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Reader's letters
Reviewing "Dragnet" TV Show 08/28/2003
L.A. County Sheriff Attorneys
Reviewing "Dragnet" TV Show
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, the California Courier
Earlier this month, I informed the readers that the ABC and USA networks
broadcast twice in recent months a particularly offensive episode of the TV
show "Dragnet" which described Armenians as "savages." In that column, I
urged the Armenian-American community to complain to the executives of these
networks as well as to Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca, since the
writer of the show, Robert Port, is a reserve deputy sheriff.
A few days ago, I received an e-mail from Sheriff Baca's office advising
that "the matter is being reviewed by Sheriff Department's attorneys." The
Sheriff's office promised to send "a response when that review is
We would like to commend Sheriff Baca for paying immediate attention to this
very serious issue. We are confident that he will condemn this offensive
show and will take all necessary measures to ensure that no one associated
with the Sheriff's Department is involved in a racist attack on an ethnic
group. Sheriff Baca's e-mail is:
Turks Happy When American Soldiers Die
Mehmet Ali Birand is one of the most prominent journalists in Turkey. He has
his own TV show on CNN Turk and writes a syndicated column in several major
Turkish newspapers, including Posta, the Turkish Daily News, and the
internet versions of Hurriyet and Milliyet. He is as popular in Turkey as
Ted Koppel and William Safire are in the U.S.
In a column published in English in the Turkish Daily News on August 2,
2003, Birand wrote a very candid column exposing the extent of hatred most
Turks harbor towards Americans, particularly on the issue of U.S.
involvement in Iraq. He bluntly stated that most Turks are glad that
American soldiers are getting killed in Iraq. Here are brief excerpts from
his column titled, "While trying to teach the U.S. a lesson."
"When you take the pulse of the [Turkish] media circles, the man in the
street, the deputies [Members of Parliament] and even the military, you
sense that a significant part of them are very much angry at the U.S.
...This anger has reached such dimensions that many of us seem almost to be
glad that a few American troops get killed in Iraq every day. It is as if we
are glad that the American administrators cannot meet in Iraq basic needs
such as water and electricity, that they cannot make the wheels of the Iraqi
economy turn, that they cannot establish stability in Iraq. There are those
of us who say, 'Suits these Americans well!' The number of Turks that say
with a smile, 'Now they are being taught a lesson!' is growing with each
passing day."
I hope the high-ranking Turkophile officials in Washington, particularly
those in the White House and the Pentagon, will pay particular attention to
the disturbing, yet honest assessments of this prestigious Turkish
commentator. Imagine! The Turks, who are supposed to be "our valued NATO
allies," are jumping with joy each time an American soldier is gunned down
or blown up in Iraq! With friends like these, who needs enemies? I hope
Cheney, Wolfowitz and the rest of the pro-Turkish gang in Washington would
keep Birand's comments in mind next time Turkey asks for more American
foreign aid or seeks the help of U.S. officials to lobby against the
Congressional Resolution on the Armenian Genocide!
Turkey Oppresses Its Christian Minorities
The Agence France Presse, one of the largest news agencies in the world,
reported that despite Turkey's claims that it has undertaken major reforms
in order to qualify for membership in the European Union, "Turkey's
Christian [Armenian, Greek and Assyrian] minority is still waiting for
reforms gr anting it basic rights.... Christians say that reforms on
religious freedoms have made no difference for their 100,000-strong
The AFP quoted Hrant Dink, the outspoken editor of Agos, an Istanbul-based
Armenian newspaper, as saying: "there is absolutely nothing new in everyday
life. Nothing has changed. We are ashamed that it is impossible to resolve
our domestic problems without international pressure." Dink charged that the
Turkish government's apparent concessions towards Christians had been made
for the sake of outward appearances and were insincere.
Dink told the AFP that several key reforms - including one authorizing
Christian churches to acquire property - have been adopted in parliament,
but have yet to be put into practice. Furthermore, the AFP reported that
Turkey's religious minorities are still prohibited from preparing their own
clergy or providing an independent religious education.
With this news report the Agence France Presse exposes the Turkish
government's sinister plan to give the appearance of carrying out reforms,
without actually implementing or even intending to implement any reforms!
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