Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Commentary by Professor Mahmut Esat Ozan  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems


Professor Mahmut Esat Ozan has been the rare, tireless voice in the United States, putting up his dukes in the sea of Turcophobes for many years. Here is a commentary that appeared somewhere on the Internet.


Holdwater: I have only read a couple of articles written by British writer Robert Fisk, and I couldn't believe what I was reading... as accustomed to anti-Turkish reportage as I have been. Robert Fisk really takes the cake among the heavy-hitters of Turk-haters. I was fascinated by what Professor Ozan had to say about this unprofessional journalist, who is never at a loss to say the worst thing about Turks. It appears he was "dissed" by the Turkish government once, which probably did a number on his ego... and then he found employment with a newspaper that is co-owned by one telling multi-billionaire.

This page contains two commentaries by Prof. Ozan, regarding the one-sided reporter. An example of Robert Fisk's work follows... which, in turn, is followed by "Biased Reporter Caught in the Act."




Mahmut Esat Ozan
Member Advisory Board,
The Turkish Forum

In May of this year, I had written a column pertaining to one Robert Fisk, an obscure news correspondent from the United Kingdom, who had come to Turkey to cover the Gulf War in the early Nineties. What I wrote was a lucid expose presenting him to the entire world and explaining to everyone how and why he was thrown out of Turkey once, and why, he was going to be kept away from that country in the future.

The story evolved during the most poignant days of the conflict with Saddam Hussein of Iraq. A stream of Kurdish refugees were escaping from total annihilation at the hands of Saddam’s goons. Faced with certain death and torture, and remembering all the time their five thousand compatriots who were ruthlessly poison-gassed in Halabja, they were looking for a place to hide. A million of them concentrated at the Turkish frontier. Neither Syria nor Iran were willing to help them. But true to their nature, and to their past reputation of tolerance, Turks opened their border gates, and a ghastly human “avalanche” stampeded into the Turkish lands.

Everybody in this country and all over the world watched this tragedy on their TV sets day in, day out. The Turkish Military units were busy erecting tents, building other stronger shelters and field kitchens for the hungry, and in the interim were distributing truck-loads of warm clothing, freshly baked loaves of bread, tons of canned food, cigarettes, and even candy to the young.

When all this was going on and while Robert Fisk was aware of the fact that neither his own British government nor the French, nor for that matter the Americans were showing any signs of help for these poor destitute Kurds, this low-life reporter from the newspaper called “Independent” kept on writing and filing his damaging, slurs and his out and out lies about the Turkish Military. In one of his reports he accused the Turkish soldiers of stealing blankets and selling them for profit. That was the ‘last straw’ which broke the proverbial back of the camel. Robert Fisk was apprehended and was yanked unceremoniously from the war front to face a judge for some questioning. At his trial he could not substantiate his colossal prevarications. He was declared a “liar” and a “provocateur,” and was booted out of the country. There was one strict proviso, however, linked to his release. He was told that he could never show his ugly face on the Turkish soil again.

Kirk Kirkorian

Kirk Kirkorian

     That is how Robert Fisk’s animosity towards Turkey and Turks began, and how it finally took a hold of him. He was, of course, quickly recruited by our dear old friends of the ASALA people, to work for them and profit by disseminating their unbelievable string of falsehoods. In other words, if Robert Fisk wanted to make pocket money he had to show his ire and indignation toward Turks and his close friendship for the Armenians, otherwise he’d go hungry. At this time I can divulge a news item I gleaned from the pages of some tabloid press publications, that the wealthy Armenian, Kirk Kirkorian, the Las Vegas multi-billionaire and the owner of the infamous MGM Hotel is also part owner of the London paper the "Independent," where Robert Fisk is employed.

Ever since his expulsion from Turkey, Robert Fisk seems to subscribe to the philosophy that it is “better to lie for the Armenians, than not to tell the truth about the Turks. He is the kind of a person who prefers not to tell the existing realities and chooses to repeat, lock stock and barrel, all sorts of Armenian fabrications as if they were the ‘gospel truth.’ To Robert Fisk, the Turks, as the victims of the Armenian atrocities, do not count. The fact that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation fanatics murdered three times as many Muslim Turks, Sircassians, Tatars, and Kurds between the period s of 1914 and 1923 has no consequence at all.

