What Gall!

Garen Yegparian


This week we have three instances of disgusting gall garnished with insufferable temerity, to rub our (Armenian) and all of humanity’s face in the mire of human shamelessness— one hails from Turkey, the second from Armenia, and the third, from Los Angeles.

On March 31, the LA Times reported (Turkey targets Getty, other museums, p.1, Jason Felch) that the Republic of Turkey (RoT) is cracking down on those holding antiquities stolen from its territory. Who knew? Even the Ottoman Empire (OE) had a 1906 law against this kind of theft (Isn’t it interesting that in this context, there’s a presumed continuity between the OE and RoT). This is a legitimate concern, and is shared by many countries.

Egypt, Greece, and Italy are among those in the news in recent years. They have been pursuing the return/repatriation of looted statues, artifacts, etc. The Getty Museum has been at the center of some of these storms, including the illuminated Armenian manuscript pages from the Zeytoon bible they currently hold. So the overall situation is quite understandable.

But there’s something jarring about RoT doing this. Just about anything of cultural value that might have been unearthed and stolen is not culturally Turkish. It’s Armenian, Greek, and numerous other cultures’ creation. So it is a situation that resembles, in southern California terms, a coyote complaining that a crow “stole” some of the food it had meant to eat. Both are scavengers, thieves. It’s also like the Armenian saying “koghuh koghen kghtzav, Asdvadz desav, zarmatzav” (a thief stole from a thief, God saw this and was amazed).

Chalk up another example of Turkish shamelessness and flexing of its newly developing power as a significant player on the world stage.

Unfortunately, RoT’s not the only shameless outfit. It seems Ankara has company in Yerevan. Sadly, the Republic of Armenia’s parliament did not vote for a bill condemning the genocides of Assyrians, Pontiac Greeks, and others’ at the Ottoman Empire’s hands. Is this even conceivable? How can something like that fail, as it did, because of a lack of quorum in parliament? Clearly, the two biggest players, Prosperous Armenia and Republican parties, wanted it that way. These people are obviously completely oblivious to the negative public relations impact and seeming hypocrisy of the situation they have created!

And just to round out the week of shame, we had Kobe Bryant celebrating the first anniversary of his shilling for Turkish Airlines. Remember, the airline is owned by the Turkish government. Helping the airline helps the RoT. When the Kobe news hit last year, I’d written that if he doesn’t pull out, I’d advocate a complete boycott of the Lakers, the team for which he plays basketball. A year out, I think it’s time— all Armenians should stop watching the Lakers, live, on TV, or otherwise. We should stop buying all their paraphernalia. Schools should educate students about the obscenity of such behavior. And, the Kardashian connection to the Lakers should be exploited too!

Get busy expressing your disgust at these developments to the appropriate targets!


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  1. David Boyajian said:

    Great article, Garen. Gall, indeed.

    This issue of Turkey’s demanding the return of artifacts of those, such as Greeks and Armenians, that it despises and has tried to wipe out also arose last September in the Boston Globe and elsewhere.

    Turkey demanded and got an ancient Greek statue from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the latter being staffed by cowards.

    A couple of us sent letters to the Globe which, of course, it did not publish. I do not know why Greeks have not raised this issue themselves.

    Please see the following Boston Globe article (and the 2 letters which were not published): http://www.atour.com/~aahgn/news/20111026a.html

  2. Shahe said:

    Bravo Garen, once again, for bringing to attention an article from the LA Times some may have missed if it wasn’t for you. On a related note, I saw a large Turkish Airlines Billboard on the Eastbound 60 Freeway near the 605 this afternoon. The same freeway that has the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument sign just a few miles away. Sadly, some people I know have been taking the airlines on the way to Beirut or Tehran due to the low price.

  3. Gary_S said:

    I agree with you 100% on this article!
    First, Turkey has NO right to anything historical because the Turks are from Mongolia and are recent invadeders. NOTHING belongs to them!
    Second, I agree with you that Armenia SHOULD recognize the Assryian and Greek genocide! Why do Armenians complain about Israel not recognizing our genocide, when we don’t recognize Assryian and Greek genocides??? THIS IS WRONG!
    I’ve met Armenians before and they only think the Turks did genocide against Armenians!!! Assryians and Greeks (especially Pontianian) ones were also victims. Turkey wanted the Christians out and they succeeded. :( The irony is they want to be let in the “Christian” club, the EU. Hypocrites!

    • Gregory said:

      If so then why don’t we see the president of the USA taking about the Assyrians. If they care so much let them put pressure on The USA instead of Armenia. Or do they think they have found an easy target.
      There are hundreds of thousands of Assyrians in Chicago let them do something for themselves. There are 14-17 million Greeks worldwide, why don’t they campaign for their own genocide recognition in Europe. Whenever they see The Armenian Genocide being recognised in more and more countries they feel as if they have a god-given right to lash out at us, forgetting at how hard we worked to get this far.
      Your also forgetting that the Greeks and Turks are considered friends now, with open borders and with the former Greek president laying a wreath on Attaturk’s grave.

    • Satenik said:

      Every Armenian knows that the Turks mistreated even the Arabs, let alone the christian minorities in the Ottoman empire. Every Armenian knows the sufferings of the Greeks, assyrians , Bulgarians and quite a few more, so quite honestly I don’t know where yoy got your information from,. Just go to any Armenian Genocide video and you will see most armenian comentators will always mention these minorities . Assyrians should put direct pressure on Turkey ,that way, this will put more pressure on Turkey. There are thousands of Assyrians who live in democratic countries in Europe and the USA,they should be more politically engaged. Armenians have always been sympathetic to their cause. Israel, more than any other country (after Turkey),has the moral duty to recognise the Armenian Genocide. Please don’t make excuses fotr them!

  4. Alex Postallian said:

    Stop,take a deep breath,sit down.The basic problem with turkey,is they cant shed their mongol heritage,70& illiteracy rate,yellow stain back ground,insanely jealous,of the Armenians abilty to survive,their animalistic endeavor to illiminate them.THEY ARE REALLY STUPID.In the olden days the Armenians used to read,do business,take care of the jerkies,because they couldnt read or write.Plus wherever their representatives go,they make a ass,out of themselves.The others wink,and laugh behind their backs even today.See, mongol background.

    • hayko yesilkoyluian said:

      how we can boycot to Turkey I want to answer that I know many lipananhayk who visits istanbul and antalya for holiday spend and dont forget europeans forget turkic countries visitors. ?

  5. Basil said:

    While I agree with the point made in #1 and #2, you people are overdoing the whole Kobe Bryant thing. In the actual world, not the Armenian dream world, companies pay celebreties in exchange for representation. While Turkey is a semi-fascist nation built on centuries of atrocities and countless lies, it is not labeled to be an evil state (as for example North Korea or Iran) and the public opinion of the oblivious is slightly below or above average, depending on how their vacation in Antalya went. This said, it is ridicolous to blame a basketball player, mind you not a historian, for accepting money from an ordinary company that – officially – belongs to an ordinary state.

    I don’t know about the Kardashian connection to the Lakers or whether or not an Armnenian boycott would even be noticeable (probably not), but this is exactly the sort of talk and politicking that makes the Armenian Disapora look like a headless chicken.


    In case you don’t want to support Turkey, you need rethink what you buy (Mercedes = bad choice) – and not blame some dude who gets paid to be Turkeys eyecandy. Just an example.