Thursday, October 11, 2007

Let's decide ourselves what is history, not corrupted politicians

Sister, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I have said it before and I will say it again, but I am very much against politicians in vrious countries legislating over definitions of what happened in history. Last year we had the French (with their large Christian Armenian population and pressure groups) legislating over the 'genocide' of Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire and now we have a US House Commitee doing the same (also at the behest of well moneyed pressure groups).

Whether or not these country's legislatures have defined that what happened was genocide or not, makes no difference to what actually happened. Bad things happened on both sides. Better to encourage research and openness than force, say, Turkey into a corner of denial on this issue. Let the research and history books tell us what happened and let's not have it forced upon us by politicians and their pressure groups.

Apparently, the President of the US is not too happy about the vote, not because he has any particular qualms about politicians defining history for the rest of us, nor is he too sympathetic to modern day Turkey and Turks, he seems to be more worried about losing an important military base in the region.

Anyway, in a separate piece of news, it is good to hear that Gordon Brown is a strong supporter of Turkey's eventual membership of the European Union and appears to be willing to go to heads on this issue with Mr No-No Sarkozy.


Blogger Shane Gilchrist said...

from Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul:

She, as an Armenian, embodied the spirits of her people generations and generations earlier, whereas the average Turk had no such notion of continuity with his or her ancestors. The Armenians and the Turks lived in different time frames. For the Armenians, time was a cycle in which the past incarnated in the present and the present birthed the future.

For the Turks, time was a multi-hyphenated line, where the past ended at some definite point and the present started anew from scratch, and there was nothing but rupture in between.

12 October, 2007 16:28  

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