AZG Armenian Daily
The tiny community of genocide survivors and their descendants living
in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, has taken a
bold and determined step toward ensuring that their unique place in
the history of this immortal city, is not irretrievably lost.
With the perennially relentless threat of assimilation and attrition
dogging their footsteps, the "Kaghakatzis" - literally, city or native
dwellers - are caught up in a brain drain that could, they fear,
make their decreasing number dwindle even further.
Community leaders voice their fears more bluntly.
"What we are facing is extinction and oblivion," they say.
Kaghakatzi Armenians are a genealogical oddity: every single member
of the community is related to everyone else in the community, either
directly or indirectly.
Takoug Khatchadourian (nee Kevorkian) is the sister-in-law of the
famous composer Ohan Durian. But she is also the aunt (on the father's
side) of Hagop Hagopian (originally Hovsepian). That makes Hagop's
sons and daughter kin to Durian.
At their peak, the Kaghakatzis numbered in the thousands. Now they
are down to a few hundred.
But this tiny enclave whose members have been making their home in the
cobblestoned alleys of the Old City for centuries, have enriched the
variegated tapestry of Jerusalem with their blend of unique culture,
their traditions, their arts and crafts, their cuisine.
For generations, many of the houses in the Armenian Quarter would
have been inhabited by the same family.
The slipshod nature of the Ottoman art of masonry is evident in
the meter-thick earth walls and the ramshackle foundations. Little
allowance has been made for sunlight and ventilation and the wall
plaster cakes continually, as the walls shed their whitewash under
the onslaught of humidity.
The houses are blessed twice every year (at Christmas and Easter)
by the parish priest, "and that is perhaps what helps to make them
safe and habitable," quips one resident.
The Kaghakatzis have played, and continue to play, a leading role not
only in maintaining and perpetuating, the Armenian presence in the Holy
Land, but also in helping to make this world a better place to live in.
"True, we occupy a coveted niche in the history of the Old City, but
unless we take prompt measures to preserve our entity, our history
will no more be known," community leaders warn.
With the timely launch of the enterprising Kaghakatzi Family Tree
Project, this threat of extinction will hopefully be safely removed,
project organizers say.
The project has so far collated genealogical details of over 800
Kaghakatzi Armenians from among the members of the score of leading
"clans," relying mostly on personal reminiscences and recollections.
But the years may have shrouded some of these in obscurity.
The organizers pin their hopes on validating their data by tapping
the vast archives of the Armenian Patriarchate of St James, which
date back some centuries.
"Old birth, death and marriage certificates would be our principal
source of information," say the organizers.
And old family photographs.
The organizers concede that there are plenty of gaps in the Kaghakatzi
family tree database that need to be filled.
"For instance, we may have the name of a grand-grandmother, but no
one remembers her maiden name, or the date of her birth," they note.
The information gathered so far is housed in a main computer database
that will make it possible to print out or display pages of selected
branches of the tree or an "all-in-one" showing the whole sprawling
network of relations, in an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file.
A secondary, backup computer database using different software,
has also been created.
A unique domain name for the project has now been registered and the
project enshrined on the internet at: http://www.kaghakatzi.org
The initial, modest family tree project begun last year has been
growing by leaps and bounds. The organizers note that the website will
not only host the family tree of all the Kaghakatzis, but also their
history and way of life, and a record of their achievements, and will
include photos, artwork, anecdotes, traditions, proverbs, cuisine, etc.
"We need all the help and support we can get," the organizers note.
"This is a labor of love, and we try to keep expenses to an absolute
minimum, " they say.
"However, we do need to constantly update the software and hardware,
pay our internet service providers, and so on," they add.
"And we need more genealogical data. Without the help of contributions
from every single living Kaghakatzi, wherever her or she may be,
we cannot hope to complete the record and make this vital community
project succeed," they point out.
They invite anyone possessing information of any nature on the
Kaghakatzi Armenians to contact them at email@example.com
Thursday, 31 January 2008
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Early Day Motion
That this House unreservedly condemns the desecration of the Armenian Genocide Monument in Cardiff on Holocaust Memorial Day 2008; congratulates all bodies which have recognised the truth of the Armenian Genocide including The International Association of Genocide Scholars, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, The Aegis Trust, The European Parliament, The National Assembly of Wales, The Edinburgh, Ealing and Gwynedd Councils, The United Nations Association Wales, The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, and the Kurdish parliament in exile; and calls upon the UK Government formally to recognise the 1915 genocide of Armenians and Assyrians.
by Martin Shipton, Western Mail
A MEMORIAL stone commemorating an estimated one-and-a-half million Armenians
massacred by Ottoman Turks in 1915 was desecrated in Cardiff at the weekend.
Organisers of a National Holocaust Day event discovered yesterday morning the
slate cross on the monument by the Temple of Peace in Cathays Park had been
smashed with a hammer.
