Showing posts with label genocide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label genocide. Show all posts

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Weekend Reading: Burning Trees in Athens, Bombing in Ankara

Some weekend reading about Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, but don't expect good cheer:

This news is deeply disturbing: the Economist reports of multiple attacks on old Christian women in Istanbul in recent weeks. The first reader comment on the Economist piece? A diatribe denying genocide. Relatives of one 85-year-old Armenian murder victim said that the lines of a crucifix had been knifed onto her unclothed body. All of the incidents occurred in Istanbul's Samatya neighborhood, home to 8,000 Armenians and the Armenian Patriarchate. Istanbul's governor insisted in a Tweet that one particular incident was motivated by theft, not hate, which is a prevailing view according to this Catholic News report.  I wrote about Istanbul cemetery vandalism in 2009.

Two weeks ago, a young New York mother and aspiring photographer disappeared in Istanbul while on a solo trip, and it doesn't sound like she met with a good end. She found cheap accommodations on AirBnB.com and the New York Post reported Friday that Istanbul police are detaining a man she agreed to meet on a bridge.

Here is Daily Telegraph coverage of Friday's deadly bombing at the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

Over in Greece, poor people desperate for heat are cutting down trees for firewood, and apparently even chopped one tied to Plato. The Atlantic wrote Thursday that the pollution one sees hovering over Athens, "is the smog of austerity. Greece is literally breathing in the fumes of its recession." Make that depression.

Cyprus needs a bailout, in case you have crisis fatigue and ignore financial news. Even if Russians who like to bank in Cyprus chip in some cash, European authorities must step in, says this English-language article in Kathimerini. Complicating matters: hydrocarbons could be exploited off the southern coast, which is the Greek coast, of Cyprus. Seems the northern, Turkish side wants in, but someone forgot to toss a seismic detector into the Mediterranean Sea circa 1974. Until now, valuable discoveries were more along the lines of the icon of Christ that Boy George handed over to Cypriot authorities.

Finally, check out my friend Jim Montalbano's movie review blog. "Once Upon A Time in Anatolia," a  Turkish fictional drama about -- what else? -- death, is one of his favorite films of 2012. The official trailer is here. Looks pretty dark. I watched "The Lark Farm" last weekend - a dramatization of 1915 atrocities in Turkey focused on a wealthy Armenian family that protected poor neighbors. All were sent into a starvation exile and most died. Watch it for actress Arsinee Khanjian's natural looks and to contemplate what would have happened if her daughter had run off with the handsome Turkish soldier - and what happened to those women who pursued such survival tactics. Film available on Netflix.

Just rented Madagascar, whose animated critters promise to lighten things up.

An Armenian Homecoming

A group of Armenian Americans, many of whom lost relatives in the genocide of 1915, traveled to Turkey in 2012, and the Armenian church in America produced this video. The fact that this travel was possible speaks to the possibility that it is safe for Christians and Jews to travel throughout Turkey.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Never Forget

A new website, http://genocide1915.org, published by a Swedish Armenian organization, explains the deaths of millions of Christians in Ottoman Turkey, and, rather progressively, acknowledges Armenians, Syriac people, Assyrians and Greeks of Anatolia and Pontos. The FAQ in English explains why April 24 is a commemoration day for Armenians.

This Sunday, April 22, Kehila Kedosha Janina, the only Greek synagogue in Manhattan, hosts a memorial service to remember the Shoah - the Jewish Holocaust - at 2 p.m., followed by a special film on the Jewish community of Salonika (Thessaloniki), Greece.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Never Again

Some six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during World War II, and President Barack Obama commemorated Holocaust remembrance day last week with this statement to live by:

"We are reminded to remain ever-vigilant against the possibility of genocide, and to ensure that 'Never Again' is not just a phrase but a principled cause. And we resolve to stand up against prejudice, stereotyping, and violence – including the scourge of anti-Semitism – around the globe."

Read the full release here.