Are We Tolerant of Treason & Genocide?


Lets give Erdogan a price for tolerating us!

Germany: Irony-impaired group set to award Turkish PM “tolerance” prize

Erdogan’s behavior toward Germany alone should disqualify him for that. As this report observes, he has “irked Berlin with his calls to Germany’s large ethnic Turkish community not to assimilate.” There is also the ongoing denial of the Armenian genocide, and the erosion of secular institutions in Turkey, among other things.  (A price for intolerance-JW)

Maybe it’s a prize for one-way “tolerance.” That, he would deserve. “Turkish PM cancels German trip, protests go ahead,” from Reuters, March 17:

Tolerance, Auschwitz, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Thanks to the Gates of Vienna

The two articles below overlap in their discussion of the accolades bestowed by the German government on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Many thanks to JLH for the translations.The translator includes this introductory note:

Here are articles by or about two of the most prominent authors and journalists in the Jewish community in Germany. There are about 100,000 Jews in the Federal Republic, of which approximately 80,000 have come since 1989, when the Iron Curtain fell and migration from Russia and elsewhere east became more feasible.

Giordano is from a half-Jewish family persecuted by the Nazis, who eventually hid out until 1945 because the mother was in danger of deportation or worse. Broder is from a Polish Jewish family that survived the concentration camps and later came to Germany by way of Vienna.

They are both clear and uncompromising in their opinions and in their prose, although I would say that Giordano is a bit more of the elder statesman, while Broder is the in-your-face warrior. They are unsurprisingly in agreement about Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Gerhard Schröder, as about many other things.

First, an article about Henryk Broder from Die Presse:

Henryk M. Broder: “Auschwitz is a Carnival”
March 16, 2012

The German author criticizes a “hypocrisy on behalf of the government” in Germany at the Leipzig Book Fair. He advises “bombing Auschwitz out of existence, because the former concentration camp has degenerated into the “worthless” destination of excursions.

Journalist Henryk M. Broder calls his lifelong confrontation with the subject of anti-Semitism “a kind of obsession.” The basis for his newest book with the title “Forget Auschwitz” is “state-sponsored hypocrisy” in Germany, the author said onThursday at the Leipzig Book Fair.

As an example he named the bestowing of the Steiger Award for Tolerance on the Turkish president Erdogan on the following Saturday. “100 journalists are sitting in prison in Turkey,” said Broder. “Who is giving the tribute? Gerhard Schröder, Gazprom Schröder. If I had not already stopped voting SPD, that would be my motivation.”

Degenerated to Carnival Status

Referring to the provocative title of his book, Broder, who comes from a Jewish family, said, “Although the Allies neglected to bomb Auschwitz, it could be done now.” Because: “Auschwitz is a carnival. In my mother’s day, it was a one-way ticket. Now you can get there and back after breakfast,” Broder complained. “It is worthless, terrible.”

The author sees a “falseness” in today’s society: “Genocide must be more than six million. Anything less is a traffic violation. I get really nauseous when I hear what is being said to the Syrians.” And with that, he attacks Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle for the argument that intervention would make the situation worse: “It is already a conflagration, a massacre. It was the same at the time of the Holocaust.” No one wanted to intervene.

Anti-Semitism is transformed into anti-Zionism

Anti-Semitism , said Broder, was discredited by the Holocaust. So it is looking for a side door and that is anti-Zionism, simultaneously with the confession rituals regarding Auschwitz. “I am very much for criticism,” said Broder, “but this has very little to do with Israel. Instead the intent is to minimize the guilt of the Germans by comparison with Israel’s guilt vis-a-vis the Palestinians.” This variant of anti-Semitism goes “right though all milieus” in Germany.

In this connection, he ferociously criticizes SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel, who has branded Israel an apartheid state. “I do not believe Gabriel is an anti-Senite, but he is an idiot,” said Broder. “If he visits Israel, then Fatso and Dopey [Laurel and Hardy] will be walking around together in the Middle East — in the same skin.”

The author blames the political correctness drummed into Germans for discussions like the one about whether the German Democratic Republic was an illegitimate and unjust state or “only” a dictatorship: “That gives me the creeps. You can differentiate a bloodbath down until there is nothing left.”

The second article, an open letter to former chancellor Gerhard Schröder by Ralph Giordano, is from the blog Die Achse des Guten [The Axis of Good]:

What Will be Left of Schröder

(A letter to the former SPD Chancellor, later defeated by Merkel)

by Ralph Giordano
March 15, 2012

Dear Former Chancellor,

“I am your president!” “Learn German, but stay who you are!” “Form a state in the state, but do not call it that.”

