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Turkey Moves to Deport Armenian Workers after French Vote

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ISTANBUL, Turkey (A.W.)—Turkey is set to amend a law next month that aims to rid the country of illegal workers. Many view this move as retaliation against Armenians in light of the new bill criminalizing Armenian Genocide denial in France.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan (Photo by Nanore Barsoumian)

Varying estimates in Turkey put the number of Armenian citizens in the country from 10,000 to 100,000. Many of them are women, and are employed in low-skill jobs.

“This country, which Mark Levene called ‘the genocide zone,’ throughout its history has made it a habit to deport, expel, and relocate innocent people as retaliation and punishment for things they did not do, or have no connection to at all,” Turkish human rights advocate Ayse Gunaysu told Armenian Weekly Editor Khatchig Mouradian.

The amendment to Law No. 5683 on Residence and Travel of Foreign Subjects will be ratified on Feb. 1. In the past, people from the region migrated to Turkey on tourist visas, finding employment and becoming illegal workers. After a few months, they would leave and reenter the country on a new tourist visa (a process called “visa runs”). The workers hailed mostly from countries such as Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Ukraine, Indonesia, and Armenia. The new system will force migrants to stay out of the country for 90 days between two entries. Authorities are set to strictly enforce the new law, penalizing visa overstays and runs.

However, the amendment allows for employers who wish to keep their workers to pay a salary of TL 1,330 ($744), and an insurance premium, reported Bianet.org. The minimum wage in Turkey is TL 701 ($392), and it is unlikely that an unskilled worker will make significantly more than that.

Back in March 2010, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted at retaliation against Armenian migrant workers if genocide resolutions were passed in foreign parliaments. In a discussion on genocide resolutions in the U.S. and Sweden, he told the BBC’s Turkish Service that of the 170,000 Armenians living in Turkey, only 70,000 are Turkish citizens. “We are turning a blind eye to the remaining 100,000… Tomorrow, I may tell these 100,000 to go back to their country, if it becomes necessary.”

It appears the French bill was the last straw for Erdogan’s government. On Jan. 25, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters that “Turkey’s response to the adoption of the bill had long been decided.”

The president of the Migrants’ Association for Social Cooperation and Culture, Sefika Gurbuz, called the law a “threat to Armenians,” reported Bianet.

Meanwhile, Gunaysu characterized Turkey’s response a “black comedy.”

“The ongoing blackmail and threats  against France is itself proof of guilt as well as a manifestation of lack of dignity and self-respect, despite—of course—pathetic demonstrations of national pride,” said Gunaysu.

Gunaysu, who is a member of the Committee Against Racism and Discrimination of the Human Rights Association of Turkey, pointed out the country’s history of deporting innocents peoples. In 1915, the Young Turk regime began its systemic deportations of Armenians as a main tool to rid the eastern provinces of a native population. “They still tell lies that it was because of treacherous Armenians, whereas hundreds of thousands of Armenians were not engaged in any political activity whatsoever,” said Gunaysu.

Then it was the turn of Turkey’s Kurdish and Greek populations. “The republican period is full of Kurdish deportations, especially in 1938 during and after the Dersim Massacres,” she said. “In 1964, the Turkish government expelled 40,000 Anatolian Greeks, forbidding them to bring along any personal belongings over 20 kg. and $20,  as a retaliation against Greece in connection with the Cyprus issue—a deportation that is still terribly painful in the memories of these people.”

Gunaysu added, “The mindset from which this policy of retaliation originates is racist, inhuman, and brutal.  The rulers of Turkey have once more proven that [the government] still follows the same path as that of  their  predecessors back in 1915 and all along the history of the Republic.”

124 Comments on Turkey Moves to Deport Armenian Workers after French Vote

  1. Nanore:

    where did you get the number 100,000 ?
    {“There are an estimated 100,000 Armenian citizens who work in Turkey”.}

    A survey done in 2010 put the figure at 12,000-13,000. (TodaysZaman)
    RoA Gov figures are about half that number.

    So unless there is hard evidence of the 100,000 figure, I would stick with 13,000.

  2. So much for “punishing France” for passing this bill.

  3. If France accepts these deported Armenians to work in France that would be the ultimate slap to the face of Erdogan.

  4. avatar Dikranagertzi // January 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm // Reply

    So this how Turkey plans on “confronting” the premeditated murder of 1.5 million innocent civilians in 1915?

    How innovative…

  5. The circumstances may have changed but the players have not yet learned about dignity, harmony, and peace.

  6. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // January 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm // Reply

    “They are lucky…
    Armenians better to leave now
    than to be slayed( slain) later…”
    My two mother’s aunts left before genocide of 1915 to USA
    They never suffered like my poor grandmother
    with her 4 children and her old mother…
    I call them lucky…
    If there is god will give them their bread…!

    SP

  7. Whether in 1915 or 2012: Turkish establishment is Turkish establishment…

  8. Good. Those Armenians should never have gone to work in Turkey in the first place. Now they can return to Armenia or find work in a non hostile nation.

  9. ….Gunaysu added, “The mindset from which this policy of retaliation originates is racist, inhuman, and brutal. The rulers of Turkey have once more proven that [the government] still follows the same path as that of their predecessors back in 1915 and all along the history of the Republic.”

    I think we have all been holding our breath for this latest move.

    This mindset that Gunaysu refers to is only bolstered by the lack of real punishment against Turkey for genocidal acts and crimes against humanity from the past. A ‘bully’ only gets bolder the longer he is allowed to get away with his misdeeds. Lack of consequences breeds arrogance, which is what we see here. Hopefully, European countries who open their doors to Turkish workers will take note of this latest ‘in your face’ move.

    If I was Turkish, I would be embarrassed by this childish act of punishing Armenians for what the French legislature has chosen to do. Turkey is desperate to evade the truth and blames Armenians, when all they have to do is admit to the genocide, make proper compensation and ease back and watch as the issue disappears into the pages of history and relations between neighbors normalize. But I guess for this to happen, first you have to want ‘zero problems’ with your neighbors.

  10. Turkey started to unmask itself under pressure !!!

  11. That would be one stupid move after another by Erdogan, because if he expels Armenians; and if Turkey dares to recalls his ambassador from France as promised, then France can order them to close all their consulates and clean the France from noncitizen Turks who by their presence are littering that civilized beautiful country, then I guess all EU countries following the example; will adopt the same BILL in order to clean EU off Turks.

  12. avatar RIVKA JOHANSEN // January 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm // Reply

    You should be aware that without the tireless endeavors and efforts of others, this great victory over injustice could not have been delivered. Personally, I have invested thousands of hours in research, writing posts, engaging with hostile Turks, who are now parking in Jewish posts – and accusing Armenians of atrocities against Jews, implying that Armenians were complicit with the Turks in murdering Jews and Greeks………….in a further effort to defile and injure the reputation and memory of Armenian victims. It is vile and heinous, and many Greeks, Cypriots and Jewish readers have chased these paid Turk propaganda pigs out of the lobbies. My email accounts , as well as other Greek and Cypriot supporters of Armenia have been hacked, in Turkey’s ongoing efforts to prevent the Knesset from recognizing the genocide, because the Turks – stoop not only to denial and vicious lies, but have fashioned these lies to continue injuring other victims of their crimes – because they don’t want to return the lands, properties, assets, churches they desecrated, AS THEY CONTINUE to add insult to injury of the Greek and Cypriot victims of their vicious war crimes, violations of the Geneva Convention, blocking the release of the inquiry of the 1,619 Greek Cypriot POWS who were murdered whilst in Turk custody in 1974. The Turks have illegally planted more than 300,000 illegal mainland Turks from Anatolia in North Cyprus, to falsify population statistics, with the intent of claiming Cyprus’ resources, and legally keeping the land, properties and assets of Sovereign Cyprus – as they continue to blame and insult the victims of their crimes and looting. With complicity of the silent UN. And I say to all Armenians – we that have stood steadfast at your side – it is your privilege to now support Cyprus, and the half million Greek victims of the Turk Genocide and war crimes, in their struggle to put an end to the Turk blockade of Armenia, the deportations and the racism suffered not only by Armenians, but also by the people of Cyprus. Obama has clearly indicated that his pockets are full of Turkish corruption. Stand with Cyprus now, and form a moral alliance, with every step forward.
    If Turkey deports Armenians, then Turks should be deported from all countries that have recognized the genocide – because it is DUE to their passivity that the events of 1964, and Cyprus – have been “tolerated” and continue to be inflicted on ‘small’ communities – by the islamic vampire of Istanbul. The ongoing ethnic cleansing and terror on Kurd civilians is also a consequence of passivity.
    Turkey needs to be taught a lesson – and must be held accountable for their vandalism, blood libel and ongoing genocide, while thousands of writers, journalists and innocent victims of their criminal government – are beaten, threatened and violated brutally in Turkish prisons.
    Stand with CANA and Cyprus – and give them your support, just as they have given you theirs, to put a stop to this ongoing criminal rape of justice.

