Archive for the 'Denial' Category

Azerbaijan: European Delegation Refused Djulfa Investigation

When, in February 2006, the European Parliament officially condemned Azerbaijan’s December 2005 deliberate destruction of the world’s largest Armenian medieval cemetery – Djulfa – the Azeri authorities denied European delegations’ visit to the site.


Azerbaijan, which still claims Djulfa was never destroyed because it didn’t exist in the first place, then said that it would only agree to the visit IF the delegation visited Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan (which is impossible since Nagorno-Karabakh is in a technical war with Azerbaijan and the only real way to visit Nagorno-Karabakh is from Armenia).


In an apparent desperation in the face of Azerbaijan’s continuous tricks to keep the delegation out of Djulfa, Edward O’Hara  – head of the PACE Committee on Culture, Science and Education – has now suggested to drop the idea of visiting all countries at the same time and instead start off by visiting Azerbaijan first.


Azerbaijan’s response? NO WAY JOSE! Read the rest of the post at the Djulfa Blog.

Famous Genocide Deniers Visit Armenia?

Threatening to damage its uniquely objective reputation in the smallest of the former Soviet states, has published a partisan commentary on a recent Jewish-American visit to Armenia written by a member of a Diaspora organization often criticized as “soft” for its cooperation with some not-so-pro-Armenian groups.  The same Armenian organization, some say, is now criticizing others for the same thing it has been doing for many years.

The commentary, provided by the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) to its sponsored publication, reads:

A two man delegation representing the American Jewish Committee (AJC), has just finished a visit to Armenia accompanied by two employees of Gerard Cafesjian (founder of the Cafesjian Foundation and long-time philanthropist/investor in Armenia), where they met with the new president, defense minister and others. Their visit to Armenia in itself is not surprising, since the AJC had sought such a trip in conjunction with the Armenian Assembly of America for the past five years, but the Assembly has repeatedly said “no.”

The Assembly told the AJC that its opposition to the passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution made such a visit under Assembly auspices inappropriate. I was involved in the first rejection, as was the former Executive Director of the Assembly, Ross Vartian. Now, however, Vartian, is the Executive Director of Cafesjian’s private Washington, D.C. operation named USAPAC.

He arranged for Peter Rosenblatt, a prominent leader of the AJC and Barry Jacobs, who has the title of Strategic Studies Director, to meet with Armenia’s top leadership.

Jacobs circulates articles from various sources supporting not only Israeli positions but pro Turkish and pro Azerbaijani policies as well. Jacobs’s bias against Armenia is palpable. A New York Times photograph taken at the session of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee showed Jacobs seated among a group of Turkish protesters wearing badges saying “NO” to the pending Genocide resolution.


According to David Boyajian, an outspoken Armenian activist who sparked the recent fight against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for its refusal to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, the controversy at stake is not as much the obvious anti-Armenian Jewish leaders’ visit to Armenia (which needs to be condemned), but that the Armenian Assembly of America – the organization that now criticizes its breakaway wing – has a long history of cooperating with deniers of the Armenian Genocide itself.

In Boyajian’s words:

It takes chutzpah AAA – long-time apologists for the very Jewish denialists that it is now criticizing – to criticize USAPAC, not that USAPAC does not fully deserve it (and I have been emailing many people the past few days and getting them to call/write USAPAC).
And where does Armenia stand on this?  It’s president gave an audience to a genocide denier.  Maybe Armenia deserves some criticism too.
Fact is, AAA has done next to nothing to help on ADL/NPFH issue, and we all know it.
Suddenly, AAA is now some sort of hardliner?
The main reason AAA is criticizing USAPAC now is that the latter is run by Cafesjian and Vartian, who quit AAA.  Whom is the AAA kidding? 
AAA would be (very) well-advised to look to its own record.
This article is also full of outright falsehoods, and I will be proving it.

