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.
The Azerbaijani Community of Australia has written a letter to Federal MPs, and labelled an electronic petition calling for the recognition of so-called Republic of Artsakh a distorted biased text based on unfounded claims aimed at deceiving the members.
An electronic petition calling for the Federal Parliament to recognise the so-called Republic of Artsakh received 3164 signatures during a period of almost two months and is now closed.
“The text of the petition is full of distortions, unfounded claims and strong biased emotive language, aimed at skewing the reality of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the Azerbaijani Community of Australia said in its letter.
According to community leaders there are more than 50,000 Australians with Armenian heritage. The result of the petition amounts to only 6.3% of the community supporting the recognition of the so-called Republic.
“If you consider the elders and children who cannot sign the petition, the support still amounts to less than 20% of the overall community. The path to a peaceful solution that’d benefit the peoples of the region is through dialogue, not through legitimization and enforcement of an illegal de facto situation. It is obvious that everyone sees this now more clearly. The people of Armenia want peace. They are the ones paying for the dreams of ultra-nationalist parties, who continuously refuse to understand the international rules of law,” said Baris Atayman, Executive Secretary of the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance.
No sovereign nation in the world, including Armenia, officially recognises the so-called Republic because the territory lies within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/243 reaffirms that no State shall recognize as lawful the situation resulting from the occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, nor render aid or assistance in maintaining this situation.
OSCE Helsinki Final Act 1975, also clearly outlines that people cannot practice ‘self-determination’ by practising ‘threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State’.
Recently, the Canadian Senate refused a motion calling for the recognition of the so-called republic.
In his speech against the motion, Senator Peter Boehm reiterated the fact that the region in question was called Nagorno-Karabakh, because it was, under international law, part of Azerbaijan.
Senator Boehm, while praising the important contribution made by diaspora communities to the country, reminded the dangers of these communities importing their issues to a multicultural society like Canada.
Canada cannot survive as a multicultural, diversity-valuing society if national, ethnic or religious groups import their conflicts into Canada.
Diaspora politics is the tinder of a fire that could consume not just those who ignite it, but all of us
Many Armenians criticised successive governments for failing to find a peaceful solution to the issue. Pashinyan, the Armenian Prime Minister elected in 2018, declared the occupied territories as Armenia proper and attempted to force Azerbaijan to accept local authorities as a third party to peace talks within OSCE Minsk Group’s Madrid Principles framework.
Azerbaijan liberated its sovereign territory, Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenian occupation following a 44-day long operation that ended with a Russia-brokered peace deal, and began resettling one million people displaced as a result of the war in early 1990s.
Online petitions can be signed with a valid email address, from anywhere in the world and by agreeing to standard terms and conditions displayed on the parliament website.
“One can also question even the validity of those 3164 signatures, considering the lack of appropriate verifications for the identity of the signatories,” Baris Atayman from ATAA added.
No parent should be condemned to bury their own children. Today, many parents in Azerbaijan and Armenia are mourning for their kids, whose lives were cut short due to the latest conflict between the two countries.
While Azerbaijani mothers may find some solace in the “worthiness” of the death of their children as the country has freed its occupied lands after 28 years-long Armenian occupation, Armenian parents are bitter and angry at the humiliating defeat their leaders brought up on them. They feel their children died for nothing with their national pride bruised unequivocally.
Protesters in Yerevan, who were made to think that the Armenian army was undefeatable, did not believe that their frontline troops were actually suffering from a basic lack of food, dysentery and COVID19 with no means of replenishing them. They vandalised the nation’s parliament, and attempted to lynch politicians they elected only two years ago.
They have no one to blame but their own leaders for lying to them. One who lies all the time, ends up lying to himself. In Turkey, there is a saying, “The truth has a habit of eventually coming out.”.
Armenian adventurism began with a brutal claim over the lands of Azerbaijan in 1992, when Yerevan enforced this claim with a number of massacres resulting in the displacement of over 700,000 people from their homes.
