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Australia: Rev Nile’s Responses to Turkish Consul General

by Rev. Hon. Fred Nile ED., L.Th., M.L.C. May, 2013.

Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 02:11 PM UT | Updated: August 23, 2013


Contents

  • August 23, 2013 - Rev Fred Nile replies to Turkish Consul-General concerning Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic-Greek genocide
  • May 28, 2013 - Rev Fred Nile replies to the criticism of the Turkish Consulate General
  • May 14, 2013 - Rev Fred Nile’s Response to Turkish Consul General’s Letter of Condemnation for the Motion in Recognition of the Genocides of the Indigenous Assyrian, Hellenic and Armenian People

 

Rev. Hon. Fred Nile ED., L.Th., M.L.C.

Parliamentary Leader, Christian Democratic Party
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9230 2478 | Facsimile: (02) 9230 2098
Email: f.nile < a t> parliament.nsw.gov.au

Media Release

Rev Fred Nile replies to Turkish Consul-General concerning Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic-Greek genocide

Friday 23 August 2013

In his speech to the NSW Parliament on Wednesday 21 August 2013, Mr Nile stated the following:

ARMENIAN, ASSYRIAN AND GREEK GENOCIDES

Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE <6.11 p.m.>: I wish to speak on the genocide of the Indigenous Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic Greek populations of the Ottoman Empire. Part of this adjournment speech is a response to the Hon. Charlie Lynn's previous adjournment speech. I take this opportunity to clarify or go into more depth on the Australian historical sources from which I have drawn my conclusions. The term "genocide" was coined by Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin in 1943, drawing heavily on the experiences of the Armenians, Assyrians and Hellenic Greeks. As Lemkin stated in a radio broadcast on 23 December 1947, "History and the present are full of genocide cases. Christians of various denominations, Moslems and Jews, Armenians and Slavs, Greeks and Russians, dark skinned Hereros in Africa and white skinned Poles perished by millions from this crime." Writing in Gallipoli Mission two decades earlier, Charles W. Bean noted "the attempts by some Turkish leaders to exterminate this people, and the dreadful means used before and during the war".

Almost 300 Anzacs were taken prisoner by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Approximately 67 were captured around Anzac Cove. In addition, there were the 30 crew members of the Australian submarine HMAS AE2, which sunk on 30 April 1915, and approximately 200 others from the battle fronts in Sinai, Palestine and Mesopotamia. There are published and unpublished repatriated prisoner-of-war statements, diaries and letters from Anzac records, witnessing and hearing about atrocities committed against the Indigenous Hellenic Greek, Armenian and Assyrian peoples of the Ottoman Empire. The diary of Private Daniel Bartholomew Creedon of the 9th Battalion, AIF, is but one example of material in the Australian War Memorial relating to the genocides. Captured on Gallipoli on 28 June 1915, Creedon recorded how in the Ankara region he was held at different rimes "in an old Monastery" and "in the church". On 2 February 1916 Creedon made the following entry:

The people say the Turks killed one and a quarter million Armenians.
Private Daniel Creedon died in Angora, or Ankara, on 27 February 1917, aged 23 years. Without a known grave, he is commemorated on Memorial 49 in the Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq. The Dunsterforce was a small British army including 22 Australians that "was despatched by the War Office to hold the Turks back from Persia and the Indian frontier". In his unpublished memoir, the original of which is kept in the Australian War Memorial, Captain—later Lieutenant-General—Stanley George Savige wrote:
The unfortunate women folk were so overcome at the sight of the first party of British that they wept aloud. They would call down upon us the blessings of God and rush across and kiss our hands and boots in very joy at the sight of their first deliverance from the cruel raids of the Turks. We could not save them all … with lumps in our throats we ignored the cries of the helpless in our endeavour to save as many as we could.

In a 1919 interview with Sydney's Sunday Times, Captain J. M. Sorrell, M.M., said:

It was almost a hopeless task as the road for a hundred mile was thick with refugees. The suffering was very great, and in spite of all that our people could do thousands succumbed to starvation, disease and exhaustion. It was a ghastly business, and the trail was well marked with bodies of human beings and all kinds of animals.

The crux of this debate is the individual and collective right to memory. Since when is remembering the past hate speech? Is it hate speech to speak of the Aboriginal resistance to British colonisation of Australia? Is it recalling hatreds, real or imagined, to commemorate the Shoah, the Jewish Genocide, or Timorese or Papuan suffering under the Japanese in World War II? Historical debate often involves offence being taken by individuals, especially when entrenched positions are being undermined. When the Armenian genocide commemorations can be openly held within the Republic of Turkey, it is conciliation, not "ideological and religious hatred" that is being fostered. The mayor of the major city of Diyarbekir in the country's south-cast invited Armenians and Assyrians to return to the city built by their ancestors to attend a commemoration on 23 April this year in the city's Metropolitan Municipality Theatre. In closing, I quote the Premier of our great State, the Hon. Barry O'Farrell, MP on the recognition of the genocides of the Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocides:

… such historical events is to ensure that, as a community, we work to prevent any repeat of such incidents in the future.

