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Australia Must Dismiss Foreign Minister For Denying the Armenian Genoc

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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:56 AM

  Australia Must Dismiss Foreign Minister For Denying the Armenian Genocide


  By Harut Sassounian

The Turkish Sabah newspaper published last week the following disturbing news: “Australian FM: Armenian Case not Genocide.”

Sabah described the events that led to its nefarious headline. Gunay Evinch, board member and past president of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), had recently visited Australia to brief local Turkish groups on the Movsesian lawsuit. He told them that “the United States Supreme Court let stand a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision invalidating a California law that had defined the Armenian case as genocide, because it was US federal policy not to define the Armenian case as genocide.”

Sabah also reported that Evinch’s visit was “a part of a broader Anglo-Turkish Diaspora Cooperation Program in which Turks in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Jersey (sic) share best practices based on a common jurisprudential and political heritage.”

Following Evinch’s advice, Ertunc Ozen, President of Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance, wrote to Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on May 5, “expressing concern at motions passed by the parliament of New South Wales in May 2013 regarding Turkey and the fate of various communities of the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I.”

Foreign Minister Bishop wrote to Ozen on June 4: “The Australian Government acknowledges the devastating effects which the tragic events at the end of the Ottoman Empire have had on later generations, and on their identity, heritage and culture.” Astonishingly, she added: “We do not, however, recognize these events as ‘genocide.’ Australian states and territories have no constitutional role in the formulation of Australian foreign policy. While respecting the rights of individuals and groups to have strong views on the matter, the long-standing and clear approach of the Australian Government has been not to become involved in this sensitive debate.”

The Foreign Minister is wrong on three counts: 1) She erred in stating that Australia does not recognize the Armenian Genocide. While the Australian government prefers not to use the term genocide in order not to antagonize Turkey, no other official has ever stated that it was not genocide; 2) She incorrectly wrote that the Australian states that recognized the Armenian Genocide were formulating foreign policy. These states had simply acknowledged a historical fact; and 3) She contradicted herself by stating that the Australian Government does not get involved “in this sensitive debate,” yet she did permit herself to get involved by stating that it was not genocide!

Vache Kahramanian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia, immediately dispatched a strongly-worded letter to the Foreign Minister, calling her ‘misguided statement’ ‘deeply insulting and hurtful to the Armenian-Australian community.’ He also characterized Bishop’s views as ‘intolerable,’ ‘inexcusable,’ ‘a grave offense,’ and ‘a disservice to all Australians.’ Kahramanian justifiably wondered, “How can Australia’s moral conscience become so corrupted?”

ANC-Australia’s Executive Director reminded the Foreign Minister that her statement was in stark contrast to “the views held by many senior ministers in the current government. As recently as April 2014, Australia’s Treasurer, the Hon. Joe Hockey MP, issued an official statement on the 99th anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide marking April 24 as the day ‘we gather to remember the 1.5 million people who perished in the genocide.’ Ministers Turnbull, Morrison, along with ranking members from Labor, the Greens, minor parties and Independents have called on the Australian Parliament to officially recognise the events of 1915 as genocide. Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, during his years as Opposition Leader, issued an annual statement referring to the Armenian Genocide with no qualifiers or euphemisms.”

Kahramanian also told the Foreign Minister: “By denying the Armenian Genocide you are also denying Australia’s very own history. Located within Australia’s National Archives are countless numbers of testimonies by ANZAC prisoners of war who were held captive in the Ottoman Empire…. These testimonies vividly recall the suffering and annihilation of the Armenian people.”

ANC-Australia Chairman Greg Soghomonian urged the Foreign Minister to “immediately reverse this critical error of judgment,” and requested a meeting with her.

I suggest that Australian-Armenians ask Prime Minister Tony Abbott whether the Foreign Minister had cleared her deeply offensive letter with him beforehand. If she had not, the ANC-Australia should demand her immediate dismissal. ANC should ask all three Australian state parliaments that have recognized the Armenian Genocide to adopt a new resolution condemning Foreign Minister Bishop’s denialist stand and urging the Prime Minister to fire her!

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#2 Yervant1


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Posted 31 July 2014 - 10:53 AM

Australia falls behind as Foreign Minister explicitly denies the Armenian Genocide
Source: armenia.com.au | Saturday, 26 July 2014


CANBERRA: The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) has labelled a recent statement by Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop on the Armenian Genocide “unacceptable”, and called on the Australian government to reverse this error in judgment.

In a letter addressed to the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance, Bishop extraordinarily denies the historical reality of the first genocide of the 20th century by stating “we, do not however, recognise these events as ‘genocide’."

“While recent Australian governments have not referred to the Armenian Genocide as ‘genocide’, they have done so by describing the events in some detail, then referring to the ‘genocide’ as ‘tragic events’ or with other euphemisms,” said ANC Australia Executive Director, Vache Kahramanian.

“While these euphemisms will always be unacceptable, they were consistent with other deniers in the Western world. Bishop’s statement of outright denial of the Armenian Genocide takes Australia almost as far back as Turkey on this issue.”

