April 24 an important haven, not an endpoint: Karen Bekaryan
18:06, 30 Jan 2015
April 24 is just a haven in the struggle, not an endpoint, President
of the European Integration NGO Karen Bekaryan told reporters today.
He said after the date the work will continue according to the agenda
expressed in the pan-Armenian declaration proclaimed yesterday.
Turkey's initiative to organize an event celebrating the victory in
the Battle of Gallipoli seemed to be successful at first. However,
Bekaryan says, the reaction of the international community proves the
opposite. According to him, this put Turkey in an awkward situation.
Serzh Sargsyan invites next President of Turkey to Yerevan to confront
Posted 31 January 2015 - 12:14 PM
April 24 an important haven, not an endpoint: Karen Bekaryan
Posted 01 February 2015 - 11:28 AM
Turkologist: Armenia managed to bring Turkey to bay
The Pan-Armenian Declaration on the Centennial of the Armenian
Genocide was drawn up correctly, with provisions of the Declaration of
Independence of Armenia and the UN Conventions being indicated,
Turkologist Hakob Chakryan told a press conference today.
"The circumstance that the UN convention on genocide has a retroactive
effect is of importance because Turkey's representatives constantly
say that the convention was adopted in 1948 and is not applicable for
the 1915 events. Armenia has managed to bring Turkey to bay. Having no
counter steps, Turkey resorts to unbalanced actions, while Erdogan
makes silly statements," Chakryan said.
"In parallel with the progress of the Armenian Genocide recognition
process, Turkey's denial policy is becoming more and more aggressive,"
Posted 02 February 2015 - 09:33 AM
APRIL 24 TO BE GOOD TEST TO WORLD'S LEADING COUNTRIES - ARMENIAN EXPERTS
14:47 * 02.02.15
"Interests or values" is the dilemma whose outcome highly depends on
the world leaders' decision between visiting Yerevan on April 24 to
join the Genocide centennial commemoration events or go to Turkey
to celebrate the anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign, says an
Speaking to Tert.am, Head of the Institute of Oriental Studies Ruben
Safrastyan said he doesn't expect world countries' common interests
with Turkey to hold their leaders back from making the moral choice.
"In my opinion, the absolute imperative has to work here," he said,
considering acceptance of the Turkish president's invitation immoral.
Safrastyan said he knows that Recep Tayyip Erdogan's message, sent
to over 100 country leaders, has already received a positive reply
by Prince Charles of the United Kingdom, and the prime ministers
of Australia and New Zealand. But he said he still has positive
expectations. "I am hopeful morality will take the lead anyway,"
noted the expert.
He said he is more than confident that Turkey's move to reschedule
the Gallipoli Campaign remembrance to April 24 is aimed at derailing
the Genocide condemnation process in every possible way.
"I see an element of panic," Safrastyan noted. "They are doing
everything possible and impossible to have the reality on the Armenian
Genocide produce a counter effect."
Safrastyan said he feels that the European Court of Human Rights'
recent ruling over the Perincek case also raised panic in the Turkish
"The expression 'Armenian Genocide' is among the top search items
today, so I think the reaction by the world's leading [news] agencies
and the press will be even more, and it will have its positive impact,"
Karen Bekaryan, who heads the Yerevan-based NGO European Integration,
also agreed that world leaders' choice between visiting Yerevan or
Turkey would be a test as to their real preferences.
"It is a good topic: whether values or interests, and it's no surprise
that many countries have now begun preferring the values to interests,"
Asked whether he expects the world to share views or focus attention
on the two topics, Bekaryan replied, "It has to turn [attention]
to countries which we were confident would be next to in Yerevan on
April 24. But I do not see any such country," he added.
Posted 04 February 2015 - 09:58 AM
EXPERT: THE LINK USA-TURKEY-ISRAEL IS THE KEY THREAT TO ARMENIA'S SECURITY
by Ashot Safaryan
Tuesday, February 3, 16:57
The link USA-Turkey-Israel is the key threat to Armenia's
security, political expert, Sergey Shakaryants, said at today's
press-conference. He also added that just the above mentioned "three"
is trying at present at any cost to level significance and influence of
the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
'And the statement by Israel's foreign minister, that Israel does
not recognize the Armenian genocide, was not accidental. If Tel-Aviv
makes such sharp anti-Armenian statements, it expresses not only its
own position, but also the position of its key sponsor and strategical
partner - Washington. These two countries are not going to recognize
the genocide, as it is not beneficial to them", - Shakaryants said.
He also added that he will not be surprised if the leadership of
the USA as well as the leaders of the other Western countries will
not arrive in Armenia to take part in the memorial events, but will
visit Turkey to celebrate the so-called "Gallipoli victory".
The expert thinks that the rumors on worsening of relations between
Tel-Aviv and Ankara are a myth, as a true level and quality of
relations is determined not by the diplomatic rhetoric, but economic
cooperation. "Look, what huge investments Israel is making in the
Turkish economy, agriculture, defense industry and many other key
sectors. Against the background of such a close cooperation, all
the rest political statements simply lose their relevance", - the
To recall, the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide will be
marked on 24 April 2015. Official Ankara does not recognize the
genocide which was recognized in 24 countries of the world. There
are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey and the 330
km long border between these countries has been shut down since 1993
according to Ankara's initiative.
Posted 04 February 2015 - 09:59 AM
WHO WILL BE PRESENT AT THE EVENTS MARKING 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GALLIPOLI BATTLE?
18:29, 03 Feb 2015Siranush Ghazanchyan
The Presidents of Azerbaijan, Albania, Somali, the Prime Ministers of
Australia and New Zealand and Prince Charles have accepted Turkish
President Regep Tayyip Erdogan's invitation to participate in the
100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli planned for April 24,
According to the source, another 38 countries have accepted the
invitation, but have not indicated at what level they will be
represented at the event.
Ankara sent out invitations to the leaders of 102 countries, including
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan rejected the invitation to
participate in the events that coincide with the 100th anniversary
of the Armenian Genocide.