The remaining 70,000 or so ethnic-Armenians purported to declare independence. These calls failed to garner any international support. The UN and other international bodies condemned the situation as an illegal occupation on numerous occasions, and the UN Security Council adopted resolution 822, 853, 874 and 884 calling for an end to the illegal occupation.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who went into hiding after his announcement of “the painful peace, he had no other option but to sign” sent thousands of angry Armenians into the streets.
Pashinyan had only a few months earlier boldly declared the occupied lands as part of the Armenia proper. Armenia under Pashinyan had changed its military doctrine from “land for peace” to “war for new territories”. He had pulled out of the OSCE Minsk Group Madrid Principles that were agreed upon in 2009 as a path for peace. As expected, Azerbaijan saw these developments as an end to potential diplomatic solution in the region. After Armenian instigated hostilities in July 2020, and following deaths on both sides, he signalled Armenia’s willingness to use military force to prosecute Pashinyan’s ‘war for new territories’ doctrine. This culminated in further hostilities instigated by Armenia in late September 2020. This time was different, Azerbaijan was determined to recover its territories and implement UN Security Council resolutions itself, by responding to Armenia’s aggression.
The realpolitiks of the Caucasus is not a child’s play, conflict cannot be won by posing for selfies with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian.
In line with Pashinyan’s expansionist ideals, he endorsed the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, which was to have given a big part of today’s Turkey to Armenia until Mustafa Kemal Ataturk forced all major powers to sign the superseding Lausanne Treaty in 1924. As expected, Turkey viewed this endorsement as a provocative and hostile move targeting its national security and sovereignty. These kinds of claims don’t only extend to Turkey, but also Georgia as well.
I will add that to ascribe the responsibility for the failure of negotiations on Azerbaijan and Turkey alone is denying our own mistakes, to which we just added the adoption of the Treaty of Sevres as the foundation of our relations with our neighbors. I am confident that we have not done everything to normalize those relations. The “Armenian Case” mentality and revanchism seem to ensure that the list of these mistakes will grow longer and that we will not be thinking seriously as to what we must say and do and what we must not say or do to preserve our people and our statehood.
It has clearly become obvious, that Pashinyan miscalculated the radical and aggressive diaspora groups’ influence in their respective countries as well. He must have thought that countries like France and the United States would step in to save Armenia, or possibly bet too much on his country’s friendship with Moscow.
Russian leader Putin is known for not favouring leaders in Russia’s backyard who cozy up to with global NGOs like the ones run by George Soros’.
Pashinyan aides and propagandists must have told him that they could mobilise international community with their so-called genocide story, which Armenia often wheels out to try and justify their aggression. They probably thought Kim Kardashian’s amazing business success would easily be translated into a global popular movement against Azerbaijan. It didn’t.
History is repeating itself. Once again, a nation has been robbed of its children and future due to its incompetent and over-zealous leaders who miscalculated every step they took since assuming office. The people of Armenia voted Pashinyan in with great hopes, and are today burying thousands of their children.
Nothing explains this self-delusion and over-confidence as anything other than hubris. The people of Armenia had been lied to over and over again.
The propaganda has resembled the Italian and German
nationalist fascism of the 1930s.
It resulted in a similar tragedy for their
The people of Armenia now have a chance to see the truth for themselves. Armenia’s diaspora from California did flew to Armenia to defend the “homeland”. Kim Kardashian’s $1 million donation to the “cause,” amounts to %0.0013 of her net worth. No sovereign nation around the world actually wanted to be seen as one recognising an illegal occupation legal.
The people of Armenia will have to realise that they are the ones suffering for the mythical dreams of the rich Beverly Hills real estate agents.