These declarations of war on integration from February, 2008 in Cologne and March, 2011 in Düsseldorf were fired off before an inflamed crowd of 18,000 people by the man who will receive the “Steiger Award for the Tolerance, Humaneness and Growing Together of Europe” — Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey.

This is the same Erdogan who is till denying the genocide of the Armenians after almost one hundred years, and who personifies like no one else this Turkish grand delusion.

That very genocide, Mr. Former Chancellor, recognized under your chancellorship for the first time in almost 100 years by the German Bundestag. On February 22, 2005, to non-partisan applause, without a nay vote or abstention — an almost unfathomable miracle in the history of the German parliament.

Now you are speaking in praise of a firebug: “There are 100,000 Armenians living in my country who are not its citizens. And if necessary, I can say to them: Go, back to the land you came from.” Direct quote from Erdogan — the speech of a thug.

“Tolerance and Humaneness”? I protest giving the Steiger Award to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who can be just as hypocritical as the speech in his praise.

You, Former Chancellor,once called Putin “a flawless democrat.” That will stay in your memory.

But praise and honor of a politician who denies an overwhelmingly attested genocide, that is even heavier.

Ralph Giordano

5 thoughts on “Are We Tolerant of Treason & Genocide?”

  1. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has hinted to Iranian media that Turkey will go to war against Israel if Israel attacks Iran

    “In our area, we do not accept such an operation. We will also react negatively to such operation,” he added.

    The minister stated that there are circles willing to cause strife between Tehran and Ankara but they cannot affect ties between the two sides.

    Davutoglu noted that Iran and Turkey have different ideas about developments in Syria but Ankara will oppose any possible military move against Tehran


    FP: Both Davutoglu and Erdogan are idiots, but they are dangerous precisely because of that. And these are the people Obama engages.

  2. Is this prize as meaningful as the Nobel Peace prize BHO was given? Or the Muammar Qaddafiy Human Rights Prize?

    Will this award be sited as one of the reason the EU lets Turkey into the union.

  3. Things are looking pretty bad for the Europeans, if they are going to let a soon-to-be-terrorist state like Turkey into the EU. But no doubt the Europeans are still partying, which I guess suits their governments who are so coolly planning their annihilation by preparing Turkey, with gifts such as drainage systems, for “legitimate” EU entry.

  4. @PJG- The EU already given millions and millions of Euros to Turkey.

    I just want someone in the EU to articulate in a coherent manner, why let Turkey in? It is NOT a European country. Erdogan has already told the muslim world that, pmce on the EU he will change the face of Europe forever and avenge the slits (failure) of the Ottoman empire.

    Of course the Euros via the Eu are still partying because the EU is a gravy train. That has not balanced their books/budgets in over 10 plus years

  5. Turkish Court Takes Monastery’s Land, Declares Assyrians ‘Occupiers’

    After 1400 years Erdogan’s regime destroys the last remnants of Christianity:

    (AINA) — The final decision of the [Turkish] Supreme Court of Cassation in the legal case of St. Gabriel, ordering it to transfer the lands which the monastery has owned for 14 centuries to the State Treasury marks a major legal scandal. Cynically, it was the same institution which in 1974 ruled against the [non-Muslim] minority foundations in Turkey and has played an important role in intensifying minority problems. The latest ruling, in which the State is designated as the ‘land owner’ and the ‘other’ (being St.Gabriel) as the ‘occupier’ proves that not much has changed in Turkey’s policy towards minorities. The court decision sheds light on an important parameter of the process that has been labeled as “democratization.”

    The confiscation of properties, trusts and estates of non-Muslim minorities by the government or by third parties is one of the darkest pages in the history of the [Turkish] Republic. Even though the Law of Foundations has been subject to various revisions within the framework of EU reforms over the last ten years, due to the nationalistic understanding that aims to preserve the existing status quo, the problems of minority foundations have not received a profound and lasting solution. This is very much related to the hegemonic perception that has been formed historically towards minorities in Turkey. Minorities, as a group in Turkey, have been regarded not only as infidel [Turkish gavur] for many years, but also as groups that foster secret ambitions, who “have stolen the wealth that belonged to us,” or as “hostile” and “unreliable” element within the Turkish nation formation. The deep traces of such institutionalized discourses can be read in the reflexes of the judicial and political authorities in the context of the legal trials of Hrant Dink, St. Gabriel and Publishing House.

