Saturday, March 20, 2010

Turkey Threatens to Deport Armenians In Dispute About Genocide

The stupid fight over the Armenian Genocide continues as Turkey's Prime Minister has managed to discredit himself in the meaningless debate. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan stated "There are currently 170,000 Armenians living in our country. Only 70,000 of them are Turkish citizens, but we are tolerating the remaining 100,000." (Hat Tip: Coming Anarchy)

This is wrong on two levels. First, the estimated number of illegal immigrant Armenians in Turkey is about 12,000 and not 100,000. Second, deporting illegal, and possibly ethic Armenians who are Turkish citizens, over a dispute about events which occurred 100 years ago and committed by a predecessor state is not the way to win friends in an ethnic cleansing argument.

Long time reader Ali pointed out that Turks were also victims of ethnic cleansing during World War I and that "All Turks, except the most extreme of the extreme nationalists, recognize that there were large scale massacres of Armenians during and right after World War I." It is such a shame these extremists hold sway in both the Republican People's Party and the Justice and Development Party.

2 comments:

Ali said...

I would suggest that members of the Republican People's Party and the Justice and Development Party generally also recognize that there were massacres of Armenians in the teens and early twenties. The opinion in Turkey is that many Armenians died but so did a lot of Turks, so why should Armenians be treated as victims? The point where Turkish opinion diverges from Western opinion is Turkish refusal to have these events classified as genocide. Especially in light of the fact that the massacres committed against Turks, Kurds, Circassians, and Muslims Caucasians are generally forgotten by the West.

Ali said...

I also wonder how different the position to deport Armenians is from the more hard-line Republican insistence that millions of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America be deported? Tom Tancredo, Lou Dobbs and his ilk come to mind.
And on this topic, perhaps Americans should look back to a silenced chapter of their history, the Mexican "Repatriation" (1930-1940) when over a half a million people of Mexican descent (most holders of US Citizenship) were harrassed and bullied into leaving the United States by the INS, often without due process of the law. And then there is Operation Wetback in 1954.
Or perhaps Americans should look back at the violent tactics they used to occupy the Philippines during their conquest of the formerly Spanish territory. Between 500,000 and a million Filipinos were killed. The generals leading the American army used many of the same tactics they used with for the subjugation of the Native Americans of the plains using complete scorched earth campaigns, "where entire villages were burned and destroyed, torture (water cure[75]) and the concentration of civilians into "protected zones"[76] (Wikipedia). No one harasses Barack Obama about the actions of his predecessor of a hundred years ago, and yet Turkey is constantly given this rubbish about World War I.