Monday, December 06, 2010

Clarification: U.S. Helsinki Commission blogging

Re-reading my blogging on the U.S. Helsinki Commission's hearing on destruction of cultural heritage in (northern, occupied) Cyprus, I found one part unclear and wanted to make a clarification.

In one blog post on the U.S. Helsinki Commission: Cyprus' Cultural Heritage in Peril, I said that Dr. Charalambos Chotzakoglou was 'partial'.

In another on the U.S. Helsink Commission: Cyprus' Cultural Heritage - Hearing Debunking, I said that,
despite the physical evidence accessible in southern Cyprus, and its documentation by the bicommunal architectural survey, Chotzakoglou (2008: 57) only acknowledged 'damages'. That is inaccurate, and demonstrates his untrustworthiness.
I did not mean that he was untrustworthy as a witness. As I said at the beginning of that blog post, 'I recognise and condemn the destruction of Greek Cypriot cultural heritage in northern Cyprus, and the ethnic cleansing of the Greek Cypriot community from northern Cyprus', and Chotzakoglou testified to that destruction.

As I said then, I meant that 'this hearing, and the report, both dodge, downplay and/or deny destruction of Turkish Cypriot cultural heritage...; thus, they are reduced to mere propaganda'. Chotzakoglou's testimony was unreliable as a presentation of the whole history of destruction, because it was only half the story.

I stand by my characterisation of the hearing as propaganda, but I want to clarify that I did not mean its witnesses were propagandists. I meant that the Commission limited its subject, and its witnesses, and thus its hearing became propaganda.

The U.S. Helsinki Commission limited the subject of the hearing so that it was only about the destruction of Christian/Greek Cypriot cultural heritage, in the occupied areas of Cyprus, since 1974.

The Commission limited its witnesses to two experts on Christian/Greek Cypriot cultural heritage, and one journalist who had restricted her own book on destruction in Cyprus to destruction of Christian/Greek Cypriot cultural heritage, in the occupied areas of Cyprus, since 1974. So, the hearing became propaganda.

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