Politicians around the world, including the US Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, need to understand that they are not helping the people of Armenia by giving them a wrong sense of confidence with a speech here and there, or meaningless resolutions in local councils. When it mattered, their actions meant nothing, and did not prevent the unnecessary loss of a single life. The sons and daughters of Armenia were betrayed by their so-called friends in the West, who care about nothing but to get political donations and support from wealthy Armenian diaspora communities.
The people of Armenia have a chance to build a prosperous and wealthy Armenia with opportunity for all but only if they can make peace with their Turkish neighbours.
We recommend aspiring Armenian political leaders read Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s political realism. The founder of the Turkish Republic avoided war against the British, Greeks and Armenians numerous times as he knew his nation’s rightful boundaries and capacity well. For this, even the Greek Prime Minister Venizelos, who fought against Ataturk, nominated him to the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934.
Yerevan’s adventurism based on mythical stories, paired with recklessness and inexperience, painfully brought Armenia back to reality. We hope the people of Armenia can first find peace in truth, then reconcile with their neighbours.
Now the war is over, we believe the Turkish people around the world should also extend their hands to their Armenian neighbours, and assist them to come back from this. Both peoples have no other choice but to learn to live together.
Where government and the industry fails, community groups rise up to save the image of Australia’s multi-billion dollar international education sector.
Gestures of compassion and goodwill are never forgotten.
Like the cross-trench aid exchange between the Turk and the ANZAC during the direst of all conditions in Gallipoli. Similarly we remember Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s letter to ANZAC mothers. His words are inscribed not only on monuments across Australia but also in our national psyche. Small gestures of goodwill towards the enemy dating back 100 years continue to bond the people of two countries 15,000 kilometres apart to this day.
People also tend to hold on to their disappointments. More than half a million international students who cannot return home and their families abroad feel nothing but disappointment after being left out of the government’s generous safety net packages.
They are also vulnerable to exploitation at the hands of unprofessional industry related service providers, landlords and employers.
Australia’s world class education institutions are being promoted heavily across the world, including Turkey, focusing on our lifestyle and welcoming nature of Australians. However the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has proven some of these claims wrong and have left students feeling left behind.
Shonky education institutions that are solely profit oriented sent letters to students threatening to report them to immigration if they fail to pay their fees. At a time when many students have lost their 40 hour per fortnight low paying jobs, mainly in the hospitality industry, and while Australian businesses are eligible for generous government support, these acts sound extremely greedy and unfair.
We are flooded with messages from Turkish students who fear not only for their current visa situation but also the negative impact this will have on their future travel record. Student agencies with questionable professionalism give confusing information to their customers and doggy service providers, such as shared accommodation companies, threaten to evict students who share over-crowded units in Sydney and Melbourne. Most of these students are vulnerable, as they neither know their rights in full nor have enough language skills to make complaints and defend their rights.
Furthermore the education provided is no longer in the classroom, hence is of lower value. Decent education institutions should make more effort to defer or freeze school payments, offer installments and make significant fee reductions for international students. After all, these students didn’t have to travel thousands of kilometres and live in one of the world’s most expensive cities to get their education online.
Every day we see numerous acts of generosity in Australia, and that generosity can easily be extended to the young people who chose to come here from all over the world to thrive in their education. Where the industry and government fail together in looking after the international students, community groups rise up to the challenge.
We, the Australian-Turkish community provide free meals, job opportunities and free accommodation to many of these students. We also raise funds to assist them in paying their school fees when they are unable to do so.
As Michelle Obama, former first lady of the United States of America says, “pandemics don’t make your character; they reveal your character.” This pandemic will also reveal whether Australia sees hundreds of thousands of students who pump billions of dollars in to its economy every year as guests or just as a source of disposable and replaceable income. The choice will identify the perception of Australia’s multi-billion dollar international education industry for decades to come.
We call on all levels of governments in Australia to show a gesture of goodwill during these hard times to these vulnerable people as much as they show it to all Australians and businesses.
Once this situation is over a serious review of the industry providers and their competency is also required.