Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ata Atun: international libel; unprofessional, unscholarly

Doubly academic Professor Doctor Ata Atun has continued not to reply to me, either directly or indirectly, publicly or [replied to me] privately. Instead [Nonetheless], he has persisted in his unprofessional, unscholarly, international libel.

(Since I am making possibly controversial claims, the in-text hyperlinks are links to the Oxford Dictionary's, or academics', definitions of controversial words.)

I just found out that, on the 19th of April, six days after I corrected his false claims and gave him access to my conference paper (Hardy, 2010), and the very same day one newspaper forwarded to him my request for a retraction and an apology, Prof. Dr. Ata Atun published the English Academic's Lies [İngiliz Akademisyenin Yalanları] in the German Turkish newspaper, Hür Yorum Gazetesi.

"Hür Yorum" translates as "Free Comment"; yet as Guardian editor C. P. Snow said, '[c]omment is free, but facts are sacred'.
Its [a newspaper's] primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted.

Neither in what it gives, nor in what it does not give, nor in the mode of presentation must the unclouded face of truth suffer wrong.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred. "Propaganda", so called, by this means is hateful (Scott, 2002 [1921]).
Atun's supply was tainted; he did not control or check his supply, and when he was shown that his source, propagandist Kufi Seydali, was tainted, he continued to use and publish the disinformation unchanged.

Atun repeated propagandistic hearsay, in rabble-rousing language, then withheld correct and corrective information from his readers. His propaganda was hateful, both arousing and deserving of hatred.

Unrequited correspondence

These are ultimately unimportant (for readers). I'm posting them so that they are a matter of public record.

On the 13th of April, I told Atun,
I am sorry, but you cannot protest my words, because Kufi Seydali did not quote any in his inaccurate summary of my conference paper.

I spent six months living in Famagusta (when, in fact, I met you and you were kind enough to provide me with a copy of your book of Cypriot village names), and I visited northern Cyprus from southern Cyprus very regularly.

(I used your book when visiting Turkish Cypriots' abandoned villages in southern Cyprus, and when visiting Turkish Cypriots' mosques in northern Cyprus, which had been damaged or destroyed by Greek Cypriots before the Turkish intervention.)

You may read an early version of the peper [sic - paper] I presented here:

There, you will see that I specifically stated that 'Turkish Cypriot police were trying to stop the illicit antiquities trade'. You will also see that I explicitly stated that '[n]either the Turkish Cypriot administration, nor the Turkish state, nor even the Turkish army, per se, "plunders" northern Cyprus'.

When Kufi Seydali inaccurately summarised my paper in the conference session (without stating his official positions, or even his name), I invited him to discuss the issue afterwards; but he chose not to. Mr. Seydali left, while I spoke with a Turkish Embassy official. The Turkish Embasy [sic - Embassy] official had no complaints about my paper.

You have been misled. I hope that my actual words reassure you. Perhaps, in future, instead of complaining about misrepresentations, you might ask me what I actually said.
On the 19th of April, I wrote to one newspaper (and its editor forwarded to Atun):
I would like Prof. Atun to publish a withdrawal of the accusations that:

I lied;
I equated the Turkish Cypriot State with the Turkish Deep State;
I held the Turkish Deep State responsible for all the ills of Cyprus;
I said the Turkish Cypriot Police had tortured Stephanos Stephanou;
I said the Turkish Cypriot Police had tortured to death Stephanos Stephanou;
I presented the Turkish Cypriot State as illegal and criminal; and that
I said the Turkish Cypriots had looted all of the island's ancient sites.

I would also like Prof. Atun to call a halt to his international, media and online campaign against me, which was unscholarly; and to apologise for his inaccurate, unchecked, defamatory article, which was unprofessional.
At the same time, I also wrote to a Turkish Cypriot journalist contact, to 'reassure [him] that most of the things [Atun] said were partly inaccurate, or completely incorrect', and my contact told me that he could 'talk [to Atun]' for me.

Today (on the 25th of April), I have asked Atun,
Please, stop publishing the libellous article. / Lütfen, karalayıcı yazısınızı yayınlaya durunuz.

My talk is available here:

Benim konuşmam şu adreste bulunabilir:

My corrections to Kufi Seydali's claims are available here:

Benim Kufi Seydali'nin iddialarına düzeltlerim şu adreste bulunabilir:

My corrections to your claims are available here (in English):

Benim sizin iddialarınıza (Türkçesinde) düzeltlerim şu adreste bulunabilir:

Atun, A. 2010: "İngiliz akademisyenin yalanları [the English academic's lies]". Hür Yorum Gazetesi, 19. Nisan. Şu adreste bulunabilir: [Ayrıca şu adreste bulunabilir:]

Hardy, S A. 2010: "Cypriot antiquities rescue from the Turkish deep state: the rescue of forgeries, and the death of Stephanos Stephanou". Paper presented at the International Conference on Archaeology in Conflict, Vienna, Austria, 6th-10th April. Available at:

Scott, C P. 2002 [1921]: "Comment is free, but facts are sacred". The Guardian, 29th November. Available at:

[Long paragraphs were broken to make them easy-to-read in a blog post.]

No comments:

Post a Comment