Turkey and the principle of reciprocity

Turkey and the principle of reciprocity

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Dr. Muammar Faisal Khouli *
The observer of the relationship between Turkey and France for decades and even today knows perfectly well that the Turkish-French relations were not good at any time. This relationship has been put to the test more than once. Now the French president is putting it back on the line when he considered the twenty-fourth of April of each year, a national day in France, to commemorate the Armenian genocide during the First World War, and this issue is very sensitive to Turkey, it is a permanent dispute between it and the States members of the European Union. With this announcement, French president Emmanuel Macaron has fulfilled his electoral pledge in 2017 when he told the Council for the Coordination of Armenian Organizations in France at annual banquet dinner that his country was one of the first countries to condemn “the persecution of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.”
Earlier, France officially recognized the Armenian genocide in 2001. On its part, the Turkish government condemned the remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macaron and stressed that it was a “political lie that contradicted historical facts. Spokesman of the Turkish presidency, Kalman , said : we strongly condemn the announcement by the French president on April 24 to commemorate the so-called Armenian genocide and added ” “The Armenian genocide is a political lie that runs counter to historical facts, and Turkey does not care about it ” , he pointed out : “We reject McCron’s use of historical events as a political tool to escape the political problems he is experiencing in his country.”

Historically, the Armenian genocide dates back to the first world war and specially in 1915 when the Armenians revolted against the Ottoman Empire, a revolution that has not been empty from foreign intervention to weaken it , Ottoman Empire fiercely opposed it to preserve its internal cohesion , Armenian sources and many international sources agree that one million and one and a half million of Armenians had been killed during those years and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of them. For many years, Armenians abroad and the state of Armenia behind them commemorate this anniversary on April 24, the anniversary of the arrest of thousands of Armenian leaders and dignitaries in 1915 before their execution, a symbol of what they see as genocide or ethnic cleansing of the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.

The official Turkish novel is to consider what happened as “unfortunate events” in the form of civil war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of “all peoples” of the region, Turks, Kurds, Armenians and Arabs, and calls for the study of historical events by scientists and historians away from political recruitment agendas. In this context, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the need to address the file and deals it away from conflicts and political interests, and solve the issue through the perspective of “fair memory”, which means abandoning the one-sided view of history, and that each side understands what the other lived.

Of the twenty-first century paradoxes are double standards and to address many issues and analyze and consider them in a manner a way from, logic, objectivity and scientific methodology. The active powers in the international system deny what they wish and allow what serves their interests, and define standards according to their moods and temperament. And at times, such behavior is characterized by contradictions and paradoxes. It is astonishing in this humanitarian declaration that the State issued it , its modern and contemporary history did not empty from humane crimes against its citizens and the right of the people who were subjected to its colonization. We would like to ask, from the principle of reciprocity, whether Turkey will present one of France’s historical and contemporary crimes as a national day of the Turkish state. And we wonder here: What is one of France’s historical and contemporary crimes that Turkey would prefer to take as a national day? Including but not limited to :

The San Bartolo massacre of the 16th century, when hundreds of thousands of French Huguenots were massacred by their Catholic compatriots, instigated by cardinals and nobles! Or will it take from the Guillotine of the French Revolution in the field of Concorde where the heads of kings, princes, politicians and thinkers were rotated and cut every day from morning to midnight. Or will it take from the execution of “Olympe de Gouge” after the French Revolution of 1789, who shouted before the execution, “O children of the homeland ,will you take revenge for me come back to me ” 226 years ago. The revolutionists sentenced her to death because she was, in some ways, more revolutionary than they were. Olympus, a cursed woman whose origin is questionable, a rebel who dared to publish articles and demanded the right of women to vote. She criticized the ecclesiastical marriage and called for marriage under an official contract that preserves rights in inheritance and at divorce. But the great mistake of that woman is not her feminist discourse but her call for the “rationalization” of the revolutionary tide. She objected to the bloodshed and to the execution of King Louis XVI and wished that the leaders of the revolution had something of compassion.

Or to take from the 8th of may in each year as the national day of the Turkish state in commemoration of the massacres of France in Algeria when the French occupation forces on May 8, 1945, killed the Algerian demonstrators. The number of those killed on that day, 45,000 Algerians in the city of Setif, Guelma and Lattra. The reason was that the demonstrators went out to demand the independence of Algeria after the end of the Second World War, as promised by France in exchange for their participation in the ranks of the French army. France has not yet recognized its crimes in Algeria and killed one and a half million Algerians out of 10 million. Moreover, France is trying to glorify its colonial past and recite what it claims to have achieved including civilization, progress and development to its colonies. The irony here is that French colonialism by the French is an act of civilization that should glorify the massacres of Algeria. It became a advantages, while the massacres of the Armenians must be recognized by Turkey and those who question them or lie in their numbers must be punished.

If the French President Emmanuel Macaron feels the pain and grief of the repressive actions that took place on Armenians during World War I , why he did not feel pain for the contemporary crimes that took place against other peoples, and define a day in the memory of France, and these heinous crimes include the crimes of the “Israeli” occupation against the Palestinian people, if he looks at the history of this occupation, inevitably will find the crimes deserve to be immortalized in the memory of France, and if “Israelis” crimes have not been accepted by him , there are crimes of the United States against the Iraqi people, starting with the siege and through aggression on it , and the occupation of it on 9 April 2003 and the subsequent horrific crimes that accompanied the occupation in Abu Ghraib prison . If these two crimes are not met by him, there is a crime that we have been following on air for more than four years. This is the crime of human cleansing carried out by . Russia against the Syrian people.

There is no doubt that these crimes are not of much importance to Macron in any case, because they do not serve his interests, nor can he stand up to the perpetrators of these crimes as a political review, and even the announcement of the Armenian national day in France in its apparent form which is of human dimension , while Its content is political by excellence , it seeks to win the support of the Armenian lobby in France and reaffirms France’s rejection of Turkey’s accession to the European Union. This position confirms the traditional French position on this accession, starting from French President Giscard d’Esteit to Nicolas Sarkozy to Macaron. This declaration also comes in the context of the French-Turkish divergence in regional and political issues.

Translated by : mudhaffar al-kusairi

Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies