Archive for the 'Serj Tankian' Category

Armenian Genocide – Turkification!

The French College in Aintoura, Lebanon or Jemal Paha’s orphanage where Armenian children were to be turkified!

ARTICLE BY: Nora Parseghian

The Armenian nation lived the most horrible phase of its history in 1915. The Ottoman authorities executed the Genocide which resulted in the killing of over 1 million Armenians, while most of the Armenians remaining on the western parts of historic Armenia were compelled to leave there cities and villages and deported, marched towards the deserts of Iraq and Syria.

Parts of the deported Armenians reached Lebanon where they believed that they were left in peace without realizing that in one of the not-so-far villages of Lebanon, namely Aintoura, near Zouk, Keserwan, which is about half an hour drive from the capital city Beirut, a plan of Turkification of Armenian orphans had been put in motion in 1915.

Such a new page in the history of the Armenian Genocide was recently discovered by Missak Keleshian, who is an avid collector of all kinds of photos of the Armenian Genocide. This is how he speaks about this most recent discovery:

 “A few months ago I was reading a book entitled “The Lions of Marash” by Stanley E. Kerr, (President of the American Univerity of Beirut) who tells about his personal experiences with Near East Relief during the years 1919-1922.

In the book I came across a shocking photo with the following caption:

“Jemal Pasha…on the steps of the French College at Aintoura, Lebanon. Jemal Pasha had established an orphanage for Armenian children in the college building and had appointed Halide Edib to be its directress”.

Halide Edib Hanum was a famous Turkish feminist and very well known for her efforts to turkify Armenian orphans. Beside being shocking, the photo was the first step that lead to a new discovery.

“On December 8, 2005 I visited the village of Aintoura and located the school where the photo was taken. It’s a famous French College and it was established by the Jesuit priests 1657-1783 and Lazarist priests 1783-1834.

I met with the school principal Superior Lazarist Father Jean Sfeir and after showing him the photo, I asked for his permission to research the school’s archives for additional information about it and reveal its entire history. He was also amazed by the photo and asked the archivist of the school to assist me.”

“The archivist of the school Mr. Jean Sebastian Arhan, a Frenchman who came to Lebanon 43 years ago and has been since working in the archive of the French College in Aintoura. I showed him the photo and explained to him what I was looking for. To my amazement he was not only well aware of that part of the school’s history that I was interested in but he had also gathered all the archival material pertaining to that period in a separate file which he gave to me.”

According to Missak Keleshian, the most important revelation of the photo is the presence of Jemal Pasha and Halide Hanum beside Armenian orphans. Halide Hanum (Halide Edib Adivar 1884-1964) was one of the world renowned feminists of her times. She had received higher education American College for Women in1901. Best known for her novels criticizing the low social status of Turkish women; her first novel Seviye Talip, was published in 1909, Her first husband, Salih Zeki, then she remarried Dr. Adnan Adivar in 1917.

She served as a sergeant in Turkey’s nationalist military. Lived in UK, France, and as one of the early feminists met with Gandhi and visited the United States of America for meeting with the leaders of the feminist movement there. She fell in love with Kemal Atatourk but the latter rejected her.

Halide Hanum was a strong supporter of the pashas who planned, organized and executed the Armenian Genocide and played a crucial role in the efforts to turkify the remnants of the Armenians and was one of the leaders of that effort with Nigar Hanum.

Halide Adivar was Member of Parliament 1950-1954.

On October 29, 1914 the Ottoman Empire declared war against France, Great Britain and Russia. Therefore the agreement signed between the great powers and the Ottomans giving Mount Lebanon special status on June 9, 1861 was voided.

The last christian governor of Lebanon, Ohannes Kouyoumdjian Pasha, is replaced by Ali Mounif Bey, during whose reign Lebanon lived horrible condition including hunger, very harsh economic conditions and a surge in the number of executions.

At the end of 1915, the kaymakam (district governor) of Jounieh informs the responsible of the Aintoura College that they must close it down. The clergy are compelled to leave to another monastery on a higher altitude, others are taken to Anatolia and Ourfa while a few older priests, who are unable to travel, remain in Aintoura.

Following the expulsion of the Lazarist priests the school is transformed into an orphanage for Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish children. In 1915 the school housed 800 orphans and 30 soldiers who guarded the school. The staff consisted of 10 Lebanese and the director was Nebih Bey. This is when efforts to turkify the Armenian orphans start to be implemented.

The boys are circumcised and they are given Arabic and Turkish names by keeping the first letters of their Armenian names.