Posted 04 February 2015 - 10:19 AM
Davutoglu's 'New Beginning' at a Dead End
Editorial 2-7 Feb 2015
By Edmond Y. Azadian
The literacy rate is not high in Egypt, but the people there are
endowed with an innate sense of humor. Sometimes, they can encapsulate
major political developments in simple anecdotes. One such anecdote
began circulating when Anwar Sadat succeeded Gamal Abdel Nasser
as president. The story goes that on the first day that the new
president is driven to his office, the presidential limousine comes to
a crossroad and the driver asks the new president which way he prefers
to be driven, since Nasser preferred to go to the left. Sadat answers:
"Signal left and turn right."
Today, we are confronted with the same kind of politics with Turkey.
While blockading Armenia, helping the murderous Azeri regime to
continue its bellicose posture and denying the Armenian Genocide,
Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu calls for "a new beginning
Mr. Davutoglu himself orchestrated the charade of organizing the
centennial celebrations marking the Gallipoli campaign, specifically
stating that the purpose of it was to counter the centennial
commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
Adding insult to injury, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a cynical
invitation to President Serge Sargisian to attend the Gallipoli
celebration, creating a theater of the absurd in his foreign policy.
President Sargisian sent a powerfully-worded response outlining the
hypocrisy of Turkish policy toward Armenia.
Many critical commentaries were published in the world press and some
even in the Turkish press. But one article which appeared on January 19
in the Independent newspaper published in England hit the nail on the
head. It was written by the most erudite Middle East correspondent of
the paper, Robert Fisk. Any Armenian group that is interested in acting
in a significant way to counter the Turkish propaganda machine must
deliver Fisk's article to all 102 heads of states who have been invited
by the Turkish government to attend this fictitious celebration.
Besides being an awkward attempt by Turkey to silence the centennial
commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, it is an insult to the forces
of the invited guests, because Turkey lost the entire war in 1918.
What is the significance of one battle? It is more significant to
celebrate the little known Battle of Arara, in Palestine, on September
19, 1918, when the Allies crushed the Ottoman and German forces,
causing them to retreat to their ultimate defeat. In that one battle,
5,000 Armenian volunteers from the US and elsewhere fought in the
Returning to Mr. Fisk's article, the headline tells all: "Gallipoli
Centenary Is a Shameful Attempt to Hide the Armenian Holocaust."
"This is not just diplomatic mischief. The Turks are well aware
that the Allied landings at Gallipoli began on April 25 -- the day
after Armenians mark the start of their genocide, which was ordered
by the Turkish government of the time -- and that Australia and New
Zealand mark Anzac Day on April 25. Only two years ago, then-president
Abdullah Gul of Turkey marked the 98th anniversary of the Great War
battle on March 2013 -- the day on which the British naval bombardment
of the Dardanelles Peninsula began on the instructions of British
First Lord of Admiralty Winston Churchill. At the time, no one in
Turkey suggested that Gallipoli -- Canakkale in Turkish -- should be
remembered on April 24. The Turks, of course, are fearful that 1915
should be remembered as the anniversary of their country's frightful
crimes against humanity committed during the Armenian extermination."
Gallipoli being marked as a battle in a lost war has its own
mysteries yet to be uncovered. While fighting the Ottoman Army,
the British government was overly concerned that its erstwhile
enemy-turned-war-ally Russia was moving closer to the warm waters
of the Mediterranean, having already occupied some territory on the
eastern border of the Ottoman Empire. Previously, the British policy
was to deny that access to the Russians and now they were delivering
the Russian dream on a silver platter. Therefore, at the expense of
intimidating Churchill they "lost" the Gallipoli campaign after a
face-saving effort vis-a-vis their Russian allies.
The other anomaly is that Australians and New Zealanders converge
every year in Istanbul to celebrate the Gallipoli campaign as if
thanking the murderers of their grandparents. This is the perverse
reading of history.
Turkey's "magnanimous" leaders, in celebrating the centennial of the
Gallipoli campaign, have refused to extend an invitation to Australia's
New South Wales legislature, which has passed a resolution to recognize
the Armenian Genocide, injecting a drama within another drama.
After orchestrating the Gallipoli carnival, Mr. Davutoglu turns to the
Armenians and, with a straight face, offers a "new beginning." Here is
what he states: "Having already underscored the inhumane consequence
of the relocation policies essentially enforced under wartime
circumstances, including that of 1915, Turkey shares the suffering
of Armenians and with patience, and resolve, is endeavoring to
reestablish empathy between the two peoples. Our April 23, 2014
message of condolences, which included elements of how, primarily
through dialog, we may together bring an end to the enmity that has
kept our relations captive, was a testament to this determination.
Only by breaking taboos, can we hope to begin addressing the great
trauma that froze time in 1915. For its part, Turkey has transcended
this critical threshold and relinquished the generalizations and
stereotypical assertions of the past."
Of course, there is tremendous improvement in the veneer of the Turkish
message to the Armenians. It is a message very different that the
one delivered by former Turkish President Turgut Ozal, who threatened
Yerevan with a few bombs, because "they had not learned their lesson
in 1915." It is a much more positive one that the one delivered
by the dictator Kenan Evran who challenged Armenians by saying,
"If you want land, come and take it. Land can only be taken by blood."
But in essence, the Turkish message does not change much. Rather than
admitting the undeniable fact of the premeditated genocide, Mr.
Davutoglu plants a time bomb in his message when he characterizes the
genocide as "relocation policies enforced under wartime circumstances."
Far from being rejectionists, Armenians have to give some credit to
the AK Party's policies, which introduced a measure of tolerance in the
country. After being embarrassed and ridiculed worldwide, the Turkish
government stopped enforcing Article 310 in the penal code against
"insulting Turkishness." Then prime minister, Mr. Erdogan apologized to
the Kurds for the Dersim massacres and began to negotiate with Kurdish
separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan to resolve the Kurdish issue. During
the presidential election, he was able to lull the restive Kurdish
minority and may continue that way, until the parliamentary elections,
when the Kurds can contribute to his success.
