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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Wednesday, June 23 2021 @ 08:52 PM EDT
The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Wednesday, June 23 2021 @ 08:52 PM EDT
The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine

Author, Scholar and Bergen County Native Peter Balakian Speaks at Bergen, Oct. 8

Renowned Professor to Discuss Armenian Culture and History

Noted author and Teaneck-native Peter Balakian, who has written extensively about the Armenian experience, will speak at Bergen Community College on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 6 p.m. Balakian’s visit, arranged by the College’s Peace, Justice and Reconciliation Center and the Center for the Study of Intercultural Understanding, brings the nationally recognized author and scholar to Bergen to discuss the struggle of the Armenian people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as well as their history, poetry and literature.There are 1.5 million people of Armenian descent living in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census for 2000. More than 8,300 Armenian Americans live in Bergen County.

Balakian serves as the current Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities and director of creative writing in Colgate University’s English department. He was also the university’s first director of its Center for Ethics and World Societies. Balakian won the PEN/Albrand Prize for his memoir, “Black Dog of Fate,” which earned New York Times Notable Book honors. He was the recipient of a 1999 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2004 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize for his book, “The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response.”

His address will take place in the Moses Family Meeting and Training Center (Technology Education Center room 128) at the College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, NJ. Seating is limited and reservations are suggested. Please contact Keith Chu at [email protected] or (201) 447-9232 to make a reservation.

The Peace Justice and Reconciliation Center provides educational experiences, exhibitions, dialogues, and forums on the issues of war, genocide, social justice. Additionally, the Center aims to develop skills in conflict resolution through interdisciplinary study. The Center’s philosophy is that peace can be promoted, and that cultural conflicts can be reduced.

The Center for the Study of Intercultural Understanding promotes a greater understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures through better communication and critical-thinking skills. Originally introduced at the College as the Center of International Study in 1979, the CSIU is committed to the study of diversity and global issues.

Bergen Community College is a public two-year coeducational college, enrolling nearly 17,000 students in Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degree programs and certificate programs. More than 15,000 students are enrolled in non-credit, professional courses through the Division of Continuing Education, the Institute for Learning in Retirement, the Philip J. Ciarco Jr. Learning Center, located at 355 Main Street, Hackensack, and Bergen at the Meadowlands, located at 1280 Wall Street West, Lyndhurst. Information about the College is available at www.bergen.edu or by phoning the Welcome Center at (201) 447-7200.

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Friday, September 18 2009 @ 04:42 PM EDT

Balakian mixes fiction with history. He is not qualified as a historian but insists on passing as one. It is not remarkable that an Armenian writer’s book about Turks is full of slurs, outrageous claims, poor math, and bad history. What is remarkable is the fact that he can have access to mainstream media and unsuspecting audiences.

Balakian’s book itself is not even worth the paper it is written on for those seeking a scholarly history of the alleged Armenian genocide. Balakian revels in stereotypes. The book would have lost none of its impact with correcting the many historical inaccuracie. Its greatest shortcoming, of course, is the lack of scholarly acceptable source materials.

Balakian will tell you 1.5 million Armenians were killed by when one finds out that the entire population of the Armenians, according to Ottoman Empire’s tax records, was 1.3 million. How can more people die than there is?

Balakian will tell you that the New York Times covered the alleged genocide 145 times in the year 1915 alone. This actually is a revelation of bias and bigotry as the same newspaper had given zero chance for Turks to respond to allegations and make their own arguments. Such low was the standards of reporting back then .

Balakian will recite a long list of celebrities, politicians and leaders who donated money to the campaigns for humanitarian aids to Armenians. This is also a proof of religious discrimination because while all of that aid went to Armenians, none of that went to Muslims, mostly Turks, who were also starving due to same wartime conditions in the same areas and times.

This kind of selective morality was at the heart of all reporting from the war zones. Lamsa, George M., a missionary well known for his research on Christianity, put it best in his book, The Secret of the Near East, The Ideal Press, Philadelphia 1923, page 133:

"…In some towns containing ten Armenian houses and thirty Turkish houses, it was reported that 40,000 people were killed, about 10,000 women were taken to the harem, and thousands of children left destitute; and the city university destroyed, and the bishop killed. It is a well- known fact that even in the last war the native Christians, despite the Turkish cautions, armed themselves and fought on the side of the Allies. In these conflicts, they were not idle, but they were well supplied with artillery, machine guns and inflicted heavy losses on their enemies…."

Wartime propaganda was at its zenith. The propaganda was so intense that Americans were fed only those stories that supported America’s war effort. Frustrated by this outrage, world renown American professor John Dewey, finally set the record straight in The New Republic, 12 November 1928 issue:

“...Few Americans who mourn, and justly, the miseries of the Armenians, are aware that till the rise of nationalistic ambitions, beginning with the 'seventies, the Armenians were the favored portion of the population of Turkey, or that in the Great War, they traitorously turned Turkish cities over to the Russian invader; that they boasted of having raised an Army of one hundred and fifty thousand men to fight a civil war, and that they burned at least a hundred Turkish villages and exterminated their population...”

