New Armenia Protests, Same US-Backed Mobs

April 27, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Another day, another protest in Armenia. And if we were to simply believe the Western media regarding this ‘other protest,’ we might get the impression that the Armenian people are upset with Russian policy and “Putinism.” In reality, the protests are led by the same verified US-proxies exposed at the height of the “Electric Yerevan” protests mid-2015 which sought to undermine and overthrow the current government of Armenia in favor of a pro-Western political front more to Wall Street, London, and Brussels’ liking.

Image: Davit Sanasaryan (sometimes spelled “David” and “Sanasarian”) hasn’t found a US-engineered protest he hasn’t felt compelled to join. He eagerly takes US cash to undermine the stability of his native Armenia, just like US proxies do worldwide. 

The International Business Times in their article, “Armenia-Russia Ties Under Question Amid Fighting, Anti-Moscow Protests,” would report regarding the recent protests that:

At a recent thousand-strong demonstration in the capital of Armenia, Davit Sanasaryan took out a couple of eggs and threw them at the Russian Embassy. 

The gesture provoked both ridicule and approval in this small landlocked country that traditionally values very close ties with its large northern neighbor. “Our protests are not against Russia but against Russian policy and Putinism,” activist and politician Sanasaryan said in an interview with International Business Times last week.

Davit Sanasaryan (also spelled “David Sanasaryan”), among other things, is an opposition politician with the Heritage Party who helped lead the previous US-backed “Electric Yerevan protests in mid-2015. He is also an associate of the Armenian-based National Citizens’ Initiative (NCI), revealed in the NCI’s own news bulletin titled, “NCI Focuses on Armenia’s Mining Sector,” which reports (emphasis added):

NCI associate Davit Sanasarian welcomed the audience with opening remarks. “The exploitation of the Teghut mine is an actual matter and it calls for serious discussions and proper suggestions prior to the undertaking of this project,” he said.

This bulletin alone seems innocuous enough, however, another NCI bulletin would reveal itself to be coordinating with and receiving aid from the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The bulletin titled, “NCI Partakes in a Civil Society Meeting,” states (emphasis added):

The National Citizens’ Initiative (NCI) representatives attended, between 14 and 15 April 2011, the conference entitled “Assisting Armenia’s Civil Society Organizations.” This event was an initiative of the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) organization and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Yerevan Office, and it was organized with the assistance of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). 

The objective of the conference was to contribute in developing the capacity of Armenia’s civil society organizations by way of cooperation and exchange of know-how with Central and Eastern European civil society associations.

Of course, considering that the US NED is chaired by pro-war corporate-financier representatives, “developing the capacity of civil society organizations” in Armenia was not actually on the agenda. Instead, creating a proxy front with which to control Armenia on behalf of foreign interests was, merely couched behind “civil society.” Sanasarian’s “association” with the NCI in this context, is troubling to say the least.

But Sanasarian’s association with the US NED extends far beyond this. He is also on the board of trustees of the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs (AIISA), an alleged think-tank thatis directly funded by the US NED. His position on the board of trustees is revealed in an AIISA bulletin titled, “AIISA’s Third Evening DemSchool: “Challenges to Democracy,”” which claims:

In partnership with the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the third 11-day evening DemSchool was launched at the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs with “Challenges to Democracy” heading.

It also stated:

Certificate award ceremony was held on the DemSchool 11th day. David Sanasaryan, member of AIISA Board of Trustees, young politician and activist, also participated in it. 

Added to this, is Sanasarian’s role in the US-backed 2015 protests. It was revealed in mid-2015 that the so-called “Electric Yerevan” protests were in fact led entirely by US-funded and directed nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Sanasarian’s involvement then, again implicates him in coordinating with and receiving aid from a foreign government in a bid to undermine his own government. At the time, US State Department-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) would report in its article, “Armenians Say They’ll Restart ‘Electric Yerevan’ Protest,” that:

At a Yerevan rally attended by several hundred activists on July 17, Rise Armenia leader and opposition Heritage party city councilor Davit Sanasarian said a new campaign against the electricity price hikes would take place from July 27 to July 31, with demonstrators blocking the central streets of Yerevan and other cities around the country. 

“We continue our fight. We will be distributing leaflets from door to door,” Sanasarian said. “We will be successful.”

