Alright, so Turkey hasn’t agreed to pay reparations yet, but I’m extrapolating from their own hypocritical actions which were highlighted in the NY Times this week in the article “Seeking Return of Art, Turkey Jolts Museums“.
But seriously, if you read the article, your mouth will be left agape at the hypocrisy and how everything they are saying, if applied to the Armenian case, would mean they should give us all our lands and property back. Here are some of their arguments:
- Turkey can judge art objects to belong to Turkey without any proof – and then it is up to the person who owns it to prove it is not excavated from Turkey somehow.
- Turkey’s director-general of cultural heritage and museums, Murat Suslu said “We only want back what is rightfully ours.”
- Turkey is now citing a 1906 Ottoman-era law — one that banned the export of artifacts — to claim any object removed after that date as its own. So Turkey openly is admitting it is the beneficiary of all Ottoman wealth – and in our case debts.
- Thievery and looting are wrong, Turkey says, no matter when they occurred. They even are going back to object removed in the 16th century!! In other words, there is no statutes of limitations on these crimes. Certainly that would apply to the little case of our genocide as well.
- They’re even claiming art treasures dug up in Lebanon or other countries, because they were part of the Ottoman Empire when they were removed. So we can likewise demand reparations for later losses of property in the Middle East by the Diaspora because they were forced out by the Ottoman Empire.
Ironically of course, none of the art that Turkey seeks the return of is even created by Turks, it was all stolen by Turks when they arrived in Anatolia.
Our demands for reparations and land need to start becoming more vocal, and all of these Turkish policies need to be used against them.