Kahramanian added: “Our community is wondering how can Australia’s moral conscience become so corrupted?”


Bishop’s statement comes in stark contrast to fellow senior government ministers who have actively called for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Australian Parliament. As recently as April of this year, Treasurer Joe Hockey stated: “Today we gather to remember the 1.5 million people who perished in the genocide... there is no other word for it.”

Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, along with ranking members from Labor, the Greens, minor parties and Independents have in the recent past called on the Australian Parliament to officially recognise the events of 1915 as genocide.

The Foreign Minister’s statement is uncharacteristic of successive Australian governments’ policy on the Armenian Genocide, and lags considerably behind allies including the United States and the United Kingdom and its policy is removed completely from nations such as Canada, France, Germany and Italy, who have taken the moral high ground to recognise the Armenian Genocide.

In a powerful letter addressed to the Foreign Minister, ANC Australia calls into question Australia’s recent policy change and calls on the Australian government to review its position, so that as a starting point, it falls into line with the other major allies, then progresses the “moral heights of outright recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide”.

ANC Australia calls on the Australian Foreign Minister to “not whitewash this dark chapter in history” and says that it doing so is “inexcusable”. Such actions not only denigrate the memory of genocide victims but also disrespect Australia’s very own history and the heroic of ANZAC prisoners of war who witnessed this crime against humanity.

ANC Australia Chairman, Greg Soghomonian, remarked: “The Australian Foreign Minister must immediately reverse this critical error of judgment and listen to the will of the Australian Parliament in recognising and honouring the victims of the Armenian Genocide.”

A meeting has been sought with the Foreign Minister and her office to discuss this critical issue.



#3 Yervant1


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:38 AM


Source: armenia.com.au | Monday, 04 August 2014

SYDNEY: Leading Australian community organisations - including
the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Australian Hellenic
Council, the Ukrainian Federation of Australian Organisations, the
Assyrian Universal Alliance Australia, the Darfur Action Network,
and the Armenian National Committee (ANC Australia) - have issued a
joint statement on the Australian Foreign Minister's denial of the
Armenian Genocide.

In a letter address to the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance,
Julie Bishop, stated that the Ministry does not view the events at
the end of the Ottoman Empire as 'genocide'.

The joint statement issued by the peak public affairs originations of
the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Australian Hellenic
Council, the Ukrainian Federation of Australian Organisations, the
Assyrian Universal Alliance Australia, the Darfur Action Network and
ANC Australia, calls on Australia's Foreign Minister to correct the
Australian government's position on the Armenian Genocide.

Below is the text of the joint statement:

We are deeply disappointed that the Foreign Minister of Australia,
the Hon Julie Bishop, has explicitly denied the Armenian Genocide,
while acknowledging the devastating effects which the "tragic events"
at the end of the Ottoman Empire had on minority groups, and on later
generations and their identity, heritage and culture.

The remarks by Australia's Foreign Minister are a stark reminder of
the need for vigilance in raising awareness of the unique elements
of the crime of genocide. The overwhelming view of history scholars
is that the killing of over a million and a half civilians in the
Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian communities during the final years of
the Ottoman Empire was done with genocidal intent, and is therefore
to be characterized as genocide, as was subsequently defined in the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

We call on the Minister and the government to rethink and correct
their position to ensure just reference to the Armenian Genocide.

Authorised by:

Executive Council of Australian Jewry Armenian National Committee of
Australia Ukrainian Federation of Australian Organisations Australian
Hellenic Council Assyrian Universal Alliance - Australia Darfur
Australia Network

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#4 onjig



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Posted 06 August 2014 - 04:27 PM

Greetings, Wife is an Australian citizen and has responded to post #2. No idea if anything will change.

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#5 Yervant1


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Posted 22 October 2014 - 09:54 AM


11:37, 22 Oct 2014

Leading human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC has appeared on the
ABC's Lateline program and Sky News Australia to discuss his latest
publication on the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian National Committee
of Australia reports.

Robertson is currently in Australia to promote his latest publication
"An Inconvenient Genocide: Who now remembers the Armenians?", which
was launched to the nation's media at the National Press Club in
Canberra on Tuesday 21stOctober.

In an extensive interview with Lateline program host Emma Alberici,
Robertson "cleared up any confusion" that the Armenian Genocide was
"genocide", and also called on Australia to fix its denialist position
on the matter.

His publication, published by Random House, is groundbreaking in
that the high profile Queen's Council and former United Nations
Judge presents a compelling argument based on fact, evidence and
his knowledge and expertise of international law, proving beyond
reasonable doubt that the horrific events that occurred in 1915 do
indeed constitute genocide.

In this interview, Robertson stated: "I want to clear up any confusion
and to explain and I've been an international judge, that applying
the law, the genocide convention, which our own Doc Evatt introduced
to the United Nations in 1948, that what happened - the massacres,
the death marches in 1915 were certainly genocide."

