California Courier Online, May 13, 2004

California Courier Online, May 13, 2004

1 – Commentary
Turks Identify Themselves As
Perpetrators of the Genocide

By Harut Sassounian
California Courier Publisher
2 – ALMA Features Two Exhibits: ‘Bloodlines,’
& ‘Images From the Ashes: Smyrna 1922’
3 – AIWA Will Honor Lily Balian
At May 22 Fundraiser in L.A.
4 – Concern Foundation Honors
Bosley CEO John Ohanesian
5 – AJA Elects New
Board for 2004
1 – Commentary

Turks Identify Themselves As
Perpetrators of the Genocide

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

While April 1915 spelled a national disaster for the Armenian people, who
would have thought that 89 years later, the Armenian Genocide would still
haunt the Turks?
To the dismay of the Turkish government, several major developments last
month reminded the Turks that they cannot escape the consequences of the
crime committed in 1915:
— Five more U.S. states (Montana, Idaho, Tennessee, Nebraska, and
Louisiana) acknowledged the Armenian Genocide this month, bringing the
total number of such U.S. states to 36;
— The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement on April 21, expressing
“its extreme regret” that “a monument was erected in the yard of a Catholic
Church in Krakow, Poland, on April 17, 2004, with an inscription that reads
‘Armenians were the victims of genocide in Turkey in 1915;’ ”
— The New York Times issued an internal guideline stating that henceforth
it would refer to the Armenian Genocide as such without any denialist
— Thousands of articles were published in newspapers throughout the world,
referring to the 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and covering the
commemorative events on that occasion;
— Both Presidential candidates in the United States issued solemn
statements on April 24. Pres. Bush recognized the mass murder of 1.5
million Armenians without using the word genocide, while Sen. Kerry called
it genocide and urged the international community to recognize it;
— One of the most significant developments for the recognition of the
Armenian Genocide occurred in Canada on April 21. With a vote of 153 to 68,
the Canadian Parliament officially recognized the Armenian Genocide,
despite strong Turkish opposition.
Hundreds of articles on this subject were published in Canada and Turkey on
the Parliament’s vote. The Turkish Ambassador and the Turkish communities
in Canada and the United States engaged in a massive lobbying campaign
trying to block this initiative. Afterwards, the Turkish government
threatened that the vote would have serious economic repercussions on
Canada, meaning that Turkey could cancel major business contracts with
Canadian companies.
There was, however, one key observation missing from all of these news
reports, editorials and commentaries. While wildly lashing out at Canada,
the Turkish government does not seem to have paid close attention to the
text of the resolution which reads as follows: “This House acknowledges the
Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemns this act as a crime against
Nowhere in the text is there a mention of Turks or Ottomans as the
perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide. Why are the Turks then, so
vociferously complaining about this resolution? Simply because the Turks
know all too well — better than anyone else — the crime that was
committed by their ancestors. That knowledge must weigh heavily on their
collective guilty conscience. This resolution is not blaming them for
committing any crime. Under these circumstances, the Turks are simply
identifying themselves or accusing themselves of committing genocide
against the Armenians.
There is no more damning evidence of the genocide committed by the Turks
against the Armenians than their own acknowledgment or confession of their
Turks Complain to The N. Y. Times
As expected, the Turks are lashing out at The New York Times for announcing
last month that it would henceforth refer to the Armenian Genocide simply
as genocide, without any qualifiers.
In a letter to Bill Keller, the Executive Editor of The New York Times, the
President of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, Ercument Kilic,
expressed his “disappointment” over the paper’s decision to describe as
genocide “the misfortune of the Ottoman Armenians.” After listing a series
of falsehoods, Kilic urged the Editor “to reconsider” his decision, stating
that “the image of The New York Times as a neutral and impartial medium has
been seriously tarnished.” As I had suggested in an earlier column, the
more the Turks complain to The New York Times, the more they help publicize
the Armenian Genocide.
