Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Commentary by Edward Tashji   
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It's tragic how many Armenians are so blinded by hatred that they prefer to live in the past, and deny themselves the joys of their roots. Not all Armenians are like that. Some Armenians prefer concentrating on their emotional attachments to the old country. These Armenians know Turkish music, food and language form as much a part of their identities as anything else, and don't appreciate being ostracized by the larger, more hateful Armenian group. They feel they are robbed of their precious past and cherished memories, and resent the domineering attitude of the other group.

I'm a big fan of Edward Tashji, who has the guts and the love to come right out and declare where he stands. In his own words, this "Armenian-American has become 'famous,' (he said with all humility), within the Turkish community, while becoming "infamous", (he said with deep regret), within the Armenian community." Also, in his words... he is : "An American born of an Armenian mother and a Syrian-Orthodox father (.) He is the younger son of parents who had been born in Ottoman Turkey, became eye-witness to the conflagration of the First World War in their beloved homeland, and as a result, their destiny brought them to the land where millions had emigrated."


Religious Freedom and Harmony as Revealed by Seven Candles

In this section, I have attempted to honestly reveal to the readers of The Turkish Times, factual information pertaining to Turkish- Armenian history, and my profound involvement in this subject with a perspective unlike any other. The unique feature of each offering is that the author is the son of Armenian and Syrian Orthodox parents. I do not wish to he repetitive, but for the reader who has “met” us here for the first time. I felt this much of our introduction would be appropriate.

The date of the event described in this article is not of major significance, but that indeed it did take place brings to public attention one important page of Turkish history. It is a page which reveals irrefutable evidence to the harmony and freedom shared by all ethnic and religious entities within the Ottoman Empire, extending to the present times in the Republic of Turkey.

May I take you back to Sunday. December 4, 1994 — when a memorial service had taken place at the Turkish Center in New York City. The members of the American Association of Jewish Friends of Turkey, Inc. had gathered to honor the sacred memory of Mr. Louis Levy — President of the AAJFF — who had passed away on November 3, 1994.

Representing the Federation of Turkish-American Associations. my wife and I had participated in the memorial tribute to our beloved friend. As the date had coincided with the Jewish celebration of Chanukah, at the speaker’s table a beautiful menorah had been placed. At the conclusion of the statements made by the pro-tem president, Professor David F. Altabe, prayers were recited n Hebrew, celebrating Chanukah. During the service, the candles on the menorah had been lighted. When two candles renamed unlit, I was invited to the table to light the sixth candle! Every person in the audience of close to two hundred people knew we were born of Christian parents from Ottoman Turkey. I struggled not to become emotional for this magnificent gesture. I spoke a few words, and as one candle had remained unlit, I proceeded to escort from the audience, Mrs. Esen Behen, a Turkish Muslim lady, to light the final candle. As she brought a flame to the remaining candle, a resounding applause filled the room. The glittering simple candles, more than representing the significance of the Holy Day, served as an illumination of a monumental beacon to brotherhood among peoples of different faiths. Indeed, the faithful of Jewish, Christian, and Moslem faiths joined inseparably by the cultural root — in the soil of Turkey!

Because of the date, I had decided to include the above narrative in our Christmas greetings to the mayor of New York City, and to the President a.s well.

The following is taken from a letter from the mayor of New York City, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani — dated January 3, 1995: “... Thank you for your kind holiday greeting. I extend my condolences for the loss of Mr. Louis Levy, President of the American Association of Jewish Friends of Turkey. His memorial service was blessed by the expression of mutual respect among Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities..’ And in response to my Christmas greetings — on behalf of the Turkish-American community — to the President, the White House wrote in part: “…Thank you so much for your warm holiday greetings. I was moved by your story of the memorial service for Louis Levy...” The letter concluded with the signature of Bill Clinton. The exchange of letters was published in the Winter 1994-1995 issue of the AAJFT Newsletter. Receiving the responses from the President and the mayor surely pleased me, just as many other letters from these respective offices have in the past. But NOT because these politicians would remember the name of the person who had written to them initially, but rather because they would remember the Turkish-American community! Indeed, the “power of the pen” remains an instrument of immeasurable value. The choice we are obliged to make, however, is whether our written — or spoken — word is factual or not; defamatory or irrefutable. In all matters pertaining to Turkish history and culture, from my perspective, the American media continues to be blatantly anti-Turkish. It is for this reason The Turkish Times continues to be an indispensable source of accurate information.

Dear reader, Just as many events have done, the most memorable services described above took me back to my youth, when my saintly mother would reveal to me many facts pertaining to her childhood in Balikesir, (Ottoman) Turkey: "My son, every morning when we used to hear the 'ezan,' (the Moslem call to prayer) from the minaret, we always blessed ourselves by making the sign of the cross." When I had reacted with confusion, since she was Christian, she would reply, “My son, that was never a problem. The beautiful call to prayer was for everyone who believed in the one God of all mankind!’ In the illumination of seven candles on a menorah, l found myself in the land of my parents — the land of all religions, all ethnic groups, practicing their respective faiths according to their own beliefs and customs. The land of my ancestors: The Republic Of Turkey! I seem to recall the first pilgrims who came to the “new world” had come to these shores to establish such a religious freedom. There are factors of Turkish history which remain unknown to most Americans, and when next we “meet,” I will offer you additional facts (such a nice word, isn't it?) which will reveal the falsification of Turkish culture taking place to this day. Facts will correct the distortions. Until then.... (now how shall I conclude...?), of course, our work continues!


Edward Tashji

I am Called: "Turk Dostu" — A "Friend of Turks"

The Turkish Times

 March 1, 1998


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Tall Armenian Tale is a site that has much to do regarding Armenia, and the genocide that is found so captivating by Armenians. This is known as the Armenian genocide. It involves massacre (or massacres), deportation, atrocities, and is a kind of holocaust. Turkey is not quick to embrace this view. During the days of the Ottoman Empire, in the region known as Anatolia, and before Ataturk came to power, the Young Turks ruled the land. In the curriculum of many schools, you won't learn much about this. What you might learn is that they were responsible for Armenian massacres, generally in the year 1915. The Near East Relief was there to help out, particularly after the Armenian deportations came into full force. This was during the years of World War One, but these events continued after World War I. Was this a genocide? Should the curriculum of schools have genocide studies? And what about human rights..? This Armenian question was one that weighed heavily in plenty of minds. For example, Henry Morgenthau. Man, did he love the Armenians. Perhaps not as much as President Woodrow Wilson, however. They painted Enver Pasha as a villain, but the real evil fellow was Talaat Pasha... so they say. Jemal Pasha didn't get much respect. Admiral Mark Bristol, had other ideas.... particularly after the Treaty of Sevres failed to get ratified, and the Lausanne treaty took its place. Karabakh is another troubled area involving Armenians, better known as Nagorno-Karabakh, where Ethnic Cleansing of Azeris took place within the Occupied Azerbajani Territories. Ararat can be seen from Armenia. Heath Lowry is a professor the Armenians hate, with Justin McCarthy following close behind. However, they love Richard Hovannasian, much more than they do Dennis Papazian... but maybe not as much as Vahakn Dadrian. Bernard Lewis won't win any popularity contests with the Armenians, and they positively hate Sam Weems. Armenians feel much more comfortable with lies and deceit, involving forged documentation by the likes of Aram Andonian, and books like The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, written by Franz Werfel. Forget about books from Erich Feigl, such as The Myth of Terror. Forget even testimony from Armenians like Boghos Nubar, if they don't affirm the Armenian Genocide. They much prefer to cuddle up to Turcophobes like Britain's Lloyd George.