Problematic April for Turkey

Problematic April for Turkey


Certainly, the Turkish Foreign Ministry is now looking forward to the end of the month, when the storm from the exaggeration of the "Armenian issue" by domestic and foreign public figures and international media will settle. In the meantime, with the approach of April 24, the landmark date for the Armenian people, sentiments about the recognition or non-recognition of the genocidal killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire a century ago are only igniting with force.


Fuel was added to the fire by the speech of Pope Francis, who described it as a "genocide" and thereby caused outrage in Ankara. The emotional attack by the already not loved in Europe (and certainly not loved by European journalists and NGOs) President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Pope Francis, in turn, attached a shade of religious conflict to this issue and led to further alienation of ordinary Europeans from Turks. And as a result, a reinforcement of resistance to the Turkish interpretation of historical events, as well as strengthening of sympathetic sentiments towards Armenians.


Another unpleasant prick for Turkish diplomacy was the adoption of a resolution by the European Parliament, in which it called on Turkey to "recognize the Armenian Genocide." It has been possible to hold such a resolution through the European Parliament, because ultimately no country took direct responsibility for its adoption, which means that the vote is hardly reflected in the bilateral relations between Turkey and any particular country of EU. In other words, the principle of reduction of personal responsibility for collective decisions was operating.


The reaction of the Turkish state, again, has been sustained in a traditional style: "This resolution of the European Parliament, we will let in one ear and release it from the other." The Turkish Foreign Ministry, in turn, reproached the European Parliament for "religious fanaticism", with which it further strengthened the religious aspect of this matter, unfavorable to Turkey in terms of publicity.


How skillfully the Armenian side can use the factor of religious solidarity for their own political purposes is already known in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Despite its pronounced ethno-territorial subtext, Armenian lobbyists in the West have worked diligently and are still working on giving it an interreligious shade. Against the background of strengthening Islamophobic sentiments in Europe in recent years, it is an obvious and profitable move for Armenia in the information confrontation with the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc.


Meanwhile, on the occasion of the anniversary, an attempt to pass a bill on recognition of the "Armenian Genocide" was made in the German Bundestag. And if in France, with its strong Armenian Diaspora, everything had been decided at the legislative level a long time ago, and there was even a serious attempt to introduce a bill on criminalization of the denial of the "Armenian Genocide", while in Germany the situation is somewhat different. Turkish Armenians, fleeing from war, were in no hurry to migrate to Germany, which was an ally of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Moreover, many Armenians accused the Germans that by their actions they actually contributed to the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey.


In any case, the Federal Republic of Germany has not yet developed a large and well-structured lobbying group that would closely work on the Diaspora bill, coveted by Armenia. As reported by German media, a resolution on the events of 1915 is currently being prepared in the Bundestag, however, the term "genocide" was later removed from its original project. According to Vestnik Kavkaza's sources in the German parliament, particularly vigorous activity of the Armenian diaspora in this matter was not observed, as well as attempts to put pressure on the deputies - such opportunities are simply not available for the Armenian Diaspora in Berlin.


The main danger for Ankara awaits not in the German parliament, where, thanks to the pragmatists in the ruling coalition, the right to make a decision on the interpretation of historical events still will be given to historians. But the former pastor, now President of Germany Joachim Gauck, is absolutely not a fan of Erdogan and Turkey. Which, incidentally, is mutual. Even during his visit to Turkey last year, Hauk publicly criticized the AKP government because of restrictions of freedom in this country, which Ankara considered interference in the internal affairs of the state. An enraged Erdogan once publicly commented on another of Hauk’s democratic sermons, saying that the German president has still not left the role of pastor. Now, however, "the pastor" is scheduled to visit an event called "The Armenian Genocide, Arameans and Pontic Greeks" on April 23, where he is going to make a speech. In Ankara, it will be hard to follow what Joachim Gauck will say. But it is already clear that the Turks will hear nothing pleasant for themselves from the German president.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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