Al-Monitor: Will Erdogan visit Armenian Genocide memorial in 2015?

The approach of the Turkish government to the [Armenian Genocide] issue has somewhat changed. Otherwise, the police would not have protected activists on April 24 from protesting extremist, nationalist groups, Al-Monitor writes.

“But the freedom the government allows to civil society and intellectuals to debate and observe the genocide doesn’t mean a change to Turkey’s official position on 1915. Reports leaked to the media about the preparations for 2015 by the government indicate that former official policies are going to prevail,” the article reads.

“It is very likely for the prime minister to go to Armenia, lay a wreath at the Armenian Genocide memorial and apologize to Armenians.” This earth-shattering prediction is not based on information or reports. It’s the accusation of a Turkish nationalist against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan has done so many things to upset us, this nationalist is saying, don’t be surprised if he apologizes to the Armenians.

“Some aspects of Turkey’s preparations for 2015 can be detected from remarks of the government spokesman Bulent Arinc: “2015 is the 100th year of both the Dardanelles and the claims of Armenian genocide. We are working seriously. There is work on symposiums, conferences, panels, publications and documentaries. But we are also engaged in very special public diplomacy activities that could affect the entire world.”

“We also know that leading members of the government and opposition have met in the parliament to discuss Turkey’s 2015 strategy. Sadly, all these strategies don’t appear to be anything else but mere repetition of Turkey’s routine approaches,” Al-Monitor continues.

The Turkish Historical Society is also preparing for 2015. Mehmet Metin Hulagu, president of the society, said it is working on a complete works of Turkey-Armenian relations in preparation for 2015.

Putting all these preparations and views of government officials together, the author predicts that” Turkey’s defensive attitude based on denials is not going to change in 2015. Though the Foreign Ministry is striving to improve Turkey’s image related to the Armenian issue with gestures such as opening the border, it also seems determined to combat the Armenians’ campaign for 2015.”

“In short, if Erdogan doesn’t turn the world upside down with a last-minute surprise, we are likely to see in 2015 a more refined and sophisticated version of Turkey’s denial policy of the past century,” the article concludes.

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