Clinton-Babacan meeting highlights warming US-Turkey ties

Following the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Turkey over the weekend, plans for US President Barack Obama to visit Turkey early next month were announced, which had an immediate chilling effect on many of us – Armenians, who beleived, that Obama will definately use the term Genocide when he makes the traditional April 24 speech to mark mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman empire in 1915, having made the campaign promise on several occasions to the American-Armenian community. Continue reading “Clinton-Babacan meeting highlights warming US-Turkey ties”

Ara Sarafian: "Freedom of expression for historians in Armenia is limited"

Ara Sarafian, the head of the London-based Gomidas Institute, gave an interview to Hurriet last week. The historian argued, that multilateral efforts to improve relations between Armenia and Turkey are the wrong way to resolve the Armenian issue and stressed, that the solution lies in the huge and influential diaspora.
I have very limited knowledge about Sarafian’s views and activities. What little I know comes from this post at the Caucasian Knot and a recent entry in my own blog. However, there are a couple of points made by the historian in the Hurriet interview that took me by surprise.
1. Sarafian said there were two problems that would arise out of any effort to improve relations with Armenians through closer ties with Armenia. “Freedom of expression for historians in Armenia is limited and the genocide issue has become a political tool,” he said.
2. “We cannot compare the Armenian genocide with the Holocaust. Those who were banished from their land suffered a lot but survived,” he said.
3. He said the restoration of the Armenian Akdamar Church in the recent past could have created an environment of dialogue but had become a missed chance. “Armenians did not want to take that chance because it did not suit their interests,” he said.
These are all quite arguable statements. I know the journalist personally, so I dismiss the option that the words of Sarafian were misrepresented. But – I can’t bring myself to agree, even to a smallest degree, to what Sarafian has said in the points highlighted by me.

New Book Offers Critical New Insights into Germany and the Armenian Genocide

scheub1One of the tangible links between the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust is in the person of Max Von Scheubner-Richther, the German Consul in Erzurum in 1915 who later became a co-founder of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party in Germany, only four years later. This personal link to Adolph Hitler has led to much speculation about Hitler’s intimate knowledge of the Armenian Genocide, and how such knowledge might have influenced the organisation of the Final Solution in Europe. Continue reading “New Book Offers Critical New Insights into Germany and the Armenian Genocide”

Turkish officials will talk about Armenian Genocide with U.S. presidential candidates

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sent two foreign policy officials to meet the advisors of both U.S. presidential candidates Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain in the United States, Hurriyet daily reported on Tuesday.

Ahmet Davutoglu, chief foreign policy advisor to Erdogan and Suat Kiniklioglu, deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish parliament would convey Turkey’s stance on a number of crucial issues, including PKK terrorism, the so-called Armenian “genocide” claims, Cyprus and other regional problems, to the advisors of both candidates, Hurriyet wrote.
Turkey would also urge the U.S. presidential candidates to listen to Turkish views on the so-called Armenian “genocide” claims, aside from focusing solely on the Armenian claims.
A warmer period began between Turkey and Armenia, who for more than a decade have not had any diplomatic relations over Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, after Turkish President Abdullah Gul paid a landmark visit to Armenia early September.

Armenia 103,599 sq/km According to Lecture of H.E. Ara Papian

Via EAFJD this interesting lecture of His Excellency Ara Papian, where he proves, that Armenia has all legal grounds to demand from Turkey to return its lands, and that the land area of Armenia should be 103,599 sq/km, instead of 29,800 sq/km internationally recognized area of today.

I personally find it hard to believe, that anything or anyone can force Turkey to give up its land area to Armenia. However, I think that people like Ara Papian and Armen Ayvazyan, who’s views on Armenia-Turkish relations are often qualified as “extremist” and “leading to nowhere”, are doing something really important. We need these views to be spoken out loud, and heard. We need even to press for them on the state policy level and excerpt as much pressure on Turkey as possible. Diplomacy is one big trade after all – and we need to start with the maximum price and go gradually down, to where both sides can compensate and reach an acceptable solution.

I think the Armenian state policy of today is rather week on that matter – we don’t even know what that policy is to be honest. They say “resumption of diplomatic relations without pre-conditions” and they don’t even say what the state policy is on the matter of Genocide recognition. Once Onnik Krikoryan asked me, what would I consider satisfactory solution of Armenia-Turkey relations. My answer:

  1. Turkey must recognize the Armenian Genocide.
  2. Turkey must pay due remunerations to Diaspora Armenians and those in the territory of Armenia, who have lost the lives of their relatives during the Genocide.
  3. Turkey should open the border.
  4. Turkey should give Armenia privileged access to one of its port-cities and tax-free passage through its territory from Armenia to that port-city and back.

Did I forget anything?

More Comments from Armenian Bloggers on US Congress Resolution 106

Armenian Bloggers kept following the developments around US Congress Resolution 106 last week. However, unlike the posts following immediately after the adoption of this House Committee resolution, the skeptical attitude prevailed this time. The main motive is that of blaming the United States and especially G. W. Bush in hypocrisy, while the most commonly sounded idea was, in various alterations and combinations that: Turks will remain Turks (with all the negative connotation attached to the name Turk accumulated in the course of the past 100+ years following the first mass killings of Armenians in the days of the Bloody Sultan – Sultan Hamid and passing on to the First Genocide of the 20th Century).
Here are again in more or less chronological order, extracts from some of the more prominent Armenian Bloggers in Armenian, English and Russian. At that – I have to draw special attention at the coverage of the developments by Onnik Krikoryan at his blog, as well as his first post at the Global Voices Online. He has undoubtedly provided the fullest coverage, bringing updates and opinions not only from the world news headlines, Armenian information sources, but also from blogospheres in US, Turkey and Armenia. As to the other Bloggers, we have seen once again, that if there is any single issue that can unite all Armenians – it is the Armenian Genocide and it is the pain, that lives in all of us down to the levels of subconscious and genome. On to the extracts now: Continue reading “More Comments from Armenian Bloggers on US Congress Resolution 106”

106 Resolution Support Vanes While The Times Report of Armenian Genocide from Friday October 8, 1915 is Getting into Circulation

Several days ago JLiving Notes was speculating, that the 106 resolution on Armenian Genocide adopted by the House Committee, will remain the focal point of many blog discussions for the days to come, saying he wants to believe, that for once historical justice will win (asking sceptically – if there is such thing at all). The British Times have been digging their archives and come up with more “hard” facts to support the Congress decision – the full text of this report from October 8, 1995 has already circulated through a large number of Armenian blogs, with the HayBlog and Kornelij Glas among the first to come up with the story.

To one who remembers the rejoicings which welcomed the bloodless Turkish Revolution of 1908, the fraternization of Британская Times перепечатала статью о резне армян, опубликованную 8 октября 1915 годаMoslem and Christian, the confidence in a better future for the Armenians which survived even the Adana massacre of 1909, the story of the systematic persecution of the Armenians of Turkey is a bitter tale to tell. Talaat Bey and his extremist allies have out-Hamided Abdul Hamid. They have even shocked their German friends, thus attaining eminence in “frightfulness” to which the “Red Sultan” never soared.

Meanwhile, Blogian says “Democrats Prostituting Under Turkish Sword“, and quotes the report by the New York Times, saying that “Over a dozen democrats have dropped their support for the Armenian Genocide resolution in the last 24 hours”.

Uzogh is not impressed though, this is “democracy in action” he says, pointing to this list of Congressmen supporting the resolution at the moment, and noting, that while the number has dropped from 226 to 218, there is still enough support to pass the resolution in the 435 seat Congresss.

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