Turkish Prime minister Erdogan’s proposed course of action regarding the Armenian genocide is painfully ironic. The logic goes something like this: “Our nation did not systematically round up and murder over one million Armenians during World War I. And to prove it, I will now systematically round up and expel hundreds of thousands of Armenians living on Turkish soil.” Try arguing with that.
In response to recent resolutions passed in the US Congress and Swedish Parliament characterizing the war-time massacres of Armenians as genocide, the Turkish government has recalled its ambassadors from both countries. Then, the Prime Minister suggested in an interview with the BBC that such international recognition of the genocide would prompt an expulsion of Armenian immigrants living in Turkey.
“There are currently 170,000 Armenians living in our country. Only 70,000 of them are Turkish citizens, but we are tolerating the remaining 100,000. If necessary, I may have to tell these 100,000 to go back to their country because they are not my citizens. I don’t have to keep them in my country.”
The undocumented workers to which the PM refers are mostly women from Armenia’s impoverished countryside who have migrated to Istanbul where they work in the service sector. While a number of politicians have described Erdogan’s comments as empty threats, they are a troubling reminder that Armenians are still unwelcome in Turkey.
Posted By Mary Tharin