Anti-Armenianism


Anti-Armenianism

Anti-Armenianism (also Anti-Armenism and Anti-Armenian sentiment) is hostility toward or prejudice against Armenian people, Armenian culture and the Republic of Armenia, which can range in expression from individual hatred to institutionalized persecution. Several organizations have stated that difficulties currently experienced by the Armenian minority in Turkey are a result of an anti-Armenian attitude by the Turkish government [ [http://www.armenian.ch/asa/Docs/faae02.pdf Armenian] Swiss website.] as well as by ultra-nationalist groups such as the Grey Wolves. Such sentiments are also prevalent in Azerbaijan as well, and stem from the loss of the Nagorno-Karabakh War, the Khojaly Massacre, and also for domestic political reasons.

Modern anti-Armenianism often seems to lack a racial and cultural basis and appears to be based more on geopolitics and history, in addition to diplomatic and strategic interests, involving the modern states of Turkey and Azerbaijan, although these prejudices usually extend to the widespread Armenian Diaspora. The controversy and emotions surrounding the Armenian Genocide and Nagorno-Karabakh are two examples of intense anti-Armenianism in both countries. These facts do not themselves always imply a direct hate towards Armenians as a nation or ethnic group, as they tend to reflect the various historical and political tensions between these countries. Modern Anti-Armenianism is usually associated with either extreme opposition to the actions or existence of the Armenian Republic, belief in an Armenian conspiracy to fabricate history and manipulate public and political opinion for political gain, or belief that Armenia is attempting to unfairly annex land from neighboring states.

Persecution under Ottoman Empire and Turkey

The Armenian people have suffered persecution by the Turkish government for over a century. Although it was possible for Armenians to achieve status and wealth in the Ottoman Empire, as a community they were never accorded more than "second-class citizen" status and were regarded as fundamentally alien to the Muslim character of Ottoman society [Communal Violence: The Armenians and the Copts as Case Studies, by Margaret J. Wyszomirsky, World Politics, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Apr., 1975), p. 438] . In 1895, revolts among the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire lead to Sultan Abdül Hamid's decision to massacre tens of thousands of Armenians in the Hamidian massacres [http://www.armenian-genocide.org/hamidian.html Hamidian Massacres] , Armenian Genocide.] . During World War I, the Ottoman government massacred up to 1.5 million Armenians in the Armenian Genocide. [ [http://www.armenocide.am/ Armenian Genocide Institute] ] Nonspecific|date=August 2008 The position of the current Turkish government, however, is that the Armenians who died were casualties of the expected hardships of war, the casualties cited are exaggerated, and that there was no genocide. This position has been criticized by international genocide scholars [ [http://www.genocidewatch.org/TurkishPMIAGSOpenLetterreArmenia6-13-05.htm Letter] from the International Association of Genocide Scholars to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, June 13, 2005] , and by several governments, which have resolutions affirming the genocide.

Alparslan Türkeş, a late Turkish politician considered by many to have fascist views, [ [http://www.aihgs.com/kemal.htm The Practice of a Century ] ] said:

Those that have torn down this nation are Greek, Armenian and Jew traitors, and Kurdish, Bosnian and Albanians… How can you, as a Turk, tolerate these dirty minorities. Remove from within the Armenians and Kurds and all Turkish enemies. [http://euromed.epp-ed.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53&Itemid=216 EPP-ED Group: The Republic of Turkey] ]

In 2004, Belge Films, the film's distributor in Turkey pulled the release of Atom Egoyan's "Ararat", a film about the Armenian Genocide, after receiving threats from the Ülkü Ocakları, an ulta nationalist organization in Turkey that has ties to Grey Wolves of Alparslan Türkeş. [ cite news |title=Egoyan award winning film not shown yet in Turkey |accessdate=2006-05-06 |work=Toronto Star |url=http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/pen-l/2004w01/msg00066.htm] [http://adl.hayway.org/default_zone/gb/html/page3590.html Gray Wolves Spoil Turkey's Publicity Ploy on "Ararat"] ] [ [http://www.bozkurt.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1934 Ülkü Ocaklari: Ararat Yayinlanamaz] tr icon] [ [http://www.bozkurt.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1905 Ülkü Ocaklari: ARARAT'I Cesaretiniz Varsa Yayinlayin !] tr icon]