Already, the newspaper’s new guideline has resulted in a lengthy and very
positive article on the Armenian Genocide, in the April 26 issue of the
prestigious New Yorker magazine. Writer Gary Bass recalled that Bill
Keller, the Executive Editor of The New York Times, referred to the
Armenian Genocide as genocide back in 1988 in an article he wrote during
his time at the paper’s Moscow bureau. Bass reported that during a phone
conversation last month, Keller told him: “It seemed a no-brainer that
killing a million people because they were Armenians fit the definition [of
In the weeks ahead, the Turks, with their complaints, will probably cause
more such positive articles to be written on the Armenian Genocide in many
other major newspapers and magazines.
2 – ALMA Features Two Exhibits: ‘Bloodlines,’
& ‘Images From the Ashes: Smyrna 1922’
WATERTOWN. Ma – The Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) announced
its most recent exhibit, “Images from the Ashes: Smyrna 1922” featured in
the Bedoukian Gallery, April 18 through October 3. The opening reception
will take place May 16, from 3 to 5 p.m., and will mark the opening of
Greek-American artist, Anna Spileos Scott’s, “Bloodlines,” a contemporary
and striking art installation commemorating the destruction of the city of
Smyrna. In addition, Anna Scott and “Bread” series artist, Apo Torosyan,
will give a lecture about their experiences and inspirations that are
reflected in their artwork.
In 1921, the city of Smyrna, south of Constantinople, was the second
largest city of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey’s primary center of trade and
culture, Smyrna known as “gavour Izmir” (“infidel Smyrna”) to the Turks, as
most of the population were Greeks, Armenians, Europeans and Jews. By
December 1922, the city was a smoldering ruin, with most of its population
murdered or driven out permanently in the ruthless drive to create a new
Turkish state without the “gavours.”
“Images from the Ashes: Smyrna 1922” examines the role of Smyrna on
Ottoman and European culture, as well as the primary roles of Greek and
Armenian Christian populations. Both groups, the native populations of the
area, were completely eliminated in this early model of ‘ethnic cleansing’.
Unlike other destroyed cities in history that are remembered today, the
city of Smyrna has been forgotten.
The exhibit tells the tragic story of the city in a diverse exhibit
encompassing different materials combined from a number of sources. The
exhibit includes an extensive photograph record of the city compiled by
Richard and Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht of Davis, Calif., The exhibit includes
rare images of the final days of the city prior to its destruction. These
photographs will be complemented by rare textiles, rugs, and publications
produced in Smyrna, all of which survived the final destruction. The
textiles, now part of the museum’s holding, were donated by the Yeranian
and Nicolaides families, who are immigrants from Smyrna.
Although Armenians made less than ten-percent of the population, the city
was a major center of Armenian arts and education. The destruction of the
Armenian population in 1922 was the final major atrocity of the Genocide,
the closing act on seven years of rape, murder and pillage.
On the same afternoon as the opening of “Bloodlines”, Peabody-based artist
Apo Torosyan will present his own experiences when he returned to his
native village in Turkey. Torosyan is a successful artist and lecturer who
has exhibited in hundreds of galleries, including several exhibits at ALMA.
He is perhaps best known for his “Bread” series of art, that incorporates
actual pieces of bread into his multimedia art installations. Torosyan’s
video and discussion will explore the emotional impact of his return to
Turkey after 25 years.
Admission is free to ALMA members and children under 14, and a $2 suggested
donation for non-members.
For more information, call the office at 617-926-2562
3 – AIWA Will Honor Lily Balian
At May 22 Fundraiser in L.A.
LOS ANGELES – The Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA), Los
Angeles Affiliate, will honor Lily Ring Balian with the Outstanding Woman
of Achievement and Commitment Award at their annual fundraiser on May 22,
at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
Balian has represented Armenian women in Los Angeles for over 10 years
working to increase the visibility of Armenian women, promote their equal
role in the world and advance the discussion of education, social welfare,
culture, business and heritage in society. The AIWA luncheon will help
