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Turkey digging in at Gallipoli... again


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At least we KNOW who Bill is ... what he does, where he lives and what he stands for.

It's something else to sit behind a name and sling mud at someone from an uninformed space. Quite embarrassing really.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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When I started writing this I thought of banging on about the Senate inquiry, how two requests from the inquiry to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for its official interpretation of the treaty’s clauses relating to the Gallipoli battlefields did not receive the response sought blah, blah blah.

However, that has all been done in the past. Barbaroson Hafidi, how about you tell us what granted in perpetuity means. How about you interpret for others on this forum what is meant by the signs, in Turkish and English, posted along side the roads at the edges of the Anzac sector saying that this whole area is reserved as a cemetery for the falling of the Gallipoli Campaign.

What abut responding to the Turkish criticism of the harm done to the battlefields, or the fact that the work carried out has, in some instances, been in contravention of Turkish laws and regulations.

At issue here is whether or not it is a good thing to protect historic sites, preserve the heritage of the Gallipoli battlefields and let the fallen of all sides lie undisturbed in the hallowed ground in which they are buried.

I think it is. Indeed it is my dream that this will be the case. What is your interpretation?

Bill

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m sorry,i havent been able to hold myself back longer,but this guy appearantly seems dumb!!,well mate before you wrote anything here on the forum regarding the british memorials at gallipoli,you should have gone and picked those turkish bones up first,take a resposiblity and do it!,

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I know what you mean Bill.

It seems that there are people like Barbarosun Hafidi who will just grasp onto whatever is printed on the internet and believe it wholesale without bothering to actually research the validity of the document. Then they want everyone to believe they have some kind of insider knowledge and expertise on the topic without ever actually producing any new evidence or thoughts of their own.

Rather than whinge about everyone else, I wonder if Barbarosun Hafidi would care to enlighten us with what he considers a balance between construction work and conservation techniques on the Gallipoli Peninsula?

Cheers,

Tim L.

P.S. Williamsomme, where were those photos taken exactly?

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Those poor lads ... as if they didn't suffer enough during the war now they have to suffer the indignity of their bones lying about ... none of them were destined to REST IN PEACE!

Lest we forget!

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'...What if it is base of another ghastly colossus. Should Turkey get permission from you or the likes of Bill before erecting a memorial..?'

No, not permission - just develop some semblance of good taste. Turkey's aesthetic heritage is second to none yet Turkish memorials erected on the Peninsula to date, constitute an artistic atrocity.

Big does not equate with good.

How can the land of Pergamon, Ephesus, Bursa which nourished Sinan, perfected calligraphy and decorative arts, produce the sort of bombastic crud that would shame Stalin's Russia ?

Mine was meant as a purely aesthetic point but it is obvious that for at least some sections of Turkish society, a nationalistic agenda is unfolding at Gallipoli. And I am not sure that nationalism and reason make good bedfellows. Whenever nationalism ventures into commemorative art, the results are generally awful.

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I've only just joined the forum today, hello to all.

This has been an intriguing read. I had no idea of the depths of the matter.

To Bill,

You are indeed a soldier, against all odds and on foreign soil you fight for what you believe in. Regardless of what I've read from the government reports listed herein and the Turkish harassment, we all know they have alternative interests they are trying to juggle (namely politics). While your motive Bill, is to fight for a respectable commemoration site. Keep it up.

Regards,

Shahane

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  • 1 month later...

There may also be an even bigger issue as well. From what I have read the Turkish government are trying to rewrite history with regard to destroying physical evidence relating to the Armenian Genocide - destroying old Armenian cemetaries, churches, etc. Is this true?

Ian

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There may also be an even bigger issue as well. From what I have read the Turkish government are trying to rewrite history with regard to destroying physical evidence relating to the Armenian Genocide - destroying old Armenian cemetaries, churches, etc. Is this true?

Ian

Although I believe this topic does not belong in this thread, I felt compelled to "enlighten"

a) the discussions on "genocide claims" by armenian diaspora is a matter with arguable validity and I don't have time to go over and over again on the subject. Just do some reading from both sides rather than having concrete belief in "..From what I have read..." armenian "tasnak" sources.

