Editorial: Turkey exposed

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund

Viscount Bryce, in an official report of the massacres against Turkish Armenians in 1915, described the horrors of the events while they were still going on. “Massacre was the order of the day,” he wrote as he exposed the Turkish Government as the instigator behind the genocide. The Armenians lived peacefully under the authorities of their time, said Viscount Bryce. Yet, “this is the people,” he said, “whom the gang of ruffians which calls itself the Government of Turkey has set out to exterminate. It has been done of set purpose.”

A new fund that recognises the deliberate genocide of Turkish Armenians a century ago, and provides relief to the descendants of its survivors, was launched on Friday (16 October 2015) at a meeting presided by the Lord Mayor of London at the Mansion House. Highlighting the sheer scale of the massacres, the Lord Mayor explained that young Muslims participated in what was probably the greatest massacre of any land or race ever to have been recorded in a calculated attempt to wipe out the Christian Armenians across most of modern-day Turkey.

That was then. But today we are witnessing a repeat of history, this time in the guise of Islamic State (IS), and still our governments seem to do little or nothing to protect Christians. In an unnervingly frank declaration of legitimacy for the jihadists, Anadolu News Agency reported on Sunday (18 October 2015) that Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation, said:

“[IS] is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organised and popular establishment such as the Islamic State; therefore I urge my western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents, put aside their cynical mentality and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syrian Islamist revolutionaries.”

IS, he said, should set up a consulate (or similar office) in Istanbul, apparently in order to process its many foreign supporters travelling to the self-declared caliphate. Not only that, but Turkey, he said, is committed to caring for all injured IS fighters who reach Turkish hospitals.

It is a sad fact of history that Turkey was responsible for the massacre of millions of Christians a century ago, though its government refuses to acknowledge the genocide. Today, an appalling new genocide of Christians is occurring, this time in Iraq and Syria, and yet again Turkey features prominently, backing a brutal jihadi group that is essentially a construction of the Gulf states.

But still the West prevaricates. In fact, Turkey is a member of NATO, the geopolitical foundations of which are firmly rooted in the West. Furthermore, British Prime Minister David Cameron is urging Turkey to join the European Union. Rather than expose Turkey’s role in the deliberate extermination of Christians, it seems our Western governments are determined to make alliances with the very perpetrators of today’s jihad. But what kind of message does this send to the descendants of the 1915 genocide? And what of the Christians fleeing Iraq and Syria? When will our leaders have the courage to expose the core of this conflict – the deliberate extermination of Middle Eastern Christians?

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