GuNAL – Excuse me, I’m Armenian!

Excuse me, I’m Armenian!Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan remarked on TV last Tuesday: “Let all Turks in Turkey say they are Turks and all Kurds say they are Kurds. What is wrong with that? You wouldn’t believe the things they have said about me.

They have said I am Georgian. They have said even uglier things — they have called me — excuse me for saying this — Armenian, but I am Turkish.

”What an intellectual way of complaining about aggression from the press. There was an expression of loathing on his face when he talked about being an Armenian.

I remember him saying exactly the same thing, using the same words about Greeks, a few years ago.Last week he made statements about the ethnic and religious backgrounds of Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal KIlIdaroIlu and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) leader Selahattin DemirtaI.

As the leader of the opposition, KIlIdaroIlu is the biggest supporter of presidential candidate Ekmeleddin IhsanoIlu, and DemirtaI is another candidate himself. ErdoIan said in recent remarks: “KIlIdaroIlu, you are an Alevi and I am Sunni.

You should state this openly. DemirtaI, you are Zaza Don’t be worried about speaking out about this.

”If your conscience blinds you, you will be not able to see any truth except yours. ErdoIan’s only truth is the Muslim population of 99 percent and the voters at his presidential rallies.

He is not able to see the position of the 1 percent of non-Muslims, Armenians, Greeks or even Muslims not belonging to mainstream Sunni Islam, Alevis and Zazas. This “You should state this openly” expression deserves a better approach, which I will write in the upcoming days using the judgments of the Nuremberg trials, because there is an odious pattern we can follow related to this part of history.

Might the next step be wearing a star?After these shameless statements from Prime Minister ErdoIan, the Birgun daily used the headline “Excuse me, Fascist,” and the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos used the headline “May Allah excuse him”Let’s visualize ourselves as belonging to a minority group living with a 99 percent majority group. What would you think or feel if the leader of the society you live in used your minority identity to persuade the majority to vote for him? Can you stay safely in your home and disregard what might happen to you or your family just because of your identity? Will this policy of using identities brings us peace, as there are lots of things to confront in our past?“Inciting the population to enmity or hatred and denigration” is the title of the famous Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

This article was used to punish the assassinated Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, although it must be used for the opposite. We can see clearly to whom this article should be applied, but unfortunately we have suspended our impartial and independent judiciary because of government policy.

All I can do is stand together with all minority groups, act as one with them and say I’m an Armenian, Greek, Alevi, Nusayri, Kurd or Zaza Belonging to the majority sometimes requires acting as a member of the minority, if you have a conscience. As I write this article, the people of my country are going to vote for the next president of the republic.

I hope we can wake up tomorrow to a brighter future, but a voice coming from inside me says hard days are coming whatever the result. As Nelson Mandela stated, “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.


SOURCE: Today’s Zaman