B) No, Turkey is not trying to rewrite history. people have different histories as we all know ! However, following ww1, where many armenian innocents unfortunately died as they were being relocated to different parts of empire ( namely to the eastern part of anatolia as well as syria) due to the fact that they had collaborated with the enemies of state ( russia, british , french etc) and back stabbed the ottoman state. Turkey after ww1 had begun an independence war and many parts of her was invaded by allied powers as well as greeks ( who burned down complete towns as they retreated- including various temples of various faith). Many churches, mosques etc. were infact in dilapitated state and soon collapsed.

Now, today there are many churches along Aegean coast that have been renovated and are being used for various purposes such as cultural centers or simply closed. The armenian church on Lake van (akdamar)has been completely renovated recently and is open to visitors. The old armenian church in afion is under protection -although not much is left from the structure- and there are plans to renovate the site. Almost all armenian homes in afion have been renovated to their original state. the armenian bath in afion has been completely renovated and is being used as cultural center and a school for handicrafts. These are just a few examples that I can come up with at the moment.

regards

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Although I believe this topic does not belong in this thread, I felt compelled to "enlighten"

a) the discussions on "genocide claims" by armenian diaspora is a matter with arguable validity and I don't have time to go over and over again on the subject. Just do some reading from both sides rather than having concrete belief in "..From what I have read..." armenian "tasnak" sources.

B) No, Turkey is not trying to rewrite history. people have different histories as we all know ! However, following ww1, where many armenian innocents unfortunately died as they were being relocated to different parts of empire ( namely to the eastern part of anatolia as well as syria) due to the fact that they had collaborated with the enemies of state ( russia, british , french etc) and back stabbed the ottoman state.

Dear Dogan,

You should be aware that the world outside of Turkey has a different view. World opinion concludes that the acts carried out by the Ottoman Empire during WWI was genocide. Many international scholars all accept what happened, including the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the Vatican, the European Parliament, The Council of Europe, The World Council of Churches, the International Centre for Transitional Justice, and the UN.

You may intervene to say that Armenia is changing the history books, yet the Armenian diaspora hardly has any influence over the world to do such a thing. Take a look at the Turkish world population and wealth distibution compared to Armenians today. Compare the Turkey's favoritism amongst US officials with its Incirlik military air base used as a strong hold to the Middle East.

Or perhaps this recent article would convince you of the corruption:

http://www.asbarez.com/2009/08/11/fbi-insi...-and-blackmail/

Or Turkey paying Google to show Turkish anti-genocide ads and hides Armenian Genocide listings:

http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=35296

And Dogan, when you say the Armenian's back stabbed the Ottomans, even if that were true is that reason to wipe them out? Did Hitler's reasons justify his actions?

Regards,

Shahane

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I have discussed Dogan's various claims, theories, ideas etc including the 'Armenian' question! with Turkish relatives.

I am not allowed to swear on the forum and cannot therefore use some of their words but they disagree with him 100% and feel he may have some hidden agenda. Surely after WW1 people who had 'back stabbed' the Ottoman Empire would have been welcomed as Turkey threw off its old coat and became a new state.

What use are Armenian buildings when the population has been exterminated. Possibly it is thought that a new Turkish history will help get them into the EU.

Talking of Turkish history - the majority of my relatives know little about the First World War or even who won!

Obviously I have met many Turkish people and find them to be of a kind and generous nature. Many of their family values are second to none. I am therefore not anti turkish, just anti the views of Dogan.

sm

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

Although this is thread is not specifically on the Armenian genocide, due to Dogan's post, I felt I needed to submit a reply.

For those who are interested in the cultural destruction of Armenian monuments in Turkey before and after the founding of the Turkish republic, just look at http://www.genocide-museum.am/eng/cultural_genocide.php

The Akhtamar Armenian church is one of the most well known Christian monuments in eastern Turkey. It is also one of the most visited tourist attraction in eastern Turkey. Destroying this church - apart from the great loss of tourist dollars -would create an uproar in the international architectural community, let alone hindering Turkey's chance of joining the EU. Within 20 kms radius of the Akhtamar church, there are another 20 ancient Armenian churches which are in ruins - most destroyed within the past 90 years. Out of site out of mind!

Dogan's statement that Armenians had to be relocated because they were 'treacherous' is what the Turkish government at the time used as a pretext to deport the Armenian civil population. This is what is taught in schools in Turkey. I don't know how women, children and elderly of a minority can be treacherous. Most of the Armenian men were conscripted into the Turkish army in 1914, disarmed and executed before the deportations began in April/May 1915. This is ignoring the fact that the Armenians were the indigenous population - the Turks having first arrvied from central Asia in the 11th century.

