Turkey's president steps into row TURKISH THREATS ON ALBERTO ROSSELLI Turkish threats continue on Alberto Rosselli, who is now writing a book on Hrant Dink. From "Il Giornale" 12th December 2008, 07:00 Rosselli's book (Armenian Holocaust) on front pages around the world- by Rino di Stefano Are several days that the phone of Alberto Rosselli, author of the book 'The Armenian Holocaust "(Edited by Solfanelli) does not stop ringing. Following the publication of the review of his book on the newspaper "Il Giornale -Liguria edition", half of European medias have begun to learn more about death threats he has received and continues to receive, only to have told how in the early twentieth century one and a half million Christian Armenians were murdered by Islamic Turkish-Kurdish troops. Men, women, children and old: the entire population of Anatolia, guilty only of being Christians in a land surrounded by a Muslim majority, was brutally exterminated in the most cruel ways. Rosselli, who in his work meticulously described what happened in those years, from 2007 is under attack for alleged extremist Turks who at any time of day or night, wherever he is, call at home and on the mobile phone, threatening to cut his and his wife's throat. World famous musician Peter Gabriel talks about his visit to Armenia to celebrate Djivan Gasparian’s birthday and expressed his thoughts on the issue of the Genocide recognition. Here’s the link:
By Delphine Strauss in Ankara
December 18 2008 23:37
Turkey's president Abdullah Gul intervened on Thursday to defuse an
explosive debate over a campaign by Turkish writers apologising for the
massacres of ethnic Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman empire.
More than 13,000 people have added their names to the website
www.ozurdiliyoruz (`we apologise') launched on Monday by a group of
intellectuals, in a sign of changing attitudes to one of the most
sensitive episodes in Turkey's past.
The campaign has angered nationalists.
Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan fiercely criticised the initiative
on Wednesday, saying: `It will not have any benefit other than stirring
up trouble, disturbing our peace and undoing the steps which have been
But the events of 1915 ` the delicate term used by Turkish diplomats `
remain a subject of bitter contention between Armenians, who say they
suffered genocide, and Turkey, which contends thousands of Turks also
died during the final years of the Ottoman empire and denies systematic
But Mr Gul distanced himself from that criticism on Thursday, saying in
a statement that while he had worked to promote Turkey's official
position abroad, the public debate showed Turks now felt `more
self-confident and at peace with their history'.
The diff erence in tone between the president and prime minister may
fuel speculation that relations are cooling between the two men,
long-standing political allies before Mr Gul's election as president
in July 2007.
Mr Gul won international praise in September when he signalled
rapprochement with Armenia by attending a football match between the
national sides in Yerevan ` the first visit by a Turkish head of state.
Cengiz Aktar, one of the organisers of the online apology, said denial
of the bloodshed of 1915 was `a founding myth of modern Turkey'.
The text of the apology does not use the word genocide, referring
instead to `the Great Catastrophe', but its implication that modern
Turks bear responsibility for the actions of the Ottoman regime has
provoked furious protest.
Opposition politicians branded the campaign `treason' and `degeneracy';
retired diplomats, remembering colleagues killed by Armenian activists
in the 1970s, issued their own declaration; and rival websites such as
www.ozurdilemiyoruz.com/ (`we don't apologise') have sprung up.
Sinan Ulgen, head of the EDAM think-tank, said the debate could hinder
talks, since Armenians would take a tougher line if they thought public
opinion in Turkey had shifted, but the nationalist outcry would in fact
leave less room for concessions.
`We need to give as free rein to the negotiations as we can. . .
unhindered by this sort of public debate which will backfire,' he
But the campaign reflects frustration among liberals that little has
changed since the murder in 2007 of Hrant Dink, the Armenian
journalist, which at the time sparked an outpouring of sympathy and
hopes of reconciliation.
On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Turkey in
two cases dating back to the 1950s and 60s, ordering it to return
properties seized from two Armenian foundations or pay compensation
totalling ?¬875,000 (Â£830,000).
Anadolu Agency, Turkey
Dec 19 2008
Turkish Foreign Ministry says Armenia apology campaign could harm
Ankara, Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday [19 December] that it
defended the memory of its martyrs (assassinated by Armenian
terrorists) and announced that it disapproved the campaign recently
launched to apologize from Armenians for the 1915 incidents.
Replying to a question, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Burak Ozugergin
said Turkey's stance on Armenian allegations regarding incidents of
1915 was known by everybody noting that Foreign Minister Ali Babacan
had also expressed Turkey's approach earlier in the day.
"Besides, our ministry have given many martyrs (to Armenian terrorism)
therefore the issue is very delicate for our ministry and also for
entire Turkey. There is also ongoing talks between Azerbaijan and
Armenia. Such debates will not be beneficial for anyone, plus it could
harm the ongoing talks," Babacan said.
