Friday, September 28, 2007

Erdogan on PBS.

Last night, while channel surfing, I came across the Charlie Rose show on PBS. The alternative was to watch a re-run of "Reno 911" which I wanted but my better half did not want (if you have watched Reno 911, you know that it has a limited appeal to females).

The guest was Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. So Charlie Rose was asking mild questions and one of them was about Ahmedinejad's denial of Holocaust and Erdogan's opinion of it. Erdogan got somewhat upset and started avoiding the question. He probably thought that Charlie Rose was preparing a trap, especially when he asked a second time seeking an answer (which he didn't get that time either).

But, since the objective was not to stake Erdogan, no controversial questions were asked and you could see Erdogan's relief when the question, that should have followed the Holocaust question, was not asked.

In the end, when Mr. Rose thanked Erdogan for the interview, Erdogan asked to speak about one more issue. It was about our Genocide. The basic meaning of it was that the "so called Armenian Genocide" did not happen but they are ready to sit down with Armenians and discuss it even though it did not happen. Turkey has offered to open its archives to historians to study the issue even though it did not happen. And it is not a political issue because it did not happen.

Every second sentence of his was a statement of denial. He also stated that Turkey wants to resolve the issue and move on. Of course, the resolution to him means a denial. At one point he even mentioned the Armenian citizens living in Turkey (he did not openly threaten to expell them but it was somewhat implied). His trump card was the opening of the Akhtamar church! He tried to show tolerance, and if the interviewer had a different agenda, he could have asked a couple of tough questions.

But the overall impression was that Erdogan's main agenda for the interview were that last point about the Genocide together with the Kurdish state in Northern Iraq. I don't know how successful he is going to be in changing people's minds but it's obvious that we have made quite a progress in the recognition task. All the efforts now have to be directed towards the recognition by the Senate. Without tremendous pressure Turkey is never going to accept their past.

If they want to move on and be part of the civilized world, they have to confess their sins rather than deny them. But they don't get it.

1 comment:

faruk said...

Into the 'civilized' world? funny! As if your civilized world has accepted indian genocide, agent orange, Hiroshima, depleted uranium, Bosnian massacre, Hocali genocide...
wise up, this is all politics!