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      Turkish Leaders Going Berserk

Turkish Leaders Going Berserk   14/04/2005

Turkish Leaders Going Berserk With Anti-Genocide Obsession

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

Turkish leaders are literally going out of their minds; desperately
searching for any and all possible ways to counter the commemorations of the
90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Of course, it would have been much simpler and more honest for them to
simply face up to their own history and to tell the truth. Unfortunately,
that seems to be asking too much!

Last week, the Turks found a new ploy: holding a parliamentary hearing on
the Armenian Genocide. This was a very unusual hearing. They invited three
Turkish Armenians to testify. These Armenians knew full well that whatever
they say, can and will be used against them. Two of the three managed to say
as much as they could under the circumstances, and they were chastised
severely for "speaking like Diaspora Armenians!" The third Armenian was a
total sell-out. He probably did not want to take a chance with his life! Not
surprisingly, no one interrupted his speech.

The Turkish leaders' obsession with the denial of the Armenian Genocide
totally blinded them to the fact that by holding such a sham hearing, they
were, first of all, undermining their own interests. For years, Turkish
officials have reacted with disdain toward the recognition of the Armenian
Genocide by other countries, by saying that historians should deal with this
issue rather than politicians. Now that their own parliament has held a
hearing on this issue, the Turks have unwittingly accepted the Armenian
Genocide resolutions adopted by the legislatures of more than a dozen
countries, as well as the European Parliament, the United Nations, and other
international organizations.

To make matters worse, during the past couple of weeks, various Turkish
officials have made aggressive statements that further publicized the
commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Here are
some examples:

-- Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said in
Ankara on March 22: "I launch a call to countries who became a tool of the
Armenian allegations: Either you account for what you have done, or prove
the allegations [on the Armenian Genocide]." In the same speech, Gul
foolishly asked: "If it [genocide] had happened, so why the Armenian
churches still exist? Why there are Armenian citizens in Turkey?" For a
diplomat, Gul is amazingly ignorant of the fact that the UN defines genocide
as the killing of a people "in whole or in part." Genocide does not mean
that all the members of a race have to be killed in order to commit
genocide. Otherwise, according to Gul's definition of genocide, the
Holocaust also does not qualify as genocide, since there are still Jews
living in this world, and even in Germany! In addition, we don't need to
remind Gul about the destruction of hundreds of Armenian, Greek and Assyrian
churches in Turkey, which is cultural genocide!

-- Threatening more aggressive actions against the Armenian "claims," Gul
said the Turkish Parliament would hold a special session this week to
announce a new action plan. Interestingly, he now backs away from the
Turkish government's announced intention of taking the Armenian issue to the
United Nations. One of his advisors must have finally reminded him that
the U.N. already dealt with this issue back in 1985 and categorized the
Armenian Genocide as a genocide! Fearing more embarrassment at the U.N., Gul
said: "The U.N. may make mistakes in voting. Individuals raising their hands
to vote may vote wrongly based on political gains and interests. History has
many examples of voting that proved to be fallacious." Too bad.
Gul wisely sidestepped another humiliating experience for Turkey!

-- No to be outdone by Gul in displaying his nationalistic credentials, the
Turkish President, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, sternly warned the Europeans last
week that Turkey would not bow to European Union pressure to recognize the
Armenian Genocide, as a condition of joining the EU. Armenians, in
conjunction with the majority of Europeans who oppose Turkey's EU
membership, have to make it crystal clear to the Turks that they would do
everything in their power to prevent Turkey from joining the EU, unless it
recognizes the Armenian Genocide and make appropriate amends for it.

Significantly, all of these developments on the Armenian Genocide have taken
place weeks before a single Armenian commemorative activity has been held.
Once the worldwide commemorative events start, the Turkish leaders would
probably go totally berserk!


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