He added: "And the problem with the Turkish denial is that they
say, 'Well, this wasn't genocide, it wasn't a crime at all. It was
relocation.' Well it wasn't relocation. It was death marching. And
it's important to establish that you can't claim military necessity
as some sort of defence to genocide, otherwise you find Rajapaksa
in Sri Lanka justifying the killing of 40,000 civilians get at the
Tamil Tigers. You find the Pakistanis justifying the killing of three
million Bengalis in the war in 1971."

"These are genocides pure and simple and there is no defence of
military necessity of anything else to the destruction of a race or
part of it."

He went on to draw parallels between the Armenian Genocide and the
landing at Gallipoli, and called Australia's Foreign Minister, Julie
Bishop "foolish" for denying the Armenian Genocide.

Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia
(ANC Australia), Vache Kahramanian, welcomed Robertson's remarks on
national television.

Kahramanian said: "Geoffrey Robertson QC is one of the most respected
human rights lawyers internationally. His publication and remarks
on Lateline and Sky News will be a catalyst for changing Australia's
foreign policy on the issue of the Armenian Genocide."

The full Lateline interview can be watched at


#6 Yervant1


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Posted 09 November 2014 - 10:47 AM

The Australian
Nov 7 2014

Appalling silence over Turkey's 1915 genocide against Armenians


JUST before the invasion of Pol-and, Adolf Hitler urged his generals
to show no mercy towards its people -- there would be no retribution
because "after all, who now remembers the annihilation of the

As the centenary of the Armenian genocide approaches -- it began on
April 24, 1915, the night before the Gallipoli landing, with the
rounding up and subsequent "disappearance" of intellectuals and
community leaders -- remembrance of the destruction of more than half
of the Armenian people is more important than ever. Yet, as Hitler
recognised in 1939, the crime the Ottoman Turks committed against
humanity by killing the major part of this ancient Christian race has
never been requited or, in the case of Turkey, been the subject of
apology or reparations.

The Young Turks who ran the Ottoman government did not use gas ovens
but they did massacre the men and sent the women, children and elders
on death marches through the desert to -places we hear of now only
because they are overrun by Islamic State. They died en route in their
hundreds of thousands from starvation or attack, and many survivors
died of typhus in concentration camps at the end of the line. The
government ordered these forced deportations in 1915, then passed laws
to seize the Armenians' lands, homes and churches on the pretext that
they had been abandoned.

The destruction of more than a million Armenians was declared a "crime
against humanity" by Britain, France and Russia in 1915, and these
allies formally promised punishment for what a US inquiry at the end
of the war described as "a colossal crime -- the wholesale attempt on a
race". But the Treaty of Sevres, designed at the end of World War I to
punish the Young Turks for the colossal crime -- now called genocide --
was never implemented.

Modern Turkey funds a massive genocide denial campaign, claiming that
the death marches were merely relocations required by military
necessity and that the undeniable massacres (the Euphrates was so
packed with bodies that it altered its course) were the work of a few
"unruly" officials. In Turkey today, you can go to jail -- and some do
-- for affirming that there was a genocide in 1915: this counts as the
crime of "insulting Turkishness" under section 301 of its penal code.

Ironically, in some European countries, it counts as a crime to deny
the Armenian genocide. The parliaments of many democracies -- France,
Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, Greece and Canada, for
example -- recognise it explicitly, as do 43 states of the US. The
problem is that Turkey, "neuralgic" on the subject (the word used
privately by the British Foreign Office to describe its attitude), has
threatened reprisals and is too important geopolitically at present to
provoke by stating the truth, lest it carries out threats to close it
air bases to NATO and its borders to refugees.

Thus Barack Obama, who roundly condemned the Armenian genocide in 2008
and promised to do so when elected President, dares not utter the
G-word. Instead, he calls it Meds Yeghern (Armenian for "the great
crime") and asserts that his opinion has not changed.

The same double standard has been adopted by the Australian
government. Tony Abbott, when opposition leader, did not hesitate to
condemn the Armenian genocide. But when the NSW parliament formally
recognised it, Turkey threatened to ban MPs from Gallipoli for next
year's Anzac centenary.

That doubtless explains Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's bizarre
statement in June that the events of 1915 were "a tragedy" but "we do
not recognise the events as genocide". She added: "The approach of the
Australian government has been not to become involved in this
sensitive debate." A sure-fire way of becoming involved in the debate
is to refuse to recognise the genocide, and she was duly hailed in
Turkey as a genocide denier. "Australian Foreign Minister: Armenians
not victims of genocide" screamed the newspaper headlines in Istanbul.

Telling the truth about this genocide has, for the Australian
government, never been more inconvenient. Although many of its members
will be at the dawn service at Gallipoli on April 25 next year, nobody
has yet been appointed to represent Australia at the international
commemoration in Armenia's capital Yerevan on the day before.

This is shameful because the Dardanelles landings were the trigger for
the start of the genocide, and (together with Russian military
activity on Turkey's eastern front) were used as an excuse for the
destruction of the Armenians, on the pretext that they might support
the allied invasion.

Even today, Turkey defends the death marches on grounds of "military
necessity", as if the destruction of civilians far from the front, and
the ethnic cleansing of women, old men and children, could ever be
necessary to gain a military advantage.

