BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
There’s an April 24th Special issue coming up and I’ve been wondering if anything relevant would inspire me with an appropriate topic. When in doubt, count on the Turks. This time, I didn’t even have to go looking, it just landed in my lap.
It seems an outfit named “Young Turks Cultural Aid Society, Inc.” and “Columbia Turkish Students” in partnership with the Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA) have put together a program titled “Armenian Terror— ASALA” with speakers Dr. Michael Gunter and D. Christopher Gunn. It is scheduled for April 25. This is a veritable reunion of denialists assembling to create yet another distraction from the necessary work that Turks have to do to reconcile themselves with their horrible past. FTAA and Gunter are well known for their denialist work. The two organizations organizing the event are not known to me, though the first one’s logo including Ataturk’s image speaks volumes of its orientation. The students are also likely denialist, given patterns of behavior of campus Turkish groups. And, Gunn, currently a Research Assistant Florida State University, may well be part of the next generation of Turkish propagandists in the U.S. With a dissertation thesis titled “Secret Armies & Revolutionary Federations: Armenian Political Violence, 1973-1994” (that was not to be found on-line), participation in the State Department Critical Language Program in Alanya, Turkey, and being invited to this event… what is one to think?
This event is tacky for obvious reasons. Really? There’s no other time for Turkish propaganda on a prestigious American university’s campus than the day after April 24? And what propaganda! The whole ridiculous premise is to tar Armenians with the brush of “terrorism” because of a few attacks to distract from the terror committed by Turks when murdering 1.5 million people (in addition to the hundreds of thousands that preceded the 1915-1923 period). Truly, totally, tacky! The public relations firms the Turks have been paying for decades ought to be fired for advocating this event or, even not preventing it.
The event is tiresome. Again, really? You, the “mighty” Turkey of Erdoghan have nothing better to trot out to denigrate Armenians than a topic that has gotten no traction for thirty years? If not for the tackiness and insulting nature of this thing, it would not have even been worth commenting on. Boring, flawed, juvenile, pathetic, shallow, trite… the adjectives of tiresomeness are endless.
Maybe the best aspect of the event is that the truculence of the Turks once again comes through. Anyone with a smidgen of intellect and the barest hint of a conscience, armed with even minimal real information, will see this event for what it is, merely an attempt to misdirect people’s attention. It’s akin to what magicians do to keep their tricks mysterious— focus audience attention on something irrelevant so they can continue to amaze.
Keep it up, Turkey. Provide us with more opportunities to expose your true intents. We, as Armenians, appreciate the help you give us. Armenians of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, please go have some “fun” at Columbia on April 25.