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Amal Clooney: Turkey’s PR Nightmare

Amal Clooney is representing Armenia in the case of Perincek v. Switzerland, where Turkish citizen Dogu Perincek, a member of a group called the Talaat Pasha Committee, is accused of denying the Armenian Genocide at a conference in Switzerland by calling it an “international lie.” Clooney’s presence on the legal team has produced a flurry of media coverage that would have been unimaginable for a genocide denial case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that involved Perincek, a veritable nobody. This has created a publicity nightmare for Turkey, which has spent millions of dollars on public relations firms in the United States and abroad to promote Armenian Genocide denial.

Now, rather than being relegated to the annals of media blips and nonstarters, the Perincek v. Switzerland case has generated widespread media coverage about the Armenian Genocide and its denial from the most unlikely sources including BuzzFeed, CosmpolitanPeople, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and even from ribald celebrity gossip blog Perez Hilton. When we last checked, the BuzzFeed article alone had been viewed almost 200,000 times.

And it’s all Turkey’s fault.

In case you were wondering what Turkey and Armenia have to do with a case that’s not between Turkey and Armenia, the European Convention on Human Rights, the founding document of the ECHR,  allows third-parties to submit comment and “take part in hearings” on behalf of their nationals during cases before the court’s Grand Chamber. Perhaps seeing it as an opportunity to gain the upper hand in its self-imposed Sisyphean genocide denial exercise, Turkey applied to the court to become party to the hearing of its citizen on trial for denying the Armenian Genocide – and was approved.

In light of the court’s approval to allow Turkey to participate, Armenia’s prosecutor-general, Gevorg Kostanyan, announced last July that Armenia, too, would apply to be party to the case, referencing another allowance of the Convention. Armenia was given permission to participate, joined by France and eight other applicants who were allowed to provide comment on the side of Switzerland.

In a brilliant move, Armenia, represented by Kostanyan and deputy minister of justice, Emil Babayan, assembled a legal team including Clooney and famed human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson. The cachet of two powerhouse human rights attorneys aside, Clooney brought with her the corps of paparazzi that follow her every move. An ill-advised question by one of them about what designer’s clothes she was wearing spawned even more coverage, especially in fashion publications, mostly deriding the paparazzo for asking such an inane question to a woman arguing a case about genocide denial standing before a high court.

The story was also covered by media outlets you would expect like Time, Huffington Post, the UK’s Independent, and the New York Post, although they nevertheless seemed more interested in Clooney’s presence than in the landmark case. One exception is the The Telegraph, which can be credited with using the Clooney-induced frenzy to provide a comprehensive look at why Turkey denies the Genocide. Whatever story they wrote, though, almost every outlet that covered the event discussed Turkey’s genocide denial.

In what they must have expected was a prime chance to lodge a rare victory, Turkey needlessly involved itself in the case, expended government resources, and seemingly misjudged Armenia’s ability to outmaneuver it. And the result, thus far, is that Turkey now has more humanitarian crime-flavored egg on its face than usual. When it’s done denying the Genocide at the European Court of Human Rights, Turkey may want to jump on the phone with one of those PR firms – it’s going to need them.


  1. Nayiri Kalayjian Nayiri Kalayjian Jan 28, 2015

    Loved this article! It is so great to have had Amal on our case, for besides how amazing she is as a human rights lawyer, she attracted so much attention on an extremely important issue.

  2. Lydia Lydia Jan 29, 2015

    Great article William. This case and Amal Clooney will help many people with their ignorance about the Armenian Genocide and who turkey is.
    Always enjoy your writings.

  3. Levon Levon Jan 29, 2015


    I love this article! “Egg face” indeed! I hope that Turkey bathes in its own stupidity, but I need not hope for long as the tyranny of Turkey starts to crumble before our very eyes. Good job Amal! You’re a rockstar!!

  4. Hratch Mardikian Hratch Mardikian Jan 29, 2015

    Amal Clooney is the hero of the Armenians. Amal has probably witnessed and heard a lot of Armenian Genocide survivors before leaving Lebanon where, at one time and before civil war, the Armenian community was over 300,000

    Turkey is not only denying the Armenian Genocide but, in addition to this denial, Turkey is also denying return of the Kurds to Kobani in Syria where my father was saved and raised and where my eldest late brother was born.

