The film “The Lark Farm” is sure to stir up controversy at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. It takes a close look at Turkey’s most sensitive taboo — the 1915 genocide against the Armenians. Extra security has been brought in for the Wednesday evening premiere.

The slaughter took place in 1915 — here Turkish soldiers standing next to their Armenian victims. The Turks maintain that most of the victims died as a result of disease.

* We know this ‘disease’ as Islamic Jihad 



A scene from the film “The Lark Farm.” The film is difficult to watch due to the sheer brutality of the subject matter.


Taboo in Turkey

But there is one film that will encounter little competition for being the most important and stirring contribution to the culture of reminiscence. It deals with the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, a topic that is still considered taboo in Turkey. Indeed, sentiments on the issue are so strong that representatives of the Turkish government are still trying to convince others to avoid the topic as well. Last week, for example, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül made it clear that relations between his country and the United States could be seriously jeopardized by a resolution proposed in the US Congress that would officially condemn the 1915 genocide committed by the Turks.

“If this resolution is approved,” Gül threatened representatives of the Bush administration, which is seeking a strategic partnership with Turkey, “why should we continue to support one another?”

Close to a century after the Armenian genocide, the issue remains explosive. When Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk had the courage to write about the genocide, he was promptly taken to court by ultra-nationalists. After the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, Pamuk, fearing for his own life, fled abroad.

Read it all…


  1. Hugh Fitzgerald from Jihad Watch on Turkey:

    the so-called Kemalist Revolution — that is, the putting of systematic restraints on Islam as a political and social system, lasted roughly a quarter-century, from 1925-1949. When Menderes came in in 1950, the counter-revolution began, with the dervish orders re-emerging, and a campaign of government mosque-building, and other measures that answered the demands of the mass of primitive Believers who then, and now, make up most of Turkey’s population. In 1955 came the attacks on the Greek community of Istanbul (see Speros Vryonis, “The Mechanism of Catastrophe”). The Americans failed to comprehend or to worry. After all, Turkey was a member of CENTO (which lasted, mostly as figment of American and British imagination, until 1958, when the overturning of the Iraqi regime by Col. Qassem changed everything).

    Secularist Turks, advanced westernized Turks, the Turks who are the kind of Turks one meets abroad, or meets in fashionable gatherings in Istanbul (and fails to see, much less read the minds of, all those other Turks who wait on you, or wait on the secularized westernized Turks who are your hosts), do not represent Turkey. They represent a part of Turkey. Perhaps they represent as much as a quarter of the population. But not more. And they will lose, lose unless they do more to protect, and to constantly expand, the Kemalist undertaking. And that means as well being willing to rely on the army, that protector of the flame in Ankara, the one at Ataturk’s tomb, the one that is at the centre of the narrative woven of the Great Man, and the Great People, intended to supplement or even to supplant the narrative of Islam.

    As for Gul’s threat, he seems not to realize that the need for Turkey now is not what it was once perceived to be. Russia is no longer a military threat. The listening posts, the airfields, are only of value if they can be used against the forces of Islam. If they cannot be, and so far they haven’t been (that fourth division was not allowed to enter Iraq from the north, from those American bases in Turkey — so what good are those bases, they must be asking themselves in the Pentagon, if they cannot be used as we will obviously be needing to use them).

    Turkey’s significance to American plans has gone way down. Turkey’s behavior — its willingness to allow the crudest anti-American and antisemitic books and movies (“Valley of Wolves”), and for its political figures not merely to oppose the war in Iraq (good god, I oppose the war in Iraq) but also to depict the American soldiers as “worse than Nazis,” has not gone unnoticed, and will not be forgotten, here.

    Abdullah Gul has it all wrong. It is Turkey that should be trembling. Turkey that should be doing everything it now can to placate the Americans. It is Turkey that will not be allowed into the E.U. It is Turkey that needs American guarantees in the future chaos and confusion that will inevitably result — thank God — from the inevitable American withdrawal from Tarbaby Iraq.

    He should get it right, or be replaced.


    Because he doesn’t understand the precarious position of Turkey today.

    But he will.

    Posted by: Hugh

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