The evidence of the government's genocidal intent, in any case, is
overwhelming, coming as it does from appalled German and Italian
diplomats and neutral Americans, to whom the Young Turk leaders
admitted that they were going to eliminate "the Armenian problem" by
eliminating the Armenians.

There can never be justification for genocide. This was understood by
Raphael Lemkin, the Polish lawyer who coined the word and worked
tirelessly between the wars to have the annihilation of the Armenians
recognised as an international crime. The Holocaust soon provided
another example of the need for a convention to bind the world to act
against governments that seek to destroy racial or religious

It is sometimes forgotten that Australia was first to take up Lemkin's
cause, through the foresight of Doc Evatt, who bonded with Lemkin and
introduced the Genocide Convention in 1948 during his presidency of
the UN General Assembly. Its definition of the crime, applied to the
undisputed facts of 1915, produces a verdict of guilt that is beyond
reasonable doubt.

It was, of course, a century ago: does it still matter? A century is
just within living memory: this year a 103-year-old woman, once a
small child carried by her mother across burning sands, took tea with
Obama and the world's most famous Armenian (Kim Kardashian). The
mental scars and trauma for the children and grandchildren of
survivors throughout the diaspora will continue until Turkey makes
some acknowledgment of the crime and offers an apology.

International law may provide some assistance: there are assets
expropriated in 1915 that can still be traced, and many ruined
churches that can be restored and returned. Armenians want restoration
of their historic lands in eastern -Turkey, which is asking too much
-(although I have suggested that the majestic Mount Ararat,
overlooking Yerevan, could be handed over by Turkey as an act of

But what they want most of all is what they are plainly entitled to
have: an acknowledgment from Turkey, and for that matter from the
Australian government, that what happened to their people in 1915 was
not a tragedy but a crime.

Geoffrey Robertson QC is author of An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now
Remembers the Armenians?, published this month by Random House.


#7 Yervant1


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Posted 24 November 2014 - 01:29 PM

The Gold Coast Bulletin (Australia)
November 22, 2014 Saturday

Raising forgotten ghost of murder


ADOLF Hitler wanted no mercy shown as Germany invaded Poland in 1939,
telling his generals the Death's Head units were being sent to kill
every Pole - men, women and children.

"Only in such a way will we win the lebensraum (territory for
expansion) that we need," he said.

"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"
Who indeed? How many Australians today know of the scope and nature of
the mass deaths among the Armenians in Anatolia, now most of modern

Hitler was referring to the slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians
in a process that began on April 24, 1915, on the eve of the landing
of the Anzacs at Gallipoli.

As Robertson writes, the imminence of the Allied invasion in the
Dardanelles triggered the order that went out that night in the
Ottoman capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul) to round up 250
Armenian intellectuals - professors, community leaders and political
activists - who were taken away and secretly killed, followed by
orders to deport Armenians from Anatolia into the deserts of Syria.

Within days reports had reached the US that up to half a million had
perished in what was believed to have been a calculated campaign of
ethnic cleansing.

What ensued, Robertson writes, were death marches and other incidents
in which more than half the Armenian race was destroyed over the next
few years.

Christian Armenians' hopes of equality in the Ottoman Empire had been
boosted when army officers staged a coup in 1908, bringing to power
the Young Turk movement that wanted to modernise the country and rid
it of the decadence of the Ottomans. But a propaganda campaign began,
presenting the Armenian population as a threat to security.

Robertson should be familiar to most readers. He is an
Australian-born, London-based Queen's Counsel, a leading human rights
lawyer, a UN war-crimes judge and an author whose forays into media
have included the television series Hypothetical in the 1980s.

With the centenary of the Armenian deaths looming in six months,
Robertson explores the case for having the slaughter declared genocide
despite the protestations of the Turkish government, which strongly
disputes that the events of 1915-23 were genocide, and denialists who
claim it did not happen, or that the number who died was more like
600,000 than 1.5 million and that it was just one of those things in

He talks of accounts of mass drownings and decapitations, rape of
women and boys, the killing and abduction of children, and
descriptions of the Euphrates "not just running with blood but
changing its course because its waterways were blocked by dead

Britain and the US equivocate on the genocide issue, not wishing to
alienate a NATO ally.

Some state governments in Australia have declared what happened was
genocide, but the Federal Government has not, concerned at threats to
ban MPs from centenary commemorations at Gallipoli.

This is despite Treasurer Joe Hockey's familial links to Armenia. His
grandfather was Armenian and in a 2010 interview, Mr Hockey - then in
Opposition - urged the Rudd government to recognise the genocide

"The relationship between modern Turkey and Australia will always
continue to be influenced by the unresolved matter of the Armenian
genocide," he said at the time. But he had no doubt Turkey would "seek
retribution against Australia should we join with other principled
nations in recognising the genocide".

When Mr Hockey made those comments, the second secretary at the
Turkish embassy in Canberra, Umut Ozturk, labelled claims of genocide
as "totally groundless" and "a systematic campaign of defamation
carried out by Armenian lobbying groups living in various countries
all over the world".

