Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Do Greeks and Armenians Make True Americans?  
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Mahmut Ozan
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What an amazingly revealing essay by Andy Rooney, regarding the nationalistic priorities of Greek and Armenian-Americans. (Yes, the piece solely refers to Greeks, but there is no difference in what is being described between the Greeks and their Orthodox soul-mates, the Armenians.)

A response by Professor Mahmut Ozan follows, putting the pieces together, and in perspective.


I am American, period. If Greeks wish to continue hating the Turks for eternity, I wish they'd do it in Greece.


Greek-Turk feud

Copyright © 2001 Nando Media
Copyright © 2001 Tribune Media Services
Tribune Media Services

(May 24, 2001 06:12 p.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - They aren't listed in the World Almanac, but there are a dozen countries whose people hate the people from a neighboring country because of some centuries-old event in their mutual history.

On Easter, I did a television essay called "The Faces of Christ" in which I made the mistake of saying that Turkish artists in Byzantium had done mosaic images of Christ. Some full-time Greeks in America were furious. They sent me 600 e-mails, countless letters and kept my phone busy accusing me of blasphemy.

I was excoriated by a Greek newspaper whose editor wrote and called a dozen times demanding an apology. The letter writers all pointed out that there were no Turks in Byzantium when those mosaics were made and if there had been, Turks would not have portrayed Christ because they were Muslims.

There was no question I had made a dumb mistake, although one that none but a few hundred Greeks absorbed in their own history, out of a "60 Minutes" audience of 10 million, would have noted. Nonetheless, the angry, orchestrated demand for a retraction continued. I say "orchestrated" because the wording in the letters was identical. Many referred to the name of the segment as "The Different Faces of Christ." It was not called that, and it would have been unlikely that everyone writing had made the same mistake. It
was made by the person who wrote the form letter they all used.

They sent letters to my boss, his boss and the boss of both of them, CBS president Leslie Moonves in Los Angeles. That letter included a long diatribe on what happened to Byzantium when the Turks invaded it around 1400 AD.

Moonves is a successful television programmer, but I do not think that the man who brought us "Survivor" would spend a lot of time poring over letters about Greek history sent by someone angry at one of his employees.

While I was sorry and embarrassed to have made the mistake, I was more annoyed than abashed by the Greek-American reaction to it. We'd all be better off without these old feuds that have no bearing on today's world. However, nothing will change. The Jews and the Palestinians are not about to make peace. Common sense is not going to overrule emotion in Northern Ireland. India and Pakistan won't be merging. Castro will never get a dinner invitation to The White House. The Greeks and the Turks will never be best friends.

Neither can I understand why the people of any nation who choose to leave it to live in the United States do not choose to be thoroughly American.

A wise friend came into my office when I was reading letters from angry Greeks. I showed him a few and, without a moment's hesitation, he said, "What those people missed was going to a New York City school," he said. "I was Jewish, but by the time I was in the sixth grade I wasn't differentiating between my black, Hispanic, Jewish or Irish Catholic classmates. I liked some of them and didn't like others but not because they were black, Hispanic, Jewish or Catholic."

I'm proud of my Irish heritage, but I'm not Irish. I'm not even Irish-American. I am American, period. If Greeks wish to continue hating the Turks for eternity, I wish they'd do it in Greece.

The Greeks of the past made some of the greatest contributions to the culture and civilization of our world. It is regaining this stature to which present day Greeks should aspire. 600 angry e-mails to Andy Rooney isn't going to do it.



  Neither can I understand why the people of any nation who choose to leave it to live in the United States do not choose to be thoroughly American.


As a Turkish-American I am so glad that an American-born real American told the world what I and others like me could never write about pseudo- Greek and the counterfeit Armenian-Americans.

Every little word Andy Rooney used in this essay of his about you, the Greeks of Diaspora, can easily be applicable also to any Armenian living in this wonderful country of ours. Greeks and the Armenians who preceded Turks in arriving to this country were full of hatred in their hearts, and replete with rancor and vengeance in their blood. They came to these shores, lived here, prospered here, but never, ever became Americans, with a capital "A". They are still living in Greece somewhere, or in Armenia, in the Caucasus, but never in "America."