Jewcy, a website by young Jewish-American bloggers, has condemned Barry Jacobs, the gentleman who was given a free ride to Armenia by USAPAC, for denying the Armenian Genocide. As a supporter of open dialogue, I myself am not outright against USAPAC’s sponsorship of Jacobs’ trip to Armenia pending on the results. If Jacobs gives up his anti-Armenian campaign, which is highly unlikely to happen, then USAPAC will be proven right in its judgment. 

Turkish Ambassador Fires Scholar for Genocide Remarks

While Turkey says it wants to discuss “the events of 1915” with Armenia, its Ambassador to the United States has fired one of its own payroll scholars for doing the unimaginable – referring to the Armenian genocide as such.

Recounting the fiasco, The Armenian Reporter writes in its May 31, 2008 issue that a in a letter to Turkey’s government “the Middle East Studies Association [MESA] on May 27 condemned the forced resignation of Donald Quataert from the chair of the Institute of Turkish Studies after Prof. Quataert affirmed in a book review that ‘what happened to the Armenians readily satisfies the U.N. definition of genocide.'”

Expecting retaliation  from at least other scholars on Turkish payroll (but apparently not from the Ambassador himself), Prof. Quataert urged pro-Turkish historians “to take their rightful responsibility to perform the proper research” on the Armenian annihilation of 1915.

The above words, mentioned in a scholarly book review by Dr. Quataert, angered Turkish Ambassador Nebi Şensoy – honorary chairman of the Institute of Turkish Studies – who requested the scholar to retract them.

“We are enormously concerned that unnamed high officials in Ankara felt it was inappropriate for Professor Quataert to continue as chairman of the board of governors and threatened to revoke the funding for the ITS if he did not publicly retract statements made in his review or separate himself from the Chairmanship of the ITS,” wrote MESA president Mervat Hatem in the letter of protest to Turkey’s Prime Minister.

The Armenian Reporter states that:


A professor of history at the State University of New York at Binghamton, Mr. Quataert chaired the ITS board of governors from 2001 until December 13, 2006. In 1985, as an associate professor at the University of Houston, he was among the 69 Ottoman, Turkish, and Middle Eastern area scholars who petitioned against a House Joint Resolution that memorialized “the one and one half million people of Armenian ancestry who were victims of genocide perpetrated in Turkey between 1915 and 1923.”

As he recalled the emerging Ottoman and Turkish area scholarship of the 1980s from a vantage point twenty years later, Prof. Quataert wrote in his book review, “the authors were not writing critical history but polemics” and “many of their works were directly sponsored and published by the Turkish government.” To date, said MESA, most of the scholarship in this area still fails to adhere to the highest professional standards “and as such serves neither the field of Ottoman-Turkish studies nor the interests of the Republic of Turkey and its citizens.”

Nevertheless, both Prof. Quataert in his review and MESA with its 2005 Academic Freedom Award lauded the new wave of critical thinking in this field – specifically mentioning a conference held at Istanbul’s Bilgi University “despite official intimidation and public harassment,” as Prof. Quataert recalled.


While it is sadenning to see an academic being de facto fired by a politician, it is encouraging that a scholar on Turkish payroll has finally realized and admitted the truth of the Armenian Genocide.  

In his weekly column, California Courier publisher Harout Sassounian writes that “Prof. Quataert’s transformation from a denialist to a believer in the Armenian Genocide is based on the growing body of scholarship in recent years both within and outside Turkey. A comparison of the 2000 and 2005 editions of his book, ‘The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922,’ illustrates the gradual evolution of his position on the Armenian Genocide. In a sharp departure from the cautious language used in his first  edition, Dr. Quataert… comes to the conclusion in his 2006 book review that what had happened to the Armenians in 1915 was indeed a Genocide.”

Reminding that this is not the first controversy including the Turkish-sponsored organization, College of William and Mary professor emeritus Roger Smith wrote in a discussion forum on Armenian-Turkish relations that as a de facto lobbying organization ITS shouldn’t be tax-free.