raise funds for their continuous outreach projects for women.
Balian lives in Los Angeles and serves as a consultant for political
campaigns statewide and nationally and has managed public affairs and
political campaigns in both the private and public sector for more than 20
years. In 1991, Gov. Pete Wilson appointed her to the California Commission
on the Status of Women where she advanced to Chair of the committee. Ring
Balian continues to take an active role in numerous organizations many of
which focus on women’s causes. She is currently the Vice President of the
KCET Women’s Council; a member of Women Los Angeles, participated as
chairperson of the Ladies Auxiliary of Western Diocese, served as former
President of the Los Angeles Affiliate of the Armenian Women’s
International Association, where, in 1995, she represented California, as
well as the AIWA at the United Nations Fourth World Conference for Women in
Beijing, China. It is for her ongoing commitment to Armenian women in
society that AIWA honors her this year at their annual fundraiser.
AIWA has worked to gather information about the changing role of women in
the world, monitored the activities of Armenian women, established an
Armenian Women’s archive and regularly sponsored programs and issues
publications to further these purposes.
For more information on the luncheon or to order tickets, contact Cindy
Norian at 310-277-4490, or Joan Agajanian Quinn at 310274-4938 by May 10.
For more information on AIWA, visit
4 – Concern Foundation Honors
Bosley CEO John Ohanesian
BEVERLY HILLS – The Concern Foundation for funding cancer research
worldwide announced the honoree for this year’s Annual Block Party. John R.
Ohanesian, President and CEO of Bosley, will be honored at the 30th annual
fundraiser on July 17, at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
The Concern Foundation wages a war against cancer every year by raising
money at its signature event and by promoting public awareness of its
community outreach programs. Ohanesian epitomizes the values of this
charitable organization. He is a humanitarian and community leader with
over two decades of experience in the health care industry.
Ohanesian has been President and Chief Operating Officer of Bosley since
joining the company in 1990. As of 2001, he assumed the role of Chief
Executive Officer after successfully completing the acquisition of Bosley
by Aderans, Inc. of Tokyo, Japan. Since joining Bosley, the world leader in
surgical hair restoration, Ohanesian has led growth from 8 offices to 90
offices and from 68 employees to over 600 employees. Performing more
surgical hair restoration procedures than any company in the world, Bosley
was the first medical provider in the United States to successfully produce
and air an infomercial in 1993. As President and CEO, Ohanesian has been
the prime caretaker of the company founder’s core values – personal
integrity and the highest level of quality patient care. Bosley advanced
many of the artistic techniques used worldwide today to achieve natural
results under the leadership of hair restoration pioneer L. Lee Bosley,
>>From 1984 to 1990, Ohanesian was Vice President of Saint John’s Hospital
and Health Center in Santa Monica, from 1990-1996 he was a member of the
California Citizens Compensation Commission as an appointee of Gov. George
Since 2000, Ohanesian has been an active member of the Los Angeles Music
Center’s Center Theatre Group, the operating company for the Ahmanson
Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum. He is on the Corporate Circle Committee
and assumed the Co-Chair role from 2001 to 2003. He joined the Board of
Directors in 2001 and presently serves as Vice-Chair of the Development
Ohanesian resides in Beverly Hills with his two daughters, Adona and Ava.
Ohanesian enjoys supporting his daughters’ schools, in particular, the
Curtis School Hot Lunch Program where he has volunteered annually since
For more information, contact Lysa Barry, Barry & Associates at
818-716-7111 or [email protected]
5 – AJA Elects New Board for 2004

LOS ANGELES – At its first 2004 general membership meeting, the Armenian
Jewelers Association, West Coast, elected a new Board of Directors.
Meeting on April 12 at Mandaloon Restaurant, discussions were held for a
new agenda and plans for the year were sketched out.
The new Board members are: Peklar A. Pilavjian, Ghazaros Ghazarossian, Joe
Zabounian, Gevork Hagopian, Karen Michaelian, Vatche Fronjian, Jack
Hovanessian, Krekor Karaguezian, George Gulian, Aret Menzilcian, and
Khachig Hawatian.
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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS