Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance welcomes the progress made in the reopened investigation into the 1980-murder of Turkish diplomats by Armenian terrorists.
The NSW JCTT, which comprises the NSW Police Force’s Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the NSW Crime Commission, established Operation Esslemont to re-investigate the murders and is using advancements in investigative techniques and forensic technologies.
ATAA understands the announcement of $1 million reward on 17 December 2019 had assisted police in creating a number of new lines of inquiry.
Acting on these new lines of inquiry, police divers from Marine Area Command recently conducted initial searches in Sydney Harbour off Greenwich Point regarding items of interest to the investigation.
According to journalists who are familiar with the case, the underwater search area is very significant due to a couple of reasons.
“Following the attack in 1980, underwater searches conducted in Rose Bay where assailants’ motorbike was found nearby. The location of recent dives is very specific and new, which indicates the police is actually acting on some credible new information. Also, Greenwich Point is within vicinity of properties raided by police in 1980 and later in 1986 following the Melbourne bombing of Turkish consulate.”
Police divers have retrieved some items of interest from the sea floor, according to the NSW Police. These items will now go under forensic investigation.
We urge all Australians with credible information about the case come forward and assist NSW Police in their inquiry.
Please visit NSW Police web page from the link below to find out more about the case.
The world watches on the proceedings at ICJ in La Hague. The genocide allegations brought against Myanmar, and Myanmar’s response will be heard during the sessions.
To rule that Myanmar has committed genocide, the court will have to determine that the state acted “with intent to destroy in whole or in part” the Rohingya minority.
Such determination requires ample and strong evidence, and has never been the case in the matter of Ottoman Armenians for the events of 1915.
For example, the so-called Armenian genocide lobby is yet to produce a single authentic Ottoman Government dispatch ordering the killing of Armenians.
The alleged “genocide of 1.5 million Armenians” should have left countless pieces of evidence, else than survivor stories that were quite common to every citizen of a collapsing empire fighting a world war.
The British were the closest party to these events as the principal occupying Power of the Ottoman Empire and its capital, Istanbul. They had full control of the Ottoman Archives.
As such, the British led an in-depth investigation against 144 highly placed Ottoman officials including Ministers, who were charged with war crimes against the Armenians, and 56 out of the 144 accused were deported to the island of Malta to stand trial.
After a wide-scale and frantic search of all the archival material, Sir Horace Rumbold, the British High Commissioner in Istanbul, wrote to London that the “evidence against the deportees are [sic] very few. Under these circumstances, the prosecution finds itself under grave disadvantage”. But he added that “he hoped that the American Government could supply a large amount of documentary information”.
In failing to find any legally acceptable evidence against the deportees, Lord Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary at the time, informed Geddes, the British Ambassador at Washington, that there was “considerable difficulty” in establishing proof of guilt against the Turkish detainees at Malta, and requested him “to ascertain if the United States Government is in possession of any evidence that could be of value for the purpose of prosecution”.
On 13 July 1921, the British Embassy at Washington gave the following reply: “I regret to inform Your Lordship that there was nothing therein which could be used as evidence against the Turks who are being detained for trial at Malta. Having regard to this stipulation and the fact that the reports in the possession of the Department of State do not appear in any case to contain evidence against these Turks which would be useful for the purposes of corroborating information already in possession of His Majesty’s Government, I fear that nothing is to be hoped from addressing any further inquiries to the United States Government in this matter”.
Subsequently, all charges against the Ottoman detainees were dismissed.
On 14 April 1999, Foreign Office spokesperson Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale said the following: “The British Government had condemned the massacres at the time. But in the absence of unequivocal evidence that the Ottoman Administration took a specific decision to eliminate the Armenians under their control at that time, British Governments have not recognized those events as indications of genocide. Nor do we believe it is the business of Governments of today to review events of over 80 years ago, with a view to pronouncing on them.”
Furthermore, acting on behalf of the British Government, Baroness Scotland of Asthal said the following in a written response on 7 February 2001: “The Government, in line with previous British Governments, have judged the evidence not to be sufficiently unequivocal to persuade us that these events should be categorized as genocide as defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention on Genocide, a Convention which was drafted in response to the Holocaust and is not retrospective in application. The interpretation of events in eastern Anatolia in 1915-1916 is still the subject of genuine debate among historians.”
