Vortex, Vertigo

Books by Turks, published in Turkey, keep coming out addressing, sometimes tangentially, and sometimes directly, the Genocide.

Hrant Dink is killed. Tens upon tens of thousands of Turks rally in condemnation, with signs and slogans proclaiming, “We are all Hrant Dink. We are All Armenia’s”.

The most recent iteration of a commemorative Genocide resolution doesn’t pass the U.S. House of Representatives. BUT, it does so only while even many of its opponents recognize there’s no question as to the veracity of the Turkish-organized slaughter. They just argue, “it’s not the right time” for other, unrelated, reasons.

Turkish president Abdullah Gul is among the first to congratulate then-president-elect Serzh Sarkissian.

Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkissian, on a trip to Russia, invites Gul to watch a football (soccer) match between our two countries. Simultaneously, he opens the door to the possibility of creating the “history commission” long proposed by Turkey as a means of delaying its Genocide recognition. Sarkissian later backpedals on this matter.

Georgia’s bellicose President Mikheil Sahakashvili initiates a war with Russia and his country gets beaten to a pulp. Tensions are running high between Russia and the “West” — Europe and the U.S. at somewhat different levels. The region — the Caucasus ‘s is very tense.

Azerbaijan’s war-mongering statemen’s, occasional probing forays against Armenia’s and Artzakh’s forces, and massive oil-money based arms buildup continue.

Two months of hemming and hawing diplomatic gobbledygook (also euphemistically referred to as “evaluating the invitation”) later, Gul accepts Sarkissian’s invitation. Gul goes to Armenia. Many seemingly good feelings are announced. But the two presidents don’t discuss Genocide recognition, much less, one would imagine, territorial, historical, cultural, and financial restitution.

Baku doesn’t like the public love-fest between Armenia and Turkey.

One of the Genocide-organizing-triumvirate’s (Jemal) gran’son places a wreath at Dzeedzernagapert. Many other Turks, in Yerevan to watch the football match go to the Genocide museum, currently exhibiting Armenian contributions to the development of Ottoman’sports.

The Turks of Turkey, in a poll, are supportive of this seeming rapprochement, and the elites are giddy with their discovery of “football diplomacy”, unsubtly likening it to the U.S.-China ping-pong diplomacy of the 1970s. I’m curious whether there’s a geographic bias to this poll. Is it skewed with greater participation from urban vs. rural areas, or vice-versa?

The foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey are to “finish” the job brought to its midpoint by the presidents. Meetings are forthcoming.

If this isn’t a political/diplomatic vortex of accelerating speed — think of the decreasing time intervals between each of the above developmen’s (compare this to hurricanes as they pick up energy), I don’t know what is. If you’re not feeling some vertigo, you must be superhuman.

Trying to fit all these puzzle pieces together in my brain is not easy. And that assumes that it’s even possible to form a coherent picture. I also don’t like this queasy feeling of being left out.

More importantly, while no one is opposed to the development and improvement of relations between our two countries, if Armenia’starts cutting deals with Turkey while excluding Diasporan voices and participation, that’s unacceptable. If, especially, a Genocide recognition deal is made, excluding reparations and lands, then we have a serious problem. Bypassing the Diaspora, and the Armenian public in general (even Turkish one, too) through secret negotiations is unwise and could land us, the relatively weaker side, in the same boat as the Palestinians after the Oslo agreemen’s they signed with Israel.

Let the sun shine on whatever’s going on. Let the public in. Let’s do this right. Both sides will be the better off for it.


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