Letter to the Editor

Editorial, 16 April 2014

In a week or so we will gather for the 99th time to mourn and honor our martyrs and to condemn the criminal empire’s descendant state which denies the crime. And on April 25th we begin our preparations for the monumental 100th commemoration of Turkey’s failed conspiracy to wipe us from the face of the Earth.

As Turkey and its Diaspora, especially in Europe and in North America, gear up to do battle with the Armenians because of the upcoming centennial of the Genocide, the world can expect Turkey-originated books, symposia, panel discussions, meetings with government heads, “familiarization” trips for politicians and media, promotional stunts, etc. to deny the undeniable.

Editorial, 16 April 2014

In a week or so we will gather for the 99th time to mourn and honor our martyrs and to condemn the criminal empire’s descendant state which denies the crime. And on April 25th we begin our preparations for the monumental 100th commemoration of Turkey’s failed conspiracy to wipe us from the face of the Earth.

As Turkey and its Diaspora, especially in Europe and in North America, gear up to do battle with the Armenians because of the upcoming centennial of the Genocide, the world can expect Turkey-originated books, symposia, panel discussions, meetings with government heads, “familiarization” trips for politicians and media, promotional stunts, etc. to deny the undeniable.

Among themselves, Armenians will, of course, condemn the vast crevasse between the historic truth and its stilted Turkish version. Other Armenians will take umbrage at the bare-faced Ankara lies and hit their computers to write rebuttals to the cynical Turkish tales.

But before responding, via the mass media, to Ankara fabrications, Armenian letter-writers should consider the below tips on how to write a “letter to the editor”, which would stand a chance of being published or posted.

1. Make it snappy. Don’t go over 200 words. Sound cool, collected, and well-informed. Make the editor’s job easy by writing a crisp and intelligent letter. He or she would be grateful to you and be more inclined to publish your letter.

2. Don’t sound angry, bitter or sarcastic.

3. Don’t make negative personal comments about the Turkish source or the writer of the article.

4. Don’t condemn the mass media for publishing the Turkish fabrication.

5. Stick to the point. Address what you find deplorable and false in the report, column or op-ed. Contradict the Turkish version with easy to grasp facts. This should not be difficult since the truth is on the side of the Armenians and there is a ton of accessible documentation backing the Armenian narrative.

6. Don’t sound overwrought or short-tempered.

7. Don’t assume everyone knows about the Genocide and the conflict between the Armenians and Turkey.

8. Cite non-Armenian sources when you want to establish the veracity of your facts and arguments.

9. The sources you quote should be well-known, respected, authoritative, and credible.

10. Anticipate the Turkish lobby’s reply to your letter and pre-empt it.

11. Eliminate—as much as possible—adjectives and adverbs from your letter. Don’t use exclamation marks to stress your point.

12. Stay away from words which are emotional…butcher, blood-thirsty, sheer brutality, bloody Sultan, etc.

13. Don’t try to play with the heart strings of the editor or the reader. Let the facts speak for themselves.

14. Criticize Turkey, Ankara, and the Turkish diaspora lobby; don’t criticize Turks.

15. Don’t present the conflict as one between Christian Armenians and Moslem Turks.

16. Include, as briefly as possible, your relations’ experiences during the First World War. Editors and readers often respond sympathetically to first-hand experiences.

17. Mention the David (Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora) and Goliath (Turkey) nature of the conflict. Present the multi-million dollar Turkish propaganda campaign versus the limited resources of the Armenians.

18. If you live in a country which recognizes the Genocide or (as in the United States and Canada) there are states/provinces which recognize the Genocide, mention that fact. Readers would be more inclined to recognize the Genocide if they learn that their government does so.

19. Don’t inject the Azerbaijan conflict into your letter: it could confuse readers who are not familiar with the political conflicts in southern Caucasus and in Asia Minor.

20. Remember you are writing to non-Armenian readers. Your letter is not intended to impress  your Armenian friends.

21. Rather than sending a comment to the media outlets’ website, write to the editor of the publication. The former is often a hothouse of disinformation, inappropriate language, intolerance, hate and anger by trolls. They have negligible impact on public opinion.

22. Make sure your letter is devoid of grammatical mistakes. A grammatically accurate letter will reflect well on you, your facts and your ideas.

23. Even if you have never written a ‘letter to the editor’, do write in this crucial year. One published letter can counteract thousands of dollars worth of Turkish falsehood and propaganda.

24. Whether your letter is published or not, a few days after mailing it, cc Armenian media and organizations thus sharing your effort and facts with as many Armenians as possible.