So much for “the process of achieving international recognition of the Genocide of Armenians which has appreciably gained momentum” according to the Permanent Representative of Armenia. One should ask why a handful of 30-plus deputies out of nearly 600 parliamentarians were present when the French Parliament voted on the so-called Genocide Resolution. The Permanent Representative of Armenia should keep in mind the future when the realities of a terrible war in which millions on all sides died will no longer be ignored, and when a very different picture will emerge as politics are avoided and the standard procedures of historical analysis are applied to this question. It will be seen then that there is a vast difference between history written to defend one-sided nationalist convictions and what true historical analysis should be. Indeed, in presenting the Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide for ratification, the Secretary-General of the United Nations emphasized that genocide is a crime of “specific intent”, requiring conclusive proof.
We hope that the above information contributes to the correct perception of the First World War era events in eastern Anatolia.
We also hope our politicians, if genuine, pay attention to what is happening in our region now, rather than racing to appease powerful ultra-nationalist foreign lobby groups for donations and votes.
A CALL FOR FAIRNESS, BALANCE AND RESPECT IN DISCUSSING HISTORICAL EVENTS
The Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance (ATAA), representing the Australian-Turkish community, expresses its profound disappointment in the recent motion adopted by the Tasmanian Parliament titled, “Genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks.”
We find the Parliament’s timing and priorities questionable, particularly when pressing issues such as the cost-of-living crisis, increasing homelessness, and a declining education system are demanding immediate attention and resources.
While we stand firm in acknowledging the suffering of all communities who endure tragic experiences, we believe in maintaining a balanced, impartial understanding of historical events and strictly adhering to international rule of law.
Genocide, as defined by the European Court of Human Right Grand Chamber decision in 2015, is a strictly legal and historical term. Notably, there is no competent international court that has delivered a verdict on the actions of the Ottoman Empire.
The retrospective application of the term carries serious legal implications, even for Tasmania itself, considering its own history with the First Nations people of the island. As pointed out by Prof. Philippe Sands of Harvard Law School in his 2021 address, the loose application of the term can lead to numerous complexities in understanding historical events.
We urge against the politicisation and dilution of this term which may result in undermining its intended meaning and impact. The selective recognition of tragedies as displayed by the Tasmanian Parliament raises questions on its commitment to principles of fairness, equity, and justice.
As descendants of the tragic years surrounding WWI, we are in no way attempting to belittle the suffering endured during that period. We remember all those who suffered, equally.
The ATAA believes that a holistic understanding of history is critical to truly honour the victims and learn from the past. It is a testament to the principles of justice, equality, and respect that we stand for, and that we believe in, as members of a diverse Australian society.
We invite constructive dialogue about the potential implications of this motion on Tasmania’s multicultural society.
About the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance
The Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance (ATAA) is an organization that represents the Australian-Turkish community. It is committed to promoting a balanced understanding of historical events, advocating for fairness and respect for all communities, and fostering constructive dialogues on issues of concern.
We welcome recent developments in NSW Counter Terrorism investigation into the murder of Turkish diplomats, Sarik Ariyak and Engin Sever in Sydney in 1980.
We also closely follow the U.S. court case in between different factions of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, apparently, a case that unveils enough to warrant a new investigation into the foreign influence of ARF and its proxy groups by the Department of Justice there.
We commend Turkish Voice of Australia for connecting the dots in the terrorist killing of Turkish diplomat, Orhan Gunduz in Boston, in 1982. Again, sponsored by ARF, this attack seemed to have been carried out by those who were convicted of the thwarted bombing plot against the Turkish consulate building in Philedelphia.
You can read more about the story here at this link.
Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance with the support of Turkish government agency for diaspora communities, YTB, is running a series of workshops to upskill members of our community in their efforts to become the voice of their communities.
The workshop and seminars, subject to COVID19 restrictions, are to be run in person both in Sydney and Melbourne.
“With this program, we are hoping to empower members of our community so that they can seek their own rights through the democratically available channels.” said the Executive Secretary of the organisation.
“We thank the YTB, for their support.” the Secretary added.
During the seminars, key skills in advocacy including building a narrative and building rapport in line with a strategy will be taught by subject matter experts.
A short application form needs to be completed to be admitted to these seminars.