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The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Brave Greek-Cypriot of Integrity: Tony Angastiniotis  
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 The following article regarding our favorite Greek(-Cypriot) of integrity, Antonis Angastiniotis, appears to no longer be at its original home, the site of the World Peace Herald (wpherald.com; the site operators must have had no idea what a rarity Mr. Angastiniotis is among his fellow Greeks, to have done away with such a valuable article.) TAT already featured this admirable man in the site's "Cyprus" page, but the word about him deserves to be spread to a wider audience.


'Let's tell the truth so we can apologize'

Cypriot filmmaker:
'Let's tell the truth so we can apologize'

By Christiane Sternberg

Cyprus International Press Service

Published October 20, 2005

NICOSIA —The hall of the Ataturk Culture Center is the home of a huge Turkish flag. Its luminous red color dominates the stage. For every Greek, it is a definite sight of pain. But Antonis Angastiniotis is not interested in acting on the animosities of past centuries still being nurtured today
— not even on Cyprus, where Turkish and Greek communities live in different sections of the island separated by a no man's land.

Angastiniotis runs across the stage and does the most incredible -- he puts his hand onto the flag as if to swear an oath. A Greek hand touching the flag of the "dogs." It is a scandalous event.

"I want us all to finally live together in peace," he pleads. "Let us reveal the bloody past. Let us tell the truth so that we can apologize."

On this evening, his film "The Voice of Blood — Searching for Selden" was being shown before an audience for the first time. The documentary, which deals with the massacre that Greek Cypriots committed on their Turkish fellow citizens in 1974, is a moving piece of chronicle. In the film, Angastiniotis touches on a subject about which most Greeks insistently remain silent.

Not one Greek Cypriot came to the film's premiere. This means Angastiniotis is once more on his lonely way to fulfill his self-chosen mission as peacemaker.

Tony has what it takes to be a good demagogue. His dark eyes glow with enthusiasm while he untiringly runs across the stage, his arms raised to the audience. His voice resounds through the hall and heightens in the attempt to persuade the audience of his good intentions.

"I think it would be great, if my daughter married a Turkish Cypriot. For that I would invite all my Greek Cypriot friends." His daughter is one year old. Her father is an optimist working to make the world a better place.

In the Greek south, few take note of his big debut in the Turkish part of Nicosia. On the Greek side, the EU member state Republic of Cyprus, his film about the uncomfortable side of Cypriot history becomes a victim of the media's self-censorship.

All the television stations, even the public television station CyBC, had serious reasons for not broadcasting the documentary. We never received the film, the boss had no time yet to focus on it, there isn't enough time to broadcast it, the portrayal is not objective enough, and so on.

The disappointed filmmaker explodes when he hears such things: "They keep the murders secret for thirty years, and now they tell me I am not objective. They shoot hundreds of movies about Greek Cypriots who went missing during the Turkish invasion, but as soon as I make a film about the other side, it's me who is not objective?"

Almost no one in the south has seen the documentary, and only a few newspapers have even reported its existence. An anchorwoman of radio Proto read such an announcement, and then asked her listeners to discuss this "brazen decomposition of history."

What Angastiniotis hears at the coffeehouses enrages him: "They killed the Turkish dogs? Excellent, they deserved it!" He now avoids these traditional meeting points for men, and prefers to spend his evenings at home. "I can't argue with every racist fool."


Actually, his political roots lean rather to the right.

"In former times I used to be a nationalist, too," Angastiniotis admits. But an amazing change has taken place.

"I am 39 years old and since I was old enough to make my own thoughts they indoctrinated us with the Greek perspective: 'It's only the Turkish military invasion of 1974 which is to blame for the division of the isle. That's it!'

"But nobody ever told us that there was a previous massacre on the Turkish minority and that they had lived in enclaves since 1964 and that our soldiers took their Turkish compatriots as hostages and killed them —  women, children, old ones."

Tony Angastiniotis
Tony Angastiniotis

Angastiniotis relates the story with tears in his eyes. It is no show; he is not standing on a stage now. He weeps as he retells the conversations he had with survivors.