  13. Very good decision. Those Armenians were blinded by greed and that is the only reason why they are in Turkey. I will not visit Turkey as a tourist let alone live there. Let even put history aside. I cannot imagine how an Armenian from Armenia can live and raise kids in Turkey. What kind of a parent you have to be to deprive your child from school for a few bucks. Armenian children in Turkey were not allowed to attend schools. They had some elementary and middle schools though with unknown quality of education. Let them go back to Armenia and live with dignity where their children can get free education and a taxi driver will not beat them for speaking Turkish with an accent.

    • avatar Grish Begian // January 27, 2012 at 4:38 am //

      Sella,
      The Bolshevism was like Turkification, infected not only Armenians but entire people of Soviet Union ….it is duty of Diaspora Armenians to let our counterpart in Armenia to learn and understand the pride and dignity of our past, and suffering of Armenian nation in the hands of Muslim Turks!, and I am sure they are changing slowly and becoming more or less like us.. sooner or later they will find out about them, and they will go back to Armenia for good, once our economy get better!! I am glad that border is closed, otherwise, Armenia could become like Georgia, Turks would erect minarets beside every Armenian church, as they are doing in Germany and France and other European capitals!!

    • Sella,
      From what I’ve heard, these people are not necessarily there with families. The majority appear to be singles that accept unskilled jobs, like women doing housework for Armenians living in Istambul, who are affluent enough to hire a full time maid. So instead of hiring a Romanian or Bulgarian house maid/ cook/ etc., Turkish Armenians hire Armenian women (some of them middle aged +), who would leave their families behind and send money home. The majority of “employers” seem to be local Armenians. So Turkey’s future plan is aimed to punish Armenians both ways, at the “employer” level and the “employee” level.

    • Sarkis,

      I do not know if you live in Armenia or not or how much involvement you have had with Armenians who go to Turkey but there are significant number of Armenian families who stay there illegally. There are even videos in the YouTube showing the condition of education of those poor emigrant children. Unless, it has changed, they were not allowed to attend schools. There were some hidden schools but even that did not include high school. Most of those women do work in Turkish families not in Armenian families. They say Turkish families treat them better than Armenian families. And again, as I mentioned before there is a national security issue here as well. Some of those Armenians are being used by Turkey to gather information from the Artsakh military. It is not a myth, people have been arrested for spying. It is not easy to control because Artsakh authorities do not normally check passports of Armenian citizens and they can enter and exit Artsakh freely.

  14. I agree with AR. No Armenian should have gone to work in Turkey. Now they can return to Armenia to safety and thank Jesus they were not harmed this time as their ancestors were in 1915. The mainstream Turkish mentality hardly has changed since.

    • I reject completely the idea that Armenians should not go to Turkey for work. Armenians and Greeks built Bolis and five thousand other towns and cities. Armenians have as much right, indeed a greater right, to live in that terrain as any other people.

      Armenians of today did not go to Turkey because they want to live in a hostile Moslem country. They go to support their families.

      I agree with the poster who does not want to visit Turkey, however. I won’t visit a country were 30 or 40% of the population mouths the genocidal propaganda of the state, and hates every person thing and place associated with Armenians.

      Calls to deport innocent civilians, whether they be Turkish, Armenian, or Mexican, simply lack humanity. The Armenians in Turkey have done nothing against Turkey’s interests, and the Turks who live in Germany and France are equally far removed from the decisions of the Turkish state.

      The only people to blame for a racist and cruel decision to deport impoverished Armenian immigrants are the Nazis who run Turkey. They and they alone should pay the price for their actions. They have brought disgrace on Turkey, but that’s nothing new.

  15. No, RVDV, if France and Germany deport Turks who work there, THAT would be the ultimate slap to the face of Erdogan.

  16. avatar Necati Genis // January 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm // Reply

    Nanore,

    1. your title is wrong. it should be ” …deport (illegal) armenian workers…”

    2. why are you so disappointed? is it not you always saying Turkey is not a good place ? so, Turkish Gov. deporting unhappy illegal people to Armenia where they can be happy ..so will you…

    • avatar Grish Begian // January 27, 2012 at 1:41 am //

      Necati,

      Are you one of those millions of turk living on social assistance in Germany??I am sure Germans like rest of the Europe are concerned about all those turkish nationals who are living happily in European capitals, where hefty social assistance and working underground makes them feel like turkish pashas…I wonder how much Mr. Rajab Erdoghan knows about the reality of outside world !!

  17. avatar Necati Genis // January 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm // Reply

    Nanore,

    You , on purpose, picked up a picture of the PM showing his midle finger to insult him.

    The thing you dont know is that midle finger solely has no meaning in Turkey.

    FYI: We show thumb between index finger and the midle for the same meaning.

  18. avatar Alex Postallian // January 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm // Reply

    I believe the figure of 10,000 is correct,turkey(gooble,gooble) never did tell the truth.You would be doing them a favor,leaving that SEWER,turkey.Send them to America,where they can enjoy freedom,not looking over your shoulder,make a decent wage,work for decent employers.Now let the Armenians help them to leave. 5,000 to France,5000 to America.

  19. avatar gaytzag palandjian // January 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm // Reply

    Paradoxical or just passing up the main issue.Or even -permit me to say-forgetfulness by my dear compatriots here.The following.-
    If my neighbour has the cojones(excuse my french,but this Spanish word employed in some North American circles also,since too many Hispanics here and also Second official language) which means balls to punish me for a misdeed by me he/she should PUNISH ME AND NOT THIRD PARTY, I.E.punish my¨other ¨neighbour.
    great Turkey should try to punish La France ,if with c …s, otherwise this shows their being
    1.Very badly indeed disposed towards Armenians(Ermenis).Outright enemies!!
    2.We(our pres. invited Mr. GUL to Armenia …to watch football match together and to break ice…also as OBEDIENT TO CLINTON, LAVROV ,SOLANA TRIO AT ZURICH TO SIGN WHATVER UNFAVOURABLE PROTOCOL THEY TOLD US TO SIGN—which we did…AN D THIS WITHOUT OFFICIALLY BEGGING PARDON FOR THE ENORMOUS CRIME THEY INFLICGTED UPON OUR ANCESTORS….
    3. NOW THESE SPINELESS PEOPLE WISH TO WREAK HAVOC ON INNOCENT ARMENIAN S WHO WENT TO WORK IN ISTANBULLA????
    I certainly wish to see they realize that and then reap consecuences!!!!
    MESSRS.MEVEDEV, OBAMA TIME TO ACT TOO!!!!
    AFTER ALL YOU REPRESENT some very good stock Russioans and Americans alike.Forget about those who tried the above shows at Zurich.
    Those people are already in a jam what with their countries Demos against those who act as described….
    You ought to show this man and his entourage that you ARE FREEDOM LOVING PEOPLES´ REPS…LIKE
    VIVE LA FRANCE!!!! A THOUSAND TIMES

  20. avatar eduardo jose kilidjian elmasian // January 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm // Reply

    we should honor our martyrs, demanding justice in all countries of the world!!!!

  21. Don’t most of the western countries have these kind of regulations? It’s not targeted exactly armenians living in Turkey, but all illegal workers. Salary threshold is a bit too high compared to the minimum wage though.

    @Sella, I’m pretty sure that any children in Turkey can go to school as long as they are legal aliens. There is no citizenship or ethnicity conditions.

  22. avatar Grish Begian // January 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm // Reply

    Millions of Turks are living in Europe, especially in Germany, where they are sucking billions of dollars from Germans and Frances social welfare system illegally, this is high time that European to clean their acts and deport all those Turks who illegally are in social assistance and driving Mercedes at night time looking for more pleasure from Allah given money from Christian nations!!At the end those worthless Turks indirectly taking leadership of all other Muslims in European capitals and guiding and promoting Islamism and Jiadism and hate against Christian Europe, where people like Necati drinking his raki under the moonlight with his hostile attitude toward Christian nations!! WAKE UP EUROPE!!

  23. After perusing through some of the comments posted herein, I honestly think some of you simply read the headline.

    Turkey has the right to deport ILLEGAL workers. Provided that they dont single out Armenian ILLEGAL workers, which is confirmed that they wont, then Turkey is not doing anything wrong. I must admit, the timing of this move is most probably deliberate, however, it cant be condemned.

