Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Proof of Turkish Propaganda  
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Mahmut Ozan
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 We sometimes hear about the Turkish campaign to spend immense amounts of money on propaganda. Since we all know the Turks are largely "inept" about selling themselves (otherwise, why is the Turkish image so ... bad?), I always wondered what the proof of this may be.



Well, I got a clue by reading this letter from the honorable P. D. Spyropoulos!

(His words of unfriendliness may be found at http://www.ahmp.org/njstarl1.html)

His 1997 letter to the New Jersey Star-Ledger begins with:
Your May 13th letter published under the name Tamer Ozaydin was carefully crafted to achieve its effect on an audience that has had little exposure to the topic it addressed: the denial of this century’s first genocide during which 1.5 million Armenians and 300,000 Pontian Greeks were exterminated by the Turkish nation.

(Well, you get the drift.)

This is the part that caught my eye:

Heath Lowry for example--the Princeton academic praised in the Ledger’s May 13th letter--is now the subject of a scandal involving his surreptitious employ by the Turkish Government and his clandestine communications coaching the Turkish Embassy on how to most effectively deny the Armenian Genocide within academic circles. Lowry was appointed head of the "Ataturk Chair of Turkish Studies" at Princeton University after a $1.5 million endowment from Turkey but was recently removed as department head after the scandal.

As for Turkey’s more obvious attempts at influencing American public opinion, an article by New York Post writer Colman McCarthy, entitled "The Torture That Turkey Fails to Advertise", chronicles Turkey’s mammoth advertising campaign in American publications and, in his opinion, the "laughably inept efforts of the Turkish government to deny its policies of torture".

(According to Princeton articles of the period, the grant was $700,000, so who knows where our friend came up with the $1.5 million figure from... over double!)

ADDENDUM: Peter Balakian claims (in "The Burning Tigris") Turkish media mogul Ahmet Ertegun put up matching funds. I suppose that's what made up the rest of the "1.5 million" figure (whenever I come across the figure of "1.5 million," I realize that's grounds for immediate suspicion), and if such was the case, the honorable The Spyropoulos who shagged Turkey was not being factual in making it seem the entire amount came from the nation. (Incidentally, despite his diplomat father's great contribution in getting MGM to forget about a film version of "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh," there are very persuasive clues Ahmet Ertegun is a strong proponent of the Armenian perspective of events. I commend him for putting up the matching funds if he indeed did so [since the source was Peternocchio Balakian], but I have yet to figure the man out.)

What I was most interested in was the article by Colman McCarthy (who has been known to write fair articles on the Turks, such as "Armenian Terror Tactics") chronicling "Turkey’s mammoth advertising campaign in American publications." I thought, a-ha! Proof at last.

I ran a search, and found this article. (www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Congress/1881/advertise.htm) Here is the pertinent part:

...The Turkish government was buying advertising space in U.S. publications to prettify itself. In an eight page color spread in Time, the claim was made that "few countries are changing faster or more positively than Turkey.: Four full pages of self-promotion appeared also in The Washington Post.

The image campaign is defensive as well as offensive. Newspaper editorials that criticize Turkey's state violence are routinely countered by letter-to-the-editor from one embassy functionary or another. A recent letter to the Los Angeles Times, started with the canned line: "Your Oct.16 editorial fails to accurately portray Turkey as a democratic and open society." On Oct.17, The New York Times editorialized : "America Arms Turkey's Repression." As fast as a whirling dervish taking to the dance floor, the Turkish ambassador wrote in to fantasize: " We work to promote political stabilization and economic development."

Letters of protest to perceived injustices aside, the evidence of Turkish propaganda boils down to...

Buying space in newsmagazines demonstrating the good points of the country? Particularly a country with a tarnished image, always having been so horribly (Midnight)-expressed?








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