Armenian claims can only flourish if facts are not known and those who will reveal facts are censored. Balakian types are but a flash in a pan of lies, misrepresentations, and forgeries. The truth, on the other hands, endures Armenian propaganda.

zekiye icli

Tuesday, September 29 2009 @ 10:44 AM EDT

This article reminded me a saying of an old Turkish poet Fuzuli 'Literature which does not depend on scholarship, resembles a weak wall and collapses easily'. It is because of the fact that Mr Balakian has misused his pen to boost anti Turkish racism distorting the historical realities, being unrespectful to historical scholarship, the literary merit and humanistic value of his works are reduced considerably. He has made propaganda of the Armenian thesis, which depends on forgeries and lies.

I will present you the following excepts just to tell you about the other side of the picture seen from the Turkish side, which are presented by our grandmothers and grandfathers but denied by the Armenian propagandists and their supporters: Massacres inflicted upon Turks/Muslims by the Armenians during the WWI.

-In Van, Çarikser Village, a Turkish/Ottoman child was bayoneted and was cooked on fire as if he were a lamb by the Armenians.
-In Van, Ahtucu Village, the six-month old baby of a Turkish/Otoman woman Zeliha, was thrown into the oven (tandir) by the Armenians while she was baking bread.

Then the woman was ordered to eat her baby! When she rejected, her right leg was forced into the oven and burned [Telegram of Van Gendarme Troop Commander Ali Vasif (May 11 1916)].
- In Trabzon, the massacred Muslim folk were filled into wells and the bodies of people whose arms and legs had been plucked were thrown into the gardens. The mosques were defacated and even the fruit trees were violated (Telegram of Captain Ahmet Refik, May 1, 1918).

-In the Eastern Anatolia, it had become usual to see dead Muslims of all ages whose bodies had been destroyed, with heaps of cut up legs, arms, heads, noses around. The bodies of women displayed overt signs of violation by force. Russian Lieutenant Colonel Griyaznof reported that gun rockets were installed into the vaginas of women bodies.

-The Turks who had been slaughtered like animals were buried in large holes in the Eastern Anatolia (Lieutenant Colonel Twerdo-Khlebof. I wittnessed and I Lived Through Erzurum, 1917-1918. www.tsk.mil.tr/ermeni_sorunu/arsiv_belgeleriyle_ermeni_faaliyetleri/pdf/yarbay_tverdohlebov.pdf).
(Ahmet Refik Altinay. Iki Komite ve Iki Kital. Istanbul, 1919;p.71-72).
Alive children were also filled in these holes (Ermeni Komitelerinin Amal ve harekat-i Ihtilaliyesi, p 321-23).

-The Turkish History Foundation is continuing to open up these amss graves to bring out the bodies, as verified in eye witness accounts.

-The Armenians blinded 15 000 Turkish soldiers and burned their skin by forcing them into so-called ‘disinfection pools’ with excessive crizole, in 1918, in the prisoner camp of Alexandropol, Egypt, in cooperation with the English soldiers (Altinay Ahmet, Bir Turk Subayinin Ingiliz Esir Kampinda Uc Yili, 2004)’

-They murdered 40% of the Muslim population in Van, Bitlis, Erzurum (Ozdemir Hikmet. Salgin Hastaliklardan Olumler 1914-18. 2005).

Were the tragedies the Turks/Ottoman Muslims suffered, less than those of the Armenians?

The Armenians were the very responsibles of all the above events, which are only a few of all. Also, each one of the above events is a subject of a novel, a cinema or a documentary film, But, why are they not the Turks but the Armenians who prefer to mourn for the events of 90 years ago continually, through novels, films, memories etc and spend extreme effort to keep these memories alive, as if they have rehappened every new day’s morning?

It is not surprising that the Armenians fiercefully reject suggestions of Turkey to discuss these events in Joint Commissions made up of Armenian, Turkish historians and historians from other countries. Because they fear even of having a look at these events from other perspectives and therefore losing the freedom of their imagination to consider them. They seem to have liked the label of ‘a victim’ and do not want to lose it; or do not want to realize that the Turks were also victims.

Is it just a coincidence that while Armenian population is continually decreasing due to external migration of the workless countrymen, the diaspora Armenians are living in high standarts in Europe and USA and wealthy? And is it not interesting that instead of providing financial help for their countrymen, they spend huge amounts of money to keep Turkish hatred alive and aggravate enmity against Turkey and every kind of thing that has even any little relationship with a Turk.

Is it not amusing that it is this enemy Turkey and the Turks who provided work for more than 60 000 illegal workers of Armenia who entered Turkey up till now, unlike the wealthy diaspora Armenians who are in deep love with their country and countrymen?

Therefore, it is inevitable to remember Churchill’s saying: ‘If a dispute arises between ‘today’ and ‘yesterday’, we lose ‘tomorrow’. The Armenians and the Armenian diaspora, and their supporters, unfortunately are not aware that they are losing their ‘tomorrow’.

In a novel of a Turkish novelist Selim İleri, a character says: ‘I killed you, while I was trying to present you my endless love’. The Armenians and Armenia are slowly killing themselves, while they are trying to express their endless love towards themselves and their grandparents….
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