Armenian Writer in Turkey Threatened With Death Over Adaptation of Ataturk Address

sevan_nisanyanThe Turkish Taraf Daily’s columnist, Sevan Nishanyan, who wrote a humanistic adaptation of Ataturk’s “Address to Turkish Youth,” a patriotic speech calling on young people to protect their country at all costs, published e-mails received from irate nationalists and filled with threats and vulgar language in his column yesterday.

In his adaptation, Nishanyan replaced the first sentence of the address, “Your first duty is to preserve and to defend Turkish Independence and the Turkish Republic forever,” with “Your first duty is to be a human being.” The sentences: “This is the very foundation of your existence and your future. This foundation is your most precious treasure. In the future, too, there may be malevolent people at home and abroad, who will wish to deprive you of this treasure” in the original were changed to: “The very foundation of being human is love toward other human beings. All through your life, you shall consider it a duty for yourself to teach beauty, reason and justice to people. If you have knowledge, you will share it without expecting anything in return.” The rest of Nishanyan’s adaptation was a treatise on the equality of all human beings.

However, the backlash from some among the Turkish youth was spine-chilling. “We will make you write the correct version of the ‘Address to Youth’ with your own blood. … I’ll kill you like that Hrant Dink dog,” said one of the messages, most of whose text was not suitable for replication here.

Another one said: “I have been praying for years to be able to kill one of your kind when I’m on my army duty. I would do this in cold blood and killing your ilk would not hurt my conscience at all but would give me honor. … You should know that we are waiting for the tiniest spark.” Another message was the sender’s own adaptation, “Turkish Youth! Your primary duty is to adopt as a principle to wipe from the earth for the sake of Turkishness and humanity the Armenians and Kurds, that champion enmity against Turks and which are the most debased nations on earth.”

Yet another version started: “Oh You! The despicable creature who thinks himself a man because you know how to write. You and your ilk will see the power of the Turkish Nation very soon. Armenians and others, those who continue their corrupted intrigues to separate the country despite all the tolerance we have shown will pay the price they deserve to pay in the near future. Now is your day to speak, but don’t you worry; that will change in a year or two. The day we’ll settle accounts with you is near! We’ll see if you can show the same courage then!! Find a hole to hide in, you separatist PKK-supporting traitors.”

“Yours is a cowardly nation. You can write all you want about Ataturk; you’ll never have the strength to destroy his republic. But you and your owners who hold your leash should remember that the thing that can cross your immunity and protection is a 9mm bullet.” Other messages accused him of being a lapdog of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen.


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  1. Vahé said:

    Horrifying. It just shows me what a mistake the Armenian government is making in recognizing the Turkish protocols.

  2. Vazken said:

    I wonder where all those misguided reconciliation obsessed Armenians are right now. Can they read the above news about the latest threats against yet another Armenian writer? Have they followed what’s been happening of late? The turks still want our heads and any fool that thinks otherwise jeapridizes the lives of the rest of us. Armenians must understand that the majority of turks have NOT changed their views about us being nothing more than ‘infidels’. The majority do NOT care to know the truth about the Genocide let alone make peace with us through justice. There is NO evidence for this. The only evidence that keeps re-surfacing supports the fact that nothing would make the turks happier than to see us all dead.

    This sad but realistic truth is clearly presented for all to see in what is only one example of many in the recent threats against the lives of Armenians living Turkey.

  3. Todor said:

    Some turks really need to get over themselves. As a native Bulgarian, I know their radical fanaticism and ignorance is way over board and is certainly not conducive with living in a tolerant society. It seems these turkish youth need more than a history lesson. Shame on them.

  4. Pingback: Armenian Writer in Turkey Threatened With Death Over Adaptation of … | armeniatoday

  5. hrair said:

    Like a FBI/CIA profiler once told me this is not the turkey and the turkish society of the genocide years. his is a new turkey and the people are more educated and open.

  6. manooshag said:

    Hye, In so many ways, and again today the Turkish leaders show themselves to still be in the Ottoman Turkish
    mentality. This outburst shows the Turk, still in the mode of the Armenian Genocide, still teaching their youth to hate Armenians – the victims of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians – to eliminate the Armenians. And yet, their youth are still being educated to see Armenians as ‘undesireables’ – inferior to the Turk, and more. Still pleased to have killed a Hrant Dink. Still a need to revile against the Armenians – who were conquered by the Turkish hordes who came down from the Asian mountains and took over the lands, homes, the culture of the Armenians – committing Genocide to be able to take all as if it were their own, Turks.
    And yet, having lied to their own Turkish citizens of these truths – changing/omitting the truths of their own Turkish history, how can these Turkish leaders face having to tell their subjects of their lies, lies, lies….
    But yet, as they do – with their leaders who perpetrated the Armenian Genocide – these are the same leaders today are revered as the heroes to the Turkish citizens of the Turkish republic…. Manooshag

  7. Kiazer Souze said:

    They have a lot of courage at home. Abroad, they cry like little school girls when they get caught by the PKK or the Armenian Secret Police conducting operation Nemisis.

    I’m sure this type of conduct is great for tourism in Turkey. I, however, am still boycoting all Turkish products and all Armenian products as well.

    May the oligarch stooges and their complicit world bodies all go to Jahenem. May the genocide deniars all go to Jahenem.

  8. Varooj Baboomian said:

    This is the real face of turks and turkishness… savagery, ignorance, lack of tolerance toward other nations. “MARTAGER GAZAN, TURKEH DER YERGAR ESBES GE MNAH. Open the doors of your homes to the turks and you see how they distroy you.

  9. Alex Postallian said:

    When will the U.S. and Armenians learn in the protocals issue with the turkies.A snake always will be a snake regardles.The Aserbaijian question is all about OIL,OIL,for the turkies and the U.S, its truly a shame for the U.S. to be in partner with the turkies for the oil and using little Armenia as a stepping stone.As an American who served I am embaressed.

  10. Garabed said:

    These turkish youth seem well versed in slander and hate speech. If only they could excel as much in history. With another target on one of our cherished Armenian writers in Turkey, the message is clear. Nothing has been learned from the assassination of Hrant Dink and the Turkish state is not interested in taming its radicalized youth with the truth. Vazgen you hit the nail on the head.

  11. Grish Begian said:

    I wonder who created the meaning of “Turk” in English dictionary…those Young smart Turks, should improve their English vocabulary, and leave Armenians alone…….

  12. gharakhanian said:

    all the people above i know how you feel… we have arrived one more sign among the chaos… its our day our time, this is it, let them know at every turn at all seconds and opportunities this is it, we took enough. lets thank the writer a million times and let him know that he will go down in our history as one more of our innovative courageous powerful heros. what a man, am bursting with my pride of him. our strength is overwhelming them, they feel threatened by the truth, they are not the first or last perpetrators who are threatened by the truth coming out. they had their chance to stand up on the side of the truth now they have nothing to protect themselves with other than threatening insults and more of the same unreasonable behavior. there will be more and worse to come still cause we have the biggest stick they are terrified of you know the G word, the worst offense in history of man. be real, expect worse, cause we have arrived, shout out now am Armenian cause we are at the mountain top this is what’s suppose to happen, the pressure will mount on, we have our rights and no amount of threats will stop us we each and every one of us are our nation, with brilliant minds and courageous old souls, every threat takes us one more step closer to our goal victorious.

  13. A Turkish-Armenian said:

    So people from Armenia and Diaspora who undervalue and insult Turkish Armenians in every occasion can now see and understand that in what conditions we, Armenians in Turkey, are trying to preserve Armenian cultur in Turkey. I can not imagine that other Armenians can do what we do in this country where people don’t have even a tiny amount of tolerance to others and others’ opinions.
    We can still talk and write in Armenian, an still have numerous Armenian schools and churches. So what about you? Can you still understant Armenian???

  14. Edward Demian said:

    As I have posted earlier, I feel that our struggle is just but not well focused. Armenians everywhere want Turkey to relinquish the Armenian Lands awarded to Armenia by the Wilsonian arbitration. That is a nobil goal and I hope one day it may be attained. However, even if this dream were to come through, Armenia would be saddled by a native Turkish population that will outnumber the Armenian population. Before any agreement or protocol is signed and approved, Turkey has to undergo a significant change in its culture. Just as American society was forced by the various civil right legislation and a nationwide, from top down, cultural impethus relegating race hatred, to the unwashed and the uneducated. Untill Armenians and other minorities inTurkey are restored to a place of dignity, no governmental decrees or agreements would matter.
    Armenians can make more headway focusing the international spotlight on Turkeys laws and its treatment of its minorities. We should be campaigning for restoration of civil rights of all descendants of the Armenians that were Ottoman citizens at one time. The only way to regain our lands, is to reestablish a secure presence on those lands. That will only happen, if economic activity atracts Armenians to the area. That can only happen if individual safety is assured.

  15. Kiazer Souze said:

    I want to thank SOAD for opening up the minds of some of Turkey’s youth in Europe as to the genocide committed by their grand parents. Here is the trick, if you like SOAD or Armenian art, there is a bit of Armenian in you. That shouldn’t be an insult to most human beings as that is like saying there is a bit of soul in someone. Cooler minds always defeat the enemy. Take a look at Gegard Mousasi UFC fighter.

    I, however, admit that I don’t have that cooler mind. I am very capable of destroying the enemy to the extent of making Adolph blush with envy. However, those kinds of acts undermine our cause. Let the enemy show his true colors. Let the Turks die in Afghanistan and Iraq and not Armenians.

    Through peacful and nonviolent means, the only people who need punishment now are our politicians and their secret lobbyists who are preventing us from justice. Some are doing it in order to monopolize a genocide or prevent the dilution of the notion that they are only the ones who suffered a hualocost and others are doing it to enter the Islamic markets and say to them, see we didn’t give Armenians full justice and we let the Islamic world slide on this one. In other words ladies and gentleman, our cause has become a bargaining chip with the Islamic world by the Clintons. Don’t be a slave to these conspiring world bodies. Boycott Trukish and Armenian products from Armenian oligarchs.

    May all of the deniars and their complicit world bodies go to Jahenem and quickly.