Many Turks object to the description of the 1915 massacres as a holocaust,
and yesterday a single Turkish heckler with a megaphone sought to drown out
prayers and speeches at the desecrated monument attended by members of Wales'
small Armenian community.
ic Wales, United Kingdom
icWales, the best source for Welsh news, sport, business and entertainment
Memorial to 'genocide' vandalised
Monday, 28 January 2008, 12:52 GMT BBC WALES NEWS
An ornamental cross erected last year in Cardiff to commemorate what
some say was the genocide of Armenian people during World War I has
The Armenian Celtic-style cross was smashed and a hammer was left
lying near the damaged memorial ahead of a commemoration service on
The service took place outside the Temple of Peace to mark Holocaust Day.
South Wales Police are investigating the damage and have appealed for
information from the public.
On Sunday, around 30 people gathered for the ceremony, which marked
the deaths of 1.5m Armenians between 1915 and 1923.
Two protesters who objected to calling the deaths a genocide disrupted
the ceremony for part of the time.
A number of countries have officially recognised an Armenian genocide,
including France, Canada, Argentina and Switzerland.
Turkish nationalist protesters heckled Armenians attending the
Holocaust Memorial Day event in Cardiff on Sunday.
The wreath-laying event, held outside the Temple of Peace in Cathays
Park, attracted the displeasure of the self-styled Committee for the
Protection of Turkish Rights, which previously sent 100 protesters to
disrupt a requiem service organised to consecrate the Welsh National
Armenian genocide monument outside the temple on November 3.
Some Turkish nationalists are furious at attempts to remember the
Turkish government's attempt to wipe out its Armenian population in
A spokesman for the Welsh Armenian group at Sunday's event explained
why they were attending Holocaust Memorial Day.
"This is the only public genocide monument in Wales, even in the UK,"
"We hope that it will become a focus for every other group which has
suffered or has been persecuted.
"Also we hope that Armenian-Jewish friendship will be promoted by
Armenian monument desecrated
Monday, 28th January 2008. 5:09pm
THE WELSH Armenian community has been left reeling after a monument
to commemorate the 1915 genocide was desecrated in the early hours of
Holocaust Memorial Day.
The monument, which is situated at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff,
had its ornate Armenian Cross smashed by a hammer which was found at
the scene. Eilian Williams of Wales Armenia Solidarity condemned the
attack, which happened just hours before a memorial service in
remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenians killed in the genocide of
He said: `I call on Armenians and other sympathisers throughout the
world to send messages of support to Wales Armenia Solidarity which
we can send to the Prime Minister of the National Assembly of Wales.
`We shall repair the cross again and again, no matter how often it is
desecrated. `We also challange the UK government and the Turkish
Embassy to condemn this racist attack.'
Jan 28 2008
Memorial attacked night before service
Jan 28 2008 by Katie Bodinger, South Wales Echo
A MONUMENT set up in Cardiff to remember 1.5 million Armenians who
were massacred in 1915 was vandalised ahead of a service for all the
victims of genocide.
The memorial in the Temple of Peace, Cathays, Cardiff, made of
sandstone and Welsh slate, was struck with a sledgehammer on Saturday
night, smashing the cross off it.
Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day and a service was held to
remember all those who have died at the hands of ethnic cleansing.
Members of the Turkish community have condemned the damage. [!!]
Caerphilly Councillor Ray Davies, who campaigned for the Armenian
monument to be erected, said many people at the service yesterday
were close to tears when they saw what had happened.
`The desecration of the monument reminds us that we must always be
vigilant against racism and hatred which is never far from the
surface,' he said.
The pillar of pink stone was unveiled in November to remember all
those Armenians who were murdered by Ottoman Turks in 1915.
It caused controversy at the time, with members of the Turkish
community denying the killings amounted to genocide.
The sledgehammer which damaged the monument was found close to the
But the service still went ahead as planned, despite protests from a
small number of people who shouted through loud hailers.
Director of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs Stephen Thomas
said: `It was particularly saddening for the Armenians present that
this happened on the day of the Holocaust Memorial Day. This service
wasn't specific to the Armenians. We were trying to be all-inclusive
about all those historical events where people have been massacred.
It wasn't very helpful in terms of trying to create a bridge and
links between Turkey and Armenia that this was carried out. People
were upset when they turned up and saw what had happened.'
Hal Savas, a member of the five-man delegation from the Committee for
the Protection of Turkish Rights, was present at the service. [!!]
`Whoever has done it should be ashamed of themselves,' he said. `We
would condemn any damage done to any religious monument.'
South Wales Police are appealing for witnesses. Contact then on 029
Monday, 28 January 2008
Nor Serount Cultural Association
Armenian Genocide Trust
Hrant Dink Commemmoration in London
London (Saturday 19.01.2008) - A diverse crowd comprising of Armenians,
Kurds, Turks and intellectuals of other nationalities marked the first
anniversary of the death of Hrant Dink at the Monument to the Innocents in
front of Westminster Abbey, London on Saturday.
Prayers were said by Canon Segovsky of Westminster Abbey. The author
Nouritza Matossian, a friend of Hrant paid her own personal tribute. The
author Des Fernandes spoke about Hrant's clear position on the Genocide.