    On the other hand, fines and other penalties for the denial of the holocaust and Armenian genocide is silly. It goes against Frances long touted proclamation that they are a free and liberal society. I believe if genocide denial is worthy of prison sentences, then any other denial or discussions of the past should result in fines and inprisonment. Every person is free to express there views especially if its historical.

    Another important note to make, Sarkozys move was motivated out of appealing to the large Armenian population of his country. He has also done a crafty maneuver of demonstrating that Turkey cannot be a part of the EU whilst its ties with one of the EU giants is hostile.

    For all the Armenians that are weeping with joy and happiness. Think about this, What benefit has this bill served you? If i were an Armenian I’d be deeply dissapointed that for around 100 years, politicians have tainted Armenians genuine mission to identify the Killings as genocide. you must look through this decade to see how politicians have used this for political reasons.

  24. KAko,

    Of course children of Turkish citizens of Armenian decent can attend schools. I was talking about children of illegal Armenians. Their parents are at blame to raise them without proper education. If my parents did that to me I will be very unhappy with them for the rest of my life. I am very education oriented and I think every child deserved to be raised in an environment where education is freely available. Armenia is a poor country but most of the pre-school and all the school education is free and freely available to every kid in Armenia. We pay a lot of attention on education. That is why Armenian diaspora renovated and built many schools in Armenia and equipped them with computers. I just feel very bad that those poor kids were deprived from regular school education because of their parents. Armenians in Armenia were never happy that some of the Armenians go and stay illegally in Turkey. Believe me, those Armenians most of the time are ashamed to tell their friends and family how they earn money. I would be happy if they will return to Armenia.

    • I second that. Education among with other fundamental human rights, like protection, justice, health services, should be completely available to all with no precondition.

  25. I thought there is a long-standing Turkish offer to jointly work on the archives in both countries and publish the findings.
    I find it telling that the Armenian side and its supporters conveniently sidestep this.
    If everyone is so sure of the facts, why not produce the facts and force Turkey’s hand? Why go all around the solution?
    Might it be that there would be some inconvenient truth?
    Might it be that the victim role is more powerful?
    And mixing Cyprus and The Armenian issue?
    Turkey has a population of about 35 ethnically diverse groups, it ruled the lands for 400+ years and was in WW I cut to pieces by the allied forces, including British-financed Greek and Russian-financed Armenian forces. In effect it was a go-for-all for everyone. In that period falls the disputed issue, again conveniently dishonoring the mass killings of OttomanTurks. As long as only one side of the view is debated, you loose the right to criticize and judge the Turkish side as childish. If both sides started debating the issue in a non-prejudiced way we may all lay the matter to its rest. As long as the attacks continue on this level, no justice is done to those who lost their lives on both ends. Tragic that history teaches us nothing.
    I wish that we let the archives speak.

    • Be prepared to be called out as a typical Turkish denialist. Just a heads up.

    • Altune,
      The Armenia genocide is the 2nd most studied genocide ever, Most all world archives describe the same event and the dame outcomes of race extermination.
      The US alone has over 40,000 pages in it archives describing the state planned extermination of the Armenians written in real time. The US was not at war with Turkey. Our US ambassador witnessed and had direct dealings with Talaat and wrote volumes about the Genocide
      All genocide scholars agree on the facts of Genocide. are they anti-Turk?
      In 2005 Both the Turks and Armenians asked the ICTJ, International Center For Transitional Justice, to verdict the events of 1915 and they deemed them as genocide. The Turks then ignored that verdict completely.
      The very word GENOCIDE was invented by Rafael Lemkin in 1946 and he used the Armenian case as his case example.
      20 country’s call it the Armenian genocide. Are they all anti-turk and making things up?
      If the Armenians were all “traitors” and a threat ,were the Assyrians and the Pontiff Greeks as well? As they were exterminated in the same campaign.

      archive swapping and further investigation is nonsense..

    • Please, stop waving the “historical commission” flag, as it does not make a shred of a sense. You should pause and give it a deeper thought on what you are suggesting.

      Scholars do not cosy up to the government of the day, in any free country, to sanction their work – indeed they would publicize their need for access, irrespective of whether a permission or encouragement exists. Why the Turkish archives have not been inundated with requests for access? Isn’t that because they are hopelessly purged from anything that should not be found there? Why are the ARF archives closed? Purged or not, they cannot be guarded against abuse from quasi-scholars, examples of which abound – the Diaspora does not have the resources of the Turkish State and it cannot agree on an crooked table.

      You see, the problem is that Turkey is not trusted on politics (incl. realpolitik) and/or ethics because of her record in the 19th, 20th and particularly in the 21th century.

      But there is also the more general vector.

      “Historical truths” are just what it says on the tin – historical. They have no final resolution, no final date by which something is done and dusted. Anybody can reopen a “historical debate” at any time, therefore relegating a problem to a “historical commission” is tantamount to accepting that it will never be resolved. Historical debates do not have an end in time.

      The Armenian Genocide issue is in the hands of the politicians, not historians. The latter have spoken en masse and asking some more historians to speak out will not change anything, as the act is guaranteed to be politicized – therefore again in the hands of the politicians. This is not as scandalous as some are presenting it: after all, in a democracy what is right or wrong is decided on the basis of common perception and sense; you may wish to agree that this is the basis of law…

      It takes political courage and mountains of democratic practice to see the real face of the debate, as far as a debate exists. From this point of view young states, such as the USA, are not strongly positioned.

    • avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // January 27, 2012 at 6:38 am //

      Altun …Means Gold…Means Voski …Means Dahab…in Arabic

      We don’t need archives to speak
      We can speak our stories…
      Still i feel my grandmother speaking and telling me her agonies
      Still i see my mother tears
      Until the day she passed away …
      She use to tell,” i am a lucky child to live”
      Beduins can speak their stories who had Great-grand Armenian mothers…
      They tell them how they suffered…
      coming from educated wealthy homes have pianos… bookshelves…music…
      To live with beduins in the desert…

      ” We can write archives and
      Thus ‘Do Not Need’ to read fabricated archives…”

      Sylva

    • “I thought there is a long-standing Turkish offer to jointly work on the archives in both countries and publish the findings. I find it telling that the Armenian side and its supporters conveniently sidestep this.”

      This is a MYTH. The Armenian side ACCEPTED THE PROPOSAL FOR A HISTORICAL COMMISSION, BOTH IN 2005 AND IN THE 2009 PROTOCOLS.

      It took me all of 15 seconds to find proof:

      It is the TURKS who refuse to engage in debate by refusing to ratify the protocols. You are the ones who are scared of the facts. You accept the talking points of your Prime Minister and don’t bother to do minutes of research to verify them.

      Most of us legitimate scholars have read the flawed works written by Uras, Shaw, McCarthy. Bring it on.

  26. over 5 million turks have left turkey and now live in different european countries. most of them are illegal workers who don’t even want to learn the language of their host country. also, don’t forget that “the other turks”, live on the lands stolen from the Armenian Genocide victims. the time has came to stop the bully, —otherwise, soon they’ll claim that even europe belongs to them.

  27. The ROA government should make a clear effort to welcome these people home with a re-entry process to Armenia. I find it ironic that Turkey is still in the deportation business. Some things don’t change. What a public relations and credibility disaster for Turkey.

  28. to paul and sella, what in the world are you guys talking about, migrant workers went to turkey for greed? last i heard there are very few jobs in hyastan and going to turkey, our ancestral home, for minimum wage jobs is not for greed its for survival.
    Secondly, if people want to take the risk to live and work there, be it indigenous or migrants from hyastan, so be it. it is there God given right, it is still our homeland eventhough the regime and many turks hate us.
    Thirdly, we are asking for our churches, cemetaries, schools and other property back, if we are supposed to have a process to get these back how will that be done if there are zero armos in turkey.
    I am a bolsa hye, yes it was scary living in turkey back in the 70′s but there are still many armenians there and call it their home. comments like the above do not show an understanding of the situation and our history.
    Turkey must fess up and start a national campaign to educate its populus and protect its minority groups. this is the only way.
    lastly the number of minorities killed including greek, assyrian, armenian, caldean, jewish and others may be 4-5 million souls.

