Armenian News Network / Groong
WILL AMERICA EVER UNDERSTAND TURKEY?
Time To Take a Cartoon Out of Storage to Remind Us of Some Crucial Facts
Armenian News Network / Groong
July 2, 2021
by Eugene L. Taylor and Abraham D. Krikorian
Probing the Photographic Record
LONG ISLAND, NY
By now we have made it abundantly clear that we are firm believers that cartoons can indeed serve as editorials without words. They are a distinctive and effective way of addressing the truth. Some might say that they have no equal in this task.
There has been a great deal of noise in the media lately about U.S. President Biden and Turkish President Recep Erdoğan. Clearly there has been more heat than light emanating from this interaction.
We believe that it is time that a cartoon from many years ago entitled “Contrary to the Laws of Nature” shown below, be resurrected as a reminder of the facts of the case which are very deep-rooted.
Cartoon from Pittston [Pennsylvania] Gazette (newspaper discontinued in 1965) from the World War II era.
To use Washington, D.C. and Washington Beltway language, the cartoon shows that there has been little or no bang for the buck when it comes to the USA support of Turkey from way back. Winston Churchill tried to woo Turkey without success as did America. Clearly, one cannot buy friendship or loyalty. The Turks know very well how to pretend to be supporters and allies even as they brazenly feather their own nests and rob everyone else ‘blind.’ As we have admitted, this is not a feature peculiar to the Turks, but they are especially openly brazen about it, and even use it as a weapon or threat whenever it suits them. They think they have a major political advantage because their country is geo-strategically located on the map. Whether they are really as crucially geopolitically located seems never to have been seriously questioned. The USA has blindly seen it as such without backing up that position with considered arguments. There is more than likely a substantial economic aspect to it all.
In the top panel of our pre-World War II cartoon, we see a sign declaring the “Hope of Turkish Participation in War against the Axis” [the coalition comprised of Germany, Italy and Japan]. Generous helpings of food and munitions are provided by Uncle Sam to an enthusiastic Turkey.
In the next two panels, the more Allied food and aid provided by Uncle Sam, the more the hopes of Turkish participation on the side of the Allies shrink. Increased generosity is clearly not doing the trick. Turkey pretended to be neutral even as it was sitting on the fence reaping the benefits of selling key minerals at high prices in the manufacture of steel in Nazi Germany etc.
The last panel shows a Turkey that has eaten and taken all, but the hopes on the part of the Allies have shrunken to nothing!
The Old Country Armenian Villagers were realists and might well have asked ‘Asonk hetch ch’en gush’ta’nar?’ [Are these (the reader may choose an expletive of choice) never sated?] Response: Of course not! Not ever! It is all money down the proverbial rathole!
The Turks have been masters of propaganda and have learned to play adversaries, real, imagined or perceived, like violins.
They learned long ago that an avenue well worth pursuing was to pretend that they had always defended human rights and that contrary to many others, the Ottoman Empire offered succor and safety to Jews from Europe. This was known to be nonsense by responsible scholars from the outset, but at long last a very well documented body of knowledge and evidence has been assembled and offered to the world at large.
We shall see how much good this does.
Some key references follow:
Baer, Marc David. (2000) Turkish Jews rethink "500 years of brotherhood and friendship”. Turkish Studies Association Bulletin vol. 24, no. 2, pgs. 63-73.
Baer, Marc David (2020) Sultanic Saviors and Tolerant Turks: writing Ottoman Jewish History, Denying the Armenian Genocide. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.
Charny, Israel W. (2021) Israel’s Failed Response to the Armenian Genocide. Denial, State Deception, Truth versus Politicization of History. With three contemporary updates by a Turk, an Armenian, and a Jew. Boston, Academic Studies Press.
Gruner, Wolf. (2012) “Peregrinations into the Void?’ German Jews and their Knowledge about the Armenian Genocide during the Third Reich. Central European History vol. 45, no. 1, pgs. 1-26.
Shaw, Stanford J. (1991) The Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. New York University Press.
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