Posts tagged ‘1915 Armenian genocide’

September 4, 2011

Turkey rebukes Israel: do they remember Northern Cyprus and the Kurds?

Turkey rebukes Israel: do they remember Northern Cyprus and the Kurds?

Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Turkey is once more playing the “Israel card” whereby in order to gain credibility at home and to appease the anti-Israeli lobby, the same issue keeps on popping up.  However, while individuals or governments who oppose Israel may welcome the ongoing outbursts which break out frequently it is obvious that mass hypocrisy in Turkey renders this a farce.

If Turkey is so concerned about human rights then why not focus on leaving Northern Cyprus, give greater freedom to the Kurds, install equality for the Alevi Muslims, stop attacking Kurds in Northern Iraq and recognize the mass genocide of Christians which took place in 1915 (pogroms before and after this date).

It is insincere for Turkey to keep on using the same issue because Turkey put a blockade on Armenia because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Also, would Turkey welcome boats entering “their space” if they provided support to the Kurds or if Orthodox Christians desired to show the illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus?

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) also must be questioned because if an inquiry can take place about such a limited event; then how about providing tens of thousands of other inquiries for all the dead Kurds by the armed forces of Turkey? 

Also, the ICJ should open tens of thousands of reports in order to highlight the killings in Libya, Myanmar, Sudan, Syria and a host of other countries.  The ICJ should not be getting involved in anti-Israeli policies irrespective of the outcome because millions of Africans were killed in Sudan by the Arab Islamists and clearly the leader of Turkey cares little about this. Therefore, if the ICJ is going to spend such resources on an event where the loss of life was minimal – it begs the question, how much per head have they spent on the Arab Islamists regimes over the last 28 years which have killed millions in Sudan?

It is clear that the per-head costs will not compare and anti-Israel policies or over scrutiny of Israel often smacks of anti-Semitism and a liberal Jewish self loathing lobby also does not help.

Daniel Pipes commented in his article which was published by The Washington Times (Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza) the following statement with regards to hypocrisy in Turkey:

Turkey’s invasion of July-August 1974 involved the use of napalm and “spread terror” among Cypriot Greek villagers, according to Minority Rights Group International. In contrast, Israel’s “fierce battle” to take Gaza relied on only conventional weapons and entailed virtually no civilian casualties.”

“The subsequent occupation of 37 percent of the island amounted to a “forced ethnic cleansing,” William Mallinson said in a just-published monograph from the University of Minnesota. In contrast, if one wishes to accuse the Israeli authorities of ethnic cleansing in Gaza, it was against their own people, the Jews, in 2005.”

“The Turkish government has sponsored what Mr. Mallinson calls “a systematic policy of colonization” on formerly Greek lands in Northern Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots in 1973 totaled about 120,000 people; since then, more than 160,000 citizens of the Republic of Turkey have been settled in their lands. Not a single Israeli community remains in Gaza.”

“Ankara runs its occupied zone so tightly that, in the words of Bulent Akarcali, a senior Turkish politician, “Northern Cyprus is governed like a province of Turkey.” An enemy of Israel, Hamas, rules in Gaza.”

“The Turks set up a pretend-autonomous structure called the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” Gazans enjoy real autonomy.”

“A wall through the island keeps peaceable Greeks out of Northern Cyprus. Israel’s wall excludes Palestinian terrorists.”

Indeed, irrespective of the motives behind the demonstrators it must be stated that they are blinkered by their own hatred.  Why don’t they visit Darfur and show solidarity with African Muslims against the Khartoum Arab-Islamist regime?  Why don’t they visit Kurdish areas which are attacked by the armed forces of Turkey?  Why don’t they go to Myanmar and highlight a war which gains little media attention? 

The same “Why don’ they” applies to so many conflicts and currently we can add Syria to this list.  However, clearly the coverage of what Israel does is highlighted beyond a level playing field and it is tinged with racism and mass hypocrisy.

Ahmed Davutoglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey, is clearly following the line of the leader of Turkey and the political hypocrisy is obvious. The armed forces of Turkey have recently bombed and attacked Kurds in parts of Turkey and in Northern Iraq.

At the same time Turkish settlements in Northern Cyprus is maintaining the systematic destruction of Orthodox Christianity and changing the ethnic make-up of this island.  The armed forces of Turkey are also illegally in Northern Cyprus and Turkey continues to hinder natural trade with Armenia because of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

Turkey is playing a dangerous game and in the past the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stated that Israel was“perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction.”

Leaders in Turkey are whipping up anti-Israel passions because of multiple factors, ranging from Turkish nationalism to Islamists within the ruling party who desire to change the secular nature of Turkey by stealth.

The current crisis between Israel and Turkey is not based on the Mavi Marmara incident because deeper issues are at play within the current leadership of Turkey.


June 4, 2010

Turkey and the Islamic and nationalist card

Turkey and the Islamic and nationalist card




The current Prime Minister of Turkey is playing the Islamic and nationalist card in order to boost his image.  Recep Tayyip Erdogan clearly knows how to garner public attention and Turkish nationalism is very potent in Turkey and others seek Islamization or a more overtly Islamic state.  Therefore, Israel is the usual “whipping” nation in the mainly Muslim world and Erdogan is appealing to the most common of all denominators.

