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Turkish leader defiant on Biden mention of Armenian genocide

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By ZEYNEP BILGINSOY

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President Wilson should’ve called this “genocide” more than a century ago.

“Never again“, it was said, sadly Crimes against humanity has happened again, and again. Fast forward now to 2021, thank you President Biden for calling it what it is. Genocide against the Armenian people. Yes, genocide and not ethnic cleansing.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It is no secret that Biden supports the Kurds. And has supported Kurds and Kurdistan independence for many years.

It will come as no surprise that Erdoğan now has a green light to commence fresh military operations against the Kurds, especially in Northern Iraq. This is likely to be large in scope and brutal in nature - much larger then the usual cross border incidents and air strikes - with an eye to nearly setting back the question of Kurdish homeland for a long time to come. Practically, he has little to lose and lots of domestic support for this brand of muscle flexing against "terrorists".

Anticipate a fresh humanitarian crisis.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

According to Turkey, Armenians were an enemy force during wartime, so killing them all was a "necessary war measure."

Armenians DID fight on the side of Russia in the Caucasus region. Turkey was allied with Germany.

Before the genocide, there were

About 2 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the time of the massacre.

In 1922, when the genocide was over, there were just 388,000 Armenians remaining.

So, what happened to the 1.6M Armenians?

Young Turks created a “Special Organization,” to carry out “the liquidation of the Christian elements.” ... Armenians are Christians.

They drowned people in rivers, threw them off cliffs, crucified them and burned them alive. Turkish countryside was littered with Armenian corpses.

Records show “Turkification” government squads also kidnapped children, converted them to Islam and gave them to Turkish families. They raped women and forced them to join Turkish “harems” or serve as slaves. Muslim families moved into the homes of deported Armenians and seized their property. There are records. Govt records.

BTW, a harem is most often female household workers - kitchen and cleaning ladies.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Truth hurts.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The AvengerToday  06:54 am JST

President Wilson should’ve called this “genocide” more than a century ago.

“Never again“, it was said, sadly Crimes against humanity has happened again, and again. Fast forward now to 2021, thank you President Biden for calling it what it is. Genocide against the Armenian people. Yes, genocide and not ethnic cleansing.

'Ethnic cleansing' is just a cutesy word for genocide. It's time for Turkey's government to face the facts and admit it. Just like everywhere it's occured.

2020hindsightsToday  09:28 am JST

Truth hurts.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a 'cupcake' and he needs to suck it up. Besides, if modern Turkey is really so seperate and 'different' from the extinct Ottoman Empire and the genocide occured in that era, then why is he complaining so much? Is Turkey truly removed from its Ottoman past and identity or not?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If Biden is to call out China over the Uighurs, he needed to clean this one up first.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I just dont understand why the arrogance Turkish government refused to admit the massacre of Armenians in 1915, actually it was the previous "Ottoman Empire"'s warcrimes, the present Turkish government has nothing to do with it and it was 100 years ago! Nobody in present Turkey should bears any guilts or responsibility for those atrocities! In World War 1 there was even dont have the concept of "War Crimes"! Just admit it and shows sympathy of then Ottoman Empire has done was unacceptable and thats all!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It will come as no surprise that Erdoğan now has a green light to commence fresh military operations against the Kurds, especially in Northern Iraq.

Says who? Where do you come up with this stuff, blanket statements absent any supporting facts.

What is interesting if you care to look is the intramural conflict between Iraqi Kurds, the Peshmerga, and the Kurdistan Workers Party based in Turkey. PKK sets up bases in the Kurdish areas of Northern Iraq from whcih they conduct raids against Turkish forces inside Turkey. These PKK positions draw air strikes and ground attacks by the Turks. Often it is Iraqi Kurds, Peshmerga, who suffer from these strikes, their homes and orchards destroyed and their people injured or killed. The Peshmerga want the PKK to stay out of their territory and there has been combat between the two groups over which group will control territory in northern Iraq.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

President Wilson should’ve called this “genocide” more than a century ago.

There was no concept of genocide then. That would not emerge until WWII.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Skeptical

It is no secret that Biden supports the Kurds. And has supported Kurds and Kurdistan independence for many years.

Seriously? When, where? I would like to see references for that claim.

It will come as no surprise that Erdoğan now has a green light to commence fresh military operations against the Kurds, especially in Northern Iraq.

Erdogan will always act against Kurdish independence movements, no change there. But there is no comparison to the Armenian genocide. The Kurds are a large part of the Turkish population and are Sunnis muslims, just like other Turks.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Fresh military operations against the Kurds:

Operation Claw-Lightning; https://www.thedefensepost.com/2021/04/26/turkey-new-raid-northern-iraq/ .

Biden supports the Kurds. And has supported Kurds and Kurdistan independence for many years:

What Biden can and cannot do for the Kurds; https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2020/12/3/what-biden-can-and-cannot-do-for-the-kurds .

Comparisons? Between historic large scale genocide against Armenia versus . . . well, whatever Turkey has against Kurds? Some have opinions on that: https://www.hawarnews.com/en/haber/recognizing-armenian-genocide-how-will-turkey-be-affected-and-what-about-its-other-crimes-h24329.html . And https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/world-must-act-free-kurdish-political-prisoner-cicek-kobane-turkish-jail . And https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/turkish-controlled-islamist-militias-ravaging-of-afrin-664612 . Also see https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/news/article/meps-urge-eu-to-impose-fresh-sanctions-on-turkey .

The floor is open for discussion.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nothing you post explains how Mr. Biden has somehow magically opened the door as you put it for Turkey to attack the Kurds. Not one thing. As I pointed out the PKK set up bases in norther Iraq, territory controlled by the Peshmerga, and use these bases to conduct raids into Turkey. The Turks will in turn attack these bases. This has been going on since Saddam Hussein was in power. In fact the presence of US Army forces in the same are did nothing to deter Turkish attacks during the George W Bush administration. US and Turkish forces nearly came to blows on occasion and US forces detained a dozen Turkish military who entered an area under nominal US control. Heck, I wrote a paper on the Kurdish conflict back in the 1970s when I was a student in high school so nothing is new here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Erdogan will always act against Kurdish independence movements, no change there. But there is no comparison to the Armenian genocide.

A nation does not have to engage in mass murder to engage in genocide. The barbarities the Chinese are committing against the Uyghurs meets the definition of genocide but there is no mass murder of Uyghurs, at least not yet. I would argue that the Turks have been engaged in a slow motion genocide of the Kurds since the 1970s.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Since Kurdistan is of topical interest to the ambitions of peace versus the waging of war in the region, and is parallel to the still disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, let us also not forget the other Kurdish contestants.

Five major distinct political-military groups dominate the military and political landscape for the same disputed acres within four already existing countries: the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Democratic Union Party (PYD) / People’s Protection Units / Kurdish Protection Units (YPG) and the Peshmergas. All are believed to have armed splinter groups working in Turkey, Iran, northern Iraq, and Syria, but these are relatively small; some have idological views that the above-mentioned major actors do not share. Don't forget, also, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I) and the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan.

These groups have, and have long held, distinct and often contrary political goals, and have contradictory alliances with other powers.

And the ruling Turkish government, and for that matter, POTUS, supports and/or wages war or encourages conflict against . . . Which one?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sceptical

The floor is open for discussion.

There is no comparison between the Armenian genocide and the actions Turkey takes against Kurdish separatists. To try to make such a comparison is an insult to the million victims of the genocide.

As for Biden being sympathetic to carve a new Kurdish state out of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, or Syria, as one of your articles suggests... if that is true, it would just demonstrate Bidens ignorance about the region. None of the governments in the region, much as they are antagonistic to each other, would accept that. That is one point on which Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria actually agree.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And the ruling Turkish government, and for that matter, POTUS, supports and/or wages war or encourages conflict against . . . Which one?

Not to mention, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and - last but certainly not least - Israel?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Desert Tortoise

I would argue that the Turks have been engaged in a slow motion genocide of the Kurds since the 1970s.

That is only if you water down the traditional definition of "genocide" to include all sorts oppressive measures, without actually decreasing the population. I know the UN is doing that (e.g. by labelling the actions of the Burmese military against the Jihadis like that), but by expanding the definition like that, you trivialize the victims of real, brutal massive extinction of entire populations, like the victims of the Nazi holocaust and the Ottoman Armenian genocide.

I find it kind of sad that people try to do that. If everything is a "genocide", nothing is.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There is no comparison between the Armenian genocide and the actions Turkey takes against Kurdish separatists.

Agreed. But this is not an either/or discussion. Turkey, as to its current international conduct, is worth international scrutiny. One of the above articles' cites the Turkish military campaign against the Kurds: "that resulted in the death and displacement of tens of thousands of civilians, placing the Dersim massacre and both the tragedy of Sheikh Said Beran and the Zilan Valley massacre on the list of Turkish crimes against the Kurds."

Again this is not an either/or discussion. Bad actor historically, bad actor (allegedly) today? How does that do it for you?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One other quote from the ANHA article:

Egyptian journalist on Kurdish and Turkish affairs Mohsen Awadalla spoke in the same context: "With regard to the recognition of what we can call the Kurdish genocide, it is not now because of Turkey's pivotal role in the region and the Middle East that the international forces still need, but when this role is over, Turkey's crimes in the Middle East will be opened, especially against Syrian Kurds, its support files for ISIS/ Daesh and what it has done against Kurds in Şengal and Afrin."

https://www.hawarnews.com/en/haber/recognizing-armenian-genocide-how-will-turkey-be-affected-and-what-about-its-other-crimes-h24329.html

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What is genocide?

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (“Genocide Convention” or “Convention”), Article II, defines genocide as:

“Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

In 1951, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in Reservations to the Genocide Convention, customary international law, said:

“The origins of the Convention show that it was the intention of the United Nations to condemn and punish genocide as ‘a crime under international law’ involving a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, a denial which shocks the conscience of mankind and results in great losses to humanity, and which is contrary to moral law and the spirit and aims of the United Nations [...]. The first consequence arising from this conception is that the principles underlying the Convention are principles which are recognized by civilized nations as binding on States, even without any conventional obligation. A second consequence is the universal character both of the condemnation of genocide and of the co-operation required ‘in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge’.” [FNs omitted]

https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Universal-Genocide-Q-A-FINAL-Advocacy-analysis-brief-2018-ENG.pdf

There you are.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 None of the governments in the region, much as they are antagonistic to each other, would accept that. That is one point on which Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria actually agree.

That is in fact true and was the point of my research paper all those years ago. The Kurds are the most populous ethnic group with no homeland and none of the nations in which they inhabit have any interest in granting the Kurds any territory of their own. All four nations oppress their Kurdish minority. At this point in history Iraqi Kurds probably have the most autonomy of any.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting, an independent Kurdistan is not a new concept. In fact it was contemplated as far back as President Wilson, when he called for a "new, broadly encompassing Kurdistan" following dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Missed opportunity in 1920, when the new Turkish Army occupied what was inked onto a map to become little Kurdistan; no one had the political or military will to challenge them post WWI. https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/11/why-the-kurds-still-dont-have-a-country.html . The body count then started in earnest. As the CFR said so distinctly: "Their [Kurds] century-old quest for independence is marked by marginalization and persecution." https://www.cfr.org/timeline/kurds-quest-independence.

Despised largely by the four area countries for wanting some of their turf? Different Kurd factions armed by some of the neighbors and others? Kurds convenient to have as allies for your own political ambitions only up to the time that they are not? Players on a chess board of larger global politics? Sounds like a ripe situation for continued war and crimes against humanity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Only one criteria for genocide has to be met for a genocide to take place:

During World War I, the Ottoman government under the Young Turks sent confidential instructions to its army commanders to evacuate Kurds from their home territory and for them to be exiled and distributed among the Turkish population so that Kurds would not exceed five percent of the total population. Kurdish tribal and religious leaders were to be exiled to different areas, and separated from their constituencies. They were not to make contact with their people and families and were forced to speak Turkish. In other words, they were to be Turkified. Throughout World War I about 700,000 Kurds were exiled, allegedly to deny the Russian forces shelter and food. On their way into exile many died from hunger, diseases and cold

On 3 March 1924, Mustafa Kemal issued a decree prohibiting the use of the Kurdish language, banning education in Kurdish, and making all Kurdish publications illegal. Kurdish writers were forced to write in Turkish; Kurdish families were forced to speak Turkish even inside their own homes; and many Kurds denied their identity just so they could live normal lives. On 4 May 1925, Turkish Prime Minister Ismet Inonu stated that nationalism was key to the social cohesion of Turkey, that only Turks had a say in the country, that all inhabitants of Turkey must be Turkified and those who could not be assimilated should be annihilated.

More recently Amnesty International reported in 1996 that from 1992 to 1996 the army razed at least 3,000 villages and displaced two million Kurds, who were forced to live in shantytowns in Kurdish and Turkish cities.

I could go on...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and several influential NGOs have collected multiple detailed and credible allegations of serious and systemic human rights violations against the Kurds in South-East Turkey, including cases of killing civilian noncombatants including women and children, disappearances, torture, destruction of housing and cultural heritage, incitement to hatred, prevention of access to emergency medical care, food, water and livelihoods, violence against women, and severe curtailment of the right to freedom of the press and freedom of opinion, expression, and political participation.

International monitors have reported to the OHCHR that the "protection of human rights in South-East Turkey has effectively been non-functioning since at least July 2015, as demonstrated by the reported lack of a single investigation into the alleged unlawful killing of hundreds to thousands of noncombatants between July 2015 and the end of August of 2016."

It would seem that international monitoring ceased after the July 2016 attempted coup. It also seems that the OHCHR is still looking for a dialogue with Turkey over return access to South-East Turkey for human rights monitoring.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

elephant200Apr. 27  02:59 pm JST

I just dont understand why the arrogance Turkish government refused to admit the massacre of Armenians in 1915, actually it was the previous "Ottoman Empire"'s warcrimes, the present Turkish government has nothing to do with it and it was 100 years ago! Nobody in present Turkey should bears any guilts or responsibility for those atrocities! In World War 1 there was even dont have the concept of "War Crimes"! Just admit it and shows sympathy of then Ottoman Empire has done was unacceptable and thats all!

Look at my previous post. Turkey today keeps vlaiming they arose from the ashes of or waged a war of independence from the dying Ottoman Empire. They say Big Boss Man Kemal Ataturk remade/remodeled it all into the Turkey of today. OK, the Ottoman Turk Empire is no more and the Republic of Turkey is here and now? So why is the whimpy crybaby Erdogan being such a ninny about it? During the Yugoslavia Wars the past oppression of the Ottoman Empire was an excuse for the Serbs to commit genocide aagainst Bosnian Muslims and they called them 'Turks' as well. But they were 'ethnically cleansing' Bosnians, not Ottoman Turks. And the modern Turks aren't Ottoman Turks either yet Erdogan is being such a snot about all this. Stupid!

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