This is very intriguing to many Turks, including this one. Armenians only talk about their own casualties, and only in a ‘monologue.’ I have an old friend who’s been living in California. He seems to have solved the riddle. He says regardless of what subject matter is being discussed by an Armenian, or by a writer who is one of their sympathizers, for example a movie, a sport event, the weather, a book review, a place, or even a child’s toy, they will always find a way to squeeze in the subject of ‘genocide.’

A liar, such as Robert Fisk, has no partition between his imagination and his information. The following is a direct quote from him. He was supposed to write a piece for the travel section of his newspaper “Independent” for their Sunday edition. He says verbatim:

“………you may not feel like eating after Khiam, but an hour’s drive up the Bekaa Valley will bring you to the little Armenian town of ‘Aanjar.’ The Armenians here were twice victims of persecution- in the 1915 Armenian Holocaust at the hands of the Ottoman Turks and then again when they fled their homes for a second time just before the 1939-1945 war when France gave their city to the Turks. Take lunch at Katchik Terzian’s Al Gezira restaurant, where children can watch a menageries of ducks, goslings, snakes and trout swanning around a lush island of lupins and silver birds.
The trout is excellent the humus and fatoush fresh.”

Up to this point what Robert Fisk writes is almost acceptable, although some of the words he uses are not to be found in any dictionary. Words like: ‘swanning’, ‘lupins,’ and ‘fatoush.’ Nevertheless we’ll excuse his being from the other side of the ocean. But look what he adds to his travel yarn:

“……Terzian’s grandfather almost died in 1915 massacre. Aged five, he hid from the Turks under a pile of bodies.” Nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you try. If you pathologically dissect this insensitive, mercenary British ‘bloke’, you will most assuredly find a blackened heart in him. He’s been telling this type of vindictive, merciless and avenging stories about Turks, because he was once ostracized by them and kicked out of their country for not telling the truth. We have a proverb in Turkish which goes like this: “The liar’s candle does not last beyond midnight.” Pleasant dreams
until then, Robert!...




Robert "Tsk-Tsk" Fisk

Robert Fisk

     The Professor Tackles Robert "Tsk-Tsk" Fisk, Again..!



 Your handlers, the fellows at ANCA (the Armenian Committee of America) have arranged for you to appear on C-Span on the morning of Tuesday 19, 2002 from 7:45 until 8:30 am. The following is the announcement made by ANCA to their supporters all over the United States :

"Armenian Americans from across the country are encouraged to place calls asking the panelist a variety of questions on topics ranging from the politics of oil to the Armenian Genocide and how the New York Times is engaging in revisionist denial, a topic Fisk is covering during his current tour of North American cities."

I know, Mr. Fisk, that you are beholden to your master's slightest wish for the achievement of a negative propaganda in order to blacken the honor, and the good name of Turkey and Turks. I know that you've been readying yourself to begin to attack Turkish interest as soon as you find an opening on that C-Span program to start your diatribes, and pour out your 'fictitious knowledge" and your heart, on the subject of the alleged genocide by Turks inflicted on the poor unfortunate, lily-white Armenians of the Ottoman Empire. I also know that you'll begin to claim perhaps with your
initial paragraph that you are an expert on this and on many other subjects dealing with the Turks. I hope you tell your audience that you were booted out of Turkey for reporting injurious lies concerning Turks during the 1991 Gulf war.

Mr. Fisk, there is nothing worse in this world than being labeled a "know-it-all". A person by that title is one who retends to know something about everything but really knows nothing about anything . Since the knowledge of things you try to talk about does not seem so great, you shouldn't mind my asking you how and when you became this way? I'm sure it was not by accident . There must have been extensive pecuniary reasons for your accepting to work for the world-wide Armenian interests. .

