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16 April 2014, Wednesday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 
COLUMNISTS 28 January 2013, Monday 15 0
0
ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ
[email protected]
ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ

‘I wish I wasn't Armenian'

On Monday when I was turning the pages of the Taraf daily, I came across this very striking headline, “I wish I wasn't Armenian.” These are the words of an old Armenian lady whom the Taraf correspondent called Aunt Seta. Ms. Seta is a close friend of the four Armenian women who were attacked in the Samatya neighborhood of İstanbul recently. One of the ladies died while the others were seriously injured. No suspect has been caught yet. Some argue that these ladies, all of whom were over 80 and living alone, were attacked by thieves whose only intentions were to steal their valuables.

Well, as I discussed in my earlier column, even if the intent of the attackers was robbery, this does not change the fact that there is an obvious racial hatred behind these assaults. If their only purpose was to steal a few items from these old ladies they could easily incapacitate the women without the brutality. But instead they brutally beat and stabbed these women. And we have additional information provided by the neighbors, including Ms. Seta, who said that the assaulted Armenian women were actually quite poor. There are of course other theories circulating currently. One of them claims that the attackers intend to scare Armenians away from Samatya in order to seize their properties. Whatever financial or material gains may appear to be behind these attacks, I do not think they eradicate the racial hatred apparent in their execution.

And it seems to me that these attacks have already achieved a lot. As you can see from the words of Ms. Seta, they have managed to plant profound hopelessness in Armenians and open up some old wounds which might not have healed completely.

Maybe we need to look at the broader picture to gain a wider perspective on these recent attacks against Armenians in İstanbul. Very recently a Greek church in İstanbul was stoned by “unknown” people. Then, the police revealed an extremely detailed assassination plan against one of the pastors of the İzmit Protestant Church. The police announced that they caught a dozen suspects who appear to have been preparing for this attack for months. They are from different cities. Amongst them are women and some of them penetrated the church disguised as newly converted Christians. This assassination plan seems very professional and organized to me.

There was another concerning development in İstanbul very recently as well. An Armenian intellectual, who does not want to reveal his identity, told me that he barely managed to escape unscathed from a planned attack by two youngsters who were sent by an ultranationalist who was angry with some of the words that this Armenian intellectual had made on TV.

Well, in a country like Turkey, if several things as I mentioned happens in a matter of weeks, we should have every reason to believe that they are organized and somehow connected to each other. Apparently, some circles are frantically trying to create an atmosphere of terror for non-Muslims in Turkey. When there was a comparable level of activities against non-Muslims in 2006 and 2007, they ended up in disaster with a string of murders of Christians: Father Andrea Santoro in Trabzon, Hrant Dink in İstanbul and three Christians in Malatya were killed.

Since the beginning of the Ergenekon investigation in 2007, we have not witnessed such kinds of attacks against non-Muslims. Some cells seemed to have been reactivated to give Christians a hard time once again. I really hope that officials will grasp the severity and gravity of the situation soon and act quickly in order to bring the attackers and the people behind them to justice. This situation is quite serious and alarming!

COMMENTS
@Hakan, the sad truth is that you don't know your own history, you can even read a Turkish document prior to 1927, an unfortunate fact which has aided your Turkish state in telling you whichever version of history is most politically expedient
Arshaguni
The Turkish interior minister made a racist hatefull comments against Armenians not so long ago in a gathering,he never apologised to Armenians,thats is the core problem in Turkeye,in America,if state official makes a racist comment,then he apologises,this is fundemental human rights everywhere
Garo Avedis
@Hakan, you should roll up your fabricated version of history and flush it down the toilet. You are one coward defending the racist words of another coward, Sandokhan, who did not even have the guts to express the words that were truly in his heart. Instead he hid behind his cowardly statement indir...
Ararat
If the Armenian Genocide at the hands of Turks is a fabrication, then the Earth is flat. Turkish diplomats that were assassinated were State Agents: proximate legitimate targets. The Turkish diplomats were actively engaged in the denial of the AG, a form of continuation of genocide. The diplomats we...
Avery
Jack Kalpakian, it seems we have one more Turkish commentator endorsing the murder of old Armenian ladies. AND a Prime Minister who has yet to issue a statement repudiating these acts. Erdogan has become an enabler of criminals by his lack of forceful statements and actions against them. Thank you o...
Christoph
Know your present. A present of vicious racist killing of minority elderly, pastors, journalist, gangs planning to attack Christian pastor, courts striping non muslims of ancient lands, hate in school text books, attacjs ib churches, declarations that Cem houses are not places of worship, politicia...
Deal with what is happening today
@Jack...Sandokhan is showing that murder is murder when armenians murder its nothing good in it, and if turks murder there is also no good in it. However most radical and brainwashed armenians prefer to hear only the story turks murdered armenians..while they love to be deaf on facts which show arme...
Hakan
So we have at least one regular Turkish commentator endorsing the murder of 80 year old Armenian ladies in retaliation for the deaths of Turkish diplomats at the hands of Armenian terrorists in the 70s. Thanks Sandokhan, you honor yourself and your country for sharing this out in the open, good job...
Jack Kalpakian
In the ‘70s Armenians founded terror organizations to kill Turks. Just to kill Turks. Exactly this date, January 28, they killed in Los Angeles the Turkish diplomat Kemal Arikan. He had been one of the almost 50 Turks Armenians killed just because they were Turks. Hampig Sassounian of the Justice Co...
Sandokhan
"We were born Armenian -- a fate ordained to us by God" -- a clause in one of the foundational documents of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia. This lady's statements should clue everyone to what that means.
Jack Kalpakian
How can Turkish police be so incompetent or more likely indifferent to vicious attacks on these old women a foreigner may very well ask? It is just another legacy of the violent tyrant Gen Mustafa Kemal -later Ataturk- who demonized, delegitimized and adopted double standards towards the citizens wh...
Bawer
Dear MR. Cengiz, with all due respect to you and your righteous position on this very sensitive subject, I just have to prescribe to an age old Armenian proverb according to which “spring does not come with one flower”. Turkey will not change with the good will and courageous work of few human...
kesariatsi
This situation is indeed quite serious and alarming . And for an Armenian women to say that she wished that she wasn't Armenian ? That tells us how frightened these people must be . It takes a coward and a disgusting person to attack and harm the most vulnerable among us , lonely unprotected women...
Vartan
time to set up a neighborhood watch!
Sevag
Most of Turks' real homland still remains Altay mountains.
Reeder
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