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17 April 2014, Thursday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 
COLUMNISTS 29 May 2012, Tuesday 23 0
0
ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ
[email protected]
ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ

Some things never change

Nowadays I often repeat a sentence that I remember from the film “Matrix”: “Some things in this world never change.”

The reason for this is news I read recently in which some newspapers have started to target the Arameans.

As you know, the Arameans had started to return to their historical lands, Tur Abdin (Mardin-Midyat), in Turkey. Their return has apparently provoked paranoia and nationalistic hysteria in this country, and some publications have targeted the Arameans. Milli Gazete -- which is connected to the Felicity Party (SP), a nationalist conservative political establishment -- has taken a leading role in the paranoid hate-mongering publications about the Arameans.

The title of one of their articles is quite illuminative: “Toprak Satışıyla Ortaya Çıkan Yeni Tehlike Midyat’a Vatikan kolonisi!” (The Vatican colony in Midyat -- the new threat arising from the sale of land). The news itself is quite an interesting read; let’s take a look at some of the paragraphs.

“The sale of land to foreigners mobilized the Nestorians, Arameans and Assyrians under the Great Assyrian State of the Southeast. It was noted that the Great Assyrian lobby, which erected the so-called ‘Seyfo’ Genocide Monument in Stockholm, Sweden, Australia and in three US states with the help of European countries, made moves towards purchasing land in Antakya, Urfa and Mardin.”

“Researcher and writer Doğan Bekin, who in statements to Milli Gazete noted that Nestorians, Arameans and Assyrians, who were looking to revive the great Assyrian State which in history extended from the Southeast to Mosul, had rolled up their sleeves towards great efforts. Bekin said, ‘Everyone knows of the efforts exerted to establish the Great Israeli State. However, another factor that will work to complete this is the purchase of land towards the Great Assyrian State in the Southeast as well as the process of the change of ownership of land’.”

Well, as you see something has never changed. The same old paranoia and the same old provocative language which has been used in this country for the last hundred years. Previously, minorities used to suffer in silence in the face of this kind of aggressive “publication.”

I found little consolation in reading the press release of the Aramean Association. This release started off with some historical facts: “What the Arameans have experienced in the last one hundred years -- the 1915 Seyfo, the 1924 Hakkari exile, the 1928 shutting down of Aramean schools, the exile of the Aramean patriarchate in 1930, wealth taxes, the events of Sept.5-6, 1955 and the 1964 Cyprus events -- have all lead to the decrease of their population on their historical land as well as their slow perishing from this very land. Despite this, the resilience of the resistors, who wished to live on the land on which they were born and raised, was broken by the slaying of 50 Arameans during the era of the ‘unsolved murders,’ which was an application of the pro-Ergenekon mind. Thus the land of the Arameans was taken away from them.”

The press release then goes on to evaluate the news coverage of Milli Gazete: “The thing that scares and disturbs us is the hiding behind the religious mask that personifies the brotherhood of chauvinism and fascism and its dark mentality. We believe those of the Abrahamic religions are not each other’s enemies. But in recent days the Milli Gazete, websites like haberdiyabakir.com and sanliurfa.com, newspapers, news portals and the writings of people like SP general congress member Doğan Bekin are trying to create discord between different faiths and ethnicities. While attempting this they have no compunction about telling 1,001 different types of lies or committing slander.”

“We, Muslims and Christians, have tried to live as brothers on this land for the past 1,300 years, and we continue to try. Our expectation is that all believing, democratic and progressive individuals display an attitude against the enmity that is trying to be formed, [and] saying enough to all of these dark forces…”

When Morpheus in “Matrix” said, “Some things in this world never change,” Niobe responded by asking, “But some things do?” After sighing, she then replied her own question: “Luckily… some things do.”

The Aramean Association’s press release and their courage in openly challenging these paranoid publications show us that “some things do change.” But this is not enough; what needs to follow is a widespread condemnation of these paranoid publications, protection of minorities and vigilance against any possibility for physical attacks that may follow. Some things really do have to change in this country.

