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Interesting Turkish reaction to French AG Bill

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  • Interesting Turkish reaction to French AG Bill

    From Zaman (funny though - looking at his name - perhaps he is Armenian! eh?)


    How the Turkish Parliament Should React to France

    The adoption of the Armenian “genocide” bill by the French parliament was met with expected reactions from Turkey. Boycotting French products (apart from those of OYAK-affiliated French companies), deporting Armenian citizens working in Turkey and even passing a counter bill were among the steps taken.

    Certain people who support anti-democratic laws in Turkey said they would go to France and violate the bill, which was a good sign of how valor can be rendered valueless. During those days, a psychological movement was initiated to make the society react “sensitively.” Familiar Stereotypical “information” was relayed to the media under the label of “archives revealed by the Turkish chief of staff.” I think the “documents” claiming Armenians committed massacres in 1915 in Diyarbakir were a pleasing surprise to researchers who deal with that period of time. However, the intention was not actually to inform, but to foment our heroic sensitivity. Meanwhile, Turkey ignored the fact that Armenian President Robert Kocharian was against the bill and claimed that Armenia stipulated recognizing the genocide as a prerequisite without questioning the argument’s objectivity. During such a volatile atmosphere, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “There is no legal basis to penalize those who call a lie a lie,” which was very pleasing to nationalists. Our failure to realize that such attitudes legalize the “genocide” conviction worldwide shows the problem is a deep-rooted one. Fortunately, it was again the prime minister who prevented our natural reflexes from stretching to meaningless points by saying, “We use clean water to clear away dirt.”

    How should the Turkish parliament react to the French move? The parliament consulted the Turkish Institute of History (as if it was the first time it had heard such allegations) and agreed that the institute should conduct a comprehensive research on the so-called Armenian genocide allegations. The parliament also agreed to investigate the history of countries which recognize the Armenian “genocide” and prepare a list of shame.

    The aim was to reveal how foreign countries that have their own checkered past throw mud at Turkey, with a clean history, in an effort to conceal their past misdeeds.

    If only the Turkish parliament had looked at its institutional structure before making such a decision. If only the head of the history institute had also touched on such issues. If only a few deputies had remembered Ayse Hur’s article in the daily Radikal.

    Then they would have learned that in 1923, as envisaged in an agreement prior to the Lausanne Agreement, it was legal to confiscate the properties of Armenians who were not living in Turkey at that time; and in September of the same year, Armenians who fled from Kilikya and the eastern Anatolia regions during the war were barred from returning.

    They would have learned that according to a decision made in August 1926, the properties acquired before the Lausanne Agreement came into effect could be confiscated and that in May 1927, Turkish citizenship for Armenians who were abroad between 1923 and 1927 was revoked. They would also have recalled that travel restrictions imposed on Armenian Turkish citizens during those years made them lose their jobs and they were forced to migrate because they had to share their homes in Anatolia with immigrants.

    Those willing could also recall the wealth tax and the issue of the properties of non-Muslim associations. All these decisions were made by the Turkish parliament and none of them were gloated over. It is not wrong to make others remember their past; however, to achieve our goal we should also look at our history from the same perspective.

    October 27, 2006
    Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
    Adolf Hitler (22 August 1939)