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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  April 25, 2021 8:30pm-9:01pm +03

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or people in the main office they are resorting to while and encouraging augur. since the law took effect in july activists in opposition politicians have been jailed more than 10000 people have been arrested in relation to the protests and many young people including one of the main characters and do not split have fled the city if you go palin are just there on. this is al jazeera these are your top stories iraq's prime minister has suspended the health minister after an explosion and fire at a baghdad hospital families have held funerals for some of the 82 victims the government has declared 3 days of national mourning. india is reporting a record number of coronavirus cases for a 4th day with nearly 350000 infections stuff at hospitals
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a begging folks in supplies as the health care system struggles to cope the u.s. the e.u. germany france and the u.k. are sending emergency aid supporters of somalia's president and those opposed to him an extension of his term in office of fighting in mogadishu it's happening ahead of a deadline for mohammed of the life a manager to step down catherine sawyer has been following developments from nairobi. there has been more than short hard in an area called kilometer for around the home of a presidential candidates called abdulrahman coeur or we heard of gunshots in an area called. president another presidential candidate shaikh muhammad say that he's home was attacked and blamed the president and these clashes basically have been between police forces and soldiers who are opposed to
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the extension of the presidential town by another 2 years and they are to us president joe biden formally recognize the mass killing of armenians during the osman empire as genocide armenians prime minister has resigned it sets the stage for snap elections on june the 20th the copa 70 and had been under pressure for his handling of last year's war with azerbaijan the conflict ended with armenia giving up control of several disputed territories. rebels in northern chad say they're ready to observe a cease fire and discuss a political settlement across from libya on april 11th calling for an end to president idriss deby is rule that he was killed fighting on the front line. as he had launched these continues on al-jazeera after inside story with peter dhabi stay with us.
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joe biden has designated the mass killings of armenians in 1915 as genocide summoned the u.s. ambassador and called it a wound that will be difficult to repair so where does that leave relations between 2 of nato biggest allies this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program i'm peter the u.s. had long avoided formally recognizing the 1915 mass killings of armenians as
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genocide but now president joe biden has become the 1st american leader to do just that he said washington is doing this quote not to cost to blame but to ensure what happened is never repeat the move has caused anger in turkey there the government disputes the number of armenians killed during the end of the ottoman empire and denies it was genocide it strongly rejected by designation and summoned the american ambassador in protest but many armenians and rights groups have welcomed the decision we'll bring in our guest in just a moment 1st this report from rob reynolds want to bellow california. a day of sorrel and remembrance at the armenian martyrs memorial near los angeles all day long families came to pay their respects laying flowers to commemorate the dead but this was also a watershed day for armenian americans as u.s. president joe biden officially declared the mass killing of armenians under the
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ottoman empire during the 1st world war as genocide i think the whole armenian community. really think you for him to pronounce as a genocide so we. we so appreciate it the finally the justice it's coming i'm so happy that president biden made the statement today and. i wish my parents were alive to hear this and see this my mother and her family did go through the walking through the desert and syria. they killed her father my mother's father my mother's youngest sister died biden statement said we remember the lives of all those who died in the ottoman era armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again recurring previous presidents of voided use of the term for fear of angering
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nato ally turkey and indeed turkish officials lashed out summoning the u.s. ambassador to lodge a protest and foreign minister may have let couples so blue declaring words can't change history we won't take any lessons about our own history from anyone turkey has fiercely denied the mass killings of 1000000 500000 armenian men women and children was an act of genocide saying that deaths were the result of warfare in istanbul many people. rejected the genocide label young outlaw must not be on the sort of no such thing ever happened during the war things happen on both sides so it's meaningless to describe it like that so my eventual good to our relationship with the us is already really bad and this will only worsen the. us turkey relations have frayed in recent months as
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a candidate biden declared the turkish president race it tayyip aired a one as an autocrat and his administration has pressed on corrupt to stop human rights abuses in the armenian capital yerevan people marched in cheered and the country's leaders applauded by the statement many armenian americans here say the terrible events of more than a century ago are like a festering wound that never heals no matter how many decades have passed we grow up you know. you know with with the the the stories that have been passed down from survivors the story of survival so much trauma and it's and it's and it's multi-generational trauma but some say for them the president's words have shifted something like a sense of relief because it's it's out in the open it's been acknowledged by by now perhaps there can be some measure of healing robert oulds al-jazeera montebello