There was an assymetry in power during this event, and an assymetry still exists today. Turkey is a powerful industrialised nation and a Nato member. It spends a huge amount of resources defending its denialist thesis. For those who are interested in the truth, it's not difficult to find a vast amount of archival material which supports the fact that this was a 'planned systematic attempt to eradicate a race' and it was a great success - providing the prototype for subsequent genocides.

David

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This thread have veered off topic. (I am a bit embarrassed to point it out, as I am of Olympian stature when it comes to veering off-topic.) We had a thread on this a year or two ago, which someone started on the topic, and after over 100 posts the Moderators not only froze the thread, but they erased it as well.

I am not an expert here, but have studied the events involved in this question to some degree, in part guided by two friends; an "e-friend" in Turkey, a western European who has lived there for many years, and who is a student of the history of the period, and a good friend of mine here in Philadelphia, an Armenian-Turk, born in Turkey, who served in the Turkish Army (not an entirely happy experience). The fighting and massacres started in 1894 (actually probably in Biblical times) with the Armenian revolt and extended to about 1922 or 1923, and not only involved the Turks and the Armenians, but also the Kurds (a lot), Tartars, and probably Georgians, perhaps Assyrians, etc.

I could go thru most of the statements in the above posts, on both sides, and I believe challange many assertions in an informed fashion, but then we would be off to the races. But there are many important complexities generally ignored by the people championing one side or position or the other. Probably the most Armenians were killed, at least at one time, during the forcible expulsion of the Armenians from the north-east border with Russia into Syria, under brutal conditions, but many of those actually killed were killed by maurading bands of Kurds, who were cranky as they seem to believe that earlier Armenians had massacred 100-200,000 Kurds early in their revolt. It is often stated that the Turks expelled the Armenians becaused they feared that the Armenians "might" support the invading Russians, while in fact there were Armenian units in the Russian Army, possibly division-sized, and even in 1919 there were at least two fully-organized Armenian divisions operating in the area of the border or probably beyond it, and in one case one of the divisions engaged in a battle with a Turkish army corps, itself operating outside of Turkey, and the Armenian division came our quite badly, according to my source. In one odd incident, about 1921, Armenian formations massacred several settlements of Tatars, and amazingly then fled fairly deeply into Turkey for protection from retribution. All of these accounts are from various sources, but neither Armenian nor Turkish.

The primary sources and documents on these events are written in half a dozen obscure, archaic, or simply extremely difficult languages, none of which, I believe, utilize the Latin alphabet. 99% of the people able to usefully study these matters are extremely partisan. The Turks are controlling of access to their archives, while I understand that the Armenian archives (interestingly, mostly in Boston, Mass., USA) are completely off limits to outsiders. About 4-5 years ago the Turkish Government (which generally has handled this controversy very poorly) made a formal proposal for an international, transparent research effort into what actually happened over these 19 or 20 years, and the Armenian government, according to supporters and news reports, refuse, saying that they will sit down to study this question only after reparations start arriving in Armenia. (The Turks reportedly, a few years ago, combed their extensive archives and generated a list of 523,000 ethnic Turks supposedly murdered by Armenians over the 1894 to 1923 period. This supposedly is an actual list of individual people, with names and the place and date of death, not a list like "250 villagers killed in xyz Village in December 1914". Who knows as to its accuracy, but experts could, using sampling techniques and a sample size of several thousand supposed victims, fairly easily authenticate of reject its veracity.)

Orthodoxy on this topic is enforced, at least in the US, by threats of violence, and violence. My Armenian-Turkish friend has had activists enter his carpet shop (what else!) here a few blocks from my house and threaten to burn it down unless he modifies his views towards the party line. There have been at least two recent bombings on the campus of UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles). I and my Armenian friend have seen and visited several restaurants that are Turkish but have had to masquarade as "Greek" due to threats. (I have heard that they actually are Turkish Turkish restaurants in California, but neither I or my friend have ever seen one.)

However, as often happens, the disporata may be more extreme than people in the actual countries, and there have been a number of events suggesting a raprochment between Turkey and Armenia. The research difficulties are immense, and only a limited number of people have the skills to usefully address this question.

There are probably only about 20 or 30 Pals on this Forum that are qualified to really get into this question, and probably all but two or three are bitterly partisan on this issue.