Today's Zaman , Turkey
Dec 20 2008
"Joint committee" of historians on Armenian debate
Debates about genocide claims would be routine agenda items of April
every year. With the "apology" campaign launched by a group of
intellectuals, we have made an early start this year. There is now
The president, the prime minister, intellectuals, columnists,
ambassadors and political party leaders are all involved in the
debate. For some, this campaign is a sign of democracy and free
thinking in Turkey. For others, it is clear treason.
The early start of this debate is actually a good development. Indeed,
this year's picture in Washington is different. In April, Barack
Obama, who promised to recognize the genocide during his election
campaign, will be residing in the White House. Moreover, the Democrats
dominate both houses of Congress. This debate may serve as an occasion
for us to start to think about what possible measures we can take
against the passage of a genocide bill, which was prevented by the US
administration at the last moment last year.
But, there is another point that these discussions have revealed. As
is known, the most progressive proposal made by Turkey against the
genocide claims until now was to suggest that a joint historical
committee should be established to investigate these claims. Three
years ago, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to
then-Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, officially proposing the
establishment of a joint commission to investigate into the
developments and incidents of 1915. Erdogan's historic letter stressed
that "Turkish and Armenian peoples, which have shared a common history
and neighbouring geography in a sensitive region, have lived together
peacefully for many years, but have disagreements and different
assessments about a certain part of their common history." In other
words, the problem was that Turks and Armenians have different views
about the incidents of 1915. In order to eliminate this difference,
historians from both countries would come together and find out what
really happened in 1915.
This proposal was not only supported by the government or the ruling
Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Holding a special session to
discuss the genocide claims on April 13, 2005, Parliament issued a
unanimously adopted declaration. Supportive of this historical
committee proposal, this declaration suggested, "The proposal for
setting up a joint committee of historians from Turkey and Armenia
should be taken into consideration."
However, the "apology" campaign, which has gathered support from many
respected intellectuals, and the reactions to it have shown that there
are disagreements not only between Turks and Armenians, but also among
Turks concerning the incidents of 1915. There are distinguished
figures both in the supporters and opponents of this campaign. If we
have a sneak preview of more than 10,000 supporters: Ali Bayramoglu,
Ihsan Dagi, Cengiz Candar, Atilla Eralp, Enis Batur, Omer Laciner,
Omer Marda, Leyla Ipekci, Huseyin Hatemi, Oral Calislar, Hasan Cemal
and the list goes on. So many people cannot be just labelled as
traitors or terrorists and ignored. A number of columnists who
criticize the campaign's wording or timing refrain from being
disrespectful towards these people.
Moreover, the difference of opinion is not limited to
intellectuals. There is also a big difference between President Gul's
perspective of the campaign and that of Prime Minister
Erdogan. Retired Ambassador Temel Iskit supports the campaign while
retired ambassadors Sukru Elekdag and Korkmaz Haktanir have signed a
When people start to personally label each other as traitors,
terrorists, enemies of freedom or fascists, this leads to a dangerous
division. The apology petition may be criticized for many respects. We
may say that it fails to mention the attacks conducted by Armenians
against Turkey in the past or that it does not touch on the Armenian
atrocities in Nagorno-Karabakh or Hocali or that it ignored the part
Western countries played in pitting Armenians and Turks against each
other or that in the same period, millions of Turks were expelled from
the Caucasus or the Balkans or that the thawing of ice that started
with the initiative of two presidents will be risked. But, it is
dubious whether these will help us eliminate confusion of the mind or
change others' perceptions about it.
In my opinion, the best way to solve both problems is to immediately
establish the joint committee of historians that was approved by
Parliament. Halil Inalcik, Sukru Hanioglu, Ilber Ortayli and other
respected Turkish historians will join this committee to which
distinguished historians of the world will be invited. Another call is
made to the Armenian side, but even if they do not send historians to
the committee, the committee will start to work and produce a report
whose credibility cannot be disputed by anyone. This move will not
only evidence our sincerity and courage in the international arena,
but also prevent this heartrending and dangerous division among
Turkish hackers threaten to crack all Armenian websites
20.12.2008 15:58 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkish hackers have cracked the website where the
apology petition was posted and threatened to crack all Armenian
websites 'if necessary', Trend Azeri news agency quoted Turkish
"Those who spread discrimination in the country will never succeed,"
Some 15 thousand people have already signed the online public apology
for the Armenian Genocide, which says, "My conscience does not accept
the insensitivity showed to and the denial of the Great Catastrophe
that befell the Ottoman Armenians in 1915. I reject this injustice and
for my share, I empathize with the feelings and pain of my Armenian
brothers. I apologize to them."
Dec 21 2008
We should thank the racist CHP deputy
Several Turkish intellectuals have started a signature campaign with
regards to the Armenian massacre in 1915, apologizing to
Armenians. There have been mixed reactions to the campaign. While some
have said they also felt sorry for what happened but did not feel
personally responsible for something they did not take part in and
never supported and so on, some ultra-nationalists among us have
fiercely opposed the campaign and tried to belittle, to say the least,
the signatories. But, there was one reaction from Republican People's
Party (CHP) ?Ä?°zmir deputy Canan Ar?Ä?±tman that deserves to be in the
spotlight and given detailed treatment.