This may lead to changes in the constitution to extend his presidential
powers. But the patience of the Kurds is running out, because most
of the promises have not been delivered yet.
Armenians can embarrass Turkey, at best, in its foreign policy, but
the Kurds have a knife at the throat of the Turkish government. Any
insurrection may lead to Turkey's territorial disintegration, and we
know that Kurdistan is thriving in Iraq and Kurds are fighting for
their turf in Kobani, Syria.
In modern history, Turkish policy has suffered relapses and another
return to the days of September 6 remains a possibility.
When the Protocols collapsed, Mr. Davutoglu blamed Armenian
intransigence. He stated that had Armenia taken a symbolic step by
returning one or two regions in Karabagh, an agreement could have been
reached. However, the Armenian leadership knew that at that moment,
it was as if Talaat in his heinous mind was brooding to devour an
Devoid of any concrete action, Mr. Davutoglu's message contains a drop
of Talaat's tears. Talaat Pasha is still alive in Turkey with his
remains reverently resting in Hurriyet-i Ebediye Tepesi, Istanbul,
with 15 other streets and boulevards named after him in Ankara and
Istanbul, and especially with the Talaat Pasha Organization still
active with its virulent leader, Dogu Perincek.
With all these perils on their way, Davutoglu's "new beginning"
has already met its dead end
Edited by Yervant1, 11 February 2015 - 10:54 AM.
Posted 06 February 2015 - 10:24 AM
5 NGOs urged world leaders “not to accept President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s invitation to Gallipoli on the 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide but to visit Yerevan instead”.
Previously, President Erdoğan announced that they will commemorate on April 24 the defense of Gallipoli - a ceremony observed on March 18 every year. He also invited world leaders to the northwestern province of Çanakkale to join the ceremony.
The associations (Human Rights Association (IHD)’s Commission Against Racism and Discrimination, Izmir Assyrian Friendship, Culture and Solidarity Association, Nor Zartonk, www.suryaniler.com Culture Platform and Zan Social, Political, Economic Research Foundation) made the statement protesting Erdoğan’s invitation at IHD Headquarters in Istanbul.
“April 24 worldwide symbolizes the beginning of Armenian Genocide,” IHD Vice Chairperson Meral Çıldır said in a statement.
“As the 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide draws near, we, groups and peoples that struggle against the denial of the Genocide, protest the president’s invitation and urge world leaders to visit the genocide memorial in Yerevan instead of Gallipoli in Çanakkale.Keskin: We are asking a bit of conscience
Following the press statement, IHD Vice Chairperson Eren Keskin said the following:
“The mentality that founded the Republic of Turkey is the very mentality that committed the Armenian - Assyrian Genocide in 1915.
“For us, 24 April 2015 has a huge importance. We want to face our history. We want this understanding to be questioned as it has been told us wrong and brought up our children with lies. We know that the Genocide in 1915 is still not openly mentioned by many countries but we we are asking a bit of conscience.
“[This] invitation is mocking with victims of Armenian Genocide. Go to Yerevan where the real pain is.” (AS-BY/BK/BM)
Edited by Yervant1, 06 February 2015 - 10:25 AM.
Posted 07 February 2015 - 11:23 AM
Nonsense as usual!
12:48 07/02/2015 » POLITICS
U.S. envoy to Ankara: Full acknowledgement of facts on 1915 massacres is in interest of Turkish and Armenian citizens
In an interview with NTV, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass, among other issues, spoke about the Armenian Genocide and the U.S. participation in the Battle of Gallipoli centenary events.
According to Hurriyet Daily News, regarding the U.S. position on the Armenian Genocide, Bass said: “I cannot speak to how the events will be characterized in whatever the president or Congress chooses to say on the anniversary, but, I can tell you that our policy hasn’t changed. Our policy is that we believe that a full, frank and just acknowledgement of the facts surrounding those terrible massacres and tragedies in 1915 is in the interest of the citizens of Turkey, it is in the interest of the citizens of Armenia and it is in the interest of the descendants of people who suffered in that period.”
Regarding U.S. participation in the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, he said: “It is too early to say how we will be represented in Gallipoli. I would say, with respect to the timing of the commemorations, you know there is so much depth of feeling and so much suffering that occurred in 1915 among many populations that, I think, from our perspective, we think that commemorations should occur in a way that allows every community that suffered to commemorate the events in a way and in a manner that is respectful of the dead and that allows them in their own ways to acknowledge that suffering and to commemorate their dead respectfully.”
Posted 08 February 2015 - 09:48 AM
Norwegian newspaper publishes article on Armenian Genocide Centennial
and Armenian- Turkish relations
18:46, 6 February, 2015
YEREVAN, 6 FEBRUARY, ARMENPRESS. Norway's Minerva Daily has published
the article by expert of Norway's top Civita analytical center Bord
Larsen with the title `Useless Diplomacy'. The article is devoted to
the Armenian Genocide Centennial and Armenian-Turkish relations.
`Armenpress' presents the translated version of the article.
`On the day marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide,
Turkey will celebrate its heroic episode during WWI.
This year, Armenia will be marking the 100th anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide with several foreign officials on April 24th. Of
course, this isn't something that makes the Turkish authorities happy.
On April 24, 1915, 600 well-known Armenian intellectuals, officials,
political figures, writers, lawyers, doctors and officers were
arrested in Constantinople. Most of them were given a death sentencing
in the desert of Syria, hung from bridges or in the major areas of
After that, the road was clear for perpetration of the genocide since
the opposition had been eliminated. In two years, more than 1 million
Armenians and hundreds of thousands of other Christians (Assyrians,
Chalcedonians and Orthodox Greeks) were massacred.
ErdoÄ?an 's response to remembrance of the Genocide is to attach
importance to the heroic efforts of the Turks (in this case-the
criminals) during the battles of WWI. The Turks have sent invitations
to the leaders of more than 100 countries.
This would be the same as saying Germany start celebrating its heroic
victories in Wehrmacht in the Eastern Front during WWII.