But given this latest event, in which the Turkish ambassador and the Turkish government have forced the resignation of the chair of the Institute because he refused to deny the reality of the Armenian Genocide, there are strong grounds for the IRS to revoke the tax status of the Institute.  There are other grounds, of long standing: Robert Lifton, Eric Markusen, and I exposed the then executive director of ITS, Heath Lowry, for his collaboration with the Turkish ambassador to the U.S. to intimidate academics in the U.S. from writing about the Armenian Genocide as historical reality.  Lowry wrote the memos and draft letters for the ambassador: for examples of this see, “Professional Responsibility and the Denial of the Armenian Genocide,” HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE STUDIES, Spring 1995; the actual documents are presented with analysis by Smith, Markusen, Lifton. The IRS status of the Institute should have been challenged then.
But now we have the Turkish ambassador being directly involved in forcing the resignation of the ITS chair for failure to follow the State’s position on the genocide, which, is political, not as it pretends, historical. This suggests that the Institute, or some of those closely associated with it, are undeclared, unregistered, lobbyists for a foreign government.  This is a violation of Federal criminal law.  Such persons could be prosecuted, but it is also further evidence that the tax status of ITS should be revoked.
Whatever the case, the lesson is that not every scholar on Turkish payroll is discrediting the Armenian genocide for money. Some of them have the ability to finally see the truth. That is – if they truly seek the truth in the first place.

Canada: Genocide Book Pulled, Replaced by Denialist Literature

Globe and Mail from Canada reports that a nationalist Turkish group has succeeded in banning a recommended High School book on Genocide. The banned book, which included a chapter on the WWI extermination of Ottoman Armenians, has been replaced by works of two genocide deniers.

A book about genocide has been pulled from the recommended reading list of a new Toronto public school course because of objections from the Turkish-Canadian community, the author says.

Barbara Coloroso’s Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide was originally part of a resource list for the Grade 11 history course, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, set to launch across the Toronto District School Board this fall.

The book examines the Holocaust, which exterminated six million Jews in the Second World War; the Rwandan slaughter of nearly one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994, and the massacres of more than a million Armenians in 1895, 1909 and 1915.


Ms. Coloroso, a best-selling author of parenting books, said she wasn’t surprised her work was removed, given that “ever since the book came out, the Turks have mounted a worldwide campaign objecting to it, which is not surprising because of the denial of the genocide.”

She said what upset her was not so much that her book had been pulled, but that it was replaced by works by Bernard Lewis and Guenter Lewy, whom she refers to as deniers of the Armenian genocide.

“I knew when I wrote Extraordinary Evil that I would anger some genocide deniers,” she wrote to Ms. Connelly. “I am disappointed that a small group of people can bully an entire committee. …”


NJ: Turkish Center Teaches 6-Year-Olds Genocide Denial

New Jersey’s Turkish and Islam Cultural Center, according to its website, offers courses on Armenian Genocide denial to children as young as six.

The list of activities offered at 203 Fountain Avenue, Burlington Twp, New Jersey 08016, are English as a second language for adults, Friday prayers, weekend school for children and discussion groups. 

The only class in the list not written in English is “Ermeni Iddialari hakkinda Cocuklarimiz Ne biliyor?.” That translates as “What do our children know about the Armenian allegations?”

According to the website, that class is offered for two age groups: 6-15 and 16-25.

Turkey: Armenians “Massacre” More Turks in another Celebration

Armenians are committing genocide against Turks in the Republic of Turkey in 2008. That is, at least, the impression that Turkish children get as they are told to dress up as Turkish soldiers and chase Armenian militia after the latter massacre  women and children. This is of course just a theatrical play and somewhat entertaining for adults. But as some Turkish psychologists have suggested, this is how murderers are raised in Turkey.

According to the Turkish Daily News:

The 90th anniversary of the end of the Armenian occupation was celebrated in the town of Gürpınar, in the eastern province of Van, with a “theatrical” re-enactment of a massacre blamed on Armenians.

Around a dozen people, dressed as Armenian militia members, re-enacted the massacre of civilians and were then chased away by Turkish soldiers, played by primary school students.

While the shocked children watched the proceedings, Gürpınar’s mayor, Fuat Yaşar Atan, made a speech, saying the town had celebrated the end of the Armenian occupation with the same vigor for the past 90 years.