    We have enough international support and, as oppressed people, Armenians should actively support the Kurdish population wherever they live and especially the Kurdish people in Turkey.

  5. Adnan Akkaya Adnan Akkaya Jan 29, 2015

    To all Armenians: We know that you guys want to divide Turkey’s borders via the Sevres Treaty and want to solve the Armenian question via wiping Turkey off the map. That is why we are telling you guys you need to accept and acknowledge that you guys sided with imperialist powers and live with the Lausanne Treaty. You guys were resettled from Anatolia due to the stupid actions of Armenian Terrorist Insurgents. Lausanne Treaty = True Peace. Sevres Treaty = Plot To Wipe Turkey off the map.

    • Avery Avery Jan 29, 2015

      To tell all Uyguroglar invadonomad Turks:
      We know you Turkic nomads from Uyguristan want to exterminate the remaining Armenians from their ancestral homeland in Caucasus. After succeeding in exterminating all our ancestors in our ancestral Armenian Highlands.
      That is why we are telling you guys you need to accept and acknowledge that your ancestors, nomads from Uyguristan, are foreigners in Asia Minor.
      That is why we are telling you guys you need to accept and acknowledge that your ancestors, are genocidal terrorist mass-murderers, who under the cover of WW1, murdered 1.5 million unarmed Armenian civilians, children, babies, who were nowhere near the war zones.
      A war which Ottoman Turkey entered by treacherously attacking Russia in 1914 first.
      That is why we are telling you guys you need to accept and acknowledge that your ancestors, are genocidal terrorist mass-murderers, who massacred up to 300,000 Armenian civilians 1894-1895, the Hamidian massacres.
      That is why we are telling you guys you need to accept and acknowledge that your ancestors, are genocidal terrorist nomadic mass-murderers, who massacred up to 30,000 Armenian civilians 1909 in Adana.
      Your terrorist nomadic mass-murderer ancestors also committed Genocide against Assyrians and Pontic Greeks. (question Turk: who did Assyrians and Pontic Greeks “side with” ?)
      You guys from Uyguristan invaded our lands, because your ancestors are thieving, looting, stealing, murdering, destroying no-good nomadic arsonist savages – who only steal what other peaceful, sedentary civilizations create.
      And that is why we are telling you guys that the unnatural illegal State of Turkey will get wiped off the map on its own.
      And Armenians will not shed one drop of blood: we’ll just sit back and watch the fireworks.
      First show: independent Kurdistan.

      • Adnan A Adnan A Jan 31, 2015

        About this so-called Kurdistan, I have some Kurdish background and lemme tell you this: more Kurds in Turkey are against the PKK, then are for it. But the problem is PKK massacres members of other pro-Kurdish groups, such as HUDA-PAR and KDP-Bakur. Note: There are many Kurdish people who are against the PKK/HDP lies, including myself, since I have some Kurdish background. Another thing is Russia is the one who always attacks other countries first and yet, most Armenians shamelessly have pride in being Russian servants/lackeys. Fact is, they don’t care about you! They just want to use you as slaves! Russians attack Ukraine, they waged war against Georgia in 2008, they want to invade the Baltics, and they ethnically cleansed Circassians (I am a little bit Circassian myself too, on the side of Kurdish). Lol, how Mongolian, hehehehe. If I go back to Mongolia, then Armenians should go back to India.

    • Anooshig Anooshig Jan 30, 2015

      We are not “you guys”. We are a people that contributed in great part to a country that was their home and from which they were cruelly displaced and killed. Wherever there are Armenians, to this day, they have contributed to the countries that are their home. As in Turkey — look at the arts, architecture, music — she owes a huge debt to the Armenians that contributed to their society. And what was their reward??? We are “builders”, not destroyers and killers as the Ottoman Turks showed themselves to be. Unfortunately some current Turks have shown themselves to be ignorant and uncivilized — remember journalist Hrant Dink — condoned by the present Government. The cat is out of the bag, “you guys”. Everyone knows that a genocide took place, so keep wasting your money on PR firms.