First World War
As is known, Turkey was an ally to Germany and Austro-Hungary during
WWI. The Battle of Dardanelles was one of the greatest battles between
the allied forces and took the lives of nearly 200,000 people, but
that battle took place on April 25th, not April 24th.
As already mentioned, April 24th is the day when the Ottoman
government massacred Armenian intellectuals and officials in the
capital city. These two events are closely linked to each other. The
Ottoman Empire had already taken the decision on the ethnic cleansing
of Christians, but it was implemented right when the Young Turks,
aware that the allied forces were approaching, feared the Armenians'
treason. It is a period thatErdoÄ?an wants to remember with glory, even
a day before the battle.
ErdoÄ?an believes that with this, he is extending a hand to the
Armenians since they were also fighting in the Ottoman armed forces
during the Battle of Gallipoli and, based on his imagination, this
proves that the Armenians weren't persecuted, but were among the
people of the Empire. Such claims are new since just recently Turkey
denied that the Armenians were loyal subjects of the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey has always claimed that the Armenians have never fought from
Turkey's side. It's not surprising that throughout history, the claims
of Armenians' disloyalty have lied at the core of Turkey's denial. At
the same time, Turkey still has its pragmatic approach to confronting
the truth as long as it continues to consider denial of the Genocide
possible. Here both claims can be used as arguments to say that the
events of 1915 were not genocide. On the one hand, the Armenians were
potential traitors and were deported from Anatolia. On the other hand,
the Armenians were granted medals of courage of the Ottoman Empire,
and so they shouldn't be killed.
Every now and then, the official Turkey claims that it doesn't have
to be held liable for anything when it comes to the issue of the
Genocide because that happened during WWI in the Ottoman Empire, not
in modern-day Turkey. But this seems to make people forget the heroic
past of the country. Another factor is that it was the tension during
the transition from an empire to a state that led to the persecutions
and killings of minorities. And it wasn't like there were no more
assaults in the new Turkish state. The authorities actively commit
barbaric acts to eliminate the traces of the cultures of the victims.
Religious buildings are robbed, destroyed or in ruins.
In spite of the fact that the Armenian Genocide took place a century
ago, it is still weighty in the political arena. The reason is because
Turkey has never been held liable for it. This year there will be a
lot of focus on the issue, and the problem is whether Turkey is
playing way too strong, overestimating its own attempts in that battle
of useless diplomacy, or as historians ironically say, Turkey's
definition of the genocide is `that which we did not do against the
Posted 10 February 2015 - 11:36 AM
WE DON'T WANT TO LIVE WITH THIS SHAME ANYMORE: TOZDUMAN CALLS ON VISITING YEREVAN INSTEAD OF CANAKKALE
10:22, 9 February, 2015
YEREVAN, 9 FEBRUARY, ARMENPRESS. What's a shame for Turkey is that
1.5 million people were killed a century ago and nearly that many
people were exiled and were forced to leave their homeland. Now they
are scattered across the globe like particles of a pomegranate. Our
wish is to make sure neither our country nor the countries not having
recognized the Armenian Genocide continue to live with this shame.
This is what speaker of the platform for friendship and cooperation
with the Assyrians of Izmir Zeynep Tozduman said in an interview
with "Armenpress". Tozduman is a representative of one of the Turkish
organizations that recently signed a proclamation addressed to foreign
countries to visit Yerevan instead of Canakkale on April 24th.
"Know that denying and not seeing are also genocide. The reason why
we have become the "voice" of the bodies that were not buried is
because we want to see the Genocide officially recognized and to have
those bodies rest in peace," Tozduman said as she talked about her
organization's decision to join the proclamation. Touching upon the
fact that the official Ankara responded to President of the Republic
of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan's invitation by inviting the Armenian
authorities to Canakkale on April 24th "to respect together the memory
of the victims of Canakkale", Tozduman stated that that was simply
an ugly tactic. "We believe Turkey's response is the country's way of
manipulating history, and it shows that lies and denial still prevail.
Viewing this response as disrespect towards the victims and their
grandchildren the year marking the 100th anniversary of the Genocide,
with this call we tried to address the countries not having recognized
the Armenian Genocide and their conscience," the speaker said.
"We represent a platform for the friendship and cooperation of
Assyrians of Izmir, and we signed that declaration because we don't
want to see genocide in any other land or unknown country. Our call is
to break the silence. In the 100th year, we're persistently waiting
for Turkey to apologize for the victims, including the Armenians,
the Assyrians and the Greeks of Pontos," Tozduman said.
"The conscience of people in this country who think like us has been
seared for a century. We don't want to live with this shame and pain
any longer. As representatives of the platform for friendship and
cooperation of the Assyrians of Izmir, we want to tell all the nations
living in Turkey that that it's impossible to "shake the hand" of peace
with denial and lies. There can't be peace in this land where bones can
be found on any ground you set your foot. Mankind will not flourish
on the lands that are "watered" with sorrow and tears. On behalf of
the platform and on behalf of myself, I apologize once again to the
ancient nations and owners of these lands, that is, the Armenians,
the Assyrians and the Greeks of Pontos who experienced genocide. We
invite the people of any country with conscience and our country not
to Canakkale, but to the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex in Yerevan
on April 24th. To ignore this great crime against humanity means to
provoke new genocides," speaker of the platform for friendship and
cooperation of the Assyrians of Izmir Zeynep Tozduman said.
Posted 11 February 2015 - 11:27 AM
TURKISH STATE AFRAID OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RECOGNITION BECAUSE OF DAY OF RECKONING
09:49, 11 February, 2015
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 11, ARMENPRESS. Turkey's decision to declare the
day of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide as the day of
commemoration of the Battle of Gallipoli, which aims to change the
topic of international discussion, is nothing else, but a tool of
denialist policy. Turkish young historian Mehmet Polatel stated this
in a conversation with "Armenpress". Also, the young historian noted
that this policy of the Turkish government is "unacceptable for him
and other Turkish intellectuals".
