The Corner

re: Turkish Ambassador’s “Final Solution”

Jonah already flagged it, but Josh Rogin reports that Namik Tan, Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, called for Hamas to take part in “the final solution.” Was it an unfortunate turn of phrase?

I’ve met Namik Bey a few times, and he is smart and capable. He is absolutely fluent in English and was both the former spokesman of the Turkish foreign ministry and Turkey’s ambassador in Israel. Simply put, it is hard to believe that the ambassador wasn’t simply trying to provoke.

Namik Bey should understand that Turkey is on thin ice. Does he really believe that putting bombs on buses and shooting rockets at indiscriminate civilian targets is legitimate so long as terrorists justify their actions in resistance?

Is Turkey prepared for the international community to turn a blind eye or even legitimize Kurdish terrorism in Turkey? I certainly don’t endorse the PKK — terrorists, even if they are operating among U.S. enemies, are still terrorists. Still, proponents of the resistance model (of which I am not one) can argue that Turkey is occupying some 20-plus million Kurds and note that Turkey has a bad habit of refusing to accept the Kurds’ elected leadership just because the same elected leadership has ties to terrorists.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.


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