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BURAK BEKDİL

burak.bekdil@hurriyet.com.tr

BURAK BEKDİL > The new Turkish jurisprudence on the Armenian genocide – now sealed!

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Last December, this column announced the emergence of a new Turkish jurisprudence on the Armenian genocide. Half a year later, the new jurisprudence won an official seal of approval from the offices of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.

The new jurisprudence, in plain coffeehouse patron’s language, is a powerful Turkish warning to the rest of the world precisely as I wrote it in December: “‘Dear members of parliaments of the world! From now on, you can recognize the Armenian genocide and have perfectly normal relations with us; but we’ll get badly offended if you make genocide denial illegal.’ Will the U.S. Congress get the message? The Turks should hope it won’t. Sadly, the more than 20 countries in the world whose parliaments have recognized the Armenian genocide stand like an unpleasant reminder that the soft power Mr. Davutoğlu loves to assume Turkey possesses does not exist in the real world,” (The new Turkish jurisprudence on Armenian genocide, HDN, Dec. 23, 2011).

How did I know / how do I know? Simple. When did the French legislature recognize the Armenian genocide? In 2001. What did Turkey do in response? It threatened to freeze all economic and political ties with France. How did the freeze go? Well, during the Turkish boycott/freeze, the two-way trade volume rose from $4 billion in 2001 to nearly $15 billion in 2011, an increase of 275 percent! That’s how Threat 1 was fulfilled.

From December 2011 through to February 2012 Turkey threatened once again to freeze all economic, military and political ties with France. But was it not strange that the Turks were pledging to freeze something they had pledged to freeze a decade ago?

Under Threat 2, somehow, we would freeze “all cooperation with the French government and joint projects, introduce punishing restrictions on French military vessels and aircraft passing through Turkish waters and airspace or docking on Turkish soil.” That would be the appropriate response because the French bill that criminalized genocide denial, according to Mr. Davutoğlu, “dishonored our country and nation.”

Fortunately, the French supreme court overturned the denial bill and thus our country and nation was not dishonored. And this must be Jurisprudence 2: We no longer think that our country and nation would be dishonored when foreign parliaments declare our ancestors as committers of genocide. And that... How do we know?

Because last week Mr. Davutoğlu happily announced, under instructions from Mr. Erdoğan, that Turkey and France would now live happily ever after... With all Turkish sanctions under Threat 2 now officially dropped, everything will come up roses. C’est magnifique! And that miracle happened just because François Hollande, France’s new president, met with Mr. Erdoğan – not because either Monsieur Holland, who has never hidden his firm commitment to the idea that there was an Armenian genocide, or the French Parliament no longer believes the tragic incidents of 1915-1919 amounted to genocide.
From now on, if either Mr. Erdoğan or Mr. Davutoğlu claims that it would dishonor our country and nation if a foreign Parliament were to recognize the Armenian genocide, the members of that Parliament may just suffer perpetual hysterias of laughter before they say b...u...t... F...r...a...n...c...e!
But the Rover with Rolls Royce ambitions and the Crescent and Star emblem will surely be speeding along down international highways. The future, though, may bring in further Turkish jurisprudence on Armenian genocide.

For instance, Jurisprudence 3 may be about accepting genocide denial laws but threatening to freeze economic, political and military relations if they are enforced; and Jurisprudence 4 may be about accepting a reasonable number of people sentenced under denial laws but threatening to freeze economic, political and military relations if too many people are sentenced.

Bonne chance, Mssrs. Erdoğan et Davutoğlu!

June/29/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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Aydin BIRCAN

7/16/2012 12:27:35 AM

I can't believe the fact that there are still false arguments raised in order to continue to deny the genocide or genocidal acts committed by Ittihak and Terakki administration.Turkey will never be a credible, civilized and peaceful nation as it deserves to be, until recognizes Armenian Genocide and provides compensations. As a Turk, I am ashamed to admit that glorious Turkish Republic is built on the confiscated wealth and properties of killed or displaced Armenians,

The Lion

7/7/2012 11:29:58 PM

Agri Dagian, there's no such thing as an "armenian genocide" (your Russian Orthodox brothers committed the Circassian Genocide but you don't see them recognizing that or paying compensation for it, do you?). No, Armenian propaganda is not "documented" and any archival evidence shows that the opposite is true. Turkiye has always been a credible country; it's "credibility" isn't linked to armenian propaganda. By that logic, US, France and Russia aren't "credible" countries because of genocides.

Ararat Araradian

7/3/2012 1:40:07 PM

The Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turks is an historical fact documented in worldwide State Archives well kept documents, it is undeniable, whatever Turkey does or says. The truth can not be ignored. Turkey is still following the denial policy eventhough it is a looser policy. Turkey will never become a credibile country unless it recognizes and condemn and apology for this crime committed against Humanity. So Turkey stop wasting time and energy uselessly.

The Lion

7/3/2012 12:18:22 PM

steve bruce, if there are 0 Turks, then 500 armenians is enough to worm their way into the favor of just one member of Parliament with nobody there to give them an alternative to the armenians' warped version of history. Still LOLing at you suggestion that Chavez is a good judge of character. Give your land back to the Native Americans by the way.

Steve Bruce

7/2/2012 1:09:17 AM

@the lion - You are right again 1100 Armenians in chile and 2500 in venuzuella are sizeable communities.

The Lion

7/1/2012 5:41:27 PM

steve bruce, you haven't answered also why a far more egregious genocide, the Circassian genocide, isn't recognized by any of those countries. Also, why are other far more egregious genocides, such as the ones against the Native Americans, Australian Aboriginals, against the Algerians, etc. not recognized? You could also consider genocides having happened to the Vietnamese (4 million) and the blacks who suffered under the European/American slave trade.

The Lion

7/1/2012 5:36:40 PM

Yes, steve bruce, there are sizable armenian communities there too (I don't know who you are trying to fool; this information is readily available and admitted by armenians on the internet). Are you actually trying to suggest that Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez (lol) and Argentina (lol, site of major political strife in South America) recognize armenian propaganda because they are good judges of character? Hilarious!

Steve Bruce

7/1/2012 11:38:35 AM

@The lion-all of these countries have an Armenian immigrant population or are their Orthodox terrorist buddies- Argentina,Chile,and Venuzuella are a few of thesr countries which has neither a large Armenian dispora nor are they orthodox. What are your reasons for their recognition?

turkic voice

7/1/2012 12:32:48 AM

So the ratio of genocide belivers are 1 in 9 countrys at best. that is a very week argument for genicide the truth is that there are 180 countrys in this world that do not accept the genocide clame and to add to this they had 100 years to decide. this is nothing but a chep joke for the simpiltons.

The Lion

6/30/2012 1:40:15 AM

Erik Johansson, no in those countries they become members of Parliament or leaders. See how the head of the Armenian propagandists in French Parliament had a father who murdered Algerians.
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