04 October 2005

To Ambassadors of European Union Countries

AZAD-HYE (Dubai): On 17th September 2005, just two weeks before the starting
date of EU-Turkey membership negotiations, Kuwaiti Arabic daily "Al Qabas"
published an article by Kuwaiti Armenian writer Giragos Kouyoumdjian titled:
"To Ambassadors of European Union Countries".

Below is the complete text of the letter translated from Arabic to English,
followed by the response of the Turkish Ambassador in Kuwait who has been
occupied during the last year to respond not only to Armenian but also to
several local Kuwaiti writers on the same subject.

"I can not, with whatever means available to me, get what I wish through to
your presidents, cabinets or parliaments, but I know that you enjoy the
honor of representing your countries in this dear country, and that in your
capacity as representatives of all those dignitaries we hold all due
respect, so I am writing to you, hoping that you will hear me and extend our
voice to your president and people.

Your Excellencies Ambassadors of EU countries, as you know that October 3 is
the date set to discuss the procedures of Turkey’s joining the European
community, so it will become when admitted a member and part of the great,
civilized and strong community. It will also enjoy advantages and greatness
its members are enjoying, that means Turkey will become in a situation other
than its current one, and will be more protected and more immune than now.

Meanwhile, with all sincerity, I too as one of the Armenian people want all
the best to Turkey and the Turkish people, the ancient Western neighbor of
our country, I also understand the saying “That if your neighbor is good
then you are good,” and naturally I understand and acknowledge what good
neighborhood brings of benefits in the fields of economy, security, and
stability in general and we are looking forward to excellent ordinary and
normal relations with Turkey in all fields, but allow me your Excellencies
to go back to Turkey’s position and its immunity after joining the European
Union, which in turn is something that worries me, and moreover scares and
alarms me and every member of the society.

You Excellency the Ambassadors, we are working hard at all levels, using all
our formal and informal capabilities to obtain the official recognition of
the massacres that we were subjected to, as well as the insults that our
dignities were exposed to at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, followed by
oppression regimes Europe and the Middle East have never seen, and they have
never suffered from something alike at the beginning of the twentieth

Despite the fact that we gained vast recognition and support in
international arena, both at major and minor countries’ parliament levels,
and regardless of the thousands of documents that prove the occurrence of
massacres, including the Turkish Archives themselves, we could not get the
Turkish confession, all civilized countries failed to convince the Turkish
regime to make mends with its past and be gracious enough to admit the crime
their grandfathers have committed. So, please tell me Your Excellencies,
what will our situation be after Turkey joins the European Union? What
catastrophe will hit us and our cause? How are we going to acquire our
neglected right? To whom are we going to complain and who do we seek help?

We are small nation, where its young is scattered around the world like a
flock of birds attacked by falcons. Our country is surrounded by countries,
some of which are holding animosity towards us due to ethnic and
expansionist reason. We do not have abundant sources of income, but despite
that Turkey closed its borders with us, hence closing the main passage of
our country to the world. Blockades were tightened on us day after day only
to apply pressures, so who will help us to go over the high wall that
surround the Turkish government, which will go higher after its joining to
the EU which in turn provides better protection?

It is known that the enemy of your friend is your enemy, and as Turkey
considers us as its enemy, you will consider us your enemy as well because
turkey has become your friend: What a problem!

Your Excellency The Ambassadors, I wish to request from your countries to
help Turkey join your union unless you have any objection, as far as you are
concerned or international community, but not before admitting to what had
happened to us because of them, and is still prevailing due to their
destructive arrogance in dealing with Armenia and other countries as well.
It is not right to ignore the rights of people half of which was eradicated
by them, because by giving a blind eye to these facts you would install the
principal which allows the possibility of massacre committers to escape
punishment, and you would encourage others to take them as an example later
and hence you will portray Hitler, God forbid, when he proudly said in a
speech during WWII who remembers the mass killing of Armenians at the hands
of the Turks and I do not believe that you wish to burden your consciousness
with such painful load, nor the consciousness of your future generations.

