Blood Apricots

Keghart.com Board Editorial, 27 April 2011
 
Last year Keghart.com ran an editorial, condemning citizens of Armenia who vacation in Turkey. It was unfortunate that we had to comment on a trend which should never have emerged.
 

Keghart.com Board Editorial, 27 April 2011
 
Last year Keghart.com ran an editorial, condemning citizens of Armenia who vacation in Turkey. It was unfortunate that we had to comment on a trend which should never have emerged.
 

Nowadays there’s another regrettable Armenian behavior, here in North America. We are referring to Armenians who see nothing wrong in buying Turkish goods, especially food products. The trend is not as high profile, public or blatant, but still it’s as hurtful to the Armenian nation as the unconscionable sun seekers of Yerevan. We have no way of measuring the volume or dollar value of these made-in-Turkey product purchases. However, that’s of secondary importance in this debate.
 
Our individual and collective efforts to obtain justice for 1915 becomes a cruel farce when we buy Turkey-made goods. What would be the reaction of odars, who are familiar with our recent history and Genocide recognition campaigns, when they hear Armenians are merrily shopping for Turkish sweets and biscuits? What kind of message are we sending denialist Turks who would love to believe we are slowly giving up our sacred cause, the memory of our 1.5 million martyrs. As well, what kind of hypocritical message are we sending to our children? How can we have the Ararat vista on the living room wall when we are serving Turkish pickles in the kitchen?
 
It’s not just pickles. It’s dried apricots, it’s hazelnuts, it’s figs, halva, olive oil, spices, candies, biscuit, denim jeans, towels, shirts and more.
 
Those who say we should separate Turkish individuals from their government and not boycott Turkish goods, are sadly mistaken. Turkish businesses, often heavily subsidized, are one with Ankara. It’s Turkey Inc. in every way, except in name. For example, prominent Turkish businessman, Kaan Soyak, funds his denialist campaigns through his import/export firm. The recent and newfound political and military confidence of Turkey is to a certain extent rooted in the country’s healthy economy. Buying Turkish goods further fattens Ankara coffers.
 
Besides, why buy Turkish products when there are alternatives from other Middle Eastern countries? Every product line listed above is also available from neighboring countries. Quality and price are also none issues since there isn’t much difference between Turkish and other Middle Eastern products and prices.
 
These Turkish products often come from Western Armenia and Cilicia. The “Turkish” hazelnut or apricot you put in your mouth might have come from trees planted by your ancestors on Armenian land. Armenians who were slaughtered by the Turkish government and irregulars. Everyone has heard of the “blood” diamonds of West Africa. How about the blood apricots, hazelnuts, olives…of Turkey?
 
Some Armenians, who wish to excuse their disgraceful behavior, might point out that the Republic of Armenia imports millions of dollars worth of Turkish products. We would like to remind these lame apologists of what many an Armenian father, over many generations, has advised his children: Yetteh engert daniken tsadkeh, toon al guh tsadkehs? (“If your friend jumps from the roof, do you follow suit?”
 
A few days ago we commemorated the Genocide. We gathered, listened to impassioned speeches, sang songs, perhaps wept. Then we went home. These remembrance gatherings would be hypocritical and a waste of time, unless they are followed by action–no matter how small the initiative seems.
 
An Armenian boycott of Turkish products will not bankrupt Turkey; it wouldn’t even make a dent on their economy. However, as we said, that’s not the point. The boycott should be an automatic, part and parcel of our cause. A boycott will also make us proud that we do follow our words by action. A boycott would—even if in a small way—help our communities come together in a demonstrable collective action.
 
Next time you pick up that jar of olives at the Middle Eastern grocery store, please check the label, and put it back if it says, “Made in Turkey.”

 

8 comments
  1. Made in Turkey

    Now, if there were products that said "made by Armenians in Turkey," I would buy in bulk. Thank you for this editorial.

  2. Another hard-hitting editorial

    Don’t buy anything made in Turkey. 

    Tell stores that sell anything made in Turkey that you won’t buy such goods because that country is a major human rights violator and is anti-Jewish.  Stress the ant-Jewish aspect.

    If the store has a suggestion box, drop a short note in it.

    Always read labels.  Watch out for Turkish-made clothes, leather goods, jewelry (ask where it was made; it usually does not say), and food.  Don’t buy Turkish music.   Tell Armenian stores that sell Turkish goods that you object.

    Tell Armenian rug stores not to sell Turkish rugs.

    Tell Kobe Bryant’s basketball team that you won’t go to its games.  Send emails and letters.  Bryant is a lousy creep anyway and why would you want to pay high prices for a ticket to see a creep play basketball?

    Object to anything Turkish.  Object to propaganda campaigns by Turkey in the way of dance troupes that come to the US and other countries.

    Don’t go to Turkey unless you are going to benefit the Armenian cause in some way.

    Armenians in Armenia should not buy any Turkish goods.

    Object to anything Turkish, in whatever form.

     

  3. “Made in Turkey”

    I personally do not buy anything that says "Made in Turkey". Whenever I shop for anything from food to home products, I check for labels "Made in Turkey" or "Made in Azerbaijan". Even if there is nothing else that could replace a Turkish item in quality or taste (example hot peppers in jars) I leave the products on the shelves.

    Do not be surprised at my actions, Turks do the same towards Armenian Products. For me personally however any Turkish product is "Haram", tasteless, filthy and not good for consumption, because any Turkish product has the taste of blood coming from it.

    If I would buy any Turkish products, it would be like a Jew who is buying items from Nazi Germany – and that will never happen with me.

    1. Kudos to Keghart Editorial Board

      I commend this editorial; it is very much to the point.

      When we shop for Armenian/Middle Eastern products at a local stores which is half-owned by an Armenian and a Ukrainian, I make certain the ¨Made in…." on the label is not Turkey. 

      Refuse to buy "Made in Turkey¨ products and tellI the store owner of your decision.

      In Yerevan, at the clothing market, when I see made-in-Turkey goods, I tell the retailers, "These come from a country which slaughtered your ancestors..Do not sell them….sell goods from Iran, China, Korea or from any other country."

  4. Made in Turkey

    Great point. For many years I haven’t bought anything that is made in Turkey. I even complain to Armenian grocery stores in California when I see them carrying Turkish products. It’s the Armenian grocery stores that buy them in bulk. If each one of us complains and protests the purchase of these products, maybe the grocery owners will get the message. 

  5. Double Standard

    Well, maybe boycotting in our own backyards should also be on the agenda. Consider the fruits from the trees of the First Nations people when you bite into your "canadian/american" apples, cherries, etc … n’est-ce pas? 

    A.J.

    1. Inaccurate Comparison

      Dear Aida,

      As they say in the English language, you are "comparing apples with oranges." Turkey continues to deny the Genocide of Armenians (forget about restitution, compensation, return of our lands) while Canada and the United States have made an effort (specially Canada), in the past century, to ammeliorate the situation of the Native People. They have also unquivocally admitted that the continent was taken from the Native People through trickery, violence and conquest.

  6. Our Government

    Even our government is making multi-million dollar deals with Turkey. Lately they got Turkey to build the Stepanakert airport and an Armenian official’s response was, "This is business and there is no politics here."

    Check the whole article at: http://tert.am/en/news/2011/06/23/airport/

    Isn’t that a double slap on our own face?

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