Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Armenian genocide, implications for today’s Turkey

Above is another good documentary from Al Jazeera, this time on the Armenian genocide – Grandma’s Tattoos –  made by Suzanne Khardalian, who ventures to understand the causes of her grandmother’s difficult personality – who she recalls as a cold, bitter woman, a ‘living corpse’– and in so doing is confronted by the revolting ordeal endured by Christians, particularly Christian women, as Turks took the opportunity of a collapsing Ottoman empire to implement their very own Final Solution. 

It’s worth stressing that the question of the Armenian genocide is not just a matter of historical accuracy. I strongly maintain that the mentality that encouraged Turks (and Kurds) to dehumanise and attempt to exterminate Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians in Anatolia continues to exist in Turkey. We know this not only because of the wealth tax (varlik vergisi) and forced labour camps of the 1930s and 1940s; the Constantinople pogrom in 1955; the ethnic cleansing of Imvros and Tenedos; and the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus; but because Turkey refuses to broach these issues honestly, make amends or criticise itself over these outrages. Indeed, what is the denial of the Armenian genocide if not a continuation of that very same genocide? Genocide is not just about the physical extermination of a people, it’s an attempt to wipe out its history and collective memory – which is, of course, what Turkey – today’s Turkey – is attempting to do by lying about the events of 1915.

Essentially, what I’m saying is this – and this is a guiding principle of this blog – is that Turkey is a fascist country – the so-called liberalisation and democratisation of the last decade is a hoax – and that Greece and Cyprus need to accept this truth and develop suitable policies in response.


Hermes said...

Watch the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkey has effectively invaded Syria by allowing the "Free" Syrian Army shelter on Turkish soil. If this ceasefire does not work and the violence continues, then I would not put it past Syria to unleash the PKK Kurds onto Turkey like they did in the late 1990's. The article on The Economist, is as usual, completely idiotic.

Loukas Leon said...

Great post, John. It really is a shame that the Assyrians, Armenians, and Greeks haven't worked together more to expose that hideous nation. Sadly, especially with the Armenians, there still exists an unbending unwillingness to share in the suffering. Mind you, if it wasn't for the Western powers' propping up and pampering of the Turks all these years, they would have been exposed a long time ago for what they really are – a nation built on lies and genocide.

Hermes, the Turkish thug Erdogan is crying to NATO to protect its own national borders: (some good comments in the comments section; see all 23)

Pathetic. And what complete and utter hypocrites.

Twitter: @LoukasLeon

John Akritas said...

That's very funny about Turkey trying to drag Nato into its Syrian adventure – but not that surprising. For all their bluster and belligerence, Turkey is very cautious about using its military power. Look what trouble they've had trying to subdue the ragtag PKK and how sheepishly they responded to the Mavi Marvara incident. Military adventures are a risky business, and Turkish national identity wouldn't cope well with any reverses.

I agree that we've been complicit in not denouncing Turkey's genocidal nature. I was thinking the other day that how is it possible for Turkey to put on trial the generals involved in the 1980 coup; but for the Cypriot authorities to do nothing about opening legal proceedings against the Turkish generals and politicians responsible for the Turkish invasion of Cyprus? I don't understand our reluctance here. All I can think of is that we believe that going for the Turks legally would complicate the UN talks – which just goes to prove the argument of those who say the UN talks down the years have been a distraction that have actually allowed Turkey to carry on its Cyprus policy undisturbed.

Hermes said...

Below is Stratfor's latest report on Turkey. We all know Stratfor is a complete joke; especially, after their embarrassing mishaps with client names, but it is interesting how a certain part of the American establishment thinks or how it seeks to project how it thinks.

There is no mention of Cyprus in this report. And it mentions Greece as being hostile. Strange.

Loukas Leon said...

Hermes, I was forced earlier into writing my first blog entry on this topic due to the sheer stupidity of it all. I hope you and John check it out (though it's slightly rushed) along with any future posts. And if you ever see something that's worth commenting on (i.e. if I've got something wrong, you have something that adds to the discussion etc) please feel free to do so. Your incisive insights are more than welcome!

John Akritas said...

Yes, I saw this report. It's rubbish. Turkey's not even a regional power, let alone a world power. 'Rolls Royce ambitions with Rover resources,' as the US Turkey ambassador said.

Hermes said...

This is another story I found interesting about the British trying to cover up their crimes, which also has relevance to Cyprus.

Loukas, I did read your post. My thoughts are similar. However, let's forget the US is a big place and there are a myriad of competing interests, some of which are sick and tired of dealing with Turkey. The challenge for the Greeks is lobby other factions to come around to this point of view. However, a lot of Greeks support the American view that Turkey is powerful and must be respected. Panagiotis Kondylis in this first chapter of The Decline of Bourgoise Civilisation predicted that certain Greek factions will support interests which are antithetical to Greek national interests. This is what happens when you develop a degenerate governing elite.

Loukas Leon said...

Hermes, that first article is interesting (though in no way surprising). On your point about Greek lobbying, I honestly don't see how that has any effect on things at the "top level" – the level which counts the most – but you almost certainly know more about this than me. I guess what I didn't make clear in my post is that "geostrategic fate" has brought America and Turkey together. It's pretty much crucial to the Americans to keep Turkey onside, and we shouldn't delude ourselves otherwise. And it's not so much the American view that Turkey is a superpower – because as John mentioned above, the Americans are well aware of the Turks' reality – but their constant attempts to project this mirage and actively seek to make them stronger for their own benefit; within limits, but almost always at our expense. (Unless this is what you too are saying. Or, you mean those "Greek Americans" who work for the interests of America first? Yes, I know what you're saying.)

As for the Kondylis thing – in many ways, hasn't that been the case for thousands of years? (Though I see what you're saying in relation to the modern Greek state. I think.)