Lebanese-Armenian Protesters Trap Turkish Ambassador in Beirut Theater
Lebanese-Armenian Protesters outside the movie theater. As the Daily Star reported, they were shouting slogans such as “Truth will triumph” and “We remember”. Image from AztagDaily
Around 60 members of Lebanon’s Armenian Tashnag Party trapped the Turkish ambassador to Lebanon inside a movie theater on Wednesday, protesting the Turkish Government’s official stance on the 1915 Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire. Ambassador Suleiman Inan Oz Yildiz was attending the premiere of “Son Mektup,” a Turkish movie set during the Battle of Gallipoli (1915-1916). The incident was also reported on the Official Centennial’s Commemoration’s Website.
The time chosen to promote a movie set during the same year as the Armenian Genocide isn’t being interpreted as a coincidence. Indeed, in a statement released online on Lebanese Armenian Daily “Aztag”, the Turkish government was accused of trying to distract the world’s attention from the Armenian Genocide Centennial, which will be commemorated worldwide on April 24th of this year.
March 14 and the Myth of the Cedar Revolution
If March 14 2005 would happen again, I would be exactly where I was – in the middle of the chanting and exuberant crowds in Martyrs’ Square – when it all happened. It was history and I was part of it, along with thousands of others who gathered there. The excitement of screaming Ya Bashar, ya *******, Tal’le Jayshak min Beirut (Oh Bashar, Oh [expletive], Get Your Army out of Beirut) straight into the face of a Lebanese soldier without the fear of arrest. The indescribable feeling of dignity restored, standing in an ocean of Lebanese flags singing along to Julia Boutros’ Ana Bitnaf’as Houriye (I Breathe Freedom). The emotion of seeing the sheer crowds gathered on one day, in one place, for some sort of hope for a better future, which few, if any, knew what would look like. At the same time, it was the implicit awareness, even in the midst of the protest, that such a sight of unity and the seeds of a possible revolution that may come with it wouldn’t survive.
But was it really unity? It is true that March 14, 2005 was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, demonstrations in contemporary Lebanese history, with an anti-Syria common denominator. However, people also had other reasons for being there. Some where there to mourn Rafik El Hariri and avenge his death, while others were there as part of their ongoing opposition to the Syrian regime (it being the prime suspect behind the Hariri assassination at the time). Others were there because they opposed the gathering of March 8 (the day in which pro-Syrian Lebanese gathered to “Thank Syria” for all it has done, a show of solidarity while it was being accused to killing Hariri). Others were there to call for an end to Syria’s occupation of Lebanon, while others called for a drastic change to the political system and its leaders, which until then, was nurtured and protected by Syria itself.
Lethal Repercussions of Appeasing Policies
Have today’s unparalleled terrorism and barbarism been created or it has been given the slow awakening kiss over decades?
Yes, the appalling atrocities and its declared and undeclared proponents itself indicate the enormity of the mentality disorders and ailments prevalent in the region. But deprivation, suppression, persecution or appeasement turned considerable number of youth into mere criminals?
THE (Turkish) HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION AND THE CENTER FOR TRUTH JUSTICE MEMORY TO BECOME INTERVENING PARTY IN THE PERİNÇEK CASE
On January 28, 2015, the lawsuit Doğu Perinçek v. Switzerland will begin retrial in the Grand Chamber, which acts in the capacity of court of appeals for the European Court of Human Rights.
It is now common knowledge that in 2005, Doğu Perinçek traveled to Switzerland, which has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide and passed a law criminalizing its denial, in order to issue declarations in Bern and Lausanne where he impugned the Armenian Genocide as a fabrication. In 2007, Perinçek was found guilty of deliberately violating national law and convicted by the court of Lausanne. Upon Perinçek’s appeal, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in his favor in 2008 and found that the court of Lausanne had violated the freedom of expression principle enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights, article 10.
The Human Rights Association sent a letter to the Swiss Federal Office of Justice in 2014, demonstrating in detail how the denial of the Armenian Genocide incites hostility toward Armenians and imploring Switzerland to appeal the ECHR decision. Switzerland’s subsequent appeal and request for retrial were accepted in June 2014.
Game of Words: thoughts on the usage of the term “Middle East”
Penned by Peter Beaumont, Gerald H. Blake, J. Malcolm Wagstaff, the work The Middle East: A Geographical Study states that the term “Middle East” may have originated in the 1850‘s in the British India Office. Nevertheless, even after the “end” of European colonialism of the area designated as the Middle East, the term remains ubiquitous in every aspect of our modern society. Although the term makes sense in the mind of the user, yet such a locution has been highly criticized as emanating from a Eurocentric conception of world geography and history. Thus, the term is seen as a relic of the colonial era, when categorizing the races, religion and people of this region within one particular rubric was characterized knowledge production that tended to justify the rule of the colonizing powers. Nevertheless, I argue that although a problem may reside due to a lack better term, the locution itself is not misleading as long as the user articulates it from a clearly defined pool of knowledge that acknowledges the particulars and diversity of the area. In other words, despite the human mind’s habit of constantly associating things with one another, hence ossifying certain categories of knowledge that are more easily grasped by it, it can be argued that as long as the “Middle East” is used in a way that clearly expresses the context of its usage, the term is not misleading at all. In this sense, the establishment of nation-states and clear-cut boundaries after the collapse of the European colonial rule (1950’s and 1960’s) has the propensity to spur this paradigm shift much required for a better understanding of the region.
Current borders of Middle East
ISIS: Then, There and Now
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria was born in a region known for its decades of strife, poverty and religious extremism. But was their creation inevitable? Was the Middle East always leading down the path to an era of beheadings and Islamic Caliphates? Or are outside reasons to blame for its creation? And what hope is there for the future?
May 11, 2004. The World is stunned to see a horrific video posted on a militant group’s propaganda website that shows the beheading of Nick Berg, a American freelance radio-tower repairman who went to Iraq and went missing in March. The group responsible was named “Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad” (Group of Monotheism and Jihad) and there path of destruction would become known to the world and the soldiers fighting in Iraq. This group would later come to be known as “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” after declaring allegiance to Osama Bin Laden a couple months later, and it would grow later into ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Its leader, Abu Musab Al-Zargawi, will become known as a leader of death and blood.
The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes
[NB. we caution against over-idealization of PKK/PYD by some western anarchists but believe there are many important struggles happening in Kurdistan worthy of support]
An interesting report by Zaher Baher of Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum who spent two weeks in Syrian Kurdistan, looking at the experiences of self-government in the region
What you read below is the experience of my visit, for a couple of weeks in May this year, 2014, to North East of Syria or Syrian Kurdistan (West of Kurdistan) with a close friend of mine.