Kasim Agpak said that Hrant's death was "the outcome of a long planned
implementation of constitutional racism and anti-democratic articles and
Messages of support were read from the singer Diamanda Galas, Swedish MP
Esabelle Reshdouni, Gurgin Bakircioglu (Vice Chair of The Kurdish Student
and Academic Association of Sweden and editor of Beyan.net). A portion of
Hrant's work was read by Nouritza Matossian. Professor Khatchatur Pilikian,
as his tribute, sang "God the Free (song of freedom)" by Mikael Nalbandian
and two white doves of peace were released by Khatchig Vartanian, Editor of
the UK Armenian magazine, "Voice of Nor Serount".
The numerous Kurds, Armenians and Turks present agreed to enter in dialogue
and consecrate their lives to study and learn fro Hrant's many articles.
Transcripts of Hrant Dink Day Speeches will be published in the forthcoming
issue of VONS.
Posted by Seta at 01:31
23.01.2008 17:56 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/January 19, on initiative of Mayor of Lyon Gerald
Colomb, a street was named in memory of Hrant Dink, independent French
journalist Jean Eckian told PanARMENIAN.Net.
Those who gathered Le Progres newspaper office read a letter of thanks
sent by Agos editorial staff. Pastor of the Armenian Evangelical
Church Rene Levonian conveyed the gratitude of Dink~Rs widow Rakel.
Turkish Ambassador to France Ismail Hakka Musa also attended the
ceremony. However, he left immediately after the event participants
referred to the 1915 events.
REVISION OF ITS HISTORY WILL ALLOW TURKEY TO FIND A PLACE IN EUROPE
22.01.2008 17:55 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ An event in commemoration of slain Agos editor
Hrant Dink was held in Krasnodar region of Russia, reported Yerkramas,
the newspaper of Armenians of Russia.
The participants gave reports and exchanged views on status of
religious minorities in Turkey. They also issued an address to leaders
of the EU member states and called to exert pressure on the Turkish
government and demand fair investigation of the crime.
"Only revision of the dark pages of its history, specifically
recognition of the Armenian Genocide, will allow Turkey to find a
place in Europe," the document reads.
"Hrant Dink's murder is the result of the policy of intolerance
pursued by the Turkish authorities," it goes on.
Hrant Dink, 53, was gunned down on January 19, 2007.
He was remarkable for his publications about the Armenian Genocide
and was prosecuted under article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. His
murder aroused a wave of protest throughout the globe.
Police in Turkey have clashed with protesters marking the anniversary of the murder of journalist, Hrant Dink.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_7190000/newsid_7198400?redirect=7198461.stm&news=1&nbram=1&bbwm=1&bbram=1&nbwm=1&asb=1 >
Jan 21 2008
>From Frankfurt, Germany to Budapest, Hungary and to Berlin, Cologne
and London hundreds across the globe joined the ten thousand people
in Istanbul in memory of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, in the first
year of his assassination.
The murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul a
year ago has not been forgotten in Turkey. Indeed, as the trial of
the young murder suspects is going on, new evidence pointing to a
much more coordinated organisation of the murder emerges nearly weekly.
"For Hrant, for Justice"
Thus, the crowd of over ten thousand who gathered in front of the
office of Dink's Agos newspaper in Istanbul on Saturday, at the time
and on the spot of his murder a year ago, was not only mourning an
outspoken proponent of dialogue between Turkey and Armenia, but also
protesting against the lack of investigation of the real forces behind
the murder. There were other gatherings and protests in other major
cities in Turkey, too. The slogan was "For Hrant, for Justice."
Internationally, newspapers reported on the commemoration gathering.
The German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ran two articles on 21
January, one covering the gathering, and one on Hrant Dink's last
article, in which he described himself as a "restless pigeon",
looking in all directions for possible threats.
A spate of attacks by young nationalists The taz newspaper published
an article entitled "Silence for Hrant Dink", in which it reported on
the ten thousand mourners, as well as a concert held in Hrant Dink's
memory in Istanbul in the evening. The article quoted human rights
activist and writer Arundhati Roy, who was with Hrant Dink's widow
Rakel Dink during the commemoration, as saying that it was Hrant Dink's
death which had drawn international attention to the Armenian question.
The article was generally pessimistic about the state of affairs in
Turkey, citing a list of attacks on Christians: the murder of Italian
priest Andrea Santoro, who was killed by a 17-year old in Trabzon
in February 2006, an attack on another priest who was injured five
months later, then Hrant Dink's murder, then the gruesome murder
of three Christians working for the Zirve Publishers in April 2007,
an attack on a priest in Izmir in December 2007, and another attack
prevented in Antalya.
The newspaper quoted Orhan Cengiz, lawyer in the Malatya case, as
saying that the profile of the perpetrators is the same in each case:
they were all young, male members of youth groups of the Nationalist
Movement Party (MHP) or Great Union Party (BBP). Older associates were
also linked to these parties, and before the crimes were committed,
there were "dubious contacts to police or military circles." Cengiz
also pointed out that evidence was often withheld, meaning that the
"men behind the scene" could not be investigated either in the Malatya
or the Dink murder case.
