By George Gregoriou
The Turks are at it again. Denial, denial, denial! The genocide of 1,5 million Armenians in 1915 is “yok”. The Turkification of 37% of Cyprus and the ethnic cleansing are also “yok”. These atrocities never happened! Armenians and Turks were killing each other. That’s all. There was no genocide. The noted Turkish writer Pamuk, did he “lie” about the Armenian genocide and the 30,000 Kurds who died fighting for their rights? If he was guilty of insulting “Turkishness” why isn’t he in jail? The charges against Pamuk for “insulting Turkishness and the Ataturk legacy” were dropped, but others (less known) are being tried for the same crime. How can 70 million Turks feel “insulted” by the mere mention of the Armenian “genocide”? To paraphrase Shakespeare, they “protest too much”. One would think that the “genocide” is the insult. It would be less insulting to acknowledge it, apologize for a crime committed almost a century ago, and get over it. PBS officials, The NYTimes reports, acknowledge and accept that there was a genocide. So do Turkish villagers, recalling their ancestors’ stories:
“They caught Armenians and put them in a barn and burned them, “a man in a town in eastern Turkey tells an interviewer” (NYTimes, 2/25/06).”
The Greek Cypriots must be lying too! To Turkish nationalists, the invasion in 1974 was a “peace mission” to protect the Turkish Cypriots, though the Greek junta thugs were busy killing Greek Cypriot communists, socialists, and anti-junta democrats. If Turkey’s mission was to restore constitutional legitimacy, its proclaimed goal for the military invasion, where is the evidence? Were the 130,000 settlers from Turkey sent to restore constitutional legitimacy or change the demographics in Cyprus, and seize Greek Cypriot homes and land? The Turkification of towns, streets, even cemeteries (all given Turkish names) and the vandalizing of Greek churches and their conversion into mosques, was this done to protect Turkish Cypriots or ethnic cleansing?
It is a well-known secret among Greeks, Turks, and the rest of the world (except inside the Washington belt way) that the Greek junta was installed by Washington in 1967, was given the “green light” to overthrow Makarios in 1974, and the green light to Turkey to invade in order to partition the island. In Kissinger¹s words, Turkey was too important in the war against the Soviet Union. Great Britain (the guarantor power!) and the US, were these two powers just Œinnocent bystanders¹ in the war to cut Cyprus in half?
The partition of Cyprus was put on the table by Washington throughout the 1960s (the Acheson Plan 1964). It was rejected by Makarios. The elected officials in Athens could not implement the American plan, without the force of arms. The junta was installed in 1967 to do just that, to stop the democracy movement in Greece and get rid of the Cyprus problem. This plan was implemented in 1974, though the Anglo-American-Turkish de facto partition has not been legitimized by the Greek Cypriots nor the international community. The last attempt was the Kofi Annan Plan (a/k the Anglo-American Plan). It was voted down by the Greek Cypriots in a referendum in April 2004. Why? It was a “two-state” solution.
Evidently, the Armenian genocide and the occupation and ethnic cleansing in Cyprus, along with the violation of human rights for Turkish citizens and the on-going war on the Kurds, are sensitive issues to Turkish nationalists and to the Erdogan “soft” Islamic fundamentalist government in Ankara. These problems interfere with Turkey’s trajectory to be in the EU, and will not go away. Turkey cannot have its cake and eat it too, cannot be in the EU and barbaric. Washington is very angry, not about Turkey’s behavior, but a possible veto of Turkey’s membership. Turkey has to be in the EU, to be Washington¹s Trojan Horse.
This “sensitivity” over “Turkishness” is like a fuse, ready to explode. This time, “Turkishness” has been insulted by the PBS plan to show documentaries on the Armenian genocide in April (The NYTimes (2/25/06, B7 & 13). Turkish nationalists had their “hired guns” in public relations at the ready, to be on television to deny the claim of Armenian genocide, like having someone tell the world “the holocaust on the Jews did not happen!” The entire world knows this genocide happened, including progressive Turks, like Pamuk. This “sensitivity” is over “Turkishness”, not historical facts. Whatever it is, this “sensitivity” is the last line of defense, for Turkish honor and the Ataturk legacy, though Ataturk came to power after the Armenian genocide which was committed by the Young Turks in power during the last Ottoman Sultan’s regime. Washington has been “sensitized” to this Turkishness.
Very few people outside Turkey would understand, even notice this “sensitivity to Turkishness”. The sultan would be without clothes. Why so much attention? Behind this “sensitivity” lies the geopolitical game, used by Ankara to force its way into the EU, with the full backing by Washington. The NYTimes (2/25/06) reports:
“In the past, the Turkish government, an important ally of the United States in the region, has hired Washington lobbyists to help defeat attempts by Congress to pass resolutions condemning the killings as genocide. Representatives of the Turkish government have suggested, among other things, that labeling them as genocide would jeopardize support for American military bases there.”
So, the bottom line for Turkey¹s behavior is that Erdogan has the US shoulders to lean on, the military might of the superpower whose permanent policy is to control the oil in the Middle East and the Caspian Sea. Turkey is in the neighborhood, a staunch ally and a willing agent in implementing this policy, for the common good, the American-Turkish good. So, Turkey can do whatever it wants: lie about the Armenian genocide, lie about the war on the Kurds, and lie about the occupation and ethnic cleansing in Cyprus.
This policy of blackmail is directed at the Greek Cypriots right now. Turkey is occupying the northern part of Cyprus since 1974 and had only one policy: the partition of the island into two states and Turkish military presence on the island on a permanent basis. Washington is on the side of Turkey on Cyprus, though it is playing the pathetic role of an “honest broker”! Turkey is not only more important to the US than Greece, in geopolitical terms, as a Muslim country she has forced her own “sensitivity” onto the US throughout the Cold War and now on the “war on terrorism”. This blackmail is reflected in Washington¹s obsession, to punish the Greek Cypriots for rejecting the Kofi Annan Plan, referred to above. The White House is determined to end the self-imposed political and economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.
Investors, tourism, and direct flights to the occupied northern Cyprus are encouraged by the White House. There is more to this. In October 2005 Turkish Cypriot companies signed an agreement for $10 million with Bearing Point, Inc., one of the largest consulting company in the USA. Bearing will consult the Turkish Cypriots on ŒSupply Chain Solutions. Supply Chain Solutions are generally deployed by big corporations to streamline their supply chains. Such “Supply Chain Solutions” at the tune of $10 million are irrelevant for small enterprises. So, which Turkish Cypriot companies need such a Supply Chain Solution, and which can afford it? Does the US government have a hand in this? It is illegal for such activities in northern Cyprus. The Turkish occupation itself is illegal to the international community. Is Bearing doing this with encouragement and authorization by the US government?
Is it possible that Bearing Point, with its extensive knowledge of supply and chain solutions, has been asked to look into ways and means to help the Turkish Cypriots export and import products by bypassing the internationally recognized government of the Republic of Cyprus, thereby offering Bearing¹s shady deal a fig-leaf of “legality”? With its well-known pro-Turkish policy, is the White House trying to boost the status of the illegal Turkish Cypriot break-away state, with the objective to force the Greek Cypriots to capitulate to the de facto partition and ethnic cleansing imposed by Ankara since 1974?
Professor, Critical Theory and Geopolitics
Department of Political Science
The Wm Paterson University, NJ 07474