by Steven Perlin, Staff Writer
“The incidents in China are, simply put, a genocide. There’s no point in interpreting this otherwise.” The prior statement was uttered by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Under normal circumstances the international community (basically the UN and other such organizations who consider themselves to be for the greater good) should commit investigations of the incident. But the aforementioned statement was said by Mr. Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister.
Going back into my memory vault, the words genocide and Turkish (when used in the same sentence) strike me as fundamentally awkward. Call me prejudiced – call me stupid too, I don’t care – but didn’t Turkey commit genocide about 95 years ago? Maybe I am mistaken, but when taught genocide in school, we learned that the Ottoman Turks massacred the Armenians. The reason that these comments by the Turkish Prime Minister don’t rest well with me is because Turkey has yet to officially recognize the systematic murder of hundreds of thousands of Armenians as genocide.
Due to various reasons, I am absolutely disgusted by the reactions of individual nations. Worldwide, there are only 21 nations that have accepted the events as a true genocide. I am most disappointed with the reaction by Israel, the homeland of my people. People in Israel believe that the event should be discussed by historians and not politicians. I would usually stand by the side of Israel on all actions taken, but this inaction breaks my spirit. When we say “never again” it is in reference to all forms of genocide, not just genocide of Jews. Israel should be at the forefront of genocide recognition due to her tumultuous past; however, Israel lags behind in the acceptance of one of the first genocides of postmodern society.
Before the United Nations delves into the conflict in China, the UN should bring attention to the Turkish Prime Minister and his country’s denial of one of the largest genocides in the 20th century. Maybe the leaders of each country that has accepted the genocide as legitimate should send a letter to Mr. Erdogan solely reading “hypocrite”. As for the accused genocide in China, all people involved should be investigated and the proper response should be endorsed.