But Robertson does not back off in his condemnation of what occurred
and his fervent belief it was genocide.

The fate of the Armenians is touched on also in Peter FitzSimons'
book, Gallipoli.

FitzSimons paints a picture of the fate of one of the architects of
the Armenian massacre, Talaat Pasha, who as interior minister had
ordered the arrests of the intellectuals on April 24, 1915, and then
used a temporary deportation law in May that year to initiate the
marches and slaughter.

At war's end Talaat fled to Berlin and lived under an assumed name
until, on March 15, 1921, he felt a tap on the shoulder and turned to
be confronted by a young Armenian man, Soghomon Tehlirian, whose
parents and sisters had died in the massacre.

Left for dead and taken in by a Kurdish family, Tehlirian had survived
and escaped, eventually making his way to Germany to start a new life.

Historians suggest agents of Britain and Russia alerted exiled
Armenians to Talaat's location.

In FitzSimons' account, Tehlirian's quest to track Talaat down was
given impetus from beyond the grave when, two weeks before their
encounter, Tehlirian dreamt of his mother who told him: "You know
Talaat is here and yet you do not seem to be concerned. But you seem
quite heartless and are not my son." When he found his quarry,
Tehlirian put a pistol to Talaat's head and fired. A German court
found Tehlirian innocent on grounds of temporary insanity due to the
trauma he had suffered.

FitzSimons tells of an exchange between the judge and Tehlirian, taken
from the trial transcripts of April 16, 1921.

Presiding Justice: What did you think of what you had done?

Tehlirian: I felt a great satisfaction.

Presiding Justice: How do you feel about it now?Tehlirian: Even today,
I feel a great sense of satisfaction.

#8 Yervant1


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Posted 26 November 2014 - 11:01 AM


The West Australian
Nov 25 2014

by ELAINE FRY November 25, 2014, 6:30 am

Eminent human rights lawyer and QC Geoffrey Robertson's latest book, An
Inconvenient Genocide, draws attention to an important issue that still
needs to be addressed: the recognition of the massacre of about one
million Armenians on the eve of the Gallipoli landings as "genocide".

"Truth is important - it is important to tell it if people are still
suffering from a lie - and Armenians are still suffering from the
world's failure to do something about the genocide that had taken
place in 1915," Robertson says.

Next year will be the centenary of both the Armenian genocide and
the Gallipoli landings. Robertson feels that these significant
anniversaries, on consecutive days, April 24 and 25 respectively,
should be the perfect opportunity for all nations to acknowledge,
and for Turkey to admit, that the Armenian genocide had taken place
and for atonement to be made.

There is divided opinion since its occurrence as to whether it could
be called a "genocide". It is widely believed that some one million
Armenians were killed during this period. But Turkey, justifying
the actions of its predecessor in government, the Ottoman Empire,
is adamantly against the use of the G-word.

Robertson, who served as the first president of the UN War Crimes
Court in Sierra Leone, feels it that an admission to the Armenian
Genocide would "give hope that both Armenia and Turkey could move on".

He cannot see why there should be a problem with this positive step.

"Modern Turkey is a different nation (to the Ottoman Empire). The
actions of the past are not a reflection of the modern Turkish nation.

It is possible for nations to rise above the crimes of the past."

In his book, Robertson presents one of the great hypotheticals -
"Whether the Holocaust would have happened, had the International
Criminal Courts promised at Versailles and Sevres for the Kaiser
and his generals and for Talaat and his accomplices eventuated in
1921. At least Hitler would not in 1939 have said, "Who now remembers
the Armenians?"

Well, thankfully, Geoffrey Robertson does. As he puts it, "The
importance of acknowledging guilt of a crime against humanity, even
as long as a century later, is that denialism emboldens others to
think they can get away with mass murder of civilians whenever it is
expedient in wartime.

"International law sets a bottom line: whether Sunni or Shia, Hindu
or Christian, whether Chechen, Tamil or Bengali or an indigenous
people striving for independence, the deliberate destruction of any
part of that race or religion by those in control of a state cannot
be countenanced."


#9 Yervant1


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Posted 23 December 2014 - 10:28 AM


Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Geoffrey Robertson is the author of 'An Inconvenient Genocide'

SYDNEY--The Armenian Youth Federation of Australia (AYF Australia)
has announced it has succeeded in getting libraries around the country
to purchase and display "An Inconvenient Genocide," which is Geoffrey
Robertson's recently-released book on the Armenian Genocide.

Over the past month, AYF Australia worked closely with libraries
in Sydney and Melbourne, writing letters and making phone calls,
to ensure this book -- which unequivocally proves the legal case of
the Armenian Genocide -- is available to be borrowed by community
members, as well as students who study the Armenian Genocide as part
of the New South Wales syllabus. AYF Australia advises the community
to read the book and make the authorities of the country change their
position on the Armenian Genocide. The Head of the Armenian National
Committee of Australia, Vache Kahramanian, stated that the book will
pave a great way to change the country authorities' position on the
Armenian Genocide.

