Millions Watch Popular Egyptian Talk Show on the Armenian Genocide

Al-Soura al-Kamila (The Complete Picture) is a popular talk show produced in Egypt

BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN

Ever since Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi was removed from office, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been harshly critical of the new government, strongly advocating his fellow Islamist Morsi’s return to power.

Given Erdogan’s unwelcome meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs, millions of Egyptians have expressed anger and resentment against Turkey and its prime minister. Egyptian newspapers have been replete with anti-Turkish reports and commentaries. Dozens of articles have been published condemning Turkish denials of the Armenian Genocide and urging Egypt’s new leaders to recognize it. There have also been calls for erecting a monument for the Armenian Genocide in Cairo and demands that Turkey pay restitution for the Armenian victims. In an unprecedented move, attorney Muhammad Saad Khairallah, head of the Institute of the Popular Front in Egypt, filed a lawsuit accusing Turkey of committing genocide against Armenians.

On Sept. 4, Khairallah and Dr. Ayman Salama, Professor of International Law at Cairo University, appeared on Lilian Daoud’s highly popular talk show, Al-Soura al-Kamila (The Complete Picture) on ONtv, watched by millions in Egypt and throughout the Arab world. Participating in the show by phone were Resul Tosun, former Turkish Parliament member from Erdogan’s Islamist AK Party, and Harut Sassounian, Publisher of The California Courier. The 36-minute TV program was conducted in Arabic, a language I have rarely used since childhood.

Prof. Salama informed the audience that the Turkish Military Tribunal in 1919 indicted the criminals responsible for the Armenian Genocide. Seventeen Turkish officials were found guilty, and three were hanged. Dr. Salama indicated that France, Great Britain and Russia had issued a joint Declaration in 1915, warning that they would hold Turkish leaders responsible for massacring Armenians and committing “crimes against humanity and civilization.”

Attorney Khairallah insisted that raising the Armenian Genocide issue in Egypt is long overdue and does not have any political undertones. He hoped that his lawsuit will force Egypt, “the largest Sunni country in the Middle East,” to serve as an example for other Arab countries to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Khairallah announced that his lawsuit will be considered by the Egyptian Court on November 5. He hoped that the Court would make a historic decision regarding this critical “human rights issue.”
When the hostess of the TV show asked for my opinion on the Egyptian lawsuit, I expressed my great satisfaction, hoping for a positive verdict on the eve of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, and looking forward to its recognition by the Egyptian government.

I also commented that Erdogan had anointed himself as the new Sultan of the Middle East, and sole defender of all Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians. However, Erdogan’s misrepresentation was finally exposed when the Arab world realized that he was simply trying to dominate the region, pursuing Turkey’s self-interest rather than that of Arabs and Muslims.

Former Turkish parliament member Resul Tosun, joining the show by phone, quickly antagonized the viewers by claiming that “the current Egyptian government that came to power after the military coup is not legitimate, therefore, the filed lawsuit cannot be considered legitimate.” Tosun then went on to parrot his Turkish bosses’ baseless denials of the Armenian Genocide.

Prof. Salama, incensed by Tosun’s remarks, called Erdogan “the successor of the Ottoman butchers who committed the Armenian Genocide.”

The TV hostess then asked for my reaction to Tosun’s perverted views on the Armenian Genocide. I reminded the viewers that Kemal Ataturk, in an interview published in the ‘Los Angeles Examiner’ on August 1, 1926, had demanded that the Young Turks be “made to account for the lives of millions of our Christian subjects who were ruthlessly driven en masse and massacred.” I also recalled that the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, leader of the globally preeminent center of Islamic studies in Cairo, had issued a Fatwa (religious decree) in 1909 chastising Turkish officials for massacring 30,000 Armenians in Adana, Cilicia.

At the end of the show, attorney Khairallah announced that public rallies will be held shortly to demonstrate that his group’s lawsuit emanates from a popular demand – Egyptians asking their government “to recognize that Armenians were massacred at the hands of Turkish criminals.”

So far, Lebanon is the only Arab country to have recognized the Armenian Genocide. If Egypt follows suit, can Syria and the rest of the Arab world be far behind?

You can see the talk show here.