Ironically, it has taken 90 years before Turkish newspapers started reporting and criticizing such “celebrations.” Just last month, Armenians hanged a Muslim imam in another Turkish city and were then killed by Turkish soldiers played by High School students.

Now we know why so many Turks are ready to kill Armenians after the latter talk about the Armenian Genocide. It is interesting how after these celebrations all the Armenian bandits are killed. That gives the answer to the Turkish children why the indigenous Armenian population of eastern Turkey has totally disappeared. It is their fault!

Turkey: Columnist Compares to Anti-Semitism

Justin Paul, an alleged law school student from Minnesota, has published an article in the Turkish Daily News suggesting Turks to find new, more civilized, methods of denying the Armenian Genocide. He compares some of the most anti-Armenian propaganda used by many Turks to anti-Semitism.

Speaking of the infamous, the hatesite operated by Disney cartoonist Murad “Holdwater” Gumen, the columnist suggests the unhealthy website is quite unhelpful in denying the Armenian Genocide:


An example of this [“shotgun” method] is the site, which, while done by a lay person, has been championed by some Turkish lobbyists as a resource.  The overall design of the site has become slightly less of an aesthetic blight over the years, but its content is jumbled, disorganized and often intellectually misleading. 

This site launches ad-hominem attacks on Turkish intellectuals closer to the Armenian side, such as disparaging Fatma Muge Gokcek about her weight.  It also portrays Armenians as arch Nazis on the basis of one particular collaborator, conveniently forgetting that many more Armenians died fighting Nazism. 

The site basically strays far and away from any noble defense of the Ottoman Muslims who lost their lives in World War I and enters a realm of vicious anti-Armenian diatribe. Its intellectual companionship would be such conspiracy oriented rags like the Protocols of Elders of Zion, as you would leave this site thinking the Armenian Lobby pretty much controls the United States and is one hateful cabal.

The columnist, who seems to be mocking the Turkish denial but apparently he is not, suggests nationalist Turks to stop calling Turkish historian Taner Akcam – the first Turk to openly research and acknowledge the Genocide as such – Osama Bin Laden. He calls a Turkish film denying the Armenian Genocide “another failed attempt to make a noble defense” and complains that “there have been the outlandish signs at Turkish demonstrations which allege that Armenian [sic] killed 3 million Turks and Azeris.” He also doesn’t like when Turks use Pinocchio imagery to deny the Armenian Genocide. Too bad – that was my favorite part.

Having in mind that the article is published on April 1 Fools Day, one would think that Mr. Paul is mocking the Turkish denial and telling them to drop their principle arguments in denying the Armenian Genocide – Pinocchio, Nazism, Osama Bin Laden and 3 million dead Turks.

What Mr. Paul doesn’t realize is that genocide denial is a hate crime and cannot be nuanced, rationalized and toned down. If those nationalists Turks who were denying the Armenian Genocide found enough humanity in Armenians to nuance their rhetoric, they would come to see the truth and there would not be genocide denial. Most denialists consistently use lower-case ‘a’ in the word ‘armenian’ and ‘armenians’ – to demonstrate that Armenians are not humans. And Mr. Paul is hoping that this kind of mindset can be changed.

Well, I do hope that the nationalist mindset will change. But when it changes, there will be no denial.

David Boyajian: Blue Cross has unhealthful relationship with ‘No Place for Hate’

Published in Massachusetts in the Needham Times, Belmont Citizen-Herald, Watertown Tab and Press, and elsewhere.

Blue Cross has unhealthful relationship with ‘No Place for Hate’

March 24, 2008

By David Boyajian

With health insurance now compulsory in Massachusetts, and premiums high enough to cause altitude sickness, it’s inexcusable that the state’s largest insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, is still misusing its subscribers’ money by sponsoring the alleged anti-bias program known as “No Place for Hate.”