Australia's largest Armenian youth organization was pleased to announce
that 13 local and university libraries have purchased the book.


#10 Yervant1


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Posted 07 January 2015 - 10:34 AM

Geoffrey Robertson puts the case against Turkey for 1915 Armenian genocide

January 4, 2015

The Australian - ON April 24, 1915, the day before the Anzacs landed
at Gallipoli, the Turkish government in Constantinople rounded up
hundreds of Armenian artists, intellectuals, academics, priests and
community leaders and killed most of them.

At the time there were 15 million Turkish Muslims and about two
million Christian Arm-enians in Turkey (or Anatolia as it was then).
The Armenians were better educated and wealthier than most Turks and
because of that were envied and hated, so much so that the government
instituted a program of ethnic cleansing. The Turks had had practice
runs before. Between 1894 and 1896, 200,000 Armenians were massacred
by soldiers and armed mobs.

>From May to September 1915, up to two million Armenians were killed or
expelled from the Ottoman Empire. The adult men were massacred or sent
to death camps, while their families were sent on death marches
through the desert. They were murdered, raped, drowned, burned alive
and left to die of hunger and thirst. Churches, monasteries and
schools were destroyed. All material goods were confiscated. Girls
were made sex slaves and forced to convert. Up to 1.5 million died.

Since then Turkish apologists have protested that only 600,000 died
and that the deportations and massacres were merely unfortunate
incidents in a civil war. In An Inconvenient Genocide, Australian
lawyer Geoffrey Robertson sifts the evidence and details the reasons
he considers the Turkish elimination of the Armenians a crime against
humanity, a genocide.

He doesn't spend much time on the history but presents witness
accounts by diplomats, missionaries, journalists, doctors and
soldiers. Some of the compelling accounts are by Australian prisoners
of war. Even Turkey's German allies, especially diplomats, were
horrified by what was happening and sent voluminous reports back to

Turkish law sanctions citizens who ''insult Turkishness'' by referring
to the treatment of Armenians as genocide. Nobel prize-winning writer
Orhan Pamuk was charged but his international fame kept him out of
jail. This national-istic hypersensitivity cannot be over-estimated.
In 2010, the BBC recorded a play I wrote based on the memoirs of a US
vice-consul, Leslie Davis, who witnessed deportations, death marches
and atrocities. Because Turkish actors were afraid news of their
participation would travel back home, they dropped out or acted under
assumed names.

Robertson makes it clear that genocide is a matter for judges, not
historians. He takes as his guide the International Court of Justice
decree that genocide means acts committed with an intent to destroy,
in whole or part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. In
practice this means disrupting social cohesion (murdering leaders and
intellectuals), destroying cultural institutions and prohibiting
cultural activities, shifting wealth from the persecuted group to
privileged nationals, depopulating areas inhabited by a group,
interfering with the activities of churches catering to the persecuted
group and reducing its numbers by starvation or murder.

This book is a prosecutor's brief: brilliant, forensic and
irrefutable, and on all counts Robertson finds the 1915 Turkish
government guilty of genocide. The subtitle, Who Remembers the
Armenians?, is a paraphrase of Hitler's remarks to his generals in
1939, ordering them to show no mercy to the Poles: "Who, after all,
speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?''

Robertson is part of a growing global movement to have the Armenian
genocide classed as a crime against humanity. Governments in Canada,
France, Russia, Sweden and Poland have recognised the genocide, as
have 43 of the 50 US states. The British and US governments have
refused to do so; Turkey's pro-Western stance makes it an important

Led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a cynical populist, Turkey is
doing all within its power not to confront its own past and also to
stop the truth from being heard. This is of course not unusual
(witness Japan's refusal to acknowledge its horrific crimes in World
War II and Australia's deliberate amnesia about its treatment of
Aborigines) but the evidence of the genocide is so overwhelming that
the Turkish denial of what happened is breathtaking in its immaturity
and lack of pity.

In Australia's case, the NSW parliament recognised the genocide in
2013, but the federal government has not done so. Foreign Minister
Julie Bishop has gone so far as to deny it happened. Why is this?
Well, the answer is quite simple: blackmail. She is afraid the Turkish
government will stop Australians from visiting Gallipoli. She has good
reasons for this, given the Turks have banned any member of the NSW
parliament from attending this year's centenary memorial service at
Anzac Cove.

An Inconvenient Genocide should be compulsory reading for anyone who
knows nothing about the Armenian genocide. It's also a vivid reminder
that we must never forget such crimes against humanity. Very few books
are necessary, but this is one.