You want to appear to be a genuine expert in that field of the so-called Armenian genocide I, for one, have been noticing your irrational, biased, and prejudiced behavior through the years, vis-à-vis the venerable nation of Turks. Every article you write concerning the Turks is replete with offensive passages, undeserved accusations, at times innuendoes, and some out and out lies hurled against them. You don't mind parroting the bulk of Armenian claims when they say that it was the Turks who initiated the very first alleged genocide of the Twentieth century and decimated the Ottoman Armenians. You seem to be stuck on this one subject and sound like a broken record every time you bring it up .

The newest form of your idiosyncrasy, showing your obsession in defending the Armenian causes, is apparent in your following sentence: "Turkey's genocide of its Armenian community in 1915 left the bones of one and a half million Christians across Anatolia and what is now northern Syria."


 Really, Mr. Fisk . These statements of yours prove that you are an incorrigible Turcophobe. You cannot help yourself. Chances are either you were born with that affliction or someone inculcated that prejudice into you when you were a most vulnerable young child to discriminate against Turks. You see, Mr. Fisk, whatever background you may possess, you cannot denigrate the Turks, no matter how much you try to do so. I am proud to belong to that honorable nation of 'Turks', whose early ancestors brought civilization to the European continent, when its inhabitants were still wallowing in muddy huts and tribes decimated each other in fratricidal, and animalistic wars.

The Ottoman Turks, on the other hand, knew even then, how to vaccinate people against diseases caused by bacteriological factors. They were reaping the benefits of time-telling devices when the Europeans were about to discover the uses of 'sundials'. A newly produced documentary film called, Empire of Faith and narrated by the British actor, Ben Kingsley, of 'Ghandi' fame extolled the superiority of the Muslim world. More than half of the presentation was consecrated to the achievements of the Turks in various fields, other than military, let alone their legendary tolerance and magnanimity in treating differing religions when Europe imposed on the Jews the cursed inquisitions and forced conversions. When no Christian country wanted to admit into their domain any Jew expelled from Spain and Portugal, it was the Turkish Sultan 'Beyazit' who welcomed them into his vast empire to come and settle there and flourish in freedom of religion, and the pursuit of their own language and culture. Turks even sent sea-faring galleons to Spain to transport these unfortunate people, free of charge, to any and all points of their realm. Turks, for centuries, helped to enlighten your ancestors. Sometime it was a losing proposition. Europeans learned from my ancestors, but they derided them at every chance they had.

There were, however, intellects such as the renown British anthropologist and historian Edson L. Clark (1827-1913) who said in his "Nations of the World" Series,1900,N.Y. (pp. 84,87.) that the Turks whose honor and the dignity you have been pummeling and mauling lo these many years, were, and I quote: "...far better men and far abler rulers than the wretched tyrants whom they suppressed....the Turks were in advance, not of their Christian subjects alone, but of the greater part of Christian Europe."

Mr. Fisk, I know that you are British and do not consider yourself European. However, you must admit that you live on the European continent and are a member of the European Union. What I am driving at, Mr. Fisk, is the fact that your ancestors were then as you are now, an inferior exemplification in comparison to the Turks. Let me elucidate a bit more by adding that you belong to the illustrious school of 'Political Science' of the turn of the century when one British Prime Minister by the name of Lloyd George was getting ready to annihilate the last remnants of the dying Ottoman Empire, and was gloating at every chance he got by saying to the whole world the following:

"The Turks are a human cancer, a creeping agony in the flesh of the lands they misgovern, rotting every fiber of life. I am glad that the Turk is to be called to a final account (referring to the impending Greek invasion of Asia Minor ) for his long record of infamy against humanity." The British PM, not being an adequately -educated British subject, reminded me of you, Mr. Fisk. He was unaware of the above-mentioned quotation from Edson L. Clark. Thus, a rancorous, vindictive and vengeful Lloyd George, not unlike you, launched a 'doomed from the beginning' campaign in the Ottoman Turkish lands in Gallipoli, against those "human cancers" the Turks. Even though aided by the French and the Anzak military forces and the world's most formidable naval armada, the Allied forces were repulsed. Lloyd George not only lost his post as the Prime Minister of his disgruntled country, but he lost his shirt, too, in the process. In addition he carried down with him, to the abyss, his favorite, but incompetent advisor Winston Churchill, who was the First Lord of the Admiralty. The glorious victor of the Dardanelles, the military genius of the Gallipoli campaign, the great Mustafa Kemal had taught them a lesson they never forgot. Lloyd George died as a broken, destitute soul after having sheepishly underestimated and unjustly denigrated the noble Turk. Let us hope that you, dear Mr. Fisk, may be spared such a predicament of fate. ( I hope you are listening, Lloyd George, wherever you may be.)


I've been asking myself the following question over and over again concerning you and people like you: "What is their problem.?" I try to answer my very own questions. I find no answers. I am unable to decipher the origin of your arrogance and your disrespectful behavior when it comes to Turks. Your defense of the Armenians who have made a profitable industry of accusing the Ottoman Turks of having perpetrated the most heinous of all crimes, the crime of genocide, and in the same breath denying that they have even bloodied a single Turkish nose. When neutral, non-Turkish historians accept that for every Armenian who was killed in that civil war, within a World War in 1914-1918, four Muslim Turks, Kurds, Circassians, and Azerbaijanis, lost their precious lives. But I guess you don't pay too much attention to that because they were not Christian.

Most observers can not tell us where this hatred for Turks is emerging. You are a part of that equation. The only source of frustration from which you are suffering may be the result of your government's inability to prove that Turks were guilty of a premeditated so-called genocide. There was not an iota of evidence found in the infamous trials held on the island of Malta by the British occupiers of the Ottoman capital, Istanbul, when they arrested and took with them a goodly portion of Ottoman government functionaries to the Island of Malta and imprisoned them for over a year, trying to extract from them juicy confessions, but at the end they totally failed. The final communiqué sent to Lord Curzon was very disappointing to the Armenians and their 'bootlicker' friend, you Mr. Fisk. The royal report said:


Nevertheless, Mr. Fisk , if you are still unconvinced, then please listen to what the U.S. government had to say. The American General James G. Harbord, of the U.S. government's investigative commission, sent to Anatolia in the fall of 1919 by none other than President Woodrow Wilson, declared unequivocally the following in his official report. General James G. Harbord concluded : The Turks and the Armenians lived in peace, side by side for centuries; that the Turks suffered as much as the Armenians at the time of re-locations, that at the start of World War I and before, Armenians never had anything approaching a majority of the population in the territories they call "Armenia"; they would not have a majority even if all the re-located Armenians returned; and the claims that returning Armenians would be in danger were not justified."

Mr. Fisk, have you read the forged Adonian papers?, have you watched the often exhibited painting of the Armenian skulls piled up in a grotesque heap claiming that it was the Turks who had caused it to happen? Well, the photograph Armenians claim was taken in 1915was actually a stolen copy, a painting done in oil by a late Russian painter, named Vasily Vereschagin. The canvas is dated 1905 and it is still hanging in the Tretyakov Art Gallery
in Moscow today. Now Mr. Fisk, I got a hunch you'll deny this too, as you always do, instead you will invoke the infamous Hitler quotation as a last resort. Here is a rebuttal for it, also. Hitler may have been a monster as some claim, but nobody yet accused him for being a stupid individual. According to Prof. Dr. Turkkaya Ataov, Chairman, International Relations Division, Ankara, Turkey, and the Nuremberg Germany NAZI War Crimes Trials, that invented quotation does not hold any water. Adolf Hitler never made such an idiotic statement in his life. Prof. Ataov says, however, that Hitler said a few words about the Armenians, and that is true. He made one reference to the Armenians in a talk delivered on December 12, 1942, in which he described them as unreliable, (Unzuverlassig) and also dangerous,(Gefahrlich). It is rumored also that Hitler was furious about the Armenians when he used those adjectives. I'm afraid those two adjectives were also appropriate to describe you.

