Let’s meet at the Pecheneq Monument on September 8th

Let’s meet at the Pecheneq Monument on September 8th

Baskin Oran

[A satirical article written by BASKIN ORAN as a response to the President of ASIMDER (The Association Against International Unfounded Armenian Allegations) which claimed that Sourp Khatch Church on Akhtamar Island was not Armenian but was Turkish and had been built by Pecheneq Turks (who were Christians).]

[Translated from Turkish by Nurhan Becidyan]

Remember the Van Akhtamar Church which was going to be demolished in 1951 and which later in 2007 was restored? I used to think that it was an Armenian church, yet it turns out to be a Turkish church. The State has lied to us. Now they will have to account for this. Soon our public prosecutors can start three very important court cases: 1) Against the Turkish Armed Forces for attempting to demolish a thousand plus year old Turkish monument on June 25, 1951; 2) Against Prime Minister Erdogan’s government for declaring it as an “Armenian Church” and restoring it as such in 2007; 3) Against all the past Turkish Republic governments for allowing this Turkish monument to almost collapse due to neglect. Of course all three cases will have to be opened under the Turkish Criminal Code Article 301/1 which covers “publicly insulting Turkishness.”

I had heard firsthand about these destructions years ago, but this fact has nothing to do with our present subject matter. In the spring of 1999 I had visited the Cappadocia region. Our guide had told us: “I was with a commando unit during my military service. One day, our commanding officer told us to gather a large amount of explosives and to blow up the ruins of two Armenian churches nearby. We flattened both of them.” But of course those were completely different from this one. Let us listen to what Göksel Gülbey, the president of ASIMDER (The Association Against International Unfounded Armenian Allegations) has to say:

“The church that the Armenians are alleging as theirs belongs toPecheneq Turks, Christian Turks. (…) Unfortunately the Armenians have fabricated a myth, claiming the church to be theirs.”

The President points also to a very important matter as follows: “This is where in 1915, during the Van massacres, Moslem women from Van had thrown themselves into Lake Van, in order to escape rape, , thus saving their honor.” No wonder, MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) deputy Prof. Yusuf Halaçoglu (former president of the official Turkish Historical Society) had mentioned this on April 29th in Salihli and had even given the exact number of women involved by saying: “For the 50 Van women for whom we have not even been able to erect a monument of chastity.” Incidentally we heard that MHP has a law proposal for such a monument.

I had heard this “saving their honor” in the past in relation to 1915, but from a totally different perspective which I cannot remember now. Anyway, President Gülbey ends his statement by saying: “As Turks, we will be present here for the September 8 religious service. With a three bus-full crowd, we will participate in these services and tell our side of the story.”

An Armenian cannot have slanted eyes

The proofs given by Gülbey are rock solid: “There is a relief on the top side of the Akdamar [sic] Church depicting a horseman shooting arrows backwards. All historians agree that only Turks shoot arrows backwards while riding horses and there is no Armenian with slanted eyes. The horse on the relief also has a crescent above its hoof and on its rump. The use of the crescent as symbol by Turks even before Islam is an accepted fact by all historians.”

I looked at those pictures from books that I found, and on the East façade of the church there is a relief of a hunting scene where the eyes of the rider who is shooting the arrow is looking backwards. Of course the Armenian propaganda machine can misrepresent this saying: “If the archer is not cross eyed, his eyes would naturally slant towards the back because that is where he is looking. Also the Armenian artist might have shown Central Asian people in a hunt scene.”

Armenians might also point to the relief on the right and might even say: “The relief of the archer on the left depicts the Central Asian people who are still in the hunter-gatherer phase. Whereas the grapes, lamb and human shown on the right depicts the Armenians which have achieved the settled agricultural phase of civilization.”

We must be alert

In addition to this misrepresentation, I want to warn my ASIMDER friends to the possibility that the Armenian lobby, which is as malignant as the interest rate lobby, might say: “Pecheneq Turks did not live on the southern shores of the Black Sea but on its north. . Furthermore if this is a Turkish church, why are all the inscriptions in the Armenian alphabet? Didn’t the Pecheneqs use a Runic alphabet i.e. the Gökturk alphabet?”

The shortest answer to this would be: “There is no such thing as an Armenian alphabet. Like the Kurds, Armenians are also Turks; therefore their alphabet is a copy of the Gökturk alphabet.” But if, for some reason or other this does not sound convincing we can make the following claim: “The original inscriptions were written in the Runic alphabet, but in 1915 the so-called Armenians came, they erased the originals, and replaced them with their own writings.”

This latter claim might be even more appropriate because when the recent issue of the demolishment of ancient Armenian houses in Mush had come to the fore, Irfan Ermis from ASIMDER had said: “There is a monument in the Kurtulus (Independence) Park. (…) We know how they changed the inscriptions on that monument (…) If you look now only the names of the 120 martyred children is written” (The Son Nokta Newspaper, Elazig, August 24, 2013)

If the lobby still insists saying “On the Akhtamar church not only has the Armenian alphabet been used but the architectural style of the church is also Armenian.” Based on the principle that you should imitate the smell as the sound(*) we can say: “Just as the Armenian alphabet has been copied from the Gökturk alphabet, the Armenian architectural style has been copied from Seljuk architecture. The dome of the Akhtamar Church is exactly like the dome of the Mevlana Shrine in Konya. As a matter of fact, the Turks also brought their own architects with them on the way from Central Asia.” Of course the construction dates of those two monuments (921 AD and 1358 AD, respectively) might cause some controversy, but I am sure that our friends from ASIMDER will think of a scientific answer to that problem.

We are facing hardships

The whole world is now scared that Turks are becoming too strong, and this has a bearing down on us. 2015 is also getting close. Our own state is collaborating with the Azerbaijanis against the Armenians. The Turks should erect a Chastity Monument on the Akhtamar Island on which ASIMDER is planning to show up on September 8, so that we can proudly prove to the World that we did not commit genocide against the Armenians.

However, as it is difficult to refute all arguments one by one, I propose an all-encompassing strategy. We should firmly stand behind the fact that sometime in the past the Armenians came down from Space and then returned back to Space in 1915.


(*) Translator’s Note: This “principle” comes from a Nasreddin Hodja joke which goes as follows:

Nasreddin Hodja, a well-known anonymous figure of Anatolian wisdom, invited somebody to dinner, who, while having dinner, accidentally farted, and then made the wooden floor creak to imitate the sound.

Upon which the Hodja couldn’t help saying: “Now that you have successfully imitated the sound, I wonder how you will imitate the smell?”

Original article in Turkish:

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