Blog

25 Apr
0

The Voice of the Australian Turkish Community

ATA-A is trying to be the voice of the Turkish community as a whole in Australia. In recent days, our members have taken on the press and done their part in promoting our values and beliefs in the public domain.

Our youth chair Tarkan Fahri became the voice of our stand in relation to the Armenian-Australian claims. He gave an interview to SBS World and highlighted ATA-A’s position on the topic. You can watch the story on SBS World News via this link.

In an opinon piece, we also tried to lay out what ANZAC Day means to our community. Published by SBS Life, our piece goes like this:

Keeping the ANZAC spirit alive means honoring a shared vision for multicultural harmony, in respect and remembrance of so many who were lost to wars in far-off lands.

Read the full piece on SBS through this link.

See another one through this link by the President of RSL Auburn Mehmet Evin in a story by the AAP.

ANZAC spirit will be one of the main themes at a cultural festival, organised by the Australian Turkish Mutual Alliance later this year.

We are urging our community to support ATMA to realize this festival. They are running a fundraiser raffle. Please buy a ticket that might get you win a return ticket from the Turkish airlines.

You can purchase raffle tickets via this link.

And here is the website for ATMA with further information about the festivals and the raffle.

 

 

 

 

 

15 Apr
0

Letter to The Guardian

The following letter has been penned by a Turkish-American, Ibrahim Kurtuluş, to the Guardian Newspaper. Mr Kurtulus eloquently deconstructs another example of post-truth journalism.

The Guardian News Paper
Benjamin Lee, Arts Editor
222 Broadway
New York, New York, 10038

April 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Lee,

You have done something very wrong in “The Promise review – Oscar Isaac tackles Armenian genocide…” (Sept. 13, 2016); let’s make you aware of it.

A professional movie reviewer may not be an official “journalist,” but must be beholden no less to the facts — particularly for a movie that pretends to be about history; let us cite the work of an ace in your field: Roger Ebert. Unlike you, he did not bend over backwards to affirm hateful “Armenian genocide” propaganda when he reviewed ARARAT (www.rogerebert.com/reviews/ararat-2002).
Note how he got the number of the pre-war Armenian population correct. (It is the number the propaganda often tells us was the entire number killed, meaning zero Armenians would have been left alive. Instead, one million survived, and the half-million who died mostly lost their lives in the non-violent ways millions of Turks and Muslims had died, through famine and disease.) At the end of his review, he also questioned a claim that ARARAT had offered as bizarre “proof,” one we fear you would have readily accepted. Ebert did these things because he conducted something you did not: honest research.

(Luckily for you, you did not get into what you believed amounted to historical specifics, but notice your sloppiness with just two small points. You would not call “The Soviet Union” Russia, and yet you called The Ottoman Empire “Turkey.” In addition, there was no “Armenia” in 1914; it came into being as a nation in May of 1918. Curiously, the ones you would regard as the Armenians’ Nazi oppressors constituted the first country to recognize Armenia.)

The home country of your publication conducted an intense investigation at the end of WWI for what Britain had planned as “The Malta Tribunal.” They looked everywhere for nearly three years, most tellingly through the Ottoman archives during their occupation of Istanbul. In desperation, they even looked through our American archives in the summer of 1921. They could not find any evidence, and let every Turkish prisoner go.

Practically everything offered today was rejected by no less than the British themselves. (For example, we invite you to look at the first chapter of “genocide scholar” Samantha Power’s 2002 genocide book, largely pointing to “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story” and New York Times articles; the book even won a Pulitzer Prize.) All of the nonsense amounts to hearsay and forgeries from biased missionaries, foreigners, and Armenians. This is the reason why the Armenians and their enablers attempt to get countries, states and prominent parties (such as the Pope) to recognize their genocide, as a substitute for the evidence they do not possess.

What do you think would happen to your reputation if someone who has it in for you, or who has something to gain, falsely accuses you of a crime? Even if disproven, the damage will be done among the many intellectually-challenged who simply accept what they are told, without caring to demand evidence. What will be directed toward you as a result would hardly be “affection.”

Since you have no evidence, why did you indicate in your review that “The Armenian Genocide” was historically accurate?

You have partly done so because the goal of Armenian terrorists from the 1970s-90s was to get everyone to believe in their vicious claim. (They could count on the biased Western press to sympathize, with each violent act.) A strategy was to intimidate genuine historians; they bombed a UCLA professor’s house. Their corrupt “genocide scholar” allies finished the job by smearing the rest, so that only their (profitable) view would become the universally accepted one.

