The Cop-Out Argument


By Edmond Y. Azadian

Pontius Pilates have survived Jesus’ era and they are around still today to pass judgments on political and historical problems. They all gang up on Armenians who cannot offer neither oil nor strategic territory to be reckoned with. They only have justice on their side. A justice which is not worth much on the political market.

Turkey’s political jugglers are highly-skilled in floating colorful balloons to dupe the international community, that is, those parties looking for cop-outs as an easy way to avoid from making a stand.

In trying to subvert the Cyprus problem, the United Nations’ Anan plan was promoted and actually placed on a referendum to corner the Greek Cypriots whose sovereignty was violated by Turkish aggression and 38 percent of whose territory is still under occupation.

The Anan plan heavily favored the Turkish position and would have perpetuated the territorial and legislative division of Cyprus had it been adopted.

In a word, the Turks were to be rewarded for their aggression. When Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly voted against it, they were blamed for refusing a “peace plan.”

Today Turkey has another political balloon, intended to intimidate Armenia and to defeat all actions for Genocide recognition.

Biting the bullet the Armenian side went along with the Protocols, not to be cornered like the Greek Cypriots. The Protocols are going nowhere, but they are serving their intended purpose by providing umbrellas for all those “righteous” parties who wish to stand on the sidelines waiting for the outcome of the Armenian-Turkish so-called “reconciliation process,” when there is nothing of the kind.

The first leader who opted for that cop-out position was our President Obama, who announced, last April in Turkey that although he had not changed his position on the issue of Genocide; he wished to give the negotiations and reconciliation process between the two nations a chance.

Now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the driver’s seat of that bankrupt policy. Many legislators who voted against the Resolution 252 of the House Foreign Affairs Committee followed suit, without denying the facts of the Genocide. The argument that adopting a resolution on the Genocide will prejudice Armenian-Turkish “reconciliation process” — when there is no such process — is just a hollow gimmick.

Another similar cop-out argument is that we should not anger our “strategic ally Turkey,” not to hurt American-Turkish relations, because Turkey may shut down our military base in Incirlik, Turkey.

In the first place the existence of that base is a bonanza for the Turkish economy and secondly the US is not a Third World country to be intimidated by a “trusted” and angry ally.

Despite all these cop-outs and cautionary advice pressure on Turkey pays off. Turkey cannot go on defying world public opinion with impunity, although the Turkish foreign minister continues warning that Turkey cannot be intimidated to give in and back away from its position.

The proof of the pudding is in its eating. A case in point is the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who went to Turkey to drive home her position on Turkey’s future relationship with the European Union. She maintains, as some other European leaders do, that Turkey should not be accorded full EU membership but must have a “privileged partnership,” which Ankara refuses adamantly. But Turkey cannot intimidate, alienate or drop Germany, its major trading partner and a huge source of income from the 3-million-strong Turkish community in Germany (although a nuisance for the Europeans).

Also threats against France did not materialize when that country’s parliament adopted the Armenian Genocide resolution.

As countries, one after another, consider or adopt Genocide resolutions, such as Sweden, US Foreign Affairs Committee, Catalonia in Spain, Bulgaria, Serbia, Israel and Great Britain, Turkish leaders will sober up, especially when the international momentum of the avalanche gives more ammunition to domestic Turkish voices that Turkey has to come to terms with its history.

Recently, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was threatening to expel 100,000 migrant workers from Armenia. Today, not only has he retracted his threat, but he is also considering a very controversial educational issue. Indeed, Turkey had banned the children of migrant Armenians from attending any schools. Now the government is considering the lifting of that ban.

It is ironic that Erdogan himself is asking the German government to open more Turkish schools on German soil for Turkish migrants, yet he bans schooling for migrants in his own country.

On the other hand, he has invited Armenian community leaders to resolve some of the artificially-created outstanding issues. Deputy Prime Minister Arinc who was with the prime minister at the said meeting, has promised to return more confiscated community assets, in addition to eight pieces of real estate recently returned to the community.

Still another public relations good-will gesture is the announcement that the government will open up the Holy Cross Akhtamar Church for religious services, albeit once a year.

Certainly, the “60 Minutes” episode featuring the Ecumenical Greek Patriarch Bartholomew and the Armenian Genocide impacted on the Turkish leaders’ thinking.

The late Patriarch of Istanbul had a saying: “Turks are like wolves, when you run away, they attack you; when you attack them, they will run away.”

These words of wisdom have to be served to all the cop-out apologists. If Turkey will become a member of the civilized family of nations, it has to abide by its rules.

The truth should not scare Turks. It can only educate them — and also the cop-out philosophers.