The Turkish scientist arrived in Armenia to deliver a lecture titled
"The Confiscation of the Armenians' Property during the Genocide and
Among other things, Mehmet Polatel underscored: "One of the reasons
of the Genocide denial is the issue of returning the confiscated
properties. It's characteristic not only for the state thinking, but
the common people, who possess the Armenians' properties, also think
that if the state recognizes the Armenian Genocide, the Armenians
will come and take their belongings away. That's why the Turkish
society is also against the recognition."
Posted 12 February 2015 - 10:13 AM
Hey Mr. ErDOGan it's very clear as to who is turning this into politics! This so called subhuman has no shame.
ERDOGAN ACCUSES ARMENIA OF REJECTING TURKEY'S PEACE HAND
16:47, 11 Feb 2015
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Armenia to
examine the 1915 events through the lens of science and not politics,
while also expressing his reproach over the rejection of Turkey's
invitation to representatives of the county to attend war commemoration
ceremonies, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
"Let us remove the 1915 events from the area of politics and refer to
science and scientists," Erdogan said during a symposium on the topic,
co-organized by Bogota Externado University and Ankara University.
Erdogan attended the event as part of his official visit to Colombia
on Feb. 10 and said "what the Armenians did against the Turks and
what the Turks did against the Armenians 100 years ago has not been
"We have made an effort to fix relations with Armenia and to open
a new page," the Turkish president said. "Unfortunately, our peace
hand has always been rejected by the influence of Armenian diaspora."
In January, the Turkish president sent invitation letters to more
than 100 leaders, including Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, to
participate in the ceremonies on April 24 marking the centenary of
the Battle of Gallipoli in Canakkale, which coincides with the day
of remembrance for the Armenian victims of the 1915 events.
Sargsyan reportedly denounced Erdogan's invitation as a "short-sighted"
attempt to overshadow the 100th anniversary of the 1915 events.
"We would like them to come and be in Canakkale on April 24, to breathe
in that atmosphere and try to understand that happened among our
hundreds of thousands of martyrs. But they didn't do that," he said.
"They once again blocked the peace and dialogue with their statement
violating courtesy protocols," he stated, vowing "not to give up on
our efforts for peace and dialogue."
"We will continue to approach this issue under the light of history and
science, not with propaganda, perception games or ugly international
politics," he stressed. "We will not give up in our efforts for peace
and dialogue with respect to the 1915 events," Erdogan said.
"This year is the 100th anniversary. We are still reiterating our
sincere call," he added.
Posted 13 February 2015 - 09:34 AM
REPLY TO ERDOGAN: IMPOSSIBLE TO CLOSE DOOR LOCKED FROM INSIDE
Genocide | 12.02.15 | 10:13
It is impossible to close the door that is locked from inside,
Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tigran Balayan said on
Wednesday, commenting on the latest statement by Turkey's President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reports News.am .
During his visit to Colombia, Erdogan said it was Armenia that closed
"the door of peace".
"We know that the Armenian Diaspora has launched a negative campaign
against Turkey. We have spared no efforts for opening a new chapter.
On the 100th anniversary we offered to transfer the issue from the
political into a scientific level. We have invited [the Armenian
president] to Gallipoli on April 24, but Armenia closed the door of
peace," the Turkish leader said.
In the past Turkey marked the anniversary of the Gallipoli Battle
on March 18, but this year it decided to stage commemoration events
on April 24, the day when Armenians around the world will be marking
the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide committed in Ottoman Turkey.
Months before Erdogan's invitation, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan
had already invited his Turkish counterpart to visit Yerevan on April
24, 2015, "to face up to history". Erdogan has not responded to the
Posted 13 February 2015 - 09:37 AM
ERDOGAN NO LONGER BELIEVES IN HIS OWN WORDS - ARMENIAN EXPERT
10:43 â~@¢ 12.02.15
Though Armenia and the Armenian diaspora have been unanimous on
issues of pan-national importance, their efforts to rebuff the
Turkish authorities and propaganda have been always met a failure,
a Turkologist has said, commenting on a recent statement made by
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Speaking to Tert.am, Ruben Melkonyan, a deputy dean at the Yerevan
State University's Oriental StudiesÕ~[ Department, particularly
focused on the Turkish leader's words saying that "... our peace hand
has always been rejected by the influence of Armenian Diaspora" .
"I don't think Erdogan any longer believes in his words deep in his
heart; if there had been a desire between Turkey and Armenia to embark
on building normal relations, there were the 2009 Zurich protocols
for that," he noted.
Melkonyan said he doesn't find that a politician seeking to establish
relations with a neighboring state should choose lyric digressions for
doing so, leaving aside a process that requires diplomatic procedures
and corresponding documents.
"As for the other invitations, sentimental, emotional and sensual
statements and propaganda based on fabrications - about lending a hand
and getting no reply, - they are all from a different genre that has
nothing to do with the truth, reality and logic," said the Turkologist.
He described Erdogan's apparent attempts to split Armenia and the
Diaspora as yet another failure, noting that any address to Armenia
is a message to a 10 million community (not just the a population of
3 million) which has fair demands anchored on universal human values.
"So Erdogan keeps playing the old music, with no single line in his
statement reflecting any norm or sound logic," he added.
In his statement issued Wednesday, Erdogan also referred to the
invitation sent earlier to different world leaders, asking them to
visit Turkey on April 24 to join the Gallipoli Campaign's centenary
"We would like them to come and be in Canakkale on April 24, to
breathe in that atmosphere and try to understand that happened among
our hundreds of thousands of martyrs. But they didn't do that,"
the Turkish leader said.
Commenting on the message, Melkonyan said he sees that it is absolutely
unrelated to either politics or ethics. "The Turkish officials and
presidential spokesperson made statements far beyond the limits of
politeness; secondly, Erdogan's rhetoric was replete in terms unrelated
to politeness, and his discourse is known with its ill-bred nature,"
Melkonyan said at the end that he doesn't find Erdogan to be the
right person to demand respect for rules of politeness.
Posted 15 February 2015 - 09:05 AM
Davutoglu's Latest Ploy
February 13, 2015
It has just been reported that the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu produced his latest "generosity" toward Armenia, i.e.
