Parsing Davutoglu’s Recent Weasel Words

 Commentary, 21 April 2015

On the eve of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu made yet another of his mendacious and misleading boiler-plate speeches, supposedly addressing the Armenians. However, foxy professor's target audience were not the Armenians; the target was the global public and Turkey's friends. His hope? To show third parties that Turkey is tolerant, moral, generous… and full of kindness towards the 'unreasonable Armenians'. Here's Mr. Davutoglu's double-speak with a "translation"—Editor.

During the last years of the Ottoman Empire, a very large number of Ottoman citizens from different ethnic and religious backgrounds [HE REFUSES TO SAY 'ARMENIAN' SO AS TO DRAW ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE] endured great suffering [WHAT SUFFERING? LOSING THE LITTLE FINGER IS ALSO GREAT SUFFERING] leaving deep scars in their memories. They had all lived together for centuries in peace and harmony. [NON-TURKS WERE GAVOOR RAYAS. THEY LIVED UNDER THE TURKISH YOKE, IF NOT YATAGHAN FOR CENTURIES].

 Commentary, 21 April 2015

On the eve of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu made yet another of his mendacious and misleading boiler-plate speeches, supposedly addressing the Armenians. However, foxy professor's target audience were not the Armenians; the target was the global public and Turkey's friends. His hope? To show third parties that Turkey is tolerant, moral, generous… and full of kindness towards the 'unreasonable Armenians'. Here's Mr. Davutoglu's double-speak with a "translation"—Editor.

During the last years of the Ottoman Empire, a very large number of Ottoman citizens from different ethnic and religious backgrounds [HE REFUSES TO SAY 'ARMENIAN' SO AS TO DRAW ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE] endured great suffering [WHAT SUFFERING? LOSING THE LITTLE FINGER IS ALSO GREAT SUFFERING] leaving deep scars in their memories. They had all lived together for centuries in peace and harmony. [NON-TURKS WERE GAVOOR RAYAS. THEY LIVED UNDER THE TURKISH YOKE, IF NOT YATAGHAN FOR CENTURIES].

As descendants of nations with different ethnic and religious origins who endured these sufferings [PRAY TELL, WHO CAUSED THE SUFFERING? DAVUTOGLU ALSO SAYS "SUFFERINGS TO EMPHASIZE THAT TURKS ALSO DIED. HINT, HINT, NUDGE, NUDGE ABOUT WHO KILLED THE TURKS] amid the conditions of the First World War [HERE WE GO AGAIN: TURKS SUFFERED ALSO], we understand what the Armenians feel [THAT'S WHY YOU IGNORED OUR PLEAS FOR A CENTURY]. We remember with respect the innocent Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives [ALIENS MUST HAVE CAUSED IT] and offer our deep condolences to their descendants. [EMPTY CONDOLENCES PLUS 'TURKISH' COFFEE WILL NOT ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF JUSTICE ONE INCH].

It is both a historical and humane duty for Turkey to uphold the memory of Ottoman Armenians and the Armenian cultural heritage [BY DESTROYING THOUSANDS OF ARMENIAN CHURCHES, MONUMENTS, FORCIBLY ISLAMIZING ARMENIANS, CHANGING ARMENIAN PLACE NAMES, DENYING THE ARMENIAN IDENTITY OF SUCH GREATS AS SINAN, APPROPRIATING ARMENIAN CUISINE, ART AND SONGS, MISIDENTIFYING ARMENIAN RUINS AS BELONGING TO 'ANCIENT TRIBES'…?].

With this in mind, a religious ceremony will be held by the Armenian Patriarchate on 24 April this year and Ottoman Armenians will be remembered in Turkey, just as they will be across the world. [RELIGIOUS CEREMONY? WILL IT BRING BACK THE DEAD, HEAL THE WOUNDS OF THE SURVIVORS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS. WILL IT BRING BAKC THE PROPERTIES STOLEN BY TURKEY, THE LOSS OF OUR HOMELAND? BESIDES, WASN'T WORSHIPING GAVOOR MASSIH A MAJOR REASON ARMENIANS WERE CRUCIFIED BY THE TURKS?].

On this day, it would have been much more meaningful if Turkey and Armenia had been able to commemorate Ottoman Armenians together with a ceremony that befits both nations. This is what our President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stated in his message on 23rd of April 2014, when he was the Prime Minister. [CEREMONY? THAT'S IT? TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY? LET'S GO FORWARD AND NOT THINK OF OUR TRAGIC PAST].

We believe that when history is no longer exploited for political purposes [SINCE WHEN DEMANDING JUSTICE HAS BECOME A MERE POLITICAL ACT?] such a mature and morally sound outcome can be attained [ARMENIANS ARE IMMATURE, UNLIKE URBANE ERDOGAN].

Ancient Anatolian civilization teaches us to stand up for our history [AS TURKIC INVADERS FROM CENTRAL ASIA YOU HAVE NO RACIAL, CULTURAL LINK TO ANCIENT ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS. IN FACT, YOU RAZED THOSE CIVILIZATIONS] to remember both our joys and pains, to heal our wounds collectively and to look to the future together. [WORDS, WORDS, WORDS. IF THEY WERE HORSES, WE COULD MERRILY RIDE THEM INTO THE SUNSET].

As I declared in my message on 20 January 2015, on the anniversary of the passing away of Hrant Dink, "two ancient nations can demonstrate the wisdom to understand each other and to contemplate a future together". [RESPOND POSITIVELY TO OUR JUST DEMANDS THEN WE WILL CONTEMPLATE OUR FUTURE TOGETHER].

As a consequence of our historical responsibilities and humane mission, and without making any distinction among those who suffered, we respectfully remember today all those who lost their lives in those events that transpired a century ago. [REMEMBER? THEN WHAT? GO HOME AND WATCH TURKISH SOAP OPERAS?].

We also believe that, in order to ease the ongoing suffering, it is just as important to face the past with honesty, as it is to remember the deceased. [HONESTY? HOW ABOUT STARTING WITH THE FIRING OF TURKISH 'HISTORIANS' WHO CLAIM ARMENIANS COMMITTED GENOCIDE OF TURKS?]

It is possible to establish the causes of what happened in World War One and those who were responsible for it. [WHAT HAPPENED IN WWI? MR. DAVUTOGLU, CHECK THE ISTANBUL TRIBUNALS OF 1919].

However, laying all blame – through generalizations – on the Turkish nation by reducing everything to one word and to compound this with hate speech is both morally and legally problematic. [MORALLY AND LEGALLY PROBLEMATIC? FOR WHOM?]

The scars left by the exile and massacres that Turkish and Muslim Ottomans were subjected to a century ago are still vivid in our minds today. [LET"S HAVE SOME VIOLIN MUSIC AND PLEASE PASS THE KLEENEX].

To ignore this fact and discriminate between pains suffered is as questionable historically as it is mistaken morally. [BACK TO TURKISH PAIN. ARMENIANS MUST HAVE CAUSED THE LOSS OF THE BALKANS AND ARABIA. GOMIDAS VARTABED PERSUADED THE YOUNG TURKS TO ENTER THE WAR. ARMENIANS ALSO THEY GAVE CIRHOSSIS OF THE LIVER AND BRAIN SYPHILIS TO ATATURK].

Indeed, recent years have shown that nothing can be achieved by trying to impose conflicting narratives upon one another. [ARMENIANS ARE NOT IMPOSING ANYTHING BUT THE VERIFIABLE NARRATIVE]

In this context, the memories and convictions of all Ottoman citizens must be heard and respected. [YES, LET"S REA THEIR DIARIES AND LEARN HOW THEY TREATED THEIR ARMENIAN NEIGHBORS AS CATTLE].

To reach the truth, it is sufficient to attain a just memory, empathy, respectful language and a reasonable and objective way of looking at things. [WHOOSH AND WAFFLE].

In Turkey, every viewpoint is freely expressed and openly debated. Documents and knowledge of every kind can be investigated. By providing these means, Turkey is taking significant and positive steps towards the building of a common future. [THAT'S WHY THERE ARE MORE JOURNALISTS IN TURKISH JAILS THAN IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY].

As descendants of two ancient peoples who a hundred years ago shared the same destiny whether in joy or in sorrow, our common responsibility and calling today is to heal century old wounds and re-establish our human ties once again. [RESPOND POSITIVELY TO OUR JUST DEMANDS].

Turkey will not remain indifferent to this responsibility and will continue to do its utmost for friendship and peace. [NOW ISN'T JUST PEACHY? OPEN THAT BOTTLE OF RAKI, AND LET'S CELEBRATE JUST AS THE YOUNG TURKS AND NAIVE ARMENIANS CELEBRATED THE DOWNFALL OF ABDUL HAMID II].

As such, we are calling on all third parties to adopt an approach based on just memory and a common peaceful future, rather than aggravating age old wounds. [THIRD PARTIES LIKE AZERBAIJAN, PAKISTAN, SAUDI ARABIA?].

It is with these feelings and thoughts that we once more commemorate with deep respect the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during the relocation in 1915 and we share in the grief of their children and grandchildren.

[SOME PEOPLE LOSE THEIR PURSE AND THEIR PENS, BUT SCATTERBRAINED ARMENIANS LOSE THEIR LIFE. HOW? DID IT FALL OFF THEIR POCKETS? WHERE DID THEY FORGET THEM? WHILE STROLLING IN PERA?].

Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu's Statement

During the last years of the Ottoman Empire, a very large number of Ottoman citizens from different ethnic and religious backgrounds endured great suffering  leaving deep scars in their memories. They had all lived together for centuries in peace and harmony.

As descendants of nations with different ethnic and religious origins who endured these sufferings amid the conditions of the First World War, we understand what the Armenians feel. We remember with respect the innocent Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives and offer our deep condolences to their descendants.

It is both a historical and humane duty for Turkey to uphold the memory of Ottoman Armenians and the Armenian cultural heritage.

With this in mind, a religious ceremony will be held by the Armenian Patriarchate on 24 April this year and Ottoman Armenians will be remembered in Turkey, just as they will be across the world.

On this day, it would have been much more meaningful if Turkey and Armenia had been able to commemorate Ottoman Armenians together with a ceremony that befits both nations. This is what our President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stated in his message on 23rd of April 2014, when he was the Prime Minister.

We believe that when history is no longer exploited for political purposes such a mature and morally sound outcome can be attained.

Ancient Anatolian civilization teaches us to stand up for our history to remember both our joys and pains, to heal our wounds collectively and to look to the future together.

As I declared in my message on 20 January 2015, on the anniversary of the passing away of Hrant Dink, "two ancient nations can demonstrate the wisdom to understand each other and to contemplate a future together".

As a consequence of our historical responsibilities and humane mission, and without making any distinction among those who suffered, we respectfully remember today all those who lost their lives in those events that transpired a century ago.

We also believe that, in order to ease the ongoing suffering, it is just as important to face the past with honesty, as it is to remember the deceased.

It is possible to establish the causes of what happened in World War One and those who were responsible for it.

However, laying all blame – through generalizations – on the Turkish nation by reducing everything to one word and to compound this with hate speech is both morally and legally problematic.

The scars left by the exile and massacres that Turkish and Muslim Ottomans were subjected to a century ago are still vivid in our minds today.

To ignore this fact and discriminate between pains suffered is as questionable historically as it is mistaken morally.

Indeed, recent years have shown that nothing can be achieved by trying to impose conflicting narratives upon one another.

In this context, the memories and convictions of all Ottoman citizens must be heard and respected.

To reach the truth, it is sufficient to attain a just memory, empathy, respectful language and a reasonable and objective way of looking at things.

In Turkey, every viewpoint is freely expressed and openly debated. Documents and knowledge of every kind can be investigated. By providing these means, Turkey is taking significant and positive steps towards the building of a common future.

As descendants of two ancient peoples who a hundred years ago shared the same destiny whether in joy or in sorrow, our common responsibility and calling today is to heal century old wounds and re-establish our human ties once again.

Turkey will not remain indifferent to this responsibility and will continue to do its utmost for friendship and peace.

As such, we are calling on all third parties to adopt an approach based on just memory and a common peaceful future, rather than aggravating age old wounds.

It is with these feelings and thoughts that we once more commemorate with deep respect the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during the relocation in 1915 and we share in the grief of their children and grandchildren.

 

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