RFE/RL would inadvertently admit that the protesters were simply using electricity prices as a pretext to come out into the streets and that their next move would be of a more political nature, targeting Armenia’s sitting government. In other words, it was a US-funded color revolution couched behind legitimate concerns regarding utility prices.

Image: Considering the US cash and support behind the leaders of this so-called “protest,” it might as well have been a delegation from the US State Department itself out on the streets of Armenia’s capital, Yerevan.

Considering these extensive ties to US-backing, Sanasarian’s role leading the current anti-Russian protests portrays him not as a ‘politician’ or an ‘activist,’ but as a foreign-funded proxy, and the protests themselves as foreign-engineered meddling, not legitimate dissent. Claims that he is fighting against Russian influence, while all along he is serving as a conduit for Wall Street, London, and Brusssels’ influence touches upon the sort of hypocrisy seen again and again amid engineered protests targeting the many enemies of Western hegemony worldwide.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.


Shameless Wall Street Journal Ad Denies Ottoman Turkish Armenian Genocide

by Stephen Lendman

APRIL 21, 2016

Ottoman Empire 1915 – 1922 genocide against Armenians in their historic homeland massacred around 1.5 million victims.
Turkey remains in denial of an indisputable historic fact. Journal management disgracefully published a full-page ad, intended to deceive, sponsored by FactCheckArmenia, a shameless genocide denial group.
Its web site airbrushes disturbing facts from history, twisting and reinventing them, claiming no genocide occurred, at the same time accusing Armenians during WW I of treason against the Ottoman Empire – blaming their victimized people for war waged by the great powers.
A WSJ spokesman’s explanation of why the publication ran the ad fell flat, saying:
“We accept a wide range of advertisements, including those with provocative viewpoints. While we review ad copy for issues of taste, the varied and divergent views expressed belong to the advertisers.”
On May 28, 1948, the UN War Crimes Commission prepared a report on “The Massacres of the Armenians in Turkey,” saying:
On May 28, 1915, France, Britain and Russia denounced Turkey’s “crimes against humanity and civilization.” A key passage reads:
“In the presence of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and the civilization, the allied Governments (know) that they will be held personally responsible for the so-called crimes of all members of the Ottoman Government as well as those of the officers who would be involved in such massacres.”
The never ratified 1920 peace Treaty of Sevres with Turkey required it “hand over to the Allied Powers the persons responsible for the massacres committed during the continuance of the state of war on territory which formed part of the Turkish Empire on the 1st August 1914.”
The Treaty of Lausanne (July 23, 1923) replaced it. Genocidal crimes were excluded. A “Declaration of Amnesty” was declared for all offenses committed from August 1, 1914 – November 20, 1922.
In 1914, over 2.5 million Armenians lived in Ottoman Turkey. Today 75,000 at most remain, mostly in Istanbul and Western areas. The Eastern Armenian heartland was decimated.
In April 1915, hundreds of Armenian religious, political and intellectual leaders were arrested, detained or exiled. Most were systematically murdered.
By summer, about 250,000 Ottoman army Armenians were placed in forced labor battalions. They were over-worked, starved, or executed.
Without leaders or able-bodied youths, ethnic cleansing occurred throughout Ottoman Turkey and Asia Minor.
Death marches followed. Men and older boys were separated and executed,  women and children force-marched, raped, tortured, and otherwise abused. Most deportees died of starvation, disease, or massacres.
About 500,000 escaped to Russia, Arab countries, Europe or America. Ottoman Armenia was virtually eliminated.
Turkey’s denial of cold, hard facts can’t refute one of history’s great crimes – slow-motion genocide against its Kurdish population ongoing under Erdogan.



Azerbaijan Launches Wide Scale Attack on Nagorno-Karabagh. Geopolitical Implications

Attack Repelled; Casualties Include 12-Year-Old Artsakh Boy

Global Research, April 03, 2016
Armenian Weekly 2 April 2016

Azerbaijan: Mafia State

Azerbaijan launched a full-blown attack on multiple positions of the Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh, NKR) contact line overnight on April 1-2. The Azerbaijani army employed tanks, military helicopters, drones, and various caliber weapons in an assault targeting the Line of Contact on the southern, southeastern, and northeastern fronts. The NKR Defense Army retaliated, and, according to the NKR Defense Ministry Twitter page, brought down two helicopters and two drones, and destroyed three tanks. There are multiple casualties on both sides. Civilians have also been targeted. According to reports, 12-year-old Vaghinag Grigoryan was killed in the Marduni region, while two other children were wounded, from a Grad BM-21 multiple rocket launcher attack.

During an emergency meeting of Armenia’s National Security Council held on the evening of April 2, Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian announced that as a result of the attacks, the Armenian side suffered 18 casualties, while 35 people were injured. Azerbaijan’s losses—including air force, personnel, and armored vehicles—were “significant,” he added, according to PanArmenian. Azerbaijan has reported 12 combatant casualties, although the NKR Defense Ministry says the Azerbaijani side has 200 losses.

Azerbaijan launched a full-blown attack on multiple positions of the Nagorno-Karabagh contact line overnight on April 1-2.

A number of Armenian soldiers wounded in the attack are being flown to Yerevan for medical treatment, according to Meanwhile NKR President’s spokesperson Davit Babayan told Civilnet that the number of Azerbaijani casualties are in the dozens, if not hundreds. Babayan told that the situation is now relatively calm following the overnight attacks.

According to reports, Sarkisian was briefed on the attack midair, on his way to Yerevan from Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, NKR Prime Minister Arayik Harutyunyan immediately returned to Artsakh from Yerevan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an immediate ceasefire. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has reached out to his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts—Seyran Ohanyan and Zakir Hasanov—to quell the situation.

Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian called for immediate Obama Administration action to stop Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s latest attacks against Nagorno-Karabagh—the worst since the ceasefire established in 1994.

The attack comes after the conclusion of the 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C.; participants to the summit included Armenian President Serge Sarkisian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

On the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, Aliyev met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. According to the Azerbaijani president’s official website, “[Biden] said the USA resolutely supported Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, adding that this was of great importance for the United States.”

The site of the downed Azerbaijani helicopter

(Photo: Artsakh Press)

The ANCA strongly criticized Biden’s meeting with Aliyev. “Vice President Biden, in personally meeting Azerbaijani President Aliyev in this manner—without any public challenge to his escalating regional aggression and worsening domestic repression—openly emboldened his belligerence while actively undermining American efforts to keep the peace and reach a negotiated settlement,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

The ANCA also criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for failing to mention concerns regarding Azerbaijan’s track record of ceasefire—as well as domestic human rights—violations to Aliyev. “Secretary Kerry in his public remarks with President Aliyev, regretfully, made no mention at all of any American concerns regarding President Aliyev’s threats and acts of violence or his crackdown on domestic dissent. There has, as well, been no mention, in the public record, of the life-saving Royce-Engel peace proposals that the State Department has publicly supported.”

“The Obama Administration’s failure, in Washington, to confront Azerbaijan’s aggression gave Aliyev the green light to launch these attacks on Karabagh,” said Hamparian.  “Immediate action must be taken by the Obama Administration to stop President Aliyev’s latest attacks, along with concrete steps to ensure a lasting peace in the region which respects the right to self-determination and freedom for the people of Nagorno Karabagh.”

Meanwhile the Co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group—Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, James Warlick of the U.S., and Pierre Andrieu of France—issued a statement expressing “grave concern” over the ceasefire violations. “We strongly condemn the use of force and regret the senseless loss of life, including civilians,” read the statement. “The Co-Chairs call upon the sides to stop shooting and take all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground. They reiterate that there is no alternative to a peaceful negotiated solution of the conflict and that war is not an option.”

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s (ARF) Supreme Body in Armenia also issued a statement condemning the attack, and declaring that the ARF stands beside NKR’s and Armenia’s governments to safeguard the security of both governments and their populations, reported Aztag Daily. The ARF also called upon all Armenian organizations and the public to respond to Azerbaijan’s aggression in a unified manner and impose peace on the aggressor.

The ANCA has urged the public to take action by sending a webmail to President Obama, Congress, and the OSCE Karabagh negotiators urging them to take immediate action to stop Baku’s latest attacks. To take action, click here.

Encirclement of Russia: the War for Ngorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Global Research, April 03, 2016
Fort Russ 2 April 2016

Encirclement of Russia: the war in Ngorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan: April 3, 2016: There have been military clashes between the armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan since the night of Friday to Saturday. Many deaths are reported. 

The strong fighting is reported between Martakert and Hadrut on the front line. The Armenian army based in Nagorno-Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians,** reportedly shot down two drones, tanks and two helicopters according to sources of the Armenian news agency. Baku announced that the Armenian army has lost a number of soldiers.

Plan U.S.A.?