      • Adnan Adnan Jan 31, 2015

        First of all, the current government in Turkey is planning to sign the Sevres Treaty. Why do you think the AKP has surrendered 1/3 of Turkey to Kurdish seperatists. Because Barzani pumped oil dollars to Turkey and told Erdogan to surrender to the PKK. So the ruling government is allied with Kurdish seperatists, actually.

  6. Alexandros Megas Alexandros Megas Jan 30, 2015

    Excellent news. I’m currently reading the book “From the Holy Mountain” by William Dalrymple, a real eye opener for me as to the atrocities committed by the Turks against the indigenous Christians (Armenian, Greek, Assyrian) of Anatolia. And to this day they (Turkey) are still committing crimes and supporting terrorists in the east and in Cyprus. I hope one day the whole world turns on them, as they should have already.

    • Adnan Adnan Jan 31, 2015

      Terrorists in Cyprus. Excuse me, but the Greek Cypriots are trying to not solve the reunification. Turkish Cypriots are opening a hand to their fellow Greek Cypriots, but in 2004, Greek Cypriots voted against the Annan Plan, which promotes reunification and peace. Why is it that the North is Blockaded (kind of like how Nazis stored Jews in Ghettos). What about how racist Golden Dawn/Enosis politician Anastasiades refuses to share the gas with North Cyprus, because he takes pride in seeing Turkish Cypriots suffer. He wants to finish off what he failed at in 1974, when Turkish troops intervened to protect T/C’s from Enosis/Golden Dawn racism.

  7. Dr. Sylva Portoian Dr. Sylva Portoian Feb 1, 2015

    Amal knows about savage Ottoman Turks …since they invaded Arab lands for 500 years and hanged literate Arabs in May 6, 1916 (by Jamal pasha the butcher ; Arabs called him “saffah” the butcher).
    Amal’s mother is a famous editor in Hayat news paper.
    And she knows about Armenian genocide because Armenian arrived from so-called savage land,Turkey which was their land, after the genocide, most were orphans…and started their life from Zero and never begged any penny from any one…!!!
    Dr. Sylva Portoian

  8. David David Feb 1, 2015

    Armenia + Türkiye = brothers

  9. Avery Avery Feb 2, 2015

    Adnan, glad you returned promptly to continue our learned discussion.
    I will address all your replies.

    1. So you are a little bit Kurdish, a little bit Circassian, a little bit this, a little bit that. If you dig deep enough, you will also discover there is Armenian DNA in Turks, amongst with lots of other DNAs, whose genes invading Uyguroglu Turkic nomads stole. Doesn’t matter how much non-Turk DNA Turks in Turkey have: you and those who think like you are still the same Turkic nomads from Uyguristan – by character and thinking. You know how I know ? You told me: {“You guys were resettled from Anatolia “}. Anyone who calls the Genocide of unarmed civilians, women, children, babies, quote, “resettled”, is an Uyguroglu Turk invadonomad. No different than the Seljuk Turks of 1,000 years ago.
    2. You wrote: {“About this so-called Kurdistan,”}. Then you wrote: {“Why do you think the AKP has surrendered 1/3 of Turkey to Kurdish seperatists”}. So you are actually agreeing with me. 1/3rd of the unnatural, illegal state called Turkey will break off and become Kurdistan. Then Armenians and Kurds will make a deal regarding Western Armenia, our Mount Ararat, and all that. Nice, No ?
    3. Regarding Circassians: Armenians are not Russians. Circassians have problems with Russians ? take it up with Russians. Armenians have done nothing to Circassians. btw: Circassian bandit groups enthusiastically took part in the Armenian Genocide, side-by-side with savage nomad Turks. Bloodthirsty Circassians living in Turkey (circa 1915) massacred unarmed Armenian civilians, because they could, and because they enjoy murdering defenseless women and children. So, I got no sympathy.
    4. Regarding Cyprus: you nomad Turks need to wrap your minds around the historical fact that you are uninvited guests in these parts, including Cyprus. Historical fact: Cyprus was invaded by Ottoman Turks about 500 years ago. Indigenous peoples, Greeks, were massacred and ethnically cleansed. Turks were imported into Cyprus from the mainland (Asia Minor), which itself was invaded and ethnically cleansed of its indigenous peoples by nomadic Turkic tribes from Uyguristan.
    5. Regarding Armenians, Russians, Georgians, Ukrainians: you basically know nothing about Armenian history, Russian history, Ukrainian history,…..You have no clue about the geopolitics of the Caucasus.

    See you later.
    Have a nice day.

    • Noune Noune Feb 4, 2015

      Avery FYI-On 20 May 2011, the Georgian parliament voted in a 95 to 0 declaration that Russia had committed genocide when it engaged in massacres against Circassians in the 19th century.[57]
      Like other ethnic minorities under Russian rule, the Adyghe who remained in the Russian Empire borders were subjected to policies of mass resettlement.

      And I completely agree with Adnan that ” Russia is the one who always attacks other countries first and yet, most Armenians shamelessly have pride in being Russian servants/lackeys. Fact is, they don’t care about you! “

      • Avery Avery Feb 6, 2015

        Noune: thanks for the FYI about Georgia.
        Here is some additional information for you to consider, in case you missed it.
        1. The fact that Georgian parliament declared that Russia allegedly had committed a ‘genocide’ against Circassians means less than nothing.
        Please list the other unbiased countries which have recognized this alleged ‘genocide’.
        In 2011 Misha Saakashvili was still President of Georgia, and his party was majority in the Parliament.
        Saakashvili launched a war of aggression in 2008 by attacking South Ossetia, and was badly mauled by Russia.
        He hates Russia and Russians.
        And he is virulently Anti-Armenian as well.
        Saakashvili is a Neocon agent, who was installed in Georgia to cause mayhem in Caucasus.
        He is currently living in US, being handsomely paid by his Neocon mentors.
        He is currently wanted by the Government of Georgia for murder conspiracy and treason.
        Republic of Georgia does _not_ recognize the Armenian Genocide: that should tell you what their calling it ‘Ciscassian genocide’ is worth. Hint: zilch.
        Were Circassians massacred by Russians: sure.
        But then do you dispute that Circassians participated in the Genocide of Armenians in Turkey ?
        Were many, many Circassians expelled from their homeland by Russians: sure.
        But go ahead and read how they were expelled: Russians did everything possible to minimize loss of life as Circassians were transported by ships to Turkey.
        There are massacres, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, etc.
        And then there is a unique Crime against Humanity called Genocide.
        If you know what thought processes led Dr. Lemkin to coin that word, you should know that not every atrocity qualifies as genocide.
        In fact very few do. Necessarily so.

        2. [And I completely agree with Adnan that ” Russia is the one who always attacks other countries first and yet, most Armenians shamelessly have pride in being Russian servants/lackeys. Fact is, they don’t care about you! “]
        You agree, you agree: fine with me.
        But your belief is based on nothing.
        Verifiable facts clearly refute your unsubstantiated belief.
        Some examples: (a) France under Napoleon invaded Russia and reached Moscow, before being defeated and thrown out. (b) In 1914 Ottoman Turkey attacked, unprovoked, Russian coastal installations on the Black Sea. (c) Nazi Germany invaded Soviet Union in 1941.
        See ? the assertion “ Russia….always attacks other countries first” is patently False.
        Finally: Armenians have pride in being Armenians: nothing more, nothing less.
        A denialist Turk’s opinion about Armenians is by definition vacuous.

  10. Sophia Sophia Feb 4, 2015

    I have been following the Cloonians, Amal is the most amazing woman, I can see why George fell head over heels and George is right behind her he will be going to Armenia in April with the system of the dawn for centennial commemorations…. Turkey never dreamed of such a nightmare…… finally someone is giving Turkey a piece of their own medicine… They mouthed off and now they have dug a big ditch for themselves……. Their kiss and kill politics is out in the open let the world see how they mock the law, human rights and the dead. Amal will not let them get away with it. Great article loved it.

  11. Eda Eda Apr 8, 2016

    As a Turkey we said that lets examine all archives but nobody wants that.Please be right! Armanian genocide is totaly lie.

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