"Turkey is willing to open the border provided Armenia returns to
Azerbaijan at least one of the territories surrounding Nagorno
Karabagh." The pronouncement was made at his meeting in Ankara with
representatives of non-Muslim organizations and other NGO's, otherwise
known as Ankara's promotional ethnic forum.
Before anybody jumps into conclusions with accolades of misguided
enthusiasm, Davutoglu should be reminded that Turkey is not a party in
the Karabagh negotiations and will never be. The negotiations are
between Armenia and Azerbaijan with a guaranteed final say of the
people and government of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic. And at this
stage of the game, Azerbaijan is in a state of undeclared war against
both Armenia and Karabagh with daily murderous incursions over the
cease-fire line into the civilian-inhabited areas. So, who's extending
this "peace" offer and to whom?
And we need to ask, what is there to negotiate with Turkey in the
present circumstances? Why would the Armenian side be willing to
connect the Karabagh issue with the border regime with Turkey? What
happens when Turkey again decides to close the border after a certain
territory is suddenly ceded by the Armenian side to Azerbaijan...?! Of
course, Davutoglu is not naive. He knows that the cease-fire line is
the vital defense shield for Karabagh and Armenia against the
Turkey-supported Azerbaijani belligerence. He knows that the slightest
split in that shield would fatally incapacitate the fundamental
security of both Armenian states. He also knows that this phony offer
is dead on arrival. Yet there is a reason why he has to fabricate
these make-believe offers. This is the latest move in Davutoglu's
deception game targeting the audiences in the West on the Centennial
of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian people, which he and President
Erdogan have publicly vowed to exploit throughout this year of solemn
observance. Shame on them!
By Garo Armenian
Posted 18 February 2015 - 10:59 AM
Dirty blackmailing tricks all over again! Once more, honesty (Truth) versus business (Money) dilemma, it's obvious what the west will do!
ANKARA LINKS WEAPON PURCHASES TO APRIL 24TH
17:50, 17 February, 2015
YEREVAN, 17 FEBRUARY, ARMENPRESS. Turkey is artificially extending
the announcement of results of the weapon purchase tender, saying
it's due to the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Thus, Ankara
is blackmailing the U.S., trying to engage the West in its dirty game.
The Turkish authorities have declared that, taking into consideration
the attitude of the U.S. and European countries to the events
dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, only
after April 24th will the official Ankara make a decision on the
several billion-dollar transaction by which Turkey will obtain
zenith-missile complexes for its anti-aircraft defense system, as
the Turkish Hurriyet reports, according to "Armenpress".
A high-ranking Turkish diplomat has also assured that the Turkish
government also wants to see the U.S. and French position on the
Armenian Genocide and that only after that will Turkey seal deals.
Turkey announced a tender for the construction of anti-zenith systems
in 2009. The Chinese CPMIEC won the tender in 2013, after which the
Turkish government started being pressured by its Western allies.
Afterwards, Turkey started negotiating with Western organizations. It
is mentioned that the American Raytheon & Lockheed Martin Consortium
and the European Eurosam Concern are the contenders.
Posted 19 February 2015 - 11:02 AM
WILL TURKISH-US RELATIONS SURVIVE THE ARMENIAN TEST?
Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
Feb 18 2015
Turkish-U.S. relations have survived many tests on the Armenian
by MURAT YETKÄ°N
The worst recent one was Ankara recalling the Turkish ambassador to
Washington, back in 2007, when an "Armenian genocide resolution" was
voted through the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee.
Ambassador Nabi Å~^ensoy was sent with a confidential list of
measures to be implemented if the bill was approved, (the closing of
the Ä°ncirlik Air Base to U.S. flights was speculated as being among
those measures). In the end, the resolution was turned down by then
President George W. Bush.
President Barack Obama promised during his election campaign in
2008 that he would recognize the 1915 massacres against the Ottoman
Armenian population as "genocide." But meeting the strategic realities
of the U.S. interests, Obama has since adopted a smart way to express
himself, using the Armenian word "Meds Yeghern" for it, (meaning
"Great Disaster"), thus bypassing the entire political and legal
consequences of the alternative.
This year, April 24 - which is taken as a symbolic anniversary for
Armenians of the Ottoman Interior Minister Talat Pasha's order to
deport Armenians "collaborating with the invading Russian armies"
during the First World War - may be quite different from previous
First of all, this year is the centenary of the events, and thus has
a high symbolic and emotional value for Armenians.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has invited leaders from all over
the world to attend a special commemoration ceremony in Yerevan on
April 24, 2015, and many replied positively. Invitations from Turkish
President Tayyip Erdogan to attend Gallipoli commemorations on the
same day have not been welcomed with much enthusiasm so far.
Sargsyan's answer to the move to change the Gallipoli commemoration
date was to ask his parliament to annul a normalization protocol with
Turkey, which was signed through Swiss mediation in 2009.
Armenia gives the utmost importance for the centenary campaign,
especially targeting the U.S. Congress and the White House, and Yerevan
has appointed one of the top guns in its arsenal as ambassador to
Washington. Former Ambassasor Tigram Sargisyan was an internationally
acknowledged name who has served as prime minister and central
bank governor. One of his major achievements since arriving in the
U.S. capital has been to gather all Armenian groups under one lobbying
activity umbrella, leaving aside all their inner disputes for 2015.
It is not possible to say the same for the Turkish side.
Foreign Minister Mevlut CavuÅ~_oglu has been quoted as warning U.S.
Ambassador to Ankara John Bass, when he first visited him late in
November 2014, that if the U.S. recognized the Armenian claims,
Ankara would "radically review" its relations with Washington.
Turkey-U.S. relations are not enjoying their golden age nowadays
anyway. There are a series of problematic issues, from their stance
regarding Russia in the Ukraine crisis to differences of approach
in the struggle against radical Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq,
from the Syrian and Egyptian administrations to Israel.