Is it because Armenia refused to become a NATO base? According to the NATO website*** dated March 10, 2016 Armenia would be a basis for the establishment of partnerships. NATO would, therefore, try to support Armenia in its intent to keep Nagorno-Karabakh and to infiltrate the lines of Russian diplomacy?

NATO has, in any case, the desire to open a new front against Russia, since, according Azernews article dated as of March 10, 2016, as on the NATO website, we clearly see NATO’s attempts to obtain agreements with Armenia and Azerbaijan to encircle Russia. Azerbaijan, which has been trying for years to distance itself from Russia has finally agreed to become the NATO base against Armenia since 10 March 2016. Azerbaijan, as an ally to Turkey including on the Armenian genocide issue and as a NATO partner, would attack Armenia to injure an ally to Russia, which refused to support NATO%?

In any case, the war between NATO and Russia is resuming in Karabakh while NATO threatens Russia in Ukraine and in the Baltic countries. Since 2014 strong NATO troop movements have been observed in Central Europe. Night-time movements of NATO military convoys have been seen by people in Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Poland.

In 2017 NATO must consolidate its troops in countries of the European Union border with Russia. With new fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh the threat of a Third World War is getting closer and NATO’s intent to encircle Russia is confirmed. The Russian President, as ever, calls for ceasefire!

 Translated from French by Tom Winter, in Novorossia Today

Translator’s note: in 1922 Stalin, as Commissar of Nationalities, assigned Ngorno-Karabakh on the west of Armenia to the Azerbaijan SSR, and also Nakhichevan from the east side of Armenia. Today, there are no Armenians in Nakhichevan. The struggle parallels that over Crimea: In each case, the shibboleth of “Territorial Integrity” is the cover for the western world’s ignoring self-determination. In each case, “territorial integrity” sanctifies the whim of one man: Krushchev ‘voting’ for all of Crimea, and Stalin ‘voting’ for all of Karabakh.

P.S. When I was last in Armenia, July 2010, maps were popular that included Karabakh as part of Armenia.

** Why the author has to say the Armenian Army is mainly staffed by Armenians is somewhere between odd and interesting.


Clashes on Nagorny Karabakh Frontline Continue despite Calls for Peace

Local Editor

Armenia_AzeriSporadic fighting between Azeri and Armenian forces was reported Sunday, a day after Russia and the West appealed for calm following clashes that killed some 30 troops in the worst violence in decades over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region.

Both sides said there had been intermittent clashes overnight and on Sunday as well, accusing each other of using heavy weapons, tanks and artillery and of pulling the trigger first.

“Armenian armed forces violated the ceasefire 130 times during the night. They were shooting from mortars, grenade launchers, and large-caliber machine guns,” Azerbaijan’s defense ministry claimed in a statement.

“The shelling was carried out from both Armenian territory and from Armenian-occupied Karabakh,” the statement said. “The Azerbaijani army returned fire.”

Armenian defense ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, told reporters that “fighting continued Sunday morning in the southern direction of the (Karabakh) frontline.”

“Azerbaijanis are attempting to attack but are being repelled,” he said.

“The situation is tense, but there is no panic.”

The Armenian-backed defense ministry in Karabakh meanwhile said that “Azerbaijan renewed shelling its positions on Sunday morning from rocket-propelled artillery and tanks.”

Fierce clashes left at least 18 Armenian and 12 Azerbaijani soldiers dead Saturday and reportedly claimed the lives of two civilians after both sides accused each other of attacking with heavy weaponry across the volatile frontline.

Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian called the clashes the “largest-scale hostilities” since a 1994 truce ended a war in which Armenian-backed fighters seized the territory from Azerbaijan.

Both Russia and the West appealed to all sides to show restraint, with key regional power broker President Vladimir Putin calling for an “immediate ceasefire”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry urged the arch foes to return to peace talks under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), reiterating “there is no military solution to the conflict”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile vowed to back traditional ally Azerbaijan “to the end” in the conflict.

“We pray our Azerbaijani brothers will prevail in these clashes with the least casualties,” he said, blasting the longstanding failure of the Minsk Group — which spearheads efforts by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to find peace — to resolve the conflict.

“If the Minsk Group had taken fair and decisive steps over this, such incidents would not have happened,” he said.

Source: Agencies

03-04-2016 – 13:11 Last updated 03-04-2016 – 14:21




Turkey Will Come to Regret Border Violation Claims in Hatay


By Wayne Madsen

Turkey has repeatedly charged that Russian military aircraft flying sorties over Syrian airspace against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have violated Turkish airspace over the province of Hatay.