You also have done so because you are ignorant; since “everyone” now says there was a genocide, that was enough for you. In addition, the claim probably just made sense; with visions of MIDNIGHT EXPRESS possibly dancing in your mind, the Turks make for natural subhuman barbarians. We also can’t rule out the reason why many others automatically and mindlessly reach this terrible conclusion; it makes them feel good. You want to demonstrate how much you are against genocide, like every other sane person on the planet. An easy pat-on-the-back, to show how “moral” you are — with a powerless people, as your victims.

Instead of being “moral,” Mr. Lee, what you have done was immensely immoral. You have contributed to a campaign of hatred not just against an individual (as in our example of yourself, which would be bad enough), but against an entire nation — and people.

Moreover, while claiming a groundless genocide, you have ignored the half-million or so of Turks, Muslims, Jews and others who were truly “systematically” done in by the Armenians, while their allies occupied large regions of Ottoman territory for years. (The number is per the secret internal reports of the Ottoman archives, and corroborated by a few Western sources — most did not care about Turkish/Muslim lives, so we only have a few — such as British Col. Wooley who estimated the Armenians slaughtered 300,000-400,000 in two districts alone, Van and Bitlis. Two Americans, Niles and Sutherland, looked into the extent of Armenian crimes in 1919, and prepared a report: http://louisville.edu/…/his…/turks/Niles_and_Sutherland.pdf/)

Simply put: What do we call a person who judges the lives of one people as valuable and the lives of another people as meaningless? There is a word for that, and it is not flattering.

We are sending copies of this letter to some of your colleagues, in an attempt to remind them of their journalistic duty: Consider all of the relevant facts, and avoid propaganda at all costs. (In this movie’s case, your “propaganda” alarm bells should have rung loud and clear; note the financiers: variety.com/…/ne…/promise-film-armenian-genocide-1201892838/ … written by one in the best position to be aware, but whose strong bigotry — “Killings of 1.5 million Armenians” — similarly prevented him from thinking straight.)

You are not the only one at fault, here; an editor read your foolish review, and approved it. The genocide prejudice at The Guardian may well be across-the-board. (We suspect the deleted comments from your review page questioned the validity of the genocide claim; if so, your biased moderators must have determined telling the truth violated your “community standards.”)

Anyone who claims there was an “Armenian genocide” without presenting the evidence is guilty of racism. It’s as plain as that.

Prof. Bernard Lewis (youtube.com/watch?v=LReE0cv1g_Q/: “A massive Armenian armed rebellion”) at one time believed the propaganda, because that was all he was exposed to. He then educated himself, principally by reading a book with impeccable sources, “The Armenian File” (1985). If you consider yourself to be a man of honor, you need to do the same. You need to do so, because you have committed a terrible, and very hurtful, wrong.

If you can manage to keep your prejudices in check and look into this matter, and objectively conclude the “Armenian genocide” charge is a lie, then you need to append your review. It takes a big man to admit when he is wrong, and you were very wrong in this instance.

(Otherwise, if she values the importance of The Guardian’s credibility and sense of fairness, your editor, Lee Glendinning, needs to step in and append your hatred-inducing review.)

We would encourage you to begin your research by reading a brilliant Israeli scholar’s speech (given in Australia) examining the POLITICS behind the charge: https://www.ata-a.org.au/tal_buenos_speech/.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ibrahim Kurtulus

13 Apr
0

Don’t Politicize Genocide.

Australian-Turkish Advocacy Alliance (ATA-A) strongly condemns the person or persons behind a banner tied to the back of a blue vehicle and driven around North Sydney on Saturday.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the honourable Trent Zimmerman, Liberal MP for North Sydney had confronted a man driving the vehicle with a poster, which had the message, “The most dangerous leader to genocide of democracy” alongside a photo of the Premier and her name spelled with a dollar sign.

ATA-A has always been and will always be against politicizing and vulgarizing the use of term genocide.

It is incomprehensible to see anyone, at this day and age in a country like Australia, trying to score political points from human tragedies of the past, present and future.

05 Apr
0

Tolerance and Fiction

“The Ottoman Lieutenant”, the film that recently caused disputes in the Armenian diaspora, began to be screened in theaters in the United States (USA) on March 10, 2017. Considering the film projects supported by the Armenian diaspora in the United States dealing with Turkish-Armenian relations, “The Ottoman Lieutenant” has become widely regarded by Hollywood producers as a ‘balanced’ production. Meanwhile, the aggressive attitude displayed by the Armenian diaspora about the film is an obstacle against the establishment of a dialogue for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation.