For the sake of full transparency, I must admit that my father fought in the Turkish Army in 1915, but in the extreme west of Turkey, far from the area of the regrettable events. But I feel that I have been fairly objective here, if possible, but I am sure that the above seems jarringly partisan. But almost anyone in the US or Europe only hears the organized Armenian position on this matter.

Bob Lembke

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Correction: The "Greek" Turkish restaurant phenomenon only seems to be in California, as far as I know. We now have several Turkish restaurants in Philadelphia, and I have not heard of threats against them. But there is a very large Armenian community in California.

Bob

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Happily, there are several welcome news reports in the last couple of days. Following recent contacts and motions (Including the so-called "soccer diplomacy"), Turkey and Armenia have announced that they are going to establish diplomatic relations, and that Turkey is going to open their common border, which they closed in responce to the Armenian ethnic cleansing in the Nagorno-Karabath (sp?) enclave within Azerbaijan about 15 years ago. (The Azeris are a Turkic people.)

More to the point, I just read that the international study to sort out the "Armenian Question", which Turkey called for about five years ago, is going to be established. If this difficult process actually gets off the ground, we might start arriving at some grasp of the whole picture of what happened in the area over 1894 to 1923.

My impression is that much of this issue is driven by the Armenian dispora (sp?), which seems to be extremely driven on this issue, much more than the Armenian population itself. The population abroad, generally out of the area for generations (but in recent years one-third of the current Armenian population has emigrated, as well, due to the miserable conditions there), is in large part extremely affluent and politically active, especially on this issue, and also on aid to Armenia. Armenia receives a tremendous level of US aid, which I am sure not one American in 100 or in 1000 has ever heard about. I had a lovely tenant, an Armenian-American, and when she left the building the apartment was then receiving a tidal wave of US-produced Armenian nationalistic material, very elaborate productions; from perusal sent to her by arraingement by her parents. Clearly when she left she gave forwarding addresses to almost everyone and all the rest of her mail was diverted to her next residence, but she declined to arrainge that this material, and the nationalistic agenda, follow her.

So perhaps we will have some clarity here, and some understanding of the awful deaths of so many people, Turks, Kurds, Tatars, and others, not soley Armenians. Like so many other issues, we may only find something closer to the truth after all the participants have passed away. This seems generally true in the history of the Great War. I can recall the rediculous stuff that I used to read about Gallipoli 30 years ago, according to those main stream histories the Allies might have been fighting men from Mars.

Bob lembke

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In my opinion, anyone who has studied the history of the Armenian genocide, the Nagorno Karabakh issue and the current politics behind the Armenian Question (including Turkey's blockade of landlocked Armenia), would find Bob's view an extremely biased one (he has admitted in the past that he has worked for the U.S State Dept. and his father fought with the Turks during WW1). I am not going to get into details because this thread is on the Gallipoli war graves and NOT the Armenian genocide. However, anyone who is genuinely interested in the Armenian Question can search the myriad of scholarship on the subject. The Armenian genocide is taught in many universities across the world as the first such act in the 20th century. Raphael Lemkin, the man who coined the word 'genocide' based it in large part to what had happened to the Armenians (see pulitzer prize winning author, Samantha Power's book 'A Problem from Hell'). I am happy to guide anyone who is intrested to sources if they wish to email me on dwhitman124@gmail.com.

For those who are interested in the Turkish coercion of U.S officials can look at http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/

For those interested in the millions Turkey spends (including paying acadmics) to cover up the Armenian genocide can look at a report by the intelligence report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport...cle.jsp?aid=935

David

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For those who are interested in the Turkish coercion of U.S officials can look at http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/

David

Really! I thought that I held the crown or was at least a highly placed competor for severly verging OT, but I have to take my hat off to David. In case anyone failed to click on the link that David provided, I will provide a synopsis. I warn you that I only scrolled thru half of a very long blog/thing, and perhaps it veered off in a different direction towards the end.

