Is it safe to visit Aghtamar island? - 20 September 2010 - Analytical center Voskanapat

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Main » 2010 » September » 20 » Is it safe to visit Aghtamar island?
17:26
Is it safe to visit Aghtamar island?
Few days ago the editorial board of Voskanapat.info received a statement of "Peshmerge Brotherhood”, where in a rather rigid form was claim for to the Armenians: come to Western Armenia only as tourists, not as pilgrims to their own homeland. Although, statement is more about the "Turkish show” on September 19th, which named the liturgy; still the context leaves no doubts: in the opinion of certain peshmerge, Armenians are acceptable for them only as tourists. Without any nostalgic longings. 

Personally I am against any travels of the Armenians to captivated homeland, of cause, except, trips with the scientific purposes, and, nevertheless, the statement of Kurdish partisans seemed offensive to me. Actually, there are no reasons to suspect Kurds in the intention to insult us (there are no other even only potential Kurd’s allies besides Armenians in the region now), that is why Voskanapat analysts decided that this statement is written by ultra-nationalist Turkish organization, or, more likely, invented by Azerbaijani propaganda machine.

In fact: Azerbaijan prevents any rapprochements between Armenia and Turkey that could eventually lead to theopening of Armenian-Turkish border it seems like reasonable threat of its safety. Even more Baku fears the recognition of Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Empire, since after that Turkey would be deprived of any chances to assist Azerbaijan in a possible war against Armenian states. Then, Baku with its entire foreign policy built on lie and blackmail could come up with the Kurdish threat to the Armenian pilgrims.

Regarding all above mentioned reasons Voskanapat refrained from publication of peshmerge statement. Day later it turned out that similar "statement” was sent in editorial boards of other Armenian (if only Armenian?) publications, one of them with the hope on explanations of authoritative Kurdish organizations, published it without any comments and edits. Answer followed: from the editorial board of the Kurdistan.Ru website. 

However, the study of "Kurdish reply on anti-Armenian statement of "Peshmerge Brotherhood” tangled the situation even more, forcing to include in the "list of suspects” Kurds themselves. The editorial department of the site found it possible "to disprove” Kurdish authorship of the statement by unconvincing language exercises (Turkish Kurds don’t use the term "peshmerge” for their partisans) and by phrases like "it seems that part of the Armenian society sees Kurds as the historical enemies”.

In fact, Kurdish rebels in Turkey got used to the term of Che Guevara "guerilla”, it connects to the Marxist views of Kurdistan Working Party. However, the "guerilla” didn’t replace and coexisted with the indigenous Kurdish word "Peshmerge”. Note also that in recent years, together with strengthening of Peshmerge authority in practically independent Iraqi Kurdistan, this word increasingly introduced among the Kurdish rebels in Turkey. Finally, what’s wrong with the fact that new Kurdish organization, if it actually exists, uses its Kurdish title? Is it hard to assume that this organization thereby indicates its difference from the Kurdistan Working Party? No, Kurdistan.Ru’s refutations don’t sound convincing. 

Strictly speaking, reply of Kurdistan.Ru site leaders doesn’t remove the suspicions of the Kurdish authorship of the statement on behalf of "Peshmerge Brotherhood”, but in a large extent confirms the claims of the same "Brotherhood”. For example, Kurdistan.Ru accuses Armenia that there is no Armenia consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan, meanwhile "there are consulates from the most distant countries - Canada, Australia, Thailand, South Korea etc.” However, these accusations could be readdressed to Iraqi Kurdistan that has no diplomatic mission in the Artsakh Republic. 

Kurdistan.Ru discerned in works of some leading members of Armenia Oriental Studies Institute the common leitmotif: "better Turks than Kurds”. I also read works of our scientists; however, I didn’t notice the indicated "leitmotif”. Science is apolitical, and scientists have to focus on the event fairly, and I can only regret that references about the "Hamidi” forces or participations of the part of Kurdish tribes in Armenian Genocide of 1894-1923 can cause such undesirable associations in Kurds. 

The editorial staff of the Kurdistan.Ru site indicates that the rhetoric of the "Brotherhood” statement "is directly opposite to the common rhetoric of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) documents and any connected organizations”. Hard do not agree with it; however, authors hardly could assert that all Kurdish organizations in Turkey are linked to PKK. Indeed, reply authors indicate that, possibly, notorious "Peshmerge Brotherhood” "is some kind of independent from it nationalist organization with chauvinistic and Fascist incline?” 

We would like to know the answer to this particular question; since security of Armenians, who would wish to attend the Turkish show on Aghtamar island will depend on it. Must be admitted, that reply of Kurdistan.Ru editorial board doesn’t add the peace. Finally, "Peshmerge Brotherhood”, if it exists, requires Armenians to attend Western Armenia only as tourists, and not "as Hajji to their "homeland” (original quotes - L.M.-Sh.). The editorial staff of Kurdistan.Ru site located in Russia writes: "Kurds always related to the Armenians as historical neighbors, who shared with Kurds homeland…” Another Kurdish site published thoroughly false article "Real cause of deterioration of the Armenian-Kurdish relations”, where was called … the project provision of Armenia’s recovery on the Western Armenia territory to the Berlin Congress in 1878. 

I can’t say that Kurdistan.Ru reply dispelled my suspicions on Azerbaijan-Turkish authorship of "Peshmerge Brotherhood” statement completely. However, I recognize that editorial board reply affected confidence in my original version. I don’t hesitate in the mutual benevolent attitude of the overwhelming majority of Armenian and Kurdish peoples; I consider that Armenians, who gathered at the "liturgy” on Aghtamar island, should ensure their own safety. 

Levon MELIK-SHAHNAZARYAN 
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