The Israeli lobby had been Turkey's best friend for decades in
countering Armenian moves in the Congress. It is not so enthusiastic
anymore, due to Erdogan's consistent slamming of Israel. Turkey does
not have an ambassador in Jerusalem, Cairo, or Damascus any longer,
and already did not have one in Yerevan or the Greek side of Nicosia
So, Turkish Ambassador to Washington Serdar KÄ±lÄ±c can expect no
support from the Jewish, Greek or Arabic lobbies in the Congress. He
cannot even have any hopes from all members of the Turkish Caucus in
the Congress. Out of 131 congressmen in the Turkey Caucus, 41 recently
put their signatures under a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry alerting him to the pressure on the Zaman media group.
Overall, they made up almost half of the signatories of that letter.
The Zaman group is currently the number one target of Prime Minister
Ahmet Davutoglu's government both inside and outside Turkey. President
Erdogan has already denounced its leader Fethullah Gulen, the moderate
Islamist ideologue living in Pennsylvania (his former close ally) as
the greatest threat to Turkey's national security. The same Justice
and Development Party (AK Parti) governments have previously almost
outsourced serious Turkish activities abroad, including lobbying of
Congress, through the Rumi Foundation, which is in line with Gulen.
One of leading figures of the Turkish Caucus, Gerry Connally
recently cancelled an appointment with Ambassador KÄ±lÄ±c without
any justification. Turkish lobbying groups, which are now dropping
the experienced lobbying companies that used to work for them, are
in such desperation that they have started to spread the word that
Connally - a Catholic of Irish descent - was always under Gulen's
influence and is Jewish.
It seems that Ankara has no chance but to play the strategic card
against Washington, to convince Obama that this time it can be a big
gain for the White House, if not for the Turkish people.
Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:05 AM
TURKEY LINKING MAJOR ARMS PURCHASE TO ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RECOGNITION
Feb 19 2015
February 19, 2015 - 2:57pm, by Joshua Kucera
Turkey is reportedly linking its purchase a multi billion-dollar
air-defense system to whether the bidder countries recognize the
That news, reported by a number of Turkish media, is the latest
unexpected turn in the multi-year saga over the arms deal. The original
bidders for the deal were companies representing the United States,
Europe, China, and Russia, giving the program the air of a geopolitical
litmus test. When Turkey announced that it planned to give the Chinese
company the contract, it faced a barrage of pressure from its NATO
allies who were concerned that linking that system with NATO air
defense equipment already in Turkey could expose NATO secrets to China.
All along, Turkey has denied that there was any political subtext to
its decision, saying that its choice of China was related solely to
questions of price and the fact that China would hand over more of the
technology to Turkey. Now, though, that appears to have changed. With
the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide approaching in April,
Ankara is reportedly waiting to see how the various bidders mark
"Rumors in political circles in Ankara said that no decision will be
made over the missile defense system winner before [April 24] since
Turkey wants to first see France and the U.S.'s position on the 1915
incidents," reported the pro-government Daily Sabah. "An agreement
may be made with China if the U.S. and French administrations take a
Hurriyet Daily News has reported the same thing:
"We have agreed with the government leaders not to rush to a decision
any time soon," one defense procurement official said. "A decision
before April 24 is out of the question."
A senior diplomat confirmed that Ankara first wants to see the U.S.
and French positions on the "genocide claims" before awarding
a sizeable contract "to a bidder potentially from one of these
"How these countries observe the centennial of the events [of
1915-1920] will be an important input for our final decision," he said.
And a "top government official for defense and security issues"
told newspaper Defense News last month: "One imminent political
deliberation is whether the US Congress will recognize the alleged
Armenian genocide in April. We will wait Congress' move before making
a decision on the contract."
Meanwhile, Turkey's Ministry of Defense has said that whichever system
it buys will not be linked to NATO's. That would seem to open the door
for buying the Chinese equipment. But it also has extended the deadline
for the Chinese, American, and European bidders until the summer --
as Defense News notes, the sixth time it has made such an extension.
It's not clear whether official recognition of the Armenian genocide
has any more chance to get through Congress this year than it has
before. But arguments like Ankara's have held sway in the past: in
2010, a coalition of American defense contractors wrote a letter
to Congress arguing against genocide recognition: "Alienating
a significant NATO ally and trading partner would have negative
repercussions for U.S. geopolitical interests and efforts to boost
both exports and employments."
But the U.S. bid was relatively unlikely to win; the second-place
offer, after China's, was that of Eurosam, based in France, a country
which not only recognized the genocide but even criminalized genocide
Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:10 AM
TURKEY TO KEEP MISSILE SYSTEM OUTSIDE NATO AS CHINA DEAL LOOMS
Chicago Tribune, IL
Feb 19 2015
By Selcan Hacaoglu, Bloomberg News Bloomberg
ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey won't integrate its new missile defense
system with its NATO allies, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said,
keeping open the option of turning to China for the $3.4 billion deal.
The purchase of long-range missiles will form part of a "national
system for Turkey's defense" that's separate from NATO's network,
Yilmaz said in a written response to a parliamentary question published
by Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
The prospect of the Chinese deal going ahead will dismay Turkey's U.S.
and European allies, who have urged the country to adopt a compatible
system to NATO. The purchase has become politicized as Turkey has
sparred with other alliance members over the Syrian war, and as it
seeks to head off international recognition of the Armenian genocide
as its 100th anniversary nears.
Turkey remains in talks with U.S. firms Lockheed Martin and Raytheon
and French-Italian partnership Eurosam GIE. Yilmaz said no new bids
had been received in the statement.
The government has said no decision would be taken before April 24.
That date, which marks the centenary commemoration of mass killings
of Armenians in Turkey, may further complicate the decision as Turkey
resists a U.S. Senate bill to call the World War I killings an act
of genocide. Turkey rejects the label.
The missile system decision has become a bargaining chip against
genocide recognition, according to Nihat Ali Ozcan, an analyst at
the Economic Policy Research Foundation in Ankara.
"All options are still on the table," Ozcan said by phone. "It is
not surprising to see Turkey using the lucrative missile deal as a
political leverage on the Armenian issue ahead of April 24."
