645) Armenian hardliners are getting what they want

Turkey has recalled its ambassadors to Canada and France because of the negative attitude in those countries towards Turkey’s denials that Armenians living in Turkey early last century were subjected to genocide..

The French not only acknowledge that there was a genocide but they've also moved to legislate a ban on disputing such an event. That means if a Turk makes statements in France denying that such a genocide took place they could be sent to prison.

The Canadian prime minister, on the other hand, has acknowledged that the Ottoman Turks were involved in genocide against Armenians living in the eastern regions of their territory.

Turks have spent decades categorically denying such a genocide took place. They stress that the Armenians collaborated with the invading Russians in the First World War and the Ottoman administration was forced to evacuate them by force to other parts of the empire, especially to Ottoman territory in the Middle East. However Turks do acknowledge that in the process Armenians perished due to illness and attacks from bandits. But Turks also say that many Turks who lived in the eastern provinces were also murdered by Armenian gunmen.

Turkey has offered several times to set up a joint commission of impartial historians to study the Ottoman files and get to the bottom of the issue. However the Armenians have rejected this. Armenian hardliners, especially those in the diaspora, have been insistent on trying to hurt Turkey as much as possible.

First they organized and financed a terrorist group the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) that killed Turkish diplomats and their families. The Western powers didn't touch them until ASALA made the mistake of unleashing its terrorist activities at Orly Airport's Turkish Airlines counter killing French citizens as well as other tourists. Western intelligence officials then clamped down on ASALA ...

But Armenian hardliners continued their quest against Turkey and the Turks. They helped Kurdish separatists to harm Turkey, forgetting that most of the hordes who murdered Armenian families as they were being evacuated from the east were, in fact, comprised of Kurdish bandits.

The Armenians also used politicians in many Western countries against Turkey, sponsoring anti-Turkish resolutions in their parliaments. There are strong and influential Armenian groups all over Europe and north America. Politicians seeking their votes try to appease them.

The Swiss have already decided that denying the so-called Armenian genocide is a crime. The parliaments of other countries have already acknowledged the genocide claims.

So each time a foreign country does something to please the Armenians Turkey hits back with the weapon of threatening to severe ties with them. But this is exactly what the Armenian hardliners want. Every time we create a chill in our ties with France, Canada or the U.S. the Armenians rejoice. We should protest and try to educate the public in these countries through lobbies and good public relations but we should not take these meaningless actions, that only hurt our international relations and push us into isolation.

Ilnur Cevik

10 May 2006


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