Hatay is the curious geographical outcropping of Turkish territory that juts from Anatolia into the eastern shoreline of the Mediterranean to the west of Syria. If it appears that Hatay should actually be part of Syria, it once was, that is, before the Turkish government annexed the territory in 1939 in a raw deal worked out with France. Hatay was long forgotten, that is, until 1989 when the film «Indian Jones and the Last Crusade» featured, in part, the State of Hatay as it existed in the late 1930s. However, Hollywood mistakenly referred to Hatay as a sultanate and created for it a fake flag.

NATO, without submitting anything in the way of proof, charged that Russian Sukhoi Su-30s and Su-24s violated Hatay’s «sovereign» airspace on at least three occasions from the first week of October to the middle of the month.

However, many Syrians believe that Turkey has been violating Syrian sovereignty over what the Syrians refer to as Alexandretta since 1939. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire following the First World War, Alexandretta, which was part of the Aleppo Province of the empire, became a separate entity but ruled by Paris as part of the League of Nations’ French mandate of Syria as a result of the Franco-Turkish Treaty of 1921. Known as the autonomous Sanjak of Alexandretta, the area was administratively governed as part of the French-ruled State of Aleppo and in 1925 it became part of the new French state of Syria but, in recognition of its large Alawite, Turkish, and Armenian communities, retained its autonomous status. Alexandretta also had communities of Assyrians, Syriac Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Maronites, Greeks, Greek Catholics, Kurds, and Jews. There were four other states under the French mandate of Syria: Arab Syria, largely occupied by Sunni Arabs, Kurds, and Turkoman; Latakia, the coastal region dominated by Alawites and Christians; Lebanon, which was then largely Christian; and the southern region largely inhabited by the nomadic Jebel Druze.

The Syrian civil war, instigated by the West, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, Turkey, and Israel, has played upon the old religious and ethnic fracture lines of the old League of Nations mandate to further their own agendas. However, by opening the Syrian can of worms, Turkey has also turned attention toward dormant claims by Alexandretta, now the Hatay province of Turkey, for retrocession to Syria.

Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk never recognized French-Syrian control of what the Turks insisted on calling Hatay. Ataturk made an astounding claim that Alexandretta was a Turkish homeland for 40 centuries even though it was also longtime homeland for a number Syrian Alawites, Arabs, Melkite Christians, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians, and Jews. Moreover, the Seljuk Turks had only occupied Alexandretta in 1096. The Seljuk Turkish occupation of the region ended three years later when Christian crusaders led by European princes conquered Alexandretta.

Much like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s covert support for ISIL, Ataturj began providing clandestine support for Turkish irredentists in Alexandretta. The Turkish residents of Alexandretta formed pro-Kemalist organizations dedicated to forming a union with Turkey.

The Syrian Arabs of Alexandretta wanted nothing to do with becoming part of Turkey. Syrian nationalist leader Zaki al-Arsuzi, one of the inspirational leaders of the Arab Ba’ath Party, which would later come to rule both Syria under Hafez al-Assad and his son, current president Bashar al-Assad, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, began to call for Alexandretta’s independence from France and union with Syria. In 1936, the French and Turks concluded an agreement whereby Turkey would recognize the eventual independence of Syria, which would include the Sanjak of Alexandretta. However, Ataturk raised the status of Alexandretta before the League of Nations and claimed that because the majority of its population was Turkish – which, at 39 percent of the population, was another falsehood from Ataturk – the Sanjak should be separate from an independent Syria.

The Armenian community surrounding Alexandretta, fearing the Turks who had already engaged in a wholesale genocide of the Armenian people from 1915 to 1922, declared the Republic of Amanus and asked France for recognition. France ignored the Armenians. The French, Americans, British, and other World War I allies also ignored the plight of the Armenian, Greek, Maronite, and other minority communities of Cilicia, along the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia, who found themselves besieged by the extreme nationalism of Ataturk’s Young Turk movement.

France agreed that Alexandretta would maintain its autonomous status as part of Syria after Syrian independence but rejected Turkish demands that the region be granted separate independence, obviously with the goal of then incorporating the mini-state into Turkey. The League of Nations appointed a special committee, with French and Turkish members, to hammer out an agreement on Alexandretta.