Turkey had picked China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp., or
CPMIEC, which was banned in 2006 from doing business in the U.S. for
allegedly selling missile technology to Iran. Following criticism from
the U.S. and NATO on compatibility, Turkey asked Lockheed Martin and
Raytheon and Eurosam to renew their proposals.
Tensions between Turkey and its NATO allies have arisen in recent
months over how to tackle Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria,
two countries that border Turkey.
A decision to go with the Chinese system "is a political decision, it
is not a military decision since the superior system is the Patriot,"
missile interceptors of Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co., Aaron
Stein, a doctoral fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy,
said by phone Thursday.
U.S. export limits, however, make it difficult to meet Turkey's
demands to share technology particularly surrounding the engine and
missile guidance systems, he said.
No U.S. companies bid for a Turkish attack helicopter contract in
2006 after Turkey insisted on full access to specific software codes,
which the U.S. considers a security risk.
The country's border with Syria is currently manned by Patriots
supplied by NATO members.
Choosing the Chinese option "will have multiple repercussions," Stein
said. "The collective expectation in NATO is to bring missiles under
its strategic defense system and make it part of NATO."
Turkey's move to tie its decision over a missile defense system may
to the issue of the mass killings of Armenians may further raise the
domestic political stakes.
The government last April offered its first-ever condolences for
the mass deportations of Armenians that led to hundreds of thousands
Turkey's Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek warned on Thursday that while
Turkey is ready to face its past, recognition of Armenian claims will
"have very negative consequences for Turkish-U.S. relations."
Last year's surprise overture came before plans by the Senate to
debate a resolution to recognize the killings.
About 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed from 1915 to 1923 in
a deliberate campaign of genocide, Armenians say. Turkey disputes
says any killings took place as part of clashes in which thousands
of Turks also died.
Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:23 AM
TURKEY RILES NATO WITH CHINESE WHISPERS
Deutsche Welle, Germany
Feb 19 2015
Turkey is sending mixed signals over whether it will buy a
multi-billion dollar anti-missile defense system from NATO allies
or China. Turkey's posturing could backfire, writes Jacob Resneck
Turkey's announcement in 2013 that it had accepted a $3.4 billion (2.9
billion euros) bid from a blacklisted Chinese company sent shockwaves
to its western allies because the system would be incompatible with
existing infrastructure by linking up with a rival military power.
"NATO will never allow a Chinese system to be linked to its own
infrastructure for fear of China could then discover the underlying
logistics, could use it for cyber attacks and things like that," said
former Turkish diplomat Sinan Ulgen, now an analyst with the Center
for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies in Istanbul. "So it's not just
a matter of technological compatibility - it's much more than that."
In a written response to parliamentary questions, Turkish Defense
Minister Ismet Yilmaz suggested that the Chinese system was being
actively considered despite its inoperability with NATO's existing
"The system in question will be integrated with the national system
for Turkey's defense and will be used without integrating with NATO,"
Yilmaz wrote Thursday.
Hours later a senior defense procurement official clarified that no
final decision had been made but the implication is clear: Turkey is
willing to openly irritate its traditional allies to leverage what
it wants: technology transfers, discounts on equipment and respect
as an indispensable regional power.
Having it both ways
One theory is that Turkey may try to buy components from several
sources - the US consortium of Raytheon and Lockheed and/or the
Franco-Italian firm Eurosam - and still use Chinese components. "In
return Turkey could possibly get some of the technology transfers it
seeks," Ulgen said.
Earlier reports suggested Turkey was postponing the decision until
after April 24 when ethnic Armenians around the world will commemorate
the 100th anniversary of the purging of ethnic Armenians in the
Turkey reportedly planned to use the lucrative defense contract as
leverage over the US and European nations not to commemorate what
many historians consider the 20th century's first genocide.
"The (defense) minister's announcement looked more political than
technical to me," said veteran defense journalist Burak Bekdil
who says his sources indicate that Turkey plans to use the missile
defense contract as leverage over its longstanding dispute over the
The Chinese way
China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp's bid is not only
cheaper but includes more technology transfers than the European and
American systems which appeals to Turkey's strategy of developing its
own military systems independent of its NATO allies. "Turkish officials
do not take seriously the threat of American and Western companies,
and it seems like they will be out of the deal as long as they don't
meet Turkey's demands concerning technology transfers," journalist
Ali Unal wrote last year in the pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper.
That's been a theme in increasingly strident speeches by Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who argues that Turkey has the right
to a diverse arsenal. "If NATO is so sensitive on this subject,
many countries which are currently NATO members still have Russian
weapons in their inventories," Erdogan told reporters in 2013.
Much of this could be posturing, though the stakes for Turkey's
long-term security are high, says Gareth Jenkins, an Istanbul-based
researcher with the Silk Road Institute at John Hopkins University
who notes it's not the first time Ankara and Beijing have flirted
with closer military ties.
"Erdogan wants to demonstrate that Turkey is now a great power and
it can do what it wants," Jenkins said. "I think he sees this - as
well as the price advantage - as an opportunity for macho posturing
which has come to dominate so many of his statements."
Posture at your peril
But defense analysts warn that Turkey is still years - if not decades
- away from military independence and runs many risks by alienating
its traditional allies.
"If Turkey decides to go for a stand-alone system its long range air
defense architecture will have to be deprived of NATO and US assets
stationed on Turkish soil," Bekdil noted. "In short, it cannot be an
efficient architecture without those assets."
That's because Turkey continues to be heavily reliant on NATO's
hardware - currently a battery of Spanish Patriot missiles are
deployed on the Syrian border to defend Turkey from cruise missiles
based in Syria.
That leaves many questions of where Ankara's priorities lie. Many
geopolitical factors are in play as Turkey flirts with traditional
allies and rivals alike. "If Turkey decides to go for the Chinese
solution it will have a big message to its NATO allies: that Turkey can
only be relied upon as a part-time ally, rather than just an ally,"
Bekdil said. "It will be a bold Turkish challenge against the West,
especially the US."
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