Parisians debate Turkey

Parisians debate Turkey

The French are mired in a lot of problems. They are contemplating how they are going to overcome the pending crisis. President Nicolas Sarkozy’s speech at New Year’s did not suffice either, as everyone has their sights fixed on the euro. 

Nevertheless, if you happen to end up in Paris these days and chance upon a French person up to date with contemporary developments, and your Turkish identity is revealed, too, then the first question you will encounter is going to be on the “Sarkozy Law.” That is how it was dubbed. Everyone is aware the Armenians are being pandered to for the elections. 

I went to Paris on New Year’s for three days. Inevitably, we got together with French politicians and journalists with whom I have been acquainted for years. It was a cab driver who asked the most striking question when he learned we had arrived from Istanbul. 

 “Were you infuriated by Sarkozy’s law?” he asked.

When I told him it was an entirely needless and foolish law, he responded, “That is not his only idiocy” and broke into laughter. 

It was the “Sarkozy Law” that was being debated in humor shows on the radio, and some political debate programs on television. 

There was one particular session on TV5 that was also attended by Ali Kazancıgil, and which accurately captured the general mood in the air. “What purpose does it serve to anger the Turks?” asked one participant, while another asked “Shall we bow to the Turks?” Just as in every other discussion, there were those who argued forcefully that it would not be to their advantage to anger Turkey where the French have considerable investments, while others said Turkey was in no shape to harm France in any way. 

Kazancıgil graciously indicated that Turkey is no longer the old Turkey that it used to be, and that France had to take well-measured steps. Other participants did not quite look as if they understood much of it, however. 

Unfortunately, the most effective weapon used by the French in these debates against us goes like this: “What freedom of speech are you talking about? First, take a look at yourselves before criticizing us.” 

Truthfully, there is no way to answer that, and it springs up everywhere. 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s advice to Sarkozy to inquire of his father about Algeria has backfired here and did not register with people. Stressing that Sarkozy’s father had not even been to Algeria, the media is questioning where Prime Minister Erdoğan came up with these comments. 
What attracted my attention most in these debates is that Erdoğan and Sarkozy were lumped together in the same basket. Commentators note and compare them both as ambitious and populist politicians. 

On a final note, Turkish circles still continue clinging onto their hopes. They are guessing this bill will not make its way into the Senate and stop there. French observers I have spoken to disagree, however. They claim the voting will take place prior to the elections, as Sarkozy would be accused by his presidential rival François Hollande of lying and selling the Armenians off, if he were to fail in sending the bill to the Senate. 

They cannot give up on the genocide 

We feel cross with the Armenians. We demand that they give up on claims of genocide and establish a joint history commission to investigate whether a genocide really took place or not. And they refuse. Let alone conduct joint research, they even turn down the offer to shoot a joint documentary. The reason for this attitude is crystal clear: Such little time is left for genocide claims to gain international recognition that they do not want to initiate any steps that could jeopardize this trend. 

Would we have behaved any differently if we had been under the same circumstances? 

Not at all, as we would not have risked such a close opportunity. 

They are certain they are marching toward victory. In fact, they are even assessing the aftermath of an affirmative vote in the U.S. Congress on the issue. 

And what are we doing? 

Let us turn our gaze toward ourselves before we pick on the Armenians. 

Kurdish revolts in the Soviet archives

Mehmet Perinçek’s book, “Kurdish Revolts in Soviet State Sources,” has gone to print through the Kaynak Publishing House. Perinçek has prepared a highly comprehensive and significant piece of work.

The book relates some of the darkest hours of our recent history, such as the separatism of Barzani during the First World War, the Şeyh Sait Revolts and the Ağrı Revolt, through the Soviets’ eyes. We already knew the Soviets, who were quickly growing at the time in question, were in possession of thick archives regarding the Kurdish problem in which they took a special interest in relation to their policies of expansion.

Now, these sources have been rendered available to all through Perinçek’s book.