This is how Haroutiun Najarian becomes Hamid Nazim, Boghos Merdanian becomes Bekim Mohammed, Sarkis Sarafian becomes Safwad Suleyman.

Poor sanitary conditions, lack of nourishment and diseases prevail in the school and as a result a big number of children die. Turkish responsibles visiting the school blame Nebih Bey and accuse him of incompetence.

In 1916, the commander of the Fourth Turkish Army Jemal Pasha decides to visit the orphanage. Upon being informed that the official who had appointed him to his position and charged him with the responsibility of turkifying the orphans is planning a visit, Nebih Bey orders the statues of St. Joseph and the statue of father Saliege removed from the school’s entrance. Jemal Pasha arrives at the school accompanied by feminist Halide Hanum, who is immediately appointed to replace Nebih Bey as the principal of the orphanage.

 Halide Hanum is assisted by five Lebanese nuns from the Sacred Heart Order, who are responsible of the sanitation and nutrition of the orphans and other chores. Beside the Aintoura orphanage, Halide Hanum is also responsible of the Sister Nazareth school in Beirut, which is closed down in 1917.

400 new orphans between the ages 3-15 are brought to Aintoura with Jemal Pasha. They are accompanied by 15 young women from Turkish elite families, who join the team of 40 people working towards the islamization and turkification of the orphans.

Halide Hanum, the principal of the school, was the highest authority and was supervising all the activities aiming at the full turkification of the orphans in the shortest possible interval. Her goal was to transform the Aintoura College into an idea Turkish institution.

While famine was prevailing in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon and the Turkish plan to exterminate the Armenians by the sword and the Arabs by famine was being carried on, cows, sheep and flour were abundant in the Aintoura orphanage.

The goal was to have well fed and healthy newly turkified children. Lebanese outside the compound walls used to gather and beg for food.

Teaching at the orphanage was in Turkish. Older orphans were trained in trades – shoemaking, carpentry and others and the mullah assigned to the schools called the children to prayer five times a day.

Every night the band used to play “Long live Jemal Pasha”.

In the summer of 1916 leprosy starts spreading within the orphanage while the Ottoman Armies start loosing on the fronts in the Balkans and in Palestine.

Lutfy Bey, Rashid Bey and Halide Hanum abandon the school and the orphanage starts falling into chaos. Students start leaving the school compound and disorderly conduct leads to fights between the Turkish and Kurdish students on one side and the Armenian orphans – who were blaming the parents of the Turkish and Kurdish students of having killed their parents – on the other.

It is only through the interference of the Turkish soldiers stationed at the school that killings are avoided.

From the 1200 orphans kept at the Aintoura orphanage one thousand are Armenians and the remaining 200 are Turkish and Kurdish.

The Armenian orphans used to keep forks and other sharp objects to defend themselves. When the Ottomans retreat and the French and British arrive in the region, accompanied by members of the clergy, they find a chaotic situation in the school. One of the Lazarist leaders approaches Bayard Dodge, an officer of the American University of Beirut for assistance, who immediately complies with the request and arrange for shipments of food through the American Red Cross.

On October 1, 1918 the Turkish Army abandons Lebanon. On October 7 Father Sarlout returns to Aintoura and realizes that the situation is untenable. He arranges for the Turkish and Kurdish orphans to be transported to Damascus to ease the tension within the orphanage.

He then gathers the Armenian orphans and starts working with them to remember their Armenian names and tries to explain to them that the turkification process they were going through is no longer in force.

Once convinced, the Armenian orphans start calling each other by their original names then they gather all the forks and sharp items they were hiding and “surrender” them to the school officials.

The statue of St. Joseph is returned to its podium and the French flag flies over the school. But father Sarlout realizes that his resources are limited and he cannot support that many orphans. He calls upon Bayard Dodge and the American Red Cross to support the school and the orphans.

Mr. Crawford is then appointed principal of the Aintoura school, the staff of the school is replaced by Armenian teachers and the orphans are offered lessons in Armenian and English. Later “Near East Relief” takes over the school and keeps it until the fall of 1919, when the male orphans are sent to Aleppo and the females to the Armenian orphanage in the village of Ghazir, Lebanon.

While the school was under Turkish control, as a result of malnourishment, lack of sanitary conditions and diseases (mainly typhus), 300 Armenian orphans die. They are buried during 1916 in the backyard of the school.

In 1993 the school directors decide to build an extension in that same backyard. When they start digging the ground they come across human remains which they gather and rebury in a few joint graves in the cemetery belonging to the Aintoura priests.

