Turkey Refuses to play Israeli National Anthem at World Youth Chess Championship

Chessbase.com reports on the refusal by Turkish chess federation to play the National anthem of Israel for the winner of the U-14 section of the World Youth Chess championship held in Antalya.

Of especial interest is the Girls Under 14 group. On the one hand it was won by an old friend, WFM Marsel Efroimski, whom we encountered in our report on Israel Schoolmates and Champions. There was a protest launched when the Israeli National Anthem was not played at the closing ceremony (see below). The other was a the bronze medal by Saranya, the under-privileged Indian talent we read about in report last month. Note too that Peru took two gold medals, thanks to the Cori siblings Deysi (Girls U16) and Jorge (Under 14).

Still wrong to be born Armenian

Reading the following article in Today’s Zaman, a Turkish Islamist press, one inevitably will end up asking the following question: Will it ever be safe to be an Armenian in Turkey, you know like an Englishman in New York or something???

The investigation into an alleged illegal network known as Ergenekon has revealed that a civilian who was formerly employed by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had collected detailed information on Turkey’s ethnic Armenian population.

Ergenekon investigators found that Fatma Cengiz, who is currently a suspect in the case against Ergenekon, collected various dossiers regarding the Armenian community in Turkey. The file included a list of subscribers to the bilingual Armenian weekly Agos.

In addition, there were lists of names and members of Armenian foundations and churches, which were classified as “active” or not, as well as the balance sheets of Agos.

Iran and Turkey Detente

The Guardian is reporting about the recent diplomatic flurry between Iran and Turkey. The question I have is the following: what does this mean for the landlocked Armenia? Is Iran, after so many years of staying neutral in the Armenian-Azeri conflict finally going to be un-neutralled, thereby entering a coalition with Azerbaijan and Turkey who have no qualms about their wish to see Armenia cornered into a neo-dhimmitude? The first salvo in this direction, or at least the warning shot of an impending deterioration in relations between Armenia and Iran could have been the reports coming out of Iran this past week that Armenia is not keeping its end of the bargain vis-a-vis Iranian gas deliveries into the the country. Or am I being an alarmist? Report can be accessed here.

Is Iran dropping Russia for Turkey?

The famous Chinese strategist, Sun Tzu, wrote in his book, The Art of War: “If an enemy has alliances, the problem is grave and the enemy’s position strong; if he has no alliances, the problem is minor and the enemy’s position weak.”

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is currently witnessing how the US, which he sees as the enemy for his nuclear ambitions, is working hard on building alliances, including with Russia. Khamenei is not happy.

So much so that Iran recently cancelled a deal with Russia to launch its communication satellite, and turned to Italy instead. This is in addition to recent complaints from Tehran regarding delays from Russia in the delivery of the S-300 anti-aircraft system. Until recently, Tehran kept its complaints away from the cameras and behind closed doors. But now that Khamenei sees the Russians as disloyal, his regime is not shy about airing its criticism publicly.

The Iranian government has decided to take the initiative and to look for a new partner to replace the Russians. Judging by the recent flurry of visits between Tehran and Ankara, it seems that Khamenei has found a willing partner in Turkey.

Unlike Russia, Turkey does not have a veto in the UN security council. However, its stock in the Middle East and the Islamic world is certainly rising. Its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is being seen more and more as a credible defender of Islamic and Arab issues. Many people on the Arab street respect his leadership, as he was elected in a genuinely democratic elections. The same can not be said about Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, or King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who received their posts undemocratically.

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 11:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Horrific story out of Puerto Rico

Gay Puerto Rican Teen Decapitated, Dismembered, and Burned – Towleroad, More than gay news. More gay men

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Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 1:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Cannibals in Russia

Reuters reports:

MOSCOW – Russian police have arrested three homeless people suspected of eating a 25-year-old man they had butchered and selling other bits of the corpse to a local kebab house.

