Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Foreign Minister Gul Shocked to See TIME DVD on his Flight


Several Turkish newspapers reported on Feb. 26 that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was shocked when he saw an Armenian Genocide DVD in the TIME magazine issue on his plane.

Gul and members of his delegation were returning to Turkey on February 11, after spending several days in Washington, D.C., lobbying against the pending Congressional Resolution on the Armenian Genocide. On their Lufthansa Airline flight, they discovered that the TIME magazine issue handed to them included a DVD as well as a full-page announcement on the Armenian Genocide. Gul was reportedly very upset it was placed in the February 12, 2007 issue at TIME's expense in response to the denialist DVD surreptitiously inserted by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce in the June 6, 2005 issue of Time Europe.

Foreign Minister Gul may also find out that the one million dollars spent by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce backfired on the Turks and caused TIME magazine to spend around a million dollars of its own to counter the false Turkish claims on the Armenian Genocide. Oktay Eksi, a prominent Turkish journalist, expressed his dismay that TIME magazine's actions were precipitated by the unwise and costly efforts of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce. "Some of the things we do just wind up making the situation messier," Eksi lamented in his Hurriyet column.

In recent days, various Turkish groups have initiated an e-mail campaign trying to get TIME magazine to apologize for distributing the DVD on the Armenian Genocide. Their actions, sometimes, have had comical consequences, resulting in a total waste of their efforts. When one Turkish website asked its members to send e-mails to TIME magazine to complain about the insertion of the DVD on the Armenian Genocide, it provided them the wrong e-mail address. They were told to write to The Times (London) daily newspaper rather than TIME magazine.

After receiving a large number of e-mails from Turks complaining about the Armenian DVD, the exasperated editors of The Times (London) published the following note in the Feb. 15 issue of the newspaper: "The Times has received a slew of e-mails from angry Turks, who are in fact complaining about TIME magazine. On it February 12 issue,TIME issued a documentary DVD about the Armenian Genocide of 1915, in its European edition -- an act that has prompted an e-mail campaign alleging that Time's action has 'distorted the truth.' Presumably TIME itself has received more complaints." Significantly, the editors of The Times of London are referring to the Armenian Genocide as such, without any qualification.

Another Turkish website,, urged its members to send protest e-mails to TIME magazine. Even though this time they were provided with the right e-mail address, the sample e-mails they were given may not have been ideal, to put it mildly. Here is an excerpt:

"I just want you to know that you or the persons who own the company are just being a part of an old propaganda which was made up by the Armenian lobbies to weaken Turkish Republic and force it to pay big compensations in the long term like the Germans for what they did to the Jews during the World War 2. I don't know who is that Armenian sympathizer or Armenian in your corporation [who] pushed Time Magazine to do such thing. But I know that this is just wrong. I want to tell you that from now on neither Time magazine nor any other publication related to your group will be purchased by me or by the work place that I am responsible or will be responsible in the future. This may not be much, but at least in the future we will not have to lay our eyes on totally biased and racist pieces of paper that are sold as a magazine."

The Turks are just wasting their time and energy complaining about the Armenian DVD. What the Turkish public and officials do not know is that after going through a grueling 18-month long negotiations with Armenian groups in the Europe and the U.S. and incurring a huge expense to make amends for the Turkish DVD, the last thing TIME executives would want to do is reopen that subject again!

1 comment:

Seta said...

This is a direct response: My shock at Abdulla Gul’s attitude at seeing a DVD beside THE TIME MAGAZINE, in the plane he was travelling on.

Mr Gul, can you imagine how many millions of Armenians and other Nations feel all over the world at your attitude about the Armenian genocide of 1915 by the Young Ottoman Turks! The DVD in the TIME MAGAZINE, to which you were privy to is a true representation based upon evidential records of that period, it was an honest and veracious account.
The shameful thing is that you actually think you are right, or that the DVD should not have been laying around the in-flight offerings to all passengers including the delegates. It is time you heard the truth, as an educated person, take responsibility, confront your own government. Politics has a lot to answer for! How long will this farcical denial of the truth be twisted, round and round and beaten like scrambled eggs, until enough confusion and speculation makes it seem as if the Diasporian Armenian’s have become homeless, landless and refugees of no consequence.
Here is my response: I can smell, ‘rotten eggs’, from your scrambled eggs.
If the successive Governments in Turkey were true to their convictions the Turkish government would not go to the trouble of keeping their nation un-educated by the lack of information or the withdrawal of it from missing archives, to keep them and the world outside of Turkey from knowing the truth.
But things have changed and Turkey’s population needs cerebral growth, stop beating and punishing your people for something they have not done! The people are not at fault, educate them and they will feed themselves. Tell all your governmental departments to enlighten the people about the atrocities carried out by the Ottoman’s, even before the 1915 massacres of Armenians there are prevalent stories in our History books, to which you pay not attention. The truth will exonerate the Turkish people, liberating them. They who know nothing of the 1915 Genocide and many massacres over umpteen years, free them from the shackles successive governments have put over its people on issues which has nothing to do with the people. You keep a tight hold over them making them out to be the purveyors of evil doings, in the window of the world.
It has taken me a number of weeks before responding to your statement Mr Gul because at first I could not think what it was about your speech that I objected to, your tone? Attitude? Or the subject matter upon which you protested. Then I realised that it was the fact that you were able to, 'protest,' and protest you did. Unlike many millions in Turkey, they are not allowed to air their views, as indeed you have, under the 301 ruling which muzzles those who wish to do so… so before you make your next statement remember: "Freedom of speech, expression, and rights are all what is basic to humanity." Turkey is still living in denial. Turkey (my ancestral home) is still living in denial. It is about the rights, in a long list of denials pending. This question lingers in the corridors of your governmental buildings, and on the agenda for human rights!
Many millions have died and Hrant Dink's assassination is just one example of the brutality your government supports! Hrant Dink gave his life for freedom of speech and for those who died in the Armenian Genocide of 1915 by the Turks! The Genocide is an issue which will never die as long as it is denied the right to be laid to rest in memory of those whose lives were taken, brutally, unjustly with their eyes still open, without the dignity of a proper burial.
It was an opportune moment for the Young Ottoman Turks to ceased the lives of Armenians under the guise of World War I [one]. Shame on them who betrayed their brothers-in-arms for they were their friends, neighbours and fellow soldiers. I thank my parents who educated me about the Armenian tragedy, it helped me to shape my life and love my fellow men no matter what creed or colour! With one fundamental thought…that we have the right to be free… there is only one life! We are here for a fleeting moment in the history of the world.