BY S. MAHSEREJIAN
When I was a university student, I attended a history course that covered World War II. After presenting the details of the six years of devastation, our professor introduced some analysis that shed light on the infestation of “Hitlerism,” meaning the rise of Hitler and the spread of his Nazi ideology that engulfed Germany and her allies as well under similar names.
I don’t intend to go into the details of his analysis, but I want to stress upon one point that he made very fervently: He explained that Adolf Hitler was the main axis around whom the war revolved, and lead humanity into the eminent apocalyptic disasters. He went on to explain the causes of the infestation of “Hitlerism,” pointing out that Hitler was the torch bearer of German imperialism. Indeed, the Germans felt frustrated after World War I and would not yield to the restrictions and “suppressions” imposed upon them by the Allies. So, “The Fuhrer” and Nazism rose rapidly. The Allies witnessed all the developments but would not take preventive action, because they were, among many other reasons, tired of wars. To make a long story short, they preferred to tolerate Hitler’s extremism and did not refrain his ambitions (of course one can not ignore the fact, that some of Germany’s previous competitors and rivals had set favorable trading bridges with Hitler, thus, they directly or indirectly aided the nourishment of Nazism). The rest is history, but the debate goes on: If the Allies had taken some action to restrain Hitler, the apocalypse of the war would have been prevented most probably!
The negligence of Hitler’s rise to power and spread of Nazism is not a unique phenomenon in World History, but I prefer to stress upon this case in order to shed light on my concerns regarding a similar threat that the world is facing presently. And that threat can be summarized in few words: Turkey’s Erdogan and his tendencies to re-create the Ottoman Empire.
Exactly one hundred years ago, following WW I, the Treaty of Sevres brought an end to the Ottoman Empire. Turkey had fought the war alongside Imperial Germany and had lost to the allies. “The Sick man of Europe” disintegrated and new nations won their independence and rightful places on the world map. Europe and the civilized world had realized at last that keeping the Ottoman Empire on life support would mean the prolongation of the hazardous consequences of the policies of the Sultans. Turkey had become synonymous to dictatorship, bloodbaths, and disaster. The disintegration of the corrupt empire was overdue; the civilized world was fed up with the blood-baths that the Sultans and their inheritors dwelt on. They said: Enough is enough!
The ideology of imperialism did not diminish in the minds and psyche of the inheritors of the failed empire. Mustafa Kemal, the “Father of the Republic of Turkey” and his successors doggedly kept the idea of the empire alive in their souls and political schema, moreover, they have not resigned from the ideology of Pan-Turkism, which is a culmination of imperialism, racism, extremisms with so many ugly faces, and the intent to annihilate all those who would stand as obstacles against this murderous gamble.
The Armenian nation, a major victim of this criminal policy, was not alone in its peril, because many other nations, Christian, Muslim and others were also preys to this illicit dream. Today, and for over a decade now, Erdogan has declared himself as an heir of the imperial tradition. His intentions are no secret; he has invaded Syria, Iraq, has sent troops to Libya and other hotspots of the world. He has extended a helping hand to Azerbaijan who has devastated Artsakh – Republic of Mountainous Karabakh – and has lately extended its adventurism directly against the Republic of Armenia. Turkey and Azerbaijan are speaking openly about invading Armenia and other neighbors, they boss about the genocidal actions of their ancestors and indirectly threaten to complete the unfinished assignment. Threatening the Nuclear generator in Armenia’s Metsamor is another vivid example of Turko-Azeri intentions.
Moreover, Erdogan’s troops together with the extremist bandits acting under the watchful eyes of Erdogan’s regime and enjoying its support have openly massacred Kurds, Yezidis and other ethnic groups, repeating the criminal activities of their predecessors; the Sultans and the Young Turks who persecuted and massacred Armenians, Assyrians, Arabs and other ethnic groups over a century ago. Last but not least, turning the Hagia Sophia Cathedral into a mosque is yet one of the minor but outstanding expressions of Erdogan’s imperialism and trashing of the world opinion!
All of these are being carried out in open daylight and in front of the watchful eyes of the world; a world that has rejected imperialism, despotism, occupation by force and so on. Whatever Hitler did in the late 20’s and 30’s of the 20th century, is being carried out by Turkey’s “Sultan” Erdogan today as a comparable tinge.
The civilized world should not stay idle and inactive towards Erdogan’s advances. The world must prevent the rise of another Hitler, because inaction will directly or indirectly yield to the recurrence of the global disaster. This alarm must not be watched upon as an exaggeration! Alarms that rang against Hitler almost a century ago were also considered as exaggerations, but we are well aware of what followed starting 1939.
Yes, we the Armenians have experienced the most cruel crimes of Ottoman Turkey and its descendants; we were the victim of the first Genocide of the 20th Century, but we were not left alone in this perilous path. Other nations were also targeted by the same policies, regardless of their national belonging and religious affiliations; Christians and Muslims have equally been victimized by the crimes committed by the state of Turkey.
The whole world is well-informed of the historic facts, and should not turn a blind eye to the current crimes of Erdogan’s Turkey and its ally; Aliyev’s Azerbaijan. Moreover, we the Armenians and all those who share the same gloomy destiny, namely the Greeks, the Cypriots, Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and others should stand in the same trench to face and prevent the resurgence of the Ottoman Empire by the initiation of Erdogan and his hordes. The world must sustain our efforts to terminate the imperial dreams of Turkey. The human race and the civilized world must be spared the repetition of the mistakes committed towards Hitler, and defend itself from the resurrection of bloodbaths incurred by the Turks through the Pan-Turkic policy. Indeed, the European allies of Turkey should be fed up by the abuses of Erdogan, as he threatens to send millions of refugees he has help create and levies billions of dollars from the European tax-payers year after year under the pretext of taking care of the refugees.
Wake up, world! Take action against the revival of the criminal empire by all means. Humanity must prevent the repetition of Hitler’s legacy and stop encouraging “Sultan” Erdogan. It will be meaningless to shed tears after a new calamity that may be eminent.