Your unfortunate task tomorrow, Tuesday, November 19, 2002 against Turks appearing at the C-Span program will be a hard thing to do for you. It will vindicate us, because peoples of the world are beginning to see the light, and are learning the truth. I just wanted to pre-empt your potential damages before they were inflicted on the honorable Turks.



An Example of one of the Many One-Sided Anti-Turkish Reports by "Tsk-Tsk" Fisk


Turks and Armenians in US fight over massacre memorial
By Robert Fisk in San Francisco
20 May 2001

It is the largest cross in the United States, 103 feet tall, designed by the architect George Kelham and dedicated to the US servicemen who died under attack by German U-boats in the First World War. But in a dispute which only Americans ­ perhaps only Californians ­ could devise, its future use or destruction depends on another, even more terrible event in the 1914-1918 war: the destruction of one and a half million Armenians by Ottoman Turks in the last century's first genocide.

Newspaper archives in San Francisco show that the cross was originally erected in wood in Mount Davidson park ­ the highest point in the city ­ as a memorial to the American seamen who died in the undeclared German U-boat war of 1917, but that it was later dedicated to all US servicemen who died fighting Germany in what was then called the Great War.

Kelham, an Art Deco architect, was invited to design the more permanent memorial, which was inaugurated when President Franklin Roosevelt turned on twelve 1,000-watt floodlights around the monument in 1934. In a United States still appalled by First World War losses ­ and unencumbered by the non-denominational ethics of present-day America ­ it was the centre of a Christian prayer vigil each Easter sunrise.

Enter the Armenians of San Francisco, one of the most vociferous minority groups in the city. As age and vandalism took its toll on Kelham's cross, they proposed to buy the structure, keep it open to the public, but rededicate its meaning to the Christian Armenians slaughtered in 1915 by Germany's Turkish allies. Almost the entire Armenian population of Turkey was massacred or driven into the northern Syrian desert to die of rape, individual murder and famine by Ottoman Turkish gendarmes in what Winston Churchill himself called a holocaust, an atrocity which helped to inspire Hitler's genocide of six million Jews.

But Turkey's San Francisco residents and the local Turkish consul general ­ faithfully following Turkey's modern-day denial of the Armenian Holocaust ­ objected. A so-called "Centre for Scholars in Historical Accuracy; Stanford Chapter" ­ which, it turned out, had nothing to do with Stanford University ­ claimed in a newspaper advertisement that an Armenian memorial would sow discord in the city and become "a political advertisement to preach their [Armenian] version of history which is roundly disputed among objective scholars and historians."

The ad, it turned out, was faxed to the San Francisco Chronicle by Aydan Kutay, director of the Federation of Turkish American Associations in California. Turks even circulated flyers to the local Chinese American Democratic Club ­ in Chinese ­ warning them that the purchase of the cross by Armenians could lead to "an historical dispute that happened in the past".

This being San Francisco, there had already been a church-state dispute over the cross in which a lawsuit rejected its presence on city land in 1990; the American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the city's right to maintain a religious symbol on public land. At which point the city auctioned off the site to a coalition of 24 Armenian groups ­ the Council of American Armenian
Organisations in Northern California ­ for a mere £19,000. "For most San Franciscans, I don't think the cross will have any different meaning than it ever did," an Armenian spokeswoman said. "But for Armenians, it's how we will remember the genocide." She spoke too soon. Atheists ­ or that, at least, is how they describe themselves ­ have objected to the latest ruling.

census figures for Armenians in pre-World War 1 Ottoman Empire:  M. Zarchesi, French Consul at Van: 1,300,000; Francis de Pressence (1895): 1,200,000; Torumnekize (1900): 1,300,000; Lynch (1901): 1,158,484; Ottoman census (1905): 1,294,851; British Blue Book (1912): 1,056,000; L.D.Conterson (1913): 1,400,000; French Yellow Book: 1,475,000; Armenian Patriarch Ormanian: (*)1,579,000; Lepsius: 1,600,000

From the CENSUS page

     "We recognise them as atheists who were in the original lawsuit," the spokeswoman said. "We always had suspicions that Turks were funding them. We do now own the cross and so far we've won all the court cases. But these people are committed to taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary."

