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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 12th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Turkey is an important State. It was born from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire after having chosen the loosing side in WW I. It went after that through a distilling process with the secular-military revolution of Ataturk, and was on its way to modernization. In the process Turks killed Armenians – that is well documented, and eventually Armenians said it was genocide. Those were clearly the childhood days of a more modern Turkey.

Growing up would have meant recognizing that in its evolution, Turkey has some darker shadows in its history basin – recognize it and stretch out a hand in peace. Instead Turkey preferred to continue without any relations to Armenia, while at the same time distancing itself from its Middle Eastern and Caucasian neighbors while courting a Europe that refuses to forgive a forgetful Turkey its past behaviour in relation to its Armenians, and then later its Kurds.

Turkey, in its ridiculous courting of Europe, has missed even the boat that was anchored in its doorsteps with the creation of five newly independent Central Asian States most of which being of Turkic ethnicity anyway. Turkey is torn now between Islam and secularism with an Islamic background – whatever they chose, it is going to be neither Christian Greek, nor Christian Armenian while the West – that is Europe and the US – are basically Christian and can be  counted upon as backing Armenia’s simple request to call the killings of a century ago an example of genocide like they are ready to call what went on in Kosovo, much more recently, a genocide against Muslims.

Turkey is important to the West as a bridge to the Islamic world of Asia including the Middle East and Central Asia, but the West can not tell its parliaments that for foreign policy reasons they are not allowed to call an old case of genocide by its name, or to tell their more liberal people that a cartoon or some other free expression that might offend someone’s feelings is not plain satire that they can express if it were their own leaders – secular or religious – be it even the Pope.

Turkey has now recalled its Ambassadors to the US and Sweden as sign of displeasure with Congress and Parliamentarian declarations in States that allow free expression via voting – specially as the direct consequence of it if it was genocide or plain heinous killing is not going to bring anyone to life back anyway.

We belabor this topic because our website has placed great hope in a reorienting Turkey on various issues – be these related to the place of Turkey on Kyoto Protocol and climate change, on oil and gas pipelines, or be it on the OIC, peace efforts in the Middle East, relations with Iran, Iraq etc. We are thus unhappy when Turkey steps back from responsibility that comes with maturity.  Why not just tell Armenia – let’s sign a peace accord based on mutual understanding that what has happened then, call it what you want, and we are sorry for it, will never happen again. The whole world would then applaud. Look at Jews and Germans – it was worse – but they talk and do not walk out on each other.

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