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19 12 2007 - Appo Jabarian - Turkish Law Prof. Lucidly Recognizes
By HARUT SASSOUNIAN Jabarian's column -- Turkish Law Prof. Lucidly Recognizes...; 2) Sassounian's commentary -- Those Who Want Reconciliation Versus Those Who Seek Justice 1) Turkish Law Prof. Lucidly Recognizes The Fairness Of The Armenian Demand For Justice By APPO JABARIAN 2) Those Who Want Reconciliation Versus Those Who Seek Justice By HARUT SASSOUNIAN By APPO JABARIAN
Executive Publisher/Managing Editor
The December 6 article titled “Armenians Demand Justice, Not Recognition,” written by Harut Sassounian, the Publisher of The California Courier, generated responses from a wide array of sources.

The piercing article was posted on an unprecedented number of websites; and published in numerous publications in Armenia-Artsakh, the United States, the Middle East and the European Union. The article was also published in Armenian and in French. The France-based Info Collectif VAN (, a very popular site, translated the article in its entirety into French and posted it on the front page of its website. Sassounian’s article along with this writer’s supporting commentary was posted on several more websites including the Turkish Forum (

Obviously, the justice-demanding tone of the article rejuvenated many Armenian activists, attracted praise and expressions of solidarity from around the world.

However, it has also attracted criticism from a very likely source: The Turkish “reconciliationists” and their Armenian “subjects” on the “armworkshop” of the University of Michigan. In recent years, the “armworkshop” has earned a reputation to be an active promoter of reconciliation between the Armenians and the Turks without justice for the Armenians. Erol Koroglu and Halil Berktay, both Turkish scholars, expressed their adamant opposition to Sassounian’s article exposing their true colors. Not to be outdone, two of their Armenian collaborators, Sebouh Aslanian and A. Nurhan Becidyan, formerly of Turkey, threw in their “Not in my name” temper tantrum, both misguidedly claiming that the Armenians who think like Sassounian are in the minority in the Diaspora.

While Berktay exhibited realism and pessimism at the apparent lack of “adequate” Armenian opposition to Sassounian, the two Armenian slave-minded individuals unrealistically underestimated the percentage of the Armenians siding with the noble idea of Justice for the Armenians. These two weak-hearted Armenians rendered a major disservice to the Ankara-based Turkish government by willfully downplaying the magnitude of the fairly widespread Armenian quest for Justice.

So long as Ankara relies on these types of “servants,” it will continue to misread the reality on the Armenian political ground.

As to the well-meaning individuals like the Armenian-American Prof. Ann Lousin, she’s unwilling to return to Sis, Cilicia and to reclaim her ancestral home, as is noted in Sassounian’s recent follow-up article.

That is sad.

But luckily, she can’t – and certainly does not - decide for the many other Sis Armenians like myself. I am not willing to let go of my right to my ancestral properties in Sis. Whether I decide to live there or not, I want what’s mine. To my knowledge, an overwhelming majority of Sis Armenians that I personally know want their ancestral lands back regardless of their decision to live or not to live there. The forcibly dispersed Sis Armenian survivors even organized their Compatriotic Union Of Sis with several chapters around the world for the specific intention to keep their culture and Cause alive. Even the new generation of Sis Armenians has not forgotten the song “Tsankaam dessnel z’eem Cilicia” (“I desire to see my Cilica”).

During gatherings, not only the Sis Armenians, but also many other Armenians around the world, sing that famous, yet very sad song in solemn solidarity with their compatriots from Western Armenia.

My maternal and paternal grandparents are all from Sis. They were orphaned during the genocide and were subjected to genocidal campaigns and deportations twice: The first time in 1916; and the second time in 1921. My paternal grandmother Siranoush was 14, and paternal grandfather Apraham (Appo) was 13 in 1920. Both had become orphans during the Armenian Genocide and had only each other as members of their once thriving clans. So they married to restart their annihilated families. They re-settled in ancestral Sis only to be deported again. My father was born during the second deportation out of Cilica. Siranoush gave him birth at a time when the caravan of the Armenian deportees arrived in Adana in 1921. As orphans, they had been repatriated in late 1918 with the help of the liberation French armies. But alas, France abruptly and unannounced relinquished her mandate on the Armenian Republic of Cilicia, and the genocidal Turkish forces re-invaded and restarted their systematic killing sprees.

Sassounian recently reported: “Prof. Ugurhan Berkok asked the following interesting question to the ‘armworkshop’ members: ‘Beyond the politics, ethics and morals, I have some legal questions on this RRR discussion. Forget about R1 [Recognition] for a moment and concentrate on law. Can’t victims’ descendants file claims under current Turkish laws? After all, deportation is acknowledged by the Republic of Turkey. Now assume R1. No political (legally non-binding) statements to the effect of ‘no claims will be made’ are credible because R1 will legally enable victims’ descendants to make claims. Thus Sassounian’s opinion is in fact reality, whether the intention is there or not because no organization can coerce individual descendants to sign legally-binding ‘no-claim’ promises. Thus the three R’s are not legally splittable. Am I not right?”

Apparently, the Turkish law Prof. Berkok has lucidly come to realize the essence of the fairness of the Armenian demand for Justice.

While Sassounian’s initial article may have opened the Pandora’s box for some, it has definitely re-opened the pathway to Justice for many others. As a result many readers see “the light at the end of the tunnel.” As such, the article has resurged the Armenian Cause’s appeal among the Armenian individuals who had been disappointed in the past two decades of the dead-end pursuit of Recognition. So, for many, including this writer, a simple recognition of the Genocide by Turkey is a non-starter.


Il sito è curato dall'Arch. Vahé Vartanian e dal Dott. Enzo Mainardi;
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