BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
It really hurt! My favorite song, “Zarteer Lao,” was briefly co-opted by a Turkish soccer team, Fenerbahçe! And it’s not the first time. Many other songs’ music has been stolen by the Turks (though in fairness, some of our unscrupulous singers do the same in reverse, revolting!). This is especially hurtful when it’s the music to patriotic, nationalistic, or mournful (Genocide or massacre related) songs. But we got lucky this time, in that the Turkish team’s hate for Armenians led them to immediately discontinue using the music. A friend did a quick-and-dirty translation of the lyrics used by the soccer team, as below:
Put your uniform on
Get on the field
Put your heart into it
Put your heart
Show your anger
The foe will be defeated
Victory is near
We have strength to battle
Breath to waste
Lives to give away
But here’s a thought. Since fans of Fenerbahçe sing that one day everyone will become Fenerbahçe fans, maybe their use of the music to “Zarteer Lao” is a sign that one day, all Turks will become Armenians, or at least return to their roots, be they Armenian, Assyrian, Cappadocian, Greek, or any other native nations of Anatolia and the Armenian Plateau that the brutal horsemen from Central Asia forcibly Turkified!
Then we have the Turkish parade that went off on May 28th in New York. How grotesque that a celebration of that which represents the murderers of the Armenian nation occurred on our First Independence Day! It used to be the organizers used the cover of “Turkish Children’s Day” (April 23) to organize propaganda parades in New York to counter our efforts on and around April 24th. Now they’ve moved on to May 28th. These people clearly have no shame!
But what’s even more worrisome, in a substantive way, is the growing military production capacity of the Turkish economy. While cooperation with Israel may be in abeyance after the flotilla/Mavi Marmara incident of last year, that with the U.S./NATO is moving ahead apace. Izmir (where my grandmother’s from and witness to massacres by the founders of the CURRENT Turkish Republic, not the Ottomans) will soon become host to NATO’s Land Force Command. Aircraft (most recently heavy lift helicopters) are being sold to Turkey, or jointly manufactured IN turkey with other NATO members’ (including the U.S.) arms producers.
As if all this wasn’t enough, Turkey’s getting a free ride, public relations-wise, because of the crackdowns by some of the Arab regimes where people have taken to the streets. Whether ferrying injured Libyans away or allowing Syrians to set up camps inside their border, one of the biggest creators of refugees, Turkey, is now looking like a great humanitarian, just what the doctor ordered to polish up their otherwise genocidal image!
But of course no mention is made of the fact that the man who tried to extort Cindy Crawford (early 2009) over some picture of her daughter is a Turk. He came from Germany to the U.S. and was later deported, so is referred to as “German” (at least by the LA Times), rather than his true origin. But when news broke of the medical scammers a few months ago, their Armenianness somehow became relevant!
And can someone explain to me why Turkey’s extending its smoking ban is deemed newsworthy by the LA Times, but its ongoing occupation of Cyprus is barely covered by the same paper.
Finally, we have the “almost Turks.” There’s the two faced Jane Harman. Luckily, she’s out of Congress. Unfortunately, she’s now someplace where she can, arguably, do even more damage, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Remember, this is the same compromised outfit that several months ago honored Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Davutoglu! The other “almost Turk” is Hugh Pope. This guy’s clearly spent far too much time in Turkey. He was interviewed by Ian Masters on KPFK on June 13. He was smooth and subtle in masking Turkey’s massive flaws, always creating a “balance” between this roguest-of-rogue states and who/whatever else was the point of comparison.
All of these call for response from members of the Armenian community. Just take the initiative and complain loudly whenever you see these items in the news. Complain to the media, to relevant government agencies, or corporations. Don’t wait for a campaign to be organized. Just do it. Be strident, firm, and polite. Leave them no wiggle room. Turn up the heat!