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Leon Krauze

Mexico

Leon Krauze is a Mexican blogger and a founder of letraslibres.com. Close.

Leon Krauze

Mexico

Leon Krauze is a Mexican blogger and a founder of letraslibres.com. more »

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Isolation Won’t Heal Turkey’s Wounds

The U.S Congress has made a big mistake. On paper, the resolution to denounce as genocide the killing of 1.5 million Armenians in early-twentieth century Turkey sounds like a no-brainer. As Jon Stewart said yesterday, in that inane, unfortunate politically correct mode he sometimes embraces: “A resolution condemning genocide? Uh, I think you gotta go ‘yes’ with that one!”

If only world politics were always about the punch line. Truth is, this diplomatic confrontation between the United States and Turkey comes at a very inopportune time. With Turkey on the brink of conflict with the Kurds and American access to Turkish military bases in question, Congress couldn’t have chosen a worse time for yesterday’s diplomatic “gesture”. Of course, the Armenian genocide – like the conflict with the Cypriots – has always been a thorny issue for Turkey’s relationship with the West. It is also true that, if it weren’t for Turkish inflexibility, the country could be on its way to European membership.

But that doesn’t mean that the best way to deal with Turkey is to isolate it. Quite the contrary: the country’s deep historical wounds can only be healed by engagement. And so much is riding on the West’s ability to fully engage Turkey! It’s increasingly clear that the enormous challenge the world faces with militant Islam can only be solved within Islam itself. The example of a modern, democratic, Muslim country would be a great way to start –probably the only way to start – such an Enlightenment period. By confronting Turkey at this difficult time, the U.S. Congress has done a disservice to the entire world.

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