All tagged Turkey

Political Minutes: Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu

The future lies in “two vital principles,” which he delineated as good governance and the allowance of political freedoms ingrained in established rules of human rights. This, warned Ihsanoglu, “is no easy undertaking,” especially in a world with such a diverse scale of polities and ideological landscapes. Some Muslim regimes have the “strictest possible” interpretation of Islam, while others deny its role, and others seek a middle way.

Three years ago, 17-year-old Ogün Samast entered the upscale Sisli district of Istanbul, Turkey, wearing a white beret and carrying a gun. He turned onto the street of Sebat Sokak, reached the publishing house of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos, and waited. Moments later, when the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Hrant Dink stepped out, Samast shot him dead in broad daylight.

You hear the story every year around this time: Turks massacred hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the early 1900s. The modern state of Turkey claims that the crumbling Ottoman state did not premeditate or direct the killings, noting that the Turks suffered as many deaths as the Armenians. Armenians, for their part, want the episode recognized as genocide, and they blame the international community for its inattention and hypocrisy. It sounds like one of those debates that will go on for eternity.