Friday, 30 March 2007

Media bias and its international effects Edited by Sea Turtle

Key Facts: A Perspective to Counter Ignorance

Media bias and its international effects: Explore the other side of a baseless argument that drags half the world down with it.


Since the death of Ataturk, there has rarely been a mark made on the international media about the fortitude and pride of Turks as it pertains to their homeland and the tremendous human sacrifices made to preserve it. Due to, among other things, relative silence on Turkey’s part, international media is biased to date and would be enriched by the second side of the Turkish-Armenian conflict. This is an important argument to clarify in factual terms, as opposed to emotional and irrational terms relied on to date. It is important because Turkey is an obvious beacon of hope in the Middle East and the world can’t afford for the west to ignorantly plunge forward on the wings of old, false information to fuel more superficial and harmful Muslim-Christian tension.
Armenians in the Diasporas continually use movies, politicians and propaganda in general to encourage conflict that has no place in today’s world. They’ve spent almost a century convincing others to help them. For instance, PBS showed no backbone when it recently aired an Armenian-funded and produced documentary, which was not accompanied by educated, two-sided debate. PBS bought the argument that such a debate would be like doubting the holocaust. As you will see, there is no likeness between the holocaust and the war that involved Armenians. People act out of sympathy, justice, but on what grounds? Here are the facts.

Historical Context:

At the end of May, 1920, Mehmet VI was presented with a ‘peace treaty,’ which carved the dwindling Ottoman Empire -- today’s Turkey -- into spheres of influence. Armenia (in cooperation with Russia) was to charge Eastern Anatolia, Greece was to charge Izmir and surrounding regions and Italy was to take Anatalya. Cicilia would go to France, and today’s Istanbul proper would have become a hub of ‘neutral seaway’ under the control of Britain, France and Italy. During this war time, Ataturk applied his renowned vision and responded to this by gathering forces who sacrificed themselves in battle in order to prevent this carving,1 which would have forced Turks ‘to live in what may be described as a sort of Indian reservation.’2
Armenians conspired with the Russians – making pacts with Czar Nicholas II – to attack Turkey ‘from the rear’ as the Ottoman Empire was postured for defense against multiple enemies in an effort to forge a nation-state as nationalism swept through the region via the carving effort by the above-mentioned nations. 3
Armenians had lived with Turks in the Southern Caucasus region for 700 years. Their lives had not been perfect, nor had the lives of the Turks. Yet the proof that they must have been treated with tolerance is the fact that 700 years after the arrival of the Turks the Armenians were still there. They were not hiding in the mountains, fiercely defending their independence. They were living all over the region and working in the cities, where they could easily have been eradicated. Yet they lived in peace. The Armenians were a scattered people, living all over the region. In no province of the Southern Caucasus were they a majority. When the Russians arrived, many of the Armenians joined the invaders against their governments. Those who joined the Russians wanted a minority, the Armenians and Russians, to rule over a majority, a Muslim majority under whose rule they had lived for 700 years. 4
The Dashnaktsuthiun Party, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, known usually as the Dashnaks, was founded in Tiflis in the Russian Empire in 1890. It joined earlier Armenian nationalist parties in planning the downfall of the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia. The party was socialist and nationalist in ideology. Its Manifesto declared a "people's war against the Turkish government." It spoke of "the sacred task of securing national freedom." Amidst calls for redistribution of land, communal brotherhood, and good government, the Dashnak Program of 1892 set forth its revolutionary intentions. These included organizing revolutionary committees and fighting bands and arming "the people. The Dashnaks declared their intention "to stimulate fighting and to terrorize government officials . . ." and "to expose government establishments to looting and destruction." In the ensuing years they carried out their plan.4
Inspired by the 1912-13 (genocidal) movement in the Balkans to flush out all Muslims, Armenian guerrilla bands began organizing in the Russian Empire. These included Armenians from both Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Approximately 8,000 Ottomans went to Kagizman to train and organize. 6,000 went from Anatolia to Igdir, more to other training camps. They returned to fight the Turks and to aid the Russian war effort. Large caches of guns, ammunition, supplies, and even uniforms had been hidden in depots in Anatolia, ready for use. These were not small units of guerrillas. They were not a few men committing random acts of terrorism. There were indeed innumerable such individual acts, but the main Armenian attack came from well-armed and trained rebel bands. They may have numbered as many as 100,000 men. In Sivas Vilâyeti alone Ottoman officials estimated 30,000 Armenian partisans. 4
Before any Armenians were deported, before any Armenian nationalist politician was hung, before any Armenian died at the hands of an Ottoman soldier, even before war was officially declared, Armenian nationalists had begun to organize their rebellion. The actions of the Armenian rebels were not simply rebellion. Ottoman Armenians acted as agents of the Russian Army. They made war on their own country, the Ottoman Empire, and fought on the side of its main enemy, the Russian Empire. As they freely admitted at the time, they were traitors who had enlisted with their country's worst enemy. 4
We are told that the Ottoman Government deported the Armenians, and that many died during the deportation. This is true, although the number who died are always grossly exaggerated. What facts are ignored? The fact that most of the Armenians who were deported survived, indicating there was no plan of genocide. We are told that in the 1890s tens of thousands of Armenians were killed by Muslims. This is true. What is never told is that tens of thousands of Muslims were killed by Armenians, and that the Armenians began the killing. You know well the main fact about World War I that always goes unmentioned--the millions of Muslim dead. Any war in which only one side's dead are counted appears to be a genocide.4


