Special for the Armenian Weekly
No other word seems to fit Erdogan’s masterful slight-of-hand performance on the crowded global stage of diplomatic illusionist routines. As seasoned entertainers of a genre bordering on the macabre, Erdogan and his trusted assistant, Davutoglu, with their latest performance—as an unsolicited “encore” right after their disastrous production of the Kessab tragedy—proved to be masters of timing, conjuring snow-white doves of peace out of their coal-black diplomatic top hats.
Like all illusionists, no matter how talented, the Erdogan-Davutoglu team must rely on the credulity of its audience. The target audience in this case—considering the multi-lingual versions of the script presented to the world (including Eastern and Western Armenian)—seems to be the international community whose perception of the Armenian Genocide, after 99 years, tends to be generally vague and subjective, depending largely on national/religious credos and geopolitical considerations, hence more susceptible to expert showmanship. This is not to say that all Armenians are immune to a cleverly staged legerdemain scam. Far from it; like all victims thirsty for justice, many do cling to any gesture of sympathy, in this case “condolences” tendered to the scattered progeny of the one-and-a-half million victims by the perpetrator himself, as an expression of “shared pain”…
Customarily, condolences are tendered after the demise of the subject in question. Perhaps the Erdogan-Davutoglu team needs to be reminded that the target of the planned and executed Armenian Genocide was the Armenian nation, not just one-and-a-half million slaughtered Ottoman-Armenian men, women, and children. The Pan-Turanian racist dreams of the Ittihad leadership could be realized only through the total annihilation of Armenia, as patrimony, people, culture, and history, clearing the road to an imaginary Pan-Turanian Turkish empire reaching the gates of China.
Since that goal was not reached, successive Turkish regimes dubbed surviving Armenia and Armenians as eternal enemies, targeted for final removal from the map and history books—at least in the Kemalist and post-Kemalist edited “history” books. Hence, the ongoing genocidal policies, in the form of forced assimilation of whatever was left still standing and breathing—monuments, people, names of geographic landmarks, even animals and plants—that remotely reminded the living of an Armenian presence in Asia Minor.
By tendering “condolences” and extending a white-gloved diplomatic hand of “friendship” covering the stains of the rivers of innocent blood spilled a century ago, the Erdogan-Davutoglu team, still in denial of the ongoing First Genocide of the 20th century, attempts to bury alive the Armenian Case, instead of putting an end to this macabre parody of denial, thereby washing its hands of a brutal past and discussion of reparations.
Right after Erdogan’s tiresome performance of diplomatic legerdemain, Davutoglu, addressing his remarks to the Republic of Armenia, stated that there can be no improvement whatsoever in Turkish-Armenian relations without a final settlement of the Nagorno-Karabagh issue… What he really meant was the Final Solution of the Armenian issue. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme! Need we say more?