Turkey, as usual, gets all wound up in the month of April, as Armenians around the globe commemorate Turkey’s genocide of up to 1.5 million of its Armenian citizens starting in 1915 and ask the world to remember with them. Armenians do this to raise awareness of the historical fact of the crime of genocide committed by then Ottoman Turkey against the Armenians and to ask the world for a measure of healing, as Turkey has continued persistently to deny the Genocide to this day.
The late Turkish journalist, Mehmet Ali Birand, noted on April 24, 2012, “Again, as happens every year, the 70-million-person population of Turkey [now 84 million] will wonder what others are saying about the Armenian issue. What will Washington say? Which country will accept the Armenian genocide claims? Days will pass in stress… Turkey, as it has done before, will react harshly. It will utter threats, but they will remain ineffective.”
Birand’s statement was written in relation to the publication of the Turkish language edition of official documents of the German Foreign Office which clearly exposed Turkey’s responsibility and Germany’s complicity in the Armenian Genocide. After the original German language edition appeared in 2005, the German parliament voted to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide and did so conclusively in 2016.
Canada officially recognized the Armenian Genocide in 2004 over Turkish threats that “Canada would suffer economically [and] that Armenians would make claims against Turkey for confiscated land.”
The Turkish machinations against recognition by Washington have been strenuous and sordid, even involving alleged bribery of the Speaker of the House in 2000. What will be Turkey’s ploy this year to deter the US from recognition?
One likely option, as suggested by Washington Post Turkish analyst Asli Aydintasbas, will be Turkey’s declaration of the border with Armenia open. She notes, “Critics say Turkey’s apparent magnanimity smacks more of its recent efforts to fix its battered ties with Washington without making the concessions that are actually being demanded of it, namely, to get rid of its Russian S-400 missiles immediately.”