“Nationalist First, Islamist Second: The Armenian Issue Shows the Limits of the Erdogan Government,” by Firat Demir
Posted by Joshua on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
“Nationalist First, Islamist Second: The Armenian Issue Shows the Limits of the Erdogan Government,”
by Firat Demir
for Syria Comment, March 23, 2010
The Armenian issue (together with the Kurdish problem) continues to trouble the Erdogan government. In a recent series of speeches, PM Erdogan once again proved that he is not a safe bet for those who want a full fledged democracy in Turkey.
The Erdogan government appears to be tilting towards extreme nationalism, a troubling tendency which has plagued the country for more than a century. Whether Erdogan’s intolerant nationalism is part of his underlying nature or a temporary populist ploy to gain votes in the approaching national elections is of less importance than the fact that his government has started making the same mistakes as did his predecessors.
Turkish PM threatens to expel 100,000 Armenians over genocide vote
Adam Gabbatt and agencies, guardian.co.uk, Thursday 18 March 2010 14.52 GMT
Turkey’s prime minister has threatened to expel 100,000 Armenian immigrants after the US and Sweden agreed to describe first world war killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide.
Turkey threatens to expel 100,000 Armenians
Story from BBC NEWS, Published: 2010/03/17 17:39:36 GMT
Turkey’s prime minister has threatened to deport 100,000 Armenian migrants, amid renewed tensions over Turkish mass killings of Armenians in World War I.
Recent resolutions in the US and Sweden have called the killings “genocide”.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the BBC that of 170,000 Armenians living in Turkey “70,000 are Turkish citizens”.
“We are turning a blind eye to the remaining 100,000… Tomorrow, I may tell these 100,000 to go back to their country, if it becomes necessary.”
Thousands of Armenians, many of them women, work illegally in Turkey. Most do low-skilled jobs such as cleaning.
The Prime Minister criticized Cengiz Candar (of Radikal newspaper) who asked for a public apology for the PM’s earlier deportation threats to Armenian illegal immigrant workers [translation by Firat Demir]:
“These claims [of Armenian Jenocide] are baseless and cannot stain our history…I am calling on those journalists and others who try to give us humanity lessons: Be Turkey’s and the Turkish Nation’s lawyer first. … I am calling on those who advice me to apologize: We know who to apologize very well. Whose lawyer are you?”
Ahmet Altan, Taraf, 20.03.2010 [translation by Firat Demir]
There is a very rude and impolite question sentence that Tayyip Erdogan uses when he gets angry with the criticism of journalists.
“Who are you?”
He gives the impression that he thinks that only he has the right to ask this question in such a tone.
I think he doesn’t consider the possibility that the same question might be asked of himself as well.
“Alright, who are you?”
Which of the crowded Erdogan portraits that we sometimes approve with admiration, and sometimes criticize with surprise corresponds to the real Erdogan?
Is the Erdogan who follows the “zero problem with neighbors” policy and who is creative and bright and is respected by the world You?
Or, are you the unreliable politician who first signed the protocols with the Armenians and then withdrew them?
Are you the brave leader who initiated the Kurdish opening?
Or, are you the scared, timid man who reversed his course and could not continue the [Kurdish] opening as soon as he saw the events following the Habur incidence?
Are you the tolerant Muslim who says that “we love the created because of the creator” and who embraces every race, faith and tribe?
Or, are you the nationalist who threatens the poor Armenian woman who works for 400 liras [$265] in Istanbul with deportation, and who forgets the Prophet Mohammed’s farewell speech as soon as his Armenian policies hit road blocks?
Are you the brave law loving leader who started the Ergenokon trial and went after the gangs within the state?
Or, are you the gang-loving politician who attempts to be the lawyer of the “Committee of Union and Progress” gang, same as Deniz Baykal who said that he is the lawyer of Ergenokon?
Are you the great leader who resisted and did not waiver in the face of coup attempts?
Or, are you the coup-lover who defends and excuses the murders of the Committee of Union and Progress junta?
Are you the intellectual who had the courage and history knowledge to call Dersim [incidence] a massacre?
Or, are you the history-ignorant one who defends the murders that the Committee of Union and Progress committed together with the German army, claiming that “Muslims don’t commit Genocide”?
Who are you?