Why is Erdoğan unrivaled?
“What U.S. presidents would say” was an important agenda item every year as April 24 approached. Would they say “genocide” or would they say “Meds Yeghern”?
Let’s remember that when they didn’t pronounce “genocide” it was to be rejoiced; but then again, the Meds Yeghern attribution was still met with the feelings of a heart-broken young girl.
But there was one thing we knew: In this land, there were once owners of all those churches that we could not get rid of, even though we knocked down one after the other. Now they were not here anymore!
Indeed, with which words this “disappearance” will be defined is important. Nobody can argue that this is not an important detail. However, even more important than that is the reality of this “disappearance.”
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has shown an example of political courage that I do not hesitate to applaud. He emphasized that, first of all, we should as a human beings acknowledge the reality of this disappearance.
As well as being an example of political courage, it was also an example of why the politicians of today are not as influential as Erdoğan.
His words were met by the two major opposition parties as I expected. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli defined it as “recognizing the Armenian genocide.” He is in a non-contradicting stance with himself there, precise and direct.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) statement, meanwhile, showed that they are between a rock and a hard place. It said they accept the condolence message but suggested that the prime minister was “politicizing” the issue and using a humanitarian topic as a “tool for politics.”
As always, it is a statement that is “half-pregnant.”
This debate shows us why Erdoğan is unrivaled. It’s because his rivals aren’t able to set the agenda, to utter a new word or to offer a new perspective to society.
Is the prime minister sincere in this?
While I was reading the prime minister’s statement about sharing the pain of the Armenians, I thought, “Let’s see what he’ll say in three years.” This is because we know that he does not regard these topics as part of a comprehensive political program.
This is what doing politics means to him; he says something if it’s needed today, and he says something else tomorrow. Consistency is not a priority.
For example, three years ago he presented the fact May Day was celebrated peacefully in Taksim Square as his political achievement. But today the words, “forget Taksim” also belong to him.
He said one thing when the initiative with Armenia was on the agenda; but when Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev showed the end of the stick, he started saying something else.
I have a call for the prime minister: Be a man of your word. You said, “Having experienced events that had inhumane consequences - such as relocation - during the World War I, should not prevent Turks and Armenians from establishing compassion and humane attitudes toward one another.” Well, keep your word.