When the Turks leave and Father Sarlout returns to the school, he finds there 670 orphans – 470 boys and 200 girls.

“Wondering in the different parts of the school, one corner looked very familiar to me. At a first glance I couldn’t remember where or how I had seen that spot but I was sure that this was not new to me. When I returned home I started working in my collection of photographs and after three hours I found what I was looking for:

it was the photo of a young orphan, which was actually taken in the same corner of the Aintoura school that looked familiar to me. The original of the photo was in the archives of the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, in the documents and photos belonging to Maria Jacobson.

The writing on the side of the photo notes: “Armenian orphan, clean-cut and bright”. The seal of “Near East Relief” is still visible at the bottom-left of the photo. At the time, the photo in question did not seem that important but toady, following the newly discovered facts about the Aintoura college, it was another piece of the puzzle I was faced with”,- says Keleshian.

By putting the photos side by side and researching the archives of the Aintoura College, Missak Keleshian succeeded in reconstructing one of the most horrifying phases in the life of the orphans of the Armenian Genocide – Turkification, which was nothing else but another portion of the general plan of annihilating the Armenian nation.


NATO Unaffected By Turkey-France Military Row: Officials


Agence France Presse — English November 16, 2006 Thursday

NATO’s operations will not be affected by a decision by the Turkish army to suspend its military relations with France, officials at the defence alliance said Thursday.

Turkish army chief General Ilker Basbug made the announcement late Wednesday in retaliation to a French parliamentary bill which would make it a crime to deny that the World War I massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks constituted genocide.

“It’s a bilateral issue. It won’t affect their relations at NATO,” an official in Brussels said. Both French and Turkish troops were operating in Kabul, he added.

“They’re there today,” he stressed. French and Turkish troops operate side-by-side in the Afghan capital, under the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), combatting a fierce insurgency by Taliban rebels.

However, General Basbug told reporters in Ankara that high-level visits between the two countries had stopped, according to the Turkey’s semi-official Anatolia news agency.

Turkey has warned that bilateral ties will suffer a great blow if France adopts the bill, which foresees one year in jail for anyone who denies that Armenians were the victims of genocide by Ottoman Turks between 1915-17.

The bill was approved by the lower house of the French parliament last month but still needs the approval of the Senate and the president to take effect.

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their people were slaughtered in orchestrated killings during the last years of the Ottoman Empire, modern Turkey’s predecessor.

But Turkey rejects the use of the term “genocide”, saying some 300,000 Armenians died when the Ottoman Empire fell apart, but at least as many Turks did too. ”

This doesn’t concern NATO,” a diplomat at the military organisation agreed. “We don’t foresee any difficulties in the NATO sphere. There won’t be any impact on the functioning of the Alliance”.

Top military officers from NATO and Partner nations were completing two days of talks in Brussels Thursday, two weeks ahead of a NATO Summit in Riga, to shape and inform military advice for the North Atlantic Council.

Turkish Article 301

I am not one to keep silent when I see something wrong. So, today, I am writing to ask that you speak out with me on an issue that’s really important.Right now, in Turkey, there is a law called Article 301 that makes it a crime to say or write anything deemed to be “un-Turkish”. Journalists, writers and many others who are vocal are facing trials under this law. In fact this year’s Nobel Prize winner for literature, Orhan Pamuk escaped conviction on a technicality for his mention of the 1 million Armenians living in Turkey who were murdered in the first part of the 20th century.The Turkish Government is not alone in repressing speech. In the Sudan today tens of thousands have been killed and millions more have been driven from their homes. The Sudanese Government will not acknowledge the extent of the tragedy and refuses to protect its own people. Journalists, writers and many others have been jailed for speaking out.I ask that you join me and other Amnesty International members to stand up for free speech. Please send an email to the Turkish government now demanding that they uphold the right to free speech and repeal Article 301 of the penal code. In addition to speaking out against Article 301, I ask that you also take action through Amnesty and demand the protection of the men, women and children in the Sudan.Amnesty’s e-mail actions really do work. In the past 45 years Amnesty has helped not only to release over 45,000 prisoners of conscience but have also helped to both change and abolish unfair laws like Article 301.As a member of Amnesty International, I know I am helping to change the course of history and by taking action, so can you.Thanks for speaking out for human rights!
Serj Tankian of System of a Down
Co-Founder of Axis of Justice

Types of Armenians?

i  did a bit of a research on armenians, and came across some interesting sites and message boards.

what puzzled me was the clarification and almost racist remarks against some specific groups of armenians, by armenians for armenians.

here is a “racial definition ” from a armenian teen site, which may or may not has some true traits about armenians?