The bones of one and a half million Armenians still lie in the Middle East deserts; but their tragedy is set to be debated on the other side of the world.

The Independent on Sunday
191 Marsh Wall
London E14 9RS, United Kingdom


Holdwater: Let's see now... Armenians themselves claim a million Ottoman-Armenians survived the war. Keeping in mind that at least 100,000 Ottoman-Armenians very likely emigrated before 1915 (that is, the year of the falsified genocide), and if the mean Armenian population before World War One was 1.3 million (based on mostly neutral sources, as seen above... excepting Ormanian and Lepsius), then take away one million survivors from 1.2 million Armenians, and... hey. Where the HECK did ace reporter Robert Fisk reach the conclusion that the bones of "one and a half million Armenians" somehow wound up in the deserts?

Tsk-tsk, Fisk.


  The Response from an Involved Party


Biased Reporter Caught In The Act

Robert Fisk acted like the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, and the
executioner, all-in-one in his article "Turks and Armenians in US fight over massacre memorial" (May 20).I was saddened by the extremely biased reporting by the reporter, who tries to sugar coat some Armenian trickery over the purchase of a historical landmark on public lands in San Francisco, to present them to the unsuspecting reader as "underdogs achieving success
against incredible odds". Whereas the reality can not be further from what he is reporting. I ought to know, because I was involved in it since day one. And you know what? Fisk never once asked to speak to me! I don't know where he is getting his information from, but it definitely lacks the Turkish side of the story (typical in Fisk's previous articles covering Turkish-Armenian relations).

Maybe I should introduce myself:I am the Western Regional Director for the Federation Of Turkish American Associations. I am located in Southern California and FTAA is headquartered in New York.Aydan Kutay, named in Fisk's article, implied as a shadow character, doing somehow questionable things, actually was authorized in 1987, to represent FTAA in San Francisco
Bay Area, since I can not travel there all the time to follow up on the developments. I also exist, obviously, because I am writing this letter. "It turns out", Fisk wrote his article without interviewing half the characters involved in it. We could have given Fisk our side of the story, if he had only asked. Fisk never made an attempt to ask us. Fisk wrote that story without talking to us. I leave it to the reader, therefore, to judge the credibility of this reporter, who seems to have a strange habit of not hearing the other side of the story.

If you can put Fisk's "reporting" aside for a while, you will find that the facts surrounding this case, "it turns out", are crystal clear and can all be verified easily by public court documents. The cross, which had originally been dedicated to the US soldiers who died during the WWI in the service of the USA, were ordered by US courts to be removed from public lands, as the court had found keeping such a religious symbol on public lands violated the
law separating church and state. Some city advisors had come up with a "brilliant" plan to circumvent this verdict, by carving out a small section of public land where this cross sits and selling it to the highest private bidder. The land would, thus, be owned by a private interest and the issue of separation of church and state would not apply. This "trickery" was met by another "trickery", this time by some Armenians, who would buy this cross and re-dedicate it to their allegations of genocide, which only includes Armenian dead and suffering, but excludes much larger Turkish dead and suffering during WWI. Furthermore, the sales contract Armenian groups signed with the City clearly indicated that the Armenians "could not build any other structure, including but not limited to plaques, in, on, or around this structure, in any way, shape, or form". Yet, before the ink dried on the Armenian signature, the Armenians erected a plaque representing their characterization of WWI and their allegations of genocide. In short, trickery was met with trickery...