COMMENTS
I agree totaly with you... thanks...
ahmet
SHERMAN Thanks for your enlightening post,concerning my ETHIOPIAN GENES. This admirably widens my genetic horizon. Mind you, it could possibly widen yours. Let's follow the Aristotelian (ethiopian) syllogism. (These cursed Greeks poke their nose everywhere) 1.Greeks have ETHIOPIAN GENES. 2.Turks...
anastasia
Wow GeneralSherman, why the name calling?In all seriousness, I don't hate Turks. The majority are good people. But why are you calling the Greeks "Aegean Ethiopians?" I wished, and this with all due respect, you would explain the "reasons" for using abusive names. Thank you.
Preston Bagrationi
@avery, your stupid leaders thought as you, and attack turks by thinking russia save them and we know the consequences.both russia and west are more atheist and less chistian when we compare with 100 years ago.Greeks made stupidity in cyprus at 1974 thinking like you, if armenians made same mistake ...
@cemil39
"gensherman'" it really was Uncalled for you calling Avery with a derogatory term. For a while you were doing fine, and suddenly you are losing your temper. Don't let the "necati" disease infect you. Remember, you represent our people, and foreigners accessing Zaman will see the contents of all post...
Mine Ozcelik Bagrationi
Oh wow, Defeated Circassian General: have you and your buddy Necati been dating ? He is the one that came up with that name: very original. He has some kind of obsession with Gays. Now you. One wonders. Regarding Western Armenia: Ottoman Empire collapsed in matter of couple of years. Lost 90 percen...
Avery
John, I sort of see what you're saying but you'll find that the Aegean Ethiopians (greeks) aren't much better. After all, they've outright supported the PKK (and probably still do) and they sent paramilitary to murder Muslim Bosniak children in Srebrenica. Whenever there isn't an American or Germa...
GeneralSherman
gayvery, it's good that you're accepting the truth. However, it wasn't you, some swarthy little creature living off welfare in some European country, that made up the armenian genocide propaganda. It was the leadership of the armenian diaspora who, in the wake of their disastrous military defeats ...
GeneralSherman
@john the Turk, why do you suppose the three architects (Enver, Cemal and Talalt) of the Armenian genocide .... er... tragedy were put on trial and condemned to death? Why would Armenians invent "the fake Armenian genocide"? All informed Jews will agree no one has found a document with Hitler's sign...
David
I, Avery the Armenian, confess: I invented the fake Armenian Genocide, and falsely accused Honorable Turks of something they did not do. It was all a lie. I insincerely apologize. Now that I have confessed and apologized, can I have my Western Armenia back please. Pretty please.
Avery
Betraying home, this is not "your" country anymore..you can go to Erivan.
necati
The words and beliefs of Mr. Cengiz and also Mr. Ozcelik Bagrationi below give me hope that Turkey will eventually become a nation of tolerance for all religions. A good man can do a lot of good, many good men can move mountains. Let's keep on working to that end.
Christoph
Turkey can't pass laws to protect minority Faiths, but they can build more and bigger Mosques (see today's article). Erdogan has his priorities in order! It's readily apparent where his interest is.
Yaacov
It is the duty of the quality media to examine and not just to report the hate publication described. Yes, the law should come into play regarding hate speech. However, the nature of facism in each society needs to be explored as this writer does. The nature of Christianphobia in Turkey and how to c...
Native Anatolian
Assyrian people should return their homeland and the Government should provide financial assistance for their arrival.I know that this paper called Milli gazete isn't a hate mongering paper but its very conservative and it has some 50 to 60K readers but they all persistently demand their papers from...
john the turk
Thank you for another informative column. We really need to get away from this label of minority - be ethnic or religious! All citizens, indeed all residents including visitors, deserve the full protection of the law. This protection needs to include verbal abuse and slander. What strengthen the law...
Baran
I could Never understand why a country, like ours, where Islam is predominant, and 99.99% of our people are Muslims, tremble when our minority Christian citizens, a better word(s) would be, "numerically insignificant minority" Christian citizens come forward with some legitimate concerns of theirs. ...
Mine Ozcelik Bagrationi
I thought that there were now laws against hate speech with criminal penalties. One could argue that Bekin's article "insults Turkey" [not Turkishness] as it damages the image of the country and abstructs the goals of the country in foreign and domestic matters.
Visitor
Did you know that every year in their Passover service, Jews say, "my father was a wandering Aramean"? That proves it's a vast Jewish conspiracy! Of course, the "wandering Aramean" was Abraham .... Satire aside, it needs to be asked what are the psychological and/or material benefits derived from...
Kevin
Good article ! We Aramaeans have only sought peace and to be able to live according to our customs and have our religion. We are a peaceful people. If you respect and treat your aramean neighbours as your friends. They will treat you double with love. The turks can only benefite by co operating wit...
Joshua
I love how Cengiz's entire life experience and knowledge of outside Turkiye consists of awful Matrix sequels.
GeneralSherman
Ocalan Kevorkian Papadodoulos, have you read what the Assyrians living off welfare in Sweden and other countries say on the net? They're a wannabe version of the PKK. As always the TSK will be here to protect you, whether you appreciate it or not.
GeneralSherman
The complicity of various Turkish media instruments in formenting and promoting anti minority group hatred among Sunni Moslem Turks cannot be minimized. The newspapers can not wash their hands of their responsibility for crimes of the past, just as they must take responsibility for the crimes of the...
Christoph
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