Turks Are Biggest Boosters of 90th Anniversary Commemoration

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Turks Are Biggest Boosters of 90th Anniversary Commemoration

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

Several months ago, when Armenians started planning commemorative activities for the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, little did they know that the biggest boost for their efforts would come from the Turks themselves!

Long before the upcoming observances on April 24, Turkish journalists started publishing articles with ominous headlines such as, “The Approaching Armenian Tsunami” or “The Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Would Be a Big Nightmare for Turkey.” Knowing full well the extent of their guilt and the fact that no amount of denial had succeeded in covering up the crimes committed in 1915, the Turkish leaders thought it wise to make a pre-emptive strike in order to undermine the planned Armenian commemorative activities.

The Turks did not realize that their actions were effectively helping to publicize the Armenian Genocide to millions of their own citizens, many of whom know little or nothing about these crimes, and to millions of other people around the world.

The Turkish government enthusiastically embarked on forming so-called “expert committees” and allocated huge sums of money for their revisionist activities. As a result, before the Armenians organized a single commemorative event, the Turks had already made the entire world aware that this year was the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Here are a few examples of recent Turkish contributions to the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide:

Prof. Justin McCarthy of the University of Louisville was invited to Turkey last week to deliver a series of lectures on the Armenian Genocide and meet with the local media. Zaman newspaper reported that he spoke about “The Reality of the Armenian Genocide,” at a conference held in the Turkish Parliament. Prof. McCarthy, a revisionist historian who is well known to his Turkish masters and unknown to everyone else, told the Turks that his recent book on this issue “should be thrown from the air by plane.” When the Turks realize that they have been wasting their money on this charlatan, they may decide to dump him along with his book.

The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), with the assistance of the handsomely compensated Livingston Group lobbying firm, organized a “Capitol Forum” on the Armenian Genocide, at the Rayburn Building of the House of Representatives, on March 22. The guest speaker was Prof. Turkkaya Ataov, another charlatan whom I confronted at the United Nations in Geneva some 20 years ago. The Turkish Forum was trying to imitate the Armenian Genocide commemorations organized by Armenians in April of every year in the same congressional building. The logical outcome of this Turkish event was the propagation of the Armenian Genocide in Washington without any effort or expense from Armenians.

Prof. Yusuf Halajoglu, the President of the Turkish Historical Society, suggested during a university lecture that Turkey demand the re-trial of Soghomon Tehlirian who was set free by a German court in 1921, after assassinating Talaat Pasha, the mastermind of the Armenian Genocide. General Kilinc Tuncer, the Secretary of Turkey’s powerful National Security Council, who was present at the lecture, put an immediate stop to this counter-productive idea by pointing out that during the original trial, the Ottoman government’s crimes came under scrutiny, rather than Tehlirian’s act. He cautioned that re-opening the court case would end up putting Turkey on trial!

After the world-renowned Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk told a foreign journalist that Turks had killed one million Armenians in 1915, scenes reminiscent of the Nazi era were repeated on Turkish streets last Sunday. Pamuk's books were collected and burned in a public ceremony, attended by Turkish parliamentarians. No wonder Hitler’s book is a best-seller in Turkey these days. Such Nazi tactics, reported by the Turkish Daily News, helped further publicize the fact that a prominent Turkish writer had acknowledged the Armenian Genocide. It is ironic that while the Turks are trying to convince the Europeans that they are ready to join the EU, they are shooting themselves in the foot, by threatening a prominent writer and burning his books!

It is expected that in the coming weeks, the Turks would continue doing their share in publicizing the Armenian Genocide. Hurriyet reported about Turkish plans to hold a protest in front of the White House on April 24. Armenians should not only welcome such an initiative, but also do everything possible to assist the Turks to ensure such a gathering takes place. Just imagine the worldwide media coverage generated by the confrontation between Turks and Armenians in front of the White House on April 24.

Armenians should be grateful for all the Turkish endeavors in the globalization of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

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