As Nobel Goes to Turk, France Takes Up Armenian Genocide

“It is not for the law to write history.”
Somehow, it is significant to me that the most pithy summing up of the article is in the final line. It is also a landmark of sorts: a sensible statement by a French politician. Who’d a thunk it?
The heart of the tangle is that modern Turkey is, for want of a better word, a split personality, a kind of nation-sized Sybil, neither fish nor fowl. Not wholly European, always on the fringe of it, not quite Middle Eastern, but historically ruling large chunks of it, sort of secular but pulled to Islam, anciently part of the Classical world, but up until just this century past ruled by Sultans and Caliphs, cosmopolitan and yet with parts of its citizens living just as they did for centuries past. Those nations on the border of modern Turkey retain very vivid and cultural and in some cases personal memories of war, oppression and massacre at the hands of Turks. Just as Turkey is itself riven by indigestible contradictions, so does Europe wrestle with those same contradictions, as it sorts out exactly how, or if , Turkey should, or even can be, part of Europe.

Sgt. Mom is a freelance writer and retired Air Force NCO who blogs at www.sgtstryker.com, and lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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