Fred Nile

Authorised

For Media Interviews contact:
Rev Fred Nile (02) 9230 2478 or 0418 619 731?
Research Assistant: Belinda Dover (02) 9230 2978

Refer Hansard for Rev Nile's Question and Speech.
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/


 

Rev. Hon. Fred Nile ED., L.Th., M.L.C.

Parliamentary Leader, Christian Democratic Party
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9230 2478 | Facsimile: (02) 9230 2098
Email: f.nile < a t> parliament.nsw.gov.au

Media Release
Rev Fred Nile replies to the criticism of the Turkish Consulate General
Tuesday 28 May 2013

In his speech to the NSW Parliament on Tuesday 21 May 2013, Mr Nile refers to the Turkish Consulate General criticism of his Genocide Motion

ARMENIAN, ASSYRIAN AND GREEK GENOCIDES

Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE [7.14 p.m.]: Tonight I wish to speak in response to the Turkish Consul General's letter of condemnation regarding the motion I moved in this House — which was passed unanimously — in recognition of the genocide of the indigenous Assyrian, Hellenic and Armenian people. The reply from the Turkish Consul General was sent to the Speaker in the other place and to the President who then distributed copies of the letter to the respective members of both Houses. In my reply I stated:

As you noted in your correspondence of 6 May 2013, I moved a motion of recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian and Hellenic peoples of Anatolia, incorporating a reaffirmation of the 1997 recognition of the Genocide of the indigenous Armenian people. The motion was tabled and carried unanimously, in accordance with Parliamentary procedure.

Similar motions of a commemorative nature are moved and carried by members of both Houses of the Parliament of New South Wales on a regular basis on a wide range of issues, particularly related to human rights and current affairs.

Since writing this letter the motion has also been moved in the other place by the Premier and passed unanimously. My reply continued:

My intention in moving this motion was not to attack or denigrate the modern State of Turkey, which was established by a great Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who I greatly admire.

I have been reading his biography. It went on:

These Genocides were carried out by the leaders of the Ottoman Empire, not the modern State of Turkey which has wonderful relations with Australia, in spite of the failed Gallipoli campaign.

In moving this motion, I have drawn on conclusions reached by the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Scholars, and other national and international scholarly groups. The unanimous opinion is that the Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic peoples were victims of genocide in the 1910s and 1920s.

As noted by the Australian jurist Geoffrey Robertson QC in his 2009 study, Was there an Armenian Genocide? —

and he proved that there was —

Winston Churchill declared the events to be, "An administrative holocaust … there is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons".

When commemorations and scholarly conferences on the Genocide of the Armenians are regularly held within the Republic of Turkey, and Turkish scholars and writers such as Taner Akcam and Orhan Pamuk call for recognition of the fact of the Genocides, I fail to understand how the NSW Legislative Council resolution constitutes "sowing the seeds of hatred" in Australia.

Please study —

I attached a number of examples stating the historical fact of the genocides. My letter continued:

The Genocide Recognition motion has a strong focus on the Genocides as part of the Australian national story. As documented in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Anzacs were captured and imprisoned as far south as the Sinai Peninsula, as far east as Mesopotamia — modern Iraq — as well as across Anatolia.

The archives of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra have written and photographic evidence that the Anzacs rescued Armenians and Assyrians in Persia — Iran — and Mesopotamia — Iraq — as well as during the Palestine Campaign. Many of these Anzacs later became involved in an international humanitarian relief effort on behalf of the survivors for over a decade.

The events of the Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic Genocides were documented by the Australian media … before World War I began, throughout the war and well into the 1920s. I also refer you to a recent study by Dr John Williams of the University of Tasmania, published in the April 2013 issue of the Quadrant magazine.

As the Armenian National Archives were only formed in 1923, when the Genocides were almost over, a "joint commission of history" between the Republics of Armenia and Turkey would have little to discuss. The archives relevant to the Genocides of the Armenians, Assyrians and Hellenes are in Ankara — your capital — Constantinople — Istanbul — and Moscow.

In conclusion, for the Christian Democratic Party, as for the entire Parliament of New South Wales, recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic peoples of the Ottoman Empire is not simply a matter of history. As the effects of the Genocides continue to this day, it is an issue of international law and human rights and I will continue to advocate such issues at every opportunity.

