1915–1923 Armenian Genocide. Deaths 600,000 – 1,800,000.




Source: nytimes.com (JOHN KIFNER)

On the eve of World War I, there were two million Armenians in the declining Ottoman Empire. By 1922, there were fewer than 400,000. The others — some 1.5 million — were killed in what historians consider a genocide.

As David Fromkin put it in his widely praised history of World War I and its aftermath, “A Peace to End All Peace”: “Rape and beating were commonplace. Those who were not killed at once were driven through mountains and deserts without food, drink or shelter. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians eventually succumbed or were killed .”

The man who invented the word “genocide”— Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish origin — was moved to investigate the attempt to eliminate an entire people by accounts of the massacres of Armenians. He did not, however, coin the word until 1943, applying it to Nazi Germany and the Jews in a book published a year later, “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.”

But to Turks, what happened in 1915 was, at most, just one more messy piece of a very messy war that spelled the end of a once-powerful empire. They reject the conclusions of historians and the term genocide, saying there was no premeditation in the deaths, no systematic attempt to destroy a people. Indeed, in Turkey today it remains a crime — “insulting Turkishness” — to even raise the issue of what happened to the Armenians.

In the United States, a powerful Armenian community centered in Los Angeles has been pressing for years for Congress to condemn the Armenian genocide. Turkey, which cut military ties to France over a similar action, has reacted with angry threats. A bill to that effect nearly passed in the fall of 2007, gaining a majority of co-sponsors and passing a committee vote. But the Bush administration, noting that Turkey is a critical ally — more than 70 per cent of the military air supplies for Iraq go through the Incirlik airbase there — pressed for the bill to be withdrawn, and it was.


The roots of the genocide lie in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

The empire’s ruler was also the caliph, or leader of the Islamic community. Minority religious communities, like the Christian Armenians, were allowed to maintain their religious, social and legal structures, but were often subject to extra taxes or other measures.

Concentrated largely in eastern Anatolia, many of them merchants and industrialists, Armenians, historians say, appeared markedly better off in many ways than their Turkish neighbors, largely small peasants or ill-paid government functionaries and soldiers.

At the turn of the 20th Century, the once far-flung Ottoman empire was crumbling at the edges, beset by revolts among Christian subjects to the north — vast swaths of territory were lost in the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 — and the subject of coffee house grumbling among Arab nationalist intellectuals in Damascus and elsewhere.

The Young Turk movement of ambitious, discontented junior army officers seized power in 1908, determined to modernize, strengthen and “Turkify” the empire. They were led by what became an all-powerful triumvirate sometimes referred to as the Three Pashas.

In March of 1914, the Young Turks entered World War I on the side of Germany. They attacked to the east, hoping to capture the city of Baku in what would be a disastrous campaign against Russian forces in the Caucuses. They were soundly defeated at the battle of Sarikemish.

Armenians in the area were blamed for siding with the Russians and the Young Turks began a campaign to portray the Armenians as a kind of fifth column, a threat to the state. Indeed, there were Armenian nationalists who acted as guerrillas and cooperated with the Russians. They briefly seized the city of Van in the spring of 1915.

Armenians mark the date April 24, 1915, when several hundred Armenian intellectuals were rounded up, arrested and later executed as the start of the Armenian genocide and it is generally said to have extended to 1917. However, there were also massacres of Armenians in 1894, 1895, 1896, 1909, and a reprise between 1920 and 1923.

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies has compiled figures by province and district that show there were 2,133,190 Armenians in the empire in 1914 and only about 387,800 by 1922.

Writing at the time of the early series of massacres, The New York Times suggested there was already a “policy of extermination directed against the Christians of Asia Minor.”

The Young Turks, who called themselves the Committee of Unity and Progress, launched a set of measures against the Armenians, including a law authorizing the military and government to deport anyone they “sensed” was a security threat.

A later law allowed the confiscation of abandoned Armenian property. Armenians were ordered to turn in any weapons that they owned to the authorities. Those in the army were disarmed and transferred into labor battalions where they were either killed or worked to death.

There were executions into mass graves, and death marches of men, women and children across the Syrian desert to concentration camps with many dying along the way of exhaustion, exposure and starvation.

Much of this was quite well documented at the time by Western diplomats, missionaries and others, creating widespread wartime outrage against the Turks in the West. Although its ally, Germany, was silent at the time, in later years documents have surfaced from ranking German diplomats and military officers expressing horror at what was going on.

