The New York Times Criticizes UN for Bowing to Turkish Pressure

In a strongly-worded editorial Friday, The New York Times, the nations most prestigious newspaper, criticized the United Nations for bowing to pressure from Turkey and canceling an exhibit marking the 14th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda. The exhibit contained a panel quoting Raphael Lemkin who cited the Armenia’s. That reference prompted Turkey to urge the UN to postpone the opening of the exhibit. Below is the New York Times editorial: Turkey and the U.N.s Cover-Up More than 90 years ago, when Turkey was still part of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish nationalists launched an extermination campaign there that killed 1.5 million Armenia’s. It was the 20th centurys first genocide. The world noticed, but did nothing, setting an example that surely emboldened such later practitioners as Hitler, the Hutu leaders of Rwanda in 1994 and todays Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Turkey has long tried to deny the Armenian genocide. Even in the modern-day Turkish republic, which was not a party to the killings, using the word genocide in reference to these events is prosecuted as a serious crime. Which makes it all the more disgraceful that United Nations officials are bowing to Turkeys deman’s and blocking this weeks scheduled opening of an exhibit at U.N. headquarters commemorating the 13th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide because it mentions the mass murder of the Armenia’s. Ankara was offended by a sentence that explained how genocide came to be recognized as a crime under international law: Following World War I, during which one million Armenia’s were murdered in Turkey, Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin urged the League of Nations to recognize crimes of barbarity as international crimes. The exhibits organizer, a British-based antigenocide group, was willing to omit the words in Turkey. But that was not enough for the U.N.s craven new leadership, and the exhibit has been indefinitely postponed. Its odd that Turkeys leaders have not figured out by now that every time they try to censor discussion of the Armenian genocide, they only bring wider attention to the subject and link todays democratic Turkey with the now distant crime. As for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his inexperienced new leadership team, they have once again shown how much they have to learn if they are to honorably and effectively serve the United Nations, which is supposed to be the embodiment of international law and a leading voice against genocide.

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