is ridiculous and preposterous to have territorial claims. I think in any case that most Armenians do not want that. Personally, I wished that the Genocide issue would be resolved and that I could travel and stay for as long as I wanted in Anatolia. Such a beautiful land.

#68 aurguplu

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 06:38 AM

gamavor

naira's reply was excellent, but i feel compelled to add a few lines of my own:

i am one of the growing number of turks who are seeking to find some common ground between our two peoples who both share traumatic memories of the past.

in our efforts, we are meeting with very strong resistance from the old guard, who maintain that we are either traitors, or well-meaning but naive individuals who cannot see what the enemy (you) is really up to: carving up our land and throwing us out of it.

statements like yours play into their hands, make me wonder whether it is me or them who are right, and fill my heart with despair when i realise that guys like you end up in armenian politics.

our situation is a bit like that of the arabs and the israelis. both of us first have to accept that the other side is there and will stay there.

the second thing that we have to accept is that we are humans, not demons. man is as a wolf to other men, as the romans say, but that is human nature. it is confined neither to the armenians nor the turks.

the third thing we have to accept is internal diversity: i do not for a moment think that all armenians have the same attitude toward the turks, and expect the same from you.

the fourth thing we have to accept is dialogue is necessary, because the alternative to dialogue is warfare, and we don't want any more of that, do we? as cicero said: the worst peace is better than the best war.

regards,


regards,

#69 aurguplu

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 07:53 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Boghos:
As many threads in our HyeForum, this one has touched a number of interesting issues connected to the original topic.

I think that we need to be realistic when it comes to conservation. Bear in mind that in Anakara´s ethnographic museum there is no mention of the Armenians. This is already an indication of the hostility that exists not only towards Armenians as citizens of the Ottoman Empire, of the Republic of Turkey and the diaspora, but also to the fact that Armenians are one of the melting pot ethnicities that conforms today´s Turkey.

It has been quite common throughout history for invaders and conquerors to destroy the conquered people´s physical wealth. How many Armenian churches are left in Anatolia ? How many pre-Christian monuments are left in Armenia ?

One cannot ascribe to Turks the "benevolent" character of "allowing" Greek as a language to exist to this day, that my dear Ali, is an arrogant and incorrect statement. The Ottoman Empore is credited with some sort of tolerant behaviour towards the cultural life of its conquered peoples. But imperialism is imperialism, its base is economic, not cultural. Cultural tolerance was simply smart realpolitik management.

Moreover, it is clear that there have been deliberate attempts to clear Anatolia of Armenian vestiges, no only the churches, but of course ancient sites as well. The Turkish Army has helped that effort quite a lot, but given the sheer number of these monuments and the fact that the Republic is hardly a model of organization many sites have survived, even though it is clear that the limited resources devoted to preservation are not equally shared among all the conforming ethnicities.

As a final thought, whenever I think of Turkey I think of my origins. Whenever I visit it I am reminded that however bloody and terrible our past is, as Armenians, that land and its culture is also ours. Most Armenians forget or deny that they are emigres from that country and that culture. That there is a religious divide is quite obvious, but there are so many similarities as well.

It is ridiculous and preposterous to have territorial claims. I think in any case that most Armenians do not want that. Personally, I wished that the Genocide issue would be resolved and that I could travel and stay for as long as I wanted in Anatolia. Such a beautiful land.



dear boghos,

i agree with most of what you say. turkish museums ... well i dont want to talk about that much, it's obvious, and depressing. you might have noticed that byzantium is also equally absent from them. what a pity.

as for the churches, you are completely right, and it wasn't only the armenian churches. the greek and assyrian churches also suffered. thank god that now turks are taking a stance in these issues, and some of what is left is being restored (now i know that this has turned into a very unfortunate word in this forum).

the turkish army destroyed so much, it's not only the non-muslim, non-turkish past of the country, but a lot of the muslim stuff as well. until about twenty years ago, when i first started to collect old books, you could still find ottoman manuscripts in the old bazaar that smelled of earth. they were buried by the owners to save them from the government forces whose duty it was to confiscate and destroy everything written in the arabic script. poor mother anatolia, her sons made her suffer a lot.

re my arrogance. sorry, i didnt mean to offend. i do agree that it was part of ottoman realpolitik, but the thing is that the ottomans were capable of creating a political system that enabled them to incorporate the conquered peoples into the empire without having to resort to forced assimilation, whereas the europeans in africa, america and australia were not. in this respect they were superior to the europeans.

also, for all their blood-stained record, the ottomans were never incapable of recognising human beings as human geings, and in this respect they were miles ahead of the europeans and their offshoots the americans, whom it took four centuries to realise that people of other religions and races were as fully human as themselves. we can be blamed for many things, but racism isn't one of them. and i am not retreating from that position.

when i was a student in britain in 1989, the british customs refused entry to british subjects from hong-kong after the tienanmen square massacre. now hong-kongese british passports were no different from other british passports, and when a customs officer was asked on what grounds they refused entry to these british subjects, the reply was something like "well they have slit eyes, dont they?".

in fact, i sincerely believe that if the german influence in the ottoman empire weren't so strong then, there would not have been an armenian genocide. the fact that the genocide targeted an ethnicity and sought to eliminate the bulk of the armenians, and not only the offenders, gives it an almost "racial" character in my eyes. and it is one of the first things that we imported from the west. one is left without words.

i cannot wait until the germans open up their own ww1 archives re the armenians. it will be a shock not only for the turks, but the germans, too!

i think this post has been kind of mixed up a bit. apologies to all readers.

[ June 20, 2001: Message edited by: aurguplu ]

#70 aurguplu

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 07:59 AM

dear boghos,

what city were your ancestors from?

regards,

ali suat

#71 Kazza

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 08:41 AM

quote:
Originally posted by gamavor:


If they start giving up lands, they should return half of so-called Turkey to the Greeks and the other half to the Armenians.
And ultimately should move back to Mongolia.
Realistically speaking, Turks will never give back the occupied lands. We must take them (if we need them), and I'm sure when the time comes that will happen. Peacefully.


Until then we will keep the turks in the "back yard"!



Gamavor, I din't expect this from you. It was very cruel... and the response following it was just uncalled for, there was no real reason for saying that. Are you saying all (many just innocent) Turkish people deserve to be kept in the "back yard" as you say, for things that happenned before many of the people alive today were born???? Judging from a set of evil people(grey wolves)that happenned to belong in the same ethnic group as them??? How is it their fault? There are plenty racist Armenian thugs out there dont forget, you would not like to be put in the same category with them as well would you? If you are intelligent you should use it.

[ June 20, 2001: Message edited by: Kazza ]

[ June 20, 2001: Message edited by: Kazza ]

#72 Berj

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 08:51 AM

quote:
Originally posted by naira:

Didn't you know that Armenians appeared there after Urartian civilization. Where were we before?
Hm, hard task to deal with, right?



Naira,
Expressing my agreement with your assesment of Armenian claims of the Armenian lands in Turkey (with some reservations regarding the Kars Treaty) I would urge you not to talk about things you don't have a clue about. You have stated several times that you don't like to talk about history. Please, do so.

#73 Boghos

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 09:03 AM

Dear Ali,

Thanks for your post. I have no doubt that the Ottoman Empire had its virtues, and you are quite right that European ethnocentrism is even more appalling than what Ottomans promoted.

My point is that I am not sure of what this really proves. It is sometimes used to promote a sense of pride among Turks,
in other words, the anti-barbarian argument. My sense is that it is not necessary. I understand how many Turks are quite on the defensive. I think that Ataturks efforts to shake out the feeling of defeatism brought about by the empire´s demise have promoted a kind of sick paranoid nationalism. If you add to that: the Cold War, neighbours and an inability to move towards a non-Ataturkian pluralism, you get Turkey´s current political environment.

Turkish nationalism shifts the whole political spectrum to the right. It is a very interesting political case, unlike most proto-democracies that I am aware of. Where else would you have an avenue named to a fascist leader ?

Accepting the Genocide will only be another step, among various other that will show a major progress towards democracy in Turkey. Armenians have been a good scapegoat for Turkish politicians and mass media.

