Türkiye'nin en iyi köşe yazarları en güzel köşe yazıları ile Hürriyet'te! Usta yazarlar ve gündemi değerlendiren köşe yazılarını takip edin.

Last turn in the genocide issue

Let’s not get upset with others or blame them. We are the ones responsible for this. We have ignored the Armenian genocide for 94 years. They have worked like bees, created a honeycomb and established an enormous beehive. And we only watched them. We buried our heads in the sand and wasted our time talking.

Then we noticed, we are in the final stage in the genocide struggle and face a loss. And what’s more is that Yerevan and the Armenian diaspora are not the ones to open the lock. For the first time we seem to have realized that Washington holds the key and is preparing to take serious steps. Whereas for many years, we have not taken this issue very seriously.

We would make speculations about whether or not the U.S. administration would pronounce the word "genocide" and wait for a word from the person who sits in the White House. We would behave nicely along the lines of the administration, make concessions in other issues if necessary, then forget about everything and until next near behave as if nothing has happened. Former U.S. presidents would say, "There has been genocide" in their presidential campaigns but after taking office they would realize the strategic importance of Turkey and never mention genocide in their April 24 announcements. They would be content with other synonyms. And Ankara would like it. It was easy for us. It was enough just to show the strategic importance card. This time everything has changed. Obama showed that he is the kind of president who keeps his words and sticks to whatever he said during his presidential campaign. If you carefully examine his statement you’ll notice that there are three important differences compared to former presidents.

He pointed at ’genocide’ without pronouncing it
The three former presidents never mentioned campaign slogans in their statements on April 24. Whereas Obama said, "I have several times stated my opinion about the 1915 events. I have not changed my mind about that period of time. I want the reality of that period to be accepted honestly and completely." He pronounced the same words in Ankara as well.When describing the Armenian deportation he characterized it as a "death walk." The other three presidents did not say that.Obama instead of using the word genocide again was the first to use the term Meds Yeghern (Great catastrophe) which is equivalent in meaning to genocide.

If we were to bring all of this together we notice that President Obama stopped just one step before the word genocide. If you like, you might interpret his speech as telling us, "You committed genocide" without mentioning the word genocide or any description thereof. If we are to content ourselves with word games then there is no problem. Then we might easily interpret it as Turkey bouncing off the goal post or us being one step away from the genocide declaration.

However, it is important the word "genocide" has not been mentioned. For, if the president had pronounced the word, the next day a genocide draft would have appeared before the U.S. Congress and passed in no time. The passing of the draft would have been a signal for the whole world and any country that has not yet taken action in the genocide issue would line up.

Acts passing parliaments in the world are as of yet not binding. But the perception of "Turks have exercised genocide on Armenians" in the international public opinion would pave the way for a deeper settlement of this belief and the compensation claims. The next step would be the parliaments trying to impose "sanctions on Turkey" through their governments. There are many reasons for President Obama to stop one step before this point of great danger but it is obvious and I’m not sure if you ever noticed that the "I apologize" campaign, which we are suing in court, was very effective in Obama’s decision. He himself states it.

The real process starts now
Those who follow my articles will remember that for years I have been saying "Let’s not bury our heads in the sand. The genocide allegations are approaching. The most effective way to postpone this is to pull Armenia on our side. We can obtain it through opening the border and relieve Yerevan this way." Nobody cared and finally we are confronted with the problem. If we again say, "We made it this year. Hope it works out next year as well" and if we don’t spend any effort, then be assured that on April 24, 2010 we will be branded with the word "genocide" in huge letters. We are only one step away. From now on we must do the most difficult task and take steps to realize the latest consensus.

And more over we need to do this without hurting the Azerbaijanis but pulling them on our side as well.

From now on the Turkish-Armenian road map will hang over our heads like the sword of Damocles. The judge will be Washington. If we were to revolt against the Obama administration or procrastinate in the Armenian issue someone will cut the sword lose. In order to prevent this disaster and our society from being branded with "genocide" the administration in Ankara needs to wake up and take action. Nobody should have the right to push Turkey into such a situation.
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