Types of Armenians

 ::Hyastanci, Barskahyes, Beirutsis, Trabizontsi:: 


– IF your rims cost more than your house
– If you wear Lofers
– If your welfare check is bigger than your car payments
– If You wear 4 or 5 stripe adidas or Badidas
– If you have one eyebrow
– If you think you’re in some Armenian Mafia
– If you think everyone’s name is “Ara”
– If your armpits smell like basterma
– if your beamer’s liscense plate says Davo em apeh
– If you have an illegal cell phone from North Hollywood
– If what you’re reading is on a stolen/bought or at good guys computer
– If you playa hate Beirutsis and Barskahyes


– if you have a special way of pronouncing R when speaking Armenian
– if your last name ends w/ “IAN”
– if you go to Shiraz regularly
– if your name or your cousin’s is ARTIN or ARBI or NARBEH
– If your favirote word is “HEIR” (meaning why)
– If you CALL what you do Break Dancing
– If you pluck your eyebrows or shave your legs
– If you go to Ararat parties and call them Raves
– if you wear blue contacts
– if you go “bareeeeeeeeeeev, mamen baben inchbeseeeeeeeeeeeeeeen?”


– You go to Teen Dances every week
– You’re in AYF
– if you always go “yallah”
– if you think that you’re the best in everything
– if your name is panos, sako, george, puzant, garo, rita, sevag, jirayr, anto…or anything else as of that.
– if every sentence you say, you end with “AGA, SHAKHS, or LAN”
– YOU Become a mechanic in the future after being in law school
– if you have a computer just for Solitaire
– if you have more oil in your hair than you have in your car
– if you won’t date a guy without a car or money
– if you’re very very very tight with money $
– if your parents want you home before 6am
– if your parents are DEGENERATE gamblers
– if you call your Peachfuzz A Goatee
– if your dad owns a Panose’s Bakery
– If you work at Gap, Millers Outpost, or some “cool” store
– if you buy your clothes from abercrombie or you know , that kinda stuff
– if you have an ararad masis picture in your TV room
– if you have one of those William Saroyan posters
– if your dad thinks “oghi for life”
– if you have “dolma” on a weekly basis
– if you like giving only GOLD stuff as gifts.

more from the forum, as a reply to above quoted:

“You’re true Nor-Nakhichevantsi if:
1. Your favorite vehicle is three-weeled motorcycle.
2. Your call russian men “Khaskhi” and women “Marushka”.
3. Your call your elder brother “aga”.
4. Your favorite dessert is water-mellon
5. You call other armenians “tusatsi”, and wonder they speak such a tongue-breaking language
6. You think of a “house” when hayastantsi says “you”.
7. You believe that your dialect only is genuine armenian, and that the true armenian word for “time” (jamanak) is “saat” (which really is arabic ).You’re true Trapezundtsi(Trabizontsi) if:
1. You KNOW that you ARE the best in the world. You from your birth already know everything a person may need to know to be successful in life.
2. Your really can rise grapes and make wine. Its in your blood.
3. Your favorite vehicle is “moskvich–pirozhok”.
4. You swim good but after 30-ty you go swimming once in decade.
– – –

anyhow, i’ve been trying to find a correct translation for  “Barskahye”. all i could find was a translation of  being ” very masculine”.

why are these classifications within one nation – Armenia ?

i now have these four types of armenians, and i am not sure if i understand any of it.

i suppose some of above answers may be funny to armenians, but maybe i am to serious about the history of armenia and just can’t really see much humor in it (aside the arab comment ).

now i have these different types of armenians. but what is the real meaning of these names ( below). yet google didn’t gave me any satisfying answers

::Hyastanci, Barskahyes, Beirutsis, Trabizontsi::

what are the true meanings?


ps: i’ve found an incredible site, giving a photographic historical tour of armenia.

i’ve been looking at the photos for the past 2 hours and i am amazed. i will not hotlink the photos from the site, i do respect the copy rights of the creator.

but yet, i think every armenian, or whomever is interested in historical facts should look at these photos


    SOAD to appear at AFI fest Nov. 2nd on Screamers


“Screamers” highlights System of a Down’s 2005 world tour. It includes long takes of 7 live performances in many cities from London to Los Angeles. Their music also serves as back ground to many of the other clips in the film.