The same issue of the taz also published an article on the flag which
school children made out of their own blood, citing this as another
example of the rise in Turkish nationalism.
Only "small fry" in court The German Die Welt newspaper conducted an
interview with Fethiye Cetin, lawyer of the Dink family, in Istanbul
before the anniversary and also summarised the murder, reactions
and the trial in a series of 28 pictures. The newspaper said that
only the "small fry" were in court, and that the real forces behind
the murder had not been touched. Cetin spoke of her conviction that
the Trabzon group of suspects must have had logistic support in
Istanbul. She interpreted Dink's murder as an attempt to put a stop
to the democratisation process in Turkey and predicted that the trial
would last for years.
Call for reform of Penal Code The British Times newspaper published
an open letter to the editor, in which the Article 19, English PEN
and Index on Censorship organisations call on Turkey to reform its
Penal Code. The letter predicts that the planned amendments of the
controversial Article 301, under which Hrant Dink himself was tried
and sentenced, would "prove inadequate."
Suspicion of "negligence, even collusion" The New York Times reported
on the commemoration gathering and said:
"Hrant Dink had sought to encourage reconciliation between Turkey and
Armenia, but several years before his death he was prosecuted under
Turkish law for describing the early 20th-century mass killings of
Armenians as genocide."
The newspaper added that there was suspicion of "official negligence,
or even collusion" in the murder, and that the Dink family mistrusted
the ongoing investigation.
Commemorative events around the world The first anniversary of Hrant
Dink's murder was also marked with cultural and religious events
On 18 January, a panel entitled "Freedom of Expression and Association
& Article 301 and the Murder of Hrant Dink" was held in Frankfurt. On
the same day, a requiem was performed for Hrant Dink in Washington
D.C., and historian Taner Akcam held a speech. Another requiem was
organised in California, preceded by wreath-laying in front of Armenian
The Visual Anthropology Club of the Central European University in
Budapest remembered Hrant Dink with a viewing of the film "Swallow's
Nest", in which Hrant Dink speaks about an Armenian orphanage in the
outskirts of Ýstanbul. The same film was also shown in Ottawa, Canada.
In Berlin, a vigil was held in front of the Turkish consulate,
while the Monument of Innocents in London was the site of another
commemorative event. There was another gathering in Cologne, and a
photo exhibition of Hrant Dink's life in Berlin.
These are just a few examples of the many events organised in memory
of Hrant Dink; there were more in Germany and Britain, as well as
Belgium, the Netherlands and France. (AG)
23.01.2008 16:03 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Istanbul police department on combating terrorism
arrested 50 people including retired General Vali Kicik, Aksam
newspaper employee Guler Komurcu, lawyer Kamal Kerincsiz and
spokesperson for Orthodox Church of Turkey Sevgi Erenerol. [?]
They are suspected in complicity in the murder of Agos editor Hrant
Dink, armed attack against judges, explosion in Cumhurriyet newspaper
premises, attempt on two monks' life in Trabzon and Izmir.
Kicik and others accused of membership in illegal radical nationalist
groups are interrogated in Istanbul Police Department. It's not known
yet whether they were incriminated. Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, one of
the leaders of Justice and Development Party (AKP) stated that police
carried out a huge operation and he is eager for the results.
Vali Kichik, member of World Azerbaijanis Congress Management Board
was detained last year but was released soon afterwards, APA reports.
DEMONSTRATION IN MEMORY OF HRANT DINK
Saturday, February 2nd, 9:00 AM Sharp
312 Sutter Street (between Stockton & Kearny Sts.), San Francisco, 94108
In memory of Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink, assassinated in Turkey on January 20, 2007, The Bay Area ANC has organized a demonstration at the site of an all-day workshop, "Portrait of Turkey," hosted by the World Affairs Council in San Francisco.
Speakers at the workshop include the Consul General of Turkey, Hakan Tekin, and the Honorary Consul General of Turkey for the Bay Area, Bonnie Joy Kaslan (a plaintiff in the 2004 lawsuit seeking removal of the Mt. Davidson Cross memorial plaque, commemorating the Armenian Genocide.)
HELP US RAISE OUR VOICES LOUDLY to workshop participants, reminding them:
Hrant Dink was silenced forever because he spoke out about the Armenian Genocide;
Many others are being criminally prosecuted for discussing the Armenian Genocide;
Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, other minorities and their cultural properties are under constant threat in Turkey;
Turkey conducts a massive campaign of Armenian Genocide denial, recently spending millions of dollars and using drastic political threats to manipulate the U.S. legislative process to defeat the Armenian Genocide resolution pending in Congress.
Parking on Sutter Street is available at the Sutter-Stockton Garage (entrance on Stockton).
It is recommended to take BART or MUNI and get off at the Montgomery Station.
MUNI Buses are also available: Bus lines 38/38L Geary, 30/45 Stockton, and the 2/3/4 Sutter bus lines.
Visit 511.org for schedule and fares.
