F. Fall of the Iron Curtain (1991-1994) 

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F. Fall of the Iron Curtain (1991-1994)


With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia breaks free. The Armenians in Karabakh who wanted to unite with Armenia for decades, decide to protest their case. Even before its independence, Soviet Azerbaijan (94% Muslim where majority are Turkic) suppresses the voice of the Armenians with street pogroms and massacres in Sumgait in 1988 and Baku in 1990. Faced with brutal Azeri methods to quell the Armenians, Karabakh Armenians vote to secede from Azerbaijan, to which the later responds with full scale war in 1992, backed and aided by Turkey. The Armenians fight back as they remember the past. Even with food and power shortage in Armenia and Azerbaijan often bombing civilian targets with military aeroplanes. Karabakh takes the offensive and scores vital victories in late 1992 and 1993. Azerbaijan recruits Afghan, Chechen and other voluntary Mujahedeen.


In light of the Armenian successive victories, Turkey’s Prime Minister Tansu Ciller threatens to invade Armenia with thousands of Turkish troops. Russia warns Turkey and counters their movements to ward them off. Aliev tries with every method to win the lost territories, to no avail. After six years of fighting an exhausted Azerbaijan finally asks for a cease fire in 1994. Turkey and Azerbaijan subsequently blockade Armenia. In addition, Azerbaijan takes “revenge” by wiping out the Armenian Cemetery in Julfa, Naxichevan and desecrating Armenian churches.


Current situation of Armenia (2008, source CIA): Armenia is primarily a source country for women and girls trafficked to the UAE and Turkey for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; Armenian men and women are trafficked to Turkey and Russia for the purpose of forced labour. My comment: The EU and the US have showed little or no will at all to support Armenia in any way. They remain to be the last survivors of Byzantine Christianity, largely ignored by the Christian world.



G. European Union? (1995-2007)


On 14 April, 1987, Turkey submitted its application for formal membership into the European Community. It was refused, citing Turkey’s economic and political situation, poor relations with Greece and the conflict with Cyprus.


The 1995 elections brought a short-lived coalition between Yilmaz and Ciller at the helm. In 1997, the military, committed the fourth coup by sending a memorandum to Erbakan government requesting that he resign and banning his religious Party.


A series of economic shocks led to new elections in 2002, bringing into power the religious Justice and Development Party of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who introduced a series of new reforms.



Status as of today:


Turkey restricts religious rights of Christians and converts. Their murder is indirectly encouraged. Millions of Kurds, Assyrians, Alevies, Yezidies and other minorities have no status. Women in Turkey are often subjected to “honour” killings and employment discrimination.


Turkey occupies 37% of Cyprus with half of its Capital Nicosia and refuses to recognise the Republic of Cyprus.



Search Turkish history and compare...


What is expected from a country that murders its intellectuals and journalists for uttering a word... “Genocide”... Not forgetting to honour those same murderers.... What is expected from a country that restricts speech, jails and fines its authors, pressmen, thinkers for daring to think and “insulting Turkishness”, and regards all minorities as “Turks”... With centuries of unrepentant murders and violations, is Turkey fit to enter the European Union? Or is it still “The sick man of Europe”.


All EU and national level parliamentarians who supports EU membership for Turkey should travel to the Turkish countryside, wear a sweater with a cross, and see how long before it takes before they are beaten or gets murdered. Then he will bear witness himself how “tolerant” Turkish Muslims are…


Current situation in Turkey will continue in another section.


Sources: Written by Hay Brountsk,

1. Are the Turks European?: B. Munnich

2. The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire: Alan Palmer

3. Abdul Hamid II, The Red Sultan: K. Yazejian

4. A History of the Armenian People, Volume II: George A. Bournoutian

5. Haykakan Harts Encyclopedia

6. Seljuk, Tatar, Turkish History: P. Yeghyaian

7. The Burning Tigris: Peter Balakian

8. The Turks in World History: Findley, Carter Vaughn

9. Turkey: A Modern History, Revised Edition: Erik J. Zurcher



History of the Ottoman Turkish Empire I (1299-1876)



History of the Ottoman Turkish Empire II (1876-1909)



History of the Turkish Republic – 1923-2007



History of the Turkish Republic 1961-2007


Jus Primae Noctis - Institutionalised rape of Christians under the Ottoman Empire


Jus primae noctis or droit du seigneur is the right to sleep with a nubile (young and sexually attractive) servant before turning her over to her servant husband (the right by which a landlord may sleep first night with the bride of a newly married serf), although the custom may be avoided by the payment of a fine.


This law was imposed by the Ottoman rulers and widely practiced in countries under the Ottoman rule (provinces of the Ottoman Empire were: Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia) until the very end of the 19th century.