If Turkey were really smart about the Genocide it should open its consulates to all descendents of deported Armenians and welcome them with citizenship rights, if they wish to pursue their claims, let them do it in Turkish courts, as citizens of the Republic.

Now it is my turn to apologize for so many ideas thrown around.

#74 ThornyRose

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 10:03 AM

Boghosinho, when are you coming here? :))))

#75 nairakev

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 11:04 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Berj:


Naira,
Expressing my agreement with your assesment of Armenian claims of the Armenian lands in Turkey (with some reservations regarding the Kars Treaty) I would urge you not to talk about things you don't have a clue about. You have stated several times that you don't like to talk about history. Please, do so.



Berj,
Please, hang up!

#76 Berj

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 11:21 PM

quote:
Originally posted by naira:

Berj,
Please, hang up!



Naira,
The phone or what? Anyway you called first

#77 gamavor

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 01:09 PM

Naira,

I would suggest to you to read my original message very, very, carefully.

To Ali and Thorny Whatever... Sorry, I don't talk with turks.

#78 ThornyRose

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 07:04 PM

quote:
Originally posted by gamavor:
Naira,

I would suggest to you to read my original message very, very, carefully.

To Ali and Thorny Whatever... Sorry, I don't talk with turks.



Poor little [to put it lightly] "generalizing maniac" gamavor... Better to cop out than to confront, no?How else to cover up cowardice and account for it?
Well, I talk with everyone. I am a citizen of this world... And what are you? A noble Armenian?

#79 aurguplu

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Posted 20 June 2001 - 10:37 PM

thorny

in every sphere of life you will encounter people who refuse to talk to you because of this reason or that. there is nothing that you can do about it other than walk away and talk to those who talk to you.

this is what we do with the turkish likes of gamavor in our groups that tackle the armenian issue, for instance: we have a few such types (you must have all sorts of people in a pluralistic dialogue) and we have experienced that they tend to block certain dialogues and refuse to participate in others, and admonish us against "having too much contact with the enemy". o.k. they just don't get invited to about half of the talks, and we carry on our conversation with people who talk to the armenians. let's get that sorted out and move on with those armenians who talk to the turks.

if the turkish experience is anything to go by, such people, if influential, block dialogue between conflicting parties, making reconciliation impossible and warfare the only means of conflict resolution. if successful, they create a war in which they don't participate, send their country's sons as cannon meat, and then move on to collect the spoils. look at the political history of the world and you will see what i mean.

regards,

#80 aurguplu

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Posted 21 June 2001 - 11:56 AM

dear boghos,

i partially agree with your analysis of turkish politics. in my opinion there have been several reasons forthe shift toward the right in turkish politics:

1. the past: the armenian genocide, the turco-greek population exchanges, the flow of refugees all the way from siberia to the balkans that still continue, the "betrayal" of the empire by the arabs (agree with them or not, most turks do see it that way), the kurdish insurgence etc. all serve to create a mentality of constant harassment and need to defend your turf against the invader. remember that most of the ruling class at the time of ataturk (including ataturk himself) were, technically speaking, refugees.

2. the failure of state socialism: socialism failed everywhere, and turkey was no exception: the only two alternatives were religious fanaticism (no way as long as we have the army that we have) or fascism (quite possible as long as we have the army that we have).

3. the nature of kemalist reforms: we are the only victorious nation with an imperial past who changed its script out of its own accord, and thereby induced mass amnesia. i don't mean to disparage the script reform, but the cultural earthquake it caused cannot be denied. in addition, the replacement of religion with nationalism as the main factor in identity formation understandably gave rise to ultra-nationalism.

4. the ruralisation of turkey: especially after the 1960, millions of peasants from the countryside flooded the few cities, turning them into megavillages in the process. they obliterated the urban culture by sheer weight of numbers at first, and newly-gained financial clout later on. peasants are by their very nature conservative and right-leaning. they normally would lean toward their religious values left to their own devices. it is only if they are prevented from leaning to religion that nationalism emerges as an option. to the best of my knowledge (and i dont purport to be an authority on thaht subject) peasants are not known to initiate nationalist movements.

the above could be expanded further, but i think we have to open up a new topic under a heading like "turkish nationalism" how about it?

regards,




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