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10 Comments

  1. Daron said:

    I am skeptical about all this Genocide recognition by Egypt. Like others before them, they are using the Genocide card to counter Turkey’s undesired foreign policy in the region. Now, most likely, jihsdists and Islamic brotherhood will retaliate the government’s position on the Genocide issue by committing terrorist acts against Armenian community in Egypt. Of course, Egyptian Armenians can thank Harout Sasounian for that soulful interview that aired on Egyptian t.v. chanel.

  2. An Armenian said:

    I will believe it when I actually see that the Egyptian government has recognized the Armenian Genocide. Until then, I believe that it is apolitical ploy being used by the Egyptians to get back at Turkey.

  3. Ardag Tarpinian said:

    It is a pitty that in a such important program the Armenian guest did not even speak arabic exactely why did not you choose one of the Armenians who speaks good arabic. Why did not answer that the number of the Armenians were not only one million and a half living before the Genocide and one million 400 thousand survived! Why did not gave the answer that the ones sentenced during the Genocide and before 1919 were those who have stollen the deported Armenians goods and money and did not give them to the Ittihad Party and not because they did not protect the deportees! The egyptians in the studio seemed more prepaired in History than the Armenian guest what a shanme! Why the evidences of the Court of 1919 that uncovered the existence of the Teshkilate Mahsuse created to exterminate the Armenians was not mentioned as answer to the Turk who said the Armenian deportees were attacked by gangs outside the will of the government., Come on how unprepaired should we still to be even after almost one century! It is time to be prepaired to answer the turks lies.

  4. Gloria said:

    Kudos to you Mr. Sassounian for keeping your cool when dealing with continued outright hatred and lies. I did not know that Ataturk had said that statement in 1926. I am a little bit confused about him. I know that he did not order the massacres but somehow I have always associated him with that group. It’s smart to include him in any such debates because the Turkish people seem to really want to defend his image, as if his image is their image.

  5. vartan said:

    FINALY EGYPTION GOVRENMENT ,PEOPLE AND MEDIA DISCOVERS THE REAL FACE OF TURKEY AND ITS LEADER DISHONEST AND SINISTER INTENTIONS. GUL , ERDEGAN , AND ENTIRE AKP ARE BUNCH OF STUGES WITH NEO OTTOMAN DESIERS. TURKEY IS THE CANCER OF MIDLE EAST, TURKEY IS A VIRUS WHICH SPREADS DESEAS, DIVISION , DESTRUCTION. AND GENOCIDE . THE ARABIC COUNTRIES MUST REJECT ALL THE POLICIES AND INTENTIONS EXPRESSED BY TURKEY, THERE IS NO GOOD COMES FEOM A TURK OR TURKEY IN THE WORLD.

  6. Antoine S. Terjanian said:

    Congratulations to all participants. This is the most informative and articulate discussion in Arabic I have ever heard on the Armenian Genocide. I was particularly impressed with Dr. Ayman Salama and his in-depth knowledge of all the facts.
    I deplore however that the station OnTV did not use the word “Genocide” (الابادة الجماعية) in its text neither did Lilian Daoud, the host. They used instead “slaughters” (مذابح) and Armenian Massacres (مجاذر الارمن).
    It is interesting that this Egyptian initiative happens when when the current Egyptian gouvernment is almost in open conflict with the Turkish Government. Is this really an Egyptian popular expression of opinion coming at a time when Egyptian popular opinion is finally free and wants to be totally humanitarian and seek justice for the Armenian people? I certainly hope so. If this is truly the case, then I congratulate the Egyptian people.
    I certainly appreciate Dr. Ayman Salama’s initiative and intervention on this show. I was posted by the Canadian Government for 4 years in Cairo and know how to appreciate the beautiful and generous spirit of the Egyptian people.

  7. The Truth said:

    One had to mention Armenian Nubar Pasha who was the first PM of Egypt – and a strong one !

  8. Garo Yeghichian said:

    Arab countries soon or late they will admit and recognise the Armenian genocide.the Arabs countries they know and witnessed the unforgetable and unforgivabale torturing mass killings and deportation of one and a half million children men and women in there own land and threre own country.
    (THE OTOMAN TURKS WANTED ARMENIA WITHOUT AN ARMENIAN)

  9. Pingback: В Египте миллионы посмотрели ток-шоу на тему Геноцида армян: против Турции подан иск | Реальная Армения | Армения сегодня

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