Archive for November, 2006

Armenian-Turkish Dialogue and Taner Akçam

The current problems, if not enmity, prejudice and hatred, between the Turkish and Armenian communities can almost entirely be traced back to the Genocide of 1915. This has been, and still is, the major stumbling block in Armenian-Turkish relations.

Frequently, the Armenians look at the year 1915 as the epitome and culmination of the misfortunes, misgovernment and tragedies they suffered under Ottoman Turkish rule. The Turkish state continues flatly to deny the events of 1915, often mitigating or denigrating the Armenian tragedy in various forms and to varying degrees.

They also claim that the vile acts of destruction committed against the Armenians are below the inherent dignity and honor of the Turkish people and the ideals of Turkish nationalism that gave rise to the modern Turkish state.

Any and all references to 1915 have not only polarized both the Armenians and the Turks but have also politicized their respective stands vis-à-vis one another.

They continue to suffer emotionally, as their viewpoints remain mutually unrecognized or unacceptable. They spend millions of dollars to silence one another’s voice and become all the more embittered, as they fail to come to terms with the unspeakable pain, loss and memories associated with 1915 and its attendant consequences.

The social actors engaged in this confrontation are the nation-states of Turkey and Armenia, the communities in both countries, including the Armenian minorities in Turkey, the Armenian diaspora, especially in France and the United States, and the nascent Turkish communities in Germany and the United States.

All of these actors (?)  have their separate interests, interpretations, and expectations from the discussion of the Armenian tragedy, and they all attempt to impose their respective views upon others.

As a whole, the Armenians are in agreement that what happened in 1915 was indeed genocide. They have different interpretations, however, as to why 1915 happened, where 1915 should be located in collective memory, and how this location should affect the present.

The views of the Turkish state, the Turkish diaspora, and the people of Turkey also differ widely on the assessment of 1915. The Turkish state has developed a master story that aims to deny and erase the genocide from Turkish collective memory. This master story has so far been viable because of the inherent disregard of the Turkish state for its own historical past. Since the Turkish nationalist project had to construct the Turkish nation-state in contradistinction to the Ottoman Empire, it construed and identified the birth of the Turkish state as the beginning of the history of the nation, rendering what had transpired earlier irrelevant.

While the Turkish diaspora seems to adhere to this official state line, the people of Turkey often do indeed have their own alternative narratives. These narratives circulate informally among groups and individuals, but are never brought into the public arena, for fear of retribution from the state.

Such contestation and discrepancies between and within the Armenian and Turkish communities, and the persistent lack of meaningful dialogue produce sadly significant consequences. Their failure to cultivate direct ties not only allows third parties to enter the public space and exploit Armenian-Turkish differences and disagreements to their advantage, it also forecloses opportunities to discuss, acknowledge and address problems and silences in their own histories.

The Armenian and Turkish communities can overcome such negative consequences by recognizing their shared past, the violence, shock and trauma they both have experienced, and the man-made tragedy inflicted on the Armenians.

One could certainly assert that the Armenians have experienced a double trauma: one resulting from the massacres of 1915, and the other from Turkey’s refusal to recognize the genocide. One of the first steps towards reconciliation through dialogue is the recognition of the trauma of the past affecting both the Armenians and the Turks.

Prior to 1915, the Armenians and Turks shared more than six centuries of common history. This common history can only be studied if 1915 is recognized as one, albeit major, historical instance to be analyzed within the context of the common history Turks and Armenians shared before and after 1915. Inability to do so would essentialize 1915.  The second step in reconciliation through dialogue is the recognition of the common history of the Armenian and Turkish communities.

In its account of what happened or did not happen to the Armenians, the master story of the Turkish nation-state chooses to emphasize the pain and suffering inflicted on the Turks themselves, as if this would in some way alleviate Armenian pain and lessen the Armenian tragedy.

The Turkish master story also claims that the denial of the Armenian tragedy and the exclusion of this group from its imagined community would decrease the pain and suffering of the Turks. The third step in reconciliation through dialogue is the recognition of the inherent biases present in the master story of the Turkish state.

