Saturday, July 11, 2009

Turkey is a young Republic, but Erdogan, that's not a reason to act childish

Turkish PM Erdogan first called the Israeli – Hamas war of early this year ‘a genocide war’ committed by the Israelis and now he’s indirect accusing the Chinese of committing genocide against the Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority. The Chinese call it ‘terroristic activities’. Genocide versus Terrorism?!

I opened this morning several newspapers (Dutch, French, German etc.) and all run articles with headlines such as ‘Erdogan calls the ethnic unrest in Xinjiang genocide’ or ‘Erdogan brands Xinjiang killings as 'genocide'. Literally he said: "The event taking place in China is a kind of genocide,” and “we have difficulty understanding how China's leadership... can remain a spectator in the face of these events." In my opinion he banalized the word genocide again. And he used it on an inappropriate way and with the wrong timing; The European Parliament resolution on Srebrenica from January this year, condemning the crimes committed in Srebrenica in 1995, and proclaimed today, July 11, a day of remembrance for the victims of Srebrenica.

Of course this is political fuss coming out of Turkey which seems more to do with internal Turkish politics than genuine care of Uighurs, these views seem more towards a push of pan-Turkism with the republic of Turkey as the head (which in reality is only going to appeal to a small number of nationalists and negative effect of other Turkic countries that would be weary of be swelled under the sphere of Turkey or a return to an Ottoman Empire type of situation).
Also, Erdogan said that Turkey, one of the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, would ask this UN body to discuss ways of ending the violence. The call was immediately rejected by China, one of five permanent members of the council who can veto its actions. "This is completely China's internal affair," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said yesterday in Beijing.
The challenge is now how to understand Turkey, who always cites "internal affairs" to deflect international criticism of its handling of a 25-year Kurdish insurgency in the southeast: 1.000.000+ replaced Kurds and 40.000+ dead. And more difficult to understand is Turkey's lack of interest in what's going on in Iran: the protests, the brutal killings, the death penalty for political opponents etc.

And what about the situation in Turkey where it’s a criminal act as you say that the Armenian claims of genocide committed by the Turks is true? I miss as usual all the logic in the Turkish PM way of thinking. Or was he for too long a subject of military style education?


AkiVee said...

Well, Hans, Erdogan has been in power for a short time and before him the other leaders repeated the same slogans - worst ones being the secular kemalists who are the worst kind of creators of conspiracies and supporters of pan-Turkism. Anyway, as he is the PM, to please the secularists and the army, he has to repeat the typical slogans where the grounding idea is: "everything that ever happened or happens on Turkish soil is Turkey's internal business". Ironic of course that he doesn't see the other countries having rights to do so:)

But one correction: those 40 000 dead during the Kurdish unrest are not Kurds only. The number incldes pretty many thousands of Turks too. You should know it. Besides, when PKK is announced as a terroristic group by all international organisations, for good reasons, the Kurdish question cannot be approached by using a logic like "ethnic cleansing". That has never been the point in a country where many front level politicians, ex-presidents and army commanders have a Kurdish background themselves. Let's also keep in mind that over 60% of Kurds today livein big cities like Istanbul and Ankara. Have you seen fights in the big cities between Turks and Kurds?

This is not to say that Turkey couldn't have better approached the Kurdish question, this is just to say that the Kurdish issue is not a black and white one. Both sides (mainly PKK and Turkish army) have committed very cruel acts targeting innocent civilians.

Internation Musing said...

Yes, they all say the same thing with the exeption that Erdogan ONLY cries out loud when Muslims are involved, let it be China or Gaza. But he applauded what the Sudan regime is doing while saying: this is not genocide. FYI: the oil rich south is populated by Christians.
regarding the Kurds, could have said it more diplomatic but I wanted to emphazize again his double standards: dont mess with our internal affairs while he doing the same in China and with lack of interest what happens in Iran makes it only more hypocritical.
Sudan is not genocide, the Armenian claim is not genocide but 148 death in Xinjiang because they are Turkic is genocide...))!

Ardent said...

Hans, I think Erdogan makes statements that he thinks the Turkish public will appreciate, as vote procurement; rather than true concern.

I did not follow what he said about Sudan, but I doubt that someone could applaud such a situation.