Problems in Turkey?

Related General Discussion News on Phys.org
phoenixy
CNN just announced on their homepage that Turkey is sending the US Ambassador back to the US and might continue bombing the kurd militias in northern Iraq. How much of a problem is Turkey becoming?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7035751.stm
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/11/news/turkey.php
Minor correction: they are recalling their ambassador from US and reward him some "vacation time".

Things definitely are going to get more interesting again. With the US military being worn out in Iraq, I think regional powers sensed weakness and is now prepared to make moves.

Personally I don't really understand what the big deal with the genocide vote is. It seems like Turkey is using it as a smoke screen to initiate independent action, ie. curbing the Iraqis Kurds.

Art
This from the article
"If they have a problem, they need to work together to resolve it and I am not sure that unilateral incursions are the way to go," said state department spokesman Sean McCormack
rather ironic..

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
How much of a problem is Turkey becoming?

Perhaps the question should be "How much of a problem is the Foreign Affairs Committee becoming?" What possible sane reason would the Committee have to take this destabilizing action now?

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
I heard this morning about a resolution (or bill?) in Congress condemning the Armenian Genocide, which is still an issue concerning Turkey. Past Congresses have buried such legislation in the past.

House Bill on Armenian Genocide Angers Turks
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15180113
NPR.org, October 11, 2007 · A House committee has voted to condemn the killing of more than 1 million Armenians in Turkey in World War I, explicitly calling the event "genocide." The Turkish government opposes the resolution — as does the Bush administration, which warns that relations with a key ally could be damaged.
Bush doesn't want to deal with it.
The Turkish government has deployed a force of Turkish lawmakers and American lobbyists on Capitol Hill to try to block the non-binding measure that labels those events genocide. But the House vote also underscored the quiet influence of the Armenian-American lobby.

The Bush administration tried every tool at its disposal to dissuade committee members from approving the resolution. President Bush spoke of the consequences of offending the Turkish government in remarks he made on the White House lawn.

"We all deeply regret the tragic suffering of the Armenian people that began in 1915," Bush said. "This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings, and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO, and in the global war on terror."
But then if not now - when?

russ_watters
Mentor
Personally I don't really understand what the big deal with the genocide vote is. It seems like Turkey is using it as a smoke screen to initiate independent action, ie. curbing the Iraqis Kurds.
On the flip side, I'm wondering what the point of the resolution is. The distrustful-of-democrats in me is considering that it may be an attempt to sabbotage relations with Turkey to disrupt the war effort.

Last edited:
On the flip side, I'm wondering what the point of the resolution is.
Germany is our ally, right?

What if their government systematically denied the Holocaust for the past 62 years and still practiced NAZI-like ways?

It's been 92 years for the Armenians.

Our time has come.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
On the flip side, I'm wondering what the point of the resolution is. The distrustful-of-democrats in me is considering that it may be an attempt to sabbotage relations with Turkey to disrupt the war effort.
It may be bad timing, but with successive Republican majorities in Congress and/or Republican administrations, it has been put off until now.

The modern world needs to come to terms with its past.

And we need to move on and stop with the violence already.

russ_watters
Mentor
Germany is our ally, right?

What if their government systematically denied the Holocaust for the past 62 years and still practiced NAZI-like ways?

It's been 92 years for the Armenians.

Our time has come.
I really don't know the history that well, but what does any of that have to do with the US Congress passing a resolution? Why are they doing it now? Why does it need to be done at all?

Last edited:
russ_watters
Mentor
It may be bad timing, but with successive Republican majorities in Congress and/or Republican administrations, it has been put off until now.
For 90 years? Doesn't make sense to me.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
For 90 years? Doesn't make sense to me.
It has been a matter of expedience and convenience, especially after WWII and development of the Cold War.

It has been a matter of expedience and convenience, especially after WWII and development of the Cold War.
That sums it up.

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
It has been a matter of expedience and convenience, especially after WWII and development of the Cold War.
Was that why Clinton convinced the Republican-controlled congress to abandon its attempt to recognize the Armenian genocide in October 2000?

In a letter to Hastert, Clinton said, "We have significant interests in this troubled region of the world: containing the threat posed by East and Central Asia; stabilizing the Balkans; and developing new sources of energy.
Just like Clinton.... its all about mideast oil!

"Consideration of the resolution at this sensitive time will negatively affect those interests and could undermine efforts to encourage improved relations between Armenia and Turkey."
I'm glad that all's well in that part of the world now and we can Moveon to recognize the Armenians suffering after 90 years, as if we haven't already in numerous forums and by various presidents.

President Wilson
Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 of February 9, 1916, resolved that the President of the United States be respectfully asked to designate a day on which the citizens of this country may give expression to their sympathy by contributing funds now being raised for the relief of the Armenians', who at the time were enduring starvation, disease, and untold suffering'.
President Wilson concurred and also encouraged the formation of the organization known as Near East Relief, chartered by an Act of Congress, which contributed some $116,000,000 from 1915 to 1930 to aid the Armenian Genocide survivors, including 132,000 orphans who became foster children of the American people. President Reagan President Reagan in proclamation number 4838, dated April 22, 1981, stated in part like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians, which followed it--and like too many other persecutions of too many other people--the lessons of the holocaust must never be forgotten'. President Clinton President Clinton, on August 13, 1992, stated [t]he Genocide of 1915, years of communist dictatorship, and the devastating earthquake of 1988 have caused great suffering in Armenia during this century'. President Bush President Bush, in 1988, speaking of the Armenian Genocide, stated we must consciously and conscientiously recognize the genocides of the past--the enormous tragedies that have darkened this century and that haunt us still. We must not only commemorate the courage of the victims and of their survivors, but we must also remind ourselves that civilization cannot be taken for granted. . . . We must all be vigilant against this most heinous crime against humanity'. President Bush, in 1988, stated further [t]he United States must acknowledge the attempted genocide of the Armenian people in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, based on the testimony of survivors, scholars, and indeed our own representatives at the time, if we are to insure that such horrors are not repeated'. Haven't we already done so? The tragedy of the Armenian Genocide has been acknowledged by countries and international bodies such as Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Council of Europe, Cyprus, the European Parliament, France, Great Britain, Greece, Lebanon, Russia, the United Nations, the United States, and Uruguay. The United States Holocaust Memorial Council, an independent Federal agency, unanimously resolved on April 30, 1981, that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum would include the Armenian Genocide in the Museum and has since done so. Was all this nonsense necessary.... now? I don't think so. BobG Science Advisor Homework Helper President Bush, in 1988, stated further `[t]he United States must acknowledge the attempted genocide of the Armenian people in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, based on the testimony of survivors, scholars, and indeed our own representatives at the time, if we are to insure that such horrors are not repeated'. Since 1988, you had Bosnia, Rwanda, Guatemala, Kosovo, Darfur, and Congo. Which brings up a problem in terminology. Civil wars turn extremely violent and often involved war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc, but the term 'genocide' has turned into a term meaning 'crimes committed by an enemy of ours'. The politics of naming: genocide, civil war, insurgency 'Genocide' has become as slippery a term as 'terrorist' has become. Genocide is a technically appropriate term to use when reffering to what happened to Armenians in Turkey, but Congress's bill implies a lot more than an acknowledgement of a past crime committed by a government that was deposed soon after the crime. In today's world, the acknowledgement is tossing Turkey in the group consisting of the 'Arabs' in Darfur, the Serbs in Bosnia and Kosovo, etc. Was all this nonsense necessary.... now? I don't think so. Does the United States of America formally recognize the Armenian genocide? Its a yes or no answer. Why would the Turkish goverment spend over$300,000 a year to prevent it if it already exist?

Is your "Turkishness" intact chemisttree? If you were over there they might lock you up or worse for telling the truth.

Makes me sad to think the Turks locked up Hrant Dink's son.

Turkey Lashes Back at Genocide Vote
http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20071012/wl_time/turkeylashesbackatgenocidevote [Broken]
One recent victim was high-profile Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was shot to death by a teenager with links to nationalist groups. His son, Arat Dink, and publisher Serkis Seropyan were sentenced on Friday to one year in jail for "insulting Turkishness" by referring to the Armenian genocide. They will appeal the verdict.

Last edited by a moderator:
chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Does the United States of America formally recognize the Armenian genocide?

Its a yes or no answer.
I would say 'yes'. What do you think?

BobG
Homework Helper
On the flip side, I'm wondering what the point of the resolution is. The distrustful-of-democrats in me is considering that it may be an attempt to sabbotage relations with Turkey to disrupt the war effort.
There's three sponsors for this bill. Three Democrats and two Republicans: George Radanovich, an extremely conservative Rep from Mariposa, California; Brad Sherman, a Democrat from Sherman Oaks, CA; Adam Schiff, a Democrat from Burbank, CA; Thad McCotter, a conservative-libertarian Republican from Michigan; and Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey. Radanovich and McCotter have been supporters of staying in Iraq, while the other three have been supporters of leaving.

I also wonder why they would choose this particular time to introduce a bill that will cause problems in Iraq, but it isn't a particularly partisan effort.

russ_watters
Mentor
Does the United States of America formally recognize the Armenian genocide?

Its a yes or no answer.

Should it? Why?

Art
Genocide is a technically appropriate term to use when reffering to what happened to Armenians in Turkey, but Congress's bill implies a lot more than an acknowledgement of a past crime committed by a government that was deposed soon after the crime. In today's world, the acknowledgement is tossing Turkey in the group consisting of the 'Arabs' in Darfur, the Serbs in Bosnia and Kosovo, etc.
I think the distinction is made between the Turkish gov't of today and that of the Ottomans but it is vital the Turks face up to their past. It is important for the Armenians to have what happened to them declared genocide for practical as well as emotional reasons. For a start it would allow them to seek financial reparations from Turkey as paid to jewish people by the Germans after the Nazi genocide. These payments are still being made today despite the Nazi gov't too being long gone amd rightly so, whereas in Turkey people today are being imprisoned for mentioning the attrocity. Could you imagine a Germany of today imprisoning jews for complaining about the holocaust? It would be unthinkable and yet that is what is happening in Turkey.

Personally I would like to see more of gov'ts doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do rather than ignore attrocities because of short term interests and I don't believe in the conspiracy theories floated in this thread re the motive for the vote. There has been a worldwide campaign for some years now for international recognition of this genocide with France being one of the countries to lend official support fairly recently - 2004.

Last edited by a moderator:
chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
I think the distinction is made between the Turkish gov't of today and that of the Ottomans but it is vital the Turks face up to their past. It is important for the Armenians to have what happened to them declared genocide for practical as well as emotional reasons. For a start it would allow them to seek financial reparations from Turkey as paid to jewish people by the Germans after the Nazi genocide. These payments are still being made today despite the Nazi gov't too being long gone amd rightly so, whereas in Turkey people today are being imprisoned for mentioning the attrocity. Could you imagine a Germany of today imprisoning jews for complaining about the holocaust? It would be unthinkable and yet that is what is happening in Turkey.
Art, don't forget that much of the world has already done just that, including the United Nations. How will the US's recognition suddenly allow the Armenians to feel good about themselves or heal emotionally and begin to seek reparations?

If this doesn't help the Armenians feel better, nothing will.....

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
64th Congress
1st Session

S. CON. RES. 12 [Senate Concurrent Resolution 12]

[Report No. 837.]

In the House of Representatives.

February 10, 1916.

Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

June 21, 1916

Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Concurrent Resolution

Whereas in countries now engaged in war there are several hundreds of thousands of Armenians in need of food, clothing, and shelter; and

Whereas great numbers of them have been required by conditions growing out of the state of war to leave their homes and their property, deprived of an opportunity to make provision for their most elementary wants, causing starvation, disease, and untold suffering; and

Whereas the people of the United States of America have learned with sorrow of this terrible plight of great numbers of human beings and have most generously responded to the cry for help whenever such an appeal has reached them: Therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That, in view of the misery, wretchedness, and hardships which these people are suffering, the President of the United States be respectfully asked to designate a day on which the citizens of this country may give expression to their sympathy by contributing to the funds now being raised for the relief of the Armenians in the belligerent countries.

Passed the Senate February 9, 1916.
Attest: James M. Baker, Secretary.

64th Congress
1st Session

House of Representatives

Report No. 837.

Relief of Armenians.

June 21, 1916. — Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Flood, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, submitted the following Report.

[To accompany S. Con. Res. 12.]

The Committee on Foreign Affairs, to which was referred the resolution S. Con. Res. 12, having had the same under consideration, reports the said resolution back without amendment and with the recommendation that the same be passed.

The committee deems it unnecessary to give reasons for its action, as the desperate condition and the urgent need of relief for the Armenians are so widely known. The purpose of the resolution is to give an impetus to the untiring efforts of the generous people of this country who have been responding to the call of humanity and to the relief of these suffering people. Our ambassador to Turkey has authorized the American Committee for Armenian Relief to publish a letter, from which the quotation following is taken:

I again want to urge upon your committee the great necessity of securing additional funds to enable us to render further assistance to the Armenian sufferers.

If you could only bring home to the public the large amount of good done by the expenditure of the funds already sent us and the number of people we were able to save from dire distress, I feel convinced that there would be a generous and prompt response.
This was resolved before there was a word for 'genocide'.

This was passed sometime after the word had meaning.

94th Congress
1st Session

H.J. Resolution 148 [House Joint Resolution 148]

In the Senate of the United States

April 9, 1975

Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

Joint Resolution

To designate April 24, 1975, as "National Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man".

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That April 24, 1975, is hereby designated as "National Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man", and the President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such day as a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide, especially those of Armenian ancestry who succumbed to the genocide perpetrated in 1915, and in whose memory this date is commemorated by all Armenians and their friends throughout the world.

Passed the House of Representatives April 8, 1975.
Attest: W. Pat Jennings, Clerk.

Read the key portions of H.J. Resolution 148 at the official web site of the U.S. Congress. Type "H.J. Res. 148" into the "Bill/Amendment No." box and click the "Search" button.
Isn't this deja vu all over again?

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member

Should it? Why?
How do you possibly get 'no' out of this?

Art
Art, don't forget that much of the world has already done just that, including the United Nations. How will the US's recognition suddenly allow the Armenians to feel good about themselves or heal emotionally and begin to seek reparations?

If this doesn't help the Armenians feel better, nothing will.....
The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was only adopted in 1948, thirty years after the Armenian Genocide. Since then countries like France, Argentina, Greece, and Russia, have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. However, as a matter of policy, the present-day Republic of Turkey adamantly denies that a genocide was committed against the Armenians during W.W.I. Turkey also dismisses the evidence about the atrocities as mere allegations and vehemently opposes official acknowledgement of the attrocity.

Because of the Turk's continued denial the Armenian Genocide is still an issue of international significance. The Armenians want international pressure on Turkey to own up to their past sins and pay reparations for material loss under the terms of the 1948 Convention to the descendants of those Armenians who suffered.

Last edited by a moderator:
Because of the Turk's continued denial the Armenian Genocide is still an issue of international significance.
Turkey wants in the European Union, they should at least own up to their past as the Germans have.

The current Kurdish leaders have acknowledge their forefathers role and have applogized, this goes a long way to being able to go into the future without all that extra baggage.

The near and mid-east has a sense of history which most Americans cannnot quite grasp. We are talking about an ancient culture in the case of the Armenians. History and the past are relavant to the present, they affect everything they do and how they act or react. The record must be set straight if old wounds are to heal. It's at least a step in the right direction, the truth is worthy in it's self.

russ_watters
Mentor
How do you possibly get 'no' out of this?
Didn't know about it. Why are we even having this conversation, then?

This is all very strange to me.