After all, anti-Semitism or Israeli bashing, or a combination of both, is a common theme throughout many mainly Muslim nations and in Europe many media outlets are clearly pro-Palestinian.  Israel appears to be a “whipping boy” for people who are left-wing or supporters of the far-right, and this suits the Islamists because they can use this nation in order to ferment more hatred and to increase their respective power base.

Therefore, Erdogan will make the most of any opportunity in order to increase the power base of Islam in Turkey and he can also appeal to nationalists.  Erdogan commented in the past that “A Muslim can never commit genocide.”

If so, Erdogan should look back to 1915 because Muslims slaughtered at least 1.5 million Armenians, Assyrians, and Greek Orthodox Christians and of course how did Islam get to become 99% in modern day Turkey given the reality that this nation was once the bastion of Orthodox Christianity?

I negate to mention that Mohammed himself was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Judaism in Arabia once his power base increased.  Also, I am sure that Assyrian Christians, Armenian Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and Zoroastrians, and many others, would beg to differ. This also applies to African Christians and Animists in southern Sudan who witnessed the onslaught of Islamization and Arabization in more recent times.

Turning back to recent events then clearly Turkey is furious after at least nine people were killed on board the Turkish flagged Mavi Marmara.  At least eight were Turkish nationals and given the pro-Palestinian element and the way Israel is viewed, then clearly tensions and passions are running high.

Yet how would Turkey like it if Israeli nationals began to take aid to Kurds in Turkey?  Would Erdogan be happy about this situation and when we magnify this by the nature of Hamas then clearly this issue is complex.

Erdogan and many others also point out that the blockade on Gaza is cruel.  This is also ironic because Turkey have enforced a cruel blockade on Christian Armenia but of course this gets little media attention. 

The blockade of Armenia by Turkey began in 1993 and this is not only brutal but given the legacy of 1915 and the systematic genocide which took place then it is clearly beyond belief.   Also, unlike the situation for Israel, it is clear that Armenia have not used force or broken any laws against Turkey, however, Hamas often fires rockets at Israel and many terrorist attacks have taken place.

If we turn to Erdogan’s past then clearly he supported a greater role for Islam in modern day Turkey and in recent years he appears to be playing the “Muslim card” in order to boost himself and the political party he represents.

Past comments by Erdogan apply to the following:

“We will turn all our schools into İmam Hatips [religious schools]”—Cumhuriyet, Sept. 9, 1994

“Thank God Almighty, I am a servant of the Shari’a.”— Milliyet, Nov. 21, 1994

“I am the imam of Istanbul.”—Hürriyet, Jan. 8, 1995

“I support the proposal to inaugurate the parliament by reciting the Qur’an.”—Milliyet, Jan. 8, 1996

More recently it is clear that Erdogan will exploit any issue whereby he can claim that Muslims are being victimized and this suits his past agenda.  Therefore, he strongly rebuked China in 2009 after major disturbances in Xinjiang and he stated that “The event taking place in China is a kind of genocide.”

It is clear that the “victimization card” suits Erdogan and he will use Islam and nationalism, or a mixture of both in order to further his cause.  He also appears to be moving closer to nations which are more anti-Western. 

 For example, Soner Cagaptay (Washington Institute for Near East Policy) stated that “the AKP’s foreign policy has not promoted sympathy toward all Muslim states. Rather, the party has promoted solidarity with Islamist, anti-Western regimes (Qatar and Sudan, for example) while dismissing secular, pro-Western Muslim governments (Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia).”

 Erdogan also supports Ahmadinejad who is the leader of Iran because he congratulated Ahmadinejad despite major demonstrations in Iran after elections were held in 2009.  Robert Tait, a writer at The Guardian newspaper stated that “Erdogan’s partiality towards Ahmadinejad may surprise some in the west who see Turkey as a western-oriented democracy firmly grounded inside Nato…but will be less surprising to Erdogan’s secular domestic critics, who believe the prime minister’s heart lies in the east and have long suspected his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development party (AKP) government of plotting to transform Turkey into a religious state resembling Iran.”

It is clear that Erdogan uses emotive language and panders to both Turkish nationalism and Islamism when it suits him.  He also threatened to deport Armenians workers because he stated that “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.”  He further continued that “If necessary, I may have to tell these 100,000 to go back to their country because they are not my citizens. I don’t have to keep them in my country.”

Erdogan is certainly changing the direction of Turkey and his past agenda appears to be coming out into the open.  Secularism appears to be on the back foot and more worryingly is that he will use any event in order to boost himself and this applies to so-called “Muslim brotherhood” or Turkish nationalism.

Therefore, Erdogan who denies the 1915 Armenian genocide is the same person who uses the word genocide when it suits him.  It is the same person who talks with love and compassion towards Sudan despite the ongoing events in Darfur.  It is also the same person who decries the blockade of Gaza but who maintains the blockade against Armenia.

It is clear for all to see that Erdogan is hoping to use events in order to foster the notion of Muslim victimization and in the past he did state that he wanted an Islamic identity for Turkey.  Therefore, he will use the anti-Jewish card and decry Palestinian persecution but he will gloss over the anti-Kurdish nature of many parts of Turkish society and the military of Turkey will continue to target Kurds within Turkey and northern Iraq. 

Lee Jay Walker