4 comments
  1. Letter to the editor

    Excellent guidelines.
    Would be a great exercise if every Armenian reflected on the possibility of writing a 'letter to the editor' and examined himself/herself to find out how clear his thoughts and knowledge of historical facts and current affairs of the world are for doing so. Being prepared to write that convincing letter would make us a more conscious entity as a whole. Individually, it will help us become better educated, inclined to be involved, and well equipped agents for propagating awareness on human rights each  in our own circles.

  2. U.S. Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts

    Dear Editor,

    Is U.S. Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts truly a friend of the Armenian-American community?

     
    Suffolk Law School in Boston has invited Markey to speak and receive an award at its commencement on May 17. The problem is that Senator Markey will sit alongside Abraham Foxman, director of the Armenian Genocide-denying Anti-Defamation League. Foxman will address the law school’s graduates and receive an honorary law degree, even though his statement of August 21, 2007 twisted the facts of the Armenian Genocide so that the latter could not legally qualify as genocide under the official United Nations Genocide law of 1948.
     
    Honoring Foxman makes a mockery of the principles for which a law school should stand. One wonders if Suffolk has invited Foxman as revenge against Armenian-Americans and others because the Massachusetts Governor’s Council recently rejected attorney Joseph Berman–an ADL national commissioner–to be a judge.

    The National Lawyers Guild student chapter at Suffolk University and a thousand others have demanded that Suffolk President James McCarthy withdraw his invitation to Foxman. Their reasons include Foxman’s anti-Armenian bias and his hypocritical opposition to the U.S. Congress’s Armenian Genocide Resolution. Markey’s sharing the stage with Foxman would be an insult to international law. Then again, Markey has never criticized Foxman and the ADL’s genocide denials. Markey’s commitment to genocide recognition and prevention is in serious doubt.

    Senator Markey should tell the Suffolk’s president that he will not attend the commencement unless the invitation to Foxman is withdrawn. I suggest readers call Markey’s office in Boston (617-565-8519) or Washington, DC (202-224-2742) or email him at http://www.markey.senate.gov/contact.  Pleasesay that sharing the stage with Abe Foxman is unacceptable.
     
    Sincerely,
    Berge Jololian
    Watertown, MA

  3. Two Response, which one is more effective?

    I would be interested to know how readers would rate my response to President Obama’s declaration on this April 24, versus ANCA’s, in terms of public effectiveness.

    Aram Hamparian, Dirctor of ANCA

    It’s a sad spectacle to see our President, who came into office having promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide, reduced to enforcing a foreign government’s gag-rule on what our country can say about a genocide so very thoroughly documented in our own nation’s archives.”

    “The fact remains that any durable improvement in Armenian-Turkish relations will require that Ankara end its denials, accept its moral and material responsibilities, and agree to a truthful and just international resolution of this still unpunished crime against all humanity.”

    “While we do note that the President chose to join in today’s national remembrance, we remain profoundly disappointed that he has, once again, retreated from his own promises and fallen short of the principled stand taken by previous presidents. For our part, we remain committed to aligning U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide—and all genocides—with the core values and humanitarian spirit of the American people.”

    Here is my response:

    “President Obama,

    On this 99th anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide I would like to thank you for keeping the promise you made to us that you would recognize the Armenian Genocide. You did it, Mr. President you have recognized the Armenian Genocide to us.

    However, we take issue with you Mr. President, for using a term that is only understood by Armenians. Medz Yeghern is a strictly an Armenian term that was coined by the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. We as Armenians use the term to this day but the world at large remains oblivious of the term, although they may infer it to mean Genocide.

    We urge you Mr. President to take a bolder move next year, at the centennial of the Armenian Genocide and use your own word –Genocide – because it would be understood by the members of your own family and untold number of people worldwide and would send a clear message to the world as to where the President of  the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Braves” stands.

    Thank you"

    1. President Obama’s Address

      Vahe Apelian's response is so much more dignified and effective. We have to understand that winning friends is not achieved by attacking them. We have to tone down our rhetoric if we want to be heard.

      I am humbled that the president, who occupies the highest office of the most powerful nation on Earth, has taken the time to honor the memory of our ancestors. We have to acknowledge it and express our appreciation. This is not the moment to politicize it. Indeed, we do call it Meds Yeghern. Let us reserve the more legal term for the political process. One doesn't criticize a guest who has come to honor your loved one's funeral by publicly attacking him.

      Let us continue to pursue to set the record straight in a scholarly and civilized way. But today let us pause and in solemn remembrance acknowledge the goodwill of all people.
       

      Ara Apelian, MD

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like