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Denial Sends Wrong Message to Sudan

March 17th, 2008 by hyeoctane

During a Capitol Hill reception for the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and Genocide Intervention Network’s (GI-Net) anti-genocide advocacy campaign this past week, Mark Hanis, Founder and Executive Director of GI-Net, highlighted the importance of recognizing the Armenian Genocide as it relates to stopping current and future genocides.

He pointed out that denial of the Armenian Genocide sends the wrong message to the perpetrators of the current genocide in Darfur by convincing them that mass murder can be committed with impunity. This is made even more evident by the cordial relations Sudan and Turkey are steadily building–to the point that they even seem to be swapping their denialist discourse.

Indeed, both countries have repeatedly expressed their admiration for one another, with Turkey’s President stating, “Although we are from from each other geographically, our people are not far to each other,” and Sudan’s ambassador to Turkey recently quoted as saying that Turkey “is a model for Sudan” in the Middle East.

This adds further proof that reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide is not a historical issue but, rather, a very current and modern one.

As long as Turkey does not own up to the crimes it has committed (and is aided in this process by officials in the US), it will continue to serve as a model for governments such as that of Khartoum who seek to slaughter entire groups of people without facing any consequences.

Category: Armenian Genocide, Darfur | 1 Comment »

Following Turkey’s Genocidal Lead

January 24th, 2008 by hyeoctane

As human rights groups express shock and dismay over Sudan’s recent appointment of a Janjaweed militia coordinator responsible for atrocities in Darfur to a top government post, Turkey is busy courting the head of state in charge of Sudan’s continuing policy of genocide.

Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan, has made it openly clear that he values his relationship with Turkey and seeks to follow in that country’s footsteps. “Our ties with Turkey are long-established and gained momentum in recent years. We want to benefit from Turkey’s experiences,” the Sudanese president told reporters during a press conference in Ankara earlier this week.

Indeed, Bashir seems to be learning from Anakara’s history of genocide and ethnic cleansing quite well. It has also been taking several pages out of Turkey’s tactics of denial. Like Hitler, Bashir must surely be thinking to himself, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

Do we need any more stark and frightening proof that, by setting the precedent that genocide can be committed with impunity, giving in to the Turkish denial machine makes the world a more dangerous place?

Category: Armenian Genocide, Darfur, Denial, Turkey | No Comments »

Trading Notes on Denial

January 16th, 2008 by hyeoctane

Omar al-Bashir, the President of Sudan, will be taking a special trip to Turkey this month as an official guest of Turkish President Abdullah Gul. He is expected to arrive in Ankara on January 21.As the leaders of two notoriously genocidal states, it should come as no surprise that Turkey and Sudan are forging ever closer ties. Indeed, we have seen Turkish officials repeatedly refer to Sudan as “our partner in Africa” and seek to promote greater trade links with the Khartoum government.

For its part, Sudan has also been borrowing Ankara’s genocide denial techniques, almost word for word. Turkey has strongly encouraged Sudan in this denial, with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan stating in March 2007, “I do not believe that there has been assimilation of a genocide in Darfur. In any case, the verses of the Kuran reject tribalism and clans.”

We can safely assume that one of the reasons for their upcoming meeting is to trade notes on how each party can mutually accelerate such disgraceful denialist claims.

Category: Armenian Genocide, Darfur, Denial, Turkey | No Comments »

Bashir and Erdogan: One and the Same Denial

November 16th, 2007 by hyeoctane

What do Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey (perpetrator of the first genocide of the 20th century), and Omar Al-Bashir, the President of Sudan (perpetrator of the first genocide of the 21st century), have in common? Well, it should be obvious, but we’ll let the transcripts do the talking:Deportation and War, not Genocide

Erdogan (Remarks at the National Press Club, Nov 5, 2007):

“I’ll tell you something now. There is no [Armenian] genocide here. What took place was called deportation. Because that was a very difficult time. It was the time of war, in 1915.”

Al-Bashir (MSNBC Interview with Ann Curry, March 19, 2007):

“The geographic displacement of people that took place in Darfur is due to the fight in Darfur. The citizen has to move out of the fighting areas to a place of security, seeking peace and security. . . yes, people were killed but not as much [as you say]- it’s a war! There is a tribal conflict inside that war.”

Our Culture Does Not Allow It

Erdogan (National Press Club, Nov. 5):

“In fact, our values do not allow our people to commit genocide. It does not allow it and there is no such thing as a genocide.”

Al-Bashir (MSNBC Interview, March 19):“Villages were burned, and people were killed, but it is not in the Sudanese culture or people of Darfur to rape. It doesn’t exist. We don’t have it.”

The Victims Rebelled

Erdogan (National Press Club, Nov. 5):

“This was about the time when there was rebellion in different parts of the empire. But given the context of the time and the events that took place at that time, there was provocation by some other countries and the Armenians became part of the rebellion in those years.”

Al-Bashir (Asharq Alawsat Interview, February 17, 2007):“There is a rebellion problem in Darfur, and it is the duty of a government in any state to fight the rebellion. When war takes place, civilian victims fall, and this has been exaggerated.”

Category: Armenian Genocide, Darfur, Denial, Turkey | No Comments »