Once these steps are taken jointly by the Armenian and Turkish sides, on equal terms and with mutual recognition and respect, the current insufferable atmosphere can be turned into a joint search for reconciliation through dialogue. Such a perspective is essential if Armenian and Turkish scholars are to explore history in a meaningful way and in all its shades, gray and otherwise.

There is an acute need and, indeed, much room for understanding, collaboration and joint exploration of all aspects, facets and details of Armenian-Turkish relations throughout history. For there is much prejudice to be shed, stereotypes to be destroyed, and many obscure areas to be explored in a constructive fashion. It is this spirit that has led us, two University of Michigan faculty, working in the field of Ottoman and Armenian history and culture, to work together with a view to promoting a scholarly dialogue and adopting a wider embrace of Armenian-Turkish studies.

In our approach and determination to work together, we have derived much inspiration from the person and work of Dr. Taner Akçam.

It is with a deep sense of privilege and honor that we introduce Dr. Taner Akçam’s collection of essays. For many years now, Dr. Akçam has been working tirelessly, and against tremendous odds, to overcome prejudices and biases and to promote understanding and better relations between Turks and Armenians. The focus of his scholarship has been the Armenian Genocide, its history and impact on Armenian-Turkish relations since 1915.

He has diligently delved into primary archival sources to understand and illuminate, and to analyze and interpret, some of the darker aspects of the Armenian tragedy and human behavior. In all his work, Dr. Akçam’s scholarship has been meticulous, his perspectives illuminating, and his moral fortitude inspiring.

What has also been remarkable about this gentleman is not only his perseverance, but also his genuine sense of optimism. His essays offer us a glimpse into the soul and work of a compassionate human being and a dispassionate scholar, endowed with a deep sense of social awareness and responsibility.

Dr. Akçam’s work has been so far published in Turkish and German and has therefore been inaccessible to the English-speaking public. The present volume brings together some of his essays in English translation.

We are certain that this volume will be of significant importance to those interested in the modern phase of Armenian-Turkish relations. We are also certain that its appearance will be gratifying to Dr. Akçam himself. A wider audience will read his work. This will translate into a greater impact and, hopefully, will stimulate more dispassionate research.

And there is no greater fulfillment for a Turk who began his arduous journey all alone, than to be joined by an increasing number of companions in quest of the truth and fruitful understanding between Turks and Armenians.

University of Michigan
University of Michigan


New Book on Armenian Genocide by Akcam Issued in Canada


 The Zorian Institute of Armenian Research in Toronto has published a book by

Taner Akcam titled Flagrant Deed: Armenian Genocide and Issue of Turkish Responsibility,

 reports Armenian Mirror Spectator. The title chosen by the author represents words of founder of current Turkish state Kemal Ataturk that he pronounced on April 24, 1920 at the Parliament open session. The international press has already appreciated the book.

The Economist noted in its October 21-27 issue, “The book highlights two facts. Firstly, many foreign witnesses of deportations arrived at a conclusion that it was not deportation, but slaughter.

Secondly, why conditions are not formed in Turkey for free discussion of the issue by now.”

The New York Times columnist Belinda Cooper wrote, “Akcam is a rare scholar, who challenged native Turkey, which holds no organized slaughter of Armenians took place.

Akcam is the first Turkish specialist to publicly use word genocide.”

In his turn Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk underscored that Flagrant Deed is the final reports on the organized extermination of Ottoman Armenians, written by the courageous Turkish scholar.

Akcam devoted his book «to the memory of decorous Muslim Turk Haji Halil, who saved and hid for over 6 months members of an Armenian family threatening his own life.» Akcam noted he was shocked by «this peculiar example of triumph of good and humanity over evil.»

The Zorian Institute helped to translate the book into English. The book is expected to be issued in Hebrew, Armenian and other languages.

«The more books are published, the better Turks will know and doubt the lie, presented by the state,» said Zorian Institute Board of Directors Chair, professor Roger Smith, reports the Azg.

Nothing to be “thankful” for!

^Is this your Meal today ?^

More than 45 million turkeys are killed each year at Thanksgiving, and more than 22 million die at Christmas.

Before ending up as holiday centerpieces, these gentle, intelligent birds spend five to six months on factory farms where thousands of them are packed into dark sheds with no more than 3.5 square feet of space per bird. Turkeys on factory farms are denied everything that is natural to them, such as foraging for food, dustbathing, and raising their young.

To keep the overcrowded birds from scratching and pecking each other to death, workers cut off portions of the birds’ toes and upper beaks with hot blades and de-snood the males (the snood is the flap of skin that runs from the beak to the chest). No pain relievers are used during any of these procedures.

Turkeys are genetically bred to grow as fast as possible, and they often become crippled under their own weight. A PETA investigator videotaped one turkey farmer beating sick and injured birds to death with a pole, a killing method deemed “standard industry practice.”

Turkeys won’t breathe fresh air or feel the sun on their backs until they’re shoved onto trucks bound for slaughter. They are transported for hours without food or water through all weather extremes—and many will die on this nightmarish journey.

At the slaughterhouse, the survivors are hung upside-down by their weak and crippled legs before their heads are dragged through an electrified “stunning tank,” which immobilizes but does not kill them. Many birds dodge the tank and are still fully conscious when their throats are slit. If the knife fails to properly cut the birds’ throats, they are scalded alive in the tank of boiling water used for feather removal.

Please don’t support an industry that abuses these fascinating animals. Click here for a free vegetarian starter kit.

Adopt a Turkey Project!

Thousands of Farm Sanctuary visitors have met our feathered friends and seen that turkeys are unique individuals with distinct personalities and feelings, just like other animals. One visitor remarked, “Turkeys remember your face and they will sit closer to you with each day you revisit.” Another visitor told us how she learned to scratch a turkey, “I have scratched dog ears and cows backs and a host of other animal hard-to-reach spots — but I never dreamed a bird, let alone a domestic turkey, would ask for a belly rub.”

Turkeys love cuddles, kisses and tickles just as much as people do! Read about Lydia the hugging turkey, who liked to give turkey hugs to shelter visitors…or Megan the Cuddling turkey who gives turkey kisses. Like dogs and cats, turkeys are very affectionate and companionable.

Every Thanksgiving, visitors flocked to Farm Sanctuary’s California shelter to receive a hug from Lydia. The famous “hugging turkey” would flap her wings and run toward guests. As visitors bent down, Lydia embraced them by pressing her chest against them and stretching her head and neck over their shoulders. Lydia brought much happiness to her visitors, and she enjoyed teaching people that turkeys need love too!

Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary’s annual Adopt-A-Turkey Project has rescued over one thousand turkeys from a thankless fate at the dinner table and given thousands of people an opportunity to adopt a turkey for the holidays.

Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project offers two ways for people to adopt turkeys this Thanksgiving holiday.

1. Sponsor “adopt” a turkey who lives at Farm Sanctuary’s Watkins Glen, New York or Orland, California shelter for farm animals. For a one-time $20 adoption fee, adopters receive a color photograph of their turkey, an adoption certificate and a year subscription to Farm Sanctuary’s quarterly newsletter. The adoption fee provides funds for feed, bedding and veterinary care for the turkeys. Please call 607-583-2225 or click here to adopt a turkey who lives at Farm Sanctuary.

2. Home adopt and provide a safe, permanent and loving home for two or more turkeys. Home adopters must be vegetarian or vegan, and committed to providing lifelong care for their turkey friends. Individuals interested in home adoptions must complete an adoption application. Approved adopters will be placed on a schedule to have their turkey companions personally delivered by Farm Sanctuary staff on the Turkey Express.

Every year, more people are choosing to celebrate a compassionate Thanksgiving for ALL, by saving a turkey!

The Adopt-A-Turkey Project is a program of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s largest farm animal rescue and protection organization.

Confession Booth : I am a Gamer Chic

I have been playing MMORGS, and Firstshooter Games for a very long time. I’ve started  gaming, years and years ago, by playing Quake, I/II/III.

I remember, I had Dial Up internet back then, and it was a pain the ass to compete with the DSL players. Which lead me to using Speedbots, which are cracks/ hacks to enhance the gaming speed. And I became a pretty well known Frag Queen. So playing Quake I, was just awesome.

I’ve had friends on an old Chat called “Mplayer”, where you could do anything from creating Chatrooms, to watching people on Webcams, to playing cardgames and playing Quake. We all went in hordes to play Quake I, which had some orginial NIN tunes .

Just looking back at these times, yea..these were good times, on a Pentium I/ 166 MHZ, 8 gig of Harddrive, hah!

Anyhow, thats where everything started. Mplayer eventually shut down for good, I suppose lack of funds or bandwith problems. I don’t know, but we were all majorly pissed at this. And as it goes on the WWW, you loose contact with these people, who once you shared every free minute together with. I have one friend left from back then, and he found me on “Myspace”. The rest of the people…I don’t know what they do or of their where abouts.

Later on I started playing my very first MMORG, called “Star Wars Galaxies”! I started SWG on Dec 27th, 2003. The game was amazing, it seemed like an real world to me. I learned on how to become a Artisan, Tailor and later on eventually indulged in Combat. My first finished Profession ( Grind ) was Fencer. I thought Fencer’s were just more “elegant” then Carbineers, Pistoleers and the rare breed of Jedi ( back then it was rare…).

I went from Fencer to TKM, “Teras Kasi Master”, ( a few of us ) as roleplayed in the game, we were from an ancient Bunduki Tribe, and used the Martial Arts as our defence, against the imperial Empire aka Darth Vader.

I loved this game!

Til SOE, Sony destroyed the game with their retarded money making “game enhancements”, basicly ruining the game for the entire playerbase. We , the players, protested in

” Theed / Naboo “. Crashed the server numerous times by lagging the entire server up. The CSR’s, tried to stop our protests by adding spider like enemies who shoot at us ( I can’t remember the name of these spidery things ).

But we came back and back and back. Well long story short, SWG players eventually split up, by starting to play WoW, COV (City of Villains) and just went all their own ways. I toggled a bit longer in SWG, because most of us just didn’t wanted to “Let Go”.

So I picked up ” World of Warcraft ” and instantly hated the game! I wasn’t used to Gnomes, Nightelves and specially not USED to the mickey mousish/ cartoonish graphics. I played a little bit on my Human/ Mage andjust felt so lost in this huge Player Base. I didn’t knew anyone. Everyone was already a lvl 60 or close to it, and I was by myself. I fought myself through these endless Grinds and managed to become a LvL 43 Mage ( btw, which I still am today ).

The game burned me out. I didn’t had the backup of a guild or the chat on Teamspeak as I did have with SWG. Everyone in Ironforge seemed to be so ” ueber leet “, and sat on their 800 gold Rides, showing off to us low levels.

I eventually stopped WoW, and went back to SWG – my game! But only to find out, that those 100+ friends I had on my friends list are not in game anymore. I had tons of in game emails from friends, writing a fare well note to me and wishing me good luck….I fucking cried!

I loved this game so much, the daily talk with my friends and everyone just vanished.

So, I played a little and eventually found a guy from my old guild in the “Mos Eisley Cantina “! I was so happy to see him and we quickly went on Teamspeak to catch up on what happend. And it turned out that most of my guildies came back and we wanted to re/ create/ re – play a game , that just didn’t existed anymore.

After a few month, the hype was gone, guild issues and changes. And I was just pissed and about to delete every damn game, SWG, WoW from my PC.

Til one of my guildies told me about Second Life. I totally hesitated at first. He told me about the mature Adult Content of the game and how everything is so RP related. ( roleplaying ).

In SWG… we made fun of role players or shims ( HE’s that played SHE’s ).

But I was bored with SWG and gave Second Life a try. I was amazed at first how COOL this Virtual Reality was. I planned on creating things in game, and make RL money like everyone else. But this all never happend. I saw a huge community, who mainly was out to have ” AV – Avartar – Cybersex “.

The average Joe Shmoe, was able to live out his wildest fantasies in this game. It’s amazing and sickening at the same time. “Citizens” become Escorts, Submissive Slaves, or go all the way into the Marvel Hero “Gor”.

Basicly the majority of the  game is about Sex and getting pixel laid. Yes, you can even purchase your ” genitals and sound effects ” in game.

I was hooked on this game for about 3 month during this past summer. I’ve managed to sell a little bit of  Art Prints, and get myself a small Cottage, by becoming a Premium Member, for $9.95 / a month. While I played SL, I became a Club Host, and hosted “Costume/ Best Dressed etc Events”. I’ve listend nightly to retarded Pop Disco and Techno and pretended to be the most happiest Hostess in skimpy Clothes, just to make a “few lindens ( the SL currency )”, and to blow it away by going shopping to buy more dumber outfits for the “Club Events”.

I eventually seperated myself from the “club scene” and gotten into Arts and took some TUI/ Builder Classes, to make the money I never made. My patience just gotten in my own way and I was upset again at all these retarded role players, pretending to be something they aren’t.

I guess, I mix to much real life into a game and can’t really get into the roleplaying aspect. So I pretty much dropped the game, and picked up WoW again.

It’s a back and fourth continuance of a gamer chic like me. I am looking forward to “Vanguard – Saga Of Heroes”, but I am sure the “Hype” will die out again. Because SWG was MY game, and Sony Entertainment ruined it for me.

I guess, a part of me died with this game (SWG) – because no other game could ever hold my attention and the fun times I had, like SWG.

The End-



By Mike Sellers

Since its release not quite two years ago, World of Warcraft has been the undisputed market leader in MMOs.  It smashed through the formerly unattainable one million user mark and kept right on going, now steaming toward 7,000,000 paying users.  WoW has blown out all previous expectations for MMOs in US, European, and Asian markets and keeps right on going.

And yet.

Last night I logged in to WoW for the first time in a long time. I visited my characters one by one, but didn’t stick around to play very long despite finally having an evening free to play.   I felt a distinct detachment from my characters and soon recognized my old friend, game ennui. 

Now I don’t mean to sound like I’m spelling doom for WoW (or MMOs in general!). Far from it.  I don’t know WoW’s sales numbers, but as far as I know their box sales remain at or near the top of the charts.  And of course there’s a much-anticipated expansion pack coming up that will give them a welcome, if perhaps temporary, bump in their usage numbers. 

But in my case, not only could I really not gather any excitement about playing these characters, knowing as I do that I just don’t have multiple hours per week (much less per day!) to play them, but the more advanced the character the more difficult it was to get back into. I could sorta drive my 22lvl hunter; my 37 warlock was almost incomprehensible — and for many more expert players such levels are “lowbies.” Remembering all those spells, weapons, abilities, talents, etc., just seemed like way too much trouble. And all the quests that were driving these characters’ progress were entirely meaningless now (this is the danger of external motivation—it’s just too easy to lose all sense of why I should care about an entirely artificial set of quests).

I’m involved, loosely speaking (given my lack of attendance), in several different guilds on PvE, RP, and PvP servers.  In each, multiple people I know — both those with multiple level 60 characters and those who have never come close to that — have sort of run aground on the over-and-over again gameplay, whether that’s yet-another-kill-X-creatures quest or yet-another-raid for yet-another-piece-of-armor.   

No one I’ve talked to dislikes the game; there’s no sense of having been spurned or that the experience has curdled.  But in even the best parties there seems to sometimes come a moment when, amidst the music and noise you and your friends silently agree “great party; we’re outta here.”   For some people that moment has come with WoW.  And I’m guessing that trend is only going to accelerate. 

