Friday, August 03, 2007

Robert Fisk and some delicate questions...

Sometimes I read the Independent. So also today and read about Robert Fisk, for many Europeans and Americans a highly controversial journalist, especially in Britain. Fisk is a consistent critic of what he perceives as hypocrisy in British government's foreign policy. And then suddenly the names of Taner Akcam, Fatma Müge Göçek, Ahmet Insel and many other Turks appear.
Also, an article of Robert Fisk pops up: You're talking nonsense Mr. Ambassador.

And when I read this highly illogical site (the heading: 'The other side of the falsified genocide' is already illogical) I became irritated. The same as with many Armenian diaspora sites, which promote hate and anger.
The whole discussion about the Armenian democide and massacres of Turks, due to failure of the Turkish military in the War of Independence (that's my stance) is far too politicized.

Also Raphael Lemkin's views are interesting. And Elif Safak.

Now my question to Turkish people: what do you think about the above mentioned Turks?

And for the Armenians, reading this blog: your government is corrupt, but is not genuine in their efforts to establish good relations with Turkey, why? Is reconciliation not the best direction? The future is on the ground, just one step in front of you. This can not go on forever!

13 comments:

Myrthe said...

Incidentally, I heard him speak last night. He is in Armenia currently and gave a lecture. I will post about it on my own blog later today. As for your questions (though I am neither Turkish nor Armenian), I need more time to think about an answer and formulate my opinion.

By the way, the site you mentioned as his illogical site, is not his personal site (see the About us section), but merely a "Fansite".

Hans said...

Thanks Myrthe.

That site, a fan site?
How can you deny facts, how can you deny the death, whom's death it is.
As Jewish say, save one person-you save the whole world.
Its a disgusting site. But also some Armenian sites (Djaskas) full of nationalist propaganda makes my stomach weak..((

Myrthe said...

Ouch! Now that was a very stupid stupid mistake. I mixed things up. Blame it on being tired end not taking enough time. I read "his illogical site" instead of "this", as in his=Robert Fisk's. And at the same time I had opened the link to the site on Robert Fisk that you mention (which is not his own, official site, but what I meant by "fansite"). I ended up mixing the two links.

When I came back Tall Armenian Tale is a horrible site, spreading lies and denying facts. Simon over at Blogian has recently published more about the author of this website and his actions.

I take back what I said in my previous comment, because through my own sloppiness I mixed two sites up. You are perfectly right to call me on this one. Thank you, Hans.

Hans said...

Np Myrthe.
Yes, 'holdwater' is not a descent person. And for sure he doesn't know how to communicate, and he is pathetic. Its a hate site.
Btw, political climate is changing in Turkey. In my opinion in the good direction.
Kindest

Myrthe said...

I have a problem with the Dashnak stand regarding the genocide as well. More in general I have a problem with Armenians (and these are almost exclusively Diaspora-Armenians) demanding their ancestors' land adn former possessions back from Turkey / the Turks. The problem I have is that so far, I have not heard one person demanding land or possessions back who actually thought through this whole thing. Shouting that they want compensation and land back is one thing, but they don't have any idea what they are going to do with it (in the highly hypothetical case that they will get anything back): Who is going to live on those lands? If they get their ancestors possessions back, what are they going to do with it? I betcha, those Diasporans will not ever give up their comfy lives in California or wherever to build up a live somewhere in the outback of Anatolia...

Also, despite my opinion that I think that Armenians should continue to fight for recognition of the genocide, I do think that Armenians (and especially Diasporans as opposed to Armenians from Armenia) tend to make the genocide a huge part of their identity. In a way that is probably understandable, but what would happen if the genocide-issue was somehow resolved? This is something, by the way that one of the Armenian blogs talked about a while ago (the link is here)

As for Turkey, I think it should allow a free and open discussion on the genocide issue (and more in general on its own history) and it should look into its own past and take responsibility for mistakes and events from the past. If Turkey claims to be and wants to be considered as a democracy then it will eventually have to face its past. Also, Turkey will have to face that it is and always has been a multinational society, where ethnic Turks may be the overwhelming majority, but they are not the only people living on their territory and that all these etnical groups should be able to freely adhere to their ethnicity.

But, as you mentioned, from the outside, I also get the feeling that the political climate is changing in Turkey.