#11 Yervant1


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Posted 09 January 2015 - 10:23 AM

11:40 09/01/2015 » COMMENTS

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirms Turkey’s gag rule on Australia

Documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) confirm that the Australian government continues to be gagged by Turkey on the issue of the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian National Committee of Australia reports.
In a letter addressed to then-Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, Julie Bishop writes: “Recognising the important interests at stake for both countries, I assure you that there has been no decision to change the long-standing position of successive Australian Governments on this issue.”
The letter from the Australian Foreign Minister further emphasises Turkey's "gag rule" by qualifying Australia's position on the Armenian Genocide with the words: “recognising the important interests at stake for both countries”. It has already been revealed that Turkey is currently on an international campaign to gag leading nations from speaking truthfully and honestly on the Armenian Genocide.
A large part of the documents released by the Department of Foreign Affairs were redacted in full, citing disclosure of documents would cause damage to “the international relations of the Commonwealth.”
ANC Australia Executive Director, Vache Kahramanian, commented: "It is obvious that Australia has succumbed to Turkey’s ongoing threats to ban Members of Parliament from attending the Centenary commemorations at ANZAC Cove, and even close ANZAC Cove in its entirety in the lead up to the Centenary, should Australia recognise the events of 1915 as genocide."
“It is bewildering that the Australian government needs to redact a large number of documents held by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the Armenian Genocide.”
Kahramanian added: “It is clear that Australian government officials continue to succumb to ongoing threats by Turkey and as a result allow a foreign government to dictate Australia’s position on this issue."
"In this Centenary year, where Australia will commemorate the horrors of World War I, it should also have the moral courage to unequivocally recognise and condemn the Armenian Genocide and pay homage to the thousands of Australia who were at the forefront of providing international aid during and after the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923."
The release from DFAT can be accessed at .https://dfat.gov.au/foi/downloads/dfat-foi-1410-F953.pdf 

Source: Panorama.am

#12 Yervant1


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Posted 05 February 2015 - 09:15 AM


Daily Examiner (Grafton, New South Wales)
February 4, 2015 Wednesday

TITLE: An Inconvenient Genocide

THE most controversial issue left over from the First World War -
was there an Armenian Genocide? - comes to a head on April 24, 2015,
when Armenians throughout the world commemorate the centenary of the
murder of 1.5 million - over half - of their people, at the hands of
the Ottoman Turkish Government.

Turkey continues to deny it ever happened - or if it did, that the
killings were justified. This has become a vital international issue.

Twenty national parliaments have voted to recognise the genocide,
but Britain equivocates and President Obama is torn between Congress,
which wants recognition, and the US military, afraid of alienating
an important NATO ally.

In Australia, three state governments have recognised the genocide
(despite threats to ban their MPs from Gallipoli), but the Abbott
Government has told the Turks that Australia does not.

Geoffrey Robertson QC despises this mendacity. His book proves beyond
reasonable doubt that the horrific events of 1915 - witnessed by
Australian POWs - constituted the crime against humanity that is
known today as genocide.

In this book he explains how democratic countries can combat genocide
denial without denying free speech, and makes a major contribution
to understanding and preventing this worst of all crimes.

His renowned powers of advocacy are on full display, as he condemns
all those - from Sri Lanka to the Sudan, from Old Anatolia to modern
Gaza - who try to justify the mass murder of children and civilians
in the name of military necessity.

A gruesome but important book.

UNWIND has copy of this book to give away. To enter, fill out the
coupon and tell us what date the centenary of the Amenian genocide
falls on? Send your entry to The Daily Examiner by next Monday. A
winner will be announced in next week's UNWIND.

#13 Yervant1


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Posted 07 March 2015 - 08:48 AM


23:07, 06 Mar 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

A leading British jurist well-versed in human rights cases has
implicated Germanyin the forced relocation of Armenians by the Ottomans
during World War I, a move which led to mass killings of Armenians,
Today's Zaman reports.

It was Germans who suggested that Armenians be relocated, Geoffrey
Robertson, who also served as an appeals judge with the UN Special
Court for Sierra Leone from 2002 to 2007, said Friday at a conference
titled "The Armenian Genocide Legacy: 100 Years on."

Robertson, who was one of the panelists on the first day of the
conference in The Hague, Netherlands, maintained that Germans advised
Ottoman Turks to settle the Armenian question based on Germany's
practice of ethnic cleansing in southwest Africa back in 1905.

"Germans were in complicity with the Turks," he added. The Ottoman
Empire and Germany were allies in World War I.

In response to a rebellion by native people against German colonial
rule in the area corresponding to today's Namibia, the German army
allegedly let the native people who fled the violence die from
starvation and thirst by preventing them from leaving the Namibian
dessert. The number of victims is estimated to be in the tens of

"This is the first genocide of the 20th century," said Robertson,
who also described the suffering Ottoman Armenians experienced during
their relocation as genocide.

The two-day conference, organized ahead of the centennial commemoration
of the forced relocation of Ottoman Armenians, was held at the Hague
Institute for Global Justice.

Robertson, who is also the author of a book titled "An Inconvenient
Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians?" lashed out at the European
Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for a verdict which concluded that
denying what Armenians suffered is "genocide" does not constitute
a crime.

In December 2013, the lower court of the ECtHR ruled by five votes
to two that Switzerland violated the right to freedom of speech by
convicting Dogu Perincek, chairman of the Turkish Workers' Party
(Ä°P), for having publicly denied that a genocide took place against
the Armenian people.

