Legerdemain

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?

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Tatul Sonentz-Papazian

Tatul Sonentz-Papazian is the former editor of the Armenian Review and director of the ARF and First Republic of Armenia Archives, based in Watertown, Mass. He has been a contributor to the Armenian Weekly for over 50 years. He currently directs the Publications Department of the Armenian Relief Society.
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7 Comments

  1. Ultimately, we have only ourselves. The Jews and Chinese depend on no one, neither can we. Hai Tahd is worthwhile, but we must look only to ourselves.

  2. Mr. Rajab Erdoghan,.
    If people, are honouring the victims of 1915 genocide in Turkey, then it’s undeniable, that there was a genocide. Even moderate, intelligent Turks are recognizing there was a genocide. Those, who deny are certainly very PRO AKP radical Islamic followers!

  3. There is an Armenian saying: “As much as you try to bring water to shape, it remains water”. Turks will never, ever, let go of their dream of a PanTuranic empire. Turkey has massacred our people, built a new Republic funded by the confiscated Armenian bank accounts/real estate/properties, forced us to change our last names by taking the “ian” out and not speak our language, converted so many of us to Islam, Turkified the names of so many Armenian monuments/churches in Eastern Armenia, has and continues to spend outrageous amount of money to sabotage any hope of Genocide recognition and justice abroad, has closed its borders with Armenia and….it wants us to return the one piece of Armenian land that we finally were able to free: “Nagorno Karapagh”. Erdogan can take his phoney balony Turkish delights “condolences” and s—- –.

  4. Genocide acknowledgment without accountability is hollow and meaningless – it is worse than denial.

    Be ware of a solution that is worse than the problem.

    No amount of apology or acknowledgment will ever be sincere or enough – it is Genocide acknowledgment with accountability that matters.

    –> So, how has the Armenian diaspora leadership respond, besides rejection and condemnation?

    –> How about stating the legal demands?

    Acknowledgment with Accountability for Land, Reparation and Restitution.

    Artsakh is land. So is Nakhichevan, Ararat, Ani, Kars, Artvin, Ardahan, etc..

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