Here is a quick summary. Mr. Dink started with a statement that threw me off. He stated that Turkish Armenians are afraid to stand up for what they believe and to pronounce proudly what they know in their hearts… I was amazed! Finally an “insider” telling it like it is. He continued to talk about how Armenians usually make statement either based on their hearts (feeling) or based on their minds (logic). He insisted that in order to be more objective and true, one had to find a balance between these to approaches… not bad. I was more and more impressed by this 47 year old father of 3. Then, he started to talk about issues, the real stuff. Here is where I had trouble with his ideas. At first, he said that it is in vain that the Diaspora is putting so much effort to get the governments like France, USA and Italy to recognize the Genocide. He thought that “we”, the Diaspora, were using our ancestors’ lives as a means of negotiations between Turkey and other nations… His explanation was that Jacques Chirac wrote a letter (that was published in the Turkish newspapers) saying how upset he was that Turkey decided to cancel a helicopter deal with a French company… So, I ask you, who is making this into an economic issue? Is it not Turkey? Should we be threatened by that? Or use it for the purposed of Hay Tad?
Then he went to say that the corridors should start opening between Armenia and Turkey. Although I agree with this statement, I think that we should learn from our history and do this carefully. We should be able to negotiate the terms of this exchange and flow of goods. Otherwise we will once again be backstabbed and lose out.
Then, he insisted that we, the Diaspora, should help Turkey become democratic and join the EU… is he nuts? Strategically, we have a good deal going for us here. The Turks (or a good majority) want to join, then shouldn’t this be the right time to put forth some conditions for Turkey? He thinks that it was a mistake on behalf of the EU to have put the Armenian genocide as a pre-condition. In his opinion, it would be wiser to have Turkey part of this Union where they will have no choice but to follow certain guidelines.
OK, #1) Turkey is part of NATO (a so-called democratic and peaceful alliance) it is also part of the U.S.-Israel-Turkey military deal… have they followed any guidelines to get rid of their atrocious human rights deeds?
#2) the more they are faced with human rights violations, the more Armenians will be able to point their fingers and say…” look, they still haven’t learned their lesson. What they did to Armenians on their land almost a century ago is still being done today to Kurds, Christians and other minorities…”
All in all, I applaud this man for his courage to speak about issues that have been taboo for the past decades in Turkey. He and many others are finally speaking out against their government’s ignorant and harmful policies, something that the rest of the Diaspora has learned to do since the ‘70s.
John Hughes was great, I enjoyed his readings and his book… he is worth a full log at a later date.