Armenian National Committee
San Francisco - Bay Area
51 Commonwealth Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel: (415) 387-3433
Fax: (415) 751-0617
TURKEY DETERMINED TO PURGE ITS GLADIO
Jan 24 2008
The suspects arrested in police raids as part of the Ergenekon
operation Tuesday were taken to the hospital for a routine physical
check-up on Wednesday.
The prime minister has said a police inquiry resulting in the arrest
of dozens of people, including ex-army officers and lawyers, shows the
determination of Turkey to bring an end to state and military-linked
The suspects have not been charged, but analysts agree that the 33
detained on Tuesday suspected of membership in a nationalist group,
calling themselves Ergenekon, are part of a shadowy network that
masterminded many attacks in Turkey.
The discovery is not the first of its kind. In the past two years,
the country's security forces unearthed a number of clandestine
gangs countrywide. These groups, known to the public by such names
as Atabeyler, Sauna and Umraniye, or Ergenekon -- the latest one to
be brought to light -- have tried to create chaos in the country at
crucial times such as last year's presidential election. However,
despite the fact that all these organizations were uncovered, with
many of their members being discovered, no significant punishment
has yet been imposed on the members of these gangs.
These gangs are apparently linked to a clandestine phenomenon that
functions similarly to Operation Gladio -- a post-World War II NATO
operation structured as "stay-behind" paramilitary organizations,
with the official aim of countering a possible Soviet invasion through
sabotage and clandestine operations. In fact, many analysts believe
such networks of groups in Turkey today, sometimes referred to as the
"deep state," are remnants of the Turkish leg of the actual Gladio.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan on Wednesday praised the security
forces for the recent operations, speaking to the members of the
press after a meeting with the Turkish Tradesmen's and Artisans'
Confederation (TESK). He said his government has been fighting gangs
and organized crime with resolve. "This has been ongoing for four
to five years. In addition to our security forces there is also a
process that the judiciary has been conducting. This is something we
are happy about. This last incident concerning such crimes has shown
in the clearest way that the executive branch and the judiciary are
working in a wonderful solidarity," he stated.
"All democrats in Turkey have been looking forward to this sort
of action by the government ... Everybody is now hoping something
will happen but people remain very suspicious," said Cengiz Aktar,
a professor at Ýstanbul's Bahceþehir University, to Reuters.
"This is a very important test for the government, they will be
judged by this ... If these people [are guilty and] are convicted,
it will be very good for Turkish democracy as well as for our efforts
to join the European Union," Reuters quoted Aktar as saying.
Ergenekon members trying to take power in their own hands
Aykut Cengiz Engin, Ýstanbul's chief prosecutor, in a written
statement announced that earlier bans on reporting about the
investigation remained in place. However, all Turkish newspapers,
with the exception of a few ultra-nationalist ones, covered the
operation nevertheless. "Never gone this deep before," read Yeni
Þafak's headline yesterday. "The state takes on the deep state,"
Sabah said in one of its headlines. "A deep blow to a deep gang," said
Star. "Operation against coup supporters," said Radikal, highlighting
the military ties of the group.
The nationalist gang is suspected of involvement in a number of
violent attacks, including the killing of an Italian priest in 2006,
the assassination of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and the murder
of three Christians in the city of Malatya last year.
The suspects were detained in Ýstanbul and other regions in dawn
raids Tuesday, the culmination of an eight-month operation, the police
said. The police have been observing the actions of the suspects for
over eight months as part of an investigation into a house full of
explosives and ammunition found in Ýstanbul's Umraniye district eight
Meanwhile, four more people were taken into custody in the
southeastern city of Diyarbakýr in the afternoon yesterday as part
of the same operation. Among the four, at least two are members of
the ultra-nationalist Association for the Union of Patriotic Forces
(VKGB), whose leaders are already under arrest facing several charges
for crimes from theft and felony to blackmail and extortion.
Engin's statement said until Tuesday's detentions, 15 people had
been arrested as part of the Umraniye operation, which was launched
on June 12, when an arms depot was found in the district. He said
all 15 were arrested facing charges of "establishing and running an
armed terrorist organization," "membership in this organization,"
"conspiring to encourage military member for not obeying orders,"
"acquiring information on state security," "possession of a serious
amount of dangerous guns and ammunition" and "being in possession
The suspects of Ergenekon
Engin's statement also listed the names of the 33 people taken into
custody. The suspects include Veli Kucuk, a retired major general
who is also the alleged founder of an illegal intelligence unit
in the gendarmerie, the existence of which is denied by officials;
the controversial ultranationalist lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, who filed
countless suits against Turkish writers and intellectuals who were at
odds with Turkey's official policies; Fikret Karadað, a retired army
colonel; Sevgi Erenerol, the press spokesperson for a group called
the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate; Guler Komurcu, a columnist for
the Akþam daily; and Sami Hoþtan, a key figure in an investigation
launched after a car accident in 1996 near the small town of Susurluk
that uncovered links between a police chief, a convicted fugitive who
was an ultranationalist and a deputy. Ali Yasak, a well-known gangster
linked to the figures in the Susurluk incident, was also detained in
the operation. Fuat Turgut, the lawyer of a key suspect in the Hrant
Dink murder, was also taken into custody. Police said Turgut, who was
detained in another town on Tuesday, was brought to Ýstanbul yesterday.
