24 October 2005

''7 Days'' newspaper of Dubai reports extensively on the Armenian Genocide

AZAD-HYE (Dubai): "7 Days" daily English language newspaper is a new
addition to Dubai media. It has brought a fresh breathe to the local press,
with its openness and willingness to deal with numerous subjects in depth
and consideration.

Armenian subjects were abundant in this newspaper from the beginning, as
this year coincided with the 90th anniversary of the Genocide and also
witnessed developments in the EU-Turkey negotiation process.

On the 1st May 2005 the newspaper published the story of Fethiye Cetin, who
discovered the Armenian origin of her grandmother and wrote a book, telling
about her efforts to reconcile her Turkish identity with the tragic past.

Read the complete story here:

On 11th October 2005, "7 Days" run an extensive report on the Armenian
Genocide, titled "Echoes of Death". The occasion of the report was the trial
of famous Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, who declared to a Swiss newspaper
earlier this year, that one million Armenians were killed a century ago and
no one in Turkey dares to mention the subject. After giving details about
the process of the trial, the newspaper described the Armenian massacres.
Here are excerpts followed by comments by three readers:

"On April 24, 1915, the Young Turk government arrested several hundred - or,
according to Turkish records, more than two thousand - Armenian
intellectuals. It is alleged that most of these were soon executed.

This was quickly followed by orders for the forced evacuation of hundreds of
thousands - possibly more than a million - Armenians from across all of
Anatolia to Mesopotamia and what is today Syria.

Many went to the Syrian town of Dayr az Zawr and the surrounding desert. It
is also claimed that the government did not provide any care for the
Armenians during the Exodus, nor when they arrived.

Some records suggest that the Ottoman troops escorting the Armenians not
only allowed others, including Turkish and Kurdish bandits, to rob, kill,
and rape the Armenians, but often did so themselves.

It is said that during the march, thousands of Armenians died through basic
starvation over a lack of food and water. The deaths during the Armenian
Exodus are a particular source of anger among Armenians today.

Widespread massacres were reported throughout the Ottoman Empire. In the
town of Van, it is said that the governor ordered irregulars to commit
crimes and force the Armenians to rebel to justify the encircling of the
town by the Ottoman army.

The Venezuelan mercenary, Nogales, who served in the Ottoman army, also
reported an order to kill every Armenian male in Van. Turkish authors on the
other hand, report an Armenian revolution in Van during the same period.

The Ottoman Empire was also among the first to open so-called concentration
camps. Many were along the Turkish border with Syria and Iraq and thousands
of Armenians were kept there.

In the 21st century, some governments, including the United States, United
Kingdom , and ironically Israel do not officially use the word genocide when
describing what happened to the Armenians, although the deaths are not
disputed. However, the governments of Argentina, Armenia, Belgium, Canada,
Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Lebanon, Poland,
Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela,
do use the phrase".

See the complete article here:

After reading the above article, Syrian Armenian Pakrad Sarkis Balabanian
posted the following comment on the website of the "7 Days" newspaper:

"I would like to thank "7 Days" for the article "Echoes of Death", Tuesday,
11 October 2005, for presenting the truth in a professional and neutral way.
I am sure that lots of Turk residents will get upset, protest and say that
your article was biased. But let me tell you something my fellow Turk
expatriates. Why do you reject completely the Idea of Genocide? It's
something which you are not accused of, your ancestors did it and we only
want you to admit it.

I know that it's very difficult to imagine or to believe that more than one
million Armenians were killed and evacuated, but believe me, we (the new
generation) are the living proof of that unfortunate incident. My origin is
from "Antab" in Turkey, but now I have a Syrian nationality and live in
Syria, because my grandparents were evacuated by force to Syria and other
neighboring countries in very harsh conditions. Many thanks to the Arab
countries, which protected and helped us to survive and live in harmony with
our Arab brothers.

My great grandmother experienced the exodus in 1914 and she witnessed how
the Othman militants killed and tortured lots of Armenian men and women in
front of her. We want to forgive you but first please admit the truth to
ease our pain."

The "Echoes of Death" came to the attention of non-Armenian readers too. On
14th October 2005, two letters to the editor were published, under the title
"Turkey should allow free speech over past":

The first letter was by N O, a Turk resident of Dubai, who was not able to
provide his/her name:

"I wish Turkey had displayed a very democratic attitude in the past and let
people talk of their thoughts, experiences and ask their questions freely
(we cannot do it today either e.g. author Orhan Pamuk being accused of being
a traitor). Our denial comes from successive autocratic regimes Turkey has
endured for a long time and which prevented the Turks from "searching the
truth" but blindly followed what they were told.

The Armenian massacre has been an ongoing argument between the Turks
themselves too. Some Turkish scholars and intellectuals are raising their
voice more bravely than other simple citizens who are scared of being
persecuted if they ask questions.

Proof is that, as a Turk I can not have my name published. Pakrad, you are
not less Turkish than I am, I wish you could come freely to your home
country and drop a bunch of flowers to the memory of your ancestors.

Actually I believe this question is not even between the Turks and the
Armenians, this is a matter of democracy... If the Armenians could speak
freely in Turkey this question would have being nothing but a national one
and would be part of our history of grief with a memorial in Anatolia".

The second letter was from Zeina, Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab

"Oh my God! When I read the whole article about the Armenian Genocide ("7
Days" October 11) I just felt like crying my eyes out. How can the world
ignore this tragedy?

This is genocide with a capital G! How do people define genocide? 1.5
million Armenians died and nobody even talks about it. Come on Turkey, if
you are a truly democratic country, you should admit what you have done.

You should apologise to the Armenians and prosecute anybody responsible (if
alive). The Armenians have every single right to be angry. And what proof do
the Turks want?

Those photos spit out the truth. I felt horrified to see these photos,
especially the photo of the starved woman and the kid. And they want to jail
Pamuk for what? For trying to spread justice for the victims? It's

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