As published on www.avim.org.tr
By Hazel Çağlayan Elbilir; BA in Political Science, analyst at Centre for Eurasian Studies.

 

The Armenian diaspora has continued to display its reactions to “The Ottoman Lieutenant” after it came to the theaters in the United States. Displaying an aggressive stance against Turkey and values that are associated with Turkey at every opportunity, Armenian lobbies are unable tolerate the expression of any Turkish views. However, the Turkish producers of the film Güneş Çelikcan and Serdar Öğretici stated that the film was shot to help the establishing of a dialogue between the Turks and the Armenians, but that the Armenian side does not stand for a dialogue with Turkish people.

The insults faced by the film’s actors in the social media, the Nazi Swastika sent to the American producer Stephen Joel Brown reveals the unfriendly attitude of the Armenian side and that they are not open to dialogue. These attacks came after the boycott statement made by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Later on, the American Hellenic Council[1] supported the boycott as well. The boycott, which was launched to prevent the film’s screening in theaters, has spread to universities as well.

The film “The Promise” (which will begin to be shown in April 2017), supported by the extreme nationalist Armenian side that defends the genocide thesis, is actually a propaganda film masquerading as an ordinary love story. It is apparent from the marketing that the ‘The Promise’, a propaganda film for the so-called genocide and produced for political purposes rather than artistic ones, is totally contrary to the desire to establish Turkish-Armenian dialogue. The film critics supporting the Armenian lobby have claimed that “The Ottoman Lieutenant” is offensive, arguing that it mitigates Armenian suffering. However, comparing two films, “The Ottoman Lieutenant” and “The Promise”, it becomes obvious that it is actually “The Promise” that was produced with an offensive mindset. Far from being impartial, the critics of the Armenian lobby went even further, and branded Sir Ben Kingsley, who received the Academy Award for his role in the film “Gandhi” in 1983, as being a misogynist.[2] However, it is known that he adored the female director Isabel Coixet, producer Dana Friedman and screenwriter Sarah Kernochan during his role in “Learning to Drive”, which he starred in 2014. He even called on the cinema sector to encourage more women to take jobs in film productions.[3] It is possible to come across numerous articles, penned by who are financially supported by the Armenian diaspora, where such slanders take place. Such allegations are an indication that film critics supported by the Armenian diaspora are working in a planned manner for such propaganda.

The reaction to the film “The Ottoman Lieutenant” is the latest example of the increasing aggressiveness of the Armenian diaspora. There have been similar incidents, especially in the USA, which show the intolerance exhibited by the Armenian diaspora. The Armenian Youth Federation, which reacts negatively to anything related to Turkey, in November 2016 at the California State University Nortridge, protested the author of book ‘The Young Ataturk’ George Gawrych and prevented him from delivering his speech. The aggressive and destructive effects of the Armenian diaspora have increased in recent times at universities across the USA. The Armenian diaspora’s activities are not only at the protest level, but has reached to the point of heroizing Armenian terrorists. In this context, in 2015, the Syracuse University magazine in New York gave place to the articles that may encourage extremist Armenians into resorting to terrorism again.[4] The activities of the Armenian diaspora continue to increase with the encouragement received from the fact that the its inflammatory behavior is not met with any sanctions. Such a climate undoubtedly undermines the aim of establishing dialogue between not only Turks and Armenians, but also Turkey and Armenia.

 

[1] Kolasa-Sikiaridi, Kerry. “The American Helleniz Council Calls For Boycott of Film ‘The Ottoman Lieutenant’ For Denying Greek, Assyrians and Armenian Genocide” http://usa.greekreporter.com/2017/03/21/the-american-hellenic-council-calls-for-boycott-of-film-the-ottoman-lieutenant-for-denying-greek-assyrian-and-armenian-genocide/ [Access date: 23 March 2017] [2] “‘The Ottoman Lieutenant’ Review: Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley Star In a Lifeless Melodrama Set Against the Armenian Genocide”, http://www.indiewire.com/2017/03/the-ottoman-lieutenant-review-ben-kingsley-josh-hartnett-michiel-huisman-armenian-genocide-1201790928/ [Access date: 19 March 2017] [3] “Ben Kingsley: Why I now know that women make the best directors of men”, https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jun/04/ben-kingsley-women-best-directors–learning-to-drive [Access date: 20 March 2017] [4] MacCurdy, Marian Mesrobian, “Sacred Justice”, http://sumagazine.syr.edu/2015fall-winter/features/sacredjustice.html [Access date: 20 March 2017]