Perincek declared that the events that befell the Armenians under
Ottoman rule in 1915 are an "international lie."

Maintaining that the ECtHR decided that this was not genocide because
there were no gas chambers involved, as was the case during the
Holocaust, Robertson said: "This was stupid."

The court's decision regarding Perincek set a precedent that it
is counter to the freedom of expression to charge individuals for
expressing views different than the officially accepted ones concerning
issues under public debate.

Ronald Suny, a professor of history at the University of Michigan,
said "genocide" might have been avoided if the rulers of the Ottoman
Empire had granted rights to minorities in the Ottoman state, instead
of seeing them as existential threats to the state.

They took a path that led to destruction, said Suny, who was the
keynote speaker of the conference.

Referring to what Aboriginal Australians, the continent's indigenous
people, and Native Americans lived through in the past, Suny also
underlined that all states should make an effort to come to terms
with their history.


#14 Yervant1


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Posted 03 March 2016 - 09:56 AM


11:54, 02 Mar 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

On Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, newly-elected Federal Member for North
Sydney, Trent Zimmerman gave his maiden speech in the Australia's
House of Representatives, calling on Turkey to recognise and atone
for the Armenian Genocide.

Zimmerman was elected at a recent by-election, taking the seat vacated
by Joe Hockey MP (now Australia's Ambassador to the United States),
a long-time advocate for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian National Committee of Australia's (ANC Australia)
Executive Administrator, Arin Markarian commented: "We thank Mr.

Zimmerman for proving he will continue Mr. Hockey's fine work on the
advancement of recognition and justice for the Armenian Genocide."

In his speech, Zimmerman acknowledged the "great historical injustices"
that the Armenians have suffered, particularly through the Armenian
Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

He said: "The Armenians are a people who have suffered great historical
injustices. They are one of the few people against whom genocide has
been attempted, and the awful legacy of those events of 1915 in the
Ottoman Empire is deeply felt in their community today."

Zimmerman added: "We know such horrific events are best healed through
reconciliation, recognition and atonement. I hope that we will see
a day when Turkey, indeed the global community through the United
Nations, properly recognises the Armenian Genocide."

ANC Australia has written to Zimmerman, congratulating him on
his maiden speech, wishing him a fruitful career representing the
electorate of North Sydney and the greater Australian community.




#15 Yervant1


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Posted 14 August 2016 - 09:55 AM

Mr. Atayman, your logic is as good as bird droppings what a liar! 

The Daily Telegraph (Australia)

August 12, 2016 Friday



Australians and the Turks have had a special bond since the Gallipoli
campaign. In the fringes of society, there has been some anti-Turkish
sentiment but that has never spilt over to the mainstream, until

A wave of extraordinary developments in Turkey has sparked an appetite
for opinion pieces about the country and its leadership. Some are
warranted but some are naive. Others are openly divisive and risk
creating animosity towards Australia's 66,000 strong Turkish

For example, last week the editorial of a major Australian newspaper
wrongly asserted there had been an increase in attacks against
Turkey's Christians, whose numbers have fallen from two million to
120,000 in two years. How would such unsubstantiated assertions make
Australian Christians feel about the predominantly Muslim Australian
Turkish community?

In another example, an opinion piece by John Adams, published in The
Daily Telegraph last Friday, calls for the Australian government to
"take on the Turks" and recognise the Turkish-led Ottoman genocide
against the Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians between 1914 and 1923.

Adams asserts in his piece that the Turks committed genocide against
Christian minorities for more than nine years. First of all, although
there is debate on whether the forced relocation of the Ottoman
-Armenians would constitute genocide, the claim that the Assyrians and
Greeks were subject to genocide is absurd. The Greeks, in particular,
carried out well-documented massacres against their neighbouring
Muslims dating back to the 1820s and into the 1920s.

Secondly, the Armenian lobby groups in the diaspora have been
pressuring governments to recognise the events of 1915 as genocide
since the 1970s and the Australian government is among the majority of
those respectable states that have not bowed to the pressure.

As Adams points out, it is indeed a matter of the values that
Australia stands for, such as the rule of law, due process and being a
good international citizen. The Australian government knows that
passing judgments on historical foreign debates is not its job and
should be left for historians and not lobbyists.

If it comes onto the table, we have a strong belief that the
government will follow the due process of setting up a commission,
listening to historians and relevant stakeholders.

Finally, genocide is a precisely -defined legal term. There is no
court decision as such since there is no evidence that would warrant
the tragedy of 1915 as genocide. Our refusal to use the term genocide
should not imply we deny the suffering of the Ottoman Armenians. Like
millions of others, they suffered too. We share their pain.

These kinds of divisive campaigns by lobby groups and opinions based
on wrong information continue to create wedges within the Australian

People from more than 192 different nations call Australia home and
the actions of lobbyists with agendas are a threat to possibly the
greatest multicultural society in the world. We should continue the
intellectual -debate based on facts, not opinions.

Baris Atayman is National Secretary for the Australian Turkish
Advocacy Alliance.


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