Suspicions were raised when dismembered parts of a human body were found near a bus stop in the outskirts of the Russian city of Perm, 720 miles east of Moscow. (Full article here…)

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 1:03 am  Comments (4)  

Even if it did happen, they deserved it

A very succinct summary by a French student of Turkish origin of the reason for his refusal to write about the Armenian Genocide in a history class taught in French schools.

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm  Comments (1)  

Ex-SS trooper Adolf Storms charged over mass shooting of Jews – Times Online

Ex-SS trooper Adolf Storms charged over mass shooting of Jews – Times Online.

Hulu – 30 Rock: The Problem Solvers – Watch the full episode now.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Hulu – 30 Rock: The Problem Solvers -…", posted with vodpod

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 8:48 pm  Comments (2)  

What Happens when Perez Hilton meets Kim Kardashian?

apparently this!

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 8:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nobel Funk

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ahmed Dabashi’s take on Iran

Ahmed Dabashi, the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and the author of the definitive work on the Islamic Revolution in Iran (Theology of Discontent) has written a perceptive article on the current crisis in Iran.

In a short essay that Abbas Amanat, a scholar of 19th-century Iran at Yale University, was asked to write for The New York Times on the current crisis in Iran, he asserted that what we are witnessing is “the rise of a new middle class whose demands stand in contrast to the radicalism of the incumbent President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and the core conservative values of the clerical elite, which no doubt has the backing of a religiously conservative sector of the population.”

This learned position of a leading scholar very much sums up the common wisdom that Iranian expatriate academics are offering an excited public mesmerized by the massive demonstrations they witness on their television sets or computer screens and eager to have someone make sense of them.

In part because of these hurried interpretations, the movement that is unfolding in front of our eyes is seen as basically a middle-class uprising against a retrograde theocracy that is banking on backward, conservative and uneducated masses who do not know any better. While the illiterate and “uncouth” masses provide the populist basis of Ahmadinejad’s support, the middle class is demanding an open-market civil society.

Highly educated, pro-Western and progressive Iranians are thus placed on Mir Hossein Moussavi’s side, while backward villagers and urban poor are on Ahmadinejad’s. The fact that in North America and Western Europe, usually unveiled and fluently English-speaking women are brought to speak on behalf of the women demonstrators further intensifies the impression that if women are veiled or do not speak English fluently then they must be Ahmadinejad supporters.

This is a deeply false dichotomy that projects a flawed picture to the outside world. It is predicated on the spin that a very limited pool of expatriate academics are putting on a movement that is quite extraordinary in Iranian political culture, one whose full dimensions have yet to be unpacked.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 9:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lemkin’s Legacy

Aish.com has an article on the etymology of the word genocide:

The man who coined the term ‘genocide’ was fighting to make it an international crime decades before the Nazis rose to power. … Lemkin entered the University of Lvov in 1920 and majored in philosophy, hoping to find answers to his questions. While he was there, an incident occurred that greatly altered his direction. In 1915 he was shocked to read about the massive slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish Empire resulting in the massacre of over a million innocent people. Six years later, a young Armenian assassinated the Turkish Chief of Police in retaliation. “That is for my mother,” he said, before giving himself over to the police. Lemkin asked one of his professors why the Chief of Police had not been brought to justice for the grotesque perpetrations that he sanctioned against the Armenian people. The professor responded that he had not transgressed any international law and that it was an impingement of a nation’s sovereignty to interfere with their internal affairs. He compared it to a farmer who has a right to slaughter his own chickens whenever he wishes.

Lemkin was shocked at the comparison. “Why is the killing of a million a lesser crime than the killing of a single individual?” he asked, echoing his childhood query.

This time he decided that the only way to find an answer was to become an expert in international law.

Published in: on June 21, 2009 at 1:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Russia’s Limousine Liberals

An interesting if provocative take by Anatol Lieven on the liberal movement in Russia. Very insightful and and spot on in many cases, will certainly infuriate a lot of people, but he at least seems to have his feet on the firmament, which is not to say that he is unbiased. Link to the National Interest article here.

