Today's Zaman, Turkey
Nov 29 2008


Western Hypocrisy on Armenian Issue

by Mehmet Kamis


The Armenian issue has always been used by the West as a problem that
is kept shelved and repeatedly brought to the agenda when the time is
right for Western interests.

The West treats this issue as a vehicle for cornering Turkey and
making it do whatever they want it to do.

After they obtain what they seek from Turkey, they shelve it again
only to put it to use once again when it is needed. They do whatever
is needed to prevent Turks and Armenians from becoming friendly
again. Indeed, Armenians started to concentrate on Turkey's forced
migration and make a blood feud out of it after they migrated to
Western countries, didn't they? Those who have created animosity and
hatred between Armenians and Turks, who had been living peacefully for
a thousand years, have used this issue for their own interests. This
is most successfully done by France. It uses the genocide claims like
the sword of Damocles against Turkey. Recently, the US, too, has
repeatedly used a bill on Armenian genocide as leverage while
bargaining with Turkey.

After President Abdullah Gul went to Yerevan to watch the match
between the national teams of Armenia and Turkey, Turkish-Armenians
relations entered a period of thawing, and the second stage of this
period started when Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian came
to Istanbul. While he came for another purpose, this visit has made
significant contributions to the improvement of relations between the
two countries. Speaking to Today's Zaman, Nalbandian even said they
were optimistic about the commission of historians proposed by Turkey
to investigate into the forced migration of Armenians. Now, it is said
that Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan is expected to visit Turkey in
response to Gul's visit. Most likely, Sarksyan will come to Turkey to
watch the match between Turkish and Armenian national teams in 2009.

In this process of rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia, a strange
statement was made by the Vatican. The timing of the statement was
considerably striking. Cardinal Walter Kasper, chairman of the Papal
Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, said that "the Armenian
genocide was true" when Nalbandian was visiting Turkey. Speaking to
the Vatican radio ahead of a visit by several Armenian clerics to Pope
Benedict XVI, Kasper said, "Genocide is not an allegation, but is a
reality." Moreover, he indicated that the pope had used the term
genocide as well. What Kasper was trying to say was obvious. He was
telling Armenians, "Do not forget 1915 and the hatred we
manufactured."

After 1915, we saw World War I and World War II. The Germans killed
millions of Frenchmen while millions of Germans were killed by the
French and the British. The various sides of World War II, in which
about 40 million people died, soon forgot what had happened and became
allies. On the other hand, our conflicts are growing in size each day
and wearing ourselves out. Whenever we tend to forget about our past
issues, some people pop out to remind us of them.

One thing is certain: it is never the Armenian side which benefits
from this hatred and animosity. Armenia is an Eastern Christian
nation. They must be aware of the fact that big Christian states have
been using them for 100 years. The countries that incited them against
the Ottoman Empire in the 1900s are not reaping what they have sown
against Turkey. But, Armenians gain nothing from this.

So many things happened in the early 1900s. Armenians killed many
civilian Turks seeing the recruitment of many male Turks into the army
as an opportunity. In a rare measure, the Ottoman Empire forced them
to migrate to other places. During this migration, many Armenians
died. Such incidents had happened many times since the creation of the
Earth. For example, hundreds of thousands of innocent people were
killed in Iraq during the last several years. If a record of such
events had been kept throughout history, no nation could remain
unashamed towards another nation, and there would be nothing but
hatred on earth. How many years can a nation live with feelings of
revenge? Moreover, can revenge amend things? It will do nothing but
produce new causes for revenge.