The Ankara Chamber of Commerce included a documentary, accusing the Armenian people of slaughtering Turks, with their paid tourism advertisements in the June 6, 2005 edition of the magazine TIME Europe. Time Europe later apologized for allowing the inclusion of the DVDs and published a critical letter signed by five French organizations. [" [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/29/AR2005092902240.html In Turkey, a Clash of Nationalism and History] ," "Washington Post", 2005-09-29] [ [http://www.financialmirror.com/News/Cyprus_and_World_News/5780 TIME carries documentary, adopts policy on Armenian Genocide] ] The February 12, 2007 edition of Time Europe included an acknowledgment of the truth of the Armenian Genocide and a DVD of a documentary by French director Laurence Jourdan about the genocide. [ [http://news.pseka.net/index.php?module=article&id=6444 TIME MAGAZINE: Carries documentary, adopts policy on Armenian Genocide] ]

Hrant Dink, the editor of the "Agos" weekly Armenian newspaper, was assassinated in Istanbul on January 19, 2007, allegedly by Ogün Samast. He was reportedly acting on the orders of Yasin Hayal, a militant Turkish ultra-nationalist. [cite web |url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6369111,00.html
title=Suspect in Journalist Death Makes Threat |accessdate=2007-01-24 |author=Associated Press|last=Harvey|first=Benjamin|date=2007-01-24|publisher=Guardian Unlimited
] [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6279241.stm |title=Turkish-Armenian writer shot dead|accessdate=2007-01-19 |work=BBC News] For his statements on Armenian identity and the Armenian Genocide, Dink had been prosecuted three times under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code for “insulting Turkishness.”.”cite web |title=Bad blood in Turkey |author=By Robert Mahoney |authorlink= |publisher=Committee to Protect Journalists |format=PDF |accessdate=2007-01-17 |date=2006-06-15 |url=http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2006/DA_spring_06/DA_spring_06.pdf] cite web|url=http://www.freemedia.at/cms/ipi/statements_detail.html?ctxid=CH0055&docid=CMS1169459655335 |title=IPI Deplores Callous Murder of Journalist in Istanbul|publisher=International Press Institute |date=2007-01-22|access-date=2007-01-24] He had also received numerous death threats from Turkish nationalists who viewed his "iconoclastic" journalism (particularly regarding the Armenian Genocide) as an act of treachery.cite web|url=http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/mideast/turkey19jan07na.html |title=Turkish-Armenian editor murdered in Istanbul |author=Committee to Protect Journalists |date=2007-01-19|accessdate=2007-01-24 |quote=Dink had received numerous death threats from nationalist Turks who viewed his iconoclastic journalism, particularly on the mass killings of Armenians in the early 20th century, as an act of treachery.]

Persecution in the Republic of Azerbaijan

During the Soviet era, Armenians and Azerbaijanis coexisted peacefully. When the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh broke out, however, this changed radically. There is an opinion that much of the anti-Armenian sentiments among the Azeri people today stem from the loss of the Nagorno-Karabakh War and the Khojaly Massacre (1992) perpetrated by Armenian irregulars against the Azeris during the war. However, it should also be noted that among the events precipitating the conflict were pogroms perpetrated by Azeris against ethnic Armenians in the Azeri towns of Sumgait (1988), Kirovabad (Ganja) (1988) and Baku (1990) [http://www.geocities.com/master8885/DPolicy/bakusumgait.html Pogroms] ] Verify credibility|date=August 2008 and that the Azeris themselves committed atrocities against Armenians during the war, such as the attack on the town of Maraghar (1992). [http://www.geocities.com/master8885/Cox/baroness_caroline_cox.html Survivors of the Maraghar Massacre] , Christianity Today.] In 2004, Azeri lieutenant Ramil Safarov murdered the Armenian lieutenant Gurgen Markaryan in his sleep at a Partnership for Peace NATO program. Safarov's crime resulted in contradictory reactions in his home country: some propagated granting him the status of a national hero, while others expressed severe criticism and condemned Safarov for murder. [http://www.iwpr.net/?p=crs&s=f&o=261218&apc_state=henicrs200604 Murder Case Judgment Reverberates Around Caucasus] , War and Peace Reporting.]

Starting in 1998, Armenia began accusing Azerbaijan of embarking on a campaign of destroying a cemetery of finely carved Armenian khachkars in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. [ [http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article01.asp?id=281 World Watches In Silence As Azerbaijan Wipes Out Armenian Culture] .] Dead link|date=August 2008 On May 30, 2006, Azerbaijan barred the European Parliament from inspecting and examining the ancient burial site. Charles Tannock, British Conservative Party foreign affairs spokesman in the European parliament, stated: "This is very similar to the Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban. They have concreted the area over and turned it into a military camp. If they have nothing to hide then we should be allowed to inspect the terrain." Hannes Swoboda, an Austrian Socialist MEP and member of the committee barred from examining the site, said he hopes a visit can be arranged in the autumn. He stated that "if they do not allow us to go, we have a clear hint that something bad has happened. If something is hidden we want to ask why. It can only be because some of the allegations are true." He also warned: "One of the major elements of any country that wants to come close to Europe is that the cultural heritage of neighbors is respected." [http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=18235 PanArmenian] .] The seething anti-Armenian sentiment present in much of Azerbaijan, and which likely enabled the khachkar destruction, can perhaps best be sensed in the response that the leader of Azerbaijani national chess team, Teimour Radjabov, gave to a question on how he felt about playing against the Armenian team: " [the] enemy is the enemy. We all hate them." [ [http://sport.apa.az/ru/news.php?id=33265 Teymur Rajabov: The enemy is the enemy, we hate Armenians] ]

Anti-Armenianism in Russia

A 19th century Russian chauvinist, Vasili Lvovich Velichko, who was active during the period when the Russian tzarizm carried out a purposeful anti-Armenian policy [ [http://www.vehi.net/istoriya/armenia/albanskymif.html "Albanian Myth" (in Russian) / V.A. Shnirelman, "Voyni pamyati. Mifi, identichnost i politika v Zakavkazye", Moscow, Academkniga, 2003] ] , wrote:

"Armenians are the extreme instance of brachycephaly; their actual racial instinct make them naturally hostile to the State". [Benthall, Jonathan (ed.), The best of Anthropology Today, 2002, Routledge, ISBN 0415262550, p. 350 by Anatoly Khazanov]
The Second Chechen War and the associated Chechen terrorism in Russia served as major factors in the grow of intolerance, xenophobia and racist violence in Russia, directed in a great part against the people from Caucasus. [ [http://economist.com/world/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9254176 The Economist: Russia and Chechnya: The warlord and the spook] ] These include Chechens, Azerbaijanis and Armenians. Six Armenians were killed as a result of racially motivated attacks on non-Slavic immigrants in 2006 [http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2371221 Jamestown] .] . So far the reaction of the Russian government to these murders has been subdued, often failing to term the incidents hate crimes and declining to strongly condemn them.

Anti-Armenianism in Georgia

In 2007, the Georgian media began running several stories on the March 5th parliamentary elections in Abkhazia, claiming that ethnic Armenians in the area, who make up roughly 20% of the local population, would be controlling the elections.Fact|date=June 2008Dubious|date=May 2008 The Georgian newspaper "Sakartvelos Respublika" predicted that much of the parliament would be Armenian and that there was even a chance of an Armenian president being elected. The paper also reported that the Abkazanian republic might already be receiving financial assistance from Armenians living in the United States. [http://armenianow.com/?action=viewArticle&AID=1977&CID=2055&IID=&lng=eng Focus on Faction: Georgian media stirs Abkhazian-Armenian "conflict"] ] Some Armenian groups believe such reports are attempting to create conflict between Armenians and ethnic Abkhazians to destabilize the region. The Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, which is believed by many Georgians to have been backed by Russia with Armenian assistance, has caused many problems for Georgia, as the Abkhazian separatist resulted in many ethnic Georgians killed and displaced, and Armenians in the region did side with local Abkhazians. Reports such as these suggest growing animosity towards Armenians in the country.