Eleven municipalities — Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Lexington, Medford, Needham, Newburyport, Newton, Northampton, Watertown and Westwood — recently gave their NPFH program the boot. They discovered that its creator and sponsor, the Anti-Defamation League, denies the factuality of the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey and doesn’t want America to recognize that genocide. And they understood that NPFH — the name is a federally registered ADL trademark — was violating its own human rights principles by being affiliated with a genocide-denying organization.
The ADL has hypocritically opposed acknowledgment of the Armenian holocaust to win political points with Turkey, which has close relations with Israel. In actuality, the ADL is a highly controversial, ethnic-specific organization known to be focused on political lobbying, not universal human rights.
So why hasn’t Blue Cross Blue Shield followed the lead of towns that have severed ties to NPFH?
Here’s what we know. Several years back, Peter Meade, the recently retired Blue Cross Blue Shield vice president, “was instrumental in mobilizing Blue Cross” to become the state’s first official NPFH corporation. And Meade sits — amazing coincidence No. 1 — on the board of the New England ADL and received its Chairperson’s Award.
Meade also chairs the Greenway Conservancy, which will oversee future upkeep of Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway. For some strange reason — amazing coincidence No. 2 — he opposes the Greenway’s proposed Armenian Heritage Park, which might include a small plaque that remembers the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
It’s an obvious conflict of interest for a member of the genocide-denying ADL to sit in judgment of anything Armenian. But so far the well-connected Meade has gotten away with it, aided by the Boston Globe, which won’t report that conflict of interest.
And here’s amazing coincidence No. 3: Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Boston headquarters is hosting this year’s board meetings of the Greenway Conservancy.
How much has Blue Cross Blue Shield been spending on NPFH programs? It won’t give me a figure, and I can guess why. Blue Cross Blue Shield was recently in the spotlight for the controversial $16.4 million retirement package it lavished on ex-Chairman William Van Faasen.
Interestingly, Van Faasen declared in 2001 that Blue Cross Blue Shield was “pleased [to] assist the ADL” with NPFH. Which brings us to amazing coincidence No. 4: Van Faasen received the ADL’s coveted Maimonides award.
Another Blue Cross Blue Shield executive, Vice President Fredi Shonkoff, “helped spearhead” the company’s designation as NPFH. How might that have happened? Amazing coincidence No. 5: Shonkoff sat on the ADL’s board, along with Peter Meade.
Are you getting the feeling that the ADL and its board members and friends have been throwing their weight around inside Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Greenway Conservancy and the state’s NPFH municipalities?
Think of the powerful ADL as the hub of an enormous wheel with these spokes: NPFH — Blue Cross Blue Shield — Shonkoff — Van Faasen — Meade — the Greenway Conservancy — opposition to the Armenian Park — denial of the Armenian Genocide — Turkey.
Had a Holocaust-denying organization created and sponsored NPFH, Blue Cross Blue Shield would long ago have cut ties with both of them. Blue Cross Blue Shield apparently believes Armenians and their genocide do not deserve the same respect.
And, yes, the ADL still denies the Armenian genocide. Last August, ADL National Director Abe Foxman deliberately used ambiguous phrases such as “tantamount to genocide” and language that parroted Turkey’s line that the mass murder of Armenians from 1915-23 was not intentional, but rather just an unfortunate “consequence” of wartime conditions.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is squandering not only its subscribers’ premiums but also the reputations of a 70-year old health-care institution and its dedicated employees. One hopeful sign: Blue Cross Blue Shield told me, “Each year we carefully evaluate our commitment to the NPFH program.”
Though Massachusetts treats Blue Cross Blue Shield as a nonprofit, the feds consider it for-profit. Since corporate contributions to groups such as NPFH are tax-deductible, everyone is paying for NPFH. And if you’re a Blue Cross Blue Shield subscriber, as huge numbers of people in Massachusetts are, you’re shelling out even more.
Turkish doctors experimented on Armenians during the genocide just as German doctors did on Jews during the Holocaust, according to a study published in “Holocaust and Genocide Studies.” Would any network of doctors tolerate a health-care corporation affiliated with an organization that denied or diminished the Holocaust? Of course not. Blue Cross Blue Shield network doctors, therefore, should insist that Blue Cross Blue Shield cease participation in all ADL programs.
Blue Cross Blue Shield needs to drop its official NPFH designation, stop misusing its members’ precious health-care dollars on NPFH and sever ties with the ADL.
David Boyajian lives in Newton.
For related material, please see and

