BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN
The lessons learned from Europe’s decision to reward Turkey is, if you are a despotic leader like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, you can murder and imprison your citizens and praise Hitler as an “effective leader” and get billions of dollars in taxpayer aid. Hurray for the new world order.
European leaders demonstrated their enslavement to Ankara’s policies, which ignore basic human rights and condone terrorism, by rewarding Turkey billions of dollars in aid and guaranteeing other perks, including the establishment of a visa-free regime.
This kowtowing to Ankara sets a new precedent in international circles of how to hold nations accountable to basic human rights abuses and sends a clear message to despots around the world that killing and maiming their citizens and forced closure of media outlets are not only tolerated, but can also be rewarded if the perpetrator nation can pledge minimum action as long as it preserves European nationalist interests.
International rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and UNHDP, as well as some European Parliament members are up in arms with the European leaders’ decision to grant Ankara a carte blanche in the name of suppressing the tide of migrants into European countries.
By turning a blind eye on human rights abuses, which in Turkey’s case include waging a violent and indiscriminate war against its own Kurdish and other minority citizens, stifling dissident voices by shutting down media outlets through the use of barbaric force and imprisoning any individuals who dares to oppose the regime, European leaders are trampling upon the very democratic value system, based on which Europe’s partnerships are determined with other—developing—nations.
This is a direct consequence, if not a natural progression, resulting from the West’s general and historic ambivalence—or outright disregard—for the realities on the ground, be they in Syria, the Middle East or elsewhere in the world. All one has to do is reflect back on Europe’s posturing in the same part of the world a hundred years ago to know that the more things change, the more they stay the same. A 100 year ago, while Germany and France seemed to be on opposing sides, Germany’s support for the Ottoman Empire and France’s and Britain’s ignoring of the so-called realities on the ground paved the way for the Armenian Genocide.
So Europe’s pledge of billions of dollars in aid and easing of travel restrictions among other perks, will, most definitely, allow Ankara to carry out its crimes and perhaps escalate its campaign against the Kurds into a full-blown Genocide, since nobody is watching, or those that are have relinquished their powers to intervene.
The same forgiving policy is also being carried out by the United States. Despite voicing “concern” over human rights violations by Ankara, which don’t even amount to a slap on the wrist, the US continues to defend Turkey and praise it as an important and critical ally in this farce that also known as the “war on terror” or the “fight against ISIS.”
In fact, as recently as Tuesday, US Ambassador to Armenia, who is on a tour of Armenian communities on the West Coast (the press has been excluded from this visit—at least Asbarez has been) has dismissed criticism of Turkey by praising Ankara for its generosity in allowing the US to use the Incirlik airbase in the fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Da’esh. I am certain that Ambassador Mills has also dismissed the notion that Turkey has aided and abetted the rise of ISIS, despite his own colleague’s, former US Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone’s assertion that Turkey has systematically turned a blind eye on the flow of Islamic militants into Syria through it porous border.
How long will it take for the Obama Administration to further sweeten the already saccharine pot and embrace Turkey’s uncivilized regime?