Turk Talk

Garen Yegparian

BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
It’s time to address some advances that Turks have made in their propaganda machinery and efforts. What started with the likes of Tall Armenian Tale,” a mess of a website, is now far more sophisticated, because of serious money being poured in.

An example of money talking is an outfit called Turkish Cultural Foundation (Turk Kultur Vakfi) with offices in Boston, Istanbul, Sonoma, and Washington, DC. I’ve only recently become aware of it in any substantive way, though it was founded January 1, 2000 according to their website. They’ve been sending out slick newsletters advertising their lectures (most seem to be in Turkey). What’s insidious about this is the “we’re just an American group promoting cultural awareness” tack adopted by the group. The deviousness of this is obvious given the office locations cited. But it sure looks good and creates access to people’s hearts and minds. Worse, it is very difficult to counteract, for all the same reasons, much like the heinous “Anatolian” festival in Orange County last October, about which I’d written (see “Occupation, Liberation”). Also interesting is the subtle embrace of their murderous Ottoman past with the use of a logo that is almost identical to that empire’s “tugra,” or seal. See the accompanying pictures.

In tandem with this progress is the ever increasing participation by Turks on Armenian websites/blogs, if comments posted to my articles are any indication. On one hand, we should thank the Turks for driving up the number of hits on our newspapers’ websites, enabling them to charge more for advertising. But there is a downside. Many of our folks respond, quite extensively and aptly, to the blather posted by these Turkish agents. Unfortunately, this eats up precious time on our side. It might be better to engage these Turks selectively. Those comments that are well written, insidious, or even genuine outreach/curiosity, should be addressed. The bulk of the Turkish comments, though, are beneath contempt, and should be met with one person posting a terse, barely one-sentence-long dismissal, and nothing else. The time saved is better expended posting on Turkish sites and causing THEM to spin their wheels, with lengthy, frothing “rebuttals” to our comments.

Another very dangerous form of Turkish “free speech” and propaganda has landed on American shores in the form of the Gülen movement. Muhammed Fethullah Gülen (usually conveniently omitting his first name to not stir up anti-Islamic sentiments) is the ideological head of the movement, though he actively “dissociates” himself from it organizationally. He fled to the U.S. under the pretext of seeking medical treatment, but probably to avoid arrest in Turkey. At the time, his Islamicism had not yet carried the political day in the form of the AKP, now in its third term of governing Turkey. This movement has been very adept at establishing Turkish themed charter schools in many states of the U.S. The money received from these schools makes its way to Turkey and Gülen’s pockets (some contend he is a billionaire) through a Medusan tangle of legal entities, as he is encamped in a huge compound in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Some of this vile network may be starting to fray (more on this another time), but meanwhile, these schools are training a generation of kids (and future voters) in baseless Turco-philia.

We must be alert to these dangers on the public relations front and pre-empt, undercut, them, not respond to them which just serves to strengthen the Turks’ framing of issues and falls into the trap of playing their game with their rules, rather than ours. If you notice such activities and perfidy, report it to the ANCA, your favorite Armenian news source, or any other appropriate entity.

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8 Comments

  1. Alex Postallian said:

    Let us review the turks idiocy.#1 They have been spending millions in bribes,to low class stooges,and their country is 70% illiterate.#2They must be real stupid to deny a historical known to most of the world. #3 Still retain the mongol tribesmen genetics of Status Quo.#4 Cant cast off the non de plume of OLD YELLOW STAIN,a WW1 designation,being beaten by a equal force on two fronts,grovelling,joining the other side.

      • Alex Postallian said:

        You are judged by your idiotic verbal expression,denying history,the mentality of your people,sub-standard educational system is a form of illitertcy,if not the worst.So wake up,the world is still laughing at you,but too much of a coward to tell you so.I dont know why,because you have shown your cowardly reputation on harming those who are 20 times smaller,unarmed women ,children and old people.Never anyone near your size……compish.

    • Zarouhi Poghosyan said:

      Well now, could this be the reason that Turkey was dubbed “The Sick Man of Europe?”

  2. Jimmy Wiki said:

    Even though you are living in the United States of America, in the 21st century, your senses are still struggling in the 11th century in little Armenia. Do you know anything other than dialogue to live in peace and harmony? Turks and Armenians are like lettuce and tomatoes in the same salad bar. Stop labeeling people and institutions by calling them Gulen charter schools out of nowhere.

  3. Murat said:

    Jimmy Wiki (such a strange name)
    First off, there never was a “little Armenia” look at the history books and maps of the democratic kingdom of Clicia or Hayik, you will see it was far from “little Armenia”
    Secondly, Turkey was not a country until 1923, most of what Turkey acquired was by invasions and slaughtering/in slaving the inhabitants of the invaded lands.
    Lastly, this is why your “Little Turkey” is so despised by Eastern Europe (and most of civilized Europe) Russia, middle east – including your major trading partner Israel.

    You should stop with the Turkocentric attitude.
    Fortunately, the majority of the world isn’t buying it and are resisting your Turkification baloney.

    Not everyone wants to dance the Kolbasti or speak a language that is only spoken by 140 million people.

    Interesting that you label your Gulen Turkish Olympiads “7 billion people 1 language” as if it is the only culture or language that matters in the world. AND that only through learning Turkish will children truly understand what peace, love and happiness is. cough cough. (wink wink)

    You are sadly mistaken. Thou protest way too much my friend!!!!!

    • Zarouhi Poghosyan said:

      Murat, don’t waste your time. In the country of Turkey they teach in the educational system to hate Armenians. Armenians caused their own death because they were dirty traitors to the Ottoman Empire. That Turks were killed by Armenians. This is their excuse for the delibrate ethnic cleansing pograms against Armenians and others.
      Those darn Armenians how could they cause their own death. 150,000 Armenian orphans left parentless and homeless it was all those children’s fault.

      Now substitute “Armenians” for: Kurds, Alevis, Lebanese Maronites, Assyrians, Austrians, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Arab Moslems, Greeks, Pontic Greeks, Cypriot Greeks………….etc, etc.,
      so on and so on.

      the bloody trail of the Ottoman Turk was massive. Unfortunately, the dark stain of the Ottoman still effects the good citizens of Turkey today. This black cloud will continue to follow Turkey and the world will scorn them until they have admitted these atrocities and moved on. For denialism leaves the door open for more genocides that sadly occur in the world today.

      Turks are so ignorant they believe Armenians contrived the word “genocide”. Rafael Lemkin, a polish attorney of jewish ancestory was the first to coin “Genocide” in describing the atrocities of the Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphael_Lemkin

  4. Murat said:

    Let me correct the illiterate statement above.

    Turkey has 14 million illiterate out of a population of 78 million (if you mention to a Turk, they will say “the Kurds are the ones that are illiterate)
    2,000 Turkish students a day drop out of schools.
    On the last OCED international rankings of 34 countries, Turkey ranks below standard at 32 just above Chile and Mexico.
    The winners are always Finland and Korea.

    USA is always above average. Not sure how this group is selling “Turkish education as stellar” to school districts. But that is the flaws in the infancy program called charter schools. USA has many unemployed Math, Science and Technology teachers who were displaced, there is no need to bring uncredentialed teachers on h1-b Visas.

    The truth is stronger than fiction and it is being revealed every day.

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