The most interesting S.O.A.D. parts of the film, however, are the interviews with the band members talking about the personal importance of helping create awareness and recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. They are caught on the tour bus playing around at times, but the story-re-telling of events of the Genocide that they have heard from their grandparents, is the films focus.
The best footage of this includes older home-video footage of Serj’s grandfather, (one of the few remaining survivors of the Armenian Genocide in the world!), and interactions with Serj and his grandfather as of last spring.

There is a very special “sneak preview” for “Screamers” at the AFI fest November 2nd and 3rd. People can get tickets now. It is also confirmed that the entire band and director will be there the night of the 2nd.

For more information about this project including image gallery and video trailer check out:


The Holocaust, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur….

And every time a U.S. president, a British Prime Minister, a U.N. Secretary General says, “Never again.” Yet it happens-again, and again, and again….Why? Because, our leaders say, We didn’t know.Yet they did know recent studies have shown that the British knew conclusively what was going on at Auschwitz…yet buried that knowledge in their files because it would have forced them to change their war plans.

 Everyone knew what was going on in Cambodia, post-the Vietnam War, as the Academy Award-winning movie “The Killing Fields” demonstrates … yet the powers that be declined to admit it, for fear they would have to do something.In Carla Garapedian’s powerful new film, “Screamers,” Pulitzer prize-winner Samantha Power says President after President, Democrat and Republican, have known about genocides as they were happening … but have chosen not to act.

In Iraq, Reagan did not want the horrors of Saddam Hussein’s massacre against the Kurds to come out, because then he would have to do something to stop him. In Bosnia, world television coverage of the genocide convinced the international community to step in…but only after 200,000 had been murdered.
In Rwanda, Bill Clinton did not want the true horrors to come out …because then he would have to do something. And now, in Darfur, George Bush has finally declared the desolation of the Southern Sudan a “genocide”-yet refused to do what it takes to stop it.
Why? Because, once again, as in 1915, when the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau, first reported the wholesale extermination of the Armenian population by the Ottoman Turks in Anatolia, it was denied so the United States would not be forced to act.
That reaction gave Hitler his impetus for the Holocaust: “Who remembers the Armenians?” he declared in 1939, before ordering the murder of 6 million European Jews.
In “Screamers,” Garapedian traces the history of modern-day genocide-and genocide denial- from the fertile “Holy Mountains” of Anatolia to the current atrocities in Darfur .
This documentary is as shattering as it is powerful,which includes interviews and live performance footage with System Of A Down, the multi-platinum, Grammy-Award winning rock band, all of whose members are Armenian-American.

The film is laced with seven of the band’s songs from “Holy Mountains” to “P.L.U.C.K.” to the #1 hit “B.Y.O.B.” that illuminate the band’s views on political and social issues. Conceived by longtime collaborators Peter McAlevey and Carla Garapedian (herself an Armenian-American and documentary director of “Lifting the Veil” and “Children of the Secret State”), “Screamers” came together in the summer 2004 after producer McAlevey (“Radio Flyer,” “Shadow Hours”) approached System of a Down’s legendary producer Rick Rubin about partnering with the band to make a documentary about one of their main causes – recognition of the Armenian genocide.With Rubin’s support, Garapedian met System Of A Down, who endorsed the film’s important message-how the world’s denial of the Turk’s Armenian genocide contributed to the continuing crisis of international genocides ever since – from Armenia to Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and present-day Darfur.The cameras followed System Of A Down on their European and American tours last summer and fall as they promoted their new, two-album set, “Mezmerize” and “Hypnotize.” (Their collective record sales have totaled over 16 million albums worldwide With the band’s cooperation, McAlevey and Garapedian, along with British producer Nick de Grunwald, secured a deal with BBC Television for UK TV rights.The film was mainly financed by The Raffy Manoukian Charity in the UK.Returning to the USA, Garapedian teamed up with McAlevey stalwarts — DP Charles Rose, editor Bill Yahraus, post-production supervisor Robin M. Rosenthal and production manager Don West — as the band continued its tour in the States.She attempted to track down House Speaker Dennis Hastert (who, according to Vanity Fair magazine, has taken $500,000 in campaign contributions from the Turks in return for allowing an Armenian genocide recognition bill from ever being passed by the House of Representatives), visited a 100-year-old survivor and, most importantly, spent time with lead vocalist’s Serj Tankian’s grandfather, one of the few remaining eyewitnesses of the genocide.

Finally, just this spring, seven months after staging a protest rally at Dennis Hastert’s offices in Illinois (dubbed “Dennis, Do the Right Thing”), Tankian and drummer John Dolmayan confronted Hastert in the Capital Rotunda … luckily, the cameras were there.With an ending filmed in the actual village in Turkey where the massacre of Tankian’s ancestors began, set against the ghostly strains of the hit “Holy Mountains,” Garapedian’s film comes full circle from 1915 through the horrors of 20th and 21st Century genocide in Darfur … to a finale of ghostly images of real ancestors that will never be forgotten.
While most of the concert footage had been handled in Europe, Garapedian faced the harder challenge of linking it all to the current political debate on genocide – in Europe, Turkey and the United States.

In America, the pressure was on the Bush Administration to acknowledge its own historical record and recognize the first genocide of the 20th Century, thus setting the stage for a worldwide recognition and reparations.

Here luck played a hand again-while age alone has decimated the population of eyewitness survivors of the massacres, one turned out to be Serj’s own grandfather, Stepan Haytayan. Stepan is one of the only survivors who survived the death march from Efkere, the village Serj’s family came from in Turkey.

Fortunately, despite being in poor health, Serj’s grandfather had been videotaped by Serj a few years earlier and that, combined with Carla’s research on the village from historical archives in Harvard and Britain, helped flesh out the story of what happened the day the massacres started and the forced death marches that followed.
Then, luck intervened again -in the middle of this process word reached the filmmakers that an Armenian-American survivor of the genocide had just turned 100 in Connecticut … and received a letter from Vice-President Dick Cheney congratulating her on her good fortune in surviving the “Armenian genocide.”

It was the first time a ranking American vice-president had ever used the “g-word” officially to describe what the Turks had done. All of this just at the time the State Department was in the process of recalling its U.S. Ambassador to Armenia for using the “g-word” in connection with the Armenian genocide.

And also at a time when Congress was being asked to recognize the genocide and Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, was in the political hot-seat, not least by the FBI whistle-blower, Sibel Edmonds, who consented to appear in the film.Racing to Connecticut to interview this survivor before the White House could recall the letter, Garapedian also had the good fortune to interview Henry Morgenthau III, whose grandfather had been the U.S.

Ambassador to Turkey at the time and witnessed the massacres with his own eyes, as well Pulitzer prize-winning Harvard Professor Samantha Power, whose 2002 book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide” demonstrates how all the subsequent genocides of the 20th and 21st Centuries date back to our simple inability to admit what the Turks did to the Armenians.
Again, as Hitler said in ordering the destruction of European Jewry, “Who remembers the Armenians?”

Well, Power does-as does every Armenian, anywhere in the world. As do Rwandans who have an exhibit on the Armenian genocide at the very sight where the worst killing was perpetrated. As Power argues in the movie, the problem with genocide is “you can’t kill them all; there are always survivors.”

And those survivors, Power says, become the “Screamers,” the one’s who can’t rest until the world knows what has happened –
Elie Wiesel on the Holocaust, David Puttnam making “The Killing Fields” about what happened in Cambodia, Dennis Quaid giving a year of his life to a film about Bosnia or Don Cheadle starring in the acclaimed “Hotel Rwanda.”

And, in the end, that’s what “Screamers” is all about-an internationally produced film by an equally international crew that uses the music of a band of genocide survivors to explicate one of the great questions of our time:

‘Can we stop genocide? Do we really mean ‘never again?’

In the end, as lead singer Serj Tankian stands, surveying mountains very like those of his native Anatolia (and System’s mournful song “Holy Mountains” plays in the background),

Garapedian’s cameras track through the rocky remains of Efkere, his grandfather’s ruined village, as images of the sacrifice in each household appear and the roll call of the dead continues:
“Armenia-1.5 million dead; The Holocaust-6 million dead; Cambodia-2 million dead; Rwanda-800,000 dead; Bosnia-200,000 dead; Darfur-400,000 dead

and counting.”

As Serj Tankian says at the end: “I think we should all be Screamers.”

Enter The Chicken

enter the chickenProduced by: SERJ TANKIAN
© 2005 Serjical Strike Records, Inc.