Some historians, however, while acknowledging the widespread deaths, say what happened does not technically fit the definition of genocide largely because they do not feel there is evidence that it was well-planned in advance.

The New York Times covered the issue extensively — 145 articles in 1915 alone by one count — with headlines like “Appeal to Turkey to Stop Massacres.” The Times described the actions against the Armenians as “systematic,” “authorized, and “organized by the government.”

The American ambassador, Henry Morganthau Sr., was also outspoken. In his memoirs, the ambassador would write: “When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact.”

Following the surrender of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the Three Pashas fled to Germany, where they were given protection. But the Armenian underground formed a group called Operation Nemesis to hunt them down. On March 15, 1921, one of the pashas was shot dead on a street in Berlin in broad daylight in front of witnesses. The gunman pled temporary insanity brought on by the mass killings and a jury took only a little over an hour to acquit him. It was the defense evidence at this trial that drew the interest of Mr. Lemkin, the coiner of “genocide.”

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/ref/timestopics/topics_armeniangenocide.html

Other Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide

Oytun Ayse Mihalik, California Pharmacist, Gets Prison For Funding Terrorism


Source: huffingtonpost.com/AP

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California woman was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for wiring money to Pakistan to help fund terrorist attacks against U.S. military personnel.

Oytun Ayse Mihalik, 40, of La Palma pleaded guilty in August to one count of providing material support to terrorists. She admitted to providing a total of $2,050 in three wire transfers to a person in Pakistan with the intention that the money would be used for attacks against U.S. military personnel and other people overseas, prosecutors said.

“While the sum of money involved in this case may not seem substantial, there’s no doubt the funds this defendant sent overseas would have covered the cost of an attack on U.S. soldiers,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement‘s homeland security investigations in Los Angeles. “Money is the mother’s milk of terrorism and we will move aggressively against those who provide financial support to groups and individuals bent on harming the U.S. and its allies.”

Mihalik, who worked as a pharmacist, has been in federal custody since she was arrested in August, after she attempted to board a flight to her native Turkey. Court records show she had been cooperating with investigators.

Shortly after her arrest, Mihalik told the FBI that she believed the person in Pakistan was a member of the Taliban and al-Qaeda and he was using the money for mujahideen efforts against American military forces in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region, authorities said.


Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/29/oytun-ayse-mihalik-sentenced_n_2981266.html

Turks in Germany are a Time Bomb

Source : familysecuritymatters.org (Dr. Sami Alrabaa)

“The Turks in Germany are a time bomb, at least the majority of them”. This is the statement with which Peter Cohen, an American visiting professor at Munich University, concludes his recent study in Germany.

Three million Turks live already in Germany already, while 2.5 million of them have German nationality, and the majority of them are conservative Muslims.

Are they integrated in the German society? Not really.

The majority of them speak broken German, especially the elderly.

“They don’t want to integrate in the German society,” says Hartmut, who doesn’t want to be identified for fear of reprisals by violent Turks. “They even hate to be called ‘migrants’. They feel very Turkish. They happen to be in Germany as the elderly generation in the 1960s had been recruited to work in the car and coal industries. Now, culturally the majority of Turks, even the young, here in Germany feel very Turkish. ” Adds Hartmut, who is a social scientist at a German university.

Professor Cohen subscribes to what Hartmut says about Turkish migration, “In the USA, for instance, migrants usually integrate in the American society, latest when the second generation is there. My survey indicate that the majority of Turks insist on keeping their Turkish identity and their cultural heritage. They feel at home in the Turkish culture.”

Very few Turks in Germany have a regular job; about 20%. The other 80% live on the so-called Hartz IV (state social benefits). 70% of their children have no GCSE; they left school before they finished their basic education.

“They cannot find a job? That is not true. There are jobs out there. But they prefer to live on state benefits and lead an easy life. Why should they work? Further, the German social benefit system doesn’t encourage them or force them to accept any job.” Says Hartmut.

Hartmut also said, “Some of those who live on state benefits have very often a part-time job of which neither the Job Center nor the Finance Office are aware of.

According to the German state benefit system, every adult citizen who possesses the German nationality, unemployed and cannot find an appropriate job, is entitled to get monthly 482 € ($627). Additionally, parents get for each child under 18 years old, 200 € ($261), plus all their monthly expenditures in terms of rent, heating, power, health insurance, and public transport.