    • Arek,

      Yes, it is for greed. And yes, I do look down on those Armenians. I am sorry but I really do. And not only I look down on those Armenians but any Armenian who falsifies his/her documents to enter some developed country as an illegal emigrant. And you would be surprised to know that most of those Armenians not only could make a living in Armenia but also accumulated enough money to pay for a false passport. Then once they enter the host country they lie as if they have been prosecuted in Armenia because of their political or religious believe. No matter how bad the situation in your country is you should have a little bit pride. I am not talking even about national pride but a general pride. How can you live in the country where every single day they trash you and your nation? Yes, in Armenia there are few jobs but it does not mean we have to go and live in Turkey. I hope you know that Armenians can go and work in Russia instead of Turkey. Now, why I am saying that it is for greed? Have you seen any of those Armenians? Have you heard what they say? As I said above what kind of a parent you have to be to deprive your children from school education because of a few bucks? It is no secret that a lot of Armenian prostitutes go and “work” in Turkey. Do you not think that those prostitutes could have earned a living in Armenia through prostitution? The only reason they go to Turkey is because they earn more money there. So at least for them it is not about making a living.
      And let me add another thing some of those Armenians present a threat to our nation. Some of them are being used by Turkey to collect information from Karabakh military because they can freely enter and exit Armenia and Karabakh. I have seen how an Armenian man got arrested for spying in Armenia he had all the info with him. We have to support Turkish Armenians in Armenia or the hidden Armenians to help them to return to their roots not those illegal Armenians. We would rather spend that money to build Karabakh and invest in people who have dignity and patriotism.

    • “Yes, it is for greed. And yes, I do look down on those Armenians. I am sorry but I really do. And not only I look down on those Armenians but any Armenian who falsifies his/her documents to enter some developed country as an illegal emigrant.”

      “and invest in people who have dignity and patriotism.”

      What would someone with that kind of logic know about dignity?

    • RVDV,

      I suppose I need to ask you to provide me with some lessons on dignity and perhaps correct my “logic”.
      And also, I do not think that by cutting and pasting sentences out of context, does a justice to a poster.

    • I suppose I need to ask you to provide me with some lessons on dignity and perhaps correct my “logic”.

      I see we agree on something.

    • If you can consider it a sign of agreement then good for you. Optimism is a good thing.

    • Optimism is a good thing. May we attempt at a civilized conversation?- I concede my original reply may have been a bit harsh, but please, do not condemn illegal Armenian workers. We do not know under what circumstances they went to work in Turkey. If given the option, none would have willingly gone, in my opinion.

    • May we or you attempt at a civilized conversation? Anyhow, since I do not know you I cannot say much.

      I do not know how much you know about living standards in Armenia but, I surly know a lot (having been lived there for 25 years). I do not think condemning parents who take their children to Turkey where they cannot go to school in 21st century is harsh. It makes me feel very bad for those children. And believe me many of those children will condemn their parents when they grow up and understand what they have lost irreversibly. I do not think they did not have an alternative. Russia is always an alternative. Especially a few years back it was very easy to go to Russia, find work and stay. So, please do not say that they did not have an alternative. And, I hope you will agree that the life of average Armenian in Russia is far better than in Turkey. I do not promote emigration but if they want to emigrate as least they can emigrate to a less hostile country.

    • Sella: Yes, I agree that Armenians would be safer in Russia, but either way they are illegal workers and life will be hard. If immigration was easy to Russia as you say then perhaps they did go for money. But don’t forget that the hostile nation you mention contains a majority of the Armenian homeland, in a sense, they are home.

  29. maybe france and all european countrys should deport their turkish workers
    as well

  30. Would one expect anything else form Turks? Maybe Erdogan in a strange way, is doing these Armenians a favor.. Also these “illegals” are testament to the corrupt oligarch system of Armenia whose leader just plunder the country’s resources for their own gain. Its a travesty that 1/3 of the population has already fled and really this issue needs to be addressed by the diaspora as well. I mean the Ag recognition is one thing but the plundering of Armenia for the benefit of a few is another.

  31. Maybe France should start deporting Turks out of France !!!

  32. to altun, please read a few history books not written by denialists. yes the Ottoman Empire was crumbling and the ww1 started and yes many turks did dye and suffer. the main point you do not comprehend is that it was not a free for all groups of people. christian subjects of the empire were not allowed to be armed period, so all those hundreds of were mostly unarmed or armed with antiquated weapons. and this idea of mass revolt is a fallicy there were many armenian enlisted men and officers who were serving for the sultan side by side with turks as they were serving in the tsars army, but the vast majority of people were innocent women and children and unarmed men.
    As a turk you and your countrymen will not appreciate that most armenians and most minority groups were scared to death of their turkish overlords. not knowing when the next massacre would come. all armenians lived in fear in turkey as they do today and as i have when i lived there and i hated the turk for it. do you know altun what it means to hate? it is not good to live life hating our fellow man but i have overcome this hate and now we try to talk. by the way all of my grandparents were survivors and they never uttered a word about what happened to them, only my grandfather would mention things now and then but i was too young to listen intently. thanks for joining in the conversation.

    I do not agree with criminalizing denial of genocide speech. I am an american and i believe in our first amendment that free speech is free speech even if it is hatefull and a lie and i whish france would have taken another path to its political ends with turkey. i believe it is the wrong path for reconciliation with turks, but the reason most armenians are happy about this event is that for a hundred years nothing has been done in the world and this is like a little bone thrown to us, just a little aknowlegement that we were slaughtered there, that something tragic happend in anatolia.

  33. avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // January 27, 2012 at 6:22 am // Reply

    Thanks Arek…
    Nice to hear from an Armenian facing Turks every day …Not easy
    Most Armenians know Turkish…because their parents spoke at home…
    Who immigrated there… they know the language…
    So it is easy for them to work and communicate …
    So don’t blame any one…
    Every person has a reason …
    Dear Arek ….We like to hear from you more…
    We want to feel with you and understand how you live…

    Sylva

  34. It varies from person to person. Even if I were on the brink of starvation I wouldn’t go to sewer state of Turkey. Armenians do have right to live in that terrain, but as historical owners, not hobos.

    • Talk is cheap Paul, talk is easy, life is not. Who are you to look down on people for working in Turkey? Do you think they would have chosen to work there if they saw another alternative? You condemn what you do not know, what you do not understand.

  35. Hello from Istanbul.

    I hope Turkey will accept the atrocities of 1915 as ‘genocide’ or at least ‘acts against humanity’ in the near future ; and formally apologise.

    I am very against moves to deport Armenian workers working in Turkey. I hope this doesn’t happen.

    Also, anti-racist and anti-nationalist Turks and Armenians should join forces to fight racism/nationalism coming from both sides.

  36. “I do not agree with criminalizing denial of genocide speech. I am an American and I believe in our first amendment…”

    arek –

    In other countries people may believe differently. It’s their right and the French people have spoken through their representatives based on their belief system. The US is not the hub of the world…

    • In other countries people may believe differently. It’s their right and the French people have spoken through their representatives based on their belief system. The US is not the hub of the world…

      Absolutely. Free speech and its limitations are an opinion, naturally everyone feels their definition is correct. Everyone may have a different opinion as to how free, free speech can be. I believe France made it into law that ANY genocide denial is a crime. That is fine with me, they can do whatever they want. Upon which standards is France now “restricting” free speech?

  37. It is very sad and annoying for me to read bigotry and hatred coming from Turkish nationalists (eg. Necati Genis) and Armenian nationalst (eg.Grish Begian).

    I am Turkish but I don’t care about that. For me, being human comes first. Why don’t you consider yourself human first……and then Armenian, Turkish, German, etc).

    For me, Turks being in denial to or being indifferent to the terrible tragedy Armenians faced in 1915 is UNACCEPTABLE. Also, Armenians saying ‘Europe should deport Turks too’ is also UNACCEPTABLE.

    Why do you get pleasure from hatred ? I think I won’t write here anymore because I see too much hatred…..from both Turks and Armenians !

  38. avatar Necati Genis // January 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm // Reply

    just read so-called fascist poet sylvia..you will know all in their mind towards turks..

  39. avatar Grish Begian // January 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm // Reply

    Anti Racist,

    I appreciate your comments, I have to let you know, that I spoke about the truth and you accept about the truth …my ancestors never committed genocide against any nation..we are consider ourselves intelligent and hard working ancient loyal race..record shows in every country that we have lived.. we help our host countries in trade, sciences, music, arts..we always did our best, that is included with Ottomans!! The root cause of the problem are your racist leaders and false Turkish intellectuals, WHERE THEIR IMMEDIATE GOAL IS TO DESTROY THE MEMORIES OF OUR MARTYRS, WHERE WOMEN AND BOYS WERE RAPED RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR OWN MEN AND LATER BEHEADED BY TURKISH GENDARMES AND THEIR BODIES DUMPED ALL OVER EASTERN TURKEY OR WESTERN ARMENIA… SINCE LAST 97 YEARS UNTIL TODAY, TURKS ARE PROMOTING LIES AND COVERING AG WITH THEIR RACIST AND POLITICAL WILL , PROMOTING SO CALLED “PAID SCHOLARS” FROM YOUR OWN POCKET AND COVERING AG FOR THEIR OWN SELFISH POLITICAL NEEDS, AND THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE NEITHER FOR ARMENIANS AND NOR FOR CIVILIZED WORLD ANYMORE. WE HAVE WAITED TOO LONG FOR TURKS TO ACCEPT, BUT THEY ALWAYS FIND AN AVENUE TO DUMP OUR GENOCIDE ON SOMEBODY ELSE’S BACKYARD!!!

