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December 08, 2005

Comments

DF

Well, could not the same be said of Recep Erdogan and the Armenian Holocaust? Is he also not every bit as crazy as Ahmedinejad?

And yet, Turkey is being feted in the capitals of the "great and the good" while Iran is being (correctly) treated as the basketcase state that it is. Strange, that.

Kris

DF,

Even before opening your comment, I knew what it would say. Why must you make everything about Turkey? It seems you are a bit Turkey obsessed - in which case I suggest you visit the country and work on letting your stereotypes come face to face with reality. Yes, Turkey has a problem admiting fairly obvious facts about its past. Just about everyone admits this.

No, Erdogan is not as crazy as Ahmedinejad, or even crazy for that matter. He seems to have Turkey's best interests in mind and has stood up to the ultra-nationalists among the military elite (your real enemy, if you insist on having one).

It is a shame that Turkey does not allow open discussion of its past however. You might want to check out Orhan Pamuk's short piece in The New Yorker about his absurd trial.

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/articles/051219ta_talk_pamuk

No doubt it will only embolden your hatred of everything Turkish, but at least you'll see that there are a few reasonable people in Turkish society who see Turkey's problem.

DF

You have the causation relationship inverted. Its because of the "different" beliefs of the Turkish people that the Ankara establishment carries out its crimes. In election after election the populace has sent politicians to office that effusively pledge to continue to carry out the usual set of policies. MGK is much a slave to the whims of the Turkish people - see March 2003 for an example of this.

It is also worth noting that every Turkish graduate student (except one) I've encountered held absolutely repugnant beliefs - there was no Armenian Genocide, we were justified to butcher Cyprus, Kurds are perfectly happy living as Turks, etc. This held true even for those who lived all of their lives in the West, away from Turkey's propaganda machine. Even the one girl who had a white father was really quite the same.

I also can't help but to think that your experience with open-minded Turks at METU wasn't just an anomaly caused by some heavy selection bias. Which group of people in Turkey would be willing to engage in political discourse with a lefty American? Would nationalists, pan-Turanians, or Islamists (85% of the population among them) be willing to do so?

To redirect this a little, imagine a Palestinian student studying in say, America or England. Which set of our society would have seek to engage in political dialogue with him? And would this group be in any way representive of larger US or UK society?

Back to Ahmadinejad: Your argument was that Ahmadinejad's denial of the Jewish Genocide should stand as prima facie evidence of his "insanity." Again, does not the fact that Erdogan believes the same for the Armenian Genocide imply the same for him? If not, then why are they different?

NB: I'm well aware of the Pamuk case for some time, thank you.

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