Anti-Armenianism in the United States

While prejudice against ethnic Armenians in the United States is not widespread, two notable cases do exist. In April 2007, Los Angeles Times' Managing Editor Douglas Frantz blocked a story on the Armenian Genocide written by Mark Arax, citing the fact Arax was of Armenian descent and therefore had a biased opinion on the subject. Arax, who has published similar articles before [http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2007/04/armenian_genocide_dispute.php LA Observed: Armenian genocide dispute erupts at LAT ] ] without issue, has lodged a discrimination complaint and threatened a federal lawsuit. Frantz, who did not cite any specific factual errors in the article, is accused of having a bias obtained while being stationed in Istanbul, Turkey. According to Harut Sassounian, an Armenian community leader, Frantz has expressed support for denial of the Armenian Genocide and has stated he personally believed that Armenians rebelled against the Ottoman Empire, an argument commonly used to justify the killings.. Frantz resigned from the paper not long afterward, possibly due to the mounting requests for his dismissal. [ [http://www.anca.org/press_releases/press_releases.php?prid=1220 Genocide Controversy Leads L.A. Times Managing Editor To Resign ] ] Another incident that received less coverage was a series of hate mail campaigns directed at Paul Krekorian, a city council candidate for Californian Democratic Primary, making racist remarks and accusations that the Armenian community was engaging in voter fraud. [ [http://www.anca.org/press_releases/press_releases.php?prid=959 Armenian Community Condemns Anti-Armenian Attacks During California Democratic Primary Election ] ]

Anti-Armenianism by individuals

For several months in 1994, someone posted messages under the alias Serdar Argic claiming that the Armenian Genocide did not happen or that Armenians massacred Turks, on Usenet newsgroup threads mentioning the word Turkey.Fact|date=June 2008

Samuel Weems published the book in May of 2002. Weems has made such claims as the "number one export of Armenia is terrorism" and that there was no Armenian Genocide. [http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/interview-weems.htm#sw Weems Interview] , Tall Armenian Tale.]

American historian Justin McCarthy is known for his controversial support of Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide. [cite news |title=A PBS Documentary Makes Its Case for the Armenian Genocide, With or Without a Debate |work=New York Times |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/17/arts/television/17stan.html?ex=1302926400&en=42703f4960edef66&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss |date=2006-04-17 |accessdate=2006-09-02]

Azeri cartoonist "Kerim Kerimov Mammadhan" has produced around 4500 [http://www.kerimkerimov.az/ Kerim Kerimov Official Web Page ] ] Anti-Armenian cartoons, most of which depict crude caricatures of Armenians. Common themes of his work include portraying Armenians as giant , and armenism are the same disease”. His works also often mocks the Armenian Genocide and its recognition by foreign countries, especially countries in Europe.

During her interviews modern Azerbaijani historian Farida Mammadova has made anti-Armenian statements. According to her, "it is known, that on whole planet exactly the Armenian people is distinguished by the absence of spiritual and other human values". [ [http://www.day.az/print/news/armenia/38422.html Фарида Мамедова: «Разрушив захоронение «Агадеде», армяне в очередной раз пытаются посягнуть на историю Азербайджана», Day. Az daily, January 06, 2006 (in Russian)] ]

Barbaros Agri uses the social networking site Facebook to advocate anti-Armenianism by being the creator of "The Biggest Lie Ever Told: The Armenian Genocide" [http://apps.new.facebook.com/causes/9249?m=5e8b1] . The cause has 90000 plus members.

See also

* September Days
* White Genocide
* Anti-Turkism

References

Further Reading

* Hilmar Kaiser: "Imperialism, Racism, and Development Theories. The Construction of a Dominant Paradigm on Ottoman Armenians", Gomidas Institute, Ann Arbor (MI) 1997


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