How Does The Armenian Hypocrisy Work? & Cumhuriyet Bayram with the Diaspora

Apparently Asbarez Armenian Daily doesn't know what October 29 is, it's the anniversary of the declaration of the birth of the Republic of Turkey-- it is Turkey's 4th of July. It is not Ataturk day. You'd think they could get something that simple right.

From Asbarez Armenian Daily

Armenian Youth Federation Demonstrates Against Gala Honoring Ataturk

LONG BEACH, CA--Over 50 members of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) converged around the perimeter of the Long Beach Hilton Hotel Saturday night to demonstrate in protest of an annual banquet honoring the establishment of the modern Turkish republic and its founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. . .

"Hosted by the Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC), the Turkish Republic Day Ball differentiates itself from other benign cultural or social events due to its desire to celebrate the founding of the modern Turkish Republic," said Vache Thomassian of the Armenian Youth Federation. "This event, which deifies Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and other Turkish "founding fathers", seeks to commemorate the establishment of a Republic built on the ashes of 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide; a feat we believe is not worthy of celebration."

For four hours demonstrators, lined outside the hotel, chanted slogans and read short statements highlighting Turkey's past and present human rights violations, while a smaller group of AYF members inside the hotel silently demonstrated in the lobby, wearing t-shirts depicting a bloody Turkish flag and the words "republic of inhumanity."

"On October 29, 1923 Ataturk's Republic of Turkey was formed and recognized as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire," Arek Santikian screamed into a megaphone outside the hotel. "This Republic continued the oppressive and murderous policies employed by the Ottoman Empire, continuing to repress minorities, squash free speech and deny the Armenian Genocide."

Chants and statements read by AYF members outside the hotel echoed throughout the hotel lobby, reaching all the way to rooms on the hotel's top floors, according to AYF members stationed inside the Hilton.

Meanwhile, two members, inside the banquet, shouted "recognize the Armenian Genocide" repeatedly during a moment of silence held in memory of "Turkish victims" killed by Kurds, a repressed minority currently under siege in Turkey.

The demonstration's objective, according to the AYF, was to remind the event's patrons of the historical truths surrounding the establishment of the Turkish Republic.

"Undeniable human rights violations such as the denial of the Armenian Genocide, the occupation of Northern Cyprus, the massacre of Pontic Greeks, repression of minority populations and outright rejection of free speech are issues which must be brought to like during such a 'celebration'," said Thomassian. "Although we feel every ethnicity and nation has an indelible right to observe their respective cultural milestones, this instance is one which the AYF cannot remain quiet."

The demonstration was a success, according members posing as guests in the lobby. "Everyone inside the hotel lobby was talking about the demonstration and the Armenian Genocide," Thomassian said, adding that even detectives on scene sympathized with our cause.




Professor Taner Akçam submitted the below text to IC and it is being published by his kind permission. The Middle East Studies Association Committee on Academic Freedom wrote a protest letter to the Turkish government concerning his case, which can be found here. Donations to the work of the Committee on Academic Freedom may be made here.


On November 30, Turkish Forum mobilized an e-mail campaign against the “Taner Akçam conference.” Members were also urged to attend the symposium and a “pre-meeting for Turks,” coordinated by Ibrahim Kurtulus.

I [Akcam] forwarded this information to the event organizers with a request that appropriate precautions be taken. I let them know that if they were going to allow intruders from Turkish Forum to leaflet my presentation and disrupt the symposium, I wasn’t going to participate. Yeshiva was concerned. An organizer who had attended the CUNY gathering on November 1 assured me that security would be increased.

As a pre-emptive step, the event committee informed the Turkish Consulate that the law school symposium was intended to be general in scope, comparative and scholarly in approach, and not focused on either Taner Akçam or Turkey. They made it clear that any disruption similar to the CUNY incident would not put Turkey in a favorable light. A Turkish consular official disavowed any government involvement in the disruption at CUNY, which he attributed to “the actions of civilians” in grassroots organizations. There was nothing the Consulate could do about them, he said. The organizers stressed that they intended to take extra security precautions and that the Consulate ought to think hard about what would happen if the symposium was invaded and its participants attacked.

Just one day before the symposium there was another phone conversation between the Turkish consular official and the organizers. He assured them that no disruption would take place and only two or three Turkish representatives would attend.

The government kept its word. The symposium was peaceful and no leaflets were distributed. The Turkish consular official attended with ATAA President-elect Gunay Evinch, both of whom were scrupulously polite. It was as though three intense weeks of mobilization had never happened.

For many Turkish intellectuals, freedom of speech has become a struggle in North America as well as in our native country. What is happening to me now could happen to any scholar who dissents from the official state version of history.



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