United States' government statistics show, and they can easily be
verified, that a Turkish family who arrives to this country, is
assimilated within 5years. It absorbs the indigenous customs of the land, quickly learns English, respects its laws, pays its taxes and becomes the nucleus of an American family.

This does not mean that this Turkish family forgets its heritage,
changes its religion, becomes totally alienated against its birth place. The Turkish families do still remember their country of origin with a goodly amount of nostalgic feeling, but at the same time they acquire the language of the country which accepted them as potential Americans. They do all that's possible to earn this sacred name "American."

I had a barber once, his name was as Greek as anything could be. I think it was Panayotis Mardinos, or something close to it. Every time he opened his mouth and said any word, he could bring the subject back to how much he hated the Turks, how uncultured, and uncouth they were. What Mongolian savages they had been, having swooped down from the Central Asiatic tundras and invaded their 'civilized' and 'democratic' lands.

There were not very many barbers where I lived, so I did go to him for my haircuts. Of course, I never mentioned I was from Turkey. Even though my mother was from Iannina (Yanya) and my father from Morea, in the Peloponesus, they were the remainders of the Ottoman colonizers of those lands. Panayotis thought I was Greek. He was in his early sixties. One day I asked him how long he had been in the United States. He said in his still broken English, as if he were proud of it: "I yam hir for forifay yirs. That meant that when it took 5 short years for a Turk to be assimilated and blend easily into the American background, 45 years were needed for him to be where he was when he arrived to the USAall
those decades ago. He was still living in Greece, eating 'Greek food', conversing only in the Greek language with most people he chose to associate with, listening only to Greek  music, and teaching his children how not to become peace-loving
Americans by inculcating in them, at a tender age, to hate all that is Turkish.

What a waste of time. These people, andI mean the senseless, bigoted detractors of the Turks, live every minute of every hour, and every hour of every day, only to hate Turks. What a pity that we can say the same thing about the Armenians of a Watertown, or a Glendale, or any city or hamlet in the California ghettoes where they congregate, spending every idle moment of their 'missionary-like monastic lives in promoting hatred for the Turks.

These are the type of the 'poor miserable souls' who sent over 600 e-mails to Andy Rooney of the CBS' 60 Minutes TV program, and also sent thousands of cards and letters to President Bush trying to force him to use the Armenians' favorite word "genocide" in the April 24 declaration of his. They would completely ignore the truth and realities of the past.

The world knows otherwise. The Greeks and the Armenians, with their huge ethnic lobbies in Washington, and their "friends" in the Congress and in various State legislatures, have been keeping the uninformed American public from learning the real truth.

Whether they be Greek or Armenian with their bottomless pocketbooks and relaxed purse-strings, they will continue to propagate their hatred against Turks. Nevertheless, those whom they attack mercilessly from places such as Astoria, NY, or Pasedena, CA, have not yet learned the true meaning of American democracy. The Turks on the other hand are fast becoming genuine future Americans by every passing year.

Mark my word, gentlemen, and I am using that word quite liberally, there will come a day the American public as it is genuinely represented here by a true American like Andy Rooney, will discover the un-American shenanigans, and begin to eliminate the Greek and Armenian 'friends' names from their voting ballots.
That day is nearing fast and the truth shall be known soon, if not today or tomorrow but within our life time.

Oh... Wait. Another Mahmut Ozan Light-Shedding Commentary (Excerpt):




It is not an easy task to be able to answer the question(s) displayed above. But as hard as it may seem to be, a pragmatic soul-searching inquiry is quite appropriate and necessary in order to reach an understanding on the subject: Why are we the way we are? What makes us different from other ethnic groups? This is a notion to be probed into, in order to find out why among many diverse nationalities represented in the United States we Turks are, or at least appear to be, the least cohesive group.  Most of the other minorities living in the United States of America are able to stay loyal to their own background, heritage, traditions, religion. They literally eat, drink, breathe, live and stay a part of their overseas heritage, legacy and/or patrimony. When it takes several decades for a Greek or an Armenian to slow down from manifesting their national feelings, we Turks on the other hand lose our identity and become assimilated within a short period of time.  It is a proven fact that a Turk melts away into the fabric of the new milieu in which he or she is located.  Whereas a Greek or an Armenian spends a small fortune to accommodate and facilitate the propagation of their 'oneness', and always seems to be willing to spend all that it takes to continue their struggle to defeat their adversaries, we Turks have the attitude, "Let Ahmet or Mehmet do it" 

