Is Turkey’s Consul Unhappy that not All Armenians were Slaughtered like Sheep?

BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN

Hakan Tekin, the young and inexperienced Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles, is trying hard to earn brownie points with his bosses in Ankara by countering any reference to Armenians in the U.S. media. He went overboard last week by sending an offensive letter to the Los Angeles Times.

Tekin was displeased with Patt Morrison’s interview with me published by the Times in its op-ed page on April 24. The article was titled, “Harut Sassounian: True to the Past.”

In his brief letter, Consul General Tekin made several misjudgments. The first was to criticize the L.A. Times’ Pulitzer-Prize winning veteran journalist Patt Morrison, alleging that there were “many misleading elements” in her interview, without naming a single one.

Judging from the text of the Consul General’s letter, it was probably drafted by one of the many American public relations firms hired by the Turkish government at great cost. While the words may have been written by Americans, the thoughts are definitely those of a Turkish denialit! P.R. firms don’t really care how silly their letters sound, as long as their employer is satisfied and compensates them handsomely. Here is a piece of free advice that the Turkish government and the Consul General should keep in mind before taking on again the free press in a free country: “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

Tekin is behaving as if he is still in Turkey, where the media is routinely suppressed by such fascist tactics as throwing journalists in jail or physically eliminating them. He is vainly trying to import Turkey’s undemocratic “gag rule” into the United States by trying to silence the L.A. Times!

The Consul General goes on to attack me for the photograph that accompanies the L.A. Times article, in which I am holding the picture of my grandmother “garlanded with a bandolier of bullets.” I am very proud of grandma Gadar, because at a time when more than a million Armenians were being marched to their deaths by the genocidal rulers of Tekin’s ancestors, she and her fellow Zeitountsis — men, women and children — defended themselves valiantly and refused to be slaughtered like sheep. Had she not fought to save her life, I would not have existed today, which may have made the Consul General happier! Is Tekin upset that the Turkish government was unable to finish the job of exterminating every last Armenian?

Consul General Tekin then criticizes me for my “relentless opposition” to the infamous Armenia-Turkey Protocols. He has no one else to blame than his own government for not ratifying these Protocols which have been collecting dust in the Turkish Parliament for more than six months. Armenians are indeed fortunate that Turkey’s leaders have inadvertently protected Armenia’s national interests by not ratifying the Protocols, so that they could extract more concessions from the Armenian government!

Incredibly, Tekin ends his pathetic letter by admonishing me to be more like William Saroyan, who he claims was “compassionate” toward Turks! May I remind the Turkish Consul of Saroyan’s well-known statement castigating the Turks for having destroyed Armenia and its people. Here is the original version of that quotation, as it was published in Inhale & Exhale, New York: Random House, 1936:  “Go ahead, destroy this race. Let us say that it is again 1915. There is war in the world. Destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them from their homes into the desert. Let them have neither bread nor water. Burn their houses and their churches. See if they will not live again. See if they will not laugh again. See if the race will not live again when two of them meet in a beer parlor, twenty years after, and laugh, and speak in their tongue. Go ahead, see if you can do anything about it. See if you can stop them from mocking the big ideas of the world, you sons of bitches, a couple of Armenians talking in the world, go ahead and try to destroy them.”

Could it be that the Turkish Consul General is trying to denigrate me, because I have rejected his repeated invitations to get together, and his persistent attempts to co-opt me? If it is any consolation for this novice diplomat, I have not been tricked by his superiors either, who are far more experienced than him in the art of fishing for Armenian collaborators!

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7 Comments

  1. Alex Postallian said:

    I think the time is coming that the jerks,I mean turks are running out of options to cover the past history of LIES, and intimidations.finally people all over the world, except their paid stooges.The millions of dollars they have spent to lie about the Armenian Genocide,would have been more productive in the education of their people.The illiteratcy rate in jerkey,I mean turkey is 70%.

  2. Ali Candan said:

    Alex Postallian, you are a good example of how brain washed and narrow minded some Armenians can be. Jerkey? How old are you? Come on, you can do better than that.. You could at least borrow a few insults from urban dictionary website and try to act “smarter”.
    The literacy rate in Turkey? Have you ever been to Turkey? Have you ever been to Armenia? Your country is in stone age and you are talking about literacy rates..

  3. MihranK said:

    Harut is the Abba Eban of Armenian politics, I just wished we had more like you in positions of responsibility which we are so sadly lacking.

    Bravo Harut.

  4. Alex Postallian said:

    ali;I am 84,served my country(U.S)Degree in Bus.from a legitimate American School.I believe my mother before some lying turk,she suffered the Armenian Genocide.Your history has been revised to cover the truth.So,before you criticize,make sure they are stupid as you.To visit jerkey,or turkeyNO, Iwouldnt want to visit that SEWER.

  5. john papazian said:

    Hey Allex,Ali this is exactly whats wrong! I know Ali could care less if every Armenian was killed,well actually he does care, but the facts of history can not and will not be ignored. IT HAPPENED ALI GET IT?.But I suppose its a matter of pride,the Turks are special,thev are excused becuase they have America,Isreal,and to a lesser extent the EU in thier back poket.Ali regardless of the thousands of photographs,hours of film,signed testimony of Americans, Germans,Greeks,Britts,and even your fellow Turks you still honestly believe denial is the best policy,or as my alter ego would say “sticken to your guns”.As long as there is Turkish pride in ignorence and Armenians who define themselves only by the genocide then real relations between Turkey and Armenia will never happen.

  6. Alex Postallian said:

    John Papazian:Please Use the soft touch for your own conscious.The turks are not special or forgiven,by me,for acts of barbarisms,cowardice,and and revising history to cover Mongol heritage.They carry the yellow stain from WW1,beaten by an equal force of Allies,then grovelling to change sides,in street language we used to call it “TURN YELLOW” So they ruled out kemal attaturkey regime,turned their defeat and anger toward the poor innocent unarmed(thats their fight)Armenian women,children,and old people.Another crime,if they would spend the millions on their paid stooges,to perpetrate the BIG LIE: they should have spent it on their own peoples education,their illiteratcy rate is 70%.Any fool knows the world is for sale!!!

  7. john papazian said:

    Alex,I could really care less about the state of public education in Turkey. My point all along has been that Armenia is on her own,save for a few freindly foriegn officials and diaspora. I think the “soft touch” approach hs failed,and has been failing for the past 95 years. Reperations is going to take money,and alot of it.We need too mine gold and KEEP IT not sell it to other countrys for pennies on the dollar. If Armenians are serious about sasving the homeland,much less preserving whats left,then its time to realize that a fractured government made of corrupt politicians coupled with financial ruin has no future. Our hope for the future is not and can not be all about genocide and reperations. We need to get our own house in order before western meddling and eastern intolerance kills the rest of us!

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