Monday, May 13, 2013

A troubling question

Should the New Zealand government help cover up genocide?

Of course not. But that's what they will be doing in just two years time. 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, in which Turkey exterminated an estimated 1.5 million Armenians. 2015 is also the 100th anniversary of the doomed Gallipoli campaign, in which almost 3,000 New Zealand soldiers died for Britain's idiocy. And as the latest article by Robert Fisk makes clear, the Turkish government, which is still in denial about its historic crimes, intends to use the latter to mask the former:

The Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, spoke at Gallipoli two years ago and gave a perfectly frank account of how Turkey planned to define the Armenian genocide on its hundredth anniversary. “We are going to make the year of 1915 known the whole world over,” he said, “not as an anniversary of a genocide as some people claimed and slandered (sic), but we shall make it known as a glorious resistance of a nation – in other wour [sic] defence of Gallipoli.”

The New Zealand government is planning a big celebration to mark the centenary - but by doing so they'll be directly helping the Turks to cover up genocide and drown out the voices of their victims. If that's the Turkish plan, we should boycott the ceremony. Alternatively, we should make clear our intention to speak out about those other dead, and their need for justice.