Blog

19 Jan
0

Young Turks Take On Australian Politics

We have run an initiative last year, called Young Turks Down Under with the support of Turkey’s agency for diaspora Turks, YTB.

We tried to upskill the members of our community, and we organised some seminars with subject matter experts on political engagement.

The workshop went well, and our ranks have swollen, visibly during the last elections.

Members of our community, calling themselves the Young Turks took part in a number of political activities to support the causes of the Turkish-Australian community.

It would not have been possible without the support of YTB.

ATAA is committed to carry on and build on top of this, to build an active and resilient community who knows how to protect itself.

01 Jun
0

Young Turks Down Under

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.

01 Jun
0

Some Greek Australian MPs Push Athens’ Agenda In Australia

In a seemingly co-ordinated effort, three Greek-Australian members from South Australia brought in motions, which align more with Athens’ foreign policy goals than their own party policies, to their respective parliaments in recent days.

First, the member for West Torrens of South Australia, Tom Koutsantonis asked the House of Assembly there to acknowledge and recognise 19 May as the remembrance day for the Greek Genocide.

Then, the member for Adelaide, Steve Georganas gave a similarly worded motion to the Federal parliament.

And finally, the Honorable Irene Pnevmatikos delivered her motion, seconded by the Honorable Connie Barnos to the Legislative Council of the South Australian parliament, again acknowledging the so-called Asia Minor Genocide Remembrance Day.

There are some commonalities among the authors of these three motions. They are all members of the Greek-Australian community and are from the Labor party. Ms Bonaros who seconded Ms Pnevmatikos’ motion also has Greek ancestry.

More importantly, all these members, along with many other, are members of an Athens based organisation called World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association (WHIA). The Association promotes Greece’s agenda across the world.

In May 2019, conservative New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis wowed to seek international recognition of the so-called Greek genocide globally. A shift from previous governments’ approach to the issue since 1994.

Same year, he was elected the PM of Greece.

In January 2020, Mr Georganas travelled to Greece and Cyprus during a trip paid by the WHIA.

In April 2021, Mr Georganas was elected as the 2nd Vice President of the WHIA. After his election he said:

Over the years, I’ve worked on a variety of issues—from Cyprus to protection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other issues of concern, the PADEE/ WHIA is an important organisation for disseminating information and mobilising Greek communities all over the world.

https://greekherald.com.au/news/three-greek-australians-elected-world-hellenic-inter-parliamentary-association/

In May 2021, all three motions were tabled.

Mr Georganas is the member for the Federal seat of Adelaide. According to the 2016 Census, the seat represents 163,440 people living there. Of those, only 4% is with Greek ancestry. Even if we are to believe that all 7477 Australians with Greek ancestry from his electorate demand him to support Greek causes, his efforts can be seen as disproportionate allocation of his time and resources entrusted to him by the remaining 96% of his constituents.

Mr Koutanstonis, the member for West Torrens is a former disgraced minister for Road and Transport safety in that state. He had to resign from that portfolio following revelations about his dozens of overdue traffic fines.

This alone says a lot about his perception in the wider community.

Again, he has no more than 10% of his electorate with Greek ancestry.

Ms Pnevmatikos and Ms Bonaros have a different yet similar story. According to this report they did not even get an invite from the leaders of their own community for the Greek Independence Day celebrations for their vote for abortion bill. One can claim that they are desperately seeking the endorsement from Greek Archbishops in that town.

Australia has many more members with Greek ancestry in different states and federal parliament. Most of them are serving their constituents and Australia. They have great pride in their ancestry and we meet them on occasions, talk about the great cultural connection the Turks and the Greeks have in common.

Unfortunately, the members we have named above are seemingly carrying out tasks irrelevant to the needs of communities they represent, and in line with Athens’ foreign policy goals.

They are doing this during when all of us suffer from a once-in-a-life time healthcare and economic crisis due to COVID19.

We ask the people of South Australia to ask their members, who do they represent.

On a final note.

Greece undersigned the Lausanne Peace Treaty in 1924 admitting its actions in Asia Minor between 15 May 1919 and 30 August 1922 were against the rules of war.

And the war time hero of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos nominated his adversary Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who was in charge of the Turkish war of independence in the areas during the time of the alleged genocide of Greeks, to Nobel Peace Prize for “finally bringing peace to Asia Minor”

Needless to say, these two facts should be enough for any magistrate to throw this case to trash at a committal hearing, and for any person with simple intelligence to ignore unsubstantiated claims made by these Labor politicians.

14 Jan
0

Nagorno-Karabakh Petition

Nagorno-Karabakh Petition "Full of Distortions"

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.

 

ENDS