Posted by: bklunk | February 15, 2007

That was Then and So is This

U.S. harms Turkey’s attempts to join EU « Gerry’s International Relations

Gerry’s International Relations looks the U.S., Turkey, and the importance of historical memory.

According to the Turkish Daily News, the United States congress is trying to pass a resolution that would acknowledge the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire prior to and during World War I. Turkish officials have warned that if the resolution were to pass it would strain relations between our two nations. This is because Turkey is currently trying to join the European Union, and a genocide would not be a plus. The Bush administration does not support the bill because of our relations. Many Armenian Americans are insulted by this view, however, and feel that the resolution should pass at all costs.

Personally, I am not entirely sure what the point of the resolution is. All it seems to say is that there was a genocide. As far as I know, most people accept the fact that there was a genocide. Although the actions of the Ottoman Turks were atrocious, the genocide took place more than eighty years ago. Turkey is currently one of the few allies we have left in the Middle East, and I am not sure this resolution is worth losing this relationship. Of course, I am not saying that I support their actions, however, they were done by a different government decades ago. Turkey is trying to protect its chance of joining the Union, and I am not sure this resolution is the best course of action at this time.

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  1. This resolution, to officially aknowledge the genocide that occured nearly a decade ago, seems like a waste of congressional time and tax payers money. As you stated, the resolution is basically a statement saying that genocide occured and most people do already accept that a genocide took place. Yes, it is important for the Armenian Americans to gain closure, possibly by having a governmental resolution aknowledging their plight, however now is not the appropirate time to strain our realtions with any Middle Eastern country. Tensions are high for the US in the region already, and though a US decalration of Turkish genocide may not keep them out of the EU, it is bound to have some negative influence. US congress has many issues that it should be focusing on during this time of low international respect and high anti-americanism thoughout Europe and many Eatern countries. A resolution stating that a genocide occured over 80 years ago to a generation long since gone, by a government no longer around and in a world that has since dramatically changed should not be very high on the congressional agenda.

  2. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say there is no point to having a resolution, I do agree that now is not the time for such resolution to occur. On a personal level I can completely understand the importance of recognizing such a tragedy but I do not think it is practical to make this declaration at a time when it could possibly influence Turkey’s future with the EU. Given the fact that the U.S. has its pick of issues to tackle, this seems like one that has no pressing importance. Should this genocide prevent Turkey’s involvement in the EU? No. Should the genocide officially be declared? I say yes, but we do not have to choose one over the other. Our alliance with Turkey is too important to jeopardize, especially since both dilemmas can be resolved. The genocide should be recognized but it is just as possible to acknowledge this issue when the focus can rest on the issue, rather than on Turkey’s validity in the EU.

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