I also realize, that what I mentioned here as what Armenians and Turks _should_ do in my opinion is at this moment very utopical. On the other hand, I also think that both Turkey and Armenia should realize that neither country and neither people is going anywhere. Both are here to stay and that they'd better get used to it.

On a positive note, two nights ago I went out with a group of friends and there were some foreigners with us who were on vacation touring the Caucasus. One of them was a guy from Istanbul. And he is not the first young person from Turkey that I know of who visited Armenia as a tourist. A small, but not unimportant step, I'd say.

Hans said...

Dear Myrthe,

Thanks for the reply.

I had an assistant for a while (Bahai) and when she was in California for her study, she was harrased on a daily base by Armenians. Only because she was a Turk, And she was 22 by then.

The main point is at the moment, not the claim of genocide, but if Turkey acknowledge this, it will go bankrupt under Armenian Diaspora claims for land and money.
And they are not that innocent as well: see ASALA.

I spoke with a lot of Turks, friends etc. They recognize that something went totally wrong, but are confused and intimidated by the nationalist of both Turkey and Armenian diaspora.
But I do have the feeling that 'times are changing', and, altough freedom of speech, lot of improvements can be made. The same goes for Armenia.
For us, Dutch in Armenia and Turkey, its easy to talk, since we are not part of this. But maybe we can open a genuine discussion.
You know that besides the 20.000 Armenians in Istanbul some 80.000 Armenians are employed in Turkey?
The cartoons about Armenia by this Azerbedjian guy is sick. Therefore 2 bloggers are now jailed in Baku.
Kindest

Myrthe said...

I know that for us it is easy to say things like this!

I know that reparations are not likely to happen (at least not on the massive scale that some Armenians would want to see), for one, because as you say it would bankrupt the Turkish state. There are also many Armenians who have slightly more realistic ideas and "only" want to push for recognition. Personally, I think that is a much more fruitful approach.

As for ASALA, the amounts of murders by ASALA is nothing compared to the Turkish massacres. But this in itself doesn't make ASALA's murders acceptable. Also, the ASALA actions were (as far as I am aware) more or less revenge for the genocide. Not the right way to go, if you ask me, so I am definitely not defending ASALA's actions.

Something that Robert Fisk mentioned in his lecture is that it would be a good thing if Armenians would start to openly recognize those Turkish and Kurdish people who did save Armenians from death, recognize that not all Turkish people are evil killers. He also mentioned that the Armenian Diaspora community in France is thinking about or working on something like that.

I know that many thousands of Armenians are now working in Turkey. In addition to that, Alanya has become quite a popular holiday destination for those Armenians who can afford it. Also, Armenia is importing lots of things from Turkey. Turkish trucks in Yerevan or on the main road between Yerevan and the Georgian border are a very common sight.

Talking about trade, I would say that reopening the border between the two countries would be beneficial not only for Armenia, but also for the border region in Turkey. A city like Kars for example would most likely benefit from the opening.

By the way, which Azeri guy do you mean? The one behind the Tall Armenian Tale? Because that is not an Azeri, but a Turkish-American guy. His cover has recently been blown by Taner Akcam (described on the Blogian blog I mentioned in an earlier comment). But no matter what nationality he is, he has a sick mind.

Hans said...

Understanding is a better word, And a free debate what happened in the 'lost years of 1905-1923' is already started.
But as long as Kemalism (with no scienticical legacy) dominates the educational system, no changes will be made...

Not all Turks are bad? I would see: most Turks are good!
But the establisment is bad. But is changing.
Yes, the border with Armenia must be opened. For the sake of both countries.

I was talking about the sick cartoons of this guy of Azerbajan on Steve his blog. Sick cartoons about Armenia. He can join the BHP in Turkey (Fascits)..))
Kindest

Myrthe said...

No need to convince me that most Turks are good. ;-) But you know what I meant.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

I know..)

Sean Jeating said...

To cut otherwise pretty a long comment short: Both you are getting slightly close to the essential inheritent interior essence which is hidden in the root of the kernel of everything. :)

hans said...

Sean, you lived in TR?
Thanks and kind regards

Sean Jeating said...

No, no. Once I was almost on the way, but it was not meant to happen.
Yet, for quite a while I am focusing pretty a lot of my interest on Turkish life and politics.
And, as mostly, the more I come to know the less I know. :)
Perhaps - who knows? - step by step we shall learn a little more about each other.
Again, as said in my reply to your comment on my site: Nice to meet you.
Iyi geceler
&
The Peace of the Night.