Buckethead, whose sense of rock fashion includes a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket as headgear, signed with System Of A Down’s leader Serj Tankian’s Serjical Strike label in September of 2005. His first release is here, Enter The Chicken. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I like Buckethead’s instrumentals, but I’d like some vocal tunes as well,” then Enter The Chicken is just the thing to brighten up the hen house. Building up a tag team of guest vocalists (including Tankian), Buckethead shreds while the throat mashers sing, scream, gurgle, shriek, yell and screech over the ten vocal numbers – save the final track, a brilliant instrumental entitled “Nottingham Lace”. Better than Original Recipe or Extra Crispy? Let the hungriest of roosters decide.

the armenian genocide/ottman turks – hitlers idols

yes, aynali (some stupid writer on another blogsite)
there was an armenian genocide that killed over 1.5 million armenians!
i’ve asked you an question ” do you support the acknowledgement of the armenian genocide, done in 1915 by the ottoman turks? “

only to see, he has deleted my legitimate question from his journal. you sir, are an idiot! denial is the problem, always has been the problem!
hitler’s “idea” of a ethnic cleansing, sure came from the ottoman empire, the concentration camps, the massgraves. as hitler said: ” anyone remember the armenians ?”

the reason i am writing this, is to make some of you simpletons aware that there was indeed a GENOCIDE!
and it hits home, i am of ukrainian/ moroccon descent and the ottoman turks have invaded morocco and also algier the neighbor’ing country of morocco. i am almost certain that somewhere down in my ancestry line there is some ottman turk blood in my family tree, which i despise from the bottom of my heart!!!

nevertheless, i want to state some facts here for the history inclined or the ones blinded by ignorance!

– – –

It’s Time to Remember

by Serj Tankian

On September 27th, my band, System of a Down, and hundreds of our fans, the Armenian National Committee of America, Axis of Justice, and the Armenian Youth Federation rallied in front of Speaker Dennis Hastert’s offices in Batavia, Illinois, an hour outside of Chicago.

I told the crowd about my grandfather, Stepan Haytayan, a 97 year-old survivor of the Armenian genocide and my only link to the distant past.
I promised him that I would try to talk to Dennis Hastert about the genocide resolution and about how it’s important to honor the survivors by acknowledging the truth that our own archives attest to.

My grandfather was lucky and survived the genocide; John Dolmayan, System’s drummer, never got to know his. His grandfather suffered from emphysema and was shot and killed by a Turkish solider in 1915 after coughing and being discovered hiding in a tree.

We stood together to ask Speaker Hastert to ‘do the right thing’ and keep his commitment to hold a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, officially recognizing Turkey’s destruction of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923.

Some in the US government and various special interest groups have repeatedly warned about the consequences of angering Turkey, a NATO ally, over their denial of the Armenian Genocide.

But by acting as apologists for Turkey, Congress is actually holding back Turkey’s progress. By holding a vote, we will be doing the right thing morally and, at the same time, encouraging Turkey to deal honestly with its past and more openly with its future. Scores of nations have passed resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Recently, the European Parliament made Turkey’s acceptance of the genocide a pre-requisite to acceptance into the European Union.

Not recognizing an atrocity such as this for political expediency, commerce, or other reasons is simply cowardice and unacceptable.

It is time to recognize that history does and will repeat itself, unless we stop that cycle and demand accountability. The 20th century is stained with genocides all over the globe since Turkey’s murderous attempt at racial extermination in 1915.

We are currently ignoring the first genocide of the 21st century in Sudan.

Had the Allied powers who defeated Turkey in WWI, including the United State, along with the World Court recognized, condemned, and punished the Ottoman Turks for their genocide after WWI, there are many who believe that Hitler would not have ventured ahead with his own genocidal plans.

As Hitler often said in his speeches prior to the holocaust, “Who remembers the Armenians?”

It’s time to remember.

– – –

Enver Pasha’s response to his crushing defeat at the Battle of Sarikamis was, in part, to blame the Armenians. He ordered that all Armenian recruits in the Ottoman forces be disarmed, demobilized and assigned to labor camps. Most of the Armenian recruits were either executed or turned into road laborers – few survived.

On April 24, 1915 (few days after the beginning of the troubles in Van), the Young Turk government arrested several hundred – or, according to Turkish records, over two thousand – Armenian intellectuals. It is believed that most of these were soon executed. This was quickly followed – May 25, 1915 – by orders from Talat Pasha (Minister of the Interior) for the forced evacuation of hundreds of thousands – possibly over a million – Armenians from across all of Anatolia (except parts of the western coast) to Mesopotamia and what is today Syria. Many went to the Syrian town of Dayr az Zawr and the surrounding desert. The fact that the Turkish government ordered the evacuation of ethnic Armenians at this time is not in dispute. It is claimed, based on a good deal of anecdotal evidence, that the Ottoman government did not provide any facilities to care for the Armenians during their evacuation, nor when they arrived. Some records suggest that the Ottoman troops escorting the Armenians as a matter of course not only allowed others to rob, kill, and rape the Armenians, but often participated in these activities themselves. In any event, the forseeable consequence of the government’s decision to move the Armenians was a significant number of deaths.

