21 04 2009 - Misleading Turkish Festival Fails
|By Appo Jabarian
Executive Publisher / Managing Editor -USA Armenian Life Magazine- Friday, April 17, 2009
The highly controversial April 2-5 so-called "Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival" ignited worldwide condemnation. Besides being disseminated via print and electronic versions of USA Armenian Life Magazine, the initial and follow-up articles by this writer were published on the front page of such websites as www.armenews.com of France's popular Nouvelles d'Arménie Magazine; and www.turkishforum.com.tr of the Turkey-based Turkish Forum; and circulated on several e-discussion groups.
The follow-up article titled "Turkish Lies at ‘Anatolian Festival’ Greeted by Worldwide Condemnation" and on "Turkish Soup" was featured prominently on the Turkish Forum. (Click on the following link to see the complete text:
Nouvelles d'Arménie Magazine featured the French version of the article titled "An Orgy of ‘Turkish Soup With Armenian Bones’ in Southern California." The article was translated by French Armenian journalist Gilbert Béguian and was posted at the following link:
The initial article was published in USA Armenian Life Magazine just before the launching of the so-called "Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival" of April 2-5.
It exposed Turkey's misrepresentations of the true identity of Armenian, Greek, Assyrian, Arab and Kurdish identity of several cities in Turkish-occupied Western Armenia; Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia; Greek Constantinople, Pontus, and Smyrna; and Assyrian Merdin. (To read the complete article, please click on the following link:
Several observers reported that to the disappointment of the organizers, mainly Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the actual attendance by the visitors of "The Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival," touted by Ankara as "the largest Turkish festival in the world," fell much shorter than the anticipated 100,000 visitors. In fact only a tiny fraction attended the infamous festival.
One of the officials of the festival said that it took over a year to prepare for the festival, and the equipment was shipped from Turkey in 17 containers which took 35 days to arrive.
Despite its staggering cost of over two and a half million dollars, the festival did not achieve its stated objectives. In an effort to assist the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, the Daily Zaman Turkish newspaper even rushed to recruit an "expert" to help Turkey massage the dismal results of this ill-guided festival.
Joshua Walker, an apologist of Turkey, a doctoral candidate at Princeton University and a former worker on the Turkey Desk at the State Department confessed: "I am no marketing guru."
Yet he joined the chorus of lackeys of Ankara in order to "sell" the festival’s "success," saying: "Even skeptics like Armenian-Americans or Greek-Americans can appreciate the beauty, cuisine, culture and hospitality of Antalya, ?stanbul, Konya, Mardin or Van.”
As of Monday, April 13, the number of the viewers on YouTube of "Turkish Soup Made With Armenian Bones" by Zareh had jumped to more than 3,900. Several Turks were among the viewers. Some were supportive of the concept of telling the world about the Turkish atrocities in graphic images. Denialist Turks were adamantly opposed venting false propaganda that "no genocide ever took place" against Armenians. One such interesting character was a YouTube viewer with the fake name "
SuliemanTheGreat." He responded to a comment posted by this writer supporting Artist Zareh. He went through his usual denialist temper tantrum.
He was swiftly countered by another You Tube viewer called "trojans3303" who wrote: "First of all, you're NO "Sulieman The Great." I showed your comment and signature to a Turkish friend of mine. He says to you: "Sen nerde o nerde!!! Bu kadar yalancilik olabilirmi?" ("You're NO ‘Sulieman The Great!!!’ Can someone come up with this much lies in so few words?) Truly, you and your fabrications and falsifications are old garbage. Your lies can no longer fly. They ran out of steam."
SuliemanTheGreat responded: "Marked as spamNice try! First of all, you're most likely an Armenian, but since you use the handle ‘trojan,’ there's a possibility that you may even be Greek. Second, you have NO true Turkish friend! Any Turk that would make those comments isn't a Turk! Your "friend" is an Armenian who may know some Turkish, that's all!"
PixieWildFlower wrote: "So poignant. Great documentary!"
SacredShakti wrote: "good documentary... very eye opening and chilling. Nice music choice."
Singer Robert Tchilingirian exclaimed: "Wow..that's great, a bright idea!"
Terence Ortslan, a non-Armenian reader of USA Armenian Life’s online version, wrote: "Great work...we appreciate all the effort being done and conveyed."
Melkon Armen Khandjian, an Armenological Studies, Research and Exhibits specialist wrote: "It is unfortunate that Armenians are hung-up only on memory of the Genocide, and have not been able to organize a resistance against the denialist Turk and odars alike. The Armenian Genocide memorial and its passage for legislature by the U.S. or other governments is a futile attempt by the weaklings who cry "wolf! foul! My rights, etc." but do not know the butt of a rifle from the tip of the barrel of a gun. Lamentations will not avenge our genocide. In the words of Khrimian Hairik, "Let us stop crying and let us start fighting!"
Melkonian continued: "In early March, 2008, Turkey’s Ministry of "Culture and Tourism," in cooperation with Turkish-American Organization known as Pacifica Institute, organized in Orange County, CA fairgrounds, an "Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival." It was supposed to present the Turkish culture in booths, Janissary band play, variety of foods, and brief representations of different historical cultures of past peoples before the coming of the Turks: Hittite, Urartian, Greek and Roman, etc. The picture of the restored ruins of Armenian Church Akhtamar was shown as symbol of tolerance of Turks towards Christians (sic.); Assyrian children danced, and an Armenian singer sang!! There was no mention that the Assyrian Christians were the first Christian nation that were practically wiped out by the Turks, nor there was an explanation as to where are the people (Armenians) who erected the Akhtamar Church? That Turks have never had a culture, music or Arts is a historical fact. Everything presented has been stolen or copied from the conquered and massacred Greeks, Armenians, Arabs and Iranians!"
He concluded: "The Turks are the only people in human history that have never built, seldom rebuilt and always destroyed. As Victor Hugo stated: ‘The Turk has trodden this land...all is in ruins.’ The ‘Legacy of Turkish culture?’ … The Bloody Turkish Sultan Hamid introduced marijuana smoking to America. The truly Turkish Culture (marijuana, tobacco and heroin) has killed and destroyed the lives of millions of Americans, Europeans and others throughout the world."
Before claiming to have a "rich" culture, a "tasty" cuisine, "historically Turkish" lands, over 70 millions "Turks," Turkey must first and foremost return its loots forcibly confiscated from the victims of its genocidal campaigns. It must apologize and make amends to the victims of its genocidal policies. It must also apologize to the countless drug-addicted victims and their families for its century-old state-sponsored exportation of social ills to Europe and the United States.