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Monday, 26 March 2007

A shameful Act By Taner Akcam

Now Dear Friends,

I do not intend on reproducing the entire article by Taner Akcam which is published on Armenian 1915 web site (follow the links from this site). That article makes very interesting reading. To my way of thinking Mr Akcam is a conspiracy theorist, each to their own I suppose.

However, one thing that stood out to me quite clearly was how he plays the role of victim describing his conversation with the Canadian Customs official and drawing comparisons between himself and Hrant Dink I reproduce this section for you below;-

" I knew better than to challenge him, giving the impression that I had something to hide. "Let me guess," I answered. "Do you know who Hrant Dink was? Did you hear about the Armenian journalist who was killed in Istanbul?" He hadn't."I'm a historian," I explained. "I work on the subject of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. There's a very heavy campaign being waged by extreme nationalist and fascist forces in Turkey against those individuals who are critical of the events that occurred in 1915. Hrant Dink was killed because of it. The lives of people like me are in danger because of it. Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's Nobel Laureate, couldn't tolerate the attacks against him and had to leave the country. Many intellectuals in Turkey are now living under police protection." The officer took notes. "In connection with these attacks there has been a serious campaign against me in the U.S.," I went on. "I know that the groups running this campaign are given directives and are controlled by the Turkish diplomats. They spread propaganda stating that I am a member of a terrorist organization. Some rumors to that effect must have reached you.". By Taner Ak├žam; Armenian Reporter; March 24, 2007

Now here is this poor little academic only telling the truth (as he sees it or should I say how he is paid to see it), how terrified he is of the big bad Turkish Government and all those Fascist Turks out there that worship Aplarslan Turkes, who want to murder him like they murdered Hrant Dink. Yet in the same breath or article I should say he tries to cover up his criminal convictions and play them down and suggests to the Canadian Customs official and I quote,

" I went on. "I know that the groups running this campaign are given directives and are controlled by the Turkish diplomats. They spread propaganda stating that I am a member of a terrorist organization. Some rumors to that effect must have reached you." The officer continued to write. "For your information, in 1976, while I was a master's degree student and teaching assistant at Middle East Technical University, I was arrested for articles I had written in a journal and sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison. I later escaped to Germany, where I became a citizen. The Turkish criminal statute that was the basis for my prosecution, together with similar laws, was repealed in 1991. I travel to Turkey freely now and went there most recently for Hrant Dink's funeral."The officer finished his notes. "I'm sorry, but I have to make some more phone calls,"

Now Mr Akcam clearly does not tell the Customs Officer the full truth (but then again would we expect anything different from or less of him) he advises the customs officer of some of his convictions but noteworthy is that he does not tell the Customs Officer how he was accused of murder an incident which arose from a riot in Ankara. Most specifically the murder of one Mr Zuhtu Pehlivanli ( for the entire article on this issue and a copy of the original in Turkish please follow the links through The Tall Armenian Tale web site). This incident did have eye witnesses which gave evidence at trial. He makes out that he was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for simply publishing political articles or more appropriately propaganda. He doesn't tell the Customs Official that he was accused of murder and the fact that he may well have been involved in riotous behaviour at the time and this could possibly be the reason for his 8 year sentence.

Even more interesting for me is how he is terrified of this huge Turkish Government conspiracy whereby the Turkish Diplomats are arranging and organising this attack on his person, and he states to the Canadian Customs official he is similar to Hrant Dink and Orhan Pamuk, therefore his life is in danger, and yet he goes to Turkey quite often and in fact to Hrant Dinks funeral so if the Turkish Government no longer consider him a dangerous murderer or terrorist why should the Canadian is the point he is making. Further he also isn't that scared of going back to Turkey even though the Turkish Government is out to get him and all of Turkes's supporters want to kill him, according to Akcam, " I travel to Turkey freely now and went there most recently for Hrant Dinks funeral."

I don't know about you guys but if I thought any Government wanted me dead or shut up etc etc I certainly would not be going into that Government's strong hold or territory. Not only does he say he has the Turkish Government on his back but also all those fascist Turks and yet, he travels to Turkey freely now and as recently as Hrant Dinks funeral ???? Does it make sense to you, his lost me I just don't understand. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

There is a lot more I would like to say about Mr Akcam's article but I will let you read it and then go to the Tall Armenian Tale web site and read what is there and you guys compare the two.

One thing I would advise Mr Akcam is, if there is any formal defamation of his character by any entity he should sue.

I would really love to see that Court Case and the details that flow from there.

Ataman

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