Austria, Germany, France and Russia join the Vatican in plot against Turkey
By calling the Armenian massacre during World War I genocide, the Vatican has joined the plot against Turkey, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu claimed. Austria, Russia, Germany, the U.S. and many others have followed suit and joined the Vatican in the plot against Turkey.
I would not wish to be in the place of Turkish diplomats last week, who tried to keep up with the recognition statements that came pouring in like rain. They must have spent sleepless nights fine-tuning the reactions to be given to each and every one of them.
Here is an analysis of what Turkey officially said and what you should read between the lines:
U.S. President Barack Obama avoided calling the Armenian killings genocide, instead using the phrase “Meds Yeghern,” which means “great calamity” in Armenian.
Official reaction: “We have noted [this stance] with regret. We refuse this understanding.”
Unofficial read: “Thank you for not joining the genocide chorus and providing us with a huge sense of relief. You should understand that we had to say something. Notice that compared to others, we have not used insulting rhetoric toward you.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the commemorations in Yerevan and used the word genocide.
Official reaction: “Taking into account the mass atrocities and exiles in the Caucasus, in Central Asia and in Eastern Europe which were committed by Russia for a century and the collective punishment methods such as Holodomor as well as inhumane practices which were used against Turkish and Muslim people in Russia’s own history, we consider that Russia is best-suited to know what exactly “genocide” and its legal dimension are.”
Unofficial reaction: “It is so frustrating that you remain so insensitive to our appeals to be more balanced, ignoring the intricate web of relations between us. You invaded Abkhazia and South Ossetia; did we say anything? You invaded Crimea; did we react? This proves one more time the unbalanced nature of our relationship that keeps our hands tied. All we can do at this stage is to say you have committed atrocities against Muslims. Never mind the fact that we did not recall the sufferings of the Caucasians while we were constructing sports facilities worth billions of dollars for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, which you had ethnically cleansed of Chechens in the mid 1800’s. We also took occasion of the fact that the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is away in Çanakkale; had he seen the text, he wouldn’t have allowed us to go even this far.”
German President Joachim Gauck called it genocide in remarks he made at a memorial service at the historic Berlin Cathedral.
Official reaction: “President Gauck does not have the right to attribute to the Turkish people a crime which they have not committed. It is astonishing that President Gauck has disregarded the opinions of the hundreds of thousands of Turkish-German citizens whom he also represents.”
Unofficial read: “Consider yourself lucky that, unlike Russia, we have refrained from talking about your past crimes. When you compare it with your large Turkish community, you don’t even have a sizeable Armenian community to please. So, it is pathetic that you disregard the presence of your Turkish community, which shows one more time that you don’t consider them first-class German citizens. Our word is not to Gauck but to other German politicians which will stand for elections: You better not follow in Gauck’s footsteps, otherwise the Turks in Germany will make you pay in the ballot box.”
French President François Hollande attended the ceremonies in Yerevan and used the “G word.”
Official reaction: “Turkey unequivocally rejects and condemns France’s unjust and partial attitude.”
Unofficial read: “Well, this issue has poisoned our relations for so long that it was not much of a surprise. After all, you are a country with one of the largest and most active Armenian communities; you criminalized denial of genocide. But you have been so kind to Erdoğan lately and of course at the end of the day there is a limit to the precious loneliness. In addition, we can’t rely on Russia solely in the nuclear issue; we still need you.”
The Austrian parliament adopted a resolution describing the Armenian massacres as genocide.
Official read: “We are calling our envoy back to Ankara.”
Unofficial read: “This is standard procedure for those who have recognized the Armenian killings as genocide for the first time. Now that we have used this standard procedure, you’ll see [and we’ll see] what will follow if you go further on this issue.”