Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Kristof: Erdogan Said 1915 not Genocide ‘to My Face’

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (A.W.)—Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof told Michael Krasny, host of KQED radio’s Forum program, that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told him in no uncertain terms that he did not believe what happened to the Armenians was genocide, during the show’s Oct. 7 broadcast.
Answering a question from a caller about the Armenian genocide, Krasny said, “It’s worse than denial—I had the Turkish ambassador on and he said there was no genocide, literally. Not only there was no genocide, it was trumped up, it was conspiratorial.”
Kristof, in turn, said, “President Erdogan has told me that to my face, invited me to look through Ottoman archives. The sense of denial is extraordinary.”
Kristof, who is also the co-author of A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunities, is partly of Armenian descent (his father was an Armenian from Romania), and has written on the topic of the Armenian Genocide in the past.
In 2010, in a column titled “Speaking Not as an Armenian,” Kristof wrote: “…I do think the evidence is clear that genocide is the right word for what happened, and that’s why I always refer to it as the Armenian genocide. It’s also true that Turkey has a problem acknowledging its brutality toward both Armenians and Kurds, although it has also gotten much better about this in the last decade. I’ve discussed the issue with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan a couple of times, and he is light years ahead of his predecessors (and still a few light years behind what is needed).”
Kristof’s aforementioned column argued against Congress passing resolutions on the Armenian Genocide, suggesting that instead, “We should be trying to nurture Turkey further along its path of conciliation toward Armenians and the Kurds. Smacking them—even for real historical sins—isn’t a great way to do that. Anybody who thinks that diplomacy is about telling the truth doesn’t know diplomacy.”
In his columns, Kristof focuses on human rights abuses and ongoing atrocities around the world, hoping to mobilize international, and particularly U.S. efforts to stop them. His advocacy surrounding the Darfur Genocide is especially noteworthy. He has cited the Armenian case, and the world’s inaction in the face of those atrocities, in his calls for action.

No comments:

Post a Comment