    Thank You!!

  40. Anti_racist
    People are free to express their views in these pages, but considering what has happened between the two nations in the past, it is naive to expect that those feelings and passions will wither away overnight. However, through free exchange of views and reciprocal thinking common points of agreement may, I say may, eventually come to light.
    The idea that European countries should take the same measures and deport illegal Turks does not necessarily mean beating on nationalism. It’s just to remind Turkish leaders that the one who sits in a glass box should not throuw stones to others.
    I hope you will not leave these pages. Because many good ideas and thoughts, next to bad ones, are also expressed.

  41. RVDV: I’m sorry to say this, but some of your retorts here and there suggest that you, as perhaps a non-native speaker, may have a reading comprehension problem? Where in my comment do you see that I ‘look down’ on or ‘condemn’ people: “It varies from person to person. Even if I were on the brink of starvation I wouldn’t go to sewer state of Turkey”? Is it not clear that I’m talking about how I would most likely behave in a similar situation? My grandfather’s relatives were burnt alive in a barn in Bitlis province. I even know the name of the village and recently discovered that it still exists, inhabited by Kurds. The survivor stories that reached me haunt me throughout my life and I repeat: Even if I were on the brink of starvation I wouldn’t go to Turkey until our tragedy is recognized and apologies offered.

    • Paul: “No Armenian should have gone to work in Turkey. Now they can return to Armenia to safety and thank Jesus they were not harmed this time as their ancestors were in 1915.”

      Given a better alternative, no Armenian WOULD have gone to Turkey for work after what Turkey continues to deny. There were also some posters (I thought you said this as well but I re checked and I was wrong, so my comment should have been directed to you personally) who were suggesting that Armenians who went to Turkey did so out of greed. You said you would not go even on the brink of starvation. These people who went are also Armenians. Their ancestors were also brutally and unjustly murdered. Imagine how bad their conditions must have been to go to Turkey for work. Again, my comment should have been directed at others- my mistake again, but people like SELLA for example:
      “Those Armenians were blinded by greed and that is the only reason why they are in Turkey. I will not visit Turkey as a tourist let alone live there. Let even put history aside. I cannot imagine how an Armenian from Armenia can live and raise kids in Turkey. What kind of a parent you have to be to deprive your child from school for a few bucks.”
      People like that ARE condemning what they do not understand.

  42. avatar Necati Genis // January 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm // Reply

    hey hey hey… i just saw this :

    “Why do you get pleasure from hatred ? I think I won’t write here anymore because I see too much hatred…..”

    anti-racist,

    are you still saying “we are all ermeni” ?

    • avatar Grish Begian // January 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm //

      Necati,
      All “wolfy” people are going to jail in your beloved Turkey, I wonder why you are so obsessed with our civilized AW newspaper!! and freely can call us “ermeni” if you are so proud of your race, go to France or Germany or any European capital or even US raise your flag claim your Turkishness…that is why your beloved government are protecting stupid people like you in Turkey with famous turkish code “301″….have you ever thought there is no other country in this world have a funny code, but turks?? Even your Islamic neighbor Iran, do not have a code like that!!Do you know why???because they have 5000 years old civilization and they have the confidence nobody will call them “Persians”…this is why you become a mental and psychopath person, people are rejecting you left and right, but like a faithful wolf you are always coming back toward AW and looking for a psychologist… try to drink less raki, especially, when you are commenting here, the turkish police may arrest you anytime they don’t like “joker” either… you may end up in Altai mountain like a mongol turk by your famous Midnight Express luxury liner!!

    • avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // January 29, 2012 at 6:45 am //

      I wish you can write some philosophical Turkish words
      from your philosophers…
      Open your Turkish site and translate to us …
      Instead your un-logical attitudes
      Let us read what your Turkish philosopher said…
      let us learn about them and their names…
      As a Kurdish Physician from Dersim (now in USA) wrote to me
      The problem in Turkey …
      That…”There is no human’s right…!

      Sylva

  43. Even your Islamic neighbor Iran, do not have a code like that!!Do you know why???because they have 5000 years old civilization and they have the confidence nobody will call them “Persians”

    So… Calling people from Iran “Persians” is now discrimination?

    • RVDV,

      Sniping at other posters shows only what you disagree with. It would be nice if you offer us an original and logically consistent contribution to a positive thought. Decrypted initials will also be polite.

      To help you, if I may, on the reason why so many people here are passionate about the subject:

      My grandad’s father, who was a rich man, with houses and cotton fields, and most importantly with a large family, was taken by the Turkish gendarmes outside the city and stoned to death, because he refused to convert to Islam.

      I know that, as any human being, you feel sorry about this – so no need to tell me that. But please, do not tell me that it was 97 years ago.

    • Mardig,

      ” I know that, as any human being, you feel sorry about this – so no need to tell me that. But please, do not tell me that it was 97 years ago.”

      If any of my posts have lead you to the conclusion that I am trying to dilute the severity of the crime because it was a century ago, I am sorry. That was and never will be my objective. I am against racism and nationalism of all kinds, Turkish, Armenian, whatever. I understand your passion and the passion of Armenian posters here. However, making sweeping claims about Turkish people, using stereotypes and prejudice will never solve anything. You can’t fight hate with hate.

  44. It is a mistake, especially if it is in response to the shameful law France has enacted. If there were even a trace of normalization, I suspect Armenian immigrants could have gotten preferential treatment compared to those from Ukrain for example.

    Also, path for legal immigrarion is always open.

    I do not know the numbers, but there are probably as many or more immigrants from Georgia, Moldova and Gauguz in exact similar situations.

    Then again, as the supporters of free-speech killing French law claim in defense, the law does not target any group. In fact, Turkey has been rather lax in this regard and was criticised heavily by EU for being a conduit of illegal immigration into Europe.

    All countries have laws that limit immigration and work for foreigners. Very few have laws that limit free discussion the way France has which came about as a result of efforts by a very specific ethnic group. Even Turkey, not a beacon of freedoms itself, is discussing ways to rid itself of such restrictive laws ironically.

    What is lost in this hateful and racist rhetoric here is the fact that Turkish families do prefer Armenian women in their homes, trusting their children to them. There is much more cultural compatibility, and better fit of values especially in a home setting.

    The bigots here should ponder this a bit maybe.

    • Have you also shown similar concern for bigotry at Turkish sites ?
      TodaysZaman ? Hurriyet ?

      ‘Hateful and racist rhetoric’ flows like a gusher there.
      I do not recall seeing you chiding the multitudes of hateful Turks that routinely spew Anti-Armenian bigotry there.

      Maybe even you have written hateful comments there: Hurriyet, perhaps ?
      Have you ?

  45. avatar arek avedian // January 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm // Reply

    Please all turks, armenians, kurds and humans do not leave these posts i do enjoy reading from people, all people. and all writers should be respecful of others.
    I grew up with the horror stories also nipples being cut, mass drownings, and burned in churches. this is what man does to each other. this was a rehearsal for hitler.

    Get this, I do not hate turk or muslim individuals, but i do hate people continuing the state apparatice of denial and i reserve the right to defend myself and my family.
    Furthermore, all people suggesting we leave turkey, be it armenian or turk, have no f..n clue. do you here me we built, repeat we built turkey. by the we what should we do with the couple of amenian villages that still exist, should we deport them back to armenia, what of the armenian schools, hospitals, and churches that exist to this day. deport them all so we can all live separate lives? hey here we come ww3. Turks must realize that when i was living there in the 70′s none of this was possible or even concievable. mentioning armenia or wearing your crucifix in public was not done period.
    So it is my opinion that if europe and turkey or christian and muslim will come together in brotherly love it will be here in turkey. Turkey has soo much it can offer the rest of humanity that it is our obligation to educate the turk and encourage voices of reason.

    i will visit turkey one day, hopefully in a climate of peace and love not of fascism and hate.

  46. I grew up in France during all my childhood I received agressive attitude and even actions because of being luslim, dark skin color … Insulted, not have the right to talk …
    How can u behave in countries that not allow you create a mosk. Remeber in swizerland it is not allowed . why?

    You are giving lesson to turkey. It is ironic and really paradoxal.

    Humans are still behaving badly, I hope one day , but it will take a long time, the humans will be better.

