Parsing French FM’s Code Language

150 Editorial Board, 14 December 2012

In mid-December, Laurent Fabius, the foreign minister of France, wrote an article in Istanbul’s “Hurriyet Daily News” about the French-Turkish relations and made references to Armenians. The article, titled “France and Turkey: New horizons for a long-standing relationship“, was a masterpiece of double-talk, coded language, waffling, Turkey stroking, diversion, and plain untruths. Let’s try to translate what the long-time friend of Turkey wrote.

1. “I hope that one day soon, we can achieve a calm, fair reading of history,” writes Fabius.
Translation: What we know is what Armenians claim happened. I hope one day we get the Turkish version, and decide for ourselves who is telling the truth. No mention that the Genocide has been established as a fact by historians of the period, including the International Association of Genocide Scholars.
You’ve heard Charles Aznavour’s weepy ballads. The Armenian version of the Genocide is compromised. We hope “one day soon”, Turks will come up with their version so we can forget the whole thing and share a shish-kebab, a doner and Turkish Delight together.

2. “The question of the Armenian genocide is a sensitive and difficult subject that has all too often cast a shadow over the French-Turkish bilateral relations.”
Translation: Those pesky, irritating French-Armenians are sabotaging amicable relations between France and Turkey.
“Sensitive and difficult subject” to whom? For Turks who rather see the world forget? For Monsieur Fabius? The man who apparently would like to see Armenians forget, although he would be appalled if someone suggested that his co-religionists forget the Holocaust.

3. “The tragedy that befell the ancestors of our compatriots of Armenian origin.”
Notice how the wily veteran diplomat waffles and refuses to say “genocide”.

4. “My colleague Ahmet Davutoglu has made encouraging statements. I quote, ‘The Armenians have before them someone who is listening.'”
Monsieur Fabius isn’t lying: Davutoglu is his colleague: they are pair of foxes who hope Armenians can be lulled through pretend language and false promises.
And pray tell, when did Davutoglu begin to listen to the Armenians? The Turkish foreign minister, a coward who hides his Karait Jewish origins, knows too well what Armenians want. There are enough Genocide of Armenians books, magazines, newspapers, testimonies from foreign and Armenian eyewitnesses, diplomatic and military dispatches, photos, movies, and TV documentaries to fill a whole wing of the Louvre. They tell chapter and verse what Turkey and Turks did to innocent Armenian civilians. These documents state exactly what Armenians want. Is Mr. Davutoglu “listening” to the Armenians or to the Turkish or Turkish-hired Western “scholars” who have made a career of Genocide denial? Is Davutoglu waiting for Armenians to amass documentation material to fill the Louvre before he concedes the truth?

5. “This foreign minister doesn’t say nothing happened in 1915.”
Ahem. Many things happened in 1915. The world was at war; four emperors lost their crowns; many colonies gained their independence; Frank Sinatra was born that year. What is Monsieur Fabius referring to? Surely not to the birth of Old Blue Eyes? Perhaps he means to say as the Ottoman Empire disappeared many Muslims also died. Perhaps Armenians killed these unidentified Muslims.

6. “For myself, I am not unaware of Turkey’s suffering during the gradual dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire, with its successions of massacres and exoduses.”
There you have it. As predicted in No. 5, Monsieur Fabius doesn’t mention that Turkey’s suffering was its own doing. It entered the war, hoping its ally, Germany, would win and Turks would be given the opportunity to ravish more lands and enslave more people. And what about Fabius’ “massacres and exoduses”? Perhaps the unarmed Armenians massacred the Turks and then, in a mass exodus, left their ancestral homes for the green pastures of the Syrian Desert. Those crazy Armenians.

7. “However,I do believe that the disappearance of the Armenian civilization from Anatolian soil warrants some thinking on Turkey’s part.”
Ah, mendacity, ah, doubletalk. “Anatolian soil,” says the minister, not Western Armenia, not Armenian Cilicia. “Warrants some thinking on Turkey’s part”? SOME? For about 15 minutes? Then what?

8. “As to what is needed to heal the open wounds opened in 1915.”
Fabius is asking the criminal–who has been denying its bloody deed for a century–to decide what is needed to heal the open wounds. Not Genocide, not theft of Armenian property, not the eviction of Armenians from their 4,000-year-old homeland, but “wounds” which Turkey might see fit to perhaps discuss, since Ahmetoglu is in a listening mode this week.

Mon Dieu, ministre.



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