“Amazingly enough some Turks who live on the generous state benefits can afford to buy a house or an apartment and drive luxurious cars like Mercedes or BMW.” Says Klaus, a landlord whose tenants are a case in point.

Kamal (46 years old) and his wife Shadia (42 years old) have ten children under 18 and live on Hartz IV (the German social benefit system). They have a monthly net income of about 3000 €. In addition, all their spending on rent, health care, transport, heating, etc. are paid by the state.

Kamal never worked or had a regular job, never finished school, and never learned a profession. Now he claims that he is “ill.” Klaus, the landlord of Kamal says, “The man is fit.” He even confessed to Klaus that he lies when he says he is ill. “He told me once, ‘Why should I work if I can live well without/'” Klaus quotes Kamal.

Kamal is obliged to regularly report his joblessness to the Federal Employment Office (Bundes Agentur für Arbeit) in his town. He does so when he is invited for a job interview. But he always alleges that he is “sick:” He allegedly has “unbearable pains in his back and joints.” Therefore, he cannot take any job. The only one who knows the truth about Kamal is his landlord Klaus.

Klaus and many other Germans are outraged about Kamal and his like. “It is us, taxpayers who have to finance odd buggers like Kamal. This makes me sick.” Klaus frowns at me.

On the other hand, Kamal’s neighbour, Dieter works for a mail company. For working 8 hours daily, he merely get 800 € ($1000) at the end of the month. From this salary he has got to pay his rent and the rest of his expenditure. Left for him is something around 400 € ($500).

Besides, for Turks living in Germany, having children is a lucrative business. Some Turks turn to corruption to make this work.

Generally speaking, German citizens can enter Turkey with simply showing their personal identity card. Hence German Turks, particularly women, travel to Turkey and come back with a “leased” baby. They get the baby temporarily from relatives and claim at the German border that it is their baby who was recently born in Turkey.

Khaled, a Turk, told me that you can get “a false birth certificate” in Turkey for $10.

Back in Germany, the “new” baby is registered at the town hall administration, and the “mother of the baby” starts getting 200 € ($261) monthly.

Living on the state benefit system has become a basic part of the culture of the Turkish community in Germany.

Nicole, a German school teacher told me once, when she asks her students what they want to become in the future, the majority of Turkish students say, “Hartz IV Empfänger” (state benefit receiver). When she asked one of her students, “Why is that?” The girl answered, “My parents live on Hartz IV and lead an easy life. They sleep longer in the morning, and always have got enough money.”

In private, German policemen and women complain about the “Germans” of Turkish descent. Helmut in Berlin told me, “Most car accidents are caused by Turks or east Europeans. They are really careless motorists. They do not respect traffic rules.” Then he turned to his colleague and added, “But who dare say that in public?”

Indeed, the German media and politicians always talk about “integration,” but they never point their fingers at the Turkish community and demand abiding by the law like all citizens.

Hartmut asserts that “The German public, are better informed. They know that it is the Turks who do not respect rules, and don’t want to integrate in the German society.”

“I don’t know what kind of experience the others have made, but my experience is very clear. I live in an area where the speed limit is 30 km per hour. But guess who drives fast in this area? It is mostly Turks.” Jürgen said.

His friend Michael added, “But who dare say that? Then you’re accused of being an old Nazi. This is bizarre! The NPD is a Nazi party, but they are not so violent as some Turks are. Some Turks are really violent, in particular those Salafists amongst them. During a demonstration a couple of months back, a Salafist stabbed two policemen with a sharp knife. ”

Ulrich, a German citizen, agrees. “I drive almost every day. Who steals your right of way? It’s often Turks. They are usually rude and reckless. My wife works as a teacher at a primary school. She says, most students who disturb classes are usually of Turkish descent, and their parents never attend school parents assemblies.”

To add insult to injury, when Turks are killed or burn to death, they rush to point their fingers at the right-wing party, the NPD and ideologically similar organisations.

A couple of years back, 8 Turks, owners of restaurants, were killed. Promptly and without delivering any evidence, the Turkish community accused the NPD of carrying out these killings. Until now, however, and despite intensive investigation, the police have not been able to establish who killed the 8 Turks. Some even claim that those killings were maybe carried out by the Turkish mafia.

Most recently, a Turkish woman and her seven children died over the night by fire. Again, the Turkish Ambassador to Berlin and the Turkish media accused the NPD of deliberately sparking the fire.

Experts, however, indicated that the fire was most probably ignited by the woman’s wood stove, which most probably was faulty.