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View Diary: The strange story of Anti-Armenian groups in Hawai'i (4 comments)

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  •  Ataturk took Woodrow Wilson deadly seriously (5+ / 0-)

    After the punitive disestablishment of the German, Austrian, and Ottoman Empires after WWI, the new order spearheaded by President Wilson was going to be contiguous and ethnically homogenous states - "a country for every culture and every culture in their country" kind of thinking.  The Ottoman Turks - who'd ruled a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious empire for centuries (and weren't even native to that empire's territory) - stood to lose pretty much all of their territory.  

    Modern Turkey was basically created by a multi-decade campaign of oppression and ethnic cleansing; the Armenians were just the appetizer.  Ataturk listened well to what was said at Versailles, saw what happened to the map of Eastern Europe and what it meant for the people on the ground, and acted the way any cold-blooded "father of the nation" type would.  "OK, so if Greeks, Kurds, Armenians, etc. are living on land that used to be ruled by Turks then that land belongs to them, not to us.  Well, we can fix that!"

    Ionia (the west coast of Turkey) had been culturally Greek almost as long as Greece itself and the allies were going to make it official, going so far as to back a Greek invasion Bay of Pigs style.  Ataturk's army not only repulsed the invasion but went on to ethnically cleanse the area since under the new rules that was the only way they could claim it.  The entire eastern third of Turkey is really North Kurdistan and was the base of all the anti-Saddam Kurdish groups (now they live in Iraq and fight in Turkey), but Turkey keeps the civilian population on lockdown.  Hatay used to be Syrian Arab.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:47:52 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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