Turkey: Some Nationalists Start War Against Wikipedia

Via TurkishPress:

The Turkish Association for Fight Against Unfounded Genocide Allegations (ASIMED) launched an e-mail campaign against Wikipedia urging it to remove the “Semi-Protection” lock over the article on Armenian allegations concerning the incidents of 1915.

Chairman of Asimed, Assistant Professor Savas Egilmez, said the best thing about Wikipedia was its feature allowing users to edit (make corrections, deletions and additions) in articles published on the website.

“When you browse the English version of Wikipedia which publishes its content in various languages, one notices an issue in complete contrast with the Wikipedia principles. In the english website while the article on Armenian allegations concerning the incidents of 1915 contain all the thesis of the Armenian diaspora, the Turkish thesis are excluded,” said Egilmez.

“The web site allows users to make editions in all subjects, but it does not allow edition of the article on Armenian allegations. The site only provides the theses of the Armenian diaspora. This is a great injustice against the Turkish Nation.”

Egilmez said they started an e-mail campaign to stop this injustice and asked Turkish nationals to support it by sending e-mails to the web site’s administrators ([email protected]) .

Wikipedia has a “Protection policy” allowing administrators to protect a page to restrict editing or moving of that page, and remove such protection.

“Editing or moving of a page can be restricted by administrators. As Wikipedia is built around the principle that anyone can edit it, this should only be done in certain situations,” says the policy.


Turkish PM Denies Genocide in Germany

During a visit to Germany Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyid Erdogan has denied the deliberate annihilation of late Ottoman Turkey’s Armenian population stating that it is not in Turkish culture to commit genocide.

According to the TurkishPress:

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said [in Munich] on Saturday there was no such thing like genocide in Turkish culture and civilization.

Erdogan replied to questions on several matters after his speech at the 44th Munich Conference on Security Policy in Germany.

In regard to Armenian allegations regarding the incidents of 1915, Erdogan said, “there is no such thing like genocide in our culture. We cannot accept it. We are ready to discuss the matter by the means of documents.”


Erdogan’s racist explanation for his government’s denial of the Armenian genocide must have raised eyebrows in Germany since the statement suggests that committing genocide is in the perpetrator’s group culture and civilization.

Bloomberg also reports Erdogan’s denial of the Armenian genocide but doesn’t reference the Turkish PM’s reference to culture.

Asked about the massacre of Armenians in Turkey in 1915, Erdogan said Armenia should open its archives on the period.

”There was no genocide and there is no way we can accept this,” Erdogan said, adding that declarations of some western parliaments that the killing of Armenians had been a genocide ”is not acceptable.” The parliaments of France and a number of other countries have passed resolutions declaring the Armenian massacres were genocide.

Ironically, the automated Google ad on the page on Erdogan’s nationalist comments links to the DNA Ancestry Project. Perhaps Mr. Erdogan should form an international commission to prove that it is not in Turkish DNA to commit genocide.

Interestingly, the topic of being capable of committing genocide was in the Armenian press last week. A columnist askes (in Armenian) whether Armenians are capable of genocide and argues that Armenia’s poor democratic record, the government’s treatment of its people and the people’s treatment of each other (especially on regional basis) suggests that Armenians are, indeed, capable of genocide.  In terms of Armenia’s largest minorities, especially the Yezidis, the author says that they have been denied opportunity to be part of Armenia’s socio-economic culture and are, thus, not “important” enough to be considered for elimination. (I must add that Armenians have committed cultural genocide against the Roma (“Gypsies”) who are known in Armenian as “Bosha” – but almost every Armenian thinks Bosha is an insult and not an ethnic group.)  

So, Mr. Erdogan, if you consider Turks human (and you should) then they are, too, capable of genocide.

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