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california. ok let's bring in our guests joining us from washington d.c. we have nicholas dan forth a nonresident fellow at the foundation for european and foreign policy is also the author of course the remaking of republican turkey memory and modernity since the fall of the ottoman empire in istanbul we have challenge managing editor of the daily sabah a turkish based english language newspaper gentlemen a warm welcome to both of you nick done forth in washington we've had such a careful use of language for so many years now for generations i guess why the change. so historically every u.s. president at least going back to bill clinton has promised on the campaign trail that they're going to recognize the enemy genocide when office this is an issue obviously of enormous importance to armenian americans and generally people are an
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issue that americans writ large see is something important see as something the united states should weigh in on from a broadly liberal human rights perspective traditionally president promised they're going to do this in then when they're in office they face pressure from the tradition government they face pressure from turkey's allies in the state department here in the defense department here at de then become worried that actually using the term genocide is going to alienate turkey is going to create a rift in u.s. trip this relations is going to harm american national security and as a result they back down biden like all previous presidents promise to recognize the genocide in the campaign trail now u.s. troops relations are at such a low point that there's no there's no one left in the united states lobbying on behalf and no one in washington is really worried about angering her any more there's a sense that there's nothing left to lose so biden for the 1st time was actually able to follow through on his promise and use the term genocide method in istanbul
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so clearly the government in ankara knew this was coming but still they are so angry about it. well of course they are angry about it because they are angry that turkey's a nato ally and a strategic so-called strategic partner in the camp politicizing history and be biased rather than being objective on historical facts that of course will linger turkey but turkey is also in a position that does not necessarily take. biden's words at a level well where they think too much of it in the sense that they will they day know that this is not a legally binding decision it's a symbolic decision to call to use the word for the 915 year events.
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having said that of course there is a public reaction and political reaction because. there is a biased position with regard to toward the historical facts that ignores the killings of muslim turks and kurds in the hands of the armenians or the russians at the time and there is a picture shown as and incident happened. deliberately and systematically towards the armenian ottomans at the time so of course there is a public and political reaction but this is not necessarily i am not sure whether it will turn into a concrete action towards. washington as as nicolas also or said their relations have all have been you know at a very low level it for a while why did you if i could just ask you to back up a little bit just just want to break down what you just said right at the beginning of your answer you used the phrase that guests on this program from istanbul have
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used before to do with what biden is calling genocide you were talking there about politicizing history why is it politicizing history to label something an event that was your word event why is it politicizing history to call it genocide when countries around the world have reacted to what every historian says was genocide you know you're a go in 1950 i am just a 2nd just a 2nd you're acquiring 1965 genocide at the french the germans call it. the canadians call it genocide so that's the moral high ground taken care of the russians call it genocide so that's the the real politic territory taken care of everyone on those continents calls it genocide every historian you could talk to calls it genocide but you want to call it an event i disagree that every historian
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calls it a genocide i mean i mean you know if that's the case actually why daunte historians western historians armenians trains actually come into a joint. you know initiative which turkey has called for to look at the archives to turkey has said you know we will open our archives and make it accessible to anyone who wants to come and actually. study this and in you know we will talk on an objective. reality rather than saying this this is politicized because we know you know it is not a secret that the armenian diaspora armenian lobbies in the united states have been extremely powerful and could be have been pushing this forward not because this is said this is necessarily a fact to to be labeled as the genocide but to to to because they want to
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pressure turkey into you know something that they want to achieve ok ultimately ok so i let me just let me just go into nick down forth in washington for a 2nd nick mistake of assuming that the turkish foreign minister described mr biden's comments and his use of the word genocide as quote political opportunism is there any truth or any accuracy in that. i think what's important to point out is that of course the entire debate about this all history is political but what really politicized this was the united states not using the term for the past 30 years as you pointed out the historical consensus on this has been widespread and consistent if it weren't for politics if it weren't for turkish lobbying there would have been no objection i mean yes it's armenian americans who tend to push these but every one of the united states writ large agrees with them and if it weren't for turkish pressure this would have been recognized 30 years ago and so i do think it's tragic that this got politicized 30 years ago and that u.s.
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presidents were scared to speak the truth because of the political pressure they were under from turkey. so yes it is and i do i think that took that inevitably sap some of the moral high ground from biden statement i mean he did say it when it was convenient we did way is the united states to say until we didn't have to worry about hurting to us target relations i think that undermines america's credibility and they should have said it 30 years ago but i would just emphasize that the real politics in my mind is not having said it earlier not the fact that they said it today mechlin i can't just also making one more point only because my background as a historian since we brought of archives and we brought up history one of the things that's striking that i think people who haven't followed this debate closely sometimes missed is actually in the last 10 or 15 years there's been more access to the ottoman archives and there's been some phenomenal research done largely by turkish historians using ottoman documents using ottoman archives and it's actually
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some of the most damning evidence for the genocide that's come out in the last decade has been as a result of the ottoman archives being more open people go in there and they find documents that they're not smoking guns they don't find a telegram saying go commit genocide but they finding that if you read between the lines it's very clear that a lot of the ottoman government knows what he's telling people to do and i would say for turks american. anyone who's on the fence about this before you say you know the history is out there before you say let's leave this to the story and before you say this is politicized read it would be neat and good is the making of modern turkey and if the evidence in the 1st 2 chapters of that book don't convince you i don't think you're interested in serious history. in istanbul let's stay where we are as of today could this be as far as anchor is concerned perceived as a very clever move on the part of the relatively still new us president in as much as relations between ankara and washington are pretty much flat lining anyway this
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isolates ankara and on top of that it also undermines where ankara's loyalties in the region lie right now today well i'm not sure if it is a smart move then for horror washington to isolate. a strategic and a strong power in the region for their own interests so this this is something that does not necessarily i'm not sure if it actually serves long term u.s. interests in the region biden before he was elected he made some promises and he's following them through you know to appeal to his his voter base but at the same time i'm not sure of this is something that you know it will be carried out forward. you know when it comes to u.s. relations because we know all the shifting of you know the so-called shifting of
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turkey's axis 'd with regards to east or russia is not something that biden or you reprieves u.s. administrations are very happy about. this is i'm not sure if the bidens decision came following the recent us i mean turkish intervention in a car about so all these things have maybe triggered but i don't think it is the long term interest for the for the united states to isolate turkey i mean why ok you know nick said that they haven't done that for the past 30 years i think you know we used trump for being a populist leader biden has crossed the trash hold a trump had drawn ok nick then forced back to washington if we accept this was indeed genocide genocide is an international war crime it should be punished therefore could this ever be punished what court would it go to.
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no and that's what i think is important to understand some of the resistance and some of the ways people in turkey articulate their resistance to the use of that term is by focusing on the legal implications is by suggesting that this could be the preclude to new demands for reparations demands for territorial claims in eastern anatolia. that's not an issue i think what most let's you talk to armenian americans yes i mean there are certainly some arena nationalists who you know would like to push this much further but by and large what people you talk to want is acknowledgment they want recognition they want the world to appreciate what their people suffered you know dad to this debate was it i mean it's not you know i i think actually biden statement said it very well i mean it was not focused on retaliation it was not focused on blame it was not focused on punishment it was focused on an acknowledgment the suffering of people who feel like their suffering is never going to knowledge and i as your segment said the hope is that this is the 1st step toward some healing on their part. in istanbul why won't the
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turkish government at least pay lip service to the rest of the world's interpretation of what happened say between 1950 in the 19171900 but up to and including the early 1920 s. because that's why the american diaspora is so big because literally usually single teenagers people in their early twenty's they lost everything and they were shipped to america that's where the diaspora is so big in new york boston over to chicago massachusetts as well and that's why even people like kim carr dashi and today we can sit here on inside story and get very intellectually highbrow but kim carr dashi and we all know who she is we can criticize her for being a celebrity based on celebrity but she's all of armenian descent her father bald an american armenian she has 2. 12000000 followers and she's talking to them today
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on her instagram about armenian genocide that gets this story to a to up an audience perhaps are engaging with that that they would never engage with in a way before well you thought you talked about paying a lip service turkey or the turkish state will not pay a lip service if they disagree with the historical facts now having said that tookie has been acknowledging that historical tragedy took place during those years of war now in addition to that turkey wants to to to to you know to turkey says that look this is something that did happen as a tragedy of war but at the same time in the year is that you mentioned nearly 3000000 muslims were also massacred and killed during the war so i think this is something that also we need to acknowledge at the same time we need to make sure