As the famous Russian writer Anton Chekov once said, and I am paraphrasing here:  "What unites most races, and keeps them together that way is not the manifestation of love, or friendship, nor the respect they have for one another.  It is the common hatred they feel against their enemies. I guess part of our answer lies in this verity. It may be that this lack of feeling of hatred against his fellow-men which engenders in us Turks, is the essence of what makes us different from the others. It is a self-evident characteristic manifestation which is admirable on the one hand and detrimental on the other, when we need to come together and defend our name and even honor which are trampled upon. 

I tried to give my readers a warning on this issue, in an essay published in December 1998, when I tried to communicate with them and ask them to find out what made us who we really were. That was four years ago. And four years ago we stood at the same juncture. Things were not looking too bright then either.  In an attempt to boost our morale, I emphasized on why we should celebrate our ' Turkishness 'and remain proud of our past accomplishments, our legendary respect and tolerance of the diverse religious background which was our national foundation. I urged them to be proud of our past, yet be supportive of our present-day causes vis-à-vis our ethnic adversaries. One of the examples I gave was about an event which occurred during the Second World War. I told them how the Turkish merchant marine lost scores of its own members to the German U-Boat torpedoes, trying to deliver food and other necessary staples to their starving western neighbors, the Greeks. 

Turks have always been a compassionate group of people. Their humanistic approach in innumerable examples was visible for everyone to see. Turks always gave a helping hand to their fellow human beings. From 1492 to 1939 their humanitarian help extended to the unfortunate Jewish people during the Spanish Inquisition, and again those who were escaping the NAZI atrocities is well established and recorded in the annals of history. These admirable exploits by them could easily fill volumes of books. It is not my desire here to go into the lengthy enumeration of good deeds Turks had done for others.  All I want to stress out this point is that we should also be helpful to our own. We should be as generous to ourselves as we have been for others. We should support our own movements and our own causes. This essay does not, in any way, entertain a sense of reproach toward our national characteristics, or idiosyncrasies.  . It is simply a probe in search for an answer to the question of:  "Why are we the way we are today." Or better yet: "How have we become this way?" 

It is with great dismay and personal sadness that I am forced to write these lines. My only inquiry is about finding out the root causes of what has happened to our common sense. Why did we become apathetic and lackadaisical when it comes to our national pride, and the defense of it?


  The above was excerpted from Mahmut Esat Ozan's editorial in The Turkish Forum, entitled "WHY ARE WE THE WAY WE ARE?  ISN'T SAM'S BOOK A NOBLE WAY TO CLEAR OUR NAME AND HONOR?"

Turkey is one of the United States' proven and most reliable allies.



The United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries have few allies who are more steadfast. From the Korean War to the Gulf War, Turkey has supported the West in time of crisis while also working to put its own house in order. On constitutional reform, human rights and accountability of the bureaucracy and armed forces, Turkey stands head and shoulders above virtually every other state in its region.

Yet while kowtowing to much less dependable allies, we sometimes treat the only stable secular republic of the Muslim world as a second-class citizen.

Excerpted from "Let Turkey, Our Best Muslim Ally, Join the Club," November 15. 2001, The Los Angeles Times, written by  Tom Grant.


Of course, it's not just the Greeks and Armenians in America, but America in general that refuses to give Turkey her due... but the difference is, Greeks and Armenians openly work against Turkey, hoping for a rift between Turkey and the United States — with no concern regarding how their efforts will affect American interests, down the line. True Americans would deal with their petty prejudices in ways that would not prove harmful to their country. (The same applies, of course, to ethnic-politics playing politicians who kiss Armenian and Greek butt, lured by their votes and dollars.)





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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.