President Abdullah G?Ã?¼l was asked last week about the campaign, and he
responded that there is freedom of speech in the country and everyone
is entitled to their views. Ms. Ar?Ä?±tman took this statement as
rubberstamping the campaign and said that Mr. G?Ã?¼l should advocate for
the Turkish people, not the Armenian nation. She then said there
should be a reason behind Mr. G?Ã?¼l's so-called pro-Armenian stance,
and she advised the press to research Mr. G?Ã?¼l's mother's ancestors,
implying that Mr. G?Ã?¼l has Armenian blood.
Ms. Ar?Ä?±tman is doing Turkish democracy a service by drawing attention
to the racist and fascist inheritance of her party, the CHP, which is
the ideological successor of the Ottoman period's Union and Progress
(?Ä?°ttihad ve Terakki) Party. This party and its three leaders -- Enver
Pa?Å?a, Cemal Pasha and Talat Pasha -- are being held responsible
for the Armenian massacre, for they ruled the country between 1908 and
1918, and they ordered the forced emigration of the Armenians from
eastern Turkey, which resulted in many thousands of these Armenians
dying because of the harsh conditions of murderous attacks by
The Union and Progress Party was established as an underground
organization in the Balkans by over-enthusiastic Young Turks who were
mostly either medical or military schools students or graduates. Most
of these Young Turks were Turkish nationalists in the multiethnic
Ottoman state. Similar to today's radical Islamists, who are mostly
graduates of technical subjects, these Young Turks hated the ulema
(religious scholars) for their moderate stance and despised the
Ottoman rulers. As they were also mostly positivists, they did not
believe in any religion but were ready to use it for instrumental
purposes to mobilize the masses against the rulers. The Young Turks
believed that the country was in danger, and indeed it was. But they
also believed that to save the country, anything else was only a mere
detail. By looking at what they did in retrospect, one understands
that democracy, human rights, legitimacy, the sanctity of innocent
lives, etc., were all ignorable details in the eyes of these Young
Turks. After constantly criticizing Sultan Abd?Ã?¼lhamid II's rule as
undemocratic and repressive, these Young Turks pressured the sultan to
start the second constitutional period in 1908.
After the elections, the Young Turks' Union and Progress Party came to
power. In a very short time, they staged a military coup against the
establishment, toppled the sultan, closed down all opposition parties
and established a dictatorship. They followed very radical nationalist
policies and did not allow any non-Turks to infiltrate their inner
circle. Under their rule, the Ottoman state was dismantled, and they
took us to war in 1914 to support the Germans. Their nationalist
rhetoric disillusioned many loyal Arabs and other ethnic groups. When
some Armenians started a rebellion for independence in eastern Turkey,
the Young Turks reacted harshly and forcibly removed all Armenians
from the region. After the establishment of the republic, their
ideology, albeit in a modified form, continued with the CHP. What
Ms. Ar?Ä?±tman is doing today is simply revering her ideological and
political Young Turk fathers and their "accomplishments."
For decades, people like Ms. Ar?Ä?±tman have tried to convince
Westerners that they were the only full-humans in the country and that
they were trying to modernize the ignorant and obscurantist
masses. They still have friends in Western quarters who call the
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leaders Islamo-fascists. We
should thank Ms. Ar?Ä?±tman for reminding us once again who the real
fascists and racists were, obsessed with blood, in Turkey. When we
know this history, we should not be surprised by the ultra-nationalist
and racist rhetoric of Ergenekonians and their supporters among the
Turkey's president steps into row
TURKISH THREATS ON ALBERTO ROSSELLI
Turkish threats continue on Alberto Rosselli, who is now writing a book on Hrant Dink.
From "Il Giornale"
12th December 2008, 07:00
Rosselli's book (Armenian Holocaust) on front pages around the world-
by Rino di Stefano
Are several days that the phone of Alberto Rosselli, author of the book 'The Armenian Holocaust "(Edited by Solfanelli)
does not stop ringing. Following the publication of the review of his book on the newspaper "Il Giornale -Liguria edition",
half of European medias have begun to learn more about death threats he has received and continues to receive, only to
have told how in the early twentieth century one and a half million Christian Armenians were murdered by Islamic
Turkish-Kurdish troops. Men, women, children and old: the entire population of Anatolia, guilty only of being Christians
in a land surrounded by a Muslim majority, was brutally exterminated in the most cruel ways.
Rosselli, who in his work meticulously described what happened in those years, from 2007 is under attack for alleged
extremist Turks who at any time of day or night, wherever he is, call at home and on the mobile phone, threatening to
cut his and his wife's throat.
World famous musician Peter Gabriel talks about his visit to Armenia to
celebrate Djivan Gasparian’s birthday and expressed his thoughts on
the issue of the Genocide recognition. Here’s the link: