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18 Marz. 2010 - : Turkey PM says could deport up to 100,000 Armenians- Result?!
The argument stands for treating children as children, but we will not hear it
David Aaronovitch
From The Times March 18, 2010
Uncomfortable Truth
Turkish threats to expel Armenian migrants to make a political point are shameful
Deportations have powerful symbolism in modern European history. The notion that the government of a would-be member state of the EU might propose the forced collective expulsion from its territory of a specified nationality ought to be unthinkable. Yet that course was casually threatened yesterday by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, against 100,000 Armenian migrants (see page 27).
Its purported justification was the recent passage of non-binding resolutions in the US Congress and the Swedish parliament. These motions describe as genocide the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during and after the First World War. Turkey takes strong issue with the claim of genocide. The history and politics of TurkishArmenian relations are convoluted, but the ethics of Mr Erdogan’s remarks are not. His intervention is demagogic and disreputable.
The US and Swedish votes were carried by narrow margins and were opposed by their respective governments. The historical events that they recall began with the massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. The very word “genocide” is a post-1945 coinage, intended to define the peculiar barbarity of Nazism. Only gradually did the Armenian massacres come to be recognised as the first authentic case of genocide in the 20th century. But so they were. On conservative historical estimates, around a million Armenians were killed in a xenophobic purge that continued till 1923. It was a crime without precedent in modern history.
Historical truth matters. It is extraordinary that the Government of modern Turkey should resist it. No one alive today was responsible for these barbarities. They were committed by an imperial power that has long since passed into history along with Wilhelmine Germany, to which it was allied in the First World War. While running for the presidency, Barack Obama declared his intention of being a leader who would speak the truth about the Armenian genocide. In practice, while his views are a matter of record, Mr Obama has been conciliatory in relations with Turkey.
Mr Erdogan has little cause for complaint about the symbolic diplomacy of resolutions on historical events. He has no justification whatever for threats against Armenian migrants. Turkey is home to thousands of illegal immigrants from Armenia. Few would dispute that sovereign nations have the right to determine barriers to entry on the part of non-citizens, but these are migrants who have sought refuge from disaster. Forming an impoverished population that does necessary but low-wage work, they include many whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed in the Armenian earthquake of 1988. Mr Erdogan estimated yesterday that of 170,000 Armenians in Turkey, only 70,000 held Turkish citizenship. He threatened directly to tell the rest to leave.
Turkey is a member state of Nato and a strategically important power within the Western alliance. It borders Iraq, in whose stability the Western democracies have an intense interest. But the Government in Ankara cannot exploit that status in order to advance its own diplomatic goals at the expense of liberal values. To object to a proper historical accounting of awesome crimes is a demeaning and destructive stance. But then to retaliate against the most vulnerable people within Turkey’s borders is unconscionable.

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M B wrote:
How about this idea: The European Union suggests that it may consider transfering Turkey's E.U. candidate status to Armenia.

Regardless of what happens it is clear that Turkey has a LONG way to go before EU membership should even remotely be an option. There are an incredible myraid of reasons not to admit Turkey in the near future. Maybe in several decades the issue can be re-examined.

It is clear that Turkey is still an adversary of Armenia (and Cyprus). The EU was very wise to admit Cyprus to join well before Turkey.

Also, I hope that the members of the Swedish parliament warn the Prime Minister not to insult them in a way desired by a genocide denying head of state.
March 18, 2010 4:54 PM GMT

Eva Wright wrote:
Lot of selective memory from the people who comment. I seem to remember that you Brits are only too keen to deport illegal immigrants. The US is also conspicuous by their genocide of their native Indian population (even after signing a peace treaty with them). Not satisfied, they went on a few years later, and took a similar approach in the Philippines. I’m a great advocate of Turkey becoming an EU member. Unlike France they are a loyal NATO member, and far less trouble. The current “Islamic” government has done more to bring Turkish laws into line with “EU standards”, and more to create a stable economy, than most previous “non-Islamic” governments. So let’s give them a kick were it hurts, encourage them to join the extremist camp, but don’t be surprised if their sons leave nasty deposits on your doorstep.
March 18, 2010 4:28 PM GMT

sharif Lone wrote:
Erdogen's threats are not only shameful, but primitive. Many countries dispatch illegal migrants away, but Turkey is doing it to make a point about genocide of Armenians in early 290th century.
I think if Germany's Chancellor Merkel did the same to Turks living in Germany, Erdogen will try blackmailing Germany also. I have no trust in governments which are voted to encourage religious feelings against others.
March 18, 2010 2:31 PM GMT

Fati Raster wrote:
See the New York Times for recent articles giving us the latest developments in Turkey. The power of army as a political force is broken, this Islamist government has also hit at critics of its views. Turkey is travelling to the Islamic right, the one force that could have stopped this is now longer able to do so.
Turkey is a real worry, why our political caste want to invite it into the EU is a nighmarish puzzle. This is a state ceasing to be 'secular' by the day.
March 18, 2010 2:22 PM GMT

W Gladstone wrote:
@Keith Welton

No Sir, you are missing the point. Turkish membership of the Eu will not be used to justify the membership of the countries you list. Rather, it is intended to provide justification for the fast-tracked admission of Israel as a "counter-weight" member and, of course, a near Middle-East neighbour of an EU State.
March 18, 2010 11:15 AM GMT

Seto Boyadjian wrote:
Mr. Erdogan’s threat to deport Armenians from Turkey in retaliation for Armenian Genocide recognition resolutions is indeed “shameful,” as the Times courageously asserts. Turkey, our NATO ally and strategic partner, is exploiting our partnership without sharing our values.

It is sad that Mr. Erdogan is resorting to tactics reminiscent of Ottoman Turkey, which carried out the first genocide of the twentieth century against its helpless Armenian population. The Ottoman Turkish Interior Minister Mehmet Talaat uttered the same threats in 1914 when European countries decided to implement the promised reforms to ameliorate conditions for Armenians living within the Ottoman Empire. To end European initiatives, Mr. Talaat and his Young Turk government decided, planned and implemented the mass deportation and extermination of their Armenian subjects. As a result, Western Armenia was depopulated and more than 1.5 Armenians slaughtered. Before Mr. Talaat and the Young Turks, in 1892 the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid pursued the same objective of ending European reforms by massacring and deporting his Armenian subjects in such major cities as Adana. As a result, more than 200,000 Armenians were massacred.

Apparently, Mr. Erdogan is bent on following in the footsteps and his grandfathers. Just like Mehmet Talaat and Sultan Abdul Hamid, he is telling Western world stop recognizing the Armenian Genocide or else Armenians will be deported … again.

Erdogan seems to justify the old saying “like father, like son.” But in his case it would be more accurate to say “like father, like grandson.”

Seto Boyadjian
Attorney at Law
Pasadena, California USA
March 18, 2010 7:40 AM GMT

Anthony Anders wrote:
Even more shockingly, Der Spiegel reports that Turkey recently invited well-placed members of the Turkish diaspora throughout Europe to an all-expenses paid summit in Turkey, then told them to "inoculate European culture with Turkish culture.",1518,684125,00.html

European citizens of Turkish descent were expected to become agents working on behalf of the Turkish government's foreign policy goals.

How much more evidence do we need that Turkey is not fit to be a member of the European Union? Why is there a total consensus among our major political parties that it should be allowed in?
March 18, 2010 2:21 AM GMT

Keith Welton wrote:
And many politicians want Turkey to be allowed into the EU. What next? Syria, Iraq, Iran?
March 17, 2010 9:45 PM GMT

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After Erdogan’s “own goal”, yesterday, this leading article in today’s Times is the most powerful I have seen published in The Times.

… and perfect timing… just a month before 24 April with the debates in Spanish and British parliaments due soon.


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