We are the generation of today and are not calling for revenge, and we are
not captives of the past. We do not hold grudges and we do not cry, but we
also want to preserve our dignity according to the standards of preserving
individual’s dignities and according to the memory of respecting the 1.5
million victims of April 24, 1915, and their rights as well as a massive
part of our country that was occupied in addition to the approximately one
million Armenians who remained in occupied Western Armenia a century ago,
together with those other minorities who were forced to accept the
“Turkification” policy against their will. Yes for these reasons and
hundreds of other pains we, Armenians, cannot forget what we endured at
their hands, as they selfishly expect “forgive and forget”.

Ambassadors in the name of Consciousness, and morality, do not forget these
bitter facts that are unsolved, while you meet in Brussels on the 3rd of
October, because this is in the interest of the good and safe society
principals, which you fortify, and for the sake of your civilized people’s
honor and reputation on the long run.

I thank you in advance, for your understanding, and please accept from us
all due respect and God bless you".

Turkish Ambassador responds

In a letter addressed to Mr. Walid Abdul Latif An-Nesf, Editor-in-Chief of
the "Al Qabas" Kuwaiti Arabic daily, published on 23rd September 2005,
Turkish Ambassador H.E. Sakir Fakili repeats the well known official Turkish
position regarding the Armenians, adding that Turkey has helped Armenia
after the 1991 independence by donating wheat and inviting Armenia to take
part in the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, although
Armenia is not bordering that sea. Following is the translation of the
letter titled: "The Turkish Ambassador in Kuwait: What happened to the
Armenians was deportation".

"I read with regret in your esteemed newspaper's Saturday issue dated 17
December 2005 an article by Giragos Kouyoumdjian with the title "To the
Ambassadors of the European Union" and I would like to invite the attention
of the readers to some facts:

Turkey is a democratic secular country governed by law since the time when
Ataturk established the Republic in 1923, opening thus an age of
enlightenment, transforming Turkey to a respectful and civilized member of
the family of advanced nations.

On its way to become a member of the European Union, Turkey has fulfilled
all the criteria agreed upon on 17th December 2004, with the aim of starting
the membership negotiations on the 3rd October 2005. From that date onwards
the extremist enemies of Turkey, together with some groups in the European
Union, are trying in vain and restlessly to settle their accounts with
Turkey before the membership process is completed.

In this respect the Armenian President had recently sent a letter to the EU
countries asking them not to start Turkey's entry negotiations, a letter
that was not taken into consideration and was even criticized.

Turkey is a strong state and it was and is still able to stand on its feet.
For us, membership in the EU is not a struggle rather it is a project for
harmony and conciliation among civilizations.

Armenians can join us to create a more developed environment in our region,
if they abandon their ambitions in our land and agree to start independent
and unbiased historical studies in all related archives regarding their
genocide claims. Turkey has clearly expressed its readiness to do such
studies, but the Armenian side is always and persistently far from this

What happened to the Armenians was not genocide. It was deportation to other
places in the Ottoman Empire. It included the Armenians who were in the
Eastern Anatolia. They were taken away from war places, where they were
collaborating with the invading Russian armies in those times, with the aim
of creating their own independent state in places where they were the
minority. To achieve their goal they used ethnic cleansing against the
Turkish majority. Should religion be a factor to forget this ethnic
cleansing? On the other hand, had anybody inquired about the brutal killings
during the last three decades by "Armenian terrorists", which has caused the
death of 42 Turkish diplomats? Was this considered crime against humanity?

The Turkish Government had provided wheat to the Armenian nation after they
gained their independence, expressing thus friendship, as they were in dire
need of help. Turkey has also incorporated Armenia within the Organization
of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, although it is a landlocked country.
But of course our good intentions were fallen on deaf ear.

I would like to mention again that Turkey has completely fulfilled the
"Copenhagen criteria" for staring the EU joining negotiations, and the
so-called "Armenian Genocide", that has no court verdict related to it, is
not one of these criteria.

All what we are aspiring to from the EU countries is that they be fair".

Note: Sakir Fakili is the Ambassador of Turkey in Kuwait since September
2004. Born in Gaziantep (Aitab) in 1953, he graduated from the Political
Sciences College and worked for the Ministry of Trade for two years before
joining the Foreign Ministry.

Giragos Kouyoumdjian can be reached at: imcck@imcck.com

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