Erdogan Deserves Medal As Fake Friend of Palestinians

By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier, 10 June 2010

In the past week the world witnessed an amazing performance by a government leader that even the most accomplished Hollywood actor could not match!

Turkey’s Prime Minister deserves an Oscar for presenting himself as a great humanitarian and protector of Palestinians. The people of Gaza are certainly oppressed and deprived, but Erdogan is not their knight in shining armor! One cannot champion human rights with unclean hands! This is the height of hypocrisy!

By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier, 10 June 2010

In the past week the world witnessed an amazing performance by a government leader that even the most accomplished Hollywood actor could not match!

Turkey’s Prime Minister deserves an Oscar for presenting himself as a great humanitarian and protector of Palestinians. The people of Gaza are certainly oppressed and deprived, but Erdogan is not their knight in shining armor! One cannot champion human rights with unclean hands! This is the height of hypocrisy!

— How could Turkey blockade Armenia for 17 years and credibly call on Israel to lift its blockade of Gaza?

— How could Erdogan condemn Israeli attacks on Palestinians, when Turkish jets regularly bomb Northern Iraq (Kurdistan), killing and maiming innocent men, women and children?

— How could the Prime Minister of Turkey condemn Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians, when his own country deprives Alevis, Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Jews and Kurds of their most basic rights?

— How could Turkey oppose the occupation of Palestine and Karabagh (Artsakh), while occupying Northern Cyprus and Western Armenia?

— How could Turkish leaders accuse Israel and China of committing "genocide," when they deny the reality of Turkey’s own genocide of 1.5 million Armenians?

— How could Turkey claim to be champion of the Palestinian cause and leader of the Islamic world, while being Israel’s closest military ally in the Middle East for over a half century, and allowing Israeli jets to carry out practice bombing runs in Turkish airspace against Arab countries and Iran?

— How could Syria, Iraq and Iran trust Turkey, when it jeopardizes their national security by permitting Israeli listening posts along the border to collect intelligence on their countries.

— How could Erdogan be a guardian of human rights while journalists, attorneys, clergymen and human rights activists are persecuted and even assassinated in his own country?

— How could Turkish leaders claim that Israel is a "terrorist state," while continuing to maintain a military alliance and multi-billion dollar trade with the Jewish state? Turkey pretended to side with Arab states, all the while conspiring with Israel to damage their national security!

Israel and the United States share responsibility for Turkey’s hypocritical behavior — they joined in supporting, defending and covering up numerous Turkish violations of human rights, denial of the Armenian Genocide, and suppression and ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish minority. In the past 60 years, the United States and other NATO members gave billions of dollars in foreign aid and military assistance to Turkey, vainly expecting to win its loyalty. This was a massive waste of U.S. resources, as Turkey did not even allow American troops to go across its border at the start of the Iraq war!

Turkey cleverly exploited Israel’s ill-advised attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, and sought to fill the vacuum created by the irresponsible inaction of Arab states. Erdogan is just as guilty as Israel’s leaders for causing the killing and wounding of the aid activists. He tacitly encouraged them to set sail to Gaza, knowing full well that there would be a bloody confrontation which would boost his own standing at home and abroad. Turkey’s junior brother, Azerbaijan, also gets a medal for hypocrisy as it issued a timid condemnation of Israel, so it could continue to buy arms and sell oil to that country. So much for Turkish-Azeri solidarity!

Of course, over the years, the Israeli government has acted just as hypocritically as Turkey’s leaders. While countering any and all manifestations of Holocaust revisionism, Israeli officials have shown no reluctance in supporting Turkey’s denials of the Armenian Genocide. But now that Erdogan has raised his voice against Israel to a fever pitch, Israelis have jumped at the opportunity of using the possibility of recognizing the Armenian Genocide as a weapon against Turkey. Armenians must reject such dishonesty. The Israeli government was not sincere when it denied the Armenian Genocide, and it is not sincere now in supporting its recognition! It is shameful to play cheap political games with an issue as horrendous and devastating as genocide. Israel and others should recognize the Armenian Genocide for only one reason: It is the absolute truth!

So far, Turkey has been all talk and no action on the Palestinian issue. Erdogan has not gone beyond giving fiery speeches against Israel. If he is honest about defending the Palestinians, he might consider:

1. Canceling all military contacts and contracts with Israel;
2. Abrogating all public and secret military and strategic agreements with Israel, including intelligence-sharing; and
3. Closing down the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv and Israel’s Embassy in Ankara.

In the aftermath of last week’s bloody confrontation, a major domestic controversy erupted in Turkey, when Erdogan accused Israel of breaking one of the Ten Commandments. After saying "You Shall not Kill" in Turkish, he repeated it in English and Hebrew, to make sure that Jews “could understand” his words! In response, Kemal Kılıcdaroglu, leader of CHP opposition Party, told the Turkish public that Erdogan himself had broken two other Commandments: “You Shall not Steal” and “You Shall not Lie!”

4 comments
  1. Critical analysis of the the present Middle Eastern politics

    Mr. Sassounian’s critial analysis deserves serious attention and a tentative resolution to the human tragedy and suffering in Gaza. Every day, the chess game between two competitors and the so called allies, in the geopolitical arena of the Middle East demonstrates how deep is the mastery knowledge of this game by each player. Machiavelli is still in the kindergarden.This game started in Davos; we do not know if it was planned earlier. One candidate was given 20 minutes by the moderator while the other, 4 minutes. Who will win and whether the players will remain in their positions, we do not know. But, one thing is clear: one of the players will be knocked out. And all this imbroglio is labeled a solution for peace? Whose peace? Blockades do not generate peace. Napoleaon also blockaded Britain. He ended in St. Helena.
  2. Mr. Harut Sassounian’s views

    Mr. Harut Sassounian views about Turkey seem to be biased. He seems to be living in early 1900s. What I’ve seen in Turkey in 2010 is totally a different picture.

    On the other hand I kind of agree with Mr.Harut Sassounian’s analysis about Mr. Erdogan.

    1. Mr. Kirtis’ two bits

      Mr. Kirtis  seems to be a demagogue. Why does he not substantiate his " findings" of this DIFFERENT 2010 Turkey?

      He claims that Mr. Sassounian is biased…well….my friend…why not show how ihe is biased point by point instead of a blanket coverage? Why Mr. Kirtis  does not refute Erdogan’s shortcomings as explained?

  3. Sassoonian column

    Erdogan reminds me of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser: all fiery talk and then poof. He will soon crash and burn because of the excesses of his language and his theatrics. If he doesn’t self-imolate, the generals behind the curtains will push him off stage.

    Here are some reasons why Erdogan is blowing in the wind:

    1. The elite, the middle classes, the military, the educated of Turkey don’t want a back to the future destiny for Turkey. They don’t want a tilt to the East.
    2. Moslem leaders, and certainly Arab leaders, are not prepared to hand over the reins to Erdogan or to anyone else. No one is looking for a Sallah el-Din Ayouby, except the desperate and powerless masses–the same people who assumed Nasser had divine powers.
    3. The West, particularly the US, would soon halt Erdogan’s mad ambitions.
    4. Poll show that Erdogan’s party has lost some ground and is equal in popularity to that of the opposition. It wouldn’t take too many other Erdogan blunders before the majority in Turkey conclude that the country is being led by a self-inflated demagogue.

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