So if this isn’t just a local phenomenon — if I’m not just hanging out with multiple groups of all the wrong people — then it seems possible that while WoW continues to be grow (bringing new people into contact with MMOGs all the time), it may be approaching that point where significant numbers of long-term satisfied players nevertheless begin to cycle off.  That’s not too surprising given the typical longevity of any individual’s interest in a particular MMO. 

But if that’s so, then two big questions leap out: where are all these players going to go, and, as I’m so fond of asking, what comes next?

I know for example that Vanguard is jockeying for position as WoW’s successor, but I wonder about that.  It is supposed to have more flexible grouping and a few other innovations (in addition to expensive and detailed, if perhaps less-than-stunning graphics), but when it comes right down to it, what’s the draw for games like this?  Are those struck with WoW-nnui (whether this is their first MMOG or their tenth), who may have taken a handful of characters to level 60 in WoW, and then stuck around or come back to see what’s new on the way to level 70 in the upcoming expansion, really going to be excited to  play YAMITG (yet another men in tights game)?  If a player has become bored with  the by now well-trodden traditional MMOFRPG gameplay, how will another game bring them a new sort of experience, and not just present old dwarves in new clothing? 

 IMO this is the question to which Vanguard, Warhammer, Conan, LOTRO, Hero’s Journey, and any other contenders must have a clear and ready answer.

Fears of Turkey’s ‘invisible’ Armenians

By Sarah Rainsford,  BBC News, Istanbul

The head of the Armenian Orthodox church is in the middle of a controversial visit to Istanbul. Karekin II has in the past angered Turks by accusing them of committing genocide against Armenians at the time of World War I. Turkey denies the charges of genocide.

I thought it was a perfectly simple question.  I had gone backstage to interview the conductor of an ethnic Armenian church choir after a rousing performance at Istanbul University.

As the choristers packed up their manuscripts, we chatted for a while about the music and the conductor was all smiles.

Then I asked his opinion on the conference his choir was singing at – the snappily labelled “Symposium on New Approaches to Turkish-Armenian relations”.

I wondered if he thought the event could help mend fences. Within seconds, he was edging away from me, apparently deeply uncomfortable.

“I don’t want to talk about politics,” he pleaded, “we just came for the music!”

It was a telling insight.

Closed borders

Turkey and Armenia are neighbours who might as well be a million miles apart. Diplomatic relations have been frozen for over a decade; their mutual border is closed.

Part of the reason is Turkey’s support for the Azeris in their conflict with Armenia. But the direct dispute is over a matter of history: The death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in eastern Turkey during the dying days of the Ottoman empire.

Armenia wants those deaths recognised as genocide. Turkey refuses to accept that term. For Armenia and its vast and powerful diaspora, getting recognition from Ankara is a mission so important, it is almost a way of life. But here inside Turkey, ethnic Armenians have chosen an uncomfortable silence over confrontation.

I visited Anush and her brother Vartan in a leafy middle class suburb of Istanbul. Their apartment was typical of the area, but with the odd design twists, like knotted dried flowers on the table that reminded me of my trips to the Caucasus.

“Turks still ask me where I come from,” Vartan told me, as his sister brought in the tea. “They seem to have no idea there used to be hundreds of thousands of us here.”

Uneasy existence

Anush and Vartan are just two of some 60,000 ethnic Armenians who still live in Turkey – a land their ancestors have inhabited for almost 2,000 years. It is an uneasy co-existence.

We’ve lived with violence ever since I was born,” Anush told me. “Graffiti on our churches, abuse on the streets. I still think twice in some areas before I say my name openly.” For previous generations life was even tougher.

Anush’s parents barely speak Armenian, because their parents worried they would stand out and when Armenian militants began assassinating Turkish diplomats in the 1970s, Turkish Armenian families here made themselves more invisible still.

