The terrible two Turkic “republics” – Azerbaijan and Turkey – with their behavior remind even the most casual observer of nothing more than a child in its terrible twos. We are constantly treated to temper tantrums and other childish behavior.
In recent months, the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan stormed out of an EU Summit over the phrasing of a document about Artzakh. Of course there were Turkey’s recalls of ambassadors to the Vatican, Luxembourg, etc. over Genocide recognition. Connected with this were the insults hurled at Argentina as a consequence of the Pope’s recognition, since he is Argentinian. The EU was also treated to polite, pseudo-diplomatic, invective for calling on Turkey to recognize the Genocide. You can just envision these officials foaming at the mouth as they fulminate against their tormentors, can’t you?
Turkish consular officials attacked Armenian protesters in Marseilles. Azeri officials refused to take OSCE monitors to the front-lines with Artzakh’s forces, even though the latter fulfilled its obligation and took the monitors to the front-lines from the Armenian side.
One of my favorites is when Turkish government officials surreptitiously crossed the Syrian border to visit the tomb of the grandfather of the Ottoman Empire’s founder. I have a mental image of these chubby Turks in ill-fitting suits tippy-toeing across the border, Elmer Fudd-like, while whispering “shhhhh, be vewy, vewy, quiet, we’re visiting our murderous founding fathers, heh-heh-heh-heh”! Similarly, there are the periodic intrusions of Turkish warplanes into Greek airspace.
If we go back a little further in time, we are treated to Erdoğan’s various outbursts. Who can forget his lecturing the world that Moslems cannot commit genocide, as he defended Sudan’s President Bashir? Then there was his loudly criticizing Israel over the latter’s Gaza offensive. Plus, remember how incensed he was over the deaths of Turks on the ship Mavi Marmara? How about his finger wagging outburst and strutting off the stage in Davos during a discussion with Israel’s President Peres? Oh, and how about his “exchange” with the Egyptian president over the jailing of Moslem Brotherhood members?
I keep thinking we’re back in the 1980s when Turkey’s Ambassador to the U.S., Sukru Elekdağ, was known for irately spouting foolishness in public. Ah, yes, those good old days when Turkey would threaten U.S. military access to its territory because of Armenian Genocide resolutions. And almost contemporaneously there was Turkey’s status as a major drug transshipment country and its invasion of Cyprus. For that last example, even if Turkey’s blaming the military government of Greece is appropriate, why does it still maintain the occupation and why did tens of thousands of Turks get settled in occupied northern Cyprus? Oops, and I almost omitted Azerbaijan’s 1980s pogroms of Armenians when legal demonstrations and political processes were put to use to achieve Artzakh’s independence.
Of course, we can’t omit the four military coups (the last one being very subtle) that Turkey has “enjoyed” over the past half century.
Why does the world tolerate this? Why do these two bullies not get punched in the nose, just once, so they settle down and behave as most bullies do once confronted? Perhaps that should be a focus of our political efforts, taming Turks. What do you think?
Garen Yegparian (June 19, 2015)