The chief prosecutor said earlier court orders on the Umraniye probe
have classified the case as "confidential" and issued a press ban on
coverage of the investigation. He cited two different court's decisions
from June 15 and June 21. He said care shown in regards to abiding by
the confidentiality decision and the press ban on the investigation is
"necessary for the proper conducting of the investigation."
Also on Wednesday, the police conducted searches at the office of
attorney Kerincsiz and the office of the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate
as well as at several other places related to the suspects.
The operation also revealed that the Ergenekon gang was preparing for
attacks and assassinations directed at political figures. Documents
obtained by the police during the raid confirm that in the past two
years the group seriously considered assassinating Osman Baydemir,
a member of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) who is
currently mayor of the mainly Kurdish southeastern province Diyarbakýr.
DTP refuses state protection
Meanwhile, the recent operation showed that many DTP members who
had been offered private bodyguards by the state, including former
DTP leader Ahmet Turk, Ýstanbul deputy Sebahat Tuncel and Diyarbakýr
Mayor Baydemir, had refused 24-hour body guards assigned to them by
the police force.
When asked about the situation, Turk said he was not worried. "I
believe in fate." He noted that he was aware of assassination attempts
against him, but said he was not afraid. On the recent operations,
Turk said it was very important that members of the Ergenekon gang
were captured, but he warned that the suspects could be "protected"
by some powers, which is usually the case with criminals that have
links to the military. "It is necessary for democracy and law that
there is a crackdown on these organizations. I hope that all these
organizations will be exposed with determination," Turk said.
ArmInfo. Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned US
presidential candidate Barack Obama after he pledged he would support
Armenian claims of genocide at the hands f the late Ottoman Empire
if he wins the race, Turkish Daily News reports.
He reiterated that Turkish-US ties would receive a serious blow if the
Congress passes a resolution recognizing Armenian claims of genocide.
"Everybody knows that passage of such a resolution would lead
to irremediable wounds in Turkey-US relations," Erdogan said in
According to the prime minister, such remarks stem from lack of
sufficient information on the part of the presidential candidates
about US foreign policy in general.
"These unfortunate remarks by a presidential candidate risk casting
a shadow on our relations," Erdogan said. "Our relations should not
be sacrificed due to slander campaigns by certain lobbies."
Obama pledged to support passage of the resolution, shelved twice in
the US Congress under pressure from the administration, which feared
it risked spoiling ties with NATO ally Turkey, in a letter sent to a
leading American-Armenian group, the Armenian National Committee of
PAMUK TO FACE THE NATION, DECIDES TOP APPEALS COURT
Turkish Daily News
Jan 24 2008
The country's top appeals court decided Tuesday that six people who
filed a complaint against novelist Orhan Pamuk had a case because
the author had made statements against the whole nation.
Nobel laureate novelist Pamuk, in an interview with a Swiss magazine,
had said: "We killed a million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds.
No one in Turkey has the courage to say this. I do." Charges
were brought against Pamuk for insulting Turkishness based on the
controversial Article 301 of the penal code for his statement, but an
Istanbul court had dropped the case because of the Interior Ministry's
failure to approve of the trial.
Afterward, six people filed a complaint against Pamuk, accusing him
of condemning the whole nation with his statements, and demanded
An Istanbul court had rejected the complaint, arguing that those who
lodged the complaint could not represent the entire nation.
The court decision went to the Supreme Court of Appeals, which annulled
the court decision. The appeals court said: "The judiciary decides
the limits of individual rights that include physical, emotional and
social values, occupational pride, honor, freedom, spiritual rights,
health and citizenship. When assessed from this angle, citizenship is
seen as a right that must be protected and the statement directed at
the whole nation gives individuals the right to file such complaints."
The decision allows every Turkish citizen to file complaints against
individuals who make statements they deem insulting to the nation.
TURKISH SOLDIERS TRIED OVER ETHNIC ARMENIAN'S MURDER: REPORT
Agence France Presse -- English
January 22, 2008 Tuesday 2:14 PM GMT
Two Turkish soldiers went on trial Tuesday accused of covering up
intelligence about the plan to murder ethnic Armenian journalist
Hrant Dink months before it occurred, Anatolia news agency reported.
They are the first members of the security forces to stand trial in
the Black Sea city of Trabzon, where the murder was allegedly planned,
amid widespread allegations that some officers condoned the killing
and did not act to prevent it.
The 52-year-old Dink, whom Turkish nationalists hated for calling
the World War I massacres of Armenians genocide, was shot dead
on January 19, 2007, outside the offices of his Agos newspaper in
The self-confessed gunman, 17-year-old Ogun Samast, alleged mastermind
Yasin Hayal and 17 suspected associates went on trial in Istanbul
Hayal's uncle testified Tuesday that he had informed the two defendants
-- members of the Trabzon gendarme, a paramilitary force policing
rural areas -- that his nephew was planning to kill Dink, and accused
the pair of trying to cover up the tip-off.
"I told them that Yasin Hayal was planning to kill Hrant Dink three or
four months before his murder," Coskun Igci told the judge, adding that
the soldiers also knew that his nephew was looking for a gun to buy.
"Several days after Dink was killed, they came to me and asked me
not to speak to anyone about what we had talked before," he said.
The defendants, who were not present at the hearing and were named
by Anatolia only as O.S. and V.S., risk between six months and two
years in jail for "abuse of power".
Dink's murder has prompted fresh calls on Ankara to eliminate the
"deep state" -- a term used to describe security forces acting outside
the law to preserve what they consider Turkey's best interests.
Lawyers for Dink's family say the police withheld and destroyed
evidence to cover up the murder, including footage from a bank security
camera in downtown Istanbul near where Dink was killed.
Prosecutors say police received intelligence as early as 2006 of a
plot to kill Dink being organised in Trabzon.
In September, two policemen went on trial in the northern city of
Samsun for their role in a scandal that saw security forces pose for
"souvenir" pictures with the gunman after he was captured there a
day after the murder.
Dink had won many hearts in Turkey with his efforts for
Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and more than 100,000 people marched
at his funeral.
Jan 24 2008
Istanbul, 24 Jan. (AKI) - Turkish police have arrested dozens of
people, including former army officers, lawyers, journalists and
religious leaders, allegedly involved in a planned coup d'etat against
According to Turkish media reports, the suspects come from a
nationalist organisation called Ergenekon and are alleged to have
planned political murders and bomb attacks in a bid to replace the
government in 2009.
Thirty-three suspects linked to the Ergenekon operation, including
retired general Veli Kucuk, were arrested on Tuesday. Controversial
nationalist lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, who filed lawsuits against Turkish
writers and intellectuals, was also detained in the police swoop.
On Wednesday, the police conducted searches at the office of attorney
Kerincsiz and the office of the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate as well
as at several other places related to the suspects.
The nationalist gang is suspected of involvement in several of violent
attacks in Turkey, including the murder of an Italian priest in 2006,
the assassination of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and the murder
of three Christians in the city of Malatya in 2007.
The group was also reported to have been planning the murder of Nobel
Prize winning author Orhan Pamuk who divides his time between the US
Turkish media reports said the suspects had been taken to hospital
for a routine checkup but had not yet been formally charged.
Media reports said the 33 suspects had been accused of having "obtained
secret information, revealed state secrets, taken part in the creation
of a terrorist group".
According to the Turkish daily, Sabah, a lengthy investigation had
produced 460 telephone intercepts and 40 house searches in the cities
of Istanbul, Bursa and Smirne.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the police action showed
Turkey's determination to bring an end to state and military-linked
Erdogan said his government had been successful in fighting gangs
and organised crime.
"This has been ongoing for four to five years. In addition to our
security forces there is also a process that the judiciary has been
conducting," he said.
"This is something we are happy about. This last incident concerning
such crimes has shown in the clearest way that the executive branch
and the judiciary are working in a wonderful solidarity."
Turkish media said the police had been observing the actions of
the suspects for at least eight months as part of an investigation
into a house full of explosives and ammunition found in Ýstanbul's
Daily newspaper, Today's Zaman, said documents obtained by the police
during the raid confirm that in the past two years the suspects
considered assassinating Osman Baydemir, a member of the pro-Kurdish
Democratic Society Party (DTP), the mayor of the mainly Kurdish
southeastern province Diyarbakýr.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the charges that have been brought
against the owner of the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, Serkis
Seropyan, and its new editor, Aris Nalci, because of a 9 November
editorial criticising the one-year suspended prison sentences passed
the previous month on Seropyan, former editor Arat Dink, and two
other journalists, Aydin Engin and Karin Karakashli.
According to a press report on 16 January, Seropyan and Nalci were
summoned by an Istanbul prosecutor and ordered to pay a fine of 23,500
euros because of the editorial. When they refused, the prosecutor
said they would be tried for "attempted obstruction of justice" under
article 288 of the criminal code, which carries a maximum penalty of
four a half years in prison.
Reporters Without Borders regards this prosecution as yet another
case of improper use of the press law.
The one-year suspended sentence was imposed on the four journalists
for reprinting an interview that Dink's father, then Agos editor
Hrant Dink, gave to Reuters in 2006 in which he said the massacres
of Armenians from 1915 to 1917 constituted genocide. Hrant Dink was
murdered in January 2007.
HOLOCAUST DAY EVENT
at 3.00 p.m. on Sunday 27th January 2008
A Wreath-laying Commemoration will be held at:
The Armenian Genocide Monument
North Road Side
The Garden of the Temple of Peace
King Edward VIII Avenue
To remember the victims of all Genocides
preceded at 2.45 pm
Wreath-laying Commemoration for Hrant Dink,
Editor of the Armenian newspaper "Agos"
assassinated in Istanbul on 19th January 2007.
Speaker: Martin Shipton, chief reporter of the Western Mail & Echo
Friday, 25 January 2008
Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton (center) with ANC Western Region Board Member Aida Dimejian and longtime Democratic activist Michael Mahdesian
WASHINGTON, DC – Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, in a forceful statement shared today with the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), called for Congressional passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution and pledged that, as President, she will recognize the Armenian Genocide.
"Armenian Americans from across the United States welcome Hillary Clinton's strong support for the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, and her pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide as President of the United States," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Hillary Clinton's statement, which reflects her consistent track record of support in public office, speaks powerfully to our community's deeply held concerns regarding the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the expansion of the U.S.-Armenia relationship, and a fair and democratic resolution of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict."
As a Senator, Hillary Clinton has, since 2002, has cosponsored successive Armenian Genocide resolutions. She joined Senate colleagues in cosigning letters to President Bush in 2005 and 2006 urging him to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
In recent weeks, the ANCA has invited each of the candidates to share their views on Armenian Americans issues, and to comment on both the growing relationship between the U.S. and Armenian governments and the enduring bonds between the American and Armenian peoples. Questionnaires sent to the candidates have invited them to respond to a set of 19 questions, including those addressing: affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, U.S.-Armenia economic, political, and military relations, self-determination for Nagorno Karabagh, the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades, and the genocide in Darfur. Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) issued a statement earlier this week.
Armenian Americans, in key primary states and throughout the country, represent a motivated and highly networked constituency of more than one and a half million citizens. The ANCA mobilizes Armenian American voters through a network of over 50 chapters and a diverse array of affiliates, civic advocates, and supporters nationwide. ANCA mailings reach over a quarter of a million homes, and, with the addition of email outreach, action alerts reach well over 500,000 households. The ANCA website, which features election coverage from an Armenian American point of view, attracts over 100,000 unique visits a month. The ANCA also has broad reach to Armenian American voters via a sophisticated media operation of newspapers, regional cable shows, satellite TV, blogs, and internet news sites.
To learn more about the Hillary Clinton campaign, contact:
Hillary Clinton for President
4420 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
As always, the ANCA welcomes feedback on its service to the Armenian American community. Please forward your thoughts and suggestions about the 2008 Presidential election by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement of Senator Hillary Clinton on the U.S.-Armenia Relationship
Alone among the Presidential candidates, I have been a longstanding supporter of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. I have been a co-sponsor of the Resolution since 2002, and I support adoption of this legislation by both Houses of Congress. I believe the horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide. I have twice written to President Bush calling on him to refer to the Armenian Genocide in his annual commemorative statement and, as President, I will recognize the Armenian Genocide. Our common morality and our nation’s credibility as a voice for human rights challenge us to ensure that the Armenian Genocide be recognized and remembered by the Congress and the President of the United States.
If the mass atrocities of the 20th Century have taught us anything it is that we must honestly look the facts of history in the face in order to learn their lessons, and ensure they will not happen again. It is not just about the past, but about our future. We must close the gap between words and deeds to prevent mass atrocities. That is why I am a supporter of the Responsibility to Protect. As President, I will work to build and enhance U.S. and international capacity to act early and effectively to prevent mass atrocities. The Bush administration’s words of condemnation have not been backed with leadership to stop the genocide in Darfur. I support a no-fly-zone over Darfur. I have championed strong international action to ensure that the government of Sudan can no longer act with impunity, or interfere with the international peacekeeping force, which is essential for the protection of the people of Darfur.
I value my friendship with our nation’s vibrant Armenian-American community. This is in keeping with my dedication to the causes of the Armenian-American community over many years. I was privileged as First Lady to speak at the first-ever White House gathering in 1994 for leaders from Armenia and the Armenian-American community to celebrate the historic occasion of Armenia’s reborn independence. I said at the time that America will stand with you as you realize what the great Armenian poet, Puzant Granian, called the Armenian’s dream “to be left in peace in his mountains, to build, to dream, to create.”
I will, as President, work to expand and improve U.S.-Armenia relations in addressing the common issues facing our two nations: increasing trade, fostering closer economic ties, fighting terrorism, strengthening democratic institutions, pursuing our military partnership and deepening cooperation with NATO, and cooperating on regional concerns, among them a fair and democratic resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict. As President, I will expand U.S. assistance programs to Armenia and to the people of Nagorno-Karabagh.
I look forward, as President, to continuing to work with the Armenian-American community on the many domestic and international challenges we face together, and to build on the strong foundations of shared values that have long brought together the American and Armenian peoples.
Thursday, 24 January 2008
It is a matter of history that when Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps, he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.
He did this because he said in words to this effect: 'Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses - because somewhere down the track of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened'
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
This week, the
This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in
This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the
six million Jews,
20 million Russians,
10 million Christians
and 1,900 Catholic priests
who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated
with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!
Now, more than ever, with
This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!
Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.
Posted by Seta at 23:34