    What ever you call : genocide, massacres, war, murder … no one as human in this life has the right to kill. No one.

    I am human, a world citizen, my country is the earth, my right is to live .

    • Switzerland banned construction of new minarets, not new mosques.

      If and when you, and people that think like you, convince the Turkish Government to remove those 4 minarets surrounding the Christian Church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople/Istanbul, then you can complain about Switzerland.

      (I am not going to list the Armenian churches converted to mosques: consider it said).

      you write “I am human…..my right is to live .”
      2 million of my ancestors were also human. They had the same right to life that you do. Why don’t you show concern about them ?
      Or because they were Armenians living on their own land, foreign invaders had some kind of a divine right to exterminate them and then publicly deny they did it? Even boast about it ?

      It is ironic and paradoxical, Non ?

    • Hagia Sophia is a museum now so who cares about the 4 minarets.. You can find Islamic elements alongside portraits of Jesus and Mary- I think that’s beautiful. It may have been a church for 900 years but it was also a mosque for 400+ years. It has a significant meaning for Muslims as it does for Christians.

  47. avatar Grish Begian // January 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm // Reply

    Arek,
    I wonder why millions of Turks living among “Christian Nations” do not like to go back their beloved Turkey, and once they run away from their civilized country, all of sudden become obsessed with penal code 301, falsify their bloody history, Armenian haters, devoted false Allah worshipers, bribe their Judeo-Christian masters to cover up AG in their host countries!!

  48. avatar Necati Genis // January 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm // Reply

    Turkish minister in Zurich: I deny the Armenian genocide, come arrest me

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-269907-turkish-minister-i-deny-the-armenian-genocide-come-arrest-me.html

    • I hope you do not think that the Turkish minister is a “hero” to say that. The reason why he says it is because he has political immunity.

  49. Turkish State:

    Go ahead and deport helpless woman and children the second time from their native land. It seems turks only attack the weak and the defenceless.

    • Like it or not, the fact is that for 90 years much of the Armenian homeland is part of Turkish territory. On the first sentence of the article it says that Turkey is moving to rid itself of ILLEGAL workers. Just as France had every right to pass the genocide criminalization bill, Turkey has every right to deport illegal immigrants. Turkey should not, however, just single out the illegal Armenian workers as a backlash to the French- THAT would be a wrong and petty attempt to “get even” with France.

    • How is deporting Armenians who are working in Turkey “getting even with France?” That hurts only Armenians. Turkey blames Armenians for the French bill instead of realizing that the French bill is a response to the Turkish assault on the truth of what was done to Armenians.

  50. Necati
    He has diplomatic immunity and he is misusing it.
    And I am saying Turkey committed Genocide and I don’t give a damn shit to your article 301. Come and arrest me.

  51. I have always found it very amusing when people in the same sentence manage to spew racist and bigoted commentarry while they also rail against racism and bigotry of others.

  52. avatar john the turk // January 31, 2012 at 7:21 am // Reply

    Arshag
    Your Article 301 argument is fake. Either you know nothing about it or try to misguiding people. for your information, This law can no longer be used directly against people who support the Armenian genocide thesis as the special permission required from the ministry of Justice to prosecute these people which means effectively no one has been charged for a long time by using this penal code.You are right. dozens of writers and columnists would have been writing from jail which is not the case.

  53. avatar Grish Begian // January 31, 2012 at 9:24 am // Reply

    ARTICLE 301 from Turkish web side..

    ARTICLE 301 – (1) Turkishness, the Republic or the Grand National Assembly of Turkey denigrates person, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to three years.

    (2) the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the judicial organs of State, Public denigration of the military or security organizations, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to two years.

    (3) denigration of Turkishness is committed by a Turkish citizen in a foreign country, the penalty shall be increased by one third.

    (4) Expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute a crime.

  54. {“Turkey should not, however, just single out the illegal Armenian workers as a backlash to the French- THAT would be a wrong and petty attempt to “get even” with France.”}

    writes RVDV.

    {Angered at the time by foreign parliaments passing motions related to the events of 1915, Erdoğan threatened in 2010 to retaliate by deporting up to “100,000” Armenian citizens living illegally in Turkey.}

    writes Hurriyet Daily News (Jan 31, 2012)

    Of course the law is retaliation. Of course it singles out Armenians. Turks will of course make a show of rounding up everyone; can’t make it too obvious. But we heard it from PM Erdogan himself: it is retaliation; it targets Armenians.

    More proof to all Armenians of who and what we are dealing with.
    More proof to those amongst us who are still sporting those designer rose-colored glasses that it is well past time for them to discard them once and for all.

    Prepare yourselves.

    • Erdogan threatened to retaliate in 2010. It’s 2012 now, so any retaliation is not due to the French. Notice how Erdogan never backs up anything he says? Just the other day Turkish officials announced that there would NOT be sanctions against French companies in Turkey.

    • still finding excuses for Turks who you say hanged your Grandfather for helping Armenians, are you ? An Alevi Kurd ? Hard to believe, isn’t it.

      Hagia Sophia is a museum, so it’s OK to have minarets (but no cross on top of the dome).
      Erdogan spoke in 2010, but this is 2012, so it must be OK.
      Erdogan never backs up anything he says, but has his entire Administration engaged in massive AG Denial campaign, threatening France, buying lobbyists in France to fight against the AG Bill – so that’s OK too.

    • still finding excuses for Turks who you say hanged your Grandfather for helping Armenians, are you ? An Alevi Kurd ? Hard to believe, isn’t it.

      All I said was that Erdogan claimed retaliation 2 years before the French passed this bill so it was NOT is response to France. And I told you the truth about my family. My great-grandfather did an honorable thing, he died trying to protect innocent people, and he succeeded- that family survived- how dare you insinuate that I am lying about that. If you would open your eyes you could see that I am not the enemy, you would see that I am on your side more than I am on my own countries side. Yes, I am an Alevi Kurd and I am from a Sunni and Turkish dominated Turkey, and I’m damn proud of it. I have nothing to prove to you or anyone else who still questions my motives and real identity.

      Regarding the Hagia Sophia- I don’t make the rules, take up your issue with a Turkish government official.

  55. avatar Necati Genis // January 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm // Reply

    i hope they single out only illegal Armenians..

    Others , for example, georgians , are working perfect.. they have businesses growing very fast in Turkey.

    I want others stay no matter legal or not..

  56. avatar john the turk // January 31, 2012 at 8:01 pm // Reply

    Avery
    Hagia Sofia is a great monument for all humanity not for only Christians. It has minarets but they were added 500 years ago. If one day you visit this monumental building, You will see far more sign of Christianity than the Muslim signs even though this cathedral was used as a mosque for 500 years.You will see pictures of saints and Jesus and her holy mother all over the places. Why weren’t these removed ? as it was converted to a mosque and they were forbidden by Muslim belief? Instead they were covered by plaster. Perhaps, Turks haven’t been savage people as you guys try to portray

    so argument is pointless.

  57. Yahya the turk –

    If Christians invade and colonize the Mongolian steppes — the ancestral homeland of the Turks, convert a major mosque there to a church, and then declare that it is “a great monument for all humanity” not only for Muslim Turks, how would you feel?

    Hagia Sofia is originally an Orthodox patriarchal basilica, serving as Greek patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople before the city was sacked by the nomadic Turkish warriors in 1453. You, Turks, have weird mentality: you come from steppes, you invade, you destroy, you colonize, you desecrate and ruin, you transform churches to mosques, and then you dare to declare that whatever is left as “museums” are not originally Christian monuments; they are “great monuments for all humanity”. If they are “great monuments for all humanity” why did you transform places of Christian worship into mosques and then into museums? After all, they could have stayed “great monuments for all humanity” in their original, Christian, status.

    Are you paying attention to the gibberish you wrote? “This cathedral was used as a mosque for 500 years”. Why on earth would a Christian cathedral be used as a Muslim mosque? Not only is it blasphemous, but it points out to the fact that nomads and intruders have a savage mentality, because they generally don’t create but tend to destroy, adopt, or transform.

    Why weren’t these [pictures of saints] removed, you ask. Well, the bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed and many of the mosaics were plastered over. Islamic features, such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets, were added. If Turks physically could, they would have desecrated all the remaining frescos. Proof? Look what your “civilized” state did to the thousands of Armenian monasteries and churches in Western Armenia. Have you ever browsed the Internet for pictures? Educate yourself with the “high level” of Turkish “civilization” when you visit the websites depicting your general attitude to everything non-Turkish and non-Muslim.

    • Berch:

      “Are you paying attention to the gibberish you wrote? “This cathedral was used as a mosque for 500 years”. Why on earth would a Christian cathedral be used as a Muslim mosque?”