"'They collected us men by trucks when the Turkish army moved closer,' Ali Faik tells with a faltering voice. 'When I came back I searched for my family. Nobody was there anymore. I had a wife and three children. My youngest daughter Selden was scarcely 16 days old. Later they found them all buried in a mass grave. The Greeks ploughed the corpses under with bulldozers in order to cover up the tracks.'

"After that their bodies were disinterred under the observation of the UN and the foreign press. In Atlilar and it's neighboring communities Murataga and Sandallar, 126 partially disfigured corpses were found. A woman still held her baby in her arms."

"When I discovered a huge mural painting in the north, which pointed on the mass graves, I had the same thoughts every Greek Cypriot has: Turkish propaganda!" Angastiniotis remembers.

"But then I heard these stories by old Turkish men. I asked the old Greek men at our coffeehouse and in the family: Is all this true? But none of them was willing to talk about it. They refused to remember, could you imagine that?"

The forgetfulness is no phenomenon that prospers only in the concealment. In an interview with the Arab newspaper Khaleej Times in September last year, Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos denied that Turkish Cypriots were killed between 1963 and 1974.

When Angastiniotis began work on the documentary, he was determined to get to the bottom of what had actually taken place. He had no money, no equipment and no earthly chance for fame and glory, but nevertheless he began to piece together the puzzle. A university media center in the Turkish north provided a camera and equipment.

He wanted to clear the south up with his inconceivable revelations — but the Greek Cypriot public had no interest in the annoying process of coping with the past. However, the Turkish media pounced on what they saw as the avant-garde of the enemy camp. He made it up to the front page of the Turkish newspaper "Hürriyet," and his film was broadcast on the Turkish Cypriot television channel BRT in prime time. That did not deepen the trust of the Greek side.


But it made Angastiniotis even more determined.

"I don't make half businesses. What is this film supposed to be shown in small clubs? This subject finally needs to be discussed in public. If our [TV broadcasters] don't want to show my documentary, I will send it to film festivals all over Europe. Then the truth will come to our country from the outside, and nobody will be able to shut his eyes before it."

Angastiniotis punctuates his words by pounding on the table, which does not belong to him. For the last four months, he and his family has been living with his wife's parents. They have no job and money to have their own home.

"I didn't last at my old job. After they caught on to what I was working on, my colleagues made racist remarks every day."

With a defiant move, the martyr of his free will strokes a black wisp out of his face. He doesn't cut his hair anymore, so as to remind himself every time he looks in the mirror of the oath he swore: "No comprising [compromising?] for a better life."

Now he bears the consequences out of the ignorance that hinders and constricts him in the south. He sallies with bag and baggage and leaves the Greek part of his home country. "I will resettle with my wife and the little one into the north."

Tony Angastiniotis

Tony Angastiniotis at right with probable film students

The University of Famagusta in the north has offered him a one-year position at its media centre together with a new home and unrestricted technical assistance for further projects. By accepting the offer, Angastiniotis becomes a complete traitor to his Greek compatriots.

Angastiniotis laughs off possible nationalistic acts of revenge against him. For his next film, he plans to deal with the murders that Turkish Cypriots committed on Greek Cypriots. And all that with the financial background of the Turkish part.



A few other articles about this remarkable filmmaker has appeared. In the site of the Eastern Mediterranean University of Turkish Cyprus, in an article entitled "Greek Cypriot Author explains Greek Cypriot Atrocities," a highlight:

"Tony said he never questioned what he was taught, believing that the Turks were barbarians and wanted to murder Greek Cypriots, until the borders were lifted two years ago when he decided to cross over and find out for himself.

As a result, he is despised by his own people, lost his house and has become a hunted man forced to travel like a gypsy."

And in an interview by Toplum Postasi, London's first Turkish newspaper, the "headline" is a powerful one:

"Selective memory is necessary to maintain current policies, sadly the problem is that this attitude does not lead to reconciliation."

Sure applies to the Armenian mentality.

Here's another highlight, with great ring of truth; after explaining that taking the job at the North Cyprus university was "a matter of survival, a source of food for my family, not a political statement," Angastiniotis elaborated:

"I regard the Turkish Cypriots as my own people because they are, and I think they have naturally accepted me in the community. Even those who may disagree with my views or my work they [have] always talked to me kindly and with respect. The miracle of hospitality is still in motion here. The only barrier is language, but those that don’t speak Greek usually speak English and I am trying to learn Turkish, but I admit it’s not an easy language. When I see all this kindness in them I wonder how on earth all this conflict began on this island of ours. Politics I assume."






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...Is to expose the mythological “Armenian genocide,” from the years 1915-16. A wartime tragedy involving the losses of so many has been turned into a politicized story of “exclusive victimhood,” and because of the prevailing prejudice against Turks, along with Turkish indifference, those in the world, particularly in the West, have been quick to accept these terribly defamatory claims involving the worst crime against humanity. Few stop to investigate below the surface that those regarded as the innocent victims, the Armenians, while seeking to establish an independent state, have been the ones to commit systematic ethnic cleansing against those who did not fit into their racial/religious ideal: Muslims, Jews, and even fellow Armenians who had converted to Islam. Criminals as Dro, Antranik, Keri, Armen Garo and Soghoman Tehlirian (the assassin of Talat Pasha, one of the three Young Turk leaders, along with Enver and Jemal) contributed toward the deaths (via massacres, atrocities, and forced deportation) of countless innocents, numbering over half a million. What determines genocide is not the number of casualties or the cruelty of the persecutions, but the intent to destroy a group, the members of which  are guilty of nothing beyond being members of that group. The Armenians suffered their fate of resettlement not for their ethnicity, having co-existed and prospered in the Ottoman Empire for centuries, but because they rebelled against their dying Ottoman nation during WWI (World War I); a rebellion that even their leaders of the period, such as Boghos Nubar and Hovhannes Katchaznouni, have admitted. Yet the hypocritical world rarely bothers to look beneath the surface, not only because of anti-Turkish prejudice, but because of Armenian wealth and intimidation tactics. As a result, these libelous lies, sometimes belonging in the category of “genocide studies,” have become part of the school curricula of many regions. Armenian scholars such as Vahakn Dadrian, Peter Balakian, Richard Hovannisian, Dennis Papazian and Levon Marashlian have been known to dishonestly present only one side of their story, as long as their genocide becomes affirmed. They have enlisted the help of "genocide scholars," such as Roger Smith, Robert Melson, Samantha Power, and Israel Charny… and particularly  those of Turkish extraction, such as Taner Akcam and Fatma Muge Gocek, who justify their alliance with those who actively work to harm the interests of their native country, with the claim that such efforts will help make Turkey more" democratic." On the other side of this coin are genuine scholars who consider all the relevant data, as true scholars have a duty to do, such as Justin McCarthy, Bernard Lewis, Heath Lowry, Erich Feigl and Guenter Lewy. The unscrupulous genocide industry, not having the facts on its side, makes a practice of attacking the messenger instead of the message, vilifying these professors as “deniers” and "agents of the Turkish government." The truth means so little to the pro-genocide believers, some even resort to the forgeries of the Naim-Andonian telegrams or sources  based on false evidence, as Franz Werfel’s The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. Naturally, there is no end to the hearsay "evidence" of the prejudiced pro-Christian people from the period, including missionaries and Near East Relief representatives, Arnold Toynbee, Lord Bryce, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and so many others. When the rare Westerner opted to look at the issues objectively, such as Admirals Mark Bristol and Colby Chester, they were quick to be branded as “Turcophiles” by the propagandists. The sad thing is, even those who don’t consider themselves as bigots are quick to accept the deceptive claims of Armenian propaganda, because deep down people feel the Turks are natural killers and during times when Turks were victims, they do not rate as equal and deserving human beings. This is the main reason why the myth of this genocide has become the common wisdom.