    Many people have written about the St. Gabriel case and the trial has been well documented (full coverage). But what is striking in this case is that the legal procedure started and concluded to the disadvantage of the monastery during a process which has been hailed as transition towards “democratization” by many people. Turkish elites have preached continously that “many things have changed in Turkey, and matters are no longer as they were.” However, the case of the monastery is just another example which proves the opposite.

    Unfortunately, while many in Turkey did not know much about Assyrians [known as Süryani in Turkey], they got to learn about them thanks to the St. Gabriel trial. Despite being a non-Muslim minority according to the definition of the Lousanne Treaty, the Assyrians have not received any legal status throughout the history of the Republic. Policies of denial and assimilation have resulted in the loss of cultural identity, excluding them from political participation for decades while institutionalizing their third class status. With the beginning of the EU accession process in Turkey, they started to be remembered and rediscovered afresh as an exotic culture. Within the framework of the rediscovery phenomenon, Assyrians have been converted to a ‘touristic object’ on one hand, while on the other hand the state presented them as an example of its generous “tolerance.”

    The challenges brought to St. Gabriel during the judicial process need to be understood in close relation to the unfair and discriminatory practices Assyrians are facing in Turkey. Beside the fundamental problems of identity and legal status, in recent years efforts have been made to systematically label them with the description of the others and to display them as an elemet of threat. Their monasteries are presented as “missionary centers.” In history textbooks, approved by the Ministry of Education and used in 10th grade high school classes, Assyrians are portrayed as “traitors” during World War I (AINA 10-2-2011). Furthermore, Dogan Bekin, a writer of the National Newspaper (Milli Gazete), recently categorized Assyrians as an “Israeli-type group” which has ambitions to establish a country through land acquisition.

    Isn’t it quite strange that even before the ink of Dogan Bekin’s article could dry, the Supreme Court of Cassation signed a decision in that same spirit? In order to understand whether these types of explanations and decisions reflect a state-oriented principal policy towards Assyrians, we need to look at the stance of the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government. It is a fact that under the leadership of the populist AK Party in Turkey some steps were taken on many issues regarding “democratization” and that the military wardship disappeared, which had existed for decades. However, it is also a fact that there has been no progress in terms of reducing alienation of non-Muslim minorities, particularly in the dominant approach of suspicion towards them. The attitude of the government and the Turkish judiciary system in the context of the lawsuits filed againts the monastery of St. Gabriel are the most important testimony for this.

    The recent developments in the case of St. Gabriel remind us directly of the case of Hrant Dink, who was killed in 2006. Interestingly, in both cases the Turkish government took shelter under the pretext of “We cannot intervene in the judiciary” and “the judiciary makes its own independent decisions,” hence sidelining the issues based on blatant unwillingness to solve the problem.

    As pointed out by Professor Baskin Oran, who closely follows the case of St. Gabriel, the party representing the state treasury against the monastery is under the control of the government and is composed of appointed bureaucrats. If the Turkish government wanted to demonstrate a good faith approach, the problems that St. Gabriel monastery has been facing could easily be resolved. But the stance pursued by the Turkish executive powers with regards to this case reveals the existence of deep politics. While the Assyrians on the one hand are being punished with this case, on the other hand homage to a post-modern Turkish supremacy culture is dictated to them.

    The punishment part of the job is related to the increasingly institutionalized genocide (Seyfo in Assyrian) recognition activities Assyrians in the Diaspora in recent years. This obviously creates discontent among Turkish ruling elites, a relationship many Assyrian activists have been pointing to. Through this case, the message is conveyed to the Assyrians is “Look, we are becoming a democracy, writing a new constitution. But you as a minority, however, you have to know your boundaries. Stop dealing with issues such as the genocide!”

    If the Turkish government is willing to solve the historically shaped problems of minorities in a sincere manner, it needs to start taking positive steps in the aforementioned key cases and should regard improvements in how minorities are perceived as essential work of peace, reconciliation and democratization. Otherwise, everyone has the right to question whether anything has really changed in Turkey.

    By Soner Önder

    Soner Önder is a doctoral student at Amsterdam Social Science Research Institute (AISSR).

    This article appeared in Turkish on and in a modified version in the Turkish Newspaper Radikal.

    Translated from Turkish for AINA by Abdulmesih BarAbraham.

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