The country and Armenians worldwide marked on Saturday (April 24th) the 95th anniversary of Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
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Mussolini’s mistress, Clara Petacci, recorded intimate details of her affair with Il Duce in her journal. Her newly published diary reveals Mussolini as a sex-addicted anti-Semite who found Hitler “very likeable” — and who occasionally suffered from impotence.
Petacci’s recollections are of special interest to Armenians, because of this quote below:
Mussolini, while flipping through French newspapers, suddenly got into a bad mood. “These disgusting Jews, they should all be destroyed,” he said. “I will create a bloodbath the way the Turks once did. I will isolate them and imprison them. They will come to know the steel fist of Mussolini. It is time that the Italians realize that can no longer exploited by these snakes.”
Those diaries were published for the first time last week, to the considerable consternation of one of Mussolini’s descendents. “This woman would be convicted of stalking today,” says Alessandra Mussolini, Il Duce’s granddaughter. She insists that “not a word” of what Petacci wrote about her grandfather is true. Meanwhile, some extracts from the diaries, containing also the quote above, are avaliable here.
YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, in a statement issued Tuesday, slammed the draft protocols for the establishment and development of relations between Turkey and Armenia, calling their provisions “dangerous.” The protocols were issued Monday by the foreign ministries of the two countries and Switzerland.
ARF Bureau member Hrant Markarian denounced the protocols as “unacceptable,” in an interview with RFE/RL.
“I regret that our president is going to sign a document he has no right to sign,” Markarian told RFE/RL. “In the next two months we will do everything to inform the public about the essence of the agreement and issues hidden in it,” he said.
BERNE, YEREVAN, ANKARA (Foreign Ministry Press Service)—The foreign ministers of Armenia, Turkey and Switzerland issued a joint announcement Monday outlining the protocols that will guide the establishment and development of relations between Turkey and Armenia.
Below is the text of the announcement and the protocols, which we received from the foreign ministry.
The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey have agreed to start their internal political consultations on the two protocols – the “Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations” and the “Protocol on the development of bilateral relations” – which have been initiated in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation.
The two Protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side. Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures.
The normalization of bilateral relations will contribute to the regional peace and stability. The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey are committed are pursuing their joint efforts with the assistance of Switzerland.
Armenia will not allow to use the negotiations as campaign tool and to drag out the comprehensive dialogue; this is Armenia’s disposition regarding the regulation of Armenian-Turkish ties.
“We’d like to open the closed borders of Europe and to create normal ties without preconditions. But we are not intended to allow to use the negotiating processes to mislead the international society,” Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at joint news conference with his Cyprus counterpart.
President Sargsyan stressed that it would be much willing if Turkey kept faithful to mutual agreements.
It’s worth reminding that Armenian-Turkish negotiations have been launched after President Serzh Sargsyan took the initiative to start “football diplomacy”. Since 2008 the parties have had discussions and with Swiss mediating a joint statement has been made in April this year claiming to adopt “road map” to regulate ties. It seems the negotiating processes are currently paused which, according to experts, means Turkey wants to reject agreements.
The Armenian National Committee-Western Region (ANC-WR), joined by community organizations and activists, met with KFI640-AM radio show host Bill Handel and station management regarding offensive comments that aired on Handel’s radio show on May 13 and 14 during a discussion between Handel and Lara Hermanson.
Acknowledging that a line had been crossed, Handel, KFI and Clear Channel management apologized to the Armenian American community. With Handel himself being a descendent of Holocaust survivors, he also made it clear that recognition of the Armenian Genocide is something he has been aware of and passionate about throughout his career and promised to continue raising awareness about the issue.
“We deeply regret the inappropriate comments that were made on Bill Handel’s show last month which deeply hurt the Armenian American community. The comments were wrong,” said Robin Bertolucci, KFI Program Director. “We take responsibility for this offense as any genocide, including the Armenian Genocide, are serious topics that should not be used as the basis for humor.” KFI issued an on-air apology on June 12. KFI also released a video apology from Hermanson and Handel.
The ANC-WR requested a meeting with KFI management to convey the community’s outrage and ask that the situation be addressed. In the meantime, the ANC-WR reached out to dozens of activists and community organizations, such as the Armenian Bar Association, eager to work together on the issue, Asbarez Daily reported
Interview with Corry Guttstadt Turkey, the Jews and the Holocaust.
Turkologist Corry Guttstadt has published a comprehensive study of the behaviour of the Turkish government towards its Jewish citizens during the Holocaust. In doing so, she has investigated a chapter of twentieth-century history that has thus far been all but neglected by international Holocaust research. Sonja Galler spoke to her about her findings
| Much is made of the fact that there are approximately 20,000 Jews in Turkey today, a figure that is frequently held up as evidence of the country’s tolerant attitude towards its Jewish minority. It is often claimed that this success story began when persecuted Sephardic Jews found refuge in the Ottoman Empire, the forerunner of the modern Turkish state …
Corry Guttstadt: Well, there are currently over 20,000 Jews in Iran too. A number alone is not necessarily a reliable indication of whether somewhere is safe or free from anti-Semitism. As far as Turkey is concerned, it is important to emphasise that only 20,000 Jews now live in the country. That’s in stark contrast to the estimated 120,000 to 150,000 that lived in the region at the end of the First World War. Both before and after the Second World War, and most particularly after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the vast majority of Jews left Turkey. This was a reversal of the trend of previous centuries.
Over the course of many centuries, the Ottoman Empire was an immigration destination for Jews fleeing the Reconquista in Spain and pogroms in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, to portray the Ottoman Empire as a “multicultural paradise” is absurd and ahistorical. As non-Muslims, the Jews were subject to countless constraints. Like the Christians, they had to pay a poll tax and were obliged to behave in a submissive manner towards Muslims. Moreover, it must be said that there were numerous fluctuations in the fortunes of the Jews in the 600-year history of the Ottoman Empire.