We now know from reliable statistics that slightly less than 600,000 Anatolian Armenians died in the wars of 1912-22, not 1.5 or 2 million, as is often claimed. This is not to say that 600,000 is a small number. The Armenians suffered a terrible mortality. But when considering the numbers of dead Armenians, one must also consider the numbers of dead Muslims. The statistics tell us that 2.5 million Anatolian Muslims died as well, most of them Turks. In the Six Vilâyets, the Armenian homeland (where they were often the minority), more than one million Muslims died. These Muslims, no less than the Armenians, suffered a terrible mortality.The numbers do not tell us the exact manner of death of the citizens of Anatolia. Civil war, forced migration of both Muslims and Armenians, inter-communal warfare, disease, and, especially starvation are listed in the documents of the time as causes of death. The Anatolian mortality was not simply the deaths of soldiers in wartime, but deaths of men, women, and children — Armenian and Muslim — who were caught up in international war between Russians and Ottomans and inter-communal war between Armenians and Muslims. We know from both documentary evidence and statistics that inter-communal warfare between Christians and Muslims was a major cause of death.5

The Definition of Genocide:

· The Geneva Convention (in article 2) defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnically, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

—Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide, Article II6

The Definition of What Happened in Turkey in the Early 1900s:

In the simplest terms: defense during war time.

Before the beginning of Armenian revolts, did the Turks attack Armenians like the Germans attacked the Jews? No. Was there a long tradition of Ottoman popular writings against Armenians? No. Did any Turkish political parties base their campaigns on animosity to Armenians? No. In fact, even while Armenian nationalists were rebelling against the Ottomans other Armenians were welcomed into the Ottoman Government. Armenians rose to high positions in the Ottoman State. European-style racial hatred was foreign to the Ottoman Empire. 4

One of the holes in the Armenian nationalist theory is, and has always been, the question of why the Turks would attack the Armenians. The Turks and other Muslims were a large majority in a Muslim Empire. They had lived with the Armenians for centuries, and allowed the Armenians to keep their customs and religion. Yet, if one believes the Armenian nationalists, then the story goes that the Turks suddenly decided to attack the Armenians. Worse, the Turks suddenly decided to destroy all the Armenians in a planned genocide. 4 There are no grounds for this argument.

Other Western Countries’ Crimes and Misdemeanors over the last Century (over the times of the Armenian/Turkish dispute):

France: Witness war crimes against Algeria in the 50s:
Britain: East Africa, look at colonization and the outright marginalization of indigenous in the countries that they colonized. All nations were left with a legacy of infighting for resources looted by the British, and this legacy continues as the US carries on the tradition as a former colony herself. Endless volumes exist on this subject. Pick up any rough guide to Kenya, look in Wikipedia7, or explore any historical document covering African nations today. Africa: A biography of the continent by John Reader is a good start.
US: Actions in Iraq show ignorance and incompetence at the expense of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives to date, along with the destruction of countless family networks and the displacement of millions of people in the region. The only services left for physical and mental health care in the region are grossly inadequate as doctors and psychiatrists / psychologists have moved out of the region. Supplies are not flowing in and thus medicine is hard to find, even to alleviate pain. Hospitals are infested with rats the size of cats. (BBC News Service for the week of March 18th -23rd, online) Furthermore, citizens living in Iraq who originally supported the United States and made efforts to work with them were not provided with adequate security or a special pass into the green zone and thus were killed for their service. In addition, their advice was not heeded in earlier stages of the war, including suggestions to monitor and buy all unclaimed artillery so that insurgents couldn't do so. (The New Yorker, “Betrayed: The Iraqis who trusted America the most” – by George Packer, March 26, 2007)
Germany: Third Reich
Serbia (Wikipedia): The first country that violated the Genocide convention was Serbia, found by the ICJ for not preventing the Srebrenica genocide at the Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro case in which the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina accused Serbia and Montenegro for committing genocide.

Belgium: King Leopold’s legacy in Congo (BBC Coverage):
Italy: Sided with Hitler – Historically documented, Jewish ghetto remnants can be found today in Rome and beyond.
Russia: Stalin era – well known stories of transporting people by cargo trains and letting them freeze in the name of political agenda.

Overlooked Facts about Turkish Society Today:

Absolute inclusion of citizens in the voting process – elections are held on Sunday and voting is mandatory, violators are subject to a fine.
Turkish success in the fashion, music, engineering, jewelry, literary industries as well as others.
Secular society unmatched in the US: separation of religion and state transcends that of President Bush’s efforts, which manifest as mentions of his spirituality in public speech even to the point where he admits that it directs his actions.

Women’s rights unmatched by the US:
Turkey has already seen its first female prime minister.
Clarifications in the Midnight Express movie from IMDB: “Although the movie is supposed to be based on and has been credited as a "true story", it has been clearly indicated by Billy Hayes himself 20 years after its release, that what is presented in the movie is a very exaggerated and fictional version of what happened to him in the prison in Istanbul, Turkey.” Furthermore from IMDB: “SPOILER: In the movie, Billy Hayes courteously declines the amorous advances of one of his fellow inmates. In actuality, the real Billy Hayes had an ongoing affair with this person, not just a brief encounter in the shower.” More on this subject:

1. HYPERLINK "" Wilfred T.F. Castle—Grand Turk p. 112-115
2. Hans Froembgen—Kamal Atatürk
3. Stanford J Shaw & Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Volume IIl ?: Reform, Revolution & Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808-1975). (London, Cambridge University Press 1977). (Professor Shaw's home in Los Angeles was BOMBED by Armenians on October 4, 1977 for writing this history that deviated from the Armenians' script. George Lucas credited Professor Shaw as consultant in the only dramatic American HYPERLINK "" \l "rare" \t "_blank" television production Holdwater has seen, where the Turks did not come across negatively. )
4. HYPERLINK "" Justin McCarthy, University of Louisville
5. Professor Justin McCarthy's “Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey
(1912-1926)," Istanbul (Bosporus University Press), 1984. p. 17.