Over the last several days, two pieces attacking the realist approach to Russia were published in prominent media outlets in the United States and Russia. One, co-authored by Lev Gudkov of the Levada Center, Igor Klyamkin, vice president of the Liberal Mission Foundation, Georgy Satarov, president of the Russian NGO the Indem Foundation and Lilia Shevtsova, a senior associate at the Carnegie Moscow Center was featured on the editorial page of the Washington Post. The other, by Andrei Piontkovsky, a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, was released in the Moscow Times.

I read these pieces concerning the moves to improve relations between America and Russia with a profound feeling of depression. This is not just because there is something bizarre and twisted about pro-Western Russian liberals attacking the recommendations of the Hart-Hagel Commission or statesmen such as Henry Kissinger and James Baker. It is also because their criticism serves as a mouthpiece for the agendas of the most bitterly anti-Russian and geopolitically aggressive liberal interventionists and neocons who help maintain tensions between Russia and the West—and actually between the United States and the rest of the world.

Published in: on June 21, 2009 at 1:30 am  Comments (1)  

Ryerson University Apologizes for Featuring Genocide Denier

Ontario; On February 18, 2009, The Department of Sociology at Ryerson
University, and the Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations
organized an evening lecture on campus titled “Elaborations on Turkish
strategies to dealing with issues around Armenian Allegations and
beyond”. The lecture was delivered by Professor Turkkaya Ataov, a
leading denier of the Armenian Genocide. The lecture was equivalent to
Neo-Nazi propaganda presented to deny the Jewish Holocaust. Prof. Ataov
trivialized the reality of the Armenian Genocide and presented the
usual Turkish Government’s views.

Ryerson University’s
student body was outraged by the fact that such an event had been
cosponsored by a department of their university and raised concerns
through letters and by signing petitions which included names of
approximately 300 Ryerson students.

After several meetings
with department heads and administration, Dr. Sheldon Levy, the
president of Ryerson University, in a letter to Sally Sahagian, the
president of the Armenian Students’ Association at Ryerson University,
apologized to the Ryerson community by stating, “On behalf of Ryerson
University, I would like to apologize for the pain and suffering
experienced in particular by the members of the Armenian Community
as a result of this event” He then assured the student body that the
university’s views were in line with that of the Canadian Government,
the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the hundreds of
historians and experts researching the topic internationally. Dr. Levy
stated, “Ryerson University supports Prime Minster Harper’s statement
on behalf of all Canadians that the Armenian Genocide is a historical
fact, unquestionably part of the historical record with tremendous
suffering.” LINK

Armenians of Lebanon Profiled In NY Times

Their political apparatus is a model of discipline. Their vast array
of social services is a virtual state within a state. Their enemies
accuse them of being pawns of Syria and Iran. They are the Armenian Christians of Lebanon, one of the Middle East’s most singular and least-understood communities. And if they sound a bit like Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group based here, that is no accident.

month, the main Armenian political bloc decided to support Hezbollah’s
alliance in the coming parliamentary elections in Lebanon against the
pro-American parliamentary majority. Because of their role as a crucial
swing vote, the Armenians could end up deciding who wins and who loses
in what is often described as a proxy battle between Iran, Hezbollah’s
patron, and the West.

That fact has brought new attention to the
Armenians, a distinct and borderless ethnic group that is spread
throughout the region much as the Jews once were. In Lebanon, they have
their own schools, hospitals and newspapers. They speak their own
language, with its own alphabet.
Their main political party, Tashnaq, operates in 35 countries and has a
secretive world committee that meets four times a year. Their
collective memory of the genocide carried out against them in Turkey
from 1915 to 1918 helps maintain their identity in a far-flung diaspora.LINK

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 9:41 pm  Leave a Comment