Mayor says being called Armenian ‘disgusting’

Melih Gkek, the mayor of Ankara and a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), sent a Twitter message to Cem zdemir, a German deputy of Turkish descent for the Green Party, asking zdemir if he is of Armenian descent. I do not know what prompted Gkek to send such a message, but he is known for his nationalist and discriminatory attitudes.

Therefore, it is no surprise seeing such a message from himbr

Melih Gandoumlkandccedilek, the mayor of Ankara and a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), sent a Twitter message to Cem andOumlzdemir, a German deputy of Turkish descent for the Green Party, asking andOumlzdemir if he is of Armenian descent. I do not know what prompted Gandoumlkandccedilek to send such a message, but he is known for his nationalist and discriminatory attitudes.

Therefore, it is no surprise seeing such a message from him Anyway, upon this provocative message, Hayko BaIdat, a Turkish intellectual of Armenian descent, apparently wanted to put a mirror in front of Gandoumlkandccedilek. He wrote an open Twitter message to Gandoumlkandccedilek, saying: andldquoIt is official, they gave the capital to an Armenian.

What a shame!andrdquo BaIdat also added the hashtag andldquomelihgandoumlkandccedilekermeniymiIandrdquo (Melih Gandoumlkandccedilek turned out to be Armenian) to this message. What happened after all these tweets and countertweets is quite unique to Turkey.

Gandoumlkandccedilek sued BaIdat for insulting him In the petition he said he was insulted by being called andldquoArmenian.andquot andldquoUsing a word in the sense of disgust toward someone so loved and honored by the people is a serious violation of my clientand#39s personal rights and a great disrespect against anyone who has voted for, supports, loves and honors my client,andrdquo the statement by Gandoumlkandccedilekand#39s attorney reads.

Is this a racist accident in which the mayor and his lawyer revealed their mindset, or a political game in which the mayor is trying to attract international attention and preparing to present himself as victim to the nationalist segments of this society? Whatever the motivation, these cheap racist remarks and this show are hard to imagine in a democratic society. Turks, for example, should try to imagine the mayor of Berlin or New York using the word andldquoTurkandrdquo in the sense the mayorand#39s lawyer referred to in his petition.

I guess, in this case, everyone would be keenly aware of the bitter taste of racism However, when such racist remarks are used against Armenians in Turkey, we will not witness mass demonstrations nor will we see his voters calling on the mayor to resign. Quite historically, these racist words were uttered by the mayor of the capital when the anniversary of Armenian genocide, April 24, is approaching.

What would more clearly show Turkeyand#39s need to confront its past than these racist words? Could anyone in a country in which past atrocities are fully faced utter such racist words? His racist remarks force us to reflect upon the importance of facing past atrocities.

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SOURCE: Today’s Zaman