The picture, painted by Paja Jovanovic, shows a bride preparing for the wedding night. The first night she is going to spend with her landlord. Landlords (beg, aga) were usually Turks but there were many local nobles converting to Islam to save their privileges when the region was controlled by the Ottoman Empire.


* The right was used on a braid of a feudal dependant or servant, any dhimmi. They were Christians and the right wasn't used on Muslim brides.


On the day before her wedding the young Christian bride will be visited by a representative of the landlord (beg, aga). The representative is usually accompanied by a file of soldiers. The representative takes the bride to the house of the landlord for a day and a night, raping her repeatedly, and returns her to her home at dawn on the wedding day.


An interesting detail on the picture is that all women on the picture are dressed in traditional oriental (Turkish style) clothing. Under the Ottomans textile styles has influenced by Islamic tradition. Women on the picture except the one on the right have their hair covered with a shawl (also called shamija or mahram) according to the Islamic custom.


Women wore "dimije" (it looks like baggy trousers) of thin, often gold-woven, silk brocade, emphasising the female figure.


1998 Yugoslav postal authorities issued 4 stamps dedicated to national customs. The motif on the stamp of 6,00 din. value is the painting "Dressing/Adornmnet of the Bride" by Paja Jovanovic








Jus Primae Noctis - Details


The historical acceptance of rape may have influenced the incidence of rape in the wars of the last decade in former Yugoslavia. However, there were other historical factors which tended to promote its use and lend themselves to propaganda promoting it, in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as Serbia. Under Ottoman rule, within which much of Serbia gained autonomy in 1830 but Bosnia-Herzegovina was to remain until 1878, there had been a disadvantaged position of Serbs and Croats.


The use or misuse of Serb and other Christian minority women by Muslim men, especially Ottoman officials and the landlord class, has been a major source of grievance. Polygamy and concubinage by Muslim men, especially Ottoman officials and landlords or begs, resulted in wives and concubines being taken from the Christian population as well as the Muslim one, and often abandoned when no longer wanted. The insecurity of these women resulted in their having relatively few children, and resorting to abortion, infanticide and other birth control measures (Stoianovich 1994, p. 159).


The other ‘misuse’ was through ‘first night’ arrangements, more generally known as the jus primae noctis (right to the first night) or droit de seigneur (the right of the feudal lord), by which the janissary in charge of an estate or the local landlord had the right to the virginity of all brides among Serb and other serfs. These arrangements are a folk memory rather than attested by literary sources. They were mentioned by Bosnian Serb former politician Biljana Plavsic in 1993 in an attempt to assert that rape was the war strategy of the Muslims and Croats. She noted that it was ‘quite normal of Muslim notables to enjoy the jus primae noctis with Christian women’ during the Ottoman period (Cohen 1998, p. 222). Levinsohn (1994, p. 274) quotes Belgrade publisher Petar Zdazdic as saying that there was a tradition that the Serb serf or peasant would have to walk around the house with his shoes in his hands when an Ottoman official or landlord came to the house to have intercourse with his wife. In the early phase of Ottoman occupation the janissaries, who were in control of major agricultural estates as well as forming the core of the military, were forbidden to marry until they retired from the service of the empire. First night and similar arrangements may have been important substitutes for marriage.


However, the landlords became an increasingly hereditary class. In Bosnia some three hundred years ago they had to persuade Serbs to come from Montenegro to work their land as serfs or sharecroppers. Muslim peasants had chosen increasingly to purchase their own land and work it as smallholders rather than be serfs, but this option was not open to Christians in Bosnia-Herzegovina until after 1830. Hence first night and concubinage arrangements for Serb and Croat kmet or serf women would have become less common in the later phases of Ottoman rule. Also, the landlord class accounted for no more than 5 to 10 per cent of the Muslim population – there were 4000 families who had land redistributed from them in the 1919 land reform. Hence only a small proportion of the Muslim population had access to Orthodox and Christian women where this was common, certainly not the majority. In Kosovo the majority of Serbs were in effect serfs working the land for Albanian clan leaders as well as Turkish landlords prior to the first Balkan War of 1912, but it is not known what impact this had on access to women.


Arrangements whereby one community, or at least its privileged class, has access to the women of another are controversial. A Greek film shown on the Australian Special Broadcasting Service several years ago depicted such a use of Greek brides and wives who were serfs on an agricultural estate by the Ottoman landlord and a visiting relative of his a couple of decades before Greek independence in 1830. A film of the 1950s shown on SBS also indicates this, but the ‘misuse’ did not extend to breaking the prospective bride’s virginity, and the land tenancy was seen as a form of dowry given in exchange for the sexual services rendered.








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