Starved Armenian childrenThe Ottoman government ordered the evacuation or deportation of many Armenians living in Anatolia, Syria, and Mesopotamia. In the city of Edessa (modern Şanlıurfa) the local Armenian population, worried about their fate, revolted (early 1916) against the Ottoman government and took control of the old city. Ottoman forces attacked the city and bombarded it with artillery but the Armenians held out. The German General who was in command of the closest Ottoman army, Baron von der Goltz arrived and negotiated a deal with the Armenians. In exchange for an Armenian surrender and disarmament, the Ottoman government agreed not to deport them. However, the Ottoman government broke the terms of the agreement and did deport the Armenians.

It is believed that over a million were deported. The word “deportation” could be considered as misleading (and some would prefer the word “relocation”, as the former means banishment outside a country’s borders; it is said that Japanese-Americans, for example, were not “deported” during World War II). Many historians believe that the evacuations were, in practice, a method of mass execution which led to the deaths of many of the Armenian population by forcing them to march endlessly through desert, without food or water or enough protection from local Kurdish or Turkish bandits, and that the members of the special organization were charged to escort the convoys (which meant their destruction).

– – –
The Camps:

It is believed that twenty-five major concentration camps (Dayr az-Zawr, Ra’s Al Gul, Bonzanti, Mamoura, Intili, Islahiye, Radjo, Katma, Karlik, Azaz, Akhterim, Mounboudji, Bab, Tefridje, Lale, Meskene, Sebil, Dipsi, Abouharar, Hamam, Sebka, Marat, Souvar, Hama, Homs and Kahdem) existed, under the command of Şükrü Kaya, one of the right hands of Talat Pasha. The majority of the camps were situated near the Iraqi and Syrian frontiers, and some were only temporary transit camps.Others are said to have been used only as temporary mass burial zones—such as Radjo, Katma, and Azaz—that were closed in Fall 1915. Some authors also maintain that the camps Lale, Tefridje, Dipsi, Del-El, and Ra’s al-‘Ain were built specifically for those who had a life expectancy of a few days. Like in the cases of the Jewish KAPOs in the concentration camps, the majority of the guards inside the camps were Armenians.

Even though nearly all the camps, including all the major ones, were open air, the rest of the mass killings in other minor camps, was not limited to direct killings; but also to mass burning, poisoning and drowning.

– – –

The Special Organization (Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa)

While there was an official ‘special organization’ founded in December 1911 by the Ottoman government, a second organization that participated in what led to the destruction of the Ottoman Armenian community was founded by the lttihad ve Terraki. This organization technically appeared in July 1914 and was supposed to differ from the one already existing in one important point; mostly according to the military court, it was meant to be a “government in a government” (needing no orders to act).

Later in 1914, the Ottoman government decided to influence the direction the special organization was to take by releasing criminals from central prisons to be the central elements of this newly formed special organization. According to the Mazhar commissions attached to the tribunal as soon as November 1914, 124 criminals were released from Pimian prison. Many other releases followed; in Ankara a few months later, 49 criminals were released from its central prison. Little by little from the end of 1914 to the beginning of 1915, hundreds, then thousands of prisoners were freed to form the members of this organization. Later, they were charged to escort the convoys of Armenian deportees. Vehib, commander of the Ottoman third army, called those members of the special organization, the “butchers of the human specy.”

The organization was led by the Central Committee Members Doctor Nazim, Behaeddin Sakir, Atif Riza, and former Director of Public Security Aziz Bey. The headquarters of Behaeddin Sakir were in Erzurum, from where he directed the forces of the Eastern vilayets. Aziz, Atif and Nazim Beys operated in Istanbul, and their decisions were approved and implemented by Cevat Bey, the Military Governor of Istanbul.

According to the same commissions and other records, the criminals were chosen by a process of selection. They had to be ruthless butchers to be selected as a member of the special organization. The Mazhar commission, during the military court, has provided some lists of those criminals. In one instance, of 65 criminals released, 50 were in prison for murder. Such a disproportionate ratio between those condemned for murder; and others imprisoned for minor crimes is reported to have been generalized. This selection process of criminals was, according to some researchers in the field of comparative genocide studies, who specialize in the Armenian cases, clearly indicative of the government’s intention to commit mass murder of its Armenian population. Also, according to records, physicians participated in the process of selection; health professionals were appointed by the war ministry to determine whether the selected convicts would be fit to apply the degree of savagery of killing that was required.

MORE?!! here!