The committee agreed that Sanjak would retain autonomy over its internal affairs, Syria would have responsibility for the Sanjak’s foreign affairs; the Sanjak and Syria would have the same monetary system; Syria and Alexandretta would appoint commissioners to represent each entity in their respective capitals – Damascus and Antioch; Alexandretta would be completely demilitarized and only a police force would be maintained; the rights of all minorities with respect to race, religion, language, and nationality would be guaranteed; Turkey would have special rights in the port of Alexandretta and a separate customs zone; Arabic and Turkish were recognized as official languages; a unicameral legislature would be established with 40 members who would elect a president and an executive council; and freedom of the press and elementary education were guaranteed.

After the agreement, Christian and Muslim Arabs, as well as Armenians, immediately took to the streets in rioting to protest Turkish being adopted as an official language. In a fashion popular at the time with Nazi Germany with regard to its neighbors with German minorities, Turkish troops were deployed to the northern border of Alexandretta and Turkey began to officially complain about the treatment of Turks in the Sanjak. In 1937, as French authorities were registering voters in Alexandretta for forthcoming elections, Turkey abrogated its 1926 no-aggression treaty with the Syrian mandate. Al-Arsuzi and his Syrian nationalists claimed there was no Turkish majority in Alexandretta, that its numbers were only 85,000 compared to 100,000 Arabs and Armenians. After a French census, it was agreed that Turks would have 22 of the 40 seats in the legislature.

In what can only be described as a double-cross of the Syrians, the French agreed to permit Turkey to station troops in Alexandretta to maintain «order» and an agreement was signed between Paris and Ankara that recognized Turkey’s special status in Alexandretta.

After elections were held in 1938, a former member of the Turkish National Assembly was elected President of the Sanjak of Alexandretta, which he immediately changed to the Republic of Hatay in recognition of the Hittite, and thus, Turkish, claim over the territory. The Turkish president declared the capital to be in Antakya (not Antioch as it was known to the majority of the population). The flag of Hatay was proclaimed to be a white crescent and star on a red field, the same as that of Turkey. The official policy of the Hatay government was to be «Kemalism».

A 1939 Franco-Turkish mutual assistance treaty sealed Alexandretta’s fate. In order to ensure that Turkey did not join with the Axis Powers, France ceded sovereignty of Alexandretta to the Turks. The rights of the majority non-Turks in Alexandretta, particularly the Armenians and Kurds, were systematically discarded by the French mandate authorities over Greater Syria. Part of the friction today that exists between the Baathists of Syria and the neo-nationalists of Erdogan stems directly from the abandonment of Alexandretta to the Turks by the French in 1939. Even if Russian planes overflew Hatay, it demonstrates that Syria and its allies have not forgotten the perfidy that led to Alexandretta’s illegal seizure by the Turks.

Essentially, the Alawites and other minorities who now live in Hatay have good cause to demand retrocession back to Syria. The Turks falsely claim that the Alawites, Circassians, and Kurds who live in Hatay are ethnic Turks, a hyper-nationalist claim rejected by all three groups. Some official Syrian government maps still show Alexandretta as part of Syria. The Turkish-supported Syrian opposition have printed maps showing no separate status for Hatay but showing it as part of Turkey.

If Syria is divided between a Sunni-dominated interior and a Latakia-based Alawite-Christian coastal entity, Hatay, if joined to Latakia, would give the new country a fighting chance for survival in a dangerous environment of Turkish nationalist adventurism. And a final footnote for a Turkey that has covertly pushed for the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate. If ancient history is to be revived, Christian claims to Cilicia and Constantinople can also be revived. If there is a place for an Islamic State in the world of Erdogan and his cronies, so too, can there be a place for a revived Byzantium and the reopening of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul as the holy see for eastern Christianity.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  


The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Armenia Apparently Now Target of New US Regime Change Endeavor

This policy of trying to bring about regime change in one country
after another is a very dangerous one that US State Department officials
are pursuing. I have a feeling that at some point the practice will
blow up in their-and possibly also our–faces.

Victoria Nuland Arriving in Armenia Today


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland will visit Armenia on Wednesday.

Nuland traveled to Baku on Monday and to Tbilisi on Tuesday.

In Yerevan, she will meet with senior government officials, civil
society groups, and youth representatives to discuss strengthening
political, economic, and people-to-people ties with Armenia and
advancing a just and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict, the U.S. Department of State reports.

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