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that their western politics politicians and celebrities like you mentioned should acknowledge and start talking about at the same time this is not something that celebrities you know should be. shaping this is something that you know we just said he is a historian this is a work of historians from both sides that should be involved not necessarily you know so that we don't have a one sided interpretation of the history ok you say there are clueless celebrities shouldn't shape international politics we just have 4 years of an american celebrity politician who became the american president but looking forward nick. has mr biden in effect i do feel sorry i do feel sorry that trump was a president for the full 44 years for many americans and the united states ok nick done forth in washington has mr biden maybe changed what future presidential
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candidates or any aspiring future u.s. politician can say now because if you've got a u.s. president saying yes that was genocide no american president no american politician in the future can disagree with that surely. and the best case scenario is what comes out of this is that the taboo has been broken a turkey will react how it chooses to react and that this will not have to be a debate every year and then in the future us presidents can make comments on this issue they can commemorate the genocide and it won't turn into that media circus that unfortunately it has. over the years and well i would hope and again i say this is a story and that as it becomes possible to talk about this more publicly as it becomes possible that what this mark ended late we actually will move past that sometimes superficial understanding of these terms that you get when it's you know when it's discussed in the media and i think mehmet said something very important which is you know there is this sense that when you call something
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a genocide our understanding of genocide is show so shaped by the holocaust you know when you talk about the armenian genocide. that does sometimes ignore the fact that there was enormous suffering on that part of ottoman muslims be ottoman muslims who were driven out of the balkans yes or cashiers who were driven out of the caucuses by russian ethnic cleansing there's a really unfortunate assumption on both sides of this debate you either have to believe in the genocide or you have to accept that there aren't muslims that suffered and i hope as we move on in this debate as we can all talk about this a little more freely as historians can weigh and we can realize that this is a false choice that you know can and should and must use the word genocide for what was a genocide but that doesn't preclude in the historical sense recognizing that of course this was a more complicated issue this is a nuanced issue there were there was enormous suffering on both sides of this and to be able to hold both of those in your head requires more of a bust public debate that i hope perhaps naively we will one day be able to have
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a measurement what do you think mr erdogan might do almost a cover so new might do if other countries now adopt formally the term the word genocide. well turkey has will do what it did before previous i mean france has done that germany has done it canada has done it united states now have done it turkey will continue its statehood moves i mean state moves in the sense that they will you know make sure that they don't actually get caught up with this rhetoric but they will take this you know all in a more mature way and you know act with within within reason when it comes to long term strategic goals of the country with we share whatever country is accepting that excepting to use that term so mr advani. you know of course is
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against politicizing historical events and you know us using such terms. coming from populism but at the same time they will not going to i mean they have someone the. u.s. ambassador a lot a night by the i don't know if you will move on to something more concrete last word to you nick on this this hot topic i guess because it is hot and it will continue to be hot mr biden is clearly placing the united states at the leading edge of international human rights we haven't seen that from a u.s. president since what the days of jimmy carter he tried it this genocide is is particularly relevant i suppose because it's the 1st recognizable in relatively speaking contemporary a contemporary time scale something we could recognize as genocide will this make genocide in the future less likely. no i mean obviously that's the most
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important question that's the potentially most depressing note to end on you know we've come over a 100 years from the events of 915 and. you know we're seeing something similar unfold in shin jiang in china right now we're seeing over a 1000000 people put in prison we're seeing what you know credible sources have called it genocide and it's discouraging to see the world hasn't really reacted in its of course where the biden said what he had to say but you know as you said the real test will be what the world can do going forward when faced with. genocide in our midst being committed by a powerful country right now gentlemen we have to leave it there thank you so much for joining us they were our guests dan 4th amendment challenge and thank you too for your company you can see the program again any time via the web site out to sort of com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash page inside story can also join the conversation on twitter at a.j. inside story for me peter davi and the entire team here in doha thanks for watching
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