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Smooth Move
Erdogan’s Armenian Outreach

Make no mistake, Erdogan is a masterful and pragmatic politician. He may occasionally miscalculate, but he never plays a card without some calculation of a return.

Published on: May 2, 2014
Henri J. Barkey is a professor of international relations at Lehigh University.
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  • Jack Kalpakian

    I am afraid Prof. Barkey does not understand what took place. This condolence is 99 years late and bears no meaning for Armenians. It is simply a ruse to show progress where none exists, and it is time to confront apologists for Turkey, such as himself, with a difficult reality — Dink was murdered and he died in vain. There is no change in Turkey, trying to dress up the Erdogan speech as change is dishonest.

  • gabrielsyme

    Let’s make an analogy: Suppose post-WWII Germany refused to recognise the Shoah as a genocide, disputed the number of dead, claimed that Jewish suffering during WWII was largely due their traitorous activities, imprisoned journalists who contradicted the official denial as insulting “German-ness”, continued to encourage the flourishing of anti-semitism within Germany, and did not even have diplomatic relations with Israel. German security services monitored and severely restricted Jewish religious practices, and the government undertook a campaign of destroying Jewish architecture, graveyards and all other artifacts that witnessed to the pre-WWII presence of Jewish communities in much of Germany.

    A statement by a German head of government expressing condolences, while perhaps a step forward, would not be met by the general indulgence that Erdogan’s wholly inadequate mumblings by the intenational community. Nor would Germany be permitted to remain in such organisations as the OSCE and NATO.

    Turkey should not be indulged with a lax double standard. Russia is rightly condemned and punished for its actions in the Ukraine; Turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus has largely been ignored for decades. Germany (and other European nations) continue to be held to account for their actions during the Holocaust; Turkey has received a pass for its continued denial of the Armenian Genocide.

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