The Vatican vs. Turkey

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IpseDixit
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The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-04-14, 23:44

I don't know how much international echo this news has gotten but for those who don't know, Turkey is mad at the Vatican because Pope Francis dared say that the Armenian genocide was a... genocide.

I've never understood why Turkey keeps stubbornly denying that page of its history (and I don't even want to start a discussion about that here), but that aside, what kind of disquiets me is that the Turkish gov't has started framing this diplomatic crisis as if it were a Christianity vs. Islam thing. They've brought up all the suffering caused by the Church, some Sunni authority has immediately sided with the Turkish gov't and criticized the Pope for his words and they've implied that the Pope favors the Armenians only because of their religion.

I don't know if this thing is going to engender something really serious but in any case all this is very untimely and definitely doesn't help the already heated Western World-Islam relations cool down.

What do you think about that? And did you know about this news?

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby linguoboy » 2015-04-15, 0:21

IpseDixit wrote:What do you think about that? And did you know about this news?

It was widely reported here, probably because there are so many Catholics in the US that any flap involving the Pope is generally big news. We also have the second-biggest Armenian diaspora (after Russia).

I'm not particularly surprised that Turkey is making it about religion since they do have an Islamist government. I do have a little sympathy for their point of view. Yes, they've been intransigent about owning up to the atrocities and making amends, but so have many other countries (the USA not least among them) without facing the same kind of censure.
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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby Massimiliano B » 2015-04-22, 8:21

The European Parliament has approved a resolution "to recognize the Armenian genocide" a century ago by Ottoman Turkish forces:

http://www.dw.de/european-parliament-vo ... a-18386508



European Parliament urges Turkey to recognise Armenian genocide:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/world ... ocide.html



European Parliament votes to call 1915 Armenian killings genocide:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/ ... SH20150415

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby Levike » 2015-04-22, 11:03

IpseDixit wrote:What do you think about that? And did you know about this news?

It has been reported by the news.

On the other hand I don't understand why it's so important for the Turkish government to recognise it.

Like what is that going to change, whether they deny it or not.
It happened a long time ago, it's not like they need to put someone in jail for that.
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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-04-22, 17:43

IpseDixit wrote:they've implied that the Pope favors the Armenians only because of their religion.

I dunno about the pope, but I have no doubt that lots of people in countries with a Christian majority do (and also that they ignore the Greek and Assyrian genocides because those are not as well-known).
And did you know about this news?

No, although that's hardly surprising since I rarely know about any news!
Levike wrote:I don't understand why it's so important for the Turkish government to recognise it.

Gee, I dunno. Why is it so important for European governments to recognize the Holocaust?

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby Limagne » 2015-04-22, 18:42

Recognizing the genocide could possibly open the door to legal action against the Turkish state, I suppose.

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby Levike » 2015-04-22, 21:21

vijayjohn wrote:
Levike wrote:I don't understand why it's so important for the Turkish government to recognise it.

Gee, I dunno. Why is it so important for European governments to recognize the Holocaust?

Same thing.
Why would it be important for the governments of today to recognise atrocities that happened a very long time ago?
Today's generations have nothing to do with it.

And as Limagne said: if the Turkish government recognised it then others cold ask for compensations.
In that case they would be stupid to recognise anything.
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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby linguoboy » 2015-04-22, 21:26

From a review of Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide by Thomas de Waal which appeared in last week's Economist:
Mr de Waal reluctantly concludes that the killings do come under the United Nations Convention on Genocide. He believes the “G-word” (this last term was coined by a Turkish diplomat) has become “both legalistic and over-emotional”. It obstructs “the understanding of the historical rights and wrongs…as much as it illuminates them”. But according to Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor killed in 2007 by a young ultranationalist, Turkey’s main problem is not whether it should deny or acknowledge that what happened amounted to genocide, but what its people comprehend. That is true, but only up to a point. Turkey has recently begun making conciliatory gestures to the Armenians. That would never have happened had the world, and especially America’s Congress, not held the possible charge of “genocide” over it.
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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-04-22, 22:14

Levike wrote:Same thing.
Why would it be important for the governments of today to recognise atrocities that happened a very long time ago?

A very long time ago? 1945 is a very long time ago? Y'know Levike, sometimes you're really embarrassing.

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby Levike » 2015-04-22, 22:23

IpseDixit wrote:
Levike wrote:Same thing.
Why would it be important for the governments of today to recognise atrocities that happened a very long time ago?

A very long time ago? 1945 is a very long time ago?

It's a totally new generation now.

Why would anyone expect a "sorry" from me if I don't have anything to do with it.

In the same way why would anyone expect today's Turks to say "sorry" for something that happened 100 years ago.
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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby Патрислав Андреевич » 2015-04-22, 22:23

It might come as a surprise to you but there are still Auschwitz (or generally Holocaust) survivors alive. Just as there are still Nazi officers and veterans (or something) alive. There was a trial for one of the last of them not so long ago!

About Turkey recognising the genocide... It’s about not falsifying history. About truth and recognising it as such. Because truth and justice should always prevail... And while there might not be anyone to bring to justice, the truth can and must be told.

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-04-22, 22:27

Levike wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:
Levike wrote:Same thing.
Why would it be important for the governments of today to recognise atrocities that happened a very long time ago?

A very long time ago? 1945 is a very long time ago?

It's a totally new generation now.

Why would anyone expect a "sorry" from me if I don't have anything to do with it.

In the same way why would anyone expect today's Turks to say "sorry" for something that happened 100 years ago.

Because nations do not work like individuals.

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-04-23, 0:07

Things do have their consequences today even if they happened before we were born. Just as one example that should be relatively obvious, it's largely because of the Holocaust that Israel even exists. If there was no Israel, then there would be no Israeli-Palestinian conflict today.

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby linguoboy » 2015-04-23, 1:28

I thought this article had some interesting things to say about the importance of acknowledging past wrongs. Particular these remarks from Abdullah Demirbaş, mayor of Diyarbakır and an ethnic Kurd:
"The Kurds back then eagerly followed the order to expel and kill," he says. My grandfather was a part of it. He was a perpetrator. My mother told me about -- the stories were terrible. But also a historic reality. Then, when we Kurds were persecuted and killed ourselves and were declared outlaws, my mother said it was our punishment, that it was divine retribution for what we had done to the Armenians. It got me thinking."

Demirbas says the Turkish government has difficulty recognizing its multicultural past. The doctrine of the founding of the Turkish nation, after all, says it is one nation with one language. He says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refers frequently to that line, even more so now that he has failed to create a Sunni Islamist axis of power that might have stretched from Libya to Egypt and Syria, with Turkey in the leadership role. Demirbas says that's why Erdogan has now retreated into the kind of nationalism that denies what happened to the Armenians was genocide. But he says the anniversary will need to be commemorated somehow, be it with a ceremony or something else, and he's trying to come up with an idea. He says the unspoken knowledge of the guilt is always present and that it poisons society from within.

Like an infection? the journalist asks.

"Like demons," he says.
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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby Marah » 2015-04-23, 20:58

vijayjohn wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:they've implied that the Pope favors the Armenians only because of their religion.

I dunno about the pope, but I have no doubt that lots of people in countries with a Christian majority do (and also that they ignore the Greek and Assyrian genocides because those are not as well-known).

Why is the Amernian genocide so well-known while these other two aren't?
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-04-23, 22:14

Marah wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:they've implied that the Pope favors the Armenians only because of their religion.

I dunno about the pope, but I have no doubt that lots of people in countries with a Christian majority do (and also that they ignore the Greek and Assyrian genocides because those are not as well-known).

Why is the Amernian genocide so well-known while these other two aren't?

As far as I can tell, this is because the other two were neither as widely reported at the time nor as widely recognized today as the Armenian genocide. Assyrian historians say that the Assyrian genocide is not as widely recognized because fewer of the victims survived, and there are various reasons why the Greek genocide may not be as widely recognized.

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-04-25, 15:59

It's framed as a religious conflict because it is a religious conflict. If you look at it, the Kurds, the Circassians and the Chechens didn't suffer at all in the early 20th century, whereas all the Christian Ottomonas, such as the Assyrians, the Greeks and the Armenians were massacred. They were massacred because they were Christians.

What business this is of the Pope is, still, a bit dubious. The Holy See doesn't really see eye to eye with the Orthodox peoples and always tries to make them return to full communion with Rome. Sometimes with death-threats, sometimes with smiles, so I'm a bit skeptical whenever the Vatican starts sympathizing with us.

I don't understand what's the problem with Turkey. Don't they know that they can apologize without meaning it? They could say sorry and try to amends, put some vague references to it in school history books, make some half-hearted attempts to reconcile with the past and be humble and nice to Armenians for a decade or so. Then they can simply announce that they can't feel guilty for something that happened over a century ago and forget about the whole thing. That's how you get away with genocide, not by denying it, you silly Turks!

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby linguoboy » 2015-04-25, 16:23

The problem, according to al-Jazeerah, is ultimately their democratic deficit: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/24/for-turks-acknowledging-an-armenian-genocide-undermines-national-identity.html.
Most Turks’ denial was learned in school and reinforced by various media emphasizing the treachery of those Armenians who backed the invading Russians, foreign powers’ manipulation of Ottoman minorities, conspiracy, possible loss of territory to “Greater Armenia,” greed for reparations and the dozens of murdered Turkish diplomats killed by the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia. Many simply cannot accept that their forefathers may have committed such a crime — a position that becomes more unyielding the more that shaming Turkey becomes the goal and the more that the Turkish government plays this up. Less appreciated is the chance here for empathy. Hrant Dink, a Armenian-Turkish journalist assassinated in 2007, once said, “To the Armenians I say, Try to see some honor in the Turks’ position. They say, ‘No, there was no genocide, because genocide is a goddamned thing that my ancestors never could have done.’ And to the Turks I say, Dwell for a moment on what the Armenians are saying and ask yourself why they insist so much.”
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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-04-25, 19:30

How strange.

IMO They should thank their forefathers for removing the separatist threat from their country. If all those Christians were left to live in Turkey, the 20th century would be full of insurgency, rebellions and wars with foreign countries such as Greece, Russia/USSR and possibly even major Western nations intruding and trying to get a piece of the pie. Their forefathers made the greatest sacrifice they could. They sacrificed their morals, good conscience and the good memory that will remain after them for the safety of their children that will have to renounce them in the future.

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Re: The Vatican vs. Turkey

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-04-25, 20:09

What? :lol:


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