      Why on earth would a Christian cathedral be used as a Muslim mosque? Well since the Hagia Sophia was the Imperial Ottoman Mosque from 1453 till 1923- meaning the Sultan prayed there, and as a mosque in general until 1931- I’m sure there must have been a reason.

      “Why weren’t these [pictures of saints] removed, you ask. Well, the bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed and many of the mosaics were plastered over.”

      Yes, true, except your plaster argument was used by John to show that the Ottomans did not want to destroy the mosaics, simply cover them up. You can interpret this plastering situation any way you want.

      “Islamic features, such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets, were added.”

      Again, it was a mosque for nearly 500 years, and mosques generally have those things, so what on earth are you trying to prove?

      “If Turks physically could, they would have desecrated all the remaining frescos.”

      The Turks could have demolished the Hagia Sophia itself if they really wanted to, let’s be serious.

      “..you transform churches to mosques, and then you dare to declare that whatever is left as “museums” are not originally Christian monuments.”

      What? John explicitly called it a church (cathedral was his word) and said there are more Christian elements than Islamic. I was in Turkey last month and visited the Hagia Sophia. There were at least as many Christian elements as there were Islamic. “Then you declare what is left as ‘museums’”…. For a 1500 year old structure, the Hagia Sophia is in remarkable condition (after extensive repairs in recent years).

      From Wikipedia: For almost 500 years the principal mosque of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia served as a model for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul), the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque.

      It is not an understatement to say that the Ottomans revered the Hagia Sophia. I agree the desecration of countless Armenian churches is despicable, but there is no “what is left of” the Hagia Sophia. Seriously, get over yourself.

    • Point is, don’t top hate with hate. This is an endless cycle. The Hagia Sophia is such an insignificant and irrelevant subject concerning the Armenian genocide it’s almost laughable that this is now an issue. And let’s stop with the “get educated” retort. I am guilty of this myself. Things like genocide are not up for debate and opinions yes, but whether the Ottomans desecrated or respected the Hagia Sophia is up for debate. come on now, the Ottomans did not destroy everything they got their hands on, be fair, try to be fair.

  58. Have you been to Cordoba? Spanish have smashed the middle of the world probably largest mosque, a magnificient and beautiful structure where Muslims have prayed for centuries, and erected a cathedral in the center, removing about a hundred of its thousand columns. Why do this? How often you hear this brought up?

    All through Balkans, Russia and Caucuses, Orthodoxy has destroyed many mosques and cultural heritage with vengence. How often you hear anything about this? With a straight face people talk about Mongolia, 1453, etc. why not Hodjaly? We were all around. I invite you all to this century.

    • Murat, yes Christians retaliated against their conquerors who desecrated their holy sites. Do two wrongs make a right? NO. But let’s at least get the sequence correct—-the Turks invaded, captured, usurped, converted and destroyed as they saw fit. Did they destroy everything? NO. But they did enough to motivate retaliations which came after this. I invite you to be honest about your history and stop the cycle of revenge.

    • {The site was originally a pagan temple, then a Visigothic Christian church, before the Umayyad Moors at first converted the building into a mosque and then built a new mosque on the site. After the Spanish Reconquista, it once again became a Roman Catholic church, with a plateresque cathedral later inserted into the centre of the large Moorish building. The Mezquita is regarded as the one of the most accomplished monuments of Islamic architecture.} (from Wiki)

      Pay attention now: pagan temple first, then Christian church, before converting to a mosque, before reverting back to a church.

      Typical of many Turks: apparently in their minds history always starts with the suffering of Turks: nothing happened before.

      And when you bring up Hodjali, also make sure you list the following:

      1988 Sumgait massacre of Armenians
      1988 Kirovabad massacre of Armenians
      1990 Baku massacre of Armenians
      1991 “Operation Koltso” (combined Azeri OMON & Soviet operation)
      1992 Maragha massacre of Armenians
      1992 Stepanakert: months long war-crime bombardment by Grads and artillery.
      City leveled. Estimated 2000 civilians killed. Thousands more wounded.
      And of course the military invasion of Nagorno Karabagh Republic by Azeris which cost thousands of Armenian lives.

    • Kudos to Avery for clarifying the sequence for us.

  59. RVDV —

    “Why on earth would a Christian cathedral be used as a Muslim mosque? Well since the Hagia Sophia was the Imperial Ottoman Mosque from 1453 till 1923- meaning the Sultan prayed there, and as a mosque in general until 1931- I’m sure there must have been a reason.”

    This is not an explanation. Why would a Christian Greek patriarchal cathedral become the “Imperial Ottoman Mosque” in the first place? Why would a sultan pray in an originally Christian cathedral? Why couldn’t Muslim Turks build their own place of worship and practice their religion there? Why desecrate a place of worship that belongs to other people, other religion? What kind of reasoning there might be for such blasphemous acts?

    “Yes, true, except your plaster argument was used by John to show that the Ottomans did not want to destroy the mosaics, simply cover them up. You can interpret this plastering situation any way you want.”

    Why would the Ottomans ‘simply cover the mosaics up’ in a place of worship that’s not theirs, either from religious or historical perspecrtive?

    “It was a mosque for nearly 500 years, and mosques generally have those things, so what on earth are you trying to prove?”

    I’m trying to prove what’s known to the world: a magnificent Christian cathedral was transformed into a Muslim mosque, essentially a blasphemous act and so typical to the savage Ottoman behavior.

    “The Turks could have demolished the Hagia Sophia itself if they really wanted to, let’s be serious.”

    Oh, we know this, thanks. A glance at what ‘civilized’ Turks did to 3000 Armenian monasteries and churches in Eastern Asia Minor keeps us ‘serious’ about the nature of Turks. Always!

    “I was in Turkey last month and visited the Hagia Sophia. There were at least as many Christian elements as there were Islamic. “Then you declare what is left as ‘museums’”…. For a 1500 year old structure, the Hagia Sophia is in remarkable.”

    Again, what right do the Turks have to transform a Christian cathedral to a ‘museum’? How on earth can a place of religious worship become a ‘museum’? It’s idiotic! And so Turkish!

    “It is not an understatement to say that the Ottomans revered the Hagia Sophia.”

    You mean to say the Ottomans revered Hagia Sophia as a Christian cathedral or as a mosque they transformed a Christian cathedral into? There must be something fundamentally wrong with the Turkish psyche if instead of building their own places of worship they generally prefer to transform (or destroy) the places of worship of other peoples into mosques? What does this tell about the nature of the Turks? Ever thought of that?

  60. “Come on now, the Ottomans did not destroy everything they got their hands on, be fair, try to be fair.”

    The humanity is so thankful, RVDV, that the Ottomans did not destroy EVERYTHING they got their hands on. Quite a ‘convincing’ point here, really! Whatever they didn’t destroy was transformed to ‘museums’. Silly us, how can we not see such a vivid ‘civilizational’ progression?
    “Les Turcs ont passé a tout est ruine et deuil.” (The Turks have traversed there, all is ruin and mourning) — Victor Hugo

    P.S. Not only is the deliberate physical destruction of a people relevant to genocide, but the destruction or islamization of their cultural and religious monuments, too. It’s highly relevant, wake up!

    • I sense some hostility towards museums on your part. They’re cool places, you should go to one.

  61. Boyajian –

    Through contacts with Turks on these pages I came to believe that they lack the capacity to get the sequence correct. They only notice what was done TO the Turks and not what was done BY the Turks in the first place as a result of their invasions of Asia Minor, the Balkans, and the Middle East and their colonization of indigenous peoples inhabiting these regions. Note the lack of intellectual capacity to get the sequence correct in Murat’s post: “With a straight face people talk about Mongolia, 1453, etc. why not Hodjaly?” Read: the h*** with Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad, Maragha where murders and pogroms of Armenians took place BEFORE controversial killings in Hodjaly. Important is to point out the deaths of AzeriTurks, all others—caused BY AzeriTurks–are not important. A typical, and, unfortunately, unchangeable Turkish mentality!

    • Berch, sadly, very few Turks who post here are willing to see the whole story without Turkish filters which promote excessive Turkish pride and insensitivity to non-Turks.

    • Berch, Boyajian:

      I have yet to see a Turk poster @AW that does not expect sympathy for their suffering in exchange for acknowledging the AG. Their suffering caused by wars they got themselves into is put on the same plane as the AG. Even the ones that seemingly appear to acknowledge AG, want it cheap: “say sorry, and move on.”
      Always maneuvering to give a little, and get a lot in return.

    • Also, let’s not fall into the trap of agreeing it was in any sense their suffering v our suffering as Akcam’s 2009 article in these pages maintains admirably.