"Let justice be done, souls consoled, broken hearts mended, nations reconciled and honour given to all those who perished so needlessly during a dark hour in mankind's recent history."

Fred Nile

Authorised

For Media Interviews contact:
Rev Fred Nile (02) 9230 2478 or 0418 619 731?
Research Assistant: Belinda Dover (02) 9230 2978

Refer Hansard for Rev Nile's Question and Speech.
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LC20130521050

 
Rev. Hon. Fred Nile ED., L.Th., M.L.C.

Parliamentary Leader, Christian Democratic Party
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9230 2478 | Facsimile: (02) 9230 2098
Email: f.nile < a t> parliament.nsw.gov.au

Media Release
Rev Nile’s Response to Turkish Consul General’s Letter of Condemnation for the Motion in Recognition of the Genocides of the Indigenous Assyrian, Hellenic and Armenian People.
14 May 2013

Dear Sir

As you noted in your correspondence of 6th May 2013, I moved a motion of recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian and Hellenic peoples of Anatolia, incorporating a re-affirmation of the 1997 recognition of the Genocide of the indigenous Armenian people. The motion was tabled and carried unanimously, in accordance with Parliamentary procedure.

Similar motions of a commemorative nature are moved and carried by members of both Houses of the Parliament of New South Wales on a regular basis on a wide range of issues, particularly related to human rights and current affairs.

My intention in moving this motion was NOT to attack or denigrate the modern State of Turkey which was established by a great Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who I greatly admire.

These Genocides were carried out by the leaders of the Ottoman Empire, not the modern State of Turkey which has wonderful relations with Australia, in spite of the Gallipoli campaign.

In moving this motion, I have drawn on the conclusions reached by the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Scholars, and other national and international scholarly groups. The unanimous opinion is that the Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic peoples were victims of genocide in the 1910s and 1920s.

As noted by Australian jurist Geoffrey Robertson QC in his 2009 study ‘Was there an Armenian Genocide?” (attached), Winston Churchill declared the events to be ‘an administrative holocaust … there is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons.’

When commemorations and scholarly conferences on the Genocide of the Armenians are regularly held within the Republic of Turkey, and Turkish scholars and writers such as Taner Akcam and Orhan Pamuk call for recognition of the fact of the Genocides, I fail to understand how the NSW Legislative Council resolution constitutes ‘sowing the seeds of hatred’ in Australia?
Please visit for recent examples:
http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2013/04/it-time-turkey-recognise-historical-fact-armenian-genocide
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/armenian-genocide-1915-turkey-defiant.html

The Genocide Recognition motion has a very strong focus on the Genocides as part of the Australian national story. As documented in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ANZACs were captured and imprisoned as far south as the Sinai peninsula, as far east as Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) as well as across Anatolia. Visit http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/stolenyears/ww1/turkey/ for more details.

The archives of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra have written and photographic evidence that ANZACs rescued Armenians and Assyrians in Persia (Iran) and Mesopotamia (Iraq), as well as during the Palestine Campaign. Many of these ANZACs later became involved in an international humanitarian relief effort on behalf of the survivors for over a decade.

The events of the Assyrian, Armenian, and Hellenic Genocides were documented by the Australian media from early 1914 (before World War One began), throughout the war and well into the 1920s. (http://trove.nla.gov.au/). I also refer you to a recent study by Dr John Williams of the University of Tasmania, published in the April 2013 issue of Quadrant magazine: http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2013/4/the-ethnic-cleansing-of-greeks-from-gallipoli-april-1915

As the Armenian National Archives were only formed in 1923, when the Genocides were almost over, a ‘joint commission of history’ between the Republics of Armenia and Turkey would have little to discuss. (http://www.armarchives.am/en/content/17/) The archives relevant to the Genocides of the Armenians, Assyrians and Hellenes are in Ankara, Constantinople (Istanbul) and Moscow.

In conclusion, for the Christian Democratic Party, as for the entire Parliament of New South Wales, recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic peoples of the Ottoman Empire is not simply a matter of history. As the effects of the Genocides continue to this day, it is an issue of international law and human rights and I will continue to advocate such issues at every opportunity.

“Let justice be done, souls consoled, broken hearts mended, nations reconciled and honour given to all those who perished so needlessly during a dark hour in mankind’s recent history”.

Yours sincerely,

Fred Nile

Authorised

For Media Interviews contact:
Rev Fred Nile (02) 9230 2478 or 0418 619 731?
Research Assistant: Belinda Dover (02) 9230 2978

Refer Hansard for Rev Nile's Question and Speech.
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au



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