Turkish-Americans proposed to re-dedicate this monument to all the dead and suffering caused by man's inhumanity to man, including the Turkish victims of Armenian atrocities in in the periods 1890-1922, Azerbaijani victims of Armenian aggression in 1988-2001, and the victims of Armenian international
terrorism between 1922-2001. After all, we argued, selective morality is immorality. Are Armenian dead more important than Turkish dead? (If you say yes, then you are discriminating against Turks on the basis of religion, ethnicity, bias, or bigotry, and violating the US laws. These terms are meticulously defined in the US anti-discrimination laws and are banned by the same.) Therefore, dedicating this well known monument, i.e. the 103 ft. cross, to only a carefully selected segment of the society, would divide and polarize the community (Turkish-Americans versus Armenian-Americans), and insult and discriminate against the excluded segment of the same society (Turkish-Americans). Our arguments were solid then...They are solid now... It is unfortunate that Fisk decided to "selectively" report on this issue, leaving half the story out.

Consequently, the readers now find themselves in this awkward position of sorting out the details, by not what Fisk is reporting, but by what Fisk is not reporting. Fisk is not reporting that fact, for example, that Armenian revolutionary Federation, was established in 1890 with the goal of inciting rebellion among the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire and their three-tier implementation plan included propaganda, agitation, and terrorism, in that order. ARF had attacked and mercilessly killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Anatolia, mostly Turks, between 1890-1915.Fisk is also not mentioning that Armenians betrayed their fellow citizens and joined the advancing enemy armies on the eastern front (Russians) and the south-eastern front (The French), in addition to ARF's fifth column activities behind Ottoman lines. Fisk is also not mentioning that more than one million Turks were massacred in what can only be described as Turkish Genocide in the Balkans, between 1912 and 1914, which came on the heels of 1915 events. I ought to know, because my father had narrowly escaped the slaughter by the Greeks in a region called Kirlikova (hence my last name) in today's Greece. Turks were either killed or expelled from Crimea, Southern Russia, and Caucasia in massive numbers, only to be replaced by Armenians and other Christian peoples as a part of Czarist Russian master plan of "homogenization" of the population. Turkish suffering, misery, and death, therefore, can not be divorced from other such events that occurred in those tumultuous times of 1890-1922.

All I ask is a little honesty, fairness, and courage, to face those facts... Whether Fisk reports them or not!


Western Regional Director, FTAA


A Fiskful of Drivel


One can make a career of rebutting the perversions and falsehoods Fisk excels at, regarding his "Armenian genocide" obsession (one recent column -- it was unclear whether he was quoting Taner Akcam, or whether these were Fisk's words -- used the term "Holocaust denial" to describe the TAT site), but sometimes it is better to allow the ones at the truly mediocre level to keep making fools of themselves.

This particular passage, however, from "An urge to smash history into tiny pieces" (The Independent, September 8, 2007) deserved quick attention:

"Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was similarly 'modernising' Turkey at this time by forcing Turks to move from Arabic to Latin script (which is one reason, I suspect, why modern Turkish scholars have such difficulty in studying vital Ottoman texts on the 1915 Armenian Holocaust). Get rid of the written language and history seems less dangerous. Didn't we try to do the same thing in Ireland, forcing the Catholic clergy to become hedge-preachers so that the Irish language would remain in spoken rather than written form?"

Ataturk's tremendous effort targeted illiteracy (since Ottoman was so difficult), actually aiming for and achieving the exact opposite of Fisk's "Ireland" example. It is simply horrifying, what this sad fellow can stoop to.

Not only were Ataturk's reforms designed to aid the poor and illiterate of Anatolia to learn to read more easily (by adopting a more phonetic alphabet, and by choosing a Western base for it) but he was also hoping to enable Turks to better integrate the Republic of Turkey into the modern world, which at the time seemed to be Europe. It was also important to choose the vernacular of the masses for the national language (Anatolian Turkish language versus the Ottoman Turkish language), as Ottoman (a blend of several languages, Turkish, Persian, and Arabic) was used largely by the elite; not unlike the usage of French for a few centuries in England after the Norman conquest.

Leave it to a Turcophobic falsifier like Robert Fisk to take a terrific, positive thing, and to turn it into an "evil." Perhaps this was Fisk's way of apologizing for his friend Taner Akcam, when Akcam copy-pastes the distorted Ottoman translations of Vahakn Dadrian. If only the Ottoman form was retained, Akcam might not have embarrassed himself as often as he does.

Thanks to Stephen


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