Turkish Consul Exposes True Colors By Insulting Armenians on April 24

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Turkish Consul Exposes True Colors By Insulting Armenians on April 24

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

May 4, 2006

As a growing number of parliaments, international organizations, members of the media, Turkish scholars and prominent world figures have come to acknowledge the facts of the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish government has been frantically looking for ways to counter the rapid progress of the Armenian Cause.

The Turkish government has alternately offered economic inducements and issued ultimatums to the fledgling Armenian Republic, in order to compel it to give up its pursuit of the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Neither tactic has borne any fruit. Of course, the real aim of the Turkish leaders is to drive a wedge between the Republic of Armenia and the Diaspora on this issue.

In recent years, the Turkish government has spent millions of dollars to hire the best lobbyists that money could buy and put on Ankara’s payroll scores of Turkish and foreign hired pens who are expressly tasked to disseminate anti-Armenian propaganda worldwide. The infamous Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) was another diversionary tactic. Funded by Washington with the tacit support of Ankara and the participation of a handful of misguided Armenians, TARC was quickly abolished when it was met with almost unanimous resistance both in Armenia and the Diaspora. This ill-fated stratagem, under the guise of fostering dialogue, was in reality intended to stall the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The New Anatolian newspaper published an article last month disclosing that Ankara is seriously concerned with "the rapid rise" of the number of countries recognizing the Armenian Genocide. It quoted a Turkish official as saying that Ankara has been looking for ways of stopping this "very negative [trend] from the Turkish point of view."

The New Anatolian reported that Turkey is alarmed by the fact that the Armenian Diaspora is moving beyond securing the recognition of the Genocide to having its denial punished by law. Such an initiative is being introduced in the French Parliament later this month. Turkish officials are also very concerned about the incorporation of the Armenian Genocide in the school curricula of various countries.

The New Anatolian also disclosed that a high-ranking official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry met with unnamed representatives of the Armenian-American Diaspora on the eve of April 24. However, a Turkish official was quoted as saying: "Turkey did not get any concrete results from its contacts with the Diaspora." The Zaman newspaper reported that the Turks met with "moderate" Armenians.

The reason for this failure could be that Turkish officials are simply seeking to exploit their Armenian interlocutors rather than trying to resolve outstanding Armenian-Turkish issues. Ankara is probably pursuing three objectives with such meetings: 1) to remove one of the roadblocks in the way of its application for membership in the European Union; 2) to abort further consideration of U.S. congressional genocide resolutions by creating the false impression that Turkey is already reconciling with Armenians; and 3) to drive a wedge not only between Armenia and the Diaspora, but more importantly, to split the Diaspora itself. On a personal note, because of the above-mentioned concerns, this writer has turned down all invitations for meetings with top Turkish leaders. Such meetings could be meaningful only when the Turkish government is seeking honest dialogue with Armenians.

The Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles, Engin Ansay, has been tasked with the launching of these deceptive initiatives in Southern California. He has been wooing a few members of the local Armenian community by inviting them to private luncheons and briefings at the Turkish Consulate. Regrettably, this handful of misguided Armenians have fallen into his trap of false rapprochement. One would hope that these individuals would see through this Turkish ploy and extricate themselves from it forthright.

Last month, Consul General Ansay showed his true colors when he lashed back harshly and undiplomatically at the Armenian community on the eve of April 24. This is an unbecoming behavior for a Turkish official who has the rank of an Ambassador and has served in many important diplomatic posts around the world. The Turkish Consul General's offensive message was in response to a letter from Steven Dadaian, who had written to the consulates of various countries in Los Angeles, on behalf of the 91st Anniversary Commemorative Committee, inviting them to attend the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Montebello, California.

Dadaian received the following rude reply from Consul General Ansay, who sarcastically said that he would like to attend the Armenian Genocide commemoration in order to "address the gathering with regard to the first genocide of the 20th Century initiated and committed against millions of Muslims and Turks by Armenian forces armed and trained by Czarist Russia during the First World War."

Hopefully, the Turkish Consul General’s insulting reply would open the eyes of the gullible Armenians who were mistakenly led to believe that they were helping “reconcile” Armenians and Turks by cultivating a personal relationship with the official representative of the Turkish denialist regime.

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