It is hardly surprising they do not normally voice an opinion on what happened in 1915. Anush and Vartan are a rare exception and, even so, I have had to change their names.

We know exactly what happened, Vartan told me.

He said his Armenian great grandparents were forcibly deported south, accused of siding with Russian troops against the Turks. They handed their children over to Turkish neighbours for safety and never returned.

There is a similar tragedy behind every Armenian door here, but the local patriarch has banned his community from discussing it – if they want to keep their jobs in Armenian churches and schools.

“It’s fear,” Anush told me simply.

There have been some early signs of change here. Last year a university in Istanbul hosted the first discussion of the genocide claims in Turkey ever to question the official line. It was hugely controversial but it happened.

And now international pressure on Ankara to re-examine its position is increasing. Vartan welcomes that but he senses a rise in aggressive, nationalist feeling in Turkey in response.

“If other countries force this issue, it will be terrible for the Armenian people here,” Vartan told me quietly.

“If you plunge a man into boiling water, he will burn,” he said, “but if you increase the heat gently, he could get used to it.”


Unlike the Kurds, Turkey’s Armenian population is an officially recognised minority with certain rights and privileges. But despite that – and despite their silence – Turkish Armenians seem like pseudo-citizens.

I began to understand the price people like that choirmaster pay to live in peace in Turkey

Anush told me that in one school text book Armenians are still described as separatists with an eye on Turkish land. History books carry the official view of 1915, of course, with the Armenians exiled as traitors.

And even now, in Armenian schools here, ethnic Armenians are banned from teaching certain “strategic” subjects – geography, sociology, morality, history.

As we talked into the warm evening, and glasses of tea gave way to Armenian cognac, I began to understand the price people like that choir master pay to live in peace in Turkey.

To many Armenians abroad their silence is a sort of treachery. For Anush, Vartan and the others it is about protecting a fragile peace.  But it is all built on the shakiest of foundations.

“I am positive. I do have hopes for Turkey,” Anush told me as I put on my shoes to go.

“But I don’t remember ever feeling truly comfortable living here. Always at the back of my mind is the thought that one day I may be forced to leave.”

Turkey: Government discloses plan to take Armenian Issue to court

Milliyet, Turkey, Report by Utku Cakirozer:

Armenian Initiative

Turkey is preparing for a great surprise in its Armenian policy. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, declaring that the government may take the genocide claims to an international court, has said:

“The accusation will be the most important problem in the decade ahead.”

It has emerged that, following its proposal, in the face of the
Armenian genocide claims, for the establishment of a historical commission, to be composed of international historians, Turkey is preparing to take yet another very significant initiative.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has announced that they may take the genocide allegations before an international court.

CHP [opposition Republican People’s Party] Istanbul Parliamentary Deputy Sukru Elekdag, who spoke during yesterday’s discussion of the Foreign Ministry budget in the TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly].

Planning and Budget Committee session, proposed that Turkey take recourse to the method of “international arbitration” in order to prevent the Armenians’ claims from gaining legitimacy. Elekdag spoke as follows:

“Will Show We Are in the Right”

“Turkey should announce that it will accept the incidents of 1915 being assessed in accord with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and for this purpose should propose referring the matter to international arbitration. The Armenians will reject this, but this announcement will be an indication of Turkey’s being in the right morally and legally, and will in large measure limit the issue’s being exploited politically against Turkey.”

Gul as well, noting that he ascribes very great importance to
Elekdag’s viewpoint and support, said:

“I see the danger of these Armenian accusations and distortions harming our relations with third countries as one of the most important problems of the next decade.”

Pointing out that Turkey has been engaged in a sincere effort for the historical reality to emerge, and by changing the parameters for the first time and taking a new initiative, has made the proposal for a joint historical commission, Gul said:

“A good many countries have supported this thesis of ours. We are also engaging in careful work aimed at taking other steps as well. We are considering everything, including taking the judicial route. We are getting opinions not just from our own legal experts, but from legal experts abroad as well.”