By Edmond Y. Azadian
Two nations have been the perpetrators of the two largest genocides in the 20th century — Turkey and Germany. There is much affinity between these two nations. In annihilating their minorities, they only outdid one other. During World War I these two nations were allies and recent historical research has unearthed German culpability in directing and monitoring the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
During World War II, Turkey was secretly assisting the German war effort, until the Allies emerged as victors. Thus in a last-ditch effort, Turkey’s leaders were able to save the country from disintegration by declaring a nominal war against the crumbling Reich.
Today, a new alliance is being forged between these two old allies. Germany is a NATO member. It is also a member of the European Union (EU), if not its driving engine. Most EU members have differing views with regard to President Erdogan of Turkey. The common thread of their approach to Turkey has been to stonewall that country’s accession to the EU. Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel always advocated a “healthy distance” from Europe for Turkey. Germany’s position was to offer a special status for Turkey in Europe, but never full membership.
But recent political developments seem to have changed this policy. President Erdogan played the role of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice by triggering a chain of events which he could not control; a civil war by his instigation collapsed his domestic policy and his foreign policy got stuck in the Syrian quagmire.