      It was our suffering both as civilians and conscripts and officers in a nation at war, who suffered until a second level of Genocidal destruction was loosed by the Turks on their own citizens, conscripts and officers, see for example what happened to the hero of Canakkale, Captain Torossian, who sunk an Entente ship only to find his family murdered.

    • I would argue that in a way it’s human nature. Everyone wants to see their ancestors in a positive light, not as ruthless genocide perpetrators. However with the attempted cover up does no one any good. In let’s say one hundred years or so Turks COULD have said ” yes my ancestors committed genocide but they were willing to apologize and pay for their crime”. What do we have now? My ancestors committed genocide and denied it for 100 years. It’s gonna take some serious propaganda to spin that in a good light. Genocide well.. It happens unfortunately- what the point of denying it? We all know it happened, we will pay for it eventually and look even worse.

    • avatar Sylva-MD-Poetry // February 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm //

      Dear Boyajian

      It is not pride
      It is Inhumanity
      To look proud
      And throw people out
      Who are serving their people
      Their community
      To feel superior
      They showed their real hatred
      Real revenge
      They can never hide
      Because birthed with their genes…

  62. avatar gaytzag palandjian // February 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm // Reply

    Dear Avery,
    I appreciate your above short post very much!!!!
    Because it shows your MATURITY,even though I know you are very young!!!
    Yes the NATURE (Voj,in Armenian) Khasiat in lingo Turco -of them is like you specify and MORE.let me add please.
    Sometimes they will begin to accept /acknowledge -going out of their usual Denial stance, then soften up by and by YAVASH YAVASH give in like throwing in Akhtamar, then St. Giragos then , bowing to U.S. Congress ¨URGING ¨THEM TO RETURN CHURCHES ,HOSPITALS, SCHOOLS OF CHRISTIANS to lawfull owners…do so again by and by. Even some of their so called historians/professors are very cautious…
    En fin!!!! good news is that all above are SOME softening signs ,no not readily tendered to Armenians (Giavours)as they called us in Ottoman times and even later on (amongst themselves) then Rayas etc.,these Indeed THANKS TO COUNTRIES SUCH AS F R A N C E AND USA.LET US WAIT AND SEE WHAT GREAT BRITAIN AND THEN OTHERS will do react!!!
    Latest blow to Erdogan was ,as you probalby know THAT HE DECLARED EVEN IF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DOES NOT APPROVE RATIFY THE BILL HE WILL PRESENT A N O T H E R .
    tHIS MAN HAS COJONES AND WILL NOT TAKE ANY CHANGE !!!!

    • Dear Mr. Palandjian:

      Thank you for your kind words.

      (BTW: I am young enough, but definitely not ‘very’ young)

  63. Is this what you were able to sense, RVDV? Some hostility towards museums on my part? Intellectually advanced posters would have sensed my hostility towards TRANSFORMING Christian cathedrals, monasteries, and churches into mosques and museums. Next time you visit Akhtamar, try to convince yourself that what you read on the display board near the structure (museum) and what you actually see (a monastery) is identical and then share with us how ‘cool’ your perception was.

    • “Intellectually advanced posters would have sensed my hostility towards TRANSFORMING Christian cathedrals, monasteries, and churches into mosques and museums.”

      Apparently you were not able to sense my sarcasm. Let’s call it even. Many of the once church, now museum’s are museums partly because there no Christians to go pray there- due to genocide, population exchanges, etc. These are often ancient structures which are quite expensive to maintain. Museums bring income used to keep the structures in tact. Regarding the Church of the Holy Cross, many wrongs have been done. It was a Kurdish writer and activist that saved it from destruction in the 1950s. It was reopened as a museum in 2007, but in 2010 Armenians were allowed to hold service there, and the controversy of putting a cross at the top of church was settled, with the cross being used. I understand that these things even being controversial in Turkey is wrong and shows intolerance, but publicity stunt or not, services are allowed to be performed (I believe once a year.). I hope to visit this Church one day, it is a church I don’t care what the sign says, it is a church.

  64. “in a way it’s human nature. Everyone wants to see their ancestors in a positive light, not as ruthless genocide perpetrators.”

    Not everyone. Germans, as one example, had the courage to accept that their Nazi ancestors were ruthless genocide perpetrators. Russians acknowledged and apologized for the purges comitted under the Stalinist regime. There are several other examples, too. Why can’t Turks do the same with regard to their Ottoman Ittihadist ancestors?

    • Germans are a good example yes, Turks could learn a lot from them. But still, Hitler and Nazi Germany do not define the German people’s history as a whole. Russians? They STILL attempts to oppress people today. Apologizing for the Stalin regime, continuing to do more of the same.

    • despite insinuations from some quarters that Germans capitulated to the powerful and wealthy Jewish Diaspora, and they do not really feel remorse for the Holocaust, all observable acts and facts prove Germans’ genuine national shame and revulsion for the barbaric acts of genocidal Nazis.

      Willie Brand’s kneeling was clearly genuine and from the heart: no amount of Jewish pressure can account for such an act of contrition.
      Germans have such a disgust for Nazis, that it borders on hatred: even displaying Nazi paraphernalia is a crime in Germany.
      Germans feel such deep remorse for what they did to Jews, that they have gone way beyond their ‘call of duty’ to support the State of Israel: the 3 super-quiet diesel submarines that carry Israel’s 3rd leg of the nuclear triad were built and gifted to Israel by Germany. (Germany definitely did not have to do that)
      [And nobody forced Germans to produce Aghet: it was from the heart]

      Turks showed remorse for the AG by threatening to bomb and invade newly born Republic of Armenia.

  65. “the Turks invaded, captured, usurped, converted and destroyed as they saw fit”

    Some examples? Ottomans, last Turkic empire, broke up and gave room to over two dozen nation states, representing almost all religions and ethnicities of the region. Intact with all their religious and cultural institutions. Does not seem like a lot of destruction to me. Many small nations would have been buried in the heap of history long time ago if Ottomans had not carried them through centuries on their coat tails. I am not ignoring all other terrible things that may have happened, but facts are facts.

    The real point is, you do not hear about this “wrong” being corrected, no demands for resolutions, hate campaigns etc., who is fuleing the cycle of revenge? It is very ironic that you mention cycle of revenge in a site like this.

    Now get this, the Cordoba site was never a “proper” church before the Moors. Yes, there was a basilica and a temple before that. The region was populated by Aryan (?) when Moors arrived. Beliefs and practices of this Christian sect was closer to Islam than Christianity apparently. No divinity of Jesus etc. They were of course tormented by “proper” Christians. In time they converted to Islam and their “temple” was expanded into the Mesjit. Even the propagandistic tourist brochures (printed by church) today do not refer to a previous church. All this was told to me in person by a subject matter expert Spanish Phd on the spot, and in hushed voice. Arcehological evidences are manipulated often.

    The fact that Sultan of Andalusia at the time had a Jewish Vezir should give you an idea of what is what.

    Nothing is more dangerous than a half-ignorant person. Ignorant are at least aware of their limitations. Those of you who dealt with Wiki know how it has turned into a battle ground for ethnic and religious and political propaganda. A look at Armenian related articles tells the whole story.

    Copying and pasting does not make a person learned as clearly seen.

    Also imagine me starting a paragraph with “typical Armenian…”, you think it would get through or not at least protested?

    • {“All this was told to me in person by a subject matter expert Spanish Phd on the spot, and in hushed voice. Arcehological evidences are manipulated often.”}

      Sure: a Spanish PhD in hushed voices, etc. How dramatic. Such hard evidence.
      Much better than Wiki.

      Here something not from Wiki: Christianity is 2000 years old. Islam is about 1100 years old. Christianity had 900 year head starts. Which is more likely to have built religious objects and building first ?

      and yes I can imagine “typical of many Armenians….” , not “typical Turk” (as I wrote “typical of many Turks”): see the difference ?

    • Islam is not 1100 years old. It is about 1450 years old. 670 ADish. Wikipedia can be useful.

    • My mistake. It is about 610 AD. Making it 1402 year old.

    • I stand corrected: I was off by 300 years.

      Christianity had a 600 year head start (not 900):
      again, who built first ? who converted whose ?

  66. “Kudos to Avery for clarifying the sequence for us.”

    Oh well, all is clear now… Mass murder and genocide is ok as long as you do it in the proper sequence!

    • which “Mass murder and genocide” are you talking about ?

      The Hamidian mass murder, massacre of 1895 ?
      The Adana mass murder, massacre of 1909 ?
      The Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 ?
      The Dersim mass murder, massacre of 1938 ?
      The Istanbul Pogroms of 1955 ?

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