The Corner

re: The Why of Turkey’s Position

Mark, I agree with you: From a Turkish perspective of history, Europeans states have been seeking to divide Turkey up from the very start. A big chunk of Turkey was awarded to the French in the Sykes-Picot agreement. There is real fear among many in Turkey that this is a back door attempt to implement the Treaty of Sevres (broader map, albeit from a worse source, here). Add to this the fact that the world is silent on the massacres of Turks and their ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, and the Turks conclude that the world is singling them out.

While uncomfortable, among many prominent historians–Bernard Lewis, for example–there remains discussion about how centralized the massacres of Armenians were and how much guilt lies on the Young Turks, versus on Kurdish irregulars attacking the Armenian deportees. Turks who believe that the interpretation of the history is skewed won’t back down because of political pressure.

Moving to the modern day: European states lecture the Turks on human rights, but in Denmark, Roj TV broadcasts documentaries in Kurdish on how to kill Turkish soldiers, and the Danish government equivocates about whether this is incitement. Likewise, the EU remains silent on Latvia’s language test for citizenship, but cites inadequate Kurdish language rights in Turkey.

As if to justify Turkish fears that their giving anything, even symbolically on the issue would end the matter, immediately after the House Foreign Affairs Committee vote, I received this press notice.

For policymakers, though, it’s important to understand—but not necessarily agree with—the Turkish perspective of endless European enmity. It is not dissimilar to the Iranian sense that the West—and particularly Britain—is always plotting to disassemble their country. It is this sense of siege that rallies people around the flag and impact politics.

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.

Most Popular

Media

‘Anonymous’ Falls Flat

On the menu today: The op-ed page of the New York Times made the deliberate decision to hoodwink America about the identity of “Anonymous”; the sense of guilt that pervades legacy media -- a very apt label; and wondering whether or not we will even see long lines on Election Day with early voting being so ... Read More
Media

‘Anonymous’ Falls Flat

On the menu today: The op-ed page of the New York Times made the deliberate decision to hoodwink America about the identity of “Anonymous”; the sense of guilt that pervades legacy media -- a very apt label; and wondering whether or not we will even see long lines on Election Day with early voting being so ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More
Elections

Hell, No

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National Review editorial ... Read More
Elections

Hell, No

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National Review editorial ... Read More
Music

Stevie Nicks, Like Springsteen, Preaches and Preens

In the 1970s, Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen made impressions on pop-music culture with romantic rock landmarks, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and Springsteen’s Born to Run. But their new 2020 releases, Nicks’s single “Show Them the Way” and Springsteen’s Letter to You film and album, make the ... Read More
Music

Stevie Nicks, Like Springsteen, Preaches and Preens

In the 1970s, Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen made impressions on pop-music culture with romantic rock landmarks, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and Springsteen’s Born to Run. But their new 2020 releases, Nicks’s single “Show Them the Way” and Springsteen’s Letter to You film and album, make the ... Read More