I was catching up on some reading when I ran a cross a news item from late march of this year. It seems one Mehmet Erdoğan, an AKP member of Turkey’s Parliament, claimed that if the 2015 coup had succeeded, Turkey would have been dismembered and four new countries created in its place: Armenia, Kurdistan, Constantinople/Bolis (as a city-state), and an Anatolian home for Turks. But, heck, he forgot Greece and Assyria! Maybe he plans on death-marching Turkey’s few remaining Assyrians southward toward their ancient capital, Kalhu/Nimrud.
Absurd, conspiracy-mongering, delusional, fantastic, farcical, funny, improbable, ludicrous, ridiculous, zany as this assertion may seem, I have no doubt it got some traction in Turkey. But the point I want to make requires a quick, single-question test: What do the product of Mehmet’s fevered imagination and the following few points have in common?
Anti-Armenian hate graffiti on Armenian institutions in Bolis (and elsewhere).
Building a toilet atop an Armenian cemetery in Van.
Claiming that the PKK is composed of many Armenians, not just Kurds.
Tearing down an Armenian-Turkish “friendship” monument in Gars/Kars.
Fearfully keeping the (illegal) “border” between the republics of Armenia and Turkey closed.
Supporting radical Islamists in taking over Armenian land, i.e. Kessab.
Maniacally denying the Armenian Genocide.
Using the word “Armenian” as an epithet.
Intervening with (local, not federal/national) legislatures, whenever Armenian issues are being considered, then publicizing these activities to Turks.
Have you figured it out yet?
These are all examples of great work Ankara is doing for the Armenian Cause.
See, what they’re doing is preparing Turks’ minds for the inevitable. By creating “frames,” as described and explained by George Lakoff in his very readable book, Don’t Think of an Elephant.
What was the first thing that came to mind when you read the previous sentence? An elephant, right? That’s the frame.
Every time Ankara says, “no genocide occurred,” it’s using the frame “genocide,” which is how people will view the whole matter. Same with occupied Western Armenia. The more Mehmet Erdoğan and others like him refer to an Armenian state on lands currently controlled by Ankara, the more “real” it becomes in people’s minds. Ditto for Kurdistan.
Let’s all express our gratitude to Turkey’s new “sultan” and his ilk, and encourage them to keep up the good work.