It seems like there is a woman, Sibel Edmonds, who briefly worked some years ago as a translator for the FBI, and who is now assisting an Armenian-American running for Congress as an independent against an incumbent Republican Congresswoman. Briefly, she claims that there is a conspiracy to further Turkish interests by subverting the US government, and the conspirators are 1) several leading conservative Republican congressmen, 2) leading supporters of Israel in the US, including Tom Lantos (surprising that in material written in August he is named as a conspirator, as he died some time ago; he was the only Holocaust survivor in Congress), Congressman Stephen Solarz (one of the most devoted advocates of Israel in the Congress), and AIPAC, the largest and most extreme pro-Israeli PAC in the US, which often has taken positions so radical that it embarrasses the Israeli government, and which has also dabbled in espionage against the US, and Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, and 3) some Turkish-American group that I have never heard of. The conspiracy included providing a Turkish woman to seduce a married Democratic Congresswoman, this love-making supposedly being recorded by the radical Republican/Zionist/Turkish conspiracy to blackmail her to subvert the interests of the US. Evidentally this supposed plot is being advanced in campaign materials used by the Armenian-American challenger to defeat the Republican incumbent, and the Department of Justice is not happy about this Sibel Edmonds violating her confidentiality agreements with the FBI as a condition of her working on national security matters for the FBI, and of course this Ms. Edmonds now claims that the FBI/DoJ reminding her of her oaths to the US as further proof of criminal Turkish penetration into the US Government.

(As a matter of information, I have also seen this Ms. Edmonds bringing entirely different charges against the FBI in the media a few years ago.)

Really.

I also take mild exception to your mentioning the fact that I have worked for the US Department of State as corroborating proof that I am some sort of extremist or holder of immoral or fantastic views. Several schools of opinion have held that view, all, to my mind, extremist and/or verging on the crack-pot.

Verging briefly into the "Armenian Question" in a WW I-related thread on Turkish battlefields (I was not the verger) is a bit on the cusp of the topic, taking us to accusations of a Turkish/Zionist/radical Republican conspiracy in lesbian blackmail of a (unnamed) Congresswoman in the context of a local election in the State of Ohio has removed us from the planet.

If we cannot remain within the gravitational grasp of our orb I suggest we confine ourselves to the parking lots and monuments, monumental or not, at Gallipoli.

Bob Lembke

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Ms. Edmonds' other charges were that: 1) the FBI ignored her warnings that other Turkish translators working in her office were members of terrorist organizations, and 2) the FBI complained that she did too much work, and when she persisted in doing too much work her supervisor came in at night to start up her computer and erase her translating work done the day before, so she had to do it over again the next day.

Bob

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There have been calls to close this thread - I would suggest that it can remain open, as long as there is no more discussion of events relating to the Armenian Genocide - nothing to do with battlefield preservation issues at Gallipoli, and there are a few other threads concerning that subject on the forum.

Alan

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Alan,

I totally agree with your suggestion; the twin aspects to this thread are both fascinating and engaging, yet the so-far polite (if heated) debates do run at cross purposes at times. However, I don't think that this means an end to the thread (at least in its current form). I trust the Mods would consider separating the two inter-related and frevently-discussed aspects of this particular thread and thereafter let them run their course in the appropriate sub-forums ('Gallipoli'? 'Politcs...', ...'Other'... etc)

Andy

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Um, anyway...so what is the current situation concerning the digging at Gallipoli?

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Hi Pals,

Connor, in answer to your query, at the moment, the only work being conducted by Turkish contractors or National Park officials on the battlefields is at one of the Turkish batteries overlooking the Dardanelles, which played a pivotal role in the fighting on March 18. The position is the one made famous by Seyit Onbasi (Corporal Seyit), who lifted a heavy shell, weighing either 275 kilograms or 150, depending on reports), loaded the artillery piece he was serving and fired the gun, again reportedly hitting the French battleship the Bouvet).

This is the only work going on at the moment, however, it has become standard practice over the past few years that any new projects are begun in the autumn months, so other work could be in the pipeline.

There have been some statements in the media that work will be carried out to expand the Turkish memorial on Kirechtepe commemorating the Gendarme unit that fought in the Suvla sector. This work is apparently supposed to include improving the road to the memorial, currently a rough track, car parks and new construction. However, no date has been made public for the commencement of the work or indeed an official statement that the work will be conducted.

There has also been talk about paving the road above and leading to Anzac Cove, large parts of which had the asphalt stripped off in 2007 after it broke up. However, Turkish and Australian officials are discussing whether or not a retaining wall at the base of the beach at the cove is needed to remedy the erosion problem caused by the poor engineering in the construction work in 2005.

Cheers

Bill

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for that.

cheers,

peter

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