Will Turkey Keep Its Promise?

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Friday March 9, 2007

By Appo Jabarian Executive Publisher/Managing Editor USA Armenian Life Magazine Hye Kiank Armenian Weekly

The Armenian Genocide resolution, H.CON.RES.106, commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, is widely anticipated to be put for a floor vote in the United States House of Representatives in April.

Non-binding resolutions - like the recent resolution on the Iraq Surge - go largely unnoticed especially by the Bush administration.

However, the Armenian Genocide resolution, though non-binding, is expected to cause a political earthquake in Turkey. Yes, Turkey, only in Turkey and no other place.

But the Turkish denialists are unwilling to remain politically quarantined. That’s why they are hard at work to convince by way of threats the U.S. government and the Congress that the political fallout will spill-over outside of Turkey and will “seriously damage” U.S.-Turkey relations.

The Turkish denialists’ multi-pronged attacks on Washington DC, in early February, began with the massive deployment of parliamentarians. The Turkish occupation forces in Washington DC were led by individuals in the highest echelons of the Turkish government.

These Turkish “lobbyists” were aided by another contingent of “syndicated columnists” such as Gunduz Aktan. These “columnists” authored a large number of the denialist articles in a very brief time span. That in itself is a clear indication of the intensity of the anxiety and the level of frustration in Ankara. They even produced a propaganda “pink booklet” to make their false case.

In addition to flooding foreign capitals with print and electronic media, the Turkish denialists and occupation forces also took over the streets in Turkey from Constantinople (Istanbul) to Trabizond. The Turkish “lobbyists” and “writers” were also aided by street gangs. One such gang’s criminal act claimed the life of journalist Hrant Dink, the most recent victim of the Armenian Genocide. Another gang, a few days ago, fired a lethal weapon in the courtyard of an Armenian Church in Constantinople.

In a Feb. 17 article titled “Gross injustice,” Gunduz Aktan, the former Turkish Ambassador to the United States, wrote: “Today, Armenia … dares to urge us to expand freedom of expression. … Under these conditions, there is no alternative other than seeking a solution to the problem by adjudication or arbitration. Mr. Gul expressed this view in December during the budget debates. In response, not a word was heard from the U.S. administration, EU countries or institutions, Armenia or the Armenian Diaspora. It's as if all of a sudden everyone became deaf and mute.”

Aktan continued: “The attempts to portray Turks as being responsible for genocide are the basic reason for the current psychological regression and the harsh nationalist reaction in our society. Nobody should entertain any illusion that Turkey will eventually yield to these unilateral allegations. We will take Armenia and its supporters to court and will make them face history together with us. And we will make them respect our dead as well.”

Mr. Aktan has yet to make good on his promise to take the Armenian Genocide case to the International Court. As several Armenian Americans recall, Mr. Aktan made similar “threats” or “promises” almost a year ago. But when he and his bosses in Ankara were asked to join the Armenians in abiding by any verdict of the International Court in reference to the Armenian Genocide, they conveniently swept any such talk under the rug.

Now, at the dawn of the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and having forgotten his own “promise,” Mr. Aktan resurfaced his poker game-bluffing knowing full well that his poker game may turn into a political Russian Roulette for Turkey. We shall see if this time around Mr. Aktan and his bosses prove true to their word.

Aktan and his cohorts may well realize that in time Ankara won’t be able to escape from accountability for the genocidal crimes of 1915-1923. They can no longer try to defraud the Armenians into accepting “a simple recognition” of the Armenian genocide; a recognition “without consequences.” A simple recognition “without consequences,” would effectively allow the criminals and their descendants to maintain the post-genocide usurpation of the lands of Western Armenia and the Armenian victims’ confiscated real and personal properties.

Aktan concluded: “There is no way out for anyone anymore.”

One hopes that this time Aktan honestly means what he says.

Sadly, some Armenian individuals in the Diaspora work very hard to reflect the image of “visionary leaders,” or “moderate Armenians.” Yet, they don’t realize that their conformism and pandering to the denialist leaders in Anakara may come at a huge expense to their nation. At this time, individuals like myself, will refrain from naming these individuals. They know who they are. One may hope that they will quit the willy-nilly way of holding a so-called “dialogue” with Mr. Gunduz Aktan and other notorious deniers of the Armenian Genocide.

Deep down, the Turkish “Deep State” may know only too well that the political premise on which the so-called modern Turkey is founded, is shaky at best. They may also realize that the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920 may have as much power and authority as the one-sided Treaty of Lausanne of 1923. Sooner or later, a treaty similar to the Sèvres has to be negotiated and implemented. As a direct consequence